An upper-middle-class black man struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father and his assimilated, color-blind kids.
Jack performs the song “Gold Digger” at a school talent show and when he sings a lyric that includes THE word, it leads to his possible expulsion from school. Dre and Bow work together to get him reinstated, and along the way, examine the evolution of THE word through the generations and just who, if anyone, has the right to use it
After a break-in down the block, Dre talks about getting a gun, and Bow is not comfortable with the idea. Jack and Diane are shocked that they have been living in the house unprotected, Junior sets off on a quest to protect the family from the real threat, cyber terrorism, and Zoey has Pops teach her the art of Karate to defend herself.
After Dre gets his yearly physical and comes home traumatized, Pops explains his generation’s strong aversion towards healthcare and admits that he hasn’t seen a doctor in years. Shocked by this disclosure, Dre and Bow try to convince Pops to get a check-up and he begrudgingly agrees. When Pops finds out he has a clogged artery and needs a small procedure, the rest of The Johnson family handles the news in different ways.
After another lackluster Father’s Day overshadowed by graduation parties and summer vacations, Dre and his colleagues decide to come up with a holiday initiative entitled “Daddy’s Day,” celebrating everything that Father’s Day is not. When Dre meets Resheida, a friend of Zoey’s who doesn’t have a Dad, they develop a bond after he is snubbed by Zoey and she backs him up on the fact that Dads should be respected and heralded. Meanwhile, Junior decides to help Bow around the house but ends up becoming more of a hassle than a help.
In the Johnson home, Sundays involve SAT prep and sports, so when the family is invited to Church on Sunday by the neighbors, Dre goes against his instinct of always saying “no” and agrees. When they end up having one of the best Sundays they can remember, they realize they should say “yes” to things more often. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane find out they were never baptized, and take it upon themselves to do whatever they want.
Ever since he was a kid, Dre has loved Halloween. Now that he lives in one of those “good candy neighborhoods,” kids come from all over the city to trick-or-treat, including Dre’s own nieces and nephews. The cousins are known for roughhousing and The Johnson kids aren’t happy when they come around, but Dre feels his kids could use some toughening. Meanwhile, Dre gets a surprise visit from his own cousin, June Bug, who used to torment Dre as a kid.
While Dre and Bow take Zoey on a trip to visit Bow’s alma mater, Brown University, Dre battles with his fear of flying through a little pharmaceutical assistance to get him through the flight. One loopy miscommunication leads to another and somehow Charlie ends up babysitting the kids. When Charlie shares details about Dominique (played by Amber Rose), an old flame that has come back into the picture, the kids hatch a plan to charm her by pretending that the home and children are all a part of Charlie’s domesticated lifestyle. Meanwhile, Bow becomes over-excited about sharing Brown University with Zoey and after a series of embarrassing moments, threatens to turn Zoey off from Brown altogether.
While Bow prepares for the Johnson family’s annual Christmas card shoot, Dre takes Junior and Jack to the Barber Shop to get a hair cut from his lifelong Barber, T. When Junior decides to let another Barber cut his hair, Dre feels Junior has violated the most sacred of codes. The family is not happy with Dre’s new hair cut but Dre is disappointed in Junior’s lack of loyalty to T.
Dre has always looked out for the crew he grew up with, but when his childhood friend Sha comes to stay at the house for a few days, Bow thinks he is taking advantage of Dre. Meanwhile, Daphne Lido, the now ex-wife of Stevens & Lido’s founding partner, gains control of half of the company and wants to start inserting herself in company business. When Daphne starts to question Charlie’s work ethic, Dre must decide who he remains loyal to.
Dre thinks Christmas has become commercialized and is all about “stuff,” and no one loves “stuff” more than his kids. Pops and Ruby think they have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas and come up with a new plan to pare down gifts and spend more time together. The kids don’t handle the news well and hope that if they put on their best behavior Dre and Bow will cave in. Meanwhile, Daphne Lido, who is single for her first holiday alone, invites herself to the Johnson family home to celebrate with them.
Dre’s childhood best friend Gigi Franklin is in town, and Bow feels like an afterthought whenever the two of them are together. Dre and Gigi are like brother and sister, but it doesn’t help that Gigi is an international pop star with model looks. When they get into an argument, Dre turns to Bow, who convinces him that she can fill Gigi’s shoes as his best friend and they give it a trial run. Meanwhile, the kids always look forward to a visit from Aunt Gigi and during her stay, they become inspired to film a music video and become Youtube stars.
