Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler) and Larry Valentine (Kevin James) are veteran New York firefighters. Chuck is a womanizer and a self-described whore while Larry is a single father trying to raise a daughter and an effeminate son Eric (Cole Morgen). Because of Larry's sadness and obsession over his wife's death, he ends up not changing the primary beneficiary of his pension from his wife to his children within the deadline. His only option is to marry someone but Larry admits that there is no woman he knows that he would trust with his children's future.
While on a routine search of a burned house, Chuck is left hanging for his life. Larry catches Chuck and shields him from falling boards from the fragile floor above. They wake up in the hospital and Larry is struck by the reaction of his children being again in the hospital where their mother died. Larry decides to quit being a fireman because he’s afraid of dying and leaving his kids alone. While thinking it over, Larry finds an article about same-sex domestic partnership rights and decides to "marry" Chuck, making him the beneficiary and caretaker of Larry's children. Chuck is reluctant but gives in since Larry saved his life.
After registering their domestic partnership, a beneficiary office lawyer comes to talk to Chuck and Larry to verify their domestic partnership. Chuck and Larry put on an act and the lawyer quickly leaves, hinting that a surprise inspection may come in the future by a much more thorough person.
Chuck and Larry meet with their lawyer Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel). Alex tells the two that a specialist is indeed being sent in to see if Chuck and Larry are frauds; if they are faking being gay, them and anyone who knows about their lie will go to jail. She suggests they legitimize their relationship by truly getting married. Following her advice they elope and marry in Canada, since same-sex marriage in New York is not possible. Chuck then moves in with Larry.
After Chuck's first morning with Larry, Larry goes outside and finds Clinton Fitzer (Steve Buscemi), the specialist sent in to see if they’re faking being gay. He remarks that their trash is not very gay and leaves.
While shopping for more “gay stuff”, Chuck runs into Alex and she invites Chuck and Larry to a costume party that night. During the flamboyant party, the pair meet Alex's hyperactive gay brother, Kevin (Nick Swardson). After the party ends, the party-goers are confronted by a anti-gay rights group. The activists get into verbal arguments with the gays, culminating in activist leader Jim (Rob Corddry) calling them faggots. Chuck gets offended and punches Jim. The altercation makes its way to the newspaper tabloids the next day.
The next morning, Chuck and Larry are called to speak with FDNY Captain Phineas J. Tucker (Dan Aykroyd) who has seen through their scheme and warns them that if they get caught, they are not to bring the firehouse down with them. Chuck and Larry find themselves not accepted well by the other firemen. No one will play basketball, Larry has been asked not to coach Little League anymore, and Larry gets asked a lot of crude homosexual questions when he makes an appearance for his kids’ Career Day. While playing alone, Chuck is confronted by Fred Duncan (Ving Rhames), a newcomer quiet angry firefighter rumored to be an axe murderer. Chuck fears the worst but Duncan opens up to Chuck and admits that he acts mean because he has been in the closet for so long.
Chuck is getting to know Alex and spends time with her in a 'girl-girl' relationship exemplified by their friendship bracelets. She begs for him to rub and massage her feet which he was reluctant but decided to do so. One day, while Chuck is convinced to give love advice to Alex they end up passionately kissing. Alex backs out and apologizes for kissing a gay married man who's her client. Chuck claims he’s never felt this way about a woman before, but Alex tells him to leave.
While rescuing a man stuck in a chimney, Chuck and Larry get into an argument. Chuck tells Larry that because of the partnership, he can't get close to Alex and the whole situation would never have happened if Larry had put his dead wife behind him and found a nice woman to marry. To make matters worse, a petition signed by the firefighters has been signed to get Chuck and Larry to transfer from the station. Tucker refuses to remove Chuck and Larry, but instead moves them to different shifts so they can no longer work together. Larry confronts each of the signers and is disgusted by how people he saved, helped, and taught have betrayed him.
Back home, Larry sees Chuck nurturing Larry son's talent for tap dancing and musicals. Larry throws out his wife's clothing and apologizes to Chuck for everything.
Meanwhile, tabloids pick up on Chuck and Larry's case and their court case becomes a media spectacle. Inside the courthouse, Chuck and Larry confront the other firefighters who apologize and vow to stand with Chuck and Larry. During the court case, Chuck and Larry are grilled with personal questions. After testimony by Larry's children, the case looks to be firmly on Chuck and Larry's side. In a last ditch attempt, Clint asks the couple to kiss. After convincing by the audience, they attempt to kiss but are interrupted by Captain Tucker who admits that they are lying and his part in it but tells the judges that their lie has helped everyone around them and hurt no one. Clint convinces the judge that it doesn't matter since they still broke the law. In a Spartacus-inspired sequence, the firefighters all lie and claim that they helped Chuck and Larry break the law and should also be jailed.
Unfortunately, they are actually all thrown in jail. Councilman Banks (Richard Chamberlain) shows up and tells Chuck and Larry he'll drop all charges under two conditions: the firefighters all have to make a gay calendar because Chuck and Larry are still heroes to the gay community (plus it would also act as an effective fundraiser for AIDS prevention), and they have to admit that what they did was illegal, and the council will dismiss it as a misdemeanor.
Later, Duncan and Kevin get married at the same wedding chapel in Canada. At the reception, Larry is seen talking to a woman while Chuck goes over and talks to Alex. Chuck is uncertain if Alex has forgiven him so Alex shows him she still has the friendship bracelet they made tied around her ankle, and they end up dancing together.
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