A few days before Tracy's 13th birthday party, she receives the shock of her life: her mum has finally come to see her! Tracy wants to be with her mum, but is she all that she seems?
The Dumping Ground is in chaos. The kids (except Justine, who is on her new phone, and Tracy, who is upstairs in her bedroom) are playing on a bouncy castle, while Duke tries to get them off and a man tries to get him to pay. Duke finally gets everyone off that castle, only for them to get onto the other bouncy castle. Shelly arrives asking what is going on, followed by a band asking if they have found the place where band auditions are being held. Shelly then figures out who ordered all this stuff and goes inside to confront Tracy. They have an argument about her 13th birthday (which is not for another 3 days), where Tracy moans that she will receive nothing but chocolate cake.
After the argument, Tracy moans to Crash that she will be stuck in the Dumping Ground for the rest of her life. Crash tries to comfort her by telling her that he will be stuck there forever and they will stick it out forever.
Later, Tracy is cleaning Cam's flat where Tracy gets the idea that Cam can foster her again. Cam then states that she has been making plans, but Tracy gets the wrong idea and storms out. After a bit of a chase Cam catches up with Tracy in a field where Cam reveals that her plans are in fact to foster her again. They then rush back to the Dumping Ground to tell everyone the good news.
Back at the home everyone is very happy that Tracy is getting fostered apart from Crash because he thought they would stick it out together. Tracy then insults Justine, resulting her in storming off. While stomping up the stairs, Justine hears a knock on the door. Seeing that no one else is getting it, she answers the door. She then goes back to tell Tracy, who replies that if it is someone brought to her by Elaine the Pain that they can bog off. Tracy then sees that the person at the door is her mum! She is gobsmacked, unable to speak. Cam tells her to breathe and give her a glass of fizzy pop, but Tracy just throws the drink all over her mum!
While Carly (Tracy's mum) dries off, Cam goes upstairs to try and talk Tracy into seeing her mum. Tracy agrees and apologises for the drink. After finding out that her mum is really an actress (or so Tracy thinks), they decide to go to London fo the day. While Tracy gets her coat, Crash comes into the room and overhears and sees Carly making a phone call and write a phone number on a piece of paper. Tracy then returns with her coat and they leave.
Carly and Tracy have a great time in London. They throw pennies into a fountain, go shopping in an expensive department store and have dinner in Hollywood Cafe, where Carly's friend works. Meanwhile, Elaine is furious that Carly just up and left with Tracy and that she did not get a chance to talk to her and sort out the proper paperwork.
Back in London, Tracy and Carly are on the London Eye. They have a heart to heart talk about why Carly dumped Tracy all those years ago. It was revealed that Carly was too young to take care of Tracy and was forced to hand her over to the care home. It is there that they decide to leave the past in the past and that Carly take Tracy back. Later, at night, Carly has to go and she is met by her agent Derek, so she sends Tracy back on her own by taxi. Tracy asks when she will see her again and Carly promises the next day.
Later, Tracy tries to sneak back to her room unnoticed, but she is seen by Hayley, who announces loudly that she is back. She has a chat in the office with Shelly, Elaine and Cam, who are outraged that Carly sent her home on her own. She is sent to bed, where she tries out her new paper glasses, which she got from Hollywood Cafe. She tells everyone what happened, then reveals that her mum is taking her home to live with her and she is coming the next day.
The next day, Crash sprints to Cam's where he tells her about Carly's plans. After a quick think, they get in Cam's car and head to the Dumping Ground. Meanwhile, Carly arrives at the DG, where she is brought into the office to have an interview with Elaine. She thinks that Elaine thinks she is an unfit mother and gets angry even though Elaine was only asking where she was going with Tracy as a safety guideline. Carly shouts for Tracy to get a move on. They are about to go when Cam arrives and reveals that she plans to foster Tracy again. This is a slap in the face for Carly, who swiftly leaves without Tracy. She tells Cam that she will never be able to forgive her,and she will also never forgive Elaine, Crash, Justine, Shelley, Duke And Bouncer, then storms off to her room. Crash leaves lunch, which is when Tracy tells him it is all his fault that her mum left.
The next day, Duke goes into Tracy's room to wake her up. A mop of curly black hair is just poking out through the duvet and when Duke pulls the sheet back he finds that Tracy has run away (the hair belongs to a doll). Justine then finds out that Tracy has stolen her mobile. The Dumping Ground kids hold a conference in Crash's room. They work out that Tracy is heading to Hollywood Cafe and Bouncer hands his phone (on vibrate) to Hayley. The staff then try to get Bouncer to hand his phone over but of course he does not have it, despite the fact that Bouncer tried to make the staff think he lost his mobile. So they are forced to call the police. The police come, but do not get anywhere. Instead Hayley questions the male officer (named Mark) about why he doesn't have children and Bouncer falls in love with the female officer.
Meanwhile at Hollywood Cafe, Tracy tries to wheedle Carly's address from her friend. She reveals that Carly has gone to Hopeston to work on a new film. Back at the DG, the officers review the situation and decide that they are going to search Tracy's room. Marco remembers the Hollywood Cafe glasses, handcuffs Mark to Hayley and flushes the glasses down the toilet.
Tracy reaches a train station and formulates a plan to get onto the train for free. She sees a boy steal his sister's hat, so Tracy steals the hat as well, making her look like part of the family. She is able to sneak past a guard this way and get on the train. At the DG, the Chief Constable arrives to unlock Mark from Hayley.
