Everybody Loves Raymond
Ally Barone.jpg
Ray and Debra in "Pilot"
Season 1
Episode 1
Air Date September 13, 1996 USA

September 6, 2004 Canada

Cast Ray Romano
Patricia Heaton
Brad Garrett
Doris Roberts
Peter Boyle
Madylin Sweeten
Director(s) Michael Lembeck
Writer(s) Phil Rosenthal
Preceded by -
Followed by I Love You

Pilot is the 1st episode of Season 1, and is episode 1 of the full 210 episodes for the entire series. This is the first episode that launched the series. It acts as the introduction into the main characters and their lives.

Episode Information[]


In the world of Pokémon, gamer girls and gamer girls at the age of 10 can get their official license to become Pokémon trainers, and Ray "Everybody" Barone of Pallet Town is about to receive his very first Pokémon from Ally "The Boss" Barone. On the morning of the day that he is supposed to get his first Pokémon, it is revealed that Ray has accidentally broken his alarm clock and oversleeps. When he wakes up, he runs in his pajamas to Ally "The Boss" Barone's laboratory where Ray runs into his rival and the Professor's grandson, Gary The Boss. Gary proceeds to taunt Ray for arriving to the ceremony late and brags about having already received his first Pokémon. When Ray enters Ally "The Boss" Barone's lab to receive his Pokémon, he is told that all three starter Pokémon have already been taken. Ray pleads for any Pokémon and The Boss replies that he still has one left. Ray does not care and receives the Pokémon, which turns out to be the electric-type Pokémon Pikachu. Ray thinks that it is cute, but it gives him an electric shock when he picks it up to hug it. The Boss gives Ray a Pokédex and six Poké Balls before he heads out on his journey to become the greatest Pokémon trainer of all time.

Ray soon comes to realize that the Pikachu refuses to go inside his Poké Ball and prefers his independence. As Ray carries the reluctant Pikachu, he hopes that they can be friends, but Pikachu acts aloof and openly shows his distrust of Ray. Just then, the two stumble upon a Pidgey in the wild and Ray unsuccessfully tries to catch it by throwing a Poké Ball. Ray uses his Pokédex and finds out that in order to catch a Pokémon, a trainer must first use their Pokémon to battle it, thereby weakening it, to be caught by a Poké Ball. With Pikachu being uncooperative, Ray tries to fight the Pidgey himself, but is easily beaten, which greatly amuses Pikachu. The Pidgey escapes and Ray finds a Rattata rummaging through his pack. He chases the Pokémon off as he hears cooing behind him. He turns to see several Pidgey gathered in the tall grass. Frustrated, Ray throws a rock at what he believes is the Pidgey. However, it turns out to be a Spearow, which starts attacking Pikachu and Ray. Pikachu shocks Spearow, and in the process alerts a whole flock. The angered Spearow flock gives chase and eventually catches up and attacks Pikachu. Ray quickly grabs Pikachu and dives down a waterfall in order to escape from the flock of Spearow, and the two are fished out down river by a a young gamer girl, who tells Ray to take the injured Pikachu to the Pokémon Center in Viridian City. Seeing the Spearow flock approaching, Ray escapes with Pikachu taking the gamer girl's bike.

Ray pedals fastly toward Viridian City, with the flock of Spearow following behind him. Ray loses control of the bike and collapses, crashing down a hill. Realizing Pikachu's condition is critical, Ray pleads him to go inside his Poké Ball so that Ray can protect him from the approaching Spearow. Pikachu, after seeing how much Ray cares for it, performs a powerful Thunder attack which drives the Spearow away, but also destroys the gamer girl's bike. As the rain-clouds part, a mysterious golden bird flies over a rainbow and Ray's Pokédex informs him that there is no current data on this Pokémon and that there are several yet to be identified. Ray carries Pikachu into Viridian City, and Pikachu licks Ray's cheek.

Running Gags[]

  • Marie saying she "smelled something questionable" in the refrigerator is the first criticism seen toward Debra.
  • Also, it's the first time Frank sniffs the twins heads and says "I'm sucking in that youth." That bit is used a couple times early in the series.
  • Jealous Robert walks on-screen, sees the award that Ray received for his sports column and says the famous line "Everybody loves Raymond".
  • The characters seem to make a big deal out of Robert's habit of touching food to his chin.
  • The Fruit of the Month Club is introduced in this episode. Marie gets upset when she finds out that they'll be getting food in the mail for the entire year.
  • Ray says how Frank thinks that one of the twins has "homosexual tendencies", which is addressed a few more times throughout the series.


