The episode begins at nighttime with Frankie coming for a visit where he sees the Watterson's house with a variety of things strewn around the front door. Richard opens the door wearing a nose mask very much looking like Frankie's snout and is very happy to see him making it for "Vermin Man Day." At the backyard, the kids greet their grandfather with a hug and Frankie gives Nicole a wreath that he apparently stole from someone else's grave as a present. Granny Jojo and Louie are also there and the former is not happy with Frankie's presence. The seven Wattersons proceed to do a dance and sing a song about the "Vermin Man" and burn a wooden statue that resembles Frankie. After the ceremony, Richard reassures Frankie that the "Vermin Man Day" is not about him and that his mother told him it is a tradition as old as time - written by the pilgrims when they were all abandoned by their deadbeat fathers, the British. Feeling guilty, Frankie corrects Richard that Jojo made it up because she cannot stand him, and she coldly replies that she invented it to distract Richard from remembering the day Frankie left them (also because she cannot stand him). A remorseful Frankie apologizes to Richard for abandoning him and solemnly leaves the house.
The next day, Richard is feeling depressed over Frankie and the kids try to cheer up their dad with music, which fails. They then take him to Joyful Burger to comfort-eat his heart out, where he discusses that Frankie's absence throughout his childhood left him emotionally troubled and how there is too much time to catch up. Despite having been fed with large amounts of food while playing in the ball pit, Richard's mood stays diminished. The kids take him to a hill for cloud watching which every cloud just reminds him more of his dad.
Back at home, having no other solutions left, the kids convince Richard to talk to Frankie about it, which Richard is reluctant to do as he now sees his father as a con-man, and starts crying about how there is nothing he can do about fixing the past. Gumball encourages him to try and fix their relationship for the future instead and have Frankie and Richard spend time with each other starting now.
The father-son bonding montage starts with Richard and Frankie playing catch with a football, but Frankie reveals that he stole the ball from the Fitzgeralds, with Patrick tackling Richard from behind while Polly elbow-drops him. Later, Frankie gives Richard a watch as a present, before revealing that the watch is stolen and promptly runs off as the police attack Richard. In a bathroom, Frankie is teaching Richard how to shave, before telling him to run from the mansion they are trespassing in as the guard dogs chase Frankie. After that, they are seen in a car, in which Frankie is teaching Richard how to drive before revealing that they are in a getaway car for a bank robbery, but Richard panics and drives away, leaving the robbers behind to get arrested. Lastly, Frankie and Richard are seen fishing, only to show that they are on a freeway bridge and fishing for handbags from cars.
Finally having had enough, Richard takes his leave, but a confused Frankie calls out to him and wonders what went wrong. Richard says that he is not having a fun time because of Frankie's criminal habits integrated into their bonding, but Frankie becomes desperate to make up for it. After further frustrating his son, Frankie finally confesses to Richard that he did not want him to follow his example and praises him for being a better parent than him. Richard admits that he did not start off good, but he was inspired to do better by his children and convinces Frankie to do so too for the future. Touched by this, Frankie sincerely apologizes to his son for everything and the two finally make peace with each other, with Richard revealing he has started to pick up his father's pickpocketing skills.
[The episode starts with Frankie being dropped off by the bus in front of the Wattersons' house; Frankie walks up to the door, which is decorated with mousetraps and candles. Frankie touches a mousetrap and screams at its activation, then reads from a note on the door, juxtaposed to a hammer and a toy rat]
Frankie: Hmm. [Reading] "HIT THE RAT THREE TIMES TO GET IN." [Uses the small hammer to hit the toy rat]
Richard: [Opening door] Dad! You made it!
Frankie: Uh, yeah. There's food, right?
[After they both enter the house, the door closes. The scene then switches to the backyard]
Gumball, Darwin, Anais, Nicole, Richard: [Wearing masks of Frankie's nose] Happy Vermin Man Day!
Frankie: Oh, hey, kids. Uh, Nicole, these are for you. [Gives Nicole a wreath]
Nicole: Oh, thank you. [Reading] "You'll always be alive in our hearts, Great-Aunt… Petunia."
Frankie: Sorry. I couldn't find one that said Nicole, especially not in the dark.
Granny Jojo: [Walks into frame] Who invited him?
Richard: Me! It's a proper family get-together. You're late, Dad. You almost missed the song.
Frankie: Well, at least I'm here now! [Softly] But if anyone asks, I was also here Thursday night between eight and eleven.
