Dawson's Creek

Season 4 Episode 12

The Te of Pacey

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jan 17, 2001 on The WB
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Episode Summary

Joey decides to help throw a suprise birthday party for Pacey with his mother, not knowing about Pacey's 'birthday curse'. The party goes haywire as Pacey's family makes everyone feel uncomfortable, and Pacey a loser. Dawson becomes upset when he feels that Gretchen doesn't want anyone to know about their relationship and postpones their first real date to go to the party. Dawson, however, attends the party with Gretchen and Pacey and Joey walk in on Dawson and Gretchen in a serious kiss.moreless

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James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek

Dawson Leery

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes

Josephine "Joey" Potter

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Jennifer "Jen" Lindley

Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson

Pacey J. Witter

Kerr Smith

Kerr Smith

Jack McPhee (recurring Season 2)

Meredith Monroe

Meredith Monroe

Andrea "Andie" McPhee (recurring Season 2)

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

Mrs. Witter

Guest Star

Mary Holt Fickes

Mary Holt Fickes

Drunk Girl's Friend

Guest Star

Laura Annie Greene

Laura Annie Greene

No Neck #1

Guest Star

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Gretchen Witter

Recurring Role

Dylan Neal

Dylan Neal

Deputy Doug Witter

Recurring Role

John Finn

John Finn

Sheriff John Witter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Goof: Pacey's 16th birthday in season 2 is celebrated in October (in the episode Crossroads) but his 18th birthday in this episode is celebrated in January. Pacey's birthday is the only birthday to be featured twice on the show.

    • In this episode Pacey's father, a policeman, mentions that he gave Pacey fireworks for his tenth birthday and that Pacey said that they were the best birthday present that he'd ever received. However, if that were the case, isn't it more likely that Pacey would have remembered that birthday and even pointed it out as an exception to the birthday "curse"?
      Additionally, the show is supposed to be set in a fictional town in Massachusetts and fireworks are illegal for regular citizens to own or use in that State. As a policeman Pacey's father would definitely be aware of this law and therefore he'd have broken it twice by purchasing and then setting off fireworks for two of Pacey's birthdays.

    • Goof: When Joey and Pacey catch Dawson and Gretchen kissing on the basement, they are lying on a couch. However, later Pacey mentions that they were "making out on the basement floor".

    • This is the only episode that shows Pacey in his home with his entire family and shows what the Witter family are like together.

    • Pacey and his dad share a moment together where his dad tells him something that he'd never told anyone before and compliments Pacey in the process.

    • Pacey receives gifts from his family that remind them of him but Pacey doesn't realize it at the time he opens them.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • John Witter: Now, I never told this to anyone... and so help me I will hunt you down if you breath it to a soul. I got rejected the first time I applied to the police academy.
      Pacey: You did?
      John Witter: Yep. Let me tell you Pacey, it was devastating. The second time, I did get in. But I never told anyone, not even my father, your grandfather God rest his soul. Because I knew he'd beat the hell out of me, drunk or sober.
      Pacey: I know I'm not college material, Pop. But I just really, really wanted to go.
      John Witter: Look son, I know I've been hard on you about school. It's not because I think you're not good enough to go, or get in. Pacey, I don't know if it's the right thing for you. I don't know if it's ever been right for you. But ask me if I think you are meant to do great things... I might reply positive.

    • Pacey: Any other day that I was to find out making out on the basement floor with Dawson of all people, I would probably freak out. And then we would have words. But not today. Today I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to think about it. In fact, I'd like to pretend it never even happen, cause frankly I got bigger problems on my mind.
      Gretchen: Which are?
      Pacey: A conversation that I'm supposed to have with Joey, that will impact the entire rest of our relationship.

    • (To Gretchen)
      Dawson: I think that this was never about Pacey or Joey or your family or coming out of any closet. I think this is about you. And I think you need to figure out what you want.

    • Tobey: I'm still not entirely convinced Jack's gay. I mean, maybe he's just pretending, for the social cache. You know, for the chance to be a rebel outsider.

    • Jen: You are very sneaky, you know that? You just turned around that entire conversation without ever having to admit that you were day dreaming about sex. I'm impressed.
      Grams: (Smiling) I've learned from the best.
      Jen: Well, that's true.

    • Grams: I will admit, I do enjoy Mr. Brooks' company. But I most certainly am not in love. And for the record, we are not having sex.

    • Gretchen: So Jo, got any big plans for Pacey's big you know what day?
      Joey: He's made me promise no big events and stuff. So, probably just a quiet night alone, just me and him.
      Gretchen: I can't believe he still thinks there's some kind of birthday curse on him.

    • (About Dawson and Gretchen going on a date)
      Jack: Pacey and Joey. Small matter of do they know yet?
      Dawson: No, that's not it. I'm terrified because it's our first official date, I haven't seen her since the kiss and there's a massive build up. Pacey and Joey... if they ask me I'll tell them. And Gretchen will, too. It's really not a big deal.

