After a company night out to the Springfield drag races, Smithers fails to protect Mr. Burns from being pestered by a drunken Lenny. Though he tries to make amends the next day, Smithers again bungles his duties and attempts to drown himself in the water cooler out of guilt, so Burns suggests he take a vacation. Seeking a replacement who won't outshine him, Smithers purposely selects Homer for the job. He then proceeds to go on vacation to what appears to be a gay male resort. However, Burns soon proves to be ridiculously demanding for someone who hasnt devoted his life to him like Smithers had. After putting up with Mr Burns constant abuse for several days, Homer finally snaps and punches Burns in anger. Fearing he has killed the old man, Homer runs away in panic, and hides at home.
Homer returns to apologize but is turned away by a fearful Burns. With no one around, Burns learns to do things himself, such as making coffee and operating the telephone. Burns soon becomes completely self-reliant and thanks Homer for making him learn that he can fend for himself. Burns then fires Smithers when he returns from his vacation. Smithers tries to find other employment but eventually decides he can only be happy working for Mr. Burns. He enlists Homer in a scheme to get his job back by handling a call from Burns' mother (the one task that Burns still cannot do), but it backfires when Homer hangs up the phone by accident and then attempts to impersonate Burns' mother. Smithers and Homer engage in a fight within Burns' office which ends when Burns is accidentally knocked out of the window. Burns is badly injured and becomes dependent on Smithers once again. In gratitude, Smithers sends Homer a fruit basket.