Rab C. Nesbitt is a drunken, string vested lay about who lives with his long suffering wife Mary and his two sons in the working class area of Govan in Glasgow. When he's not getting drunk with his pals that include the devious, womanizing Jamesie Cotter. He's offering his philosophical outlook on life to whoever will listen.
After serving a jail sentence for setting fire to the house because Mary had gone off with Jamesie, Rab gets a job as a dishwasher but is still planning to get his revenge.
MP Tony Welthorpe agrees to swap lifestyles with Rab, after being challenged to see if he can live on state benefits for a month.
Rab can't get to sleep because of his bad back, and matters are made worse by the arrival of Jamesie, who is hiding from a disgruntled husband with a shotgun.
Gash's girlfriend Bridie is due to give birth to Rab's first grandchild.
After a visit to the doctor to cure his feelings of restlessness proves pointless, Rab decides to explore his spiritual side in the local park.