Michael Newman is a hardworking architect, married to his longtime sweetheart Donna Newman with two children, Ben and Samantha. Michael is easily pushed around by his overbearing boss, John Ammer, and often chooses work over family. Michael visits the retail store Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a universal remote control for his home. He stumbles around the various departments before falling onto a bed, and sees a section titled “Beyond”. A man named Morty offers Michael a free remote, but warns it can never be returned.
Learning to use the remote, Michael finds that it can control reality much like a television, able to pause, rewind to events in his past, or fast-forward in time. He uses it to fast-forward past illness and arguments with Donna. Morty tells Michael that during these times, his body is on “auto-pilot”, going through his motions of everyday life while his mind skips ahead.
Michael is unable to buy promised bicycles for his children, but knowing that Ammer plans to promote him to a partnership, he uses the remote to skip to the promotion. He is shocked to find that a year has passed. During that time, he and Donna have entered marriage counseling and his children have grown up with different tastes. The remote, having learned his preferences, starts time-skipping in response to casual wishes Michael makes. Michael attempts to get rid of the remote or destroy it, but the remote reappears in his hands shortly after each attempt.
At work, Ammer tells Michael he plans on retiring, which would make Michael the CEO. Michael momentarily forgets about the remote, and tells Ammer he wishes he were CEO. The remote fast-forwards ten years into the future where Michael is now CEO. While Michael is wealthy and well-off, he has become morbidly obese, Donna has divorced him, and both Ben and Samantha have become moody teenagers. He argues with Donna and new husband Bill, which brings their family dog to jump atop Michael, knocking him into a coma. The remote time-skips several years to when Michael wakes from the coma, and is no longer obese. Ben is now a partner of the firm, and Michael's father Ted has died.
Morty reappears and tells Michael he is the Angel of Death. Michael asks to go to a “good place”, whereupon the remote fast-forwards him several more years in the future to Ben's wedding. Michael has a second heart attack when Samantha calls Bill her dad. When he wakes in the hospital later that day, he finds his family there, including Ben. Ben had decided to skip his honeymoon to help fix some issues with the firm, but Michael implores him not to ignore his wife. As Ben and Samantha leave for the airport, Michael tries to follow but collapses again and dies, telling his family that he still loves them. Morty appears to take Michael.
Michael wakes back up in the bed at Bed Bath & Beyond, in his original present. He races home to rejoin his family. There he sees the remote on the counter with a note from Morty, reading “Good guys need a break”. Michael considers the remote for a moment before throwing it away; it does not reappear. Michael joins his family in a pillow fight.
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