When Charlie the Tramp wanders into a mission he is smitten by Edna and puts back the collection box which he has taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough-and-tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric the Tough, he puts Eric's head in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail, Edna is kidnapped, but Charlie (recharged after sitting on a doper's needle) conquers all. Easy Street is transformed as is Eric.
After amusements working in a restaurant, Charlie uses his lunch break to go roller skating. Mr. Stout makes advances toward the unwilling Edna (whose father and Mrs. Stout had earlier carried on in the restaurant). After a roller skate ballet, Charlie (now as Sir Cecil Seltzer) is invited to a party at Edna's. All the "couples", including a new partner for Mr. Stout.
Charlie competes with his fellow shop assistant. He is fired by the pawnbroker and rehired. He nearly destroys everything in the shop and and himself. He helps capture a burglar. He destroys a client's clock while examining it in detail.
Charlie is a tramp on the road. A hobo manages to exchange Charlie's sandwich for a brick so Charlie must eat grass. The same hobo molests a farmer's daughter; Charlie comes to aid with the help of the brick. When two more hobos show up Charlie throws all three into a lake. The grateful girl takes Charlie home where he fails as a farmhand. He again helps drive off the hobos (who are now trying to break into the house). The girl's fiance arrives. Though a hero, Charlie, knowing he must go, writes a farewell note and leaves for the open road.
Charlie, dressed as a tramp for the first time, goes to a baby-cart race in Venice, California. He causes a great deal of trouble and confusion, both on off the track (getting in the way of the cameraman) and on (interfering with the race). He succeeds in irritating both the participants and the public.
An upper class drawing room. A gentleman breaks the curtain pole and goes in search of a replacement, but he stops into a pub first. He buys a very long pole, and causes havoc everywhere he passes, accumulating an ever-growing entourage chasing him, until he escapes them through a bit of movie magic, only to discover that the pole has already been replaced.