Laura opens and reads Rob's mail, she giving him a Reader's Digest version of it, and even throwing away what she considers unimportant. Rob is not angry that Laura opened his mail, but he is angry that she read it before he did. Laura doesn't understand why Rob is so upset as he always lets her read his mail anyway. After apologies are made, the issue is resolved. Or is it? Out of general chit-chat, Rob tells Sally and Buddy about the event. Buddy thinks the situation is ripe for a comedy sketch for the show, to which Sally and Rob concur. Before the show airs, Laura...
Neighbor and friend Jerry Helper teases too much! Rob gets increasingly upset as Jerry jokes around the whole neighborhood that "The Alan Brady Show" was "rotten" this past week. Rob accidentally hits him in a restaurant, and hilarity ensues!
"The Alan Brady Show" announces its annual search for the most gifted youngster, and parents are asked to send a picture of their child. All of the stage mothers in Rob's neighborhood want him to get their children private auditions. And all of Sally's neighbors. And all of Buddy's neighbors. The final straw is parents who have just moved into the neighborhood and Rob is uncharacteristically mean.
Ritchie is starting to learn some new words. He says a bad word to Laura in the car. She thinks ignoring it is the best course, but Rob wants to have a "man-to-man" talk with Ritchie. Rob also wants to confront the family that he assumes is responsible for Ritchie learning the bad words, but that could prove embarrassing.
Buddy's wife Pickles is away for 3 weeks to take care of her mother. Buddy can't stay at home because he's too lonely. Rob discovers that Buddy has been sleeping overnight at work and insists he move into his guest room. Sally warns against it. Either Buddy and his dog Larry are keeping Rob and Laura awake, or Rob and Laura aren't letting Buddy stay up late.
Rob gets called for jury duty; unbeknownst to him, Laura attends the trial. The defendant is an exotic dancer. Is she really innocent as only Rob believes? Will Rob be in major trouble when he gets home?
Sally doesn't have a date for her birthday, then an old friend from high school (Leo Fassbinder) calls. Sally invites Leo to her apartment for a quiet evening, but Rob, Laura, Buddy and Mel think Leo is just a made up friend and plan to bring a loud party to Sally's apartment.
Rob's brother Stacey has a two week furlough and sends Rob a telegram that he's coming for a visit. Rob (whom Stacey calls "Burford") isn't thrilled. He explains to Laura that his shy brother has a problem.
Rob runs into Happy Spangler, the fellow who gave him his first break to get into show business. Learning that writing jobs have been a little lean of late for Spangler, Rob decides to repay the debt to his old mentor by agreeing to take him on temporarily as a writer for the Alan Brady Show. Rob soon comes to regret his act of kindness, however, as he realizes that Spangler is much more interested in telling stories that distract his writing staff, preventing them from getting their work done.
Ritchie becomes very attached to two baby ducks that were left over from a show and adopts them. Rob faces the task of making Ritchie understand the consequence of trying to keep pets that may be happier living in the wild.
While directing the annual variety show sponsored by his talented neighbors, Rob becomes frustrated by spousal jealousies as he tries to pair the perfect "Cleopatra" to "Mark Antony" for the lead roles.