Dre has never had a problem with Pops dating, but when it comes to Ruby, he won’t let anyone come between them. When Ruby invites Dre and Bow to meet the new man in her life, Dre immediately goes on the defensive and finds any reason to dislike him. Once Pops learns that Ruby’s suitor is the real deal, he comes up with a plan to distract her. Meanwhile, Junior meets a girl on a dating site, and Zoey, Jack and Diane convince him he’s being scammed, so they devise a plan to meet “the girl” in person.
After a month of heavy spending, Dre and Bow start to question if they are living too large. Dre’s crazy accountant, James Brown, has always been their go-to money guy, but when the topic of finances gets brought up at work, Mr. Stevens refers Dre to his more straight-laced accountant for a second opinion. Dre and Bow realize they need to be more financially responsible and try to prove to each other that they can live without their outrageous expenses. Meanwhile, the kids overhear their parents talking about money and Junior decides to start day trading.
After Dre notices that his neighbor Janine has never invited his family to any of her pool parties, he assumes she is racially stereotyping them as a family that doesn’t swim. The kids are shocked to find out that, in fact, Dre doesn’t know how to swim. At work, Dre shares the story with his colleagues, and Daphne Lido is not convinced it’s a race thing, so Dre confronts Janine directly. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane are a part of the Girls’ and Boys’ Rovers Organization, and they envy each other’s activities.
Jack and Diane are tired of being twins, and after much pleading, Dre and Bow give in to letting them explore their lives as individuals. Meanwhile, Dre buys Zoey her first car, and she is over the moon. But when he shares the news at work, his colleagues bring up all the terrible things teens do with cars, and Dre starts to question whether Zoey is ready for one after all.
When the kids ask some tough questions in the midst of a highly publicized court case involving alleged police brutality and an African-American teenager, Dre and Bow are conflicted on how best to field them. Dre, along with Pops and Ruby, feel the kids need to know what kind of world they’re living in, while Bow would like to give them a more hopeful view about life. When the verdict is announced, the family handles the news in different ways while watching the community react.
Diane begins documenting Jack’s budding basketball career for a school project, but he ends up being a benchwarmer when Dre and Bow get him a spot on an elite travel-ball team. Meanwhile, Junior takes his job as a referee too seriously; and Zoe meets a new love interest.
Dre and Bow start to slip on the kids’ activities and chores around the house, so Bow persuades Dre to hire a nanny. After several interviews that don’t go well, they meet Vivian, who impresses them with her desire to take care of the whole family, including Dre and Bow. Dre struggles with the idea of hiring a black nanny, but decides to give her a try. Meanwhile, Diane decides to run for class president, so when the smart and bubbly Susie Kwest becomes her competition, Zoey helps Diane create a smear campaign to win Diane the vote.
When Dre and Bow realize they don’t have a legal guardian for their kids, they make it their mission to find replacement parents should anything happen to them. Meanwhile, Zoey and Junior reveal the truth to Jack about their old dog’s death and other family secrets he naively accepted.
Dre’s sister, Rhonda, is getting married to her girlfriend, Sharon, and the upcoming nuptials lead to a conversation on tradition. Dre finds out that Bow is against the patriarchal convention of taking the man’s last name, but he never knew this because Bow’s maiden name is also Johnson. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane want to be the ring bearer and flower girl but worry they’ve aged out of the gigs, and Junior and Zoey prep Ruby to embrace her daughter’s relationship.
Dre’s always strived to model his life after the idyllic families he grew up watching on TV, but he panics after he learns he could lose his job. Meanwhile, Bow tries to prove herself when she’s put in charge of the school auction and enlists here kids’ assistance instead of accepting the other moms’ offers to help.
Dre has always felt his older son was never like him, but when he finally meets Junior’s cool friends, Dre is all in and happy that his son may have the opportunity for an actual social life. Meanwhile, Bow is dealing with Ruby, Zoey, Jack and Diane not confessing to things breaking around the house and decides to handle it her own way after some judgment from Vivian.
When the flu breaks out in the Johnson household, Dre desperately tries to avoid catching it, while taking care of the whole family.