Doogie Howser, M.D.

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 19, 1989 on ABC

Episode Recap

Doogie is taking his driving test on his 16th birthday. Doogie's mother is in the car with Doogie and the driving instructor. He is driving very slowly on the streets, which angers a lot of people driving behind him as they honk their horns. When they see an accident in the road, Doogie drives faster to rush to the scene which makes the driving instructor nervous. Doogie runs to the scene while the police are yelling at him to stop, but Doogie helps the man. The driving instructor asks Doogie's mother who Doogie is and she replies that he is her son, a doctor.


Doogie is walking around the hospital talking about Mr. Johnson, a patient. As the team of doctor checks on the patient, Doogie takes a break to spray some kids with water guns. The little boy needs a new heart, but when the doctor tells him, he gets nervous, but Doogie reassures him. Doogie is upset that another doctor wants to do a transplant on the child rather than just replace the valve and yells to Dr. Canfield about the situation. The doctor tells Dr. Canfield that he has more experience than Doogie has been alive, to which Dr. Canfield tells him to stop. Doogie gets upset when the final decision is made to do the transplant. At home, Doogie is writing in his journal about his plans to go to the Harvest Dance with Wanda Fleming. He is typing, Doogie's best friend, Vinnie, surprises him and tells Doogie that he is going to have sex with Jenny Stewart. Doogie tells Vinnie that he was sure that he was going to have sex with Susie Berlutti, but apparently Vinnie threw up on her shoes. Vinnie reminds Doogie that he has never kissed a girl, but when they were discussing kissing a girl, Doogie's father walks in and interrupts their conversation. Vinnie tells him that they were talking about kissing a girl and Doogie's father leaves. At dinner, Doogie gets a calculator for his birthday. Then, Doogie asks if he could use his father's car to bring Wanda Fleming to the dance since his mother's car is a station wagon, but his father tells him no. This upsets Doogie so much so that when the cake is brought out and they sing the Happy Birthday song, Doogie calls his father by his first name and says that he broke his wish. His father yells at him for calling him by his first name and because Doogie is not mature enough. At the hospital, Doogie is stitching up a man who constantly threatens a lawsuit since Doogie is only 16. Doogie tells him that there is no reason why he would win and tells him many reasons why. The man is impressed with the stitches that Doogie has done and decides to not sue the hospital so Doogie tells him that the statute of limitations on malpractice suits is 3 years. Curly, a nurse, tells Doogie that she has always liked him and starts hitting on him. Doogie begins to get uncomfortable, especially when Curly unzips his pants and almost kisses him. Doogie is then mortified when the lights in the observation room turn on and many of the hospital staff are singing happy birthday to him, so he runs out of the room.


Doogie is looking at something in the microscope when Dr. McGuire and Curly come into the room and apologize to him. Doogie tells Dr. McGuire about an unidentified body in one of the morgue bins. When Dr. McGuire pulls the body of the bin, he is scared by Vinnie with a scary mask on. With the patient, Doogie tells his own story of being sick with leukemia. He describes how he was really sick and he lost all of his hair. In response to the patient's questions, Doogie tells him that they will be getting the heart from a kid who dies. At home, Doogie is getting ready for the dance and putting on his best clothes. At the dance, Vinnie is upset that he threw up on Jenny Stewart's shoes, just like Susie Berlutti. Doogie and Wanda are dancing and she expresses her appreciation for him bringing her to the dance. Then, Doogie begins to execute his plan to kiss her, which starts with him telling her that her hair smells great and then licking her ear. They are interrupted when Doogie's beeper goes off, which means that he has to go to the hospital and leave Wanda. When Doogie shows up at the hospital, he finds that William died during the operation from the doctor who really wanted to do the surgery. At home, Doogie lays down when his father tries to comfort him and tells Doogie that every doctor loses a patient and that he is proud of his son. After his father leaves his room, Doogie walks to his computer and writes about kissing his first girl and losing William.