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Pushing Daisies

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Oct 03, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
716 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Ned works in a pie store and seems to lead a perfectly normal life. This, however, is far from the truth. Through his touch, Ned is able to wake people from the dead. He decides to use this ability of his to solve crimes. But this proves complicated, when he gives life back to his childhood crush, and decides to let her keep living.moreless

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  • About this episode

    It was sad and funny. This had wonderful picture editing and directing for Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Perfect Pie-lette

    I really didn't think Pushing Daisies was going to be for me. It seemed so cutesy and twee, but since Bryan Fuller's name was attached and I loved Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls, I decided to give it a shot. Pushing Daisies is extremely colorful, so much so that it feels like an alternate reality. It could have easily been way over the top, instead it toed the line to being charming and different.

    I loved this episode, it set up the characters and their colorful quirks perfectly. Ned the Piemaker: reserved, thoughtful, and with a secret ability to raise the dead; Chuck Charles: bright, sunny, dead, and the love of Ned's life; Emerson Cod: large, grumbling, knitting P.I. in it for the cash; and Olive Snook: former horse jockey, now pie jockey in love with the pie maker.moreless
  • Quirky...and not in a good way

    The first thing I thought of when I was watching this show was the Lemony Snicket movie. I didn't particularly like the Lemony Snicket movie, and this is not a kid's movie. I get the idea of trying to set your show apart from everything else that is on Television today, but I am not sure that cutesy and fairy-tale like was the way to go. I never really intended to watch the show until I read a synopsis that made it sound clever and original, but after watching this episode I am not sure that this is the case. I get the premise of the weird gift of being able to bring people back to life, but the plot twist of bringing back his childhood sweetheart either should have been saved for a season-ending cliffhanger, or they should have just made this story into a movie instead. And honestly, do we care how many days and minutes and seconds old each person is? Really? I might give the show a second chance next week, but that's about the most time I will waste on it.moreless
  • Interesting...

    This is an interesting one. It is a story that is told in a colorful world that is not our own. You have to look past the silliness and the bright colors to see the show for what it is. And what it is... is pretty good. I liked the pilot due to it being a pretty well thought out and finished story. The characters work well together and I would like to see where they end up going.

    There were a few parts that made me laugh out load and that doesn't happen much with tv shows. This is a fresh show and I think I will keep watching it.moreless
Anna Friel

Anna Friel

Charlotte "Chuck" Charles

Chi McBride

Chi McBride

Emerson Cod

Jim Dale

Jim Dale


Ellen Greene

Ellen Greene

Vivian Charles

Swoosie Kurtz

Swoosie Kurtz

Lillian "Lily" Charles

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth

Olive Snook

Ed Brigadier

Ed Brigadier

Minister 1

Guest Star

Ted Garcia

Ted Garcia

Newscaster 1

Guest Star

Murray Gershenz

Murray Gershenz


Guest Star

Tina Gloss

Tina Gloss

Ned's Mother

Recurring Role

Sammi Hanratty

Sammi Hanratty

Young Chuck

Recurring Role

Leyna Nguyen

Leyna Nguyen

Newscaster 2

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • Digby's eyelid moves right before Ned touches him.

    • The booth seats in the Pie Hole are green while in the other episodes they're green with a half circle of white.

    • Before Ned touches Chuck, her eyelids move.

    • When Deedee is about to be revived, and Chuck removes the plastic bag from her head, you can see that she is breathing (her upper torso moves) and that her eyelids move.

    • Right after Chuck is alive again she has to get into the coffin to be hidden. She lays her head down to the right side of the coffin, despite the fact that the pillow was on the other side when she was dead.

    • The town name "Cœur d'Cœurs is incorrect French. Since "cœurs" begins with a consonant, it should be "Cœurs de cœurs". "Cœur de cœurs" means "heart of hearts," as in the heart of something that is made of hearts. The expression is similar to the type of white wine "blanc de blancs": white wine that comes from white grapes.

    • The angle on Aunt Lily's view/non-view of Chuck is incorrect. Given the angle, Lily should be able to see Chuck with her left unimpaired eye, which has a view ahead of her out beyond the angle of the wall. The wall on her right would impede her right eye, assuming she could see with it, but it wouldn't block her left eye as shown.

    • The end credits erroneously say that Matthew Miltenberger's first name is Martin.

    • Jewish people are usually buried in a very plain basically plywood casket or none at all. Chuck's is very elaborate and expensive and not what a Jewish person would be buried in.

    • When Ned touches the dead strawberry, it blossoms into the plump, ripe form it had in life. However, when he touches the man who was mauled by his secretary's dog, he remains physically as he was when dead.

