Season 1, Episode 1
Production Code HE101
First Aired April 13, 2011
Director(s) Anthony & Joe Russo
Writer(s) David Caspe
Episode Guide
"The Quicksand Girlfriend"

Pilot is the first episode of Happy Endings. It is the first episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 13, 2011.


Dave's fiance Alex suddenly leaves him at the alter the day of their wedding, putting their group of friends (Brad, Jane, Penny and Max) in an awkward position of having to choose sides. This also leads to disaster at Penny's birthday party the following week.


At a church, Alex and Dave stand at the altar, saying their wedding vows, surrounded by their friends, Jane, Penny, Brad, and Max. Before the ceremony can finish though, a man arrives on roller blades, screaming for the wedding to stop. He declares his love for Alex, much to the shock and horror of the group, and begs Alex to leave with him. Alex turns to Dave and apologizes, running away with the man, leaving Dave devastated. Dave leaves the wedding in the car that he and Alex were meant to drive, sobbing and asking, "why?".

At a bar, Penny, Brad, Jane, and Max confer about how awful the ceremony was, while discussing Brad and Jane's "pre-pregnancy cleanse" that cuts out all meat, sugar, and alcohol. Penny finally hears from Dave, who assures his friends that he is "all good in the hood", worrying all four of them. Max sarcastically toasts the wedding as being the last time all six of them would be together, but Jane says she's sure that in a week, all six of them will be back at the church, laughing about the whole situation.

A week later, Dave lies curled up on his couch, surrounded by wedding gifts and half-eaten food. Penny, Jane, Max, and Brad enter, and delicately ask how he's doing. He assures his friend's he's fine, explaining what he's been up to in the past week, including inventing new drinks, and eating the world's largest chocolate bride. His actions greatly concern the group, and they try to convince him to put on pants and come out with him, to help him move on. He insists that he needs to stay near the phone, hopefully suggesting Alex will call. But Brad reveals that Alex went on their honeymoon with the, "roller blade guy", prompting Dave to finally leave the apartment.

At a club later that night, Dave dances with an attractive young girl, as his friends look on, half-amused and half-disgusted. Dave sarcastically compliments the girl on her tattoo, and begins to passionately kiss her, to his friends' admiration and disgust.

The next morning, Dave exits his room, clearly hungover, hearing the doorbell ringing. He answers it to find that Alex has returned, sporting a tan and dreadlocks, and slams the door in her face. Alex forces her way in, and tries to apologize to Dave, but he refuses to accept her apology. He asks about the "roller blade guy", and Alex reveals his name, Bo, and says that she didn't do anything with him. Alex says that she had been having second thoughts for quite some time, as she felt Dave had taken her for granted, such as the time he gave her $40 for Valentine's Day. Dave assures Alex that she is the only girl he's ever liked and says he couldn't even imagine being with another woman again. At that moment, the young girl from the club exits the bedroom, completely naked, asking if anyone had seen her tongue ring, rendering both Dave and Alex speechless.

Later, Penny, Alex, and Jane work out at the gym, and discuss what happened. Alex expresses frustration that the group let Dave sleep with the girl, but Jane reminds her that she doesn't have room to talk. Penny welcomes Alex back to the dating game, assuring her it's much worse than the last time she was single, but Jane assures Alex that she can smooth things over with Dave later, at Penny's 30th birthday party later that night. Alex expresses her reluctance to attend, but Penny convinces her to come in the end.

Meanwhile, Dave, Max, and Brad begin to help Dave move out of his and Alex's apartment, into Max's. Max expresses excitement at having Dave as his roommate, but the two are interrupted by Brad's disgusting cabbage smoothie. He reveals that the cleanse is disgusting, telling his friends he's already lost 11 pounds in one day. Max asks if Dave will be coming to Penny's 30th birthday party, and Dave assures him that he will, promising that he'll handle the situation with Alex like an adult.

Later that night, the group gathers at the bar, preparing to celebrate Penny's birthday. Dave arrives with the girl, exciting Max, but horrifying Jane and Alex. Dave taunts Alex by aggressively kissing the girl, Jackie in front of her, greatly upsetting Alex. Jane tries to assure Alex that Jackie means nothing to Dave, but she dismisses her, leading Jane to ask the waitress to bring her vodka disguised as water for the rest of the night. Penny suddenly arrives, with her new boyfriend, Todd, and introduces him to the group. Most of the group is excited to meet him, but once Todd excuses himself to the bathroom, Max tells Penny that he's sure Todd is gay. Penny denies this, but Max points out that she had no idea that Max was gay when they dated in college. Brad arrives, carrying several 30th birthday balloons, congratulating Penny on turning 30. The group gives him a dirty look, and Todd says that he thought Penny was turning 26. Penny confirms the lie, and gives Brad a pointed look, greatly confusing him. At this point, Jackie interrupts, revealing that she's still in high school, shocking the group and horrifying Dave.

