Today is the first day of the rest of Earl Hickey's life. After coming into a 0,000 scratch-off lottery ticket and losing it just as fast upon being hit by a car, Earl has an epiphany in the hospital--to make up for all the terrible things he's done in the past. With his brother Randy and a motel maid named Catalina, Earl writes up a list of every misdeed he was a part of. Earl sets out to do just that, starting with number 64--Kenny James, a boy he picked on in elementary school.
Earl must make amends to Donny, an intimidating thug who spent two years in jail for a robbery Earl committed. Oddly enough, the only way he can do this is by helping Donny's mom quit smoking. Meanwhile, Joy discovers she's the beneficiary of Earl's will and decides to hug him!
Back in their high school days, Earl ruined Randy's chance to score a touchdown during a key football game. Now Earl must figure out a way to make things right.
When Earl met a tough biker chick at a Halloween party, it looked like a match made in heaven, but when the costumes came off, the mismatch became apparent and Earl took drastic measures to get out of the relationship. Now, years later, Earl must find a way to make amends for deceiving the girl.
Earl decides to teach English as a second language to cross "Made fun of people with accents" off his karma list. While Ralph, an old friend, is released from prison, Earl tries to convince him in the ways of karma. However, Ralph ends up kidnapping Randy trying to get his hands on Earl's lotto winnings.
In order to replace a fancy figurine that he broke, Earl lends a hand to help Joy's former adversary and her daughter win a mother/daughter beauty pageant. However, Joy enters the pageant also with her "dead" mother trying to win that same figurine, hoping to trade it for a hot tub.
Earl attempts to help Scott get over his preoccupation with golf, an obsession caused when he and Randy started fixing Scott's golf game to get free beer. But after becoming so thoroughly entangled in Scott's personal life that he drives Randy away, Earl realizes that he may be the one with the obsession.
Darnell and Joy decided to tie the knot while Earl learns through Randy's invitation that he is not invited. To make things worse Joy has scheduled the wedding on Earl's birthday so that all of their friends will be unable to celebrate with him. A drunken Earl crashes the party accidentally breaking Joy's nose and now is forced to add "ruined Joy's wedding" to his list.
Earl tries to cross off number four on his list, "blew dad's chance to be elected mayor". Four years earlier, Carl Hickey ran for mayor to redirect a proposed airplane traffic route over his house and away from the wealthy part of town. Earl unfortunately ruined any chance of his father winning when caught on tape assaulting a police officer. Earl must now help his father get elected and mend his relationship with his father.
As the holiday season comes under way a few secrets are exposed when Earl attempts to cross number 74 off of his list: "Always ruined Joy's Christmas." Earl, Randy and Catalina enter a radio contest to win a brand new car for Joy to make up for all of the thoughtless Christmas presents Earl gave her while they were married. While Randy and Catalina vie over the car, Earl finds out that Joy's parents believe that he's still their son-in-law and that he's just returned from the war in Iraq. Joy is afraid to tell her father, an alleged racist, that she is now married to Darnell, so Earl plays the part, afraid of ruining another one of her Christmases.
When trying to enroll her children into the Right Choice Ranch for troubled youth, Joy is denied enrollment because of a barn burning incident at the hands of a younger Earl. Earl, Randy and Catalina travel to the camp to make amends for the barn burning by building a pen for the camp's ostrich. Earl learns the real reason behind the barn burning incident and decides that every incident on his list after the fire should be shared by Randy.
When Earl and Randy try to return a stolen wallet, they find out taking the money had cost two newlyweds their honeymoon. In an attempt to make things right, Earl takes over for the groom at his fast food restaurant. After time Earl finds out the boss is a jerk and Earl wonders how such a man with a luxurious house and beautiful wife could not be affected by the only thing he believes in, Karma.
Earl crosses another number off the list when he returns Pop's Wiener Hot Dog cart he and Ralph stole in their youth. The good deed does not last long as Ralph, who works for a competing franchise sets fire to Pop's cart. Earl now must set things right with a bizarre plan while recruiting Randy, Joy, Catalina and Darnell to assist him.
Earl tackles number 18 on his list when one of his old friends is arrested. Remembering that he told an inappropriate story at his birthday party, he must give him one great day to make up the terrible one before he was sent to prison.
Earl takes his car troubles as a sign that it is time for him to redeem himself for a long run of stealing gas out of a complete stranger's car.
Earl is nervous about returning a laptop computer he stole from a college professor, mostly because he is uncomfortable around smart people. When the professor turns out to be a beautiful woman, he feels even more ill at ease, until she flatters him and asks him to speak about his list in front of her class. Meanwhile, Randy experiences fraternity life and absolutely loves it.
Earl attempts to cross off another deed of his list. This time it is trying to repay the government after failing to pay his taxes in the past.
It's Mother's Day again when Earl remembers that he has never given his mother a Mother's Day gift. Just as he and Randy are about to finish carrying out his long overdue gift, his mother decides her repayment should include Earl doing something for his father.
When Earl is attempting to cross number 24 ("Stole a red 'Take-a-number' machine") off his list, Randy tries to get Earl to back down by trying to make him remember, through a flashback, how they got the machine around New Year's Eve 1999. Darnell convinces the gang to believe that Y2K will signal the end of the world and they, happily, will be the last people on Earth.
Earl decides to cross off "made a kid scared of the Boogeyman" from his list. Earl soon discovers just what kind of lasting affect he had on the little boy.
Number 45, "Ditched Jessie to Marry Joy" is next on the list when Jessie, Earl's ex-girlfriend, returns to town seeking revenge. Earl must protect Joy in a lakeside retreat while Randy fights not to reveal their location to Jessie.
Earl tackles no. 127 on his list by making amends for pilfering a police officer's badge. When he discovers that the theft resulted in the cop's demotion, he tries to get the officer reinstated.
Earl attempts to cross out number 147 on his list, "shot Gwen Waters with a BB Gun". To make things right he must reunite Gwen with her estranged father, which Earl finds increasingly difficult.
Earl decides to cross off the first number on his Karma list, "stole ten dollars from a guy at the Camden Market". Earl to his dismay finds out that he owes much more than ten dollars, in fact he must surrender all his lotto winnings. Earl now ponders when Karma is going to help him with his misfortunes.