Bob and Emily salute the Bicentennial locked in their storage room, when they go to haul up party goods. Their neighbor Howard's throwing the 4th of July costume party in his apartment, though the Hartleys are supplying everything. Emily lights the fireworks by needling paunchy Bob for having all of his exercise equipment in storage, after Bob won't get nostalgic over their wedding album. They know their friends will eventually track them down, because the Hartleys were providing the food and booze for the celebration.
Carol's husband is a travel agent helping plan vacations for people in the office. Jerry is going to Mexico while Bob and Emily will visit a dude ranch in Arizona. Howard is upset that the Hartleys are leaving.
The Hartleys' landlord is MIA, when their pricey high-rise alternates between searing hot and freezing cold during a fierce Chicago winter. Psychologist Bob is so desperate, he seeks the counsel of his long-time patient Elliot Carlin, who's a predatory real-estate mogul. The notoriously abrasive Carlin luxuriates in the role reversal, insisting therapist Bob lay on his own couch, then advises Bob to launch an all-out rent strike among the aloof tenants of the lakeside apartment building.
Howard's son is going to camp and we learn that Bob never went to camp - only summer school. Meanwhile, Jerry is trying to raise money for orphans and Carol suggests that Bob, Jerry and Howard take the kids camping.
Howard had a problem on a flight which makes him afraid to fly. Bob tries to help Mr. Herd to overcome his fears and try new exciting things. However, Bob has his own frightening experience to deal with also.