YES DAY*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film starts with Allison (Jennifer Garner) talking about how she used to say yes to everything. She would always step out of her comfort zone and try new things. When she met Carlos (Edgar Ramirez), she found someone to connect with because he was also always willing to say yes to new things. That all changed when they became parents to Katie (Jenna Ortega), Nando (Julian Lerner), and Ellie (Everly Carganilla), and they always have to tell their kids no to keep them from hurting themselves.
Katie asks Allison if she can go to a concert, Fleekfest, with her best friend Layla (Megan Stott), but Allison doesn’t want her 14-year-old daughter out with strangers. Nando makes a waffle volcano and laments that the catalyst in there didn’t go off, until Allison slams a book down near the plate, shooting her in the face with plenty of catalyst.
Allison drives Katie and Nando to school while Carlos brings Ellie. Katie and Nando hate the music their mom plays while Carlos plays whatever he wants, and Ellie likes it. Afterward, both parents go to take care of business. Carlos is the boss at his electronics company, where he has to be the tough boss that everyone is nervous around. Allison goes to a job interview where she is told that she is overqualified and that the hiring executive (Molly Sims) just wants a millenial who is easy to push around.
Allison and Carlos are called in for a parent-teacher conference with Katie and Nando’s teachers. Katie wrote a haiku where she makes Allison sound like she is keeping her as a prisoner, while Nando makes a video comparing her to a dictator in the same vein as Stalin and Mussolini. Hurt by these, Allison and Carlos go to the cafeteria to talk, where she feels bad about being the “bad cop” parent while Carlos is the fun one. They are overheard by the guidance counselor, Mr. Deacon (Nat Faxon), who tells the parents that they should get their kids to agree to a “Yes Day”, where the parents must agree to whatever their kids ask of them for a full 24 hours. The outcome will get the kids to behave better and listen to their parents more. Allison and Carlos think it’s a crazy idea until they talk about it more on the ride home.
The parents pitch the Yes Day idea to the kids. While Nando and Ellie are onboard, Katie thinks Allison would never budge for it. However, Allison challenges her daughter, saying that she can be as fun as she used to be. If Allison says no once during the Yes Day, then she has to let Katie go to the concert with Layla unsupervised. If Allison wins, then she can take Katie herself, which she doesn’t want because she thinks going with parents is lame. Allison then sets the ground rules for the kids being allowed to have their Yes Day, which is in three weeks time. The kids, meanwhile, make plans of their own.
On the morning of the Yes Day, the kids excitedly wake up to get things started. Allison bends her “no jumping on the bed” rule so that the kids can jump as freely as they like. The parents must also agree to the “no screens” rule, meaning Carlos can only make a quick call to work before they begin their day. Allison and Carlos agree to let Ellie do their makeup and pick out ridiculous outfits for them to wear.
The kids get their parents to take them to an ice cream shop, where Nando orders “The Gut Buster”, an ice cream monstrosity that is $40 or free if the party can finish it in under 30 minutes. The family goes for it and begins devouring the ice cream, but as they near the end, almost everyone is too full to finish. Carlos puts his skills to the test by taking everyone’s spoon and consuming the remainder of it. He starts to feel nauseous, to which the shop employee states that they will lose if Carlos throws up. He then has to run to the bathroom, making the kids think they lost, until a patron runs out to confirm that Carlos did NOT throw up, as it is, in fact, coming out the other end. Everyone cheers.
The next activity sees the kids directing Allison and Carlos to a car wash. The catch? They have to go through it with the windows down. After a brief concern, Allison and Carlos relent and get doused with water and foam, but everyone has fun like they are going through a ride at a water park, even though it fills the car with water.
The kids then lead their parents to the park, where they have orchestrated an elaborate game of Capture The Flag called “Kablowey”, which had them trick dozens of people into thinking they are auditioning for a reality show. The family splits into teams, where they toss water balloons to each other that are filled with Kool-Aid. Allison gets really into it and even conspires with other contestants to beat her kids. Meanwhile, Carlos uses another man’s phone to make a work call, and he is caught by Ellie. She promises not to tell the others when they see a baby crow has fallen from its nest. After Carlos returns the bird, the mama crow and other birds come attacking him until he runs away.
