Bessie and Happy look through the Honeybee Prize Catalogue for items Bessie can buy with her "bee bucks", lamenting how most of the prizes are "the pits." After Bessie places a bee buck on a snorkeling outfit, Happy leaves his paw print on a back massage machine. Bessie finally stumbles on something that piques her interest: a year's supply of Bobby socks, and proceeds to use up all of her remaining Bee bucks to get the socks.
At the Rec Center, Portia tells her fellow Honeybees that her mother won't be at the next couple of meetings due to talking about eye shadow and base at a Patty Faye makeup meeting, leaving them cancelled until she returns. Bessie doesn't believe Portia at first, but she tells Bessie in a slow and rude tone, "No mom, no meeting." Bessie naturally freaks out while an annoyed Portia says she'll chew gum and asks who wants to watch; most of the Honeybees proceed to follow Portia. Bessie regains their attention by yelling "there's free jelly beans in the meeting room!" She barricades the door so her fellow Honeybees won't escape.
Bessie runs home to her mother, who asks Bessie if she still has all her fingers and toes when she says something bad happened. Bessie explains that Mrs. Gibbons is out of town and they need a temporary Honeybee troop leader. Hilary is speechless and hesitant when Bessie asks if she can lead the troop, stating authority isn't really her thing, and asks Bessie if she can give her time to think about it. When Bessie lets out she locked the Honeybees in the meeting room, a reluctant Hilary goes with Bessie to the Rec Center.
Bessie introduces her mother to the Honeybees, and asks Hilary to read off the badges. As she does so, she gets increasingly angry at the stereotypical view of girls and women in the handbook. Hilary goes on to state the Honeybees are not "little ladies," but rather blossoming flowers and not flower arrangers. All of the kids are shocked by Hilary's speech. Bessie laughs, believing her mother was joking. Portia calls Hilary "Miss Stinkenbottom," with Hilary encouraging her to call her Hilary and to forget about notes, causing Bessie to "short circuit."
Hilary asks Portia what she thinks is a good use of her time; Portia replies with tanning and exfoliating prior to tanning as well as magazines. Hilary tells the Honeybees to have the meeting outside rather than in a building, with everyone except Bessie running out. There, all the Honeybees do their favorite activities, except Bessie who is still inside the Rec Center.
Later, the girls are all painting, with Hilary encouraging everyone to express themselves. Bessie is now outside, but is painting separately from the other girls with Happy. Hilary wants her daughter to join the fun, but Bessie would rather paint near Happy. Hilary tries to get Bessie to wear a smock rather than an apron, causing a back-and-forth battle between the two.
At night, a "Poetry Nite" is held at Hilary's Café, with Honeybees like Penny spouting off some poetry. Hilary introduces her daughter before Bessie begins her poem. Instead of a poem, however, Bessie states what Miss Manners considers good etiquette, causing the other Honeybees to boo her. Bessie insults the Honeybees by saying she has pot roast in the oven and they can't have any.
We then see Bessie in The Hive, wearing an apron and far too big high heels while baking nut logs. She brings the food to the Rec Center the next day, seeing the Honeybees meditate. She asks Millie where everyone is, and she tells Bessie there isn't any meeting. Millie continues that Portia and other Honeybees want to throw their sashes into the wharf's ocean with Hilary. Bessie believes desecrating the sash is "unspeakable," and runs down to the wharf to stop it from happening.
When Bessie gives her reasoning, Portia and Hilary each explain their own viewpoints, with Hilary stating Portia and the others just want to express their individuality. Bessie asks what about her own individuality, stating being a Honeybee is her "whole thing," with her mother hesitantly saying "Oh, I get that." A visibly upset Bessie asks "Do you, Hilary?" causing the Honeybees to gasp at Bessie calling her own mother by her name. Bessie runs away crying, with Hilary stating "I just wanted you to have fun."
At The Hive, Bessie admits to Finger she feels terrible for yelling at Hilary, and wants to tell her mom in a way that won't hurt her feelings that she just isn't Honeybee material. Unbeknownst to Bessie, Hilary overhears all this from The Hive's wall. The next page, Bessie reads a passage from "A Meditation on Open-Mindedness," by the president of the Honeybees, Miriam Breedlove. As Bessie reads on, she realizes this applies to her and her mother, and that she should be more open-minded to her mom's ideas even if they are not what she would agree with.
The following day, Hilary is now dressed in a more conventional troop leader outfit, and tells the Honeybees to sit up straight. The Honeybees want to do their own thing, with Hilary strictly enforcing the rules from the Handbook. The Honeybees type using typewriters, with Hilary knitting. The Honeybees are bored out of their minds when Bessie, now looking like a hippie, walks in 4 minutes late. Bessie states she was late due to wondering about the meaning of life. A concerned Hilary asks "What's all this?", with Bessie saying she would hang looser from now on.
Hilary tells her daughter she doesn't need to hang loose, but rather be herself; Hilary realizes this applies to her as well, saying "Me too, I guess." With mother and daughter hugging each other, Hilary wants to help Bessie on getting her next badge. Just then, Mary Frances returns with free makeup samples. All the Honeybees run towards them, with Mrs. Gibbons proclaiming "Higgenbottoms, I have a pair of irregulars if you're interested." Bessie says "No thanks, we're perfect the way we are. Right, mom?" with Hilary responding "Definitely; but a little free lip gloss never hurt." Mother and daughter run towards a startled Mary Frances as the episode ends.
|Grey DeLisle||Portia & Millie|
|Dee Bradley Baker||Happy|
|Sarah Thyre||Mary Frances Gibbons|
- Bessie's comment that Happy has strain in his lower back implies he suffers from low back pain.
- This episode has only one male voice actor (Dee Bradley Baker).
- It seems the majority of the episode takes place on Saturday, Sunday and finally Monday morning, as Portia mentions her mother is away during the weekend.
- The first meeting with Hilary as leader started at 11:04 AM (Pacific Standard Time).
- Millie speaks for the first time in this episode, and her name is also revealed.
- Miriam Breedlove is mentioned for the first time, but wouldn't appear until "Something's Wrong With This Taffy."
- Hilary's favorite topic from the Honeybee Handbook is "A Meditation on Open-Mindedness."
- The episode's title is a reference to the novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
- Bessie mentions Miss Manners in her "poem"; Miss Manners is the pseudonym of journalist Judith Martin.
- Alongside its sister episode, "Little Womyn" was watched by 5.1 million people when it first aired.
- This episode has the production code of 106B.
- Matt Besser is credited for voicing Hippie despite not appearing whatsoever.
- When Mrs. Gibbons returns, her boots are brown instead of the usual white.
- The Mighty B!. Nickandmore. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
- Turner, Cynthia (June 13, 2008). Cynthia Turner's Cynopsis - Cyn Kids 6/13/08. Cynopsis: Kids!. Retrieved December 23, 2020. Archived via the Wayback Machine.
- del Carmen, Louie (December 3, 2010). "Just re-discovered this photo of my old MIGHTY B! office at Nickelodeon and my wall of beat boards. Lots of doodle. Twitter. Retrieved October 11, 2021.