Tired of "suckling on the six network teat," with their endless array of "reality shows," the Simpson family gets a satellite dish. Homer and Bart spend hours surfing all of the available channels. While Lisa studies for the school's upcoming achievement test; Bart doesn't, as he engrossed in Japanese Friends amongst and other lame satellite TV programming. Bart zones out during the test and daydreams about everything he's been watching lately. At a school assembly the next day, Principal Skinner announces that because of Lisa's high test score, she is being promoted to the 3rd grade. When Bart makes a comment about Lisa, Principal Skinner responds by also announcing that because of his low test score, Bart is being demoted to the 3rd grade. They'll be in class together, much to each other's horror. Lisa has a hard time adapting to the 3rd grade, as Bart is coming off as a much better student than he actually is. They go on a field trip to Capital City and Bart and Lisa are put together via the buddy system. Their teacher, Mrs. McConnell, decides that the students are going to help the state design a new flag. When Bart overhears Lisa breaking bad on him, he redesigns their entry. Lisa's anger with Bart causes them to fight and miss their bus back home. Bart and Lisa attempt to get home on their own, meanwhile Principal Skinner reports their disappearance to Homer and Marge, who subsequently journey to Capital City to try to find them. Bart and Lisa encounter a family of mountain folk, who take them back to the big city to reunite them with their family. Realizing that the "status quo" is best all-around, Principal Skinner returns Bart and Lisa's academic careers to normal.