Lincoln and the Middle School Action News Team solve the mystery of the missing popcorn.
At the middle school, Lincoln and his friends are trying to find a secret arcade room that Rusty's cousin said exists. During their search, Stella comes across an old newsroom, revealing that the middle school used to have a news program run by the students. Impressed with everything they're seeing, Lincoln suggests that they restart the news program, to which the others agree with.
The gang enters Meryl's office and ask if they can see Principal Ramirez. Meryl, currently watching a soap opera on her laptop, agrees and leaves so she can watch her show without interruption. After presenting their pitch to Ramirez, she states that the reason why the cancelled the news show was because it was starting to become unpopular. After the gang says that they can make it better than before, Ramirez allows them to restart the news show.
During their first episode, anchors Lincoln and Clyde present the current news around the middle school, such as Mr. Bolhofner's birthday (where Stella gets his age wrong), Rusty interviewing Lynn for an upcoming soccer game, and Stella learning how to cook with the cafeteria's chef (where she finds a shoe in her pot). After presenting the news, the gang wraps up the episode and believe that it went well. However, when they ask Ramirez for student feedback, she reveals that everyone hated it, saying they found it boring and misleading. Ramirez considers pulling the plug on the show, but is convinced by Lincoln after he promises that they can come up with an amazing story in only 24 hours given by the principal.
While trying to come up with a compelling story, Rusty arrives with the snacks and complains that the cafeteria ran out of popcorn again. Realizing that the popcorn hasn't been restocked as of late, the gang decides to make the missing popcorn their leading story. The next day, very early in the morning, the gang spots a mysterious hooded figure obtaining a box of popcorn from the delivery man. Rusty tries to capture them, but crashes into a pile of garbage cans. Despite this, Liam successfully manages to get recorded footage of this exchange. When the footage is presented to Ramirez, she finds it interesting, but the gang state that they don't know who the culprit is. The next early morning, the gang sees the popcorn truck making its delivery, but the thief doesn't show up. They attempt to talk to the delivery man, but he runs off. After being cornered, the delivery man reveals that it's his first day on the job, and the reason why he ran away was because of Zach, who is hiding in a bush for camouflage. Needing a way to lure the thief, Lincoln comes up a new plan: he has Clyde create some popcorn, and has Zach plant one of his tracking deceives in the bag. They attach the bag to the vending machine, and by nighttime, as the gang watches from Clyde's house, they discover the tracking device in motion. Trying to follow the tracker by bike, they discover it boarding a ferry to Canada, but the boat departs the moment they arrive.
The next day, as the gang is about to accept defeat and have the news show cancelled, Lincoln discovers a ferry ticket stamped with yesterday's date in the trash, meaning that the popcorn thief is in the building. After finding a trail of popcorn and following it, they end up at one of the locations they suspected the secret arcade room was. Stella uses a hairpin to unlock the door, and upon opening it, they discover Meryl, who is watching her soap operas while the walls are completely covered in popcorn. Meryl admits that she's the popcorn thief, because she just wants to watch her shows without interruption, and used the popcorn to soundproof the walls. When she says that she'll lose her job if her secret is revealed, the gang decide to keep it a secret, but realize that it will result in the cancellation of their show. However, Meryl says that she knows a better leading story.
Later, Lincoln and Clyde reveal to everyone about the middle school's secret hidden arcade room, which is hidden behind a locker. As the students storm the room, Ramirez, after stating that she has been looking for this room, allows the gang to keep the news show. After Meryl thanks them for not telling her secret, Rusty arrives and says that there's a rumor that the teacher's lounge has a hot tub, and the gang decides to make this their new lead story.