Self-made wealthy guy Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) decides he needs a better education — and also to spend some time away from his cheating new wife. Thornton joins his son, Jason (Keith Gordon) at college. Dad hopes to gain his son’s respect (isn’t that always Dangerfield’s motivation?), while his son tries to fit in with his snobbish and brutish fellow students. English professor Diane Turner (Sally Kellerman) forms a strong bond with Thornton, encouraging both father and son to stick out their first year despite all odds. The finale involves some slapstick at the swimming pool diving board, and the obligatory commencement address delivered by Dangerfield, who proves that he can crack jokes without tugging at his tie.