Dawson's Creek

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jan 20, 1998 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
198 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Film-buff Dawson finds his best friend, Joey, growing jealous of his attraction to a neighbor's granddaughter. Meanwhile, pal Pacey falls in love with a mystery woman, who is really a teacher at Capeside.

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  • You don't jump into that kind of drama from the first episode.

    An overall AVERAGE pilot. A little too desperate in my oponion. It's like the writers are saying Please please watch our show, we have everything. We have hot characters and sex talk and lots of other drama in store for you and as pathetic as all the drama being mixed together was, it worked. I mean seriousley the writers just took a huge ball of drama and threw it in our faces. The Joey turning into a woman and being jealous of Jen and Jen being an athiast and Jen's relegious grandmother and Pacey's encounter with that teacher and Dawson's mother cheating on her father and Dawson not getting into the film making class. It was just too much. It was like getting an overdose of what you wanted from the first episode. They also made Joey's charater more obnoxious than she should be. He rudness towards Jen on that date wasn't funny or entertainging. It was just like Joey was saying saying " I'm a b!tch ". How do you expect me to like and feel for a main character like Joey if you make her act this way on the first episode. As a critic I saw it was AVERAGE and flawed in many ways but as a fan.....I loved it. Fun to watch and very heartwarming.moreless
  • Jen, the new girl, arrives in Capeside and Dawson falls in love at first sight. Joey has trouble telling Dawson that things can't be the same between them. Pacey flirts with Tamara Jacobs, the new teacher at Capeside High.moreless

    The "Pilot" episode was great way to start the series. It establishes the unique characters and the issues that they deal with. I love how all the teenagers are really smart and they use vocabulary that teenagers on other shows wouldn't use. I love Dawson and Joey's friendship and how it's establishes right away that they are the type of friends who tell each other everything. I love how Dawson jokes around about his mom having an affair. It's so interesting how Joey catches Gail having an affair with another mom. I love how Jen is introduced with Dawson falling in love at first sight and Joey completley jealous. I thought it was so funny how Jen stated that she was an atheist and the look on Gram's face is hysterical. I love how Dawson is filming a movie in this episode. I love that he's a film buff because I can really relate to his character. Pacey/Tamara kiss is genious. I love how there's a student/teacher relationship in show that's not afraid to make risk especially a show made in 1998.moreless
  • Addictive!

    The pilot episode showed right at the beginning that Joey and Dawson were close friends but their friendship was changing as they grew. Interesting how Dawson didn't think it mattered when he shared a bed when with Joey. Climbing up the ladder to his window really is something that I found very intimate between them, which hopefully will not go away in the future episodes which I will keep watching. The conversations between Joey and Dawson were just great. Or should I say, I got addictived to this show just by what she has to say to him all the time.

    How come Dawson didn't see Joey getting jealous? I am sure Pacey got that part.moreless
  • Classic Episode. The End Of Everything Simple; The Beginning Of Everything Else...

    In the pilot episode we learn that Dawson and Joey are best frtiends entering the 10th grade. Dawson's bff is Pacey, who is a slacker who thinks he is a ladies man. We meet the NY vixen Jen Lindley who is the object of Dawson's desire, much to the unliking of Joey.

    Jen has a crazy, fanatical religious extremist grandma who keeps her on a tight leash. We learned that Dawson's dad is a stud, and Dawson's mom is a sexy adultress.

    But the highlight of the pilot was the relationship of Pacey, and his englisg teacher Tamara Jacobs. I remember when this episode first aired, people were mad about this storyline; saying that is was to "unrealistic", but in actuality it was a brutally honest storyline. Unless you never watch the news, you will see that teachers are in relationships with high school students all the time. Thank you Paul Stupin, and Kevin Williamson for shedding light on this sexy topic. I wish hot teachers were doing that when I was in school.moreless
  • the beginning of a great show

    Well overall I thought this episode was great. We are introduced to the great Friendship of Dawson and Joey, and the troubled feeling that they feel at a weird time in their life (they are around 15 and Joey feels that they are now too old to share a bed etc - even though the real reason is that she really likes Dawson!!)