The family goes to the hospital for Carlos’s injuries, which are mild. However, he tells Allison he is feeling too tired to keep going and wants to go home. She soon realizes he is just looking for an excuse to go to work, and they have an argument. She steps outside and talks to the paramedic, Jean (Fortune Feimster), who mentions that she convinced her wife to a Yes Day, but she wasn’t happy about Jean using their money to buy a lot of ambulances. Allison then decides to take the kids to the Magic Mountain theme park, and Carlos relents and agrees to it. They get a ride from Jean, who uses her ambulance to get them through traffic.
The family has fun at the theme park until Allison sees Katie’s phone and finds out that Layla wants to hook them up with older guys. Allison confronts Katie about it, who gets mad at her for snooping and knowing that they were only coming up with the Yes Day to control their kids. Allison goes off with Carlos and spots a carnival game with a pink gorilla as a prize that she wants to win for Katie since she used to play with one. Allison gets into a heated competition with another lady who wants the gorilla to add to her collection. Although Allison wins, the other lady gets defensive and claims that she won. They start to fight for the gorilla, with Carlos getting pulled into it, and the three of them are arrested.
At the police station, the kids bond with Officer Jones (Arturo Castro) before Katie gets Layla and her older cousin to pick them up, but she lies and says that their grandparents are getting them. They go home so that Nando can throw a “nerd party” for his classmates while Katie gets ready for the concert. She reconsiders at first, thinking she should stay to take care of her siblings, but they know how much she wants to go and they tell her not to worry. Back at the station, Allison and Carlos are let out, but they see that their kids are gone. They find that Jones kept a notebook they left behind that mentions the party. Allison goes with Jones to the concert to find Katie while Carlos goes home to check on the party.
The party gets out of control when the boys start breaking things while a neighbor girl shows up and has sugar when she isn’t allowed any. To make matters worse, the kids set up a volcano in the bedroom, which Ellie sets off by dropping the catalyst in there and creating a foam explosion, which is also made even worse by the neighbor girl pouring catalyst everywhere with water. Meanwhile, Katie splits from Layla at the concert when she realizes Allison was right about the older guys, leaving her alone. When Katie tries to call Allison, her phone dies, and nobody helps her. Carlos arrives at the house and stops the party, forcing all the kids to clean up the mess. Allison gets help from Jones to go backstage, where they meet the artist H.E.R., whom Allison and Katie are big fans of. After Allison sews up a tear in H.E.R.’s jacket, she allows her to go up to the stage and perform a song of hers to get Katie’s attention. Katie overhears this and calls to her mom. Allison runs to join her, and the audience cheers for them. H.E.R. then lets them go onstage to help finish the song before they go home.
After the house is cleaned up, Allison and Katie go home to rejoin the others. The kids reconcile with their parents and realize they were right about setting some rules. Before the day is up, Ellie has one last thing she wants the family to do. They set up a tent outside to camp for the night. Everyone is happy until Nando says he threw the rest of the catalyst down the toilet…which means another foam explosion occurs that spills out of the house.
Allison and Carlos were always up for anything in life until they became parents to Katie, Nando, and Ellie. Now they say no to their crazy antics, making them think that their parents (but Allison in particular) are controlling and domineering. After a parent-teacher conference, the parents learn from the guidance counselor, Mr. Deacon, that they may get help from doing a Yes Day, where they must agree to everything their kids ask for 24 hours. Allison and Carlos go through with it, thinking that the kids will respect their rules more after the experience, and also so Allison can be the fun mom again.
On the Yes Day, the kids make their parents do things like wear ridiculous outfits, eat a gigantic ice cream sundae, go through a car wash with the windows down, and then play a big game at the park with other people. When Carlos feels like he wants to quit, Allison convinces him to keep it up, and they go to a theme park. However, things start to go bad when Allison learns that Katie wants to go to a concert with her best friend Layla where they will meet older boys. After a fight, Allison tries to win Katie a doll, only to get arrested when fighting another lady over the prize.
The kids go home with Layla's cousin, leaving Nando and Ellie at home for a party Nando is throwing while Katie goes to the concert. After being bailed out, Allison goes with an officer to the concert while Carlos is taken home to stop the party. Nando's classmates wreck the house and set off a foam explosion, while Katie leaves Layla after realizing her mom was right. Allison is allowed by musician H.E.R. to go on stage to get Katie's attention, and they are reunited. Meanwhile, Carlos stops the party and makes the kids clean up their mess.
The family reunites later that night and reconciles, with the kids learning to respect their parents' rules and the parents learning to trust their kids more.