Season 1 Episode 1

Give Me a Ring Sometime

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Sep 30, 1982 on NBC
out of 10
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113 votes

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Episode Summary

Stuffy & sophisticated Diane Chambers is dumped by her fiance in a blue collar Boston bar where she meets baseball star-turned-bar owner Sam Malone.

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  • This pilot set the tone for what was to come.

    Unlike most pilot episodes, (especially on sitcoms), they just about got it right the first time. Most of the cast of characters were included, and they didn\'t have to tinker with the personalities much. We already could see the tension between Sam and Diane, and Carla, Norm, and Coach were pretty well-defined from the start. As with any ensemble, there would be changes during the eleven season run, but the feel of the setting and the jokes were in place. We knew that Sumner wouldn\'t come back and we knew that Diane would have some sort of relationship with Sam. Diane already had that stuffy, pompous attitude that would irritate Sam and the others, while providing plenty of fodder for humor. And the bar itself presented its own charm from the beginning. All that remained to be done was write some great storylines.moreless
  • A wonderful start to a creative series.

    The first episode of Cheers was a classic and well written start to a television series that to this day is still my favorite. We are introduced to the characters that would enter our homes for years to come in a very straightforward and subtle manner.

    The episode does a great job of setting up what would end up being a complicated and entertaining relationship between Sam and Diane. Coach set the groundwork for his character who played his role to a tee. Cliff, Carla and Norm were also a great addition to this strong cast.

    The opening sceen and camera work were unique and creative as well.moreless
  • Great pilot episode!

    On this pilot episode, Diane Chambers suddenly finds herself dumped by her fiance and taking on a job as a waitress. I really can\'t imagine a better way to start a show that would later become a huge hit. This pilot is extremely well written, acted and produced. It seems as if this is one of the best pilots ever made and -yes- you can spot the potential right from the very beggining (although, this episode was a real disaster in the ratings). Nevertheless, everything needed to make a show a success is here. No wonder NBC picked it up.moreless
  • Absolute Classic

    What an absolute comedy classic. This episode introduces us to the Boston bar Cheers and all the great workers and customers. Cheers has got to be one of the greatest comedies of all time. I've been catching it on and off on TV Land for months but haven't seen the first episode until today. What a great introduction to a great series.
Rhea Perlman

Rhea Perlman

Carla Lozupone Tortelli

George Wendt

George Wendt

Hilary Norman "Norm" Peterson

Ted Danson

Ted Danson

Sam "Mayday" Malone

Shelley Long

Shelley Long

Diane Chambers

Nicholas Colasanto

Nicholas Colasanto

Ernie "Coach" Pantusso

John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger

Clifford C "Cliff" Clavin, Jr

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: Norm tells Sam that he his happy that he is proud of him beating his drinking problem. Norm then takes a "gulp" of beer from a quarter full glass of beer. They cut away from Norm and shortly go back to him where he now has a half full glass of beer in front of him.

    • Cliff is way, way, way out of uniform for his first appearance ever at the bar. He is wearing a blue letter carrier jacket with the round patch that features an express rider. This logo was replaced in 1970, when the USPS ceased being a cabinet agency, by the rightward facing blue eagle, perched atop the words "US Mail."

    • In Cheers, we see the front door in almost every episode. The front door of the famous Boston bar opens in. In Boston and all of Massachusetts, it is against the law to have an exit door open in. In 1942 a fire broke out in a Boston nightclub called the "Cocoanut Grove" They had doors that opened in like the the one in Cheers. People rushed the door trying to escape the flames. The door became blocked because of the people pushing forward.492 people died as a result of that fire and many fire code laws were changed shortly after, including all exit doors in a public places must swing out

    • About halfway through this episode, when Carla is making some small talk with Diane, she has a shot glass about half full on her tray. When the camera changes angles and again back to the first angle, the shot glass is empty.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Carla: He's not back yet?
      Diane: Uh, no.
      Carla: Why don't you make a run for it?
      Diane: You're a bitter little person, aren't you?

    • Everyone is asking why Diane is there.
      Coach: Take it easy, will ya. Sam's kind of shy about this sorta thing, so I'll fill ya in. She's a hooker.
      Sam: She's not a hooker. Look, she does not want to be bothered. She is waiting for her fiancee. They're going down to the Carribean tonight to get married. Okay?
      Everyone: Oh...
      Diane walks out of the bathroom and everyone begins to clap
      Sam: They missed you.