    • Brought to life and returned to death by Ned's touch:
      Ned's mother
      A criminal
      Leo Gaswint
      Deedee Duffield
      Martin Miltenberger

      Brought to life by Ned's touch:
      A fly
      Charlotte "Chuck" Charles

      Creatures/characters dead as a result of Ned keeping someone else alive:
      A squirrel
      Chuck's father
      The funeral director

  • QUOTES (42)

    • Narrator: Chuck came ready-made from the Play Dough factory of life.

    • Ned: What if you didn't have to be dead?
      Chuck: That would be preferable.

    • Ned: I wish I could give you an emotional Heimlich so you could cough up that fear and anxiety, but I can't.

    • Leo: (points to his missing right jaw area) Do I have something right here?
      Ned: No, there's nothing right there.

    • Emerson: (About Leo's "alleged" murderer, his dog, Cantaloupe) Cantaloupe was framed; someone put a part of the victim in her mouth.
      Ned: Huh.
      Emerson: Hey, docile as a kitten, says the family.
      Ned: Despite it being a Chow, the breed most likely to turn on its owner?
      Emerson: Hey, hey! That's racial profiling.

    • Lily: And the food is perfectly atrocious. Unless she enjoyed vomiting and diarrhea, I can't imagine she had a good last meal.
      Emerson: A good last meal can go a long way. Our penal system makes a point of it.

    • Emerson: I'm glad you did it. It makes the worst thing I ever did seem insignificant.
      Ned: Listen to you, all judgy judge.
      Emerson: "Judgy judge"?

    • Shiny Shoes Killer: (while holding Chuck's dead body, he finds her cabin on the ship is locked and he can't obtain the monkeys) Oh, for Pete's sake. This is a nightmare!

    • Emerson: You know what? We all have childhood issues, okay? Believe me, I got the full subscription, okay? Horror stories!
      Ned: I kind of killed her dad when I was ten.
      Emerson: Maybe not horror stories.

    • Ned: Hey, I think somebody's truck's on fire.
      (cuts to a pickup truck in flames)
      Grave Digger: Aw, jeez.

    • Ned: I wonder how long she's been here.
      Emerson: Touch the poor bitch and ask her.

    • Ned: You died for a pair of plaster monkeys?
      Chuck: Deedee said they weren't worth much, their only value was sentimental.
      Emerson: Those must have been some emotional monkeys.

    • (Ned touches the recently strangled-to-death Deedee Duffield and she comes back to life.)
      Deedee: Hey, Charlotte!
      Chuck: Hey, Deedee.
      Deedee: Now, how'd I know you'd be the first person I'd see when I got to...? Is this...? Which one is this?
      Chuck: This is neither. Well, maybe it's both, but, listen, this is the deal: you get to talk for, like, a minute, we're gonna catch up, and then you're not talking anymore.
      Deedee: Does everyone get to do this? 'Cause, girl, we gotta break it down.
      Chuck: Did you know I was gonna get killed?
      Deedee: I thought there might be the possibility, yes. I'm real sorry about that. I probably should've said something. But to be honest, and really, why not, at this point, if it were safe, I would've done it myself. God, this is fantastic! Being honest is fun!
      Emerson: Ask her who killed her and you and what's with the monkeys.
      Deedee: Who are those people?
      Chuck: That's Emerson, I don't really know him, and this is Ned. He was my first kiss.
      Deedee: (to Ned) Now, you're adorable. Look at your li... (touches Ned's cheek and becomes dead again)
      Emerson: You couldn't have... scooted back a little?
      Ned: I didn't know she was gonna touch my cheek. Who does that?
      Chuck: Actually, she does that a lot.

    • Coroner: (To Chuck) You the toxicologist?
      Chuck: Yes.
      Coroner: (to Ned) Aren't you the dog expert?
      Ned: No.
      Coroner: Mmmmmm-hm.

    • Coroner: You the dog expert?
      Ned: Uh-huh.
      Coroner: We already had a dog expert.
      Ned: I'm the other one.
      Coroner: Mmmmmmm-hm.

    • Emerson: How's he look?
      Ned: Fine, but my threshold's pretty high so you have to take that with a grain of salt.
      Emerson: That ain't a grain of salt, that's one of them blocks they give cows to lick.

    • Chuck: I'll be so mad if you're lying, you'll have me scratching the drapes.
      Ned: I'm not lying. Please don't attack the window treatments.

    • Shiny Shoes Killer: (looking at Chuck) Didn't I kill you?

    • (Olive sees Chuck come out of Ned's apartment in disguise and she stares at her)
      Chuck: I'm a friend of Ned's.
      Olive: Does he touch you?