Later, the group eats dinner in tense silence. After a few pointed comments between Alex, Dave, and Jackie, Brad attempts to steer the conversation towards Penny and Todd, asking how the two met. Todd reveals they met on JDate, once again confusing Brad, until he realizes that Penny has again lied to Todd. Jane then attempts a toast to Penny and Todd, but Dave and Alex interrupt, and throw insults at one another about their recent breakup. As things get more and more tense, Alex tearfully reveals that she ran away because Jane scared her right before the wedding with talk of kids and moving to the suburbs, causing Dave to begin a fight with Jane. Brad tries to defuse the situation, but inadvertently discovers that Jane hasn't been following their cleanse, much to his annoyance. She angrily storms out after chastising Brad and Alex, leading Brad to walk out after her. Dave sarcastically congratulates Alex for ruining everyone's friendships, while Alex sarcastically congratulates Dave for, "banging underage sluts". Jackie angrily tells everyone she's 18, before throwing her drink in Alex's face and storming out. At this moment, several waiters arrive, carrying a large cake with a '30' candle on it for Penny. Todd asks one last time if Penny is in fact Jewish, causing her to reveal her lies, and storm out, after destroying the cake. Todd soon follows, after Max insinuates he's gay, leaving just Max, Alex, and Dave at the table. Max congratulates the two on ruining the birthday, and leaves the two sitting at the table, ashamed of what they've done. Outside the restaurant, Todd awkwardly bids Penny good night, causing her to think Max was correct about him being gay.

The next morning, Max, Penny, Jane, and Brad eat breakfast at a diner, expressing their sadness that all six of them can't ever be together again. They're surprised though by the arrival of Dave and Alex, together again. Dave jokes that they're back together, before assuring the group that they're not, revealing that the two worked on their issues a bit the night before. Alex notes that she and Dave agreed to keep the issues of their breakup between the two of them, saying she doesn't want to be the reason that the six of them can't hang out together. They sit down, and Alex reveals a cake to replace the one from the previous night, this time with a '26' candle on top. As the group heckles Max for his weight and eats the cake, Dave and Alex share a look at one another, smiling as they enjoy being with their friends again.


Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • Dave sings along to the Indigo Girls song 'Closer to Fine' a week after Alex leaves him at the altar.
  • 'She Moves In Her Own Way' by The Kooks plays in the final moments of the episode.
  • Several people in Dave's online yoga class call him "Bodhi", a character from 'Point Break'. Dave has been watching that movie a lot since Alex left him.
  • Dave says Alex looks like Predator with her, "white trash tourist braids", sarcastically expressing his fear that she would rip out his spine.
  • Max and Todd reference Michael Bay's Transformers movies, with Max saying Shia LaBeouf is attractive, while Todd says Megan Fox is attractive.
  • Penny lies to Todd about being born during the 1984 Winter Olympics.
  • Dave and Alex call each other, "the Michael Jordan of..." during their fight at the restaurant. Jackie is too young to understand who Michael Jordan is.
  • Max suggests that he and Todd could rent the movie "Kate and Leopold" on a hypothetical date.


The pilot episode of Happy Endings was viewed by 7.301 million people, holding a 4.7 HH rating, and a 2.8 rating among 18-49.

Critical reception to Pilot was mixed to negative. In reviews of the first few episodes of the season, many critics compared the pilot unfavorably to the TV shows Friends and Will and Grace, though some praised the casting of Adam Pally and the chemistry of the cast.

The pilot had some positive reception. Gina Bellafonte for the New York Times called the series, "both a retro version of "Friends", and a more superficially progressive one", praising Pally for his portrayal of Max[1]. Linda Stasi of the New York Post responded positively to the pilot, praising the writing and acting[2]. Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe praised the chemistry of the cast and the writing, in a review of the first four episodes of the series[3].

However, the pilot attracted a lot of negative reception. Hank Steuver of The Washington Post compared it unfavorably with other shows featuring a similar premise, calling it, "flat and mediocre"[4]. Robert Bianco of USA Today called it, "yet-another attempt by ABC to launch a Friends-in-the-city sitcom" and criticized its lack of originality[5]. David Hinckley of New York Daily News criticized the twists of the episode and the writing, as well as its lack of originality[6]. And Verne Gay of Newsday criticized the writing and the lack of big-name cast members, declaring it to be full of, "desperation"[7].


  • This is the first episode of the TV show Happy Endings.
  • Travis Van Winkle reprises his role as Bo in Bo Fight.
  • Mikaela Hoover reprises her role as Jackie in Party of Six, another episode centered around Penny's birthday.
  • Angelique Cabral would later appear as Vanessa in The Code War.


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