When Marge unsuccessfully tries to get the kids to clean up the backyard, Homer runs into the house to exclaim to the family that the carnival is in town. After trying some rides, Bart gets himself into trouble by crashing a display of Hitler's limousine into a tree. To repay the loss, Bart and Homer become carnies.
They meet up with carnies Cooder and his son, Spud. Cooder asks Homer to run his fixed game, but Homer fails to bribe Chief Wiggum (mainly because he was not deciphering Chief Wiggum's obvious hints at wanting a bribe, culminating in a request for a "Mr. Bribe"), and Cooder's game is shut down. Feeling guilty, Homer invites Cooder and Spud to stay at the Simpson residence, much to Marge's dismay.
To express their gratitude, the Cooders give the Simpsons tickets on a glass-bottom boat ride. When the Simpsons return, they find that the locks have been changed, the windows are all boarded up and the Simpsons' name is crossed off the mailbox and replaced by 'The Cooders'. The Cooders have tricked them and taken their house. After Chief Wiggum, still angry at him for not giving him the bribe, ignores Homer's pleas for help, the family is forced to take up residence in Bart's treehouse.
Homer proposes to Cooder, that if he can throw a hula hoop onto the chimney, they get their house back. If he misses, he will sign the deed over to Cooder. Cooder agrees and steps onto the lawn to watch Homer's attempt. Homer stretches and warms up, as if about to throw, but instead he and his family suddenly rush into the house, leaving Cooder and Spud dumbfounded in the street. Homer has outwitted the Cooders and the Simpsons have their house back. However, Homer begins to feel sorry again, until Marge reminds him that the carnies ruined the ass groove in his couch which Homer immediately sets about remedying.