Violet Sanford leaves her hometown of South Amboy, New Jersey, her father Bill, and her best friend Gloria, in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a songwriter in nearby New York City. Violet tries multiple times to get her demo tape noticed by the recording studios but is unsuccessful. One night, she tries to get herself noticed by a music industry scout. The bartender jokingly points out Kevin O'Donnell, making her believe that he is the bar owner. When she discovers the joke, Violet feels hurt because she thinks Kevin was trying to make her look foolish. With only a few dollars left in her pocket after her apartment is robbed, she goes to an all-night diner and notices three girls, Cammie, Rachel, and Zoe, flaunting the hundreds of dollars in tips they earned. After inquiring, she finds out that they work at a trendy bar named Coyote Ugly.