Welcome Back, Kotter

Season 1 Episode 3

Welcome Back (Pilot)

Aired Unknown Sep 23, 1975 on ABC
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Episode Summary

Gabe Kotter wakes up in the morning ready to start his first day as a teacher at his alma mater, James Buchanan high school. When he arrives, Vice Principle Woodman assigns Kotter to teach the remedial class of school misfits known as the Sweathogs - the class that Kotter was a part of as a student. Gabe prepares to teach the notoriously difficult class and is introduced to the four ringleaders: clueless skirtchaser Vinnie Barbarino, tough guy Juan Epstein, basketball star Freddie Washington and awkward and shy Arnold Horshack. Kotter applies some unconventional teaching methods, but the class turns into a disaster and Kotter quits. When Kotter gets home, he and his wife, Julie, get a visit from the Sweathogs who say that he's the only teacher who has cared enough to really try to teach them, and they ask him to come back and try again. In the end, Kotter decides to return to work.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Gabe: Julie, baby, if it wasn't for you...
      Julie: What?
      Gabe: I would have married someone else.

    • Epstein: Hey, look, we can't stay long, we got a cab waiting downstairs.
      Gabe: You took a cab?
      Epstein: We're gonna give it back.
      Gabe: You stole a cab?
      Vinnie: No, no, no, no. It's Horshack's father's cab. You can't steal a guy's father's cab. You can't.
      Arnold: Then why'd we tie him up, Vinnie?

    • Woodman: Remember my motto: Conquer thyself, Kotter. Conquer thyself.
      Gabe: Right here, in the hall?

    • Kotter: James Buchanan is not anywhere. It's in Bensonhurst, which is in Brooklyn, which is where I spent four degenerate years as a student. You know how rough that is? The gangs there don't use guns. They insert the bullets manually.

    • Mr. Kotter: What's your favorite subject?
      Epstein: Assault.

  • NOTES (1)

    • As with most pilots, there are things in this episode that would be re-adjusted later. The classroom is arranged differently, and the Sweathogs are a bit one-dimensional. Arnold only speaks when Vinnie tells him to speak. The cast is older than the characters they are portraying, and that's aparant, but highly forgettable.