Ponyboy, a Greaser who lives with his brothers, is attacked by his rivals, the Socs, a gang of rick kids.
After being saved by the other Greasers, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally meet Cherry and Marcia who are Socs. After becoming friends, it is revealed how Johnny got jumped by the Socs and now carries a switchblade.
Ponyboy and Cherry find they have a lot in common. When Ponyboy gets home, Darry hits him and Ponyboy decides to run away.
After running away, Ponyboy is almost drowned by a Soc named Bob. Johnny takes out his switchblade and kills Bob. They find Dally, who helps them escape to another town.
After the two boys reside in an abandoned church, Ponyboy has to have his hair cut short and bleached. Dally finds the two and he reveals that Cherry is now a spy for the Greasers and that everyone thinks they have fled to Texas.
Dally fights with Johnny and becomes worried when Johnny says he want to turn himself in. Shortly after, they find out the church is on fire and Ponyboy and Johnny opt to save the kids inside. They are all taken to the hospital when they are injured and Ponyboy reunites with his brothers.