    I think this episode gives a good taster to what is to come, the stories are great and the show is brilliant, espcially Joey's reaction to Jen appearing into their lives by moving in next door to her love Dawson!

    You can tell from watching this episode that there is a lot of drama to come!moreless
George Gaffney

George Gaffney

Bodie Wells

Guest Star

Evan Kelly

Evan Kelly

Roger Fulford

Guest Star

Rick Forrester

Rick Forrester

Big Guy

Guest Star

Mitchell Laurance

Mitchell Laurance

Mr. Benjamin Gold

Recurring Role

Leann Hunley

Leann Hunley

Ms. Tamara Jacobs

Recurring Role

Nicole Nieth

Nicole Nieth

Nellie Oleson

Recurring Role

Watch Online

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • Pacey mentions having three sisters, however we only ever see two: Gretchen and Kerry.

    • Goof: Dawson says that Joey has been sleeping over every Saturday since they were 7. However, when Jen is talking to her grandmother about Dawson and Joey, Grams says that Joey has been climbing through the window and sleeping in Dawson's bed for 10 years.

    • Since Capeside is a harbor city located along the Atlantic Ocean in a long bay with sparse housing, the separation between homes often requires taking a boat as a short cut, just like Joey does.

    • Goof: Even though season 1 takes place from fall to spring in the state of Massachusetts, the realities of a Massachusetts winter (snow, heavy clothes, etc.) never appeared.

    • The scene when Dawson rides up on his bike to talk to Joey as she is walking along the road was filmed in two different locations: Dawson's side of the scene was shot in downtown Southport while Joey's side was shot in a Marina about a mile away.

    • Goof: Dawson makes a comment about how Steven Spielberg never had sex in his films but this is not true. At least two of his movies did: The Color Purple and 1941. Schindler's List also has a sex scene in it when Oscar is having sex in his office. However, this scene is the only nudity in the movie that is strictly gratuitous.

    • Goof: Jen's bangs are longer in those scenes with Grams than in all other scenes. This is because the scenes involving Grams were shot later.

    • Goof: When Joey is explaining Dawson her reasons not to sleep over, she is getting her shoes on and lacing them. Immediatly after, as she is putting her coat on, Dawson teases her with the "Josephine" bit, so she jumps to the bed and both "fight" with him, only to give in and get in bed. In that moment we can see she is barefoot, and as the camera shows the big picture of the room, we see her shoes by the bed.

    • We learn Pacey has three sisters.

    • Dawson, Joey, Pacey, and Jen start their first day of 10th grade.

    • Famous Firsts: Pacey's first kiss (with Tamara Jacobs).

    • Goof: Pacey and Dawson walk into Dawson's house, Pacey's shirt is cream-colored with vertical stripes down the front. Once inside, he is in a totally different shirt, a white one with horizontal and vertical stripes.

    • Katie Holmes did not row the boat in this episode. The boat was actually pulled by a rope that remained hidden by the camera.

    • In the scene where Dawson, Joey, Jen and Pacey are entering the Rialto, part of a wireless microphone can be seen on the back of actress Katie Holmes when she raises her arms and turns around.

    • Goof: When the kids go to school, the camera clearly shows a sign with "Capeside High School Home of the Wildcats" in one shot and then just moments later it shows "Capeside High School Home of the Minutemen". In the hallways, there is a "Go Wildcats" sign.

      (Editor's Note: The reason for this goof is because in the unaired pilot the school mascot was the Wildcats. For the aired pilot some scenes where added/reshot, by this time the mascot had been changed to the Minutemen.)

  • QUOTES (27)

    • Joey: We're growing up, that's all. I mean even Spielberg outgrew his Peter Pan syndrome.

