Raising Hope is the critically acclaimed comedy from Emmy® Award winner Greg Garcia that follows the Chance family as they find themselves raising the newest addition to the household: a baby named Hope.
When Jimmy watches a home video of himself as a thirteen-year-old (guest star Greyson Chance), he discovers that he was a musical prodigy with a promising career as a singer and pianist until a horrible accident involving a golf putter rendered him talentless. Jimmy recruits Burt, Virginia and Maw Maw to help him rediscover his lost abilities.
When Burt discovers information about Sabrina, he lets the family in on her secret. Embarrassed by her family she reluctantly introduces the Chance family to her father, Cap (Stephen Root). Meanwhile Jimmy decides Hope should have rich friends and begs Sabrina to take him to her sister's party where Sabrina's insecurities become apparent.
When a ponytailed hippie named Jack who kidnapped Burt twenty years ago unexpectedly pays the Chance family a visit, they discover that Burt's disappearance wasn't all it appeared to be. Meanwhile Jimmy's jealousy creeps out when Sabrina anxiously awaits a text from her boyfriend Wyatt.
Virginia (Martha Plimpton), Burt (Garret Dillahunt), Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) head to Las Vegas to attend Virginia's cousin Delilah’s (Amy Sedaris) wedding. Virginia is embarrassed that she didn't have the big wedding that her snooty cousin will have, so Burt attempts to make it up to her. Meanwhile, Jimmy tries to make a move on Sabrina who wants to go wild in Vegas.
Virginia (Martha Plimpton), Burt (Garret Dillahunt), Jimmy (Lucas Neff), Sabrina (Shannon Woodward), Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman) and Hope (guest stars Baylie Cregut and Rylie Cregut) camp out on the front lawn after their house becomes tented for termites, but getting caught in the rain is the least of their problems. After the family learns that Hope hit a boy at day care, they attempt to stop arguing, fearing that she will follow in her serial killer mom’s footsteps.
A 13-year-old kid (guest star Camden Garcia) makes a run for Sabrina, which drives Jimmy absolutely crazy. Also, Maw Maw swallows her gold tooth, and Burt and Virginia contemplate retrieving it.
Jimmy, Virginia, Burt, Sabrina, Maw Maw and Hope borrow a house to impress Burt’s wealthy parents (guest stars Lee Majors and Shirley Jones) who have decided at the last minute to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family. Things get interesting when the real homeowners return early, and Burt’s folks get a taste of what life is really like for Burt and Virginia.
When the National Invention Convention Extravaganza comes to town, Virginia encourages the family to submit their own inventions that could bring home a large cash prize. Burt teams with the family's neighbor Andrew (guest star Ethan Suplee) and invents unusually flavored yogurts, while Jimmy partners with Sabrina to develop a new baby mop. When convention day arrives the competition between each team escalates as they pitch their inventions to Andrew Dice Clay (guest-starring as himself). During the competition, the family ends up realizing family and friends are what matter the most.
Burt encourages Jimmy to be more of a daredevil. So when Jimmy's co-worker, Frank, invites him to a house party, Jimmy jumps at the chance to unleash his bolder side. As Jimmy and his new pal spend more time together, they discover they shared a common high school bully. In a series of flashbacks, Jimmy and Franks look back at their unhappy high school years as Young Jimmy (guest star Greyson Chance) and Young Frank. But when the two try to take down their old nemesis, they're surprised to learn that the bully has changed.
In a nod to the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Chances go to the movies and are surprised when they discover that the film they’re watching is strikingly similar to their own family life. Meanwhile, Jimmy is transported into a cinematic dreamlike state and experiences the world as though he never met Hope’s serial killer mom Lucy (guest star Bijou Phillips). But when he returns to reality, he soon realizes that life without Hope would not be nearly as sweet.
