The sitcom's third season opens with Jess and Nick impulsively heading to a Mexican beach town, but their romantic getaway is threatened when Nick runs into trouble with the authorities. Meanwhile, Schmidt must choose between Cece and Elizabeth; and Winston is obsessed with finishing a puzzle.
Jess asks Nick for advice on how to deal with a group of catty teachers at her new school. Elsewhere, Schmidt suffers through an office party; and Winston seeks revenge on Daisy, who he suspects is cheating on him.
Jess and Nick invite Schmidt and Cece out on a double date. Meanwhile, Nick's loyalties are challenged when he discovers a secret; and Winston tries to get the group a table at an exclusive restaurant.
Nick receives an inheritance from his late father, and Jess surreptitiously attempts to apply the funds to Nick's unpaid bills. Elsewhere, Schmidt searches for the meaning of life and turns to a rabbi (Jon Lovitz) for advice.
Jess throws a Halloween party and teams up with Nick and Winston to cheer up a gloomy Schmidt by pretending to be his childhood hero, Michael Keaton. However, Schmidt ends up making a decision that could affect all of them.
Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) returns to the loft and expects things to be exactly the same as they were when he moved out. Elsewhere, Jess and Cece meet an attractive man (Taye Diggs) during a girls' night out.
Jess tries to improve her friendship with Coach, but Nick takes issue when the two of them bond over a basketball team he dislikes. Elsewhere, Schmidt mentors an older hire at work; and Winston explores a new career.
Jess and Cece are invited to a party at the mansion of music superstar Prince (playing himself), and the guys come up with a scheme to crash the gathering. Appearing: supermodels Alessandra Ambrosio and Ana Beatriz Barros; MLB player Clayton Kershaw.
Chaos reigns at the loft when Jess' unpredictable sister (Linda Cardellini) visits. Meanwhile, Schmidt plans to crash a bar mitzvah and persuades Nick to accompany him; and Winston throws a dinner party.
Jess moves into Nick's bedroom, but the cramped living quarters soon cause personal-space issues. Meanwhile, Cece suspects Abby is taking advantage of Schmidt; Coach thinks Cece is treating him like one of her girlfriends; and Winston tries to get fit.
Jess hires Coach to mentor the volleyball team at her school, but she must fire him soon after. Elsewhere, Schmidt is hit with a lawsuit and asks Nick and Winston to represent him at the deposition; and Cece is pursued by a much younger man.
Season 3 ends with the gang embarking on a cruise that Jess and Nick booked while they were still dating. During the trip, Coach deals with his fear of boats; Schmidt tries to get Cece back; and Winston attempts to reconcile Jess and Nick.