Nick Persons (Ice Cube), a 37-year-old bachelor, takes a car drive on New Year's Eve to Vancouver from Portland, Oregon to transfer two bratty children, Lindsey and Kevin Kingston, to their divorced mother, Suzanne Kingston, on whom Nick has a crush.

The road trip seems to be a disaster from the outset, as the three face numerous mishaps. One example includes the children signaling to truck driver Al Buck that they have been kidnapped by Nick. They are run off the road by him. After Lindsey and Kevin discover their father's betrayal, they warm up to Nick, as he does with them, when he tells them that he, too, was abandoned by his father.