Homer has to cancel his plans with Marge because he got his arms stuck in two vending machines, so Marge goes out with their neighbor Ruth Powers. It turns out, Ruth is somewhat of a wanted criminal. In a Thelma and Louise style story, Marge and Ruth are being chased by Chief Wiggum and Homer. All the while, Lionel Hutz is left to babysit the children.
Marge wins a pair of ballet tickets after donating 30 dollars to a telethon that is trying to raise money for public television. Homer promises to go with her, thinking a ballet is a bear driving in a small car. When Homer learns what a ballet really is, he regrets his decision but can't back out of it. At the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer tries to sneak a can of soda out of a vending machine but his arm gets stuck after he grabs onto the can. As he tries to get help, he sticks his hand in another vending machine, getting both arms stuck. He calls Marge to tell her what happened but she doesn't believe him. Ruth Powers drops by to return a power tool, and Marge chooses to take her to the ballet.
Homer is told that they would have to saw his arms off, but before they do they find out all he's doing is holding onto the can and the candy, The rescue workers laugh at him and he runs home in embarrassment. Marge and Ruth go to a coffee shop instead of going home, and they talk about their relationships. When Marge comes home, she informs Homer that she's going out again next night to the disapproval of Homer. Homer is ridiculed by Bart and Lisa, and plans to have a night out of his own. He can't find anyone, though, and goes out on his own. After Lisa points out that "state and federal laws require us (meaning her, Bart and Maggie) to have a babysitter," Homer gets Lionel Hutz (who was going through their garbage when he overheard him and his kids talking) to babysit Bart, Lisa and Maggie, despite his lack of experience. Homer is not able to have much fun, while Marge has the night of her life. She and Ruth go line dancing at a country bar called Shotkickers, shoot up a farmer's collection of antique cans, and go up to the Springfield sign, which causes Marge to remember when she and Homer went out. They leave and Homer arrives, only furthering depressing himself. He meets up with Chief Wiggum, who offers him a ride home.
They run into Ruth and Marge, and attempted to pull them over because they had a busted tail light. Ruth is hesitant to pull over, and reveals that the car she's driving actually belongs to her ex-husband--Ruth had explained to Marge earlier in the episode that her ex-husband has been stiffing her on child support for the last few months, and as a way to get back at him, Ruth stole his car (Marge points out that Ruth could have just reported him to the police or even child services). Homer thinks Marge has become a criminal because of him not going to the ballet. Ruth turns off the lights of the car which causes Chief Wiggum and Homer to think it's a ghost car and stop.
Ruth drops Marge off at a cafe, but she chooses to stick with friend in her run from the law. Chief Wiggum and Homer catch up with them again. They are cornered by police cars two miles from the state line, but drive off road to a canyon. Homer takes a megaphone and apologizes to Marge and warns her of the canyon, which makes them stop though Homer and Wiggum drive into it, but are saved by a land fill.
In a summary at the end, it is revealed that Ruth has the charges dismissed against her (and that her husband was forced by the judge to "pay all back child support"), Lionel was glad to get his money after a hectic night, Marge had to pay several cents for a few antique cans she destroyed (approximately 50 cents, plus an additional $2000 for punitive damages and mental anguish), and Homer was sent to a military camp for more experimental testing (this being a reference to his alleged military testing to get out of Patty and Selma's visit), much to his delight.