Phyllis' husband, Lars, suddenly dies only to leave Phyllis and her daughter Bess with no money. Desperate, they move to San Francisco to live with Lars' mother Audrey and her new husband Jonathan Dexter. At a reception for Lars' friends, Phyllis meets her new boss Julie Erskine, owner of Erskine Photography. Phyllis later discovers that Julie dated Lars at the same time he was dating her and he proposed to Julie first.
Bess goes away on a weekend ski trip. Phyllis makes a phone call to Bess' room to see how she is doing only to find someone else answer the phone, a young man. Phyllis is worried that Bess is no longer her innocent daughter.
An old friend of Lars is in town to discuss some business with Phyllis. However, he is more interested in Phyllis fpr reasons other than business.
Mother Dexter is upset that Phyllis and Bess have stolen her guest bedroom, so Phyllis decides to move out on her own. Her new apartment, however, is a total dump.
Phyllis writes to her friend Mary Richards to tell her all about her new life and how hard it was when she first started working.
Phyllis has always regretted that she never finished her piano recital as a child because she froze on stage. She decides to take lessons again, she discovers that she is the only adult in the children's class.
All of Phyllis' belongings arrive from Minneapolis and clutters the house--literally. Phyllis decides to have a garage sale, but has trouble letting go of her things.
Phyllis is going to go on a double date with Julie, for the first time since Lars died and is nervous about getting into the routine again.
Phyllis feels that she does not really ""know"" Bess. First, she tries to go out with Bess to a dance club and when that doesn't work. Then, she gets an insane idea of staying up all night and having them tell all kinds of secrets about themselves.
Audrey is upset when she learns that Jonathan had an affair on his first wife while he was in the service. She feels that if he's done it once, he'll do it again. She decides to leave him, only to move next door to Phyllis' room. Jonathan must tell her he loves her because he never has.
Phyllis must try to comfort Julie after she sees her boyfriend with another woman.
Phyllis finds her self all alone when Bess is gone for the weekend and the Dexter's go on vacation. She must try to entertain herself for the entire weekend with no one else around.
Bess announces her plans to marry. Phyllis invites the boy's parents over only to discover that they are little people and must deal with her discomfort throughout the evening.
The photo studio is in financial trouble and Phyllis tries to land an account for the company but fails. Jonathan decides to invest some money into the business.
Phyllis meets a medium at the studio and discusses the afterlife. Audrey, by chance, meets him and invites him over to have a seance to contact Lars.
Phyllis meets a wealthy business tycoon named Harry Loomis who proposes to her.
Phyllis believes that the reason Sally (Judith Lowry) is so grouchy is because she has nothing to do in life. First Phyllis tries to put her in the workforce by getting her a job at the studio. That was a big mistake. Then, Phyllis tries to fix her up with a date.
Phyllis falls in love with a tennis player who just happens to be married.
Bess has finally had it with her mother and feels she has no privacy. Thus, Bess moves out and Phyllis must go after her and convince her to return home.
Phyllis' old lawyer friend Jerome returns to San Francisco with his new young bride.
Leo gets depressed and takes some of Audrey's pills (which happen to be no more than placebos.)
Jonathan's brother comes to visit and Phyllis must become a middleman between sibling rivalry.
Audrey's niece, a recent widow, comes to visit, and Phyllis must try to comfort her since she is too a widow.
Bess's old boy boyfriend who falls for Phyllis after he is dumped by Bess.
Julie had gotten married and closed the photo studio, so Phyllis was out of a job. She tries to find work unsuccessfully, until she is hired as an assistant to a crooked city supervisor. After he is fired the new supervisor is uncertain about hiring Phyllis at first, but reconsiders.
Phyllis' birthday is coming up and no one is throwing her a party or even cares. She then becomes depressed because she has no friends and calls old friend Mary Richards in Minneapolis. Mary flies to San Francisco thinking something is wrong, then is angry when she learns Phyllis just wanted her company for a birthday party.
Phyllis writes a big important Speech for Dan
Phyllis runs into Van Horn in the park once again, she feels sorry for him and tries to improve his image and make him a respectable human being -- unsuccessfully, of course.
Phyllis is upset when Dan doesn't pay any attention to her or appreciate her work, so she goes on strike.
Phyllis must deal with the fact that Bess has a new boyfriend...who is older...and is her professor at college.
Phyllis has a strange date who first announces his plans to marry her, but later reveals that he's actually gay.
Phyllis has Lars' body shipped from Minneapolis so he can be buried at her new home. When the box arrives, something is moving on the inside.
Dan's visiting friend is just wild about Phyllis.
Phyllis struggles with Sally's feelings about her boyfriend, Arthur Lanson. She decides to marry him, though.
Phyllis has taken care of all the arrangements for Sally's wedding; but there's one thing... she forgot to pick up the bride. Sally must find a way to get to the wedding on her own.
Bess and other students protest the firing of a teacher because she had posed nude for a photo years ago, the group of students get expelled for taking a group photo in the nude.
Leonard's side of the office decides to throw a Christmas party, but Dan makes Phyllis work to the very last minute.
Dan and Phyllis trade jobs for a day to see how the other one lives.
Leonard receives a death threat about his vote on a low-cost housing project and must wrestle with the fear.
Phyllis starts dating a compulsive gambler.
Leonard is offered a $100,000 bribe to cast a particular vote, but is unsure what to do.
Bess' boyfriend dumps her, so Phyllis takes her on a trip to cheer her up.
Harriet has always been the sarcastic co-worker of Phyllis, but Phyllis befriends her and tries tot make her more attractive to men, Leonard in particular.
Phyllis gets an idea to bring Dan and his soon to be-ex back together again because she thinks there is still love there. They, however, cannot stand each other.
Feeling useless, Audrey gets a job in an Antique store to Jonathan's dislike.
Bess and Dan's nephew Mark Valenti run off and elope and Phyllis must wrestle with the issue.
Mark and Bess move into a dirty, run-down apartment and Phyllis voices her concerns. Johnathan agrees to allow them to move into his house temporarily.