After Hope (Baylie and Rylie Cregut) shows promising signs of being a baby genius, Jimmy (Lucas Neff) becomes inspired to go back to school and prepare for the G.E.D. exam. But Jimmy is surprised to find his former high school teacher, Mr. Swift (guest star Fred Willard), instructing the G.E.D. class, and continuing to give Jimmy a hard time in the classroom. Meanwhile, Burt (Garret Dillahunt) and Virginia (Martha Plimpton) worry that Jimmy could become the smartest family member if he passes the test, so they decide to take the G.E.D exam too. But they soon realize they’ll need all the extra tutoring they can get.
Burt becomes obsessed with gambling when he believes he can reclaim all the items he lost when he bet away all the Chance’s belongings nearly 20 years ago. Worried about his bad habit reemerging, Virginia and Jimmy try to intervene but soon get swept up in the betting frenzy and develop their own gambling habit. But their luck begins to run out when they miss Shelley’s staged play written by Sabrina and starring Hope as the lead.
Burt is buried in receipts and finances during corporate tax season, so he hires Barney as his business manager to help keep him organized. Caught up in the stress, Burt makes a hurtful comment about Virginia's career, prompting her to seek a new business venture and be her own boss. But when Virginia becomes a tarot card reader and predicts the future for the residents of New Natesville, she realizes that her fortunes may have more power than she thinks. Meanwhile, Jimmy is kept on pins and needles as Sabrina decides whether or not to move to Africa with her boyfriend Wyatt.
Jimmy’s spirits are low when Sabrina’s relationship becomes serious, so Virginia and Burt convince him to use a make-believe girlfriend to make her jealous. Barney invites Jimmy to his improv class, where he meets Mary-Louise (guest star Ashley Tisdale) who agrees to play along with his plan to win Sabrina over. But when their acting becomes too convincing and Sabrina falls for their fake relationship, all plans might backfire on Jimmy.
Jimmy and Sabrina decide to be more open with each other as their relationship grows, which leads to Jimmy helping her overcome a childhood phobia. Meanwhile, Burt comes clean with Virginia about a habit he's been hiding for years.
Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) is arrested after participating in an Occupy Natesville protest and is sentenced to two weeks in prison. One of the prison attendant’s (guest star Perry) claims to be a friend from her past and will stop at nothing to make Sabrina’s stay in the slammer as dreadful as possible until she remembers their childhood friendship. Meanwhile, the mayor of Natesville grants Virginia (Martha Plimpton) three wishes after she helps her avoid a public scandal, but when Jimmy (Lucas Neff) turns down the mayor’s advances, Sabrina’s chances of being exonerated are put at risk
Virginia and Sabrina team up to get rid of a raccoon that starts living under the Chance house porch. Meanwhile, Jimmy is frustrated when his parents suggests he should start spanking a misbehaving Hope; and when Burt reveals another secret from Jimmy's childhood, it brings Jimmy to a new realization.
Virginia takes on a job as a house sitter for a teenage girl, and when she learns that the girl plans to have sex with her boyfriend, she decides to dispense some motherly advice. Maw Maw continues confusing Jimmy and Sabrina.
Burt runs for the chair of a Natesville church group against a holier-than-thou busybody, but his campaign might be over in a hurry unless he can find a replacement for a blind church member's guide pig before his opponent finds out.
When Jimmy finds out Sabrina has a new attractive study partner (guest star Travis Van Winkle), Virginia convinces him that they are doing more than just studying. Meanwhile, Burt develops an obsession with a wall figurine.
In a very special "mockumentary" episode, Nancy Grace (guest-starring as herself) examines the "real story" of Hope's mom, serial killer Lucy Carlisle (guest star Phillips). Grace interviews each member of the Chance family, all of whom relay personal accounts of exactly what happened when Jimmy met Lucy back in 2008. At the end of the program, the Chances are shocked to find out developing details about Lucy.
Following the revelations of the "Inside Probe" expose of their family history, the Chances are put on trial in a fight to retain custody of Hope.