Freaks and Geeks/Pilot

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Freaks and geeks 101.jpg
Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate September 25, 1999
Production Number 100
Written by Paul Feig
Directed by Jake Kasdan

1x02 →
Beers and Weirs
Freaks and GeeksSeason One

Pilot is the first episode of the first season of Freaks and Geeks, which serves as an introduction to the show. Sam Weir, a geeky high school freshman, and his friends Bill and Neal must contend with Alan, a bully who is tormenting them. Lindsay Weir, Sam's sister, copes with a sense of confusion and dissatisfaction with her life by eschewing her old lifestyle and hanging out with a group of 'Freaks' - Daniel, Nick, Ken, and Kim.

Guest Stars: Dave (Gruber) Allen (Jeff Rosso), Ben Foster (Eli), Chauncey Leopardi (Alan White), Tom Wilson (Coach Ben Fredricks), Steve Bannos (Mr. Kowchevski), Brianna Brown (The Cheerleader), Lizzy Caplan (Girl #1), Gabriel Carpenter (The Football Player), David Michael Gangler, Jr. (Don), Marco Gould (Kevin), Sarah Hagan (Millie Kentner), Anna Coman-Hidy (Mousy Girl #2), Stacy Hogue (Karen), Jason Lansing (Bully #2), Jarrett Lennon (Colin), Ron Lester (Seidleman), Natasha Melnick (Cindy Sanders), Ashley Power (Popular Girl #1), Alan Simpson (Tom), Stephen Lea Sheppard (Harris Trinsky), Mark Allan Staubach (Mark), Shaun Weiss (Sean), Kristy Wu (Mousy Girl)


Plot Overview

We're introduced to most of the major players almost immediately, with the FreaksDaniel, Nick, and Ken—hanging out under the football field bleachers while Lindsay secretly watches them. The GeeksSam, Neal, and Bill—are accosted by Alan, but Lindsay comes to their aid, embarrassing Sam in the process. At the Weir residence that evening, both the Weir kids inform their parents that they won't be attending the Homecoming Dance that weekend, to their parents' dissapointment.

At school the next day, Lindsay meets the Freaks and attempts to hang out with them but is interrupted by her friend Millie, who asks Lindsay why she isn't joining the school mathletes this year. Lindsay later meets Kim, another Freak, who gives Lindsay a hard time and accuses her of being a poser. Later, a disconsolate Lindsay finds a 'special education' student, Eli, being picked on; she intervenes and asks Eli to the Homecoming Dance. Sam is again bullied by Alan during lunch. Later, Sam runs into Cindy Sanders, a girl he has a crush on. The others encourage him to ask her to the dance.

At gym class, the Geeks once again have a run in with Alan. They consult Harris, a sophomore Geek, who tells them that they'll have to fight Alan before he leaves them alone. Lindsay catches Eli being bullied again, but while trying to help him she angers him and causes him to trip and injur his arm. Councillor Jeff Rosso speaks to Lindsay and asks her why she isn't joining the mathletes, and tries unsuccessfully to get her to open up to him about her troubles. Later, when Nick notices that Lindsay is depressed he gets her to cut class with him and shows her his drum set back home, and explains that it gives his life meaning. He tells her she needs to find her own 'drum set'. On the way back, the two are caught by Jeff Rosso, who punishes Lindsay for cutting class by getting her to work the drink stand during the dance.

Lindsay gets into trouble at home for cutting class. She explains to Sam later about her behaviour - it has to do with her dealing with their Grandmother's death. The next day, the Geeks get ready to fight Alan, but Sam is delayed when he bumps into Cindy. He works up the courage to ask her to the dance; Cindy tells him she already has a date but that she'll save him a dance. Meanwhile the other Geeks tussle with Alan till he gives up and leaves. At the dance on Saturday, Sam gets his dance with Cindy, and Lindsay leaves her post at the drinks table to dance with Eli (who shows up with his arm in a sling).


  • This is the pilot episode of the series.
  • The series is set in 1980 at the William McKinley High School, Michigan.

Featured Music

  • "Runnin' with the Devil" by Van Halen
  • "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins
  • "Renegade" by Styx
  • "Come Sail Away" by Styx

Arc Advancement


  • Lindsay and the Freaks: Lindsay starts to hang out with the 'Freak' crowd at school while eschewing her old lifestyle, but meets some resistance.
  • Bully Trouble: The Geeks stand up to their tormentor in the hope that he'll leave them alone.


  • Lindsay: Feels dissatisfaction with her life (triggered by her grandmother's death), and attempts to explore a new lifestyle by hanging out with the Freaks.
  • Sam: Is tormented by a bully, and resolves to meet him head on. Finds the courage to ask Cindy out.
  • Nick: Takes an immediate liking to Lindsay, defending her from Kim and letting her in on his passion - drums.



The Show

  • Nick hates disco: Nick states quite emphatically: "Disco sucks. I hate disco."

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • John Bonham: In the opening scene, Nick refers to Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham as God.
  • Caddyshack (1980): The film the Geeks are discussing during the opening sequence is the 1980 Bill Murray film Caddyshack.
  • Captain Kirk [1]: As Neal meets Sam and Bill for lunch, he says "Mr Bones, Mr Spock, may I join you here in the Enterprise mess hall?", a reference to the original Star Trek. He even uses the same distinctive cadence used by Captain Kirk.
  • Star Wars: Neal mentions that they should deal with Alan the same way Han Solo dealt with Jabba the Hutt - a reference to the famed Corellian smuggler from the Star Wars movies who attempted to run from Jabba the Hutt.
  • Farrah Fawcett [2]: Bill jokingly states that he ought to ask Farrah Fawcett Majors out. Farrah Fawcett was a popular 70s actress and sex symbol.
  • Jimi Hendrix: Mr. Weir mentions Jimi Hendrix as one of the people who came to a bad end. Hendrix, the legendary musician and guitarist, died by drowning in his own vomit (as Mr. Weir correctly stated).
  • Houdini: Bill says "This is how Houdini died" after complaining of stomach pains. Harry Houdini, the famed magician and escape artist, actually died as a result of appendicitis and not (as is popularly believed) because he was punched repeatedly in the abdomen several weeks before his death.

Memorable Moments

  • Lindsay's first meeting with the Freaks.
  • Lindsay's confrontation with Kim.
  • Harris offers sagely advice to the Geeks.
  • The Geeks tussle with Alan.