Julius Kelp is a nerdy and not very handsome chemistry professor at small college. The mild mannered Kelp has been bullied all of his life and is now pushed around by his students, especially the football players. One of his students, the pretty Stella Purdy, encourages him to stand up to them but his approach is to develop a chemical solution that will turn him into a different man. What he develops turns him into Buddy Love, who Stella aptly describes as a rude and discourteous egomaniac. One thing he can't control however is when he turns back into Kelp, something that puts his secret in danger of becoming public.