Ponyboy's favorite loves are reading and watching films--both at the local drive-in and in "the darkness of the movie house." This makes him a bit of a loner since "nobody in our gang digs movies and books the way I do"; and, as he confesses to Cherry, Pony also "digs" sunsets. Pony likes school more than his other greaser friends, running track at the local high school. Darry sees to it that Pony stays home on week nights: It keeps Pony's grades up and keeps him out of the trouble that the streets offer. Pony does enjoy hanging out with his greaser "gang," and he witnesses plenty of juvenile crimes and misbehavior though "Darry would kill me if I got into trouble with the police." Pony even participates in the occasional gang fight, but he hates violence and takes part in the rumble primarily out of loyalty to his friends.
Sodapop lives up to his name: He "never touches a drop" of alcohol; instead,
He gets drunk on just plain living. (Chapter 1)
Soda loves life and his girlfriend, Sandy. When he is not giving Darry back rubs or working full-time at the local DX gas station, where he "attracted girls like honey draws flies," he double-dates with his best friend, Steve Randle, whose "specialty" was stealing hubcaps. Soda used to saddle bronc in rodeos, and the boys "still hang around rodeos a lot." Soda spends more time on the streets than Pony--he is older and a high school dropout--and he is always ready for a fight. "I like fights... It's action. It's a contest."