Amanda, Tom and Laura lived in a small cramped apartment in St. Louis. Amanda harasses Tom about going out to the movies every night and reminds Laura to stay fresh and pretty for gentlemen callers. When Amanda discovers that Laura has not been going to her business classes, she begins to panic about Laura's future. Amanda talks Tom into inviting a nice young man from the warehouse over for dinner at the apartment. When Jim O'Connor comes to dinner, Laura recognizes him as the boy that she had a crush on in high school. Laura becomes so sick that she has to be excused from dinner. After dinner, Amanda tells Jim to keep Laura company in the parlor. Initially, Laura is petrified but she begins to feel more comfortable around him as they reminisce over high school days. Then Jim dances with Laura and kisses her, only to reveal that he is engaged to another woman and must leave. Amanda believes that Tom has purposely made them look like fools and Tom leaves just as his father had. At the end of the play, Tom realizes that he will never be able to forget the sister he left behind.