Recap: Blair is sketching a portrait of Sue Ann posing with a tennis racket and wearing a pair of awful '80s short shorts. She complains that she's been posing for over an hour and is exhausted, but Blair threatens to make her look flat-chested in her sketch if she doesn't stand still. Mrs. Garrett enters the room and compliments a painting Blair did of a football player...and Blair tells her she's planning to display it for Career Day. Molly asks Mrs. Garrett to tune her ukulele, which she does while screech-singing...and I have no idea why the writers thought it was necessary to throw in that superfluous bit. Mrs. Garrett then looks over the list of Career Day speakers and remarks that it's an impressive list: a doctor, architect...and an airline stewardess (Natalie's sister). Tootie says that her dad will be talking about law careers...and speaking of Tootie, she and Natalie are seated at a table with big curlers in their hair and cold cream all over their faces. Tootie tells Mrs. Garrett that her dad is coming to Eastland the day before Career Day (which would be today) to check out the school, and she wants to look good for his visit.
Mr. Bradley enters the dorm with a stern looking Mr. Ramsey in tow. Tootie rolls across the room to hug her dad, then introduces him to all of her friends. After that, she introduces him to Mrs. Garrett and gushes about how the loveable old house-mother has been teaching her everything she needs to know about getting into beauty school. Mr. Ramsey raises his brows and goes, "Beauty school..?" An oblivious Mr. Bradley tells Mr. Ramsey they're all looking forward to his Career Day talk, then tells the girls he was a legal adviser to two presidents, as well as a kick-ass football player in college. He tells Mr. Ramsey he'd love to talk football with him later, but Mr. Ramsey gruffly retorts that he's a lot more interested in learning why Tootie passed up the opportunity to learn speed reading. Tootie smiles sheepishly and says in her usual hammish way, "It went by too fast!" Plus, Mrs. Garrett was teaching her how to do her nails at the time...and Tootie waves her manicured fingernails in her dad's direction. Mr. Ramsey looks unimpressed and disdainfully mutters, "That's quite an accomplishment." Tootie, who's also blissfully oblivious to her dad's pissed off aura, says that with Mrs. Garrett's help, she'll be able to get into any beauty school she wants. Mr. Ramsey says he wants to have a serious talk about her life goals - but she informs him that her goal at the moment is to look like Diana Ross. As she rolls out of the room on her stupid roller skates, Mr. Bradley chuckles at her sass and remarks, "She really is something...isn't she?" and Mr. Ramsey glares at him and replies, "Not yet. But I'd like her to become something" then says he wants to discuss his daughter's academic program. Mrs. Garrett, being the clueless dimwit she is, chooses that inopportune moment to announce that if anyone needs her, she'll be upstairs helping Tootie make herself over like Diana Ross...and as soon as she's out of earshot, Mr. Ramsey asks Mr. Bradley if Mrs. Garrett has much influence on Tootie. He replies, "Sure! Mrs. Garrett says jump, Tootie asks how high?!" By this time, there's no mistaking how furious Mr. Ramsey is, and he reminds Mr. Bradley that he enrolled his daughter at Eastland to prepare her for college - not beauty school. He then goes a step further and tells hims that Mrs. Garrett is clearly a shitty role model who's taking Tootie's mind off of real goals and directing them onto stupid, frivolous ones. He barks, "I want it stopped!" and Mr. Bradley looks aghast when he orders him to tell Mrs. Garrett to stay away from Tootie.
