The main focus of the episode is on Matt Saracen, who must deal with the death of his father, Henry Saracen, a soldier who was killed in combat in Iraq. At the start of the episode, Matt replays a video message on his computer of his father wishing him a Merry Christmas and apologizing for not being able to make it home. Landry and Julie force him to stop playing the video and watch a movie with them to get his mind off things.
A wake is then held at the Saracen home. For most of the wake, Matt does not move from his chair, telling Julie that he really doesn't need to go anywhere considering everyone is coming to him. Later, Matt talks to an Army recruiter from the area, who speaks positively of Matt's father, saying that he was a very funny person. Matt becomes angry at this, telling the recruiter he has never seen his father smile before in his whole life. Landry gets Matt away from the recruiter before he is allowed to say anything else, telling Matt that the next night the two of them are going out with the Riggins brothers. At that point, Joe and J.D. McCoy show up at the house, but Matt, already angry and at a loss for words over the two of them showing up, shuts the door in their faces before walking away.
The following day, Tami and Matt visit the funeral director to go over the arrangements for the funeral the next day. Matt is unable to pay attention to most of the details after learning that there will be a closed casket. Tami realizes that the closed casket makes many of the proposed details unnecessary, and sees that Matt is being overcharged. She tells Matt that it will be okay for him to wait outside in the car, before telling the funeral director that the two of them need to start all over. At home, Matt thanks Julie for her mother's help. Julie notices that Matt is upset and asks if he is alright. Matt says that stuff like this happens and right now it's happening to him.
That night, Matt, Landry, and the Riggins brothers go to the Panther football field to drink. Matt tells the three of them that he has to give a speech at the funeral and begins to give a speech on how his father was always miserable, had a wife who hated him, a mother who annoyed him, and always reenlisted in the Army so that he didn't have to be burdened with taking care of his son. He then goes on to say that he doesn't even know if it actually is his father in the casket. Tim decides the four of them need to go and find out. They show up at the funeral home and Matt demands to see his father. The funeral director opens the casket, the camera only showing Matt's stunned face.
Later, a drunk Matt shows up at the Taylor house, late for the dinner that was planned for earlier that night. Unable to eat the food given to him, Matt finally breaks down. He confesses to the Taylors that he hates his father and that all he wants to do is say it to his father's face, but he doesn't even have one. Matt then runs out of the house in tears. Eric catches up to him outside and walks him home.
At the funeral, Matt gives a speech about a time when his whole family was together shopping at the supermarket and how angry his dad got over the choice of toilet paper that he decided to grab every brand he could find, calling it one of the funniest moments of his childhood. He then goes on to say that even though his father missed out on big moments in his life, he is thankful that he was a member of the Armed Forces so that he could have the chance to live those moments. As everyone begins to leave after the funeral ends, Matt stays, takes a shovel from a groundskeeper and begins to bury his father as the episode ends.
Other plots in this episode included Becky taking part in a local beauty pageant, Vince winning a football award and going to extreme measures to take care of his family, and Luke ending his friendship with J.D. after the events of the previous episode.