- For other uses of the term "Happiness", see Happinesss (disambiguation).
|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air Date||June 23, 2011|
|Written By||David Zuckerman|
|Directed By||Randall Einhorn|
- "Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination."
- ―Mark Twain
After a failed suicide attempt, Ryan forms a unique connection with his neighbor's dog, Wilfred.
Ryan Newman attempts suicide by consuming an entire bottle of stress relievers. After they fail to kill him, he begins panicking, and attempts several other methods, which all fail. In the early morning, his neighbor, Jenna knocks on his door, and asks him he could watch her dog, Wilfred for her while she ran a few errands. Ryan accepts, and is confused when her "dog" appears to be an Australian man in a fur suit. Wilfred claims to smell fear, shit and spoiled milk. Wilfred takes out a homemade plastic bong out of his bag, and tries to convince Ryan to take a hit of his weed. Ryan tells Wilfred that he shouldn't, that he was starting a new job that day, for his sister, Kristen Newman, who works as a nurse. Wilfred convinces Ryan that he isn't going to his new job, and blows smoke in Ryan's face, who proceeds to pass out.
Ryan wakes up hours later to a phone call from his sister, who is furious at Ryan for not showing up, and making her look like a fool in front of Arturo Ramos. Ryan wonders into the kitchen, and sees a normal dog outside his window, and presumes he dreamt about Wilfred, and proceeds to drink from a milk carton, only to discover has spoiled, as Wilfred shows up. Wilfred has dug up Ryan's yard, who is worried about Jenna being gone, and convinces Ryan to take him on a walk. While walking, Wilfred tells Ryan that he saw his suicide note he had written, and proceeds to critique it. Wilfred chases after Ryan's neighbor Spencer who goes down the street on his motorcycle, revving it. Spencer proceeds to threaten Ryan, and Ryan acts submissive towards him. Wilfred calls Ryan a pussy, and tries to shove his Tennis Ball into Ryan's face, who pushes it away, and it flies into Spencer's yard.
Jenna shows up, and gets Wilfred, and Wilfred tells Ryan that he will get his ball back. Kristen shows up at Ryan's house later that night, and Ryan proceeds to ignore her, wandering into his backyard when he sees Wilfred. Wilfred asks for Ryan's help to get his ball back, telling him that he got it at the puppy shelter before Jenna adopted him. Ryan jumps the fence and retrieves the ball, and Wilfred smashes Spencer's window in. Ryan follows Wilfred into the house, trying to stop Wilfred, and they discover a room filled with Marijuana plants. Wilfred tells Ryan to stop letting people step over him, and getting in the way of his happiness, and the two proceed to steal Spencer's Marijuana plants, and shit in his boots.
Kristen comes outside to talk to Ryan when he and Wilfred return, and Ryan tells Dr. Ramos that he would rather eat a possums ass than work for him, and tells Kristen to stop interfering with his life. Wilfred congratulates Ryan, and hand Ryan his ball, and tells him to throw away all his problems. Ryan throws the ball, and when Wilfred doesn't fetch it, asks him why, and Wilfred reveals that the ball was actually of no significance to him. Ryan and Wilfred are later seen hanging out together drinking beer and pondering over the future of their friendship.
It is shown that Wilfred left Ryan's wallet at Spencer's house when they broke in, presumably for Spencer to find.
- Elijah Wood as Ryan Newman
- Jason Gann as Wilfred
- Fiona Gubelmann as Jenna Mueller
- Dorian Brown as Kristen Newman
Special Guest Star
- Rachel Sterling as Waitress
- Al Sapienza as Poochy Poochy Guy
- Buddy Holly - "Raining in My Heart"
- SOFAMECCA - "Ashen"
- Harry Nilsson - "The Puppy Song"
- Ryan, Jenna, Wilfred, Kristen, and Spencer are introduced.
- Ryan assumes when Wilfred is yelling during the night he is Jenna's boyfriend, we learn she does have a boyfriend in "Trust".
- Ryan is shown to have a romantic interest in Jenna, which will continue throughout the series.
- Wilfred's love of Matt Damon is introduced.
- Wilfred's Gatorade Bong is introduced. It will be seen throughout the series.
- Wilfred mentions Ryan's father, whom will become a larger theme later in the series.
- Wilfred taking Ryan's wallet will be explored in the episode "Fear".
- Wilfred is shown humping a giant stuffed bear at the end of the episode, he will later steal a stuffed bear whom he will have intercourse with several times throughout the series in "Acceptance".
- Wilfred's "We're gonna need a bigger bong!" is a reference to the critically acclaimed 1975 film Jaws.
- Wilfred tells Ryan the truth about what he really is exactly ten minutes into the first episode.
- The opening quote comes from the Mark Twain book The Mysterious Stranger. Elijah Wood previously played the title role in the Disney adaption of Mark Twain's other novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Every episode contains dogisms, or actions that Wilfred performs as a human that parallel him actually being a dog, in this episode there is:
- Wilfred goes in circles before he sits on Ryan's couch
- Ryan does not know whether to give Wilfred a bowl or glass of water
- Wilfred has a high level of smell and detects Ryan's milk spoiling along with Ryan's fear and shit in pants
- Wilfred digs holes in Ryan's backyard (with a shovel, apparently)
- Ryan and Wilfred go for a walk
- Wilfred urinates in public
- Wilfred humps a waitress's leg
- He discusses eating the guts of a possum through its asshole
- Wilfred chases Spencer who's on a motorcycle
- Spencer threatens Ryan with cutting Wilfred's nuts off
- Wilfred wants to play catch with Ryan
- Wilfred makes out (gives kisses to) Ryan in front of Jenna
- Both he and Ryan shit in Spencer's boots
- In the last minute of the episode a montage is shown of Wilfred partaking in dog acts, like getting a rubdown and eating a popsicle with Jenna, farting with Ryan and humping a stuffed bear (Not Bear)