Tootie and Natalie have just finished styling Sue Ann's hair in braids when Mrs. Garrett enters the room with a tray of cocoa and cupcakes. She asks the girls if they've all finished their Career Day essays, and they say they have. Nancy says she wants to become a psychiatrist to the stars, while Blair wants to become an artist and marry the president of General Motors (marrying rich isn't a career ambition, idiot). Molly argues that she can't marry the president of General Motors 'cause she's going to be the president of General Motors...and the laugh track goes apeshit. Sue Ann wants to be a marine biologist...and Tootie jokes that she only wants that job so she can hang out with hot surfers, and Sue Ann admonishes her for reading her diary again. Mr. Bradley enters the room and asks everyone if they're ready for Career Day, and they all say they are. Molly declares that she's going to be the Joan Baez of the '80s [in addition to being the General Motors CEO??], and starts playing her ukulele and singing about pollution...and her I'm-a-tiny-girl-with-a-big-singing-voice voice really makes me cringe. Mr. Bradley asks Tootie what she's going to study in college, and she tells him she's not going to college. He's like, "You're not?!" so Tootie explains that she and Natalie are planning to study "Vidal Sassooning", then says she wrote all about it in her essay. The two are going to open a salon and call it Toot and Nat's...or Nat and Toot's. Mr. Bradley mulls that over for a few seconds, then kicks everyone out of the room so he can talk to Mrs. Garrett in private. He tells her that Mr. Ramsey is very upset that Tootie is focused on a career in hairstyling...and that he's blaming someone she spends a lot of time with, and is forbidding that person from associating with Tootie anymore. Mrs. Garrett scrunches her face in confusion and runs down the list of girls, then exclaims, "Not Natalie?!" Mr. Bradley says it's definitely not Natalie...and eventually the light turns on in her tiny muddled brain when she finally deduces that the bad influence is her.
The next day, Mrs. Garrett is setting up chairs for the Career Day presentations. Tootie descends the staircase on her roller skates and gives Mrs. Garrett a chirpy, "Good morning!" and tells her her dad is coming by to take her out for breakfast...but while she waits for him, she'd like Mrs. Garrett to teach her how to pluck her eyebrows. Mrs. Garrett says, "Not today, dear" and continues to set up the chairs...and the whiny turd whines about how she's expected to learn this skill: "By plucking a chicken?! Sheesh!" then heads back upstairs dejectedly. Blair enters the room and announces to Mrs. Garrett that she's painting a male model who will be totally naked, and Mrs. Garrett just replies, "That's nice, dear." Blair laughs and tells her it's not a human male, but a horse...and Sue Ann giggles loudly at the hilarity. Mrs. Garrett starts laughing too, but her laughter quickly turns to tears. They ask her what's wrong, and instead of maintaining the kind of maturity and discretion that one would expect of a seasoned adult employee, she comes right out and tells them that Tootie's dickish father doesn't want her to spend any more time with his daughter 'cause he thinks she's a bad influence. Blair says that that's ridiculous, and Mrs. Garrett agrees and says that next time she sees the jerk, she's going to give him the what for...and of course Mr. Ramsey has quietly entered the room and is standing behind her as she's saying this. She turns around and chuckles awkwardly, and he tells her he heard what she just said, so she's like, "Good!" and tells him she wants to clear the air. She comes right out and asks him why he doesn't want her to spend time with Tootie, and he acknowledges that he did, in fact, say that - then apologizes and says that upon further reflection, he realized that she's not the problem...just the symptom. He's been evaluating Eastland and all it has to offer Tootie...and after he read her Career Day essay - My Future in Fingernails - he's made a decision: he's removing Tootie from Eastland and putting her in a better school. Yipppeeee!! Mrs. Garrett's all, "Wha-at?!"
