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Welcome Episode

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The standard Premiere plot, which makes up about 75% of TV premieres and pilots, in which a single new member comes into an established group. This gives the writers an easy way to introduce the characters and all the most relevant facts about them as the new member, as ignorant as we are, gathers information. If the group is a workplace, more often than not the new member is a Nave Newcomer.

See also Rookie Red Ranger, Everyone Meets Everyone, In Medias Res or Debut Queue.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Yukito in AIR comes into town and meets everyone in the first episode.
  • Guts in the second episode of Berserk, as the entire anime series is set up as a How We Got Here for the very first episode where Guts is the Black Swordsman, a Demon Slaying, BFS-wielding out for revenge against his former best friend.
  • Ebisu from Ebisu-san and Hotei-san is introduced this way when Ebisu transfers from a corporate city head office to a local suburban branch office.
  • In the very first episode of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Kirby crash-lands in Dream Land and is introduced to Cappy Town by Tiff, Tuff, Fololo and Falala and welcomed to it by the Cappies. They even build him a new house for him to live in in the second episode.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team. The first episode of each series, as Taro becomes the new head of the Hanaukyo family and meets the mansion's maids.
  • Sound of the Sky's first episode is about the main character meeting pretty much everyone and walking around the setting.
  • The second episode of Fairy Tail starts with Natsu introducing Lucy to the rest of the guild members and their quirky behavior.
  • The first episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion features Shinji Ikari first arriving in Tokyo-3 to join NERV at the behest of his father and finding himself immediately thrust into the battle with the Angels
  • In episode 2 of Eureka Seven, newcomer Renton Thurston becomes part of the Gekkostate. Unfortunately, the entire crew save Eureka seems to be locked into asshole mode and screw around with him for the next few episodes... until a handful of episodes later, it becomes clear pushing Renton will get you seriously messed up, just like the KLF squadrons found out the hard way.
  • Haibane Renmei's early episodes have Rakka's cocoon dream, then her hatching, getting to know the other Haibane, and getting her wings and halo.

    Comic Books 
  • In the very first issue of Sunnyville Stories, Rusty Duncan and his family are welcomed by Sam's family; Sam even introduces Rusty to many of the other children in town.
  • X-Men debuted with Jean Grey being added to the previously all male team.

