Ponyboy is a greaser who loves to read, likes movies, and has good grades. Ponyboy was walking home after seeing a movie, alone. Suddenly, a red corvair that belongs to the soc follows him and then gets jumped.
A fellow greaser helps Pony, and scares the soc away. Ponyboy then later went to go meet with Dally and Johnny. He meets a soc named Cherry and Maria, they bond a little and then the boys walk them home, Dally didn't come along. A group of soc's stop by and harrass them, and Cherry had to go with the soc. Ponyboy goes home very late and Darry gets mad.
Darry gets upset that Pony came home late, he hits him. Pony ran away with Johnny, they go to a park and soc follow them, and start trouble. Johnny kills a soc for self defense and they run to Dally. Dally then gives Pony and Johnny new cloths and a loaded gun and they run away to a abandoned church. They disguise themselves and Dally visits to take them to a diner. Once they came back to the church it was on fire and they save kids that are inside.
There was a rumble declared between the greasers ans soc. From saving the children, Johnny is in critical condition and people see them as heros. A soc talks to Pony about being a hero, Two-Bit and Pony visit Johnny. Ponyboy does not feel good about the rumble, Cherry reports information about the rumble, and the same day they fought and Greasers won. They went back to the hospital and Johnny died.
Pony tells everyone about Johnny's death. Dally was really upset, he robbed a store and gets in trouble. He pulls a gun on the police and got shot. The Curtis brothers attend court, and Pony is having trouble readjusting his life. His grades got worse, and his teacher talked to him into writing a theme. Pony starts his theme based upon a story of his life.
Ponyboy realizes people are too quick to judge and that greasers and soc are not that different. Johnny teaches everyone that life goes on and too quickly so enjoy it while you can.