    • Dawson: So you've met Roger Fulford?
      Jen: Yeah. Nice guy.
      Dawson: Yeah. Jock quarterback by day, schizoprenic transvestite by night. That's what you call a Tori Spelling complex. He's partial to Victoria's Secret. Just so you know.
      Jen: But can he run in pumps?

    • Joey: You're just looking for conflict. Everything's a potential script to you. Accept your perfect life Dawson.

    • Jen: Hmm. A long shot here. A Spielberg fan?
      Dawson: Pretty much worship the man in a god-like way.

    • Pacey: Can you say wet brain?
      Nellie: I'm sorry, what did you say? Did you toss a negative disparaging remark my way? Because if you did, and correct me if I'm wrong, I'd like to remind you who you are.
      Pacey: I know. I know. Your dad owns the place.
      Nellie: No. I'm talking about the huge, rotating world of life.
      Pacey: And who am I Nellie?
      Nellie: Nobody. That's the point. You're not there, you don't even exist, because if you did, I might care to respond to your pathetic little under-the-breath one liners. But instead, I take comfort knowing you're vapor. Pff. Pff. Non-existent. Nothing.

    • Joey: I just think our emerging hormones are destined to alter our relationship and I'm trying to limit the fallout.

    • Joey: Things change Dawson. Evolve.

    • Jen: Hey Joey, I love your lipstick. What shade is that?
      Joey: Wicked red. I love your hair color. What number is that?

    • Dawson: We're friends, okay? No matter how much body hair we acquire. Deal?
      Joey: Deal.

    • (To Dawson)
      Pacey: So, if your dad is Mr. Man Meat, does that make you Mr. Man Meat Jr. or Mr. Man Meat II?

    • Pacey: You blew it, lady. Because I'm the best sex you'll never have.
      Ms. Jacobs: You're wrong about one thing, Pacey. You're not a boy.

    • Joey: Nothing penetrates with you, Dawson. You're so far removed from reality you can't even see what's right in front of you.

    • Pacey: (Shocked as Ms. Jacobs walks in) Tamara.
      Ms. Jacobs: Hello, Pacey. Tell you what, why don't you call me Ms. Jacobs during school hours.

    • Jen: And why movies? What's the attraction there?
      Dawson: I reject reality.

    • Dawson: (To Joey) Your emerging hormones aren't developing a thang for me, are they?
      Joey: A "thang"? No, I'm not getting a "thang" for you, Dawson. I've known you too long. I've seen you burp, barf, pick your nose, scratch your butt. I don't think I'm getting a thang for you.

    • Joey: And I have breasts.
      Dawson: What?
      Joey: And you have genitalia.
      Dawson: I've always had genitalia.
      Joey: But there's more of it.
      Dawson: How do you know?
      Joey: Long fingers. I gotta go.

    • Dawson: See I believe that all of the mysteries of the universe, all the answers to life's questions, can be found in a Spielberg film. It's a theory I've been working on. See, whenever I have a problem all I have to do is look to the right Spielberg movie and the answer is revealed.

    • Dawson: There seems to have been some confusion with my schedule. I was denied admittance to your film class.
      Mr. Gold: Then you must be a sophomore.
      Dawson: And that's not a good thing?
      Mr. Gold: It's a very popular class Dawson. Seating is limited. There's a waiting list, priority goes to upperclassmen.
      Dawson: Well that's stupid.
      Mr. Gold: Excuse me?
      Dawson: Who made that rule?
      Mr. Gold: I did.
      Dawson: Oh.

    • Pacey: Man, video woman is my new English teacher. Okay? You, me, the movies tonight. We are stalking a faculty member.
      Dawson: Dude, negative.
      Pacey: What?! I actually have the possibility of losing my virginity in a high level fantasy fashion.