    • Olive: How was your convention?
      Ned: Conventional. How's Digby?
      Olive: A little neurotic. He's a very needy dog. Do you pet him? Maybe if you pet him every once in a while, he wouldn't be so neurotic.
      Ned: I pet him. I'm allergic, so I don't actually touch him, but I pet him.
      Olive: With a stick? How do you pet him?
      Ned: A stick is involved but it's more like a handle to a p-p-p-petting device.
      Olive: Your dog needs to be touched. (seductively) We all need to be touched.
      Ned: You touch him, other people have touched him.
      Olive: (moving Ned's hands to her shoulders) He's your dog. Do you, uh, touch anything?
      Ned: Of course. I touch lots of things.
      Olive: With affection? When was the last time someone touched you with affection?
      Ned: I get touched. Could you get Digby's leash now?
      Olive: Hmmmmmmmm...
      Ned: (to Digby) You don't mind that I don't touch you, do you?

    • Emerson: Well, who died instead?
      (Ned shows Emerson the funeral director's obituary.)
      Ned: It's sort of a random proximity thing.
      Emerson: Bitch, I was in proximity!

    • Chuck: Thanks for calling me "Chuck." Do you know no one's called me Chuck since...since you.
      Ned: I used to, when I lived next door to you, I had a cr... I was in...You were my first kiss.
      Chuck Yeah? You were my first kiss, too. Do you wanna be my last kiss? First and last? Or is that weird?
      Ned: That's not weird; it's magical.

    • Lily Charlotte was a firecracker. Always trying to get us out of the house, threatened to bake antidepressants into our food. Got to the point I was scared to eat anything she cooked.

    • Narrator: She read about people she could never be, on adventures she would never have. Life was good enough until one day it wasn't. Chuck wanted more. But at Boutique Travel Travel Boutique she got more than she bargained for.

    • Ned: I hate to be a bad host, but I'm sort of exhausted from chasing your coffin.

    • Emerson: Are you in love with her? 'Cause it's that level of stupid.

    • Chuck: I've been ruminating and by ruminating I mean pondering, not chewing cud. How about we solve my murder and collect the reward? Wouldn't that be poetic? Certainly an anecdote.
      Emerson: (to Ned)She's supposed to be in the ground.
      Ned: (to Chuck)I thought you didn't want the reward.
      Chuck:No, I wanted you not to want the reward. $50,000-—that's a lot of money. Three way split 30-30-40? It's only fair I get more. I did die for it.

    • Chuck: Was this really an act of kindness? Me. Here. Were you really trying to do something good for no other reason then to help me?
      Ned: I was being selfish. I'd love to tell myself I was being unselfish, but I know deep down in my primal sweet spot I was being unselfish for selfish reasons. I just thought my world would be a better place if you were in it.

    • Ned: This is pushing your luck.
      Chuck: Yeah, well, luck pushed me first.

    • Chuck: You can't just touch somebody's life and be done with it.
      Ned: Yes I can, that's how I roll.

    • Vivian: Charlotte was a nice girl.
      Lily: With the exception of puberty.
      Vivian: Which was when Lily was going through a change of life.
      Lily: Impolite to discuss a person's menopause in mixed company.
      Vivian: It nearly killed me.

    • Chuck: Do you believe in reincarnation?
      Emerson: Hell no. The planet's falling apart. Right now, it's the children's problem. We reincarnate, it's our problem.

    • (regarding Chuck)
      Ned: I haven't thought of her since I was ten.
      Emerson: Think of her a lot when you were ten?
      Ned: I don't remember anything when I was ten.
      Narrator: The pie maker remembers everything.

    • Chuck: I suppose dying's as good an excuse as any to start living.

    • Chuck: You said you wanted to know who killed me so that justice could be served. See, I don't think that "Justice" was on the menu. Maybe as a side dish, but not as an entrée.
      Ned: It was most definitely an entrée. It was a Special of the Day. Could we drop the metaphor? I wouldn't have known you had died if it wasn't for the reward.
      Chuck: When were you going to tell me?
      Ned: In the morning or whenever it came up--whichever didn't come first.

    • Chuck: (after Ned falls asleep) I'd kiss you if it wouldn't kill me.

    • Chuck: I can't even hug you? What if you need a hug? A hug can turn your day around.
      Ned: I'm not a fan of the hug.
      Chuck: Then you haven't been hugged properly. It's like an emotional Heimlich. Someone puts their arms around you and they give you a squeeze and all your fear and anxiety come shooting out of your mouth in a big wet wad and you can breath again.
      Ned: That's fine for someone else to do if I'm choking on something other than emotion, but you can't touch me.
      Chuck: So a kiss is out of the question?
      Ned: I've lost my train of thought.

    • Narrator: As he stared at her, he reached around his back and held his own hand, pretending he was holding hers. And at that very moment, she was pretending to be holding his.

