Ivan Aleksandrovich Khlestakov and his servant Osip come to the provincial town of N. Khlestakov goes to the gambling house and loses all his money there. He is desperate because he wants to eat, but he has no money to buy food.

At this time, Anton Antonovich Skvoznik-Dmuhanovsky receives a secret information that a Government Inspector is visiting the town, incognito, to look in to the affairs of Public Administration in that town.

On the street Khlestakov meets Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky. Officials ask Osip who is Khlestakov and where he comes from. Khlestakov is taken up as the visiting Government Inspector. The officers and the mayor try to please Khlestakov.

Dmukhanovsky invites the official to his house. Anna Andreevna and Marya Antonovna are happy to meet the guest. But Anton Antonovich is concerned. He even sees nightmares.

The next morning, many officials come to meet Khlestakov. At first, Khlestakov is shy, but then he becomes bolder and begins to take bribes from officials. Then he asks Dmukhanovsky for permission to marry Marya Antonovna. Anton Antonovich is happy and surprised. He imagines the luxurious life that awaits him after his daughter’s wedding.

But the mystery is revealed! Khlestakov is not the Governmental Inspector, he is an impostor.

Khlestakov runs away from the city. Meanwhile, the real Government Inspector asks officials to come to him for inspection.