Bobby Eckert (Paul Le Mat) is a directionless auto mechanic who spends his free time playing pool and racing cars. Rose Miller (Dianne Hull) is a young woman who lives with her mother (Martine Bartlett) and her five-year-old son Erick (Erick Hines). On their first date, Bobby plays a prank that unintentionally gets a teenage cashier killed. Bobby goes on the run, and Rose leaves her family to join him. They meet Texans Buford (Tim McIntire) and Donna Sue (Leigh French), who invite them to go to Mexico with them. Things don't go as planned.
Aloha, Bobby and Rose contains examples of:
- Brandishment Bluff: Bobby pokes a jerky stick into the cashier's back, pretending it's a gun, to scare him and amuse Rose. Unfortunately, the store owner comes out at that moment, brandishing a real shotgun. Rose hits him on the head with a vase, causing him to fall over. The gun goes off, hitting the cashier.
- Cry into Chest: Rose cries into Bobby's chest because she misses Erick, and later because her plan to take Erick with them didn't work.
- Disappeared Dad: Rose's dad never came back from The Korean War. Also, Erick's father walked out on them four years ago.
- Flipping the Bird: Buford flips off some jerks in a truck who damaged his car and almost got in a fight with him.
- How Dad Met Mom: The movie opens with Rose's mother telling her about how she quit her job and then met Rose's father. He was strikingly handsome, and she describes their romantic first date.
- I Call It "Vera": Buford introduces his gun as Uncle Frank.
- Shoot Him! He Has a... Wallet!: Cops see Bobby reaching for his belt. One of them shouts, "He has a gun!" and shoots him dead.