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List Number(s)
23, 41, 64, 86, 102, 136
20 September 2005
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Pilot is the title of the first episode of Season 1 of My Name is Earl. Earl, a petty criminal, wins the lottery, but loses the ticket. He discovers that it could be because he has bad karma, so makes a list of everything bad he had ever done, and sets out to make up for his many misdeeds.

Episode guide[]

Earl and his winning lottery ticket

Earl J. Hickey is a small-time thief with a messed-up life. He wins $100,000 with a scratch-off lottery ticket, but is immediately hit by a car and watches the ticket blow away. Earl hired his brother, Randy, to search for the lost scratcher, but it was nowhere to be found. In the hospital recovering, Earl's wife divorces him, and Earl is introduced to karma while watching Carson Daly. He decides to try to make up for all the bad things he has done and makes a written list of 259 items. After leaving the hospital he starts on his list and right away by picking up trash to make up for #136, "I've been a litterbug", he finds his lost $100,000 scratcher. Figuring karma works pretty well, he resolves to continue making up for items on the list. The first thing Earl buys with his money is a beeping locking system for his El Camino.

He starts with #64, "Picked on Kenny James", a misdeed dating back to elementary school. Earl, Randy and Catalina find Kenny's parents' house, and Earl sends Randy to find out where Kenny lives. Randy is a good liar as long as he has four beers. Randy poses as former class president looking for Kenny, but received a beer from Mr. James. Randy mutters "dibs" when he sees Mrs. James while he is mildly drunk, and makes his escape with the address. Earl starts watching Kenny for the next few days, observing him. Kenny had a good job as an assistant manager, a powder blue Renault Le Car, and a nice house, but had nobody to share his life with. So Earl decides to make up for his childhood ridicule of Kenny by getting him laid. Earl enlists the help of Patty, a daytime hooker. When Kenny refuses free sex, Earl talks to Kenny in person.

Kenny convinces Earl and Randy to go to the gay bar with him

Kenny is still afraid of Earl and Randy, telling them to take what they want and leave, but Earl tries to help Kenny because he "gave up the chance to have free sex with a daytime hooker." Randy finds in Kenny's nightstand a copy of homosexual pornography. Earl and Randy slowly back away and run out of his house. Earl, Randy, and Catalina return to the hotel, Earl decides not to help Kenny because he was gay. When he steps into his motel room, his ex-wife Joy hits him with a telephone. Joy is angry that Earl didn't bother telling her that he won the lottery, and leaves in her Subaru BRAT. Earl thinks his ex-wife attacking him was Karma's way of saying that Earl should give Kenny another shot. Earl is waiting for Kenny when he comes home, Kenny was about to use Mace on Earl, but accidentally sprays it in his own face. Earl pours milk into Kenny's eyes to soothe the irritation, then asks Kenny why he doesn't have a man. Kenny answers that nobody knows he is gay, but tried to go to a gay bar, but was too scared. Earl agrees to come with him, and takes Randy, who agreed to go when he heard there was going to be bubbles.

Kenny is still too afraid to try to talk to any of them, but thanks Earl for giving him back his confidence and no longer feared him. Kenny tells Earl to cross him off his list, and Earl reflects how he feels better for helping someone as he scribbles #64 off the list.


  • This episode initially ran as a super-sized episode running almost 25 minutes without commercials. It was cut down to a more consistent 21 minute runtime for syndication but is uncut on the DVD release. Unfortunately streaming uses the syndication edit.
  • Included with Season 1 DVD is a deleted scene from this episode: Earl, Randy, and Kenny are about to enter the gay bar Earl takes Kenny to. Kenny thanks Earl for buying the shirt that he was wearing. A group of college students in a convertible stops. One of the college guys shouts "fags" out the window. Earl walks up to the guy, pulls him out of the car, and punches him in the face, and tells him to learn about tolerance. Kenny stops Earl and Earl asks for the guy's name to put on his list. He explains that he must make up for his mistake. The guy says his name is Marc. This would be #260 on Earl's list. However, the scene most likely isn't canon.
  • Executive Producer Greg Garcia has a cameo in this episode. He is the man Randy dances with at the gay bar.

