Three years after the events from the previous film, the Barden Bellas are now led by Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) and three-time super senior Chloe Beale (Brittany Snow). Over those three years the Bellas have claimed ICCA champions titles for three years in a row. However, Muffgate, a national scandal involving a wardrobe malfunction revealing Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) private parts at President Obama’s birthday gala, leads to the Bellas’ suspension from the ICCAs and being held from holding auditions; overall, the Bellas’ name and legacy have been damaged. Beca makes a deal to allow the Bellas to be reinstated, should they win the World Championship of A Capella. A cappella commentators John Smith (John Michael Higgins) and Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger (Elizabeth Banks) accept this, but they mockingly do so because of the fact that the American team haven’t won the Worlds a single time. Freshman Emily Junk (Hailee Steinfeld) starts her college career, in hopes of following in her mother’s, Katherine (Katey Sagal), footsteps of being a Bella. At orientation, she watches an a cappella performance by the Treblemakers, now led by Beca’s boyfriend, Jesse Swanson (Skylar Astin). Emily meets Jesse and professes her dream of joining the Bellas, in which Benji Applebaum (Ben Platt), Jesse’s best friend, overhears that and then awkwardly develops a crush on her. While the other Bellas learn that the Europeans have replaced the Bellas on their victory tour, Beca has started a recording studio internship, something only Jesse knows about so that the Bellas won’t question her commitment. When she starts on her first day, she watches as her egocentric boss (Keegan-Michael Key) downgrades his assistant, making her realize the downsides of a career in producing music. Emily goes to the Bellas’ sorority house to audition for them because of their absence from the auditions. She is initially rejected by Fat Amy, but in a desperate attempt, she announces her Legacy Bella relation to her mother, who is very well-known in the a cappella community. When she sings her unfinished song “Flashlight,” she succeeds in joining because of the rules of suspension stating that the Bellas can’t hold any auditions but Emily technically came to them, so therefore, they are not breaking any rules. At the initiation party, Benji nervously tries to ask Emily out, but she kindly rejects him with the reason being that it’s her first day of college. Bumper Allen (Adam Devine) returns from being backup to John Mayer as Barden security and starts hooking up with Amy. At a car show where the ICCA winners were due to perform, the Bellas scout their replacements, German powerhouse “Das Sound Machine” (DSM) – led by intimidating duo Pieter Krämer (Flula Borg) and Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen), who take delight in mocking them. To her own surprise, Beca is too dazzled by Kommissar’s striking appearance to win any verbal spars she engages her in. Determined to beat DSM at the World Finals, the Bellas rehearse a warmup performance similar to DSM’s that is supposedly better. After rehearsals, Beca shows off her mashup skills to her boss on Snoop Dogg’s Christmas album. In turn, her boss offers her a chance to become a producer by listening to her demos. Later at an exclusive riff-off, the Bellas lose to DSM in the final round when a nervous Emily flubs an attempt to sing “Flashlight.” Not only do they lose because they didn’t sing in the right category (“90’s Hip-Hop Jamz”), but mostly because the song was an original, something that is harshly booed in collegiate a cappella. Having gone through Beca’s demo samples her boss expresses disappointment about the presented mashups, but gives her another chance to add to her covering experience with the Bellas and come forth with original content. Because of this with the current events, Beca is becoming stressed out with both careers. Fat Amy reassures her confidence after revealing her knowledge of her internship, sneaking purse money. The next night, Bumper makes a romantic attempt to get serious with Amy, but she rejects him as she likes to not be “tied down by anything.” The next day at the warmups, the Bellas’ chance of winning are damaged when the performance makes John and Gail question the Bellas’ identity and sets Cynthia-Rose’s (Ester Dean) hair ablaze by pyrotechnics. In order to regain harmony and sync, Chloe takes them to a retreat led by former leader Aubrey Posen (Anna Camp). Before going, Emily goes to Katherine for help. She worries about the Bellas’ relationships and her possibility of soloing at the ICCAs. Katherine then reassures her that going to the Worlds is bigger than the ICCAs and that the Bellas won’t end now. The boot camp gives the group physically challenging tasks in order to help with their harmony, but that doesn’t help to no avail. Beca shows her frustration over the camp activities not helping the group and is pressured by Amy to reveal her internship. She starts a heated argument with Chloe over herself being the only one thinking about life beyond the Bellas and Chloe’s obsession with winning Worlds. Beca storms off but is captured by a bear net. Chloe sees this as a win but becomes concerned for her safety when the net starts to rip and fall. Lily (Hana Mae Lee) manages to get her down. The girls calm down and talk about their dreams and future. Beca reveals that her stress was caused by her independence in doing everything under extreme pressure and wishes that she can have Emily’s confidence. Emily returns those feelings about her being intimidatingly good and reveals that just wants to be a Bella, not a Legacy. Beca then offers her to produce “Flashlight” at the studio. When the group realizes that they may not see each other after graduation, they regain harmony by singing “When I’m Gone.” Fat Amy realizes that she made a mistake with Bumper and goes to win him back, before getting trapped by a net. She rows across the lake to him, singing “We Belong” to him. Bumper angrily wants her to turn back around, with the Trebles and Bellas watching from their houses. Bumper gives in and they start making out on the lawn, making the Trebles run away. At the studio, Emily and Beca present their song to Beca’s boss, in which he envies their talent and looks forward to producing with them. The senior Bellas graduate and they all head off to Copenhagen for the World Finals, with Jesse and Benji to cheer them on. Benji wishes Emily luck before the start of Worlds and she kisses him; a second time with him doing it intently because the first time, he was doing a magic trick. The performance of DSM and the crowd’s reaction discourage the Bellas, but Fat Amy gives them one of her pep talks and brings back the spirit to the group. Their performance starts with a handclap introduction and they rock the Worlds with their real sound. Suddenly, they perform a harmonized version of “Flashlight” with Aubrey, Katherine, and other past Bellas joining in. The Bellas win the championship and repair the damaged legacy. As the senior Bellas leave Barden, they give Emily a belated proper initiation with Fat Amy showing her how to do the last tradition: christening the house by sliding down the staircase. Fat Amy ends hers, showing no pain and saying she’s ready to move on. As Emily gets ready to do her turn, she starts to go and the credits roll. So, Emily has been given the responsibility of continuing the Barden Bellas in the future. In a mid-credits scene, Bumper performs on “The Voice”, receiving a reluctant attitude from Adam and choosing Christina as his coach. He then makes her uncomfortable when he prolongs his hug to her.