Everybody Loves Raymond episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 1
Directed byMichael Lembeck
Written byPhilip Rosenthal
Production code9601
Original air dateSeptember 13, 1996 (1996-09-13)
Guest appearance
Stephen Lee as Leo
Episode chronology
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"Pilot" is the first episode of the American television situation comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. The episode was directed by Michael Lembeck and written by Philip Rosenthal.


Debra is at home feeding the kids when Ray returns from a road trip. They start to discuss Debra's birthday plans before being interrupted by Marie. Debra then leaves Ray in charge of the kids as she goes to the movies with Linda.

Ray leaves with Leo to get pizza and places Marie in charge. When Debra returns home, she finds the house spotless but learns that Ray's parents were there. She starts to get angry at Ray because he didn't listen to her. This results in Debra asking Ray not to invite his parents to her birthday. Ray is reluctant, but eventually tells them that there is no party and makes up a story that Debra and he are going to Bear Mountain. On Debra's birthday, Ray's parents go to Ray's house to leave gifts for Debra, but find Debra and Ray there. Ray then explains why they can't come over every day. They accept it and ask Ray why is he so sensitive and Marie replies "because he's a writer", then they leave.


Entertainment Weekly rated the episode as an 'A' calling it "No small feat, considering the fate of this season's other most promising pilots".[1] TV.com rated the episode 8.5 out of 10 with 92 ratings.[2]



  1. ^ RAY OF HOPE (1996) Entertainment Weekly
  2. ^ Pilot TV.com