  • The first several chapters of The Maze Runner start with Thomas having amnesia and being unkindly welcomed by the surviving group in the maze.
  • Discworld:
    • Guards! Guards!, the first City Watch novel, has Nave Newcomer Carrot arrive in the city and meet the rest of the Watch.
    • Going Postal, the first Moist von Lipwig novel, has Moist become the Postmaster and meet the rest of the team at the Ankh-Morpork Post Office. The second Moist novel, Making Money, while it features characters from Going Postal, would involve him becoming Master of the Mint and be introduced to an entirely different team at the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork. (He changes jobs again in Raising Steam, but that involves the invention of an entirely new industry, so there isn't a pre-existing team.)
  • Tigana: The rebel group trying to take down Brandin and Alberico is introduced through Devin accidentally finding out about their actions and getting invited to join.
  • Worm: The first arc sees protagonist Taylor being invited to join the Undersiders, a supervillain group which already has four members.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Captain Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He's a new commanding officer of the 99th Precinct of New Work Police Department in Brooklyn. Sergeant Jeffords introduces his squad of detectives.
  • CSI-verse:
    • CSI: Subverted in a major way by having a Welcome Episode premiere which ended with Nave Newcomer Holly Gribbs getting shot dead.
    • CSI: NY: When Jo joined the team in the season 7 opener, she arrives at the lab while everyone else is attending Lindsay's medal ceremony and finds a dead body in the lobby. She's standing over the young woman when Mac walks in:
      Jo: My first thought was it's a practical joke. You know, "Welcome to the New York Crime Lab."
      Mac: We usually sabotage a pair of latex gloves or have a tech pose as a dead body in Autopsy, then suddenly pop to life. But murder? Not our style.
      Jo: Good to know.
  • Ian and Barbara in Doctor Who and Rose in the 2005 relaunch. How they get introduced differs though. Ian and Barbara find the TARDIS at the beginning of the episode and immediately get introduced to time travel as the Doctor tries to run away. Rose slowly gets introduced to aliens and the Doctor and makes the decision herself to travel with him in the TARDIS at the end of the episode, setting up the time travel elements for the next episode.
  • Simon, Book and River in Firefly. They are just passengers in the pilot but decide to join the crew of Captain Mal's ship Serenity.
  • The first episode of 30 Rock featured both Jack Donaghy and Tracy Jordan meeting everyone else. This is a bit of an untraditional example in that Jack and Tracy are about the most insane characters on the show and everything was (relatively) pleasant before they came along.
  • Being Human (UK): The pilot for Being Human is a classic Welcome Episode. George and Mitchell, who already know each other, move into the flat and meet its resident ghost, Annie. But, while the pilot was broadcast, it was not within the main run of the show and employs different actors for two of the main three characters. The programme creators made the perhaps unusual decision not to refilm or rewrite the pilot or write a new introductory story for the series itself, but to treat it as canon. The actual first episode of Being Human has the cast already established in their relationship to each other and settled in the flat, their jobs etc. Surprisingly, it works well as a first episode whether or not you were previously familiar with the pilot.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Robin is introduced to the existing group, but the kids are the ones who are getting the information about everyone. Robin herself doesn't really join their group until a few episodes later after she rebuffs Ted's advances a couple times and asks if they can just be friends instead.
  • Castle, the eponymous writer in Castle. He's a part of police investigation and because he knows how to pull strings, he's allowed to tag along and shadow the team during their investigation of open cases.
  • Penny in The Big Bang Theory. She's a new neighbour who moves across the hall and meets a group of geeky friends who know each other from university.
  • Jess in New Girl. She moves in with three guys who are already friends and roommates.
  • Winnie Goodwin in Free Spirit (1989). She meets Gene Harper in order to grant his wish for more attention, then ends up becoming his father's housekeeper and all three kids' caregiver.
  • Probe's "Computer Logic": Michelle Castle is newly hired for Serendip to be Austin James' secretary. Being sent to his warehouse/home/laboratory kicks off the two-character Ensemble series.
  • Kate and DJ explore The Noddy Shop in its' first episode. They discover two boxes that unleash the goblins and contain dolls of the characters in the Noddy's Toyland Adventures segments.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan starts with Bambang, a Country Mouse from Wonosari, first arriving in the city of Jakarta. The first episode shows how he finds a dorm to live and how he, one by one, meets Alan, Melani, Prima and Mami Bibir who already knew each other and has lived in Jakarta for months or years.
  • Is It Legal?: The first episode ("Death in Hounslow") is about Colin becoming a junior partner and meeting his new fellow employees.
  • Disney Channel:
    • Austin & Ally: Austin and Dez already knew each other at the beginning of the show, as did Ally and Trish, but the two groups combined for the first time in the pilot.
    • Crash & Bernstein: Crash, as he has yet to even be created by Wyatt at the beginning of the first episode.
    • Hannah Montana: While he did know them, Oliver was not exactly a close friend to Miley and Lilly when the show began.
    • I'm in the Band: For Tripp, who joins Iron Weasel after winning a contest and has them live in his house.
    • The title character of Jessie, when she is hired as a nanny for the Ross children.
    • K.C. Undercover: Judy in the second episode, as she is a robot who is delivered to stay with the Coopers.
    • Kickin' It: Jack is a new student at the Bobby Wasabi dojo, whereas Jerry, Eddie, and Milton are long-time members. Kim also joins at the end of the episode after quitting the Black Dragons in disgust of their cheating.
    • Lab Rats: Leo is just moving into the Davenport mansion after his mother Tasha married Donald. While he first met Donald some point before the show began, he meets Adam, Bree, and Chase for the first time in this episode.
    • Mighty Med: The pilot episode has Kaz and Oliver hired by the titular hospital, and thus meet Skylar, Alan, and Horace for the first time.
    • Sonny with a Chance: Sonny, the main character, meets the other So Random! cast members in the first episode after moving to Hollywood, and meets Chad in the second episode.
  • Nickelodeon:
    • Henry Danger with Henry meeting Ray/Captain Man for the first time.
    • iCarly: At the beginning of the show, Freddie is Carly's next-door neighbor who has a crush on her, but he's not yet a close friend of Carly and Sam.
    • Zoey 101: This episode focuses on Zoey's first day at Pacific Coast Academy, and she obviously does not know any of the other main characters on the show aside from her brother Dustin.
  • Odd Squad:
    • Subverted in the Season 1 premiere. Everyone is already well familiar with each other, and Otto even explicitly states that he and Olive have been working together for a while.
    • The Season 2 premiere, "First Day", has Otis and Olympia meet each other and become partners, going on their first case together and becoming close friends.
    • "Back to the Past" has Oona meeting Olympia and Otis for the first time, as Oscar explains that she is his new Lab assistant. She later ends up becoming part of the core group by the end of "Oscar Strikes Back".
    • The "Odd Beginnings" two-parter averts this for Opal and Omar, as they are both an already-established partner pair, but plays it straight with Oswald and Orla, as both Opal and Omar meet them and they tag along with them on their adventure, eventually becoming part of the Odd Squad Mobile Unit.
  • Severance (2022): We are introduced to the severed floor of Lumon through Helly waking up at Lumon with her memories of life outside of work temporarily erased (as is the case for all the employees) and being shown how things work by the other employees.

