Everybody Loves Raymond
Pilot screenshot
Ray and Debra in "Pilot"
Season 1
Episode 1
Air Date September 13, 1996
Cast Ray Romano
Patricia Heaton
Brad Garrett
Doris Roberts
Peter Boyle
Madylin Sweeten
Amber, Drew and Justin Ferreira
Stephen Lee
Director(s) Michael Lembeck
Writer(s) Phil Rosenthal
Preceded by -
Followed by I Love You

Pilot is the first episode of Season 1 of Everybody Loves Raymond 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[]


The episode begins with Ray arriving home from a sports-related road trip he was covering. He walks in to the kitchen where Debra is frantically trying to control Ally and the twins. While Ray mentions that Cal Ripkin signed his hat, Debra mentions how one of the twins spit up on her shirt.

Later, Debra goes out to the movies and leaves Ray to take care of the kids. While Debra is gone, Ray's friend Leo arrives at the door and wants to take Ray out to Nemo's Pizza. Ray then allows his mother Marie to babysit for him. When Ray gets back, he finds the house in shambles. He kicks out his parents and brother and hurriedly cleans before Debra gets home.

Later that night, Debra finds out the Marie, Frank and Robert were yet again interfering with their lives. She demands that Ray tell them NOT to come to her birthday party the following weekend.

Afraid to tell his parents "no", Ray ends up lying to them, saying that he and Debra are going to Bear Mountain for her birthday.

That Sunday, on Debra's birthday, they are at home and getting a bit intimate when Frank, Marie, and Robert barge in expecting them to be away at Bear Mountain.

Ray then has to tell everyone that he lied and tells his parents and brother to get out because he and Debra want to spend the day alone.

Afterward, as things begin getting romantic again for Ray and Debra, Ally interrupts them.

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.


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.

Production Notes[]

As this is the pilot episode, there are some differences when compared to the rest of the season:

  • The Ferreira triplets are cast as twins Matthew and Gregory in the pilot episode only. When the crew got the green light to make it into a series, Sullivan and Sawyer Sweeten (Madylin Sweeten's real life brothers) were cast as the twins. And their names were changed from Matthew and Gregory to Michael and Geoffrey.
  • The difference that sets all the rest is that the pilot was filmed at Universal City Studios, not Hollywood Center Studios. Because of this, the following people only worked on the pilot:
    • Mark J. Greenberg as the one who produced and the unit production manager
    • Maureen Milmore as associate producer
    • Mikel Neiers as director of photography
    • Frank Mazzaro as editor
    • Cameron Loring as second assistant director
    • Deborah Lakeman as set decorator
    • Tim Schultz as property manager
    • Lisa Knox as script supervisor
    • Lisa Taylor as production coordinator
    • Susan Boyd, Monika Cox, Vidal Jordan, Kristen Payne, and Gayle Yoshida as the production staff
  • Stewart A. Lyons was the first assistant director for the pilot. He will move up to the unit production manager and produce the rest of of Season 1 and all of Season 2.
  • Dana DeValley was the technical coordinator for the pilot, credited as Dana Devally. She will sub for Kenneth R. Shapiro in the episode Recovering Pessimist.
  • Original airings didn’t have the copyright sign to the disclaimer, but was added in today’s syndicated reruns.
  • This episode only had executive producers in the after-intro credits, before the produced, written, and directed credits.
  • There was no coordinating producer, story editor, or executive consultant.
  • Ray’s comedy, the theme music composers, Lisa Miller’s casting degree, and the post-production facility were not credited.


  • 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!

External links[]

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?