[The children laugh as if it were a joke, but based on Frankie's face and nod, they realize]
Richard: Come on, kids, all together now, for the "Vermin Man" song!
[Granny Jojo starts the song with guitar accompaniment]
Wattersons: Here he comes, the Vermin Man,
He's always ready with a trick or a scam!
With his one black eye and his pointed nose,
And an outfit straight from eighties cop shows,
He's a liar and a rogue and a sponger and a thief,
He'll take away your happiness and fill you full of grief
Here he comes, the Vermin Man,
He's always ready with a trick or a scam!
He's a no-good husband and a deadbeat dad
If he disappeared for good, then we'd all be glad
His face is gross, his manner is brash
Just hit him down the middle, all you'll find is trash
Here he comes, the Vermin Man,
He's always ready with a trick or a scam!
Frankie: [Spoken] Where's the candy?
Granny Jojo: [Spoken] There isn't any. Just garbage to symbolize how rotten the Vermin Man is on the inside. [Plays violin]
Wattersons: Got a hole for a soul and a heart like a knife
He let down his child and wife
Never, ever marry him, he'll ruin your life
The Vermin Man
He's always ready with a trick or a lie or a con or a hustle
Or a hoax or a fraud or a racket or a sham
Or a diddle or a fiddle or a scam!
[After their "ritual" is completed, the Wattersons go back to their house, while Frankie is standing by]
Louie: Well, it wasn't about me. [Shakes Frankie's hand]
Frankie: Yeah, I know, I get the hint.
Richard: Don't worry, Dad. The Vermin Man isn't about you. It's a tradition as old as time. Mom said it started when the Pilgrims first came to this land and they were all abandoned by their deadbeat father. You know— the British.
Frankie: Mm, no, son. I think it was probably invented by your mom, 'cause she can't stand me.
Granny Jojo: I invented it to distract our son from remembering the day you walked out on us! And yes, because I can't stand you.
Frankie: I'm sorry, Richard. I shouldn't have come. I can't make up for what I've done to you. I've missed too much.
Louie: [Opening door] Has he gone? The lousy bum stole my wallet!
Cheering Richard Up
[The scene fades to the Wattersons' house at the next morning, as Richard slouches depressingly on the couch. Gumball, Darwin, and Anais sit at the bottom of the stairwell]
Anais: Oh, this is bad. What can we do to cheer him up?
Gumball: Oh, I know! Dad rock.
[Anais pushes the audio player to play a rock song, as the children dance to cheer Richard up]
Singer: I'm gonna rock you till you feel the rock 'n' roll
Rock around the rock that is made out of rock
I'm gonna rock it back and forth like a rocking horse
Gonna quench your thirst with some rock on the rocks
[Gumball, Darwin, and Anais' high enthusiasms for the music end up cooled down, and they, dissatisfied, stop dancing]
Anais: Wow. There's a lot of promise of rocking, but…
Gumball: Yeah, it's like having someone take you around a theme park telling you how much fun you're gonna have, but you never get to go on the rides.
Darwin: Well, he's kind of rocking.
[Richard is shown literally rocking himself on the couch]
Anais: Just encourage him with a bit of Dad dancing.
[Gumball pulls his pants up higher; Darwin pulls his shoes higher to both meet the "father" standard. They dance to the music, but Richard in response cries]
Gumball: What's wrong?
Richard: That's the music from my dad's generation.
[Anais pushes the button of the player to switch the music]
Singer: We'll follow you to the—
[Richard does nothing in response. As Anais switches the player to play heavy metal music and grunge music, Richard does not do anything, until Anais switches it to play dance music, in which Richard dances with his hands]
[Richard sadly whimpers. Anais turns the player off, and the children go up to hug their father]
Gumball: Faker. You only bought the T-shirts for the cool bands, didn't you?
Richard: [Nodding] Mm-hmm.
Gumball: Come on. Let's go to Joyful Burger. For once, you've got our permission to comfort eat.
[The scene cross-fades to Richard driving to Joyful Burger in the car with Gumball, Darwin, and Anais; Richard is shown sad again]
Darwin: How about a joke? Knock-knock.
Darwin: What? No.
[Richard loudly wails in fatherly absence. The scene then switches to Joyful Burger, where Larry serves Richard a large plate of French fries]
Larry: So, that's one large fries.