    • Chuck: I'm not who you think I am.
      Emerson: Who does he think you are?
      Chuck: The small town girl who never saw the world who would have the first time out be her last... well, that is who I am but... I was hoisted by my own pitard.
      Ned: What's a pitard?
      Chuck: In my case, the pitard was that Tahitian getaway. It was a devil's bargain.
      Emerson: Who's the devil?
      Chuck: Deedee Duffield, manager of Boutique Travel Travel Boutique. She offered me a high seas adventure at no cost. All I had to do was pick up a package.
      Ned: Are you a drug mule?
      Chuck: No, I'm a... monkey mule.

    • Emerson: Sounds like you're a narcoleptic.
      Ned: I suffer from sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep?
      Emerson: What's the other one?
      Ned: Necrophiliac.
      Emerson: Words that sound alike get mixed up in my head.
      Olive: Me, too. I used to think "masturbation" meant chewing your food. (awkward silence) I don't think that anymore.

    • Ned: I asked you not to use the word "zombie." It's disrespectful. Stumbling around squawking for brains? It's not how they do. And "undead"? Nobody wants to be "un"-anything. Why begin a statement with a negative? It's like saying "I don't disagree." Just say you agree.
      Emerson: Are you comfortable with "living dead"?
      Ned: You're either living or your dead. When you're living, you're alive. When you're dead, that's what you are. But when you're dead and then you're not, you're alive again. Can't we say "alive again"?

    • Olive: (referring to Chuck) Doesn't she look a lot like that dead girl?
      Emerson: She looks exactly like that dead girl.
      Olive: You should take that as a compliment, because she was pretty.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Michael Weaver was nominated for the 2008 ASC Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the Week/Mini-Series'/Pilot" for this episode. Michael Wylie and William J. Durrell Jr. were nominated for the 2008 Excellence in Production Design Award for "Television - Single Camera Television Series" for this episode. Barry Sonnenfeld, Gabriela Vazquez, Chris Soldo, Greg Hale and Renee Hill won the 2008 DGA Award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series" for this episode. Bryan Fuller was nominated for the 2008 Edgar Award for "Best Television Episode Teleplay" for this episode. Craig Weiss Toni, Pace Carstensen, Brian Vogt and Jimmy Berndt were nominated for the 2008 VES Award for "Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program" for this episode. Bryan Fuller was nominated for the 2008 WGA Award (TV) for "Episodic Comedy" for this episode.

    • For this episode, Bryan Fuller was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series." The episode was also nominated for "Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-camera Series", "Outstanding Costumes For A Series", "Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Picture Editing For A Comedy Series (single Or Multi-camera)." It won the latter two.

    • International Airdates:
      Denmark: February 1, 2008 on SBS Net
      Israel: April 9, 2008 on YES Stars 1
      Latin America: April 10, 2008 on Warner Channel
      United Kingdom: April 12, 2008 on ITV1
      Thailand: July 17, 2008 on True Series
      The Netherlands: August 19, 2008 on Net 5
      Belgium: October 8, 2008 on VT4
      Germany: October 22, 2008 on ProSieben
      Greece: November 8, 2008 on Star Channel
      Finland: January 20, 2009 on Sub
      Norway: February 1, 2009 on TV3
      Australia: April 7, 2009 on W
      Russia: May 19, 2009 on NTV
      Sweden: June 21, 2009 on TV3
      Czech Republic: January 3, 2010 on Prima
      Slovakia: July 26, 2010 on Markiza

    • Differences between the aired version and the screener version:
      * The exterior of The Pie Hole has changed. The apartment that Ned lives in is now over the crust instead of as a separate building next to the restaurant.
      * Vivian's line after Ned's response to "Do you like girls?": "Didn't want to assume" was deleted.
      * There are some score cue changes.
      * Part of the scene between Emerson, Ned and the aunts was re-shot, and another shot of Chuck looking in the window was added.
      * Matthew Miltenberger's death was changed from being murdered in a public restroom to being found dead in a lobster tank of a steak restaurant. Plus, he is a scuba diver, while in the screener version, his occupation is not given.
      * In the screener, the title of the show is not given until the end over the field of daisies. The title is now shown in a brief title sequence at the end of Act 1.

    • Some people compare Pushing Daisies to The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, saying Pushing Daisies is inspired by Amélie. This connection can also be seen when Ned visits Chuck's aunts and the song "Guilty" by Gus Kahn and Richard A. Whiting, part of the soundtrack of Amélie, is being played.

    • The idea of a character able to touch dead people and bring them back to life was originally conceived as a storyline for Bryan Fuller's Showtime series Dead Like Me.

    • Pushing Daisies was officially given a 13 episode order by ABC on May 11, 2007.


    • Narrator: Only Sleeping Beauty could know how she felt at this moment.
      Once again, a reference to the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. This time it is from the point of view of the princess.

    • Narrator: Only Prince Charming could know how the piemaker felt upon looking at her.
      Allusion to the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty in which the kiss of a young prince awakens a princess who had been sleeping for 100 years after a curse was placed upon her.