When Bart disrespects Homer's authority, Homer attempts to start parenting, which doesn't work out too well. Marge sends the two on "The Relation Ship" to resolve their issues out at sea. While Homer is away, Marge is put in charge of his fantasy football league.
Homer catches Bart watching a trailer for an R rated movie. Later at the dinner table, Bart refuses to eat one piece of broccoli at dinner, so Homer tells Bart not to leave the table until he eats his broccoli, even though they both miss out on the things that are very important to them. Lisa prepares two identical-tasting fruit smoothies, one of which contains the broccoli, and offers them to Homer and Bart in an attempt to end the impasse. Bart deliberately spills the smoothies and the two then start to fight when Marge insists that they go on a "Relation Ship" to resolve their issues. On the ship, Captain Bowditch reveals Homer and Bart (along with other dads and sons) are on the ship because their families are put off by their constant bickering and reveals his intent to take them out to sea to teach them the importance of having a strong and healthy relationship. Bart excels at sailing and is promoted to mid-shipman while Homer detests it and gets scurvy. After recovering, he drowns his sorrows in a flask containing beer and Captain Bowditch asks him for a drink. It turns out he is a recovering alcoholic.
Meanwhile, Marge is left to take care of Homer's fantasy football team ("Somewhere over the Dwayne Bowe"). Since Marge knows nothing about football in general, Lisa educates her, and soon the two lead Homer's team to a championship.
A storm is brewing and Captain Bowditch is incapacitated and Bart is the only one who can steer the ship to safety. Homer refuses to accept Bart's new role until he eats one piece of broccoli. After that, Homer begins to have a new found respect for his son, especially when he realizes he has been too harsh on Bart in trying to get him to respect his authority. Homer and Bart are reunited with the rest of the Simpsons.
This episode is the only episode of the series to receive a TV-MA rating (only on the defunct Simpsons World streaming service and most platforms), due to a scene during the Project: After Party trailer sequence that shows someone doing the middle finger which was left uncensored. However, the TV and Disney+ versions of the episode censors that specific scene, giving the episode its original rating of TV-14-DLV.