Thelma reveals that she never finished high school because the professor humiliated her in front of the class. To inspire Bubba to get his diploma, Thelma enrolls in night school to get hers as well. But all doesn't go well when she clashes with the new professor and is faced with the challenge of giving a report on The Scarlet Letter.
To earn money for a VCR, the Harpers decide to hold a yard sale. The items include Iola's unique handmade gifts to the family. The Harpers plan to do this without Iola's knowledge, as Iola is away for the weekend. But everyone gets a surprise when Iola returns unexpectedly.
Bubba is tired of his bedroom being so near to Mama's watchful eye. Vint and Naomi are tired of living down in the basement. When they follow Iola's suggestion to swap rooms, Mama must find a way to thwart the new living arrangements.
When Bubba comes home drunk one night, Mama punishes him severely the next day. The family is mystified by Mama's harsh attitude, until Iola explains that this stems from a humiliating incident involving Bubba's mother, Eunice, getting drunk as a teenager.
Mama, Aunt Effie, and several other senior citizen ladies take up tap dancing as a form of exercise. They enjoy it so much that they decide to form their own professional tap dancing troupe. But the possibility of their dancing becoming an insurance liability may force their show to close down.
The producers of "Jeopardy!" are holding auditions in Raytown, so Iola decides to try out. Mama answers all the questions on William Shakespeare which Iola misses and is chosen to appear on the game show.
Mama is a fan of "Jeopardy!" and so is Iola. When the show's staff comes to town looking for contestants they both try out. Iola flops but thanks to Thelma's outgoing personality and ability to answer at least something correct,she gets chosen. She finishes last but gets a consolation prize of a trip to Hawaii! The family (and tag along Iola) all head for Honolulu. Naomi get sunburned on day one,ruining her romantic nights with Vinton. He goes golfing and gets mistaken for a Wall Street genius by some vacationing corporate executives. Iola,Bubba & Mama experience ...
In part 2;Iola,Bubba & Mama's romances continue in Hawaii. Iola spends time and finds much in common with a sailor from Sweden. Bubba has found a local young Hawaiian beauty,who may not be what she seems. Mama is desperate to ditch her "beach bum" admirer but finds out something about him later that's quite surprising at a lavish luau. Vinton's new executive golf buddies,are still convinced that he and now Naomi are financial market experts.
After Bubba's date, Wanda Lynn, lets him down before the prom, Mama and Iola arrange for him to take Iola's shy young niece, Vernette, instead. But when Wanda Lynn suddenly becomes available again, Bubba, who is reluctant to let Vernette down, faces a conflict.
Mama's stove is falling apart. In order to earn money for a new one, she decides to rent out a room in her house to a couple in town for the county fair. But Naomi and Bubba have also rented out their rooms, and the house becomes overcrowded with the very different--and clashing-- crowd of guests.
Mama and Bubba are about to graduate from high school --indeed, Mama is to be the class valedictorian. But when Bubba learns that his parents won't be coming up from Florida for the ceremony, he is deeply hurt and decides not to attend the graduation.