Gurney Slade leaves the studio during the making of a television sitcom, a walk allows time to think of new words and the thoughts of passers-by, and a policeman confronts him when he drops a newspaper on the floor.
Gurney wonders why he even needs words when he spots his dream girl, a spare comes in handy when a Love-at-First-Sight test goes wrong, and asking a husband about his choice of mate sees him abandon his family.
Gurney wonders whether he'd be eaten if he had to live the life of an ant, a dog reveals how he has three humans to help him out on the farm, and a well refuses to grant a wish for strength when it's offered a dud penny.
Gurney defends himself against charges of having no sense of humour, the prosecuting counsel shows a piece about a countersunk screw, and a model from an advertising poster is asked about his facial expression.
A group of children are told about a land where people can be their best, a wedding guest is left puzzled when a lady friend has a change of heart, and rubbing a tinker's pot forces Gurney to take a trip into his own mind.
Gurney finds that he's seen as nothing more than a performing machine, the characters he's created wonder what's going to become of them, and the cast decide to have a bit of a rave in their last ten minutes together.