A Night at the Katz Motel is the first and true pilot episode of Season One, which aired November 12, 1999, preceding Cajun Granny Stew. It was written by John R. Dilworth and Irvin S. Bauer, and also directed by Dilworth.
Muriel, Eustace, and Courage stop at a lonely motel to end their vacation. Unfortunately for them, the hotel is owned by the nefarious Katz, who harbors a penchant for feeding his guests to his mutant pet spiders.
PlotWhile on their way home from a trip, Eustace, Muriel, and their dog, Courage, become caught in a storm, forcing them to stay the night at the Katz Motel on the side of the highway. They are welcomed by the proprietor, Katz, who reveals that canines are strictly prohibited. Courage is forced to sleep outside the motel, while Eustace and Muriel attempt to settle in for the night. An unseen figure, presumably Katz, unleashes an enormous spider on Courage, before dropping another in Muriel's bath through the faucet. Courage barely escapes and begins searching for Muriel and Eustace, while Muriel is ambushed by the spider in the bathtub.
Courage is alerted by her screams and launches himself through the window, only to discover Muriel being attacked by the monstrous spider down the toilet. Muriel instructs Courage to awaken Eustace, but his efforts prove futile. Eustace's bed is revealed to be a hidden door when it flips, causing him to disappear. Courage discovers Eustace has disappeared and quickly goes to the lobby to get help, only to discover it empty. Upon further inspection, he discovers another room covered in spider webs, with an unconscious Eustace about to be consumed by a larger and deadlier spider. Courage pulls up a loose floorboard and crushes the creature underneath it, before rescuing a still sleeping Eustace. While making their escape, Katz appears and blocks the way out, forcing Courage to toss Eustace's bound and unconscious form on him.
Courage hides in the motel's basement, only to discover it is where Katz stores the spiders. A terrified Courage bursts through the door, knocking it loose from its hinges and onto an awaiting Katz, who quickly recovers. He corners Courage in a part of the basement and forces him to play a game of hand-ball for his freedom. Meanwhile, Muriel is able to knock the spider into the toilet, flushing and drowning the creature. Katz triumphs over Courage in the game and proceeds to smother him with one of his spiders. However, Muriel appears and strikes Katz over the head with a badminton racket, dazing him and rescuing Courage. An irritated Muriel drives them away from the motel, complaining about the awful service.
- Katz (debut)
- Katz' spiders (debut)
- "This looks like a crummy place to end a crummy vacation." — Eustace (first lines)
- "I wish you hadn't done that." — Katz (repeated line)
- "That's a fancy blanket grandpa has on. Maybe we should get you one." — Muriel (final lines)
- First appearance of Katz and the first villain to appear in the series.
- First actual appearances of Courage, Muriel and Eustace
- Courage speaks a lot in this episode, in contrast to the gibberish primary in later episodes.
- The "Chicken from Outer Space" characters cameos as a rubber duck in Muriel's bathtub.
- The Bagges' room number is 666½.
- This is one of the few episodes where Muriel actually saves herself instead of Courage usually saving her.
- Courage uses a "Dil" brand chainsaw.
- The people who checked in the Katz Motel are actually staff members who worked on the show.