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All in the Family

Season 1 Episode 1

Meet the Bunkers

Aired Unknown Jan 12, 1971 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
72 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Meet the Bunkers
It's Edith and Archie Bunker's 22nd wedding anniversary and their daughter Gloria and her husband Mike are planning a surprise Sunday brunch. Edith is pleasantly surprised, however, Archie's "no big deal" attitude leads to a huge argument with his son-in-law on topics ranging from Archie's prejudices, problems with the nation's government and Mike's atheism.moreless

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  • Show went for too long...

    As long as Archie Bunker acted like a dope it was funny. Then until it got renened too many times.

    By the way Archie dislike of his son-in-law is justified when in the spin off Gloria it is revealed that Mike abandoned his wife and child to live in a hippe commue with a teen age hippie.
  • A groundbreaking episode for a groundbreaking TV show!

    It's ironic to note that this first episode was rated very poorly when it aired on prime-time TV in January, 1971 because hardly anybody watched. However, the few who saw this historical episode were rather shocked at what they heard: subject matter and language that were pretty much off-limits before this - especially on sitcoms.

    In one scene, Archie & Edith walk in the house after leaving church early. They see Gloria & Mike holding each other and kissing provocatively in their journey to the bedroom. Mike sees Archie & Edith, and says "You're early!" Archie replies "So are YOU!"

    A few minutes later, something was mentioned about the surprise anniversary party Gloria & Mike had planned for the Bunkers, and Archie (referring to Mike & Gloria's love-making) said "THEY were the ones having the surprise."

    These comments were pretty risque at the time, considering that most sitcoms before this were squeaky-clean.moreless
Jean Stapleton

Jean Stapleton

Edith Bunker

Rob Reiner

Rob Reiner

Michael Stivic (1971-1978)

Sally Struthers

Sally Struthers

Gloria Stivic (1971-1978)

Carroll O'Connor

Carroll O'Connor

Archie Bunker

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Throughout the series, Archie Bunker's brand of beer was never revealed.

    • The type of person Alf Garnet, Archie Bunker's counterpart in the original British version, hated most was catholics of irish descent. This is ironic because Archie Bunker was played by actor Caroll O'Connor who was irish catholic himself.

    • All in the Family was based on the British television series, Til Death Us Do Part.

    • Carroll O Connor (Archie) co-wrote the closing theme to All in the Family - "Remembering You."

    • The penultimate line of the theme song is "Gee, our old La Salle ran great." Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton slurred the line some, and the La Salle brand was not much remembered (it's a car), so few people could make sense of this line. In later seasons the opening theme was re shot and Stapleton pronounced the line phonetically "Gee..our..old..La Salle..ran..great" so that people could understand it easier.

    • "Meet the Bunkers" was actually the third "All in the Family" pilot filmed, although the only one aired in the '70s. ABC had filmed one under the title "And Justice for All" with Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton as Archie and Edith Justice and two other actors in the Mike and Gloria roles (Mike was Irish in this version) When ABC passed on the series, CBS filmed a pilot more or less like the aired version, but still with two other actors in the Mike and Gloria roles. These pilots remained unbroadcast until 1998 when TVLand aired one of them as part of its celebration of gaining the rights to air the show in its line-up.

    • Their doorbell is totally different from the rest of the series,including the flashback story of when Mike and Archie first met.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Mike: Now I suppose you're going to tell me that the black man has had the same opportunities in this country as you?
      Archie: More. He's had more. I didn't have no million people out there marching and protesting to get me my job.
      Edith: No. His uncle got it for him.

    • Archie: (complaining about the shortness of Gloria's miniskirt) Every time you sit down, the mystery's over.

    • Archie: When your mother-in-law and me was going around together, it was two years - we never - I never - I mean absolutely nothing, not 'til the wedding night.
      Edith: Yeah, and even then...

    • Archie: Oh my God, what a dingbat!

  • NOTES (7)

    • This episode was videotaped on December 15, 1970.

    • Gloria calls Edith mom and Archie dad in this episode, but throughout the series, Gloria calls Edith ma and Archie daddy.

    • This episode was voted #10 on "TVLand's Top 10 - All in the Family Episodes", originally aired 1/14/06

    • Mike Evans makes his first appearance in the recurring role of Lionel Jefferson.

    • Edith makes a very uncharacteristic remark in this episode, sarcastically calling Archie "Mr. Religion". This bit of dialog is most likely a hold over from the adaption of the original British script from "Till Death Us Do Part", in which the mother character is MUCH more openly sarcastic to the Alf father character.

    • It's rather surprising that here in a pilot many of the series' most popular catch-phrases and/or set-ups begin:
      1. Gloria's mini-skirts.
      2. Archie-ism's.
      3. Archie calling Edith a "Pip".
      4. Referencing Reverend Felcher.
      5. Archie says "Turlet" for toilet.
      6. Archie & Michael's disagreements.
      7. Michael's athiesm.
      8. Archie calling Edith a "Dingbat".
      9. Archie calling Gloria a "Little Goil".
      10. Archie's anti-semitism without realizing he's being anti-semitic.
      11. Archie confusing peopls names (i.e. Feinstein/Feinberg).
      12. Archie's racism without realizing he's being racist.
      13. Lionel acting silly to get the better of Archie without him realizing it.
      14. Archie calling Michael a "Pollack".

    • First ever Archie-ism (where Archie says the wrong word or a non-word): In my day, we was able to keep certain things in the proper SUSPECTIVE (perspective).