    • Sam: Take it easy, Coach.
      Coach: (talking about Sam's pitching career) No, I mean it! He was the very best. So sure as the Earth is round.
      Sam: You don't believe that, Coach.
      Coach: I never use to believe it, Sam, until I saw those pictures from the space shuttle.

    • Coach: Oh! Hi.
      Diane: Hello.
      Coach: I hope nobody told you the bus goes by here.
      Sam: No, Coach, she's going to be sitting here for a while...
      Diane: Um, excuse me, I hate to keep asking for special attention, but could you not discuss my private life with everyone that comes in.
      Sam: What would you like me to tell them?
      Diane: I don't care.
      Sam: to Coach She's a hooker.
      Coach: Oh, yeah!

    • Coach: You call that a football team?
      Sam: What's wrong, Coach?
      Coach: What's wrong? The Patriots did it again. This has gotta be the worst draft yet. They got a first round pick, right Sam. Did they get a jackrabbit for the back field? No! A gunslinger at quarterback? No! A linebacker, they get Sam, a linebacker.
      Sam: I don't know, Coach. I've seen a good linebacker turn the whole team around.
      Coach: Yeah, me too.

    • Diane: Sumner, am I stupid to let you go see a woman you were once in love with?
      Sumner: Oh, my darling, I'm leaving you alone in a bar. (turns to Sam) Which one of us is the stupider, Sam?
      Sam: Too close to call.

    • Diane: What he actually said was "Come with me, and be my love, and we will some new pleasures prove." That's Dunn.
      Sam: I certainly hope so.

    • Diane: Sumner, this is crazy.
      Sumner: Diane, we're about to be married.
      Diane: I know...
      Teenager: Married! Congratulations! Why don't we celebrate with a drink.
      Sumner: Ah, I think not.
      Teenager: I give it six months.
      Sumner: Perhaps we won't have children right away.

    • Sam: You must have fought in Vietnam?
      Teenager: Oh, yeah!
      Sam: What was it like?
      Tennager: It was gross!
      Sam: Yeah, that's what they say, war is gross.

    • Coach: (answering the phone) Cheers... (yelling out to the customers) Is there an Ernie Pantuso here?
      Sam: That's you, Coach.
      Coach: Speaking

    • (The phone rings. Diane answers it.)
      Diane: Hello? Sam?
      (Sam comes out of his office drinking coffee.)
      Diane: Are you Sam?
      Sam: (mumbles with his mouth full) Yes.
      Diane: (into phone) Yes, he's here. (hands Sam the phone) Someone named Vicki.
      Sam: (backs away, mouth still full) No no no no no!

    • Sam: What are you qualified to do?
      Diane: Nothing.

    • Diane: Sumner, how about a kiss?
      Sumner: Maybe, I'll play it by ear.

    • Sumner: I can't fly to Barbados when I'm this confused.
      Diane: Sumner, it's okay. The pilot knows the way.

    • Diane: Excuse me, where is your bathroom?
      Coach: Next to my bedroom.
      Sam: Down the hall.

    • Diane (about Sam): You were a drunk?
      Coach: Are you kidding? He was a great drunk?

    • Carla (talking about Diane): How long is the wimp convention in town?

    • Sam: How you doing, Norm? What do you know?
      Norm: Not enough.

    • Sumner (talking about Diane): I would appreciate it if you would keep an eye on her.
      Sam: For you Sumner old man, I'll keep both my eyes on her.

    • (talking about how he made the decision to marry Diane)
      Sumner: I looked up from my Proust. She had her nose in her Yeats. I said to myself I would be crazy to let this girl get out of my life.

    • Coach: Norm, you're in here every night, doesn't your wife ever wonder where you're at?
      Norm: Wonders.... doesn't care, but she wonders.

    • Diane has just taken a message for Sam on the telephone:
      Diane: (re: message) "You're a magnificent pagan beast."
      Sam: Thanks. What's the message?

    • (The very first words spoken on Cheers)
      Teenager: How about a beer, Chief?

  • NOTES (14)

    • The original setting was going to be a hotel lobby, but was changed to a bar.

    • This episode was filmed on April 20, 1982.

    • TV Guide citation: In the October 9, 1982 issue of TV Guide, there is a feature article on Ted Danson which contains quotes from creator Glen Charles about the show's genesis. Also, there are quotes from Shelley Long and Nicholas Colasanto about their costar.

