The story starts with the character Ponyboy heading home from the movies on foot when he is jumped by a group of socials, who are the Westside rich kids who drink, have fancy cars and pick on Greasers for fun. Greasers on the other hand fear and hate Socs since they once beat Ponyboy’s friend up who was also a greaser.
The Next night, Ponyboy and Johnny go to the movies with Danny Winston and hit on two Soc girls. The action almost ends in a fight with the girl’s boyfriends. One of the socs named Bob is the guy who beat up Johnny.
Ponyboy arrives at home late, and Darry shouts and slaps him. Johnny takes Ponyboy for a walk to cool him down, and they end up in the park. The same Soc boys make another appearance this time drunk. Bob engages johnny with threats while the others are holding down Ponyboy in the fountain trying to drown him. Johnny ends up stabbing Bob fatally. They escape and rush to tell Dally of the occurrences who shows them a church where they can hide out
Johnny and Ponyboy hide in the church for a few days, and Dally later informs them that Bob’s girlfriend intends to testify in court. Dally and the boys go to eat, but on returning, the church is on fire. Ponyboy left a cigarette burning and now some children who were on a picnic there were in trouble. They rush in to save them, but Johnny is fatally injured and suffers a broken back.
Johhny passes while in the hospital. Dally allows himself to be killed by police in a shootout after robbing a store. Ponyboy has trouble dealing with the death of his friends and it affects his grades. He decides to write a story of his experiences to remind children that there will always be some good in their world.