Tootie looks deflated and sad as she packs up her stuff. Sue Ann and Cindy enter her room and ask her if it's really true that her dad is pulling her out of school, and she says it is. Molly insists that Eastland is a great school, and the rest of the girls agree, so Tootie explains that her dad is [understandably] worried she's not reaching her potential here, and feels that she's not very motivated or is pushing hard enough. He told her she has the potential to be a young Margaret Thatcher, and Cindy scrunches her face in confusion and goes, "Who's Margaret Thatcher?" OMFG. Tootie says she asked her dad that very same question (OMFG), and it was a big mistake. Well d'yuh. It's a tad jarring that at least two students of this supposedly high-end college prep school have absolutely no clue who the current British Prime Minister is. Natalie is sad that she and Tootie will never have their beauty salon, but Tootie says they can still do it...after she becomes President of the United States, like her dad expects her to. Mrs. Garrett enters the room and tells everyone it's almost time for the Career Day presentations. Nancy asks her if she'd talk to Mr. Ramsey about letting Tootie stay at Eastland, but Mrs. Garrett grimly says she's probably the last person he'd ever listen to. Molly, who I'm seriously starting to think has Tourette syndrome, blurts out, "Nancy, don't you know that Tootie's father doesn't like the school, because Mrs. Garrett's the reason why Tootie's such a dummy?" Laugh track: bwahahaha!! Tootie's angry that her dad's being so dickish about Eastland, then gets all teary and says she loves it here and tells Mrs. Garrett that she's really going to miss her. Suddenly, Mrs. Garrett declares that they're not giving her up without a fight - and everyone agrees. She says they'll use something Mr. Ramsey respects: their brains. Tootie looks doubtful and says, "Brains..? We are in trou-ble" then hastily explains that she doesn't think they're not smart girls or anything [um, they're not smart girls] - she just doesn't think they can win an argument against her lawyer father.
Mr. Ramsey has just finished his talk about choosing law as a career, then opens up the floor to questions. Blair stands up and asks him if it's legal to take a child out of school against her will, and he says, "Not to my knowledge" so Sue Ann inquires, "What if she loves that school? Isn't it 'alienation of affection'?" Mr. Bradley finally gets a clue what's going on here and admonishes the girls for trying to argue Tootie's case. Nancy gets up and insists that they have to discuss this right now, and Tootie concurs and wails, "In ten minutes I'll be gone!!" Mr. Ramsey welcomes an open forum, so the girls all tell him how much they love Tootie, that she's generous and makes them laugh, blah blah.. Molly then walks up to the front of the room and presents him with Tootie's last report card, which has mostly As, and Mr. Ramsey points out that he already knows how good her grades are. Sue Ann insists that Eastland is a great place to learn, but Mr. Ramsey argues that it kinda seems like a joke of a school (uh, d'yuh), since it clearly isn't offering Tootie the challenges she needs. Mr. Bradley objects and says that, on the contrary, they've accomplished a lot at Eastland, and insists that the school has an excellent track record of students going on to college and establishing rewarding careers. Mr. Ramsey's like, "Whatever" and asks Tootie if she's packed - but before she can respond, Mrs. Garrett asks Mr. Ramsey if she can speak with him and Tootie privately.
Mrs. Garrett asks Mr. Ramsey how much he knows about the way young girls think, and he admits...well, not much. She tells him that when she was Tootie's age, she wanted to be so many things: a ballerina, a scientist, a jockey...then finally settled for being a rich man's housekeeper until she got her own spin-off as a house-mother. She asks him if he ever had a dream or two when he was Tootie's age, and he gruffly retorts that he was too busy preparing for "a serious and meaningful future". Tootie asks, "Aren't you forgetting about Buffalo Ramsey?" then tells Mrs. Garrett that her grandmother once told her that her dad had wanted to become a cowboy...and Mr. Ramsey groans at the memory. Mrs. Garrett solemnly vows that if he leaves Tootie in their care, she can assure him she'll end up with a career she loves. He mulls that over for a few seconds and admits he's weakening...and says he's touched that everyone at Eastland seems to love her so much. For a mouthy brat who frequently blurts out insulting one-liners to her schoolmates, it's actually an impressive feat.
Nancy has her ear pressed against the door, trying to eavesdrop on the conversation. Blair chides her and says it's not the way one eavesdrops on a private conversation...then grabs a glass and holds it up to the door. Suddenly, the door opens and Tootie excitedly announces, "Guess what?! I'm staying!" Shocker. Everyone is thrilled, and they all clump together in one big group hug.