      "The show grew out of an NBC guarantee to Les and Glen Charles and James Burrows to develop a 13-week unspecified series. "We wanted to do an ensemble show, like M*A*S*H or Taxi, rather than a family story," Glen Charles says. "First we thought of setting it in a hotel, to bring a lot of different people together. Then we realized that much of the action takes place in the bar, so we dropped the hotel and concentrated on the bar."
      "Being sports fans, we decided our bar owner would be an ex-football player. We actually tested some ex-players (most notably Fred Dryer) for the role. But we finally decided we needed a professional actor to carry the role. Ted had made an episode of Taxi and we saw him in 'Body Heat," and he seemed to have the right blend of humor and character, and the right responses for a leading man. Except that he was the most unathletic person we tested. So we rebuilt the show to suit him. With his height and build, he could be a baseball player. We concluded that a former relief pitcher would add humor to the show since some of them, like Tug McGraw, tend to be flaky anyway. And all of his friends would not have to be 275 pounds. Now we find him developing into a jock before our eyes." He smile. "Of course, we wouldn't let him throw a baseball yet. That might be a little risky."

      Shelley Long then adds, "We tested together for the parts and that was real Tension City. Ted kept saying, 'Oh gee, I'm not good at improvisation, I'm not good at comedy,' and I said, 'Oh, pshaw, you're a good actor, that's the No. 1 priority in improvisation.' We did two scenes from the pilot and he was terrific. On the other hand, the other day I called him up about some business matter and wound up crying on his shoulder about this week's show. It was his turn to reassure me. It's like in the show itself. The show's not so much about his character or my character, but about two people who care for each other and help each other."

      Nicholas Colasanto adds, "Teddy and I have a real father-and-son relationship," says Colasanto, a veteran of 30 years in show business who counts Cheers among "eight or ten things I'm proud of. We give a lot of help to each other."

    • TV GUIDE Citation: In the August 14, 1982 issue of TV Guide NBC Chairman Grant Tinker is the subject of a feature article. Tinker states that NBC will have several quality shows this season. His mention of Cheers states:

      "Cheers, a fast paced romantic comedy produced by former MTM producers that will provide the television audience with a little less sizzle and a little more substance."

      This is very important because the ratings were so low that the show may have been saved from cancellation by the fact that Tinker and NBC President of Entertainment Brandon Tartikoff were unabashed fans of Cheers.

    • TV GUIDE Citation: The first notice of Cheers to appear in the magazine was in the April 3, 1982 issue. NBC made an annoucement of 5 new shows for the upcoming fall season with very brief plot descriptions. Cheers reads as follows:

      "Cheers, a half-hour comedy about a former major league player who now runs a neighborhood bar."

    • NBC rebroadcast this episode on December 23, 1982 and July 21, 1983.

    • Cheers Theme song lyrics:
      Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
      Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

      Wouldn't you like to get away?

      Sometimes you want to go

      Where everybody knows your name,
      and they're always glad you came.
      You wanna be where you can see,
      our troubles are all the same
      You wanna be where everybody knows
      Your name.

      You wanna go where people know,
      people are all the same,
      You wanna go where everybody knows
      your name.

    • The theme song is called Where Everybody Knows Your Name and was written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo.

    • This episode ranked 77/77 shows in the same time slot.

    • When Coach asks Sam what Diane's story is, he says she's a hooker. Shelley Long played a hooker in the 1981 film 'Night Shift'.

      Also, during the debate on the sweatiest movie ever made, Cliff mentions 'Body Heat'. When this happens the camera shows Sam smiling. Ted Danson played William Hurt's lawyer in this movie.

    • The silhouetted photo of Sam "Mayday" Malone in his baseball days that hangs in the bar is actually a photo of Jim Lonborg, a Boston Red Sox pitcher in the 1960s and early '70s. Lonborg wore No. 16 for the Red Sox which was the same number that Sam wore.

    • The shot most often cut in syndication is Sam Malone, alone, walking in from the back room, and getting the bar ready. This shot is bookended by Sam leaving the bar area to the back room in the very last episode.

    • The Charles brothers won an Emmy for this episode.

    • When the gang tries to name the sweatiest movie ever made, Cliff suggests Body Heat which co-starred Ted Danson.


    • Sam: Yeah, that's what they say, war is gross.

      The actual saying is "War is Hell".

    • Diane and Sumner: "Come live with me, and be my love / And we will some new pleasures prove" Diane and Sumner are quoting the first two lines of John Donne's "The Bait".