Now on the moving train, Tracy talks to a mother with her baby but moves when she asks where her mum is. She closes the blind and tries to sleep, but she has a nightmare, so she rings Bouncer off Justine's phone.
At the house, the police are leaving when Hayley starts giggling uncontrollaby. Having figured out that Tracy has rung, each child talks to her. Crash finds out that Tracy is going to Hopeston and decides to find her. While she is talking, the guard asks for Tracy for her ticket and she has to hang up. She bends over her bag and then runs down the train, not having a ticket. The guard sets off in hot persuit. Meanwhile, Crash takes Bouncer's wages and sets off. On the train, Tracy goes into the luggage room, but the guard catches her, so she releases a load of pigeons to distract him while she pulls the emergency stop and escapes the train. Meanwhile, Shelly and Duke find out that Crash has run away.
Late at night, Tracy walks for a long time across the countryside, until she decides to call Cam. Cam is relieved she is alright, but Tracy won't reveal where she is or where she is going, tells Cam she will never forget her and hangs up. Heartbroken, Cam heads to the Dumping Ground where she spends the night.
Meanwhile, Tracy finally reaches Hopeston. She finds the train station and has a little sleep on one of the benches. While she is sleeping she has a cartoon dream about the time Mike and Jenny take her away from her mum. Her mum knocks on the door but Mike and Jenny ignore it. Her mum's heart breaks while Tracy waves at her mum and her mum waves back before she dissapears. Meanwhile, the Dumping Ground Kids break into the office and get the phone number that Carly wrote down earlier. On the platform, Tracy is woken up by Crash, who has found her. He gives her some food and they sleep in the toilets.
The next morning, they wake up and Crash gives Tracy her birthday present from him before they set off. It's a necklace with the letter T written on it. With that, they set off to find the castle where Carly is filming. Back at the home, Justine goes into the sitting room to ring the number to find out where Carly is filming. But she is unaware that Cam is sleeping in that room and Justine is forced to tell her what she knows. With this new found knowledge, Cam gets into the minibus (with Justine because she wants her phone back) where she speeds off and breaks the police car door. Shelly, Duke and Jackie head off in Elaine's car while the female officer and Bouncer go in the doorless police car. Elaine, Marco, Hayley and Layla are left behind.
Back in Hopeston, following a pigeon, Tracy and Crash find the castle. They sneak in and hide in a corner to watch the filming. While filming, Carly comes into the room where she gets onto a horse where it rears its back legs and she falls off. Tracy and Crash run to help her, annoying the film director. Carly reveals that she is not actually an actress, she is a stunt double. Tracy then reveals that she ran away to be with her mum for always. Carly then gives them the key to her motel and tells them to wash off. While they are there, Carly rings up and tells Tracy she has a big surprise for her. A couple of hours later, Cam, Justine, Shelly, Duke, Jackie, the female officer and Bouncer reach the castle where Cam learns something heartbreaking.
Later that evening, there is a knock on the door. Tracy answers it and she is met with a man with a bunch of pink balloons. They go outside to find a pink caddilac and they head off to the castle. When they get there, they find that someone has organised a medieval themed party for Tracy. Tracy thinks her mum has organised the party, but it was actually Cam. It turns out that Carly has forgotten Tracy's birthday, so they go off in the cadillac to find her.
They eventually find her in a night club, where Carly tells her to get out because she is underage. Tracy reminds her that she has a surprise for her but it turns out that Carly has just been offered a job in Hollywood. Tracy is disapponted at this information because she thought it would be about her birthday. Tracy then tells Carly that it is her birthday, to which Carly is shocked at. She tells her that it's been a long time, but Tracy counters by remembering Carly's birthday. Tracy then tells Carly that she came to ask her permission for Cam to foster her, prompting Carly to storm off.
Back at the party, Tracy tries to have a good time, until her mum turns up. She takes Tracy to Cam and tells her that Cam can foster her, which everyone is happy about. The film ends with a singer (Keisha White) singing the Tracy Beaker theme tune and fireworks.
During the credits, Mark the police officer and his wife, Helen, have thought of fostering Hayley, having a day out to get to know each other. Hayley then cuffs herself and Helen.
- The movie was first broadcast on BBC1 (outside of the CBBC programming block) as part of the "Taking Care" season. During the end credits, details for a telephone line as well as a website address for more details about the season were given by the continuity announcer.
- This is the only installment of a Tracy Beaker programme to premiere on a Sunday, as well as the only installment to premiere outside of the CBBC programming block.
- Final chronological appearance of Stowey House (although a cartoon version of it is seen in season 4's premiere).
- This is the only installment of a Tracy Beaker programme where someone actually swears. Later incarnations of the show will have characters start to say a rude word before stopping themselves, or alluding to a rude word with the audience never actually hearing what the word was.
- Nathan, Michael and Lol are absent. However, Nathan's photograph is seen on a board and Justine mentions Lol.
- Final chronological appearance of Shelly, though she returns briefly in season 5.
- When Hayley is talking to the policeman, on learning that he cannot have babies, she utters the phrase "Life's a bitch". Certain broadcasts replace her response with an alternate take of her sighing.
- Despite being aired while the third season was still airing, the episode would have to take place in-between the third and fourth season, given that Tracy is still living at the DG at the end of season 3 and is now living with Cam at the start of season 4. This creates a continuity error as Justine is shown to be living at the Dumping Ground in the movie, even thought she left to live with her dad after the episode Good as Gold (the season 3 finale).