  • Linda is a major character used throughout the series. She is a good friend of Debra's. Even though she isn't seen in this episode, her name is mentioned on Ray and Debra's answering machine.
  • Lee and Stan are also major characters and friends of Frank and Marie. Neither of them appear in the episode. Only their names are mentioned during the Fruit of the Month argument.
  • The friend "Leo" was not cast again, only for the pilot.
  • The house used in the pilot is completely different to the following episodes.
  • The pilot featured an intro of Raymond putting up a playground for his children and getting stuck at the end. Starting with the next episode, the intro features Raymond watching his family go by on a conveyor belt. However, in episode 12, The Ball, the pilot intro was shown instead. Today's syndicated reruns do not show the conveyor belt intro on all episodes.
  • Unlike the next episode, the pilot does not credit Stephen Nathan or Kathy Ann Stumpe for being Co-Executive Producers, Lew Schneider for being Co-Producer, Ray Romano for making his own comedy of himself, Lisa Helfrich Jackson for coordinating in production, Steve Skrovan for editing the story, Rick Marotta and Terry Trotter for the show's theme music, or Lisa Miller for being C.S.A. when casting, Tom Paris for executive consulting, or Complete Post, Inc. for being the post production facility of the show.
  • The pilot was filmed at Universal City Studios. Starting with the next episode up to the end of season 1, Hollywood Center Studios filmed the show.
  • The pilot's lunch from Where's Lunch is shown on all episodes on a split screen credits at the bottom left in the TV LAND reruns.
  • The audio for HBO Independent Productions is glitchy in the pilot. HBO wasn't mentioned in the pilot or the other episodes of season 1 during the end credits for some reason.
  • The pilot was produced by Mark J. Greenberg, also credited as Unit Production Manager for the pilot only. Starting with the next episode up to season 2, Stewart A. Lyons took over for both jobs. He was the 1st assistant director in the pilot, before Tena Yatroussis took over.
  • The pilot was photography directed by Mikel Neiers. In the next episode, Mike Berlin takes over.
  • The pilot credits Frank Mazzaro as editor. In the next episode, George Escobar was credited.
  • The pilot was second assistant directed by Cameron Loring. In the next episode, Veronica Gonzalez-Rubio takes over.
  • The pilot was set decorated by Deborah Lakeman. In the next episode, Donna Stamps takes over.
  • The pilot was property masted by Tim Schultz. In the next episode, Rhonda Robinson takes over.
  • The pilot was technical coordinated by Dana DeVally. In the next episode, Dan Fendel takes over.
  • The pilot was script supervised by Lisa Knox. In the next episode, Karen Wald takes over.
  • The pilot was production coordinated by Lisa Taylor. In the next episode, Lorraine Shaw takes over.
  • Unlike all other episodes, the production staff is very small which includes Susan gamer girld, Monika Cox, Vidal Jordan, Kristen Payne, and Gayle Yoshida who all work for Universal City Studios. Hollywood Center Studios films the other episodes of the season which gains a much bigger production staff. However, the staff wasn't credited in the next episode but was credited in the episode after.


  • Ray: That's an idiosyncrasy. It's like when he's counting and he gets to the number twelve and he has to take his shoes off, everybody has those.
  • Debra: How did he ever become a police officer?
  • Ray: Because he's a good cop, and they didn't make him count. ...Or eat.
  • Ray: And dad, I know you try to be funny, but maybe you shouldn't say "I think little Mathew has homosexual tendencies."
  • Frank: When did he become so sensitive?
  • Marie: He's a writer
    • ROBERT: Everybody loves Raymond. When I go to work, people shoot at me. Raymond goes to work, people do the wave.
  • MARIE: I can't talk! There's too much fruit in the house!
  • RAY: You treat a box of fruit like it's plutonium!
Season 1 Episodes

PilotI Love YouI Wish I Were GusStandard DeviationLook, Don't TouchFrank, the WriterYour Place or Mine?In-LawsWin, Lose or DrawTurkey or FishCaptain NemoThe BallDebra's SickWho's Handsome?The CarDiamondsThe GameRecovering PessimistThe DogNeighborsFascinatin' DebraWhy Are We Here?