The story of the Rimplegars who exchanged witticisms with the depression. Elizabeth Rimplegar, lacking more serious things to worry about, cultivates a naive weltschmerz and plans suicide with her immature novelist fiance. When Mother Rimplegar, vague and flighty, announces the collapse of the family fortune, Elizabeth and her spoiled, idle family are lost, until Alan Stevens assumes a mild dictatorship and induces them to go to work. Sobered by the sanity and sweetness of living by working, Elizabeth becomes dissatisfied with Donald, who, lost in his dreams, feels artistically exempt from the responsibilities that confront him. Even the mad Rimplegars have learned to adopt more realistic standards of living, though they can never give up their peculiar humor and their innate flippancy.