Charlie Chaplin a Tramp character finds himself at a circus where he is immediately gets chased around by the police who think he is a pickpocket. Running into the bigtop, he is an accidental sensation with his hilarious efforts to elude the police. The ringmaster/owner immediately hires him, but discovers that Charlie cannot be funny on purpose, so he takes advantage of the situation by making Chaplin a janitor just happens to always in the Bigtop at showtime. Unaware of this exploitation, the Tramp falls for the owner's lovely acrobatic daughter, who is abused by her father. His chances seem good, until a dashing rival comes in and Charlies feels he has to compete with him.
The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.