The film follows Vincent Dooly (Andrew Bowser), an aspiring inventor who dreams of winning the Thomas Alva Edison Award for Young Inventors (or "Eddy"). Each year, he enters and each year he humiliates himself with an invention that malfunctions in one way or another. A documentary crew follows Vincent in the last year that he is eligible to compete for the award, at the same time following Martin Wooderson (Jimmi Simpson), a smug wunderkind with a long history of winning the award with dull but marketable inventions. Through the months leading up to the Eddy's, Vincent mentions (in a clandestine manner) an invention he is working on that he is sure will change his losing streak but refuses to reveal more. We meet Vincent's best friend Gunter (F. Jason Whitaker), his endlessly supportive mother (Dee Wallace), his tweaked out father (Mark Boone Junior), the object of his affection (Ruby Wendell) and his hero, a surly junkyard worker (Kevin Corrigan).