  • In both the movie and the original Broadway production of 1776, Dr. Lyman Hall of Georgia is only a supporting character, but his arrival in Philadelphia provides an excuse for the rest of the cast to introduce themselves to him (and to the audience).

    Web Comics 
  • The first issue of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures. Bruce and Damian welcome Duke to Wayne Manor.
  • Chapter One of Everyday Heroes, where Mr. Mighty and family meet the neighbors. Also in Chapter Three, where he finally gets around to meeting the rest of his teammates.
  • My Impossible Soulmate begins with Chiaki meeting Redge and Nara for the first time, before she signs up as a student at the Grand Arcane Library and is introduced to much of the main cast there..
  • Downplayed in Stand Still, Stay Silent: The story starts out with the original crew of five meeting each other, and establishing a working dynamic on their first actual mission in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 gets entirely dedicated to them getting an unexpected addition in the form of a young sheep herder who hid in one of the food crates that got delivered to them by boat, and that they have to keep around because he's not The Immune and considered in a Contamination Situation merely from being in the The Plague-ridden Forbidden Zone they are exploring.

    Western Animation 
  • Fry in Futurama had 2 episodes worth of welcome: The first introduces him to the trio of other central characters while the second introduces the rest—Amy, Hermes, and Zoidberg.
  • Hal Jordan especially in the animated adaptation, introduces the audience to the Green Lantern Corps this way.
  • Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This gets coupled with Twilight and her newly formed friends gathering the elements and defeating Nightmare Moon.
  • The Powerpuff Girls pilot "Meat Fuzzy Lumkins" has narrator Ernie Anderson entreating us to say hello to Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup.
  • Gus Griswald in the Recess episode, "The New Kid". What's different is that it's episode 1B (following a Two Shorts format) instead of episode 1A.
  • Goof Troop's pilot, "Forever Goof" (which is made up of the two episodes "Everything's Coming Up Goofy" and "Good Neighbor Goof") involves the Goof family moving to Spoonerville next door to Goofy's high school classmates, Pete and Peg (and their children).
  • Though he was a one-shot character rather than part of the main cast, Yipper fulfilled this role in "The Yipper Caper", the premiere episode of Pound Puppies (2010). After ending up at Shelter 17, he meets Lucky, who introduces him to the rest of the Pound Puppies and fills him in on the Pound Puppies' mission of ensuring that every dog has an owner and a loving home.
  • The first episode of Galaxy High had Milo de Venus give Doyle and Aimee a tour of the high school while also introducing them to the other characters. The episode was even titled "Welcome to Galaxy High".
  • The first episode of Star Wars Rebels has Ezra Bridger joining the crew of the Ghost and becoming Kanan Jarrus' padawan.
  • The first episode of Time Squad has orphan from 2001 Otto Osworth beg to be kidnapped by Buck Tuddrussel and Larry 3000 after they explain who they are and what Time Squad is. They even give him a tour of their space station.
  • Monster Farm had this occur in the first episode "Back to the Roots", where Jack Haylee first met the monster animals after inheriting the farm from his great uncle. Count Cluckula is the first of the monsters Jack encounters, with the rest of them being introduced to Jack by Cluckula afterwards.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "Help Wanted", the pilot episode of the show, can count. While SpongeBob did know who Mr. Krabs was before the episode, this is considered the first time the two have actually met. "Tea at the Teadome" meanwhile serves as this for Sandy.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: The pilot episode from the Oh Yeah! Cartoons era is about the day Timmy first met Cosmo and Wanda.