    • Pacey: Listen, it is a fact that a large percentage of older women are attracted to young boys on the verge of manhood. Okay. It keeps them feeling young. I read that in Cosmopolitan.
      Dawson: What are you doing reading Cosmopolitan?
      Pacey: Look, I have three menstrually diverse sisters, okay. Cosmo is my savior.

    • Pacey: My God, look at her!
      Dawson: Show some respect. She's somebody's mother.
      Pacey: I have it on pretty good authority that mother's have excellent sex lives, alright.

    • Dawson: I have a semi-quasi date with Jen tonight, were going to the movies with Pacey and I need you come with us.
      Joey: I'd rather go down in a plane crash.

    • Grams: Where exactly are you going?
      Jen: Well Dawson has a gun and we thought we'd go knock over a liquor store and then go for some tattoos.

    • Jen: I'll tell you what Grams. I'll go to church when you say the word penis.

    • Mitch: Shift, your mom's on. Watching her work is the best foreplay.
      Dawson: I'm outta here.

    • Jen: I'm just going to pretend we kissed okay?

    • (In reference to an earlier conversation between Joey and Dawson)
      Dawson: Joey! Usually in the morning with Katie Couric.

  • NOTES (28)

  • ALLUSIONS (13)

    • Mr. Gold's film class, has displayed a movie poster for the film I Know What You Did Last Summer.

    • Dawson: He's partial to Victoria's Secret.

      'Victoria's Secret' is an American retailer of women's wear, lingerie and beauty products.

    • Dawson: Yeah. Jock quarterback by day, schizoprenic transvestite by night. That's what you call a Tori Spelling complex.

      Victoria Davey "Tori" Spelling is an American actress best known for being Aaron Spelling's daughter.

    • Pacey: Listen, it is a fact that a large percentage of older women are attracted to young boys on the verge of manhood. Okay. It keeps them feeling young. I read that in Cosmopolitan.

      'Cosmopolitan' is a women's magazine whose content includes articles on relationships and sex, health, careers, self-improvement, celebrities, as well as fashion and beauty.

    • Dawson: See I believe that all of the mysteries of the universe, all the answers to life's questions, can be found in a Spielberg film. It's a theory I've been working on.

      Steven Spielberg is an American film director and producer.

    • Dawson: Usually in the moring with Katie Couric.

      Katherine Anne "Katie" Couric (born January 7, 1957) is an American journalist who became well-known as co-host of NBC's Today.

    • Nellie: Hi, I'm Nellie Olsen.
      Jen: Nellie as in Little House?
      Nellie: I know, I know. Little House on the Prairie, it was like my mom and dad's favorite show. But no preconceptions okay? I'm not like her at all.

      As mentioned by this Nellie, Nellie Olsen was a character on the hit TV Show Little House on the Prairie that ran from 1974 to 1983 on NBC.

    • Movie References:

      Brief clips are shown of
      E.T. (1982)
      Psycho (1960)
      Waiting for Guffman (1996)

      The dialog includes references to
      Gandhi (1982)
      The Graduate (1967)
      Summer of '42 (1971)

    • In the first scene of the pilot episode, Joey and Dawson are watching E.T.. According to actress Katie Holmes, E.T. was the first movie she has ever seen.

    • Dawson: 1941 and Always. In limited but accessible view.

      In this quote, Dawson is explaining to Jen that he has a poster of every movie Steven Spielberg has ever done, even 1941 and Always, Spielberg's biggest flops, which he keeps hidden in his closet.

    • Joey: But Gandhi? I mean, why give an Oscar to a movie you can't even sit through?

      In this quote Joey is referring to the length of the 1982 movie Gandhi (188 minutes), which won the Oscar for best picture over E.T.

    • Dawson: Pacey, go home. Walk your dog.

      "Walk your dog" is slang for masturbation.

    • Dawson: What is with this When Harry Met '80s crap?

      A reference to the movie When Harry Met Sally... The tagline for the movie was "Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning?"