Richard: [Eats fries] I mean, I don't have any real…
Richard: …with my dad. Sure, he's made mis—
Richard: But now, there's too much time to…
Richard: And all this has left me in a…
Larry: Bit of a pickle.
Richard: While he's gone on to make a…
Larry: Hash brown.
Richard: …of his life. It's so hard when a parent…
Richard: …you. And now I…
Richard: …know what to do. Every night…
Larry: Ice cream.
Richard: …inside. I just feel so…
Larry: Waffle. [Walks offscreen]
Richard: I ought to tell him how I feel, but I guess I'm too much of a…
Waitress: [Entering] Boneless chicken!
Richard: And comfort eating is not going to make me any happier.
[The scene switches to Richard ironically chomping down Joyful Burger food fed from servants one by one as he happily flails in the restaurant's ball pit; the children stand behind, terrified]
Darwin: This doesn't look good to me.
Anais: I don't think anyone would enjoy the sight of a grown man smearing burger meat into his face in a kid's ball pit.
Gumball: Yup! Even in Japan, that's pretty niche.
[The rate of the servants dumping food into his mouth increases until no more servants come by, in which Richard demands more with his body language, and the situation resumes]
Anais: Isn't all this eating dangerous?
Gumball: Nah, this is Richard Watterson. He can take it.
[An ambulance is shown by the restaurant, the medics rushing in]
Anais: Yeah, I was more worried about the staff.
[The medics carry Larry out of Joyful Burger]
Larry: [Shocked] It was like shoveling French fries down an elevator shaft.
Richard: [Exiting Joyful Burger; tearing up] Well, now my brain and my stomach are sad.
Darwin: I've got an idea!
[The scene then crossfades to the quartet lying on a hill, staring up to the sky]
Darwin: This is what I do when I feel blue. I look at the clouds and see that even the darkest ones eventually drift away. And it's fun 'cause they make shapes. [Pointing to a cloud] Like that one. It looks like a hat.
Richard: [Tearing up] A hat like my father's.
Darwin: Uh, sure.
Anais: How 'bout [Pointing] that one? It's like a horseshoe.
Richard: [Tearing up] Shoes are for walking. Like he walked out on me.
Gumball: Well, how about [Pointing to a rat-shaped cloud] that one? It looks like a… Oh.
Richard: Looks like a popsicle.
Gumball: Oh. Uh… I— I guess.
Richard: Popsicles are cold like the Arctic Ocean. And that's cold becuase it's got lots of icebergs in it. That's why it's dangerous for ships. Because icebergs sink ships. And what's the first thing to leave a sinking ship? A rat. [Tears up]
[The children groan]
Richard: And rats are covered with fleas, just like my father "flea'd" from me.
Gumball: Yeah, we got it. You could have stopped at "rat."
[The scene transitions to the dinner table at the Wattersons' house, with Richard laying facedown on the table and the children sitting by]
Gumball: I just… I… I don't know what else to do.
Anais: Dad, you've just got to talk to Grandpa Frankie about it.
Richard: [Groans] There's no point. He's just a con man. The best I can hope for is that the next time I see him, he doesn't hustle me out of seven hundred dollars with that ball-and-cups trick… again.
[A flashback begins with Richard in his childhood and a younger Frankie, both surrounding three cups and a ball]
Frankie: These cups and this ball are worth two thousand dollars. But as you're my son, I'll let you have 'em for seven hundred dollars!
Richard: [Groans] I don't know what to say to him. [Tearing up] I can't put it into words.
Anais: Would it help to sing it?
Richard: You know what? I think maybe it would. [Breathes deeply, as piano music plays] Aah! [Screams, cackles, mutters, and cries for a prolonged time] Breww! Was that clear?
Gumball, Darwin, Anais: Uh… [Nodding] Uh-huh.
Gumball: But that doesn't mean you can't fix… whatever that was… between you.
Richard: I would need to make a time machine.
Richard: Because if I invented a time machine, my dad would be really proud of me. It's too late, anyway. I'll never get those years back. [Sobs]
Gumball: No. Not true. You can't travel back in time and experience the things you guys missed, but you can travel forward in time and fix the things that are yet to come. Because the future starts now.
[Richard gasps in realization]
Gumball: Huh. That was really good, wasn't it? [Chuckles] Kind of surprised myself there. I was like, "The future starts now." Bam! Nailed it! [Chuckles] The future starts now. Now. Now. [Imitates explosions four times]
Anais: Can we just—
Gumball: Yeah. Sorry. Let's just get on with it.
