Homer and Marge go to the kids' school for Parent-Teacher night, with Marge reluctantly going to Bart's class. Although Lisa is given a good review by Miss Hoover and Homer is even applauded as a father, by stark contrast Mrs. Krabappel is appalled at Bart's bad behavior and forces Marge to write on the blackboard. She tells both parents that if Bart doesn't change soon then he'll look forward to nothing but a wasted life (i.e. a male stripper), but if the parents act now he could be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. On the car ride home, Marge becomes concerned about Bart's attitude and how Homer rarely punishes him. When they get home, they discover that Bart has broken Grampa's dentures while they were at the parent teacher meeting and Marge wants him sent to bed without supper as punishment. Bart seems to change his ways until Homer sneaks him some dinner and Bart promises to be good. The next day, Lisa learns about the upcoming Itchy and Scratchy movie and she and Bart immediately get tickets.
Later, Marge and Lisa go shopping, during which Bart causes more trouble at home and tricks his father into not punishing him. When the girls return, Marge learns of what has happened and orders Homer to punish Bart the next time he misbehaves as Homer agrees and decides to make the punishment stick. When Bart is asked to watch Maggie but doesn't (leading her to take the family car on a joyride and crash into the local prison, freeing several convicts), Homer angrily punishes him by tearing up his Itchy & Scratchy movie ticket, forbidding him from seeing the movie for the rest of his life. Bart asks Homer if he can have a different punishment such as a spanking, but Homer refuses. After the film's release, Bart becomes extremely depressed that he can't see the movie as everyone around him raves about it. After 2 months, Marge and Lisa beg Homer to let Bart see the movie because of Bart still being upset. Marge feels the punishment has made Bart learn his lesson, but Homer still refuses to ever let his son go. Bart even sneaks over to the Aztec theater to buy a ticket, but learns that Homer told the movie theater not to sell Bart a ticket and Bart becomes even more depressed.
8 months (and 9 Academy Awards) later, the movie officially leaves the theatres. Bart sadly admits that Homer has won, but Homer explains to Bart that they "both won" and that by using this punishment, Bart is in no doubt headed for a better life. The episode then flashes forward to forty years in the future, where Bart (now he actually is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) and Homer now the senior citizen walk down a street, and see that a theater has re-released "The Itchy & Scratchy Movie." Homer believes that Bart has learned his lesson, and the two enter the theatre and watch the movie happily together as Homer gets confused about Itchy.