    • Pacey: You and I are just on opposite paths, Jo. On different roads. And we are heading further and further away from each other.
      Joey: I don't think so. I think both roads lead back to the same place. Right here. You and me, Pace.

    • (Recalling Isabella's story)
      Gretchen: I know how I feel about you, Dawson. But I'm scared because what if I leave soon? And as much as I want to have this thing, whatever it is with you, I'm afraid I'll hurt you when I go.
      Dawson: Gretchen, I'm leaving too. At the end of the year. But that's not the point. The point is right now. And right now you're here and so am I. So let's make the most of this. You can not be afraid.

    • Mr. Witter: Look, son. I know I've been hard on you about school. It's not because I don't think you're good enough to go or get in. Pacey, I just don't know if it's the right thing for you. I don't know if it's ever been right for you. But ask me if I think you're meant to do great things... (Pacey grins)

    • (Talking about the Witters)
      Joey: In relationships they tend to keep their emotions close and their weaknesses even closer. It's not because they don't care, it's just... it's because they care so much. And the good news is that eventually they always tell the truth, wether it's often after you've sufficiently ignored all signs that they've been suffering.

    • Jack: How's the club going?
      Tobey: You mean the gay club? Where all the gay kids hang out and be gay together? It's doing smashing. And what about that club of yours? What's it called? Self hatred and denial? How is that going, Jack?

    • Pacey: You know what, dad? You and your wallet can breathe easy because I don't think I can go to College, even if I wanted to because I found out today that the only school I thought would take me, my fallback school, rejected me. So I'm not going to college. So I guess at the end of the day, you guys are right. I'm going to end up exactly where you thought I would. A complete and utter failure.

    • Gretchen: Isabella was a star dancer. She was meant for a life dancing among the stars. And she was blessed because she could fly from star to star. But she was cursed, too. Because for every star she'd visit, there'd be another one she left behind. And that was her plight. Forced to live eternity dancing among the stars. Free as a bird. But alone. Tragic, huh?
      Dawson: Not really. Think about all the stars she got to visit and how much better she made the lives of the people she met there.

    • Mrs. Witter: Just because Pacey flunked a class or two in high school, doesn't mean he's going to do the same thing in College. Right sweetie? But I have faith in him. And I know that one day my faith will pay off. So no matter how many times you let us down, my faith will be there to help pick you right back up.
      Mr. Witter: Your faith and my bank account.

    • Joey: Mr. Witter, I really don't think Pacey will be dropping out. I think he's going to do great in College. Just you wait.
      Mr. Witter: I appreciate the youthful opportunism. My predication, if he doesn't drop out, he'll flunk out. It's a waste of his time and my money.

    • Mr. Witter: I just want to thank you for putting thoughts of College in my son's head.
      Joey: Oh, Mr. Witter, while I'm happy that Pacey wants to go to college, I don't think I can take all the credit for that.
      Mr. Witter: Well, I gotta blame someone. Cause Pacey's big dreams means I'm going to have to finance another drop-out's half-assed education.

    • Pacey: My family could give a crap about me or my birthday. This is just an excuse for my father to get a little bit drunker than usual, have some birthday cake, tell me I'm a disappointment and then pass out in his chair while watching When Animals Attack!.
      Joey: Okay, so they're not perfect. Granted. But they're your family, Pace. Don't you get what that means? The least you can do is make a little bit of an effort.
      Pacey: It doesn't matter what kind of effort I make. I'm still going to fail.

    • Gretchen: Look, I'm just not ready to go public with this. I mean, you can still come to the party and everything, I just...
      Dawson: Yeah, but if it's something you feel we need to hide, then it's something we shouldn't be doing in the first place (Walks away)

    • Joey: I'm throwing a last minute surprise party for Pacey at your parent's house and I want you to be there.
      Gretchen: Oh, Jo! Bad idea! My parents are insane and Pacey will kill you.

    • Joey: What are you doing?
      Dawson: I'm going with you.
      Joey: Dawson, I think I can handle this on my own.
      Dawson: You don't have a car, Pacey took yours.

    • (Pacey, opening his birthday gifts)

      Pacey's sister: It's an ashtray.
      Pacey: Thank you. I've been meaning to take up smoking.

    • Mr. Witter: That's odd. Where did everybody go?
      Pacey: My guess would be 'The Red Lobster'. To wash away all memory of mom's chip beef on toast.

    • Mr Witter: Who the hell are you?
      Jack: Me? I, I, I'm Jack, sir. We met a while back on a fishing... trip.
      Mr Witter: (Pause) Don't remember.

  • NOTES (2)


    • At the beginning of this episode Pacey talks about his disatrous 16th birthday. He mentions how he flunked his driving test and threw himself his own party.

      He is referring to episode 2 of season 2 entitled Crossroads.

    • Pacey: This is just an excuse for my father to get a little bit drunker than usual, have some birthday cake, tell me I'm a disappointment and then pass out in his chair while watching 'When Animals Attack!'.

      When Animals Attack! is a series of television specials aired by FOX in the United States during the mid- to late-1990s. As the title implies, the specials compiled graphic clips of various animals attacking humans.