    Greg Garcia's cameo

  • In Latin America, along with the first episode of "The Office", this episode aired on "Canal Fox" and "FX" simultaneously. However, the next episodes only aired on "FX".
  • In the show following My Name is Earl - "The Office" episode "The Dundies" there is a reference to the "overserving" patrons at Chili's.
  • In a unique promotional campaign co-sponsored by Mazda, NBC released the complete pilot episode of Earl on CD-ROM in issues of People and Entertainment Weekly before the official premiere of the series on September 20, 2005.
  • An alternate Pilot, entitled Bad Karma, was released with the Season 1 DVD.
  • The exterior of the convenience store where Earl bought the lottery ticket and the street where he was hit by the car were filmed in Beaumont, CA.


Sonny at the strip club

  • The whole of the first segment is a flashback to Earl's previous life before discovering karma.
  • In a flashback three months before the Pilot, Randy shaves the cat after drinking too many beers.
  • Catalina enters the Hickey's room and Randy calls dibs on her whilst Earl sleeps.
  • Randy offends Kenny's dad by calling dibs on his wife whilst she bends over.
  • A flashback of a young Earl torturing Kenny James as a child is shown.
  • Sonny ditches Earl and Randy after a stealing job to go to a strip club.


  • List items introduced in this episode (mentioned by name):
    • - #23 Peed in the back of a cop car
    • - #41 Snatched a kid's Halloween candy when he came to my trailer to trick or treat
    • - #64 Picked on Kenny James
    • - #86 Stole a car from a one legged girl
    • - #102 Harmed or possibly killed people with second hand smoke
    • - #136 I've been a litterbug
  • List items crossed off:
    • - #64 Picked on Kenny James

Some of the other items that can be seen on Earl's List

  • Other items visible in this episode (seen in close ups of Earl's List):
    • - 61 Everything I did to dad
    • - 62 Threw Carol's alarm clock out window
      • (#62 is actually "Siphoned gas" as seen in Something to Live For. It is unclear what number "Threw Carol's alarm clock out the window" is)
    • - 63 Wasted electricity
      • (This is later shown to be #45)
    • - 65 Vandalized the l..?
    • - 66 Let mice out the attic
    • - 67 Framed Smoky ..?

Featured music[]

  • "Monkey Dance" by The Wiggles
  • "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction
  • "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
  • "Winning" by Santana
  • "99 Luftballons" by Nena
  • "Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me)" by Erasure

Memorable quotes[]

  • Earl Hickey: [voiceover] You know that guy you see going into the convenience store when you stop off at that little town on the way to grandma's house? A sort of shifty looking fella who buys a pack of smokes, a couple of lotto scratchers and a tall boy at ten in the morning? The kind of guy you wait for to come out before you and your family go in? Well, that guy is me. My name is Earl. And if you took the time to really get to know me, find out what kind of person I truly am instead of just stereotyping me because of the way I look, well, you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am. Hell, I'll pretty much steal anything that isn't nailed down.

  • Randy Hickey: Who's karma?
  • Earl Hickey: I don't know, it's something Carson Daly came up with.

  • Randy Hickey: Number 23: Peed in the back of a cop car.
  • Earl Hickey: I'm no longer proud of that.

  • Earl Hickey: Don't they have special bars for the queers - I'm sorry, homosexual Americans?




Guest starring[]

  • Leo Fitzpatrick as Sonny
  • Carson Daly as Himself
  • Trace Adkins as Himself
  • Laura Gardner as Mrs. James
  • Frank Collison as Mr. James
  • Andy Pessoa as Young Kenny James
  • Patrick McCarthy as Teacher
  • Yetta Ginsburg as Joan