|Ray and Debra in "Pilot"|
|Air Date||September 13, 1996|
|Cast|| Ray Romano |
|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 Title: Pilot
- Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 1 (#1 of 210)
- Air Date: September 13, 1996
- Episode description (from DVD): "Debra asks Ray to keep his parents away from her birthday party for a change. Ray agrees, but lies to his family, saying there'll be no party for Debra."
- Followed by: "I Love You"
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.
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.
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.
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 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 associate produced by Maureen Milmore. In the next episode, Holli Gailen takes 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 Boyd, 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.
- 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!