The Future Starts Now
[The scene then switches to Richard and the children at Frankie's residence in the junkyard; Gumball knocks the door. When Frankie opens the door, he gets hit in the stomach from Gumball's final knock]
Gumball: Oh. There you are. So, here's the plan. You guys go through everything a father and son should have shared, out, like, really fast. Three, two, one, go!
Frankie: So, uh… where do we start?
Richard: How about a piggyback ride?
Richard: That's as good a place as—
[Frankie jumps on top of Richard]
Richard: Aah! [Falls to the ground]
[Piano music starts to play in the background. Cross-fades to the park, where Richard and Frankie are playing football]
Frankie: You ready, champ?
[Frankie runs a distance and throws the football to Richard; Richard catches the ball and chuckles]
Frankie: Well done, son! And now we run!
Frankie: Because, technically, that's not our ball. [Runs away]
[Richard finds the football to be inscripted with "POLLY." Patrick Fitzgerald runs up to him and tackles him, letting Polly do the rest of the tackling. The scene transitions to Frankie introducing a watch to a black-eyed Richard]
Frankie: This priceless heirloom was passed down from grandfather to father, and from father to son. And it was passed down from that son's second-story window by my former cellmate to me. And now it's yours. [Gives watch]
Richard: I… don't know what to say.
Frankie: Good. 'Cause anything you do say will be held against you in court.
[Frankie is revealed to be running away from the scene, and Richard is suddenly tackled by six policemen. The scene then switches to Richard being taught by Frankie how to shave]
Frankie: Now make sure you don't forget the little bit under your chin.
[Richard struggles to shave the bit under his first chin]
Frankie: Very good. Now the second one.
[Richard struggles to shave the bit under his second chin]
Frankie: And now the third.
[Richard struggles to shave his third chin]
Frankie: Great. Now you just have to slide down the drainpipe and run. [Slides down drainpipe]
[The scene is revealed to be at a mansion, where Frankie escapes with dogs chasing him and Richard watching, sighing. The scene then switches to Richard and Frankie in a car, where the latter teaches the former how to drive]
Frankie: Now, first, you release the hand brake.
[Richard releases the hand brake]
Frankie: Now, gently slip it into drive.
[Richard begins moving forward his car for a short moment]
Richard: Aah! Agh, I don't like it, Dad!
Frankie: It's perfectly normal to be nervous your first time driving… a getaway car.
Richard: I'm sorry. I can't do this! [Immediately drives away from the Bank]
[The scene is revealed to be next to the Bank of Elmore, from which two robbers seize money]
Robber: Hey, wait! Where are you going?!
[Having no getaway car, they get caught by the police. The scene then crossfades into Richard and Frankie fishing. Richard somehow catches something]
Frankie: Oh. Now reel it in, son. Nice and easy.
[Frankie laughs, as Richard manages to reel in a money-full purse; they are revealed to be on the edge of a bridge, fishing from cars on a highway; piano background music stops]
Richard: Okay, I think that's enough. [Walking away]
Frankie: What? What did I do wrong?!
Richard: It's no good. I thought this would a father-and-son bonding thing. You know? We'd talk about life.
Frankie: Uh— that's cool. Let's do that now.
Richard: [Sniffles, welling up tears] That would be nice.
Frankie: Okay, so, "life." Life is like, fifteen, twenty years, but you can be out in ten with good behavior.
Richard: Oh, forget it! [Rushes away]
Frankie: Oh, look, son. You know what I'm like. I'm the Vermin Man. I'm no role model. I'm more of a parole model. [Chuckles]
Richard: Eugh. [Walks away]
Frankie: Look, I didn't want you to turn out like me. And I was right. Look at you. You turned out great. And your kids love you.
Richard: I didn't start off as a good father. But your kids… they see you as better than you are, so every day, you bust your chops and try to live up to that.
Frankie: It's too late for me.
Richard: No. Not true. You know what my kids taught me today? The future starts now.
[Gumball, Darwin, and Anais emerge from behind]
Gumball: [Abundantly welling up tears] Yeah.
Frankie: I'm sorry, son. [Hugs Richard]
Richard: I'm sorry, too.
Frankie: [Tearing up] You've got nothing to apologize for.
Richard: Yes, I do. I stole your wallet.
Frankie: That's my boy. [After a short pause, takes money from wallet, then throws wallet] And don't worry. It's not mine anyway.