A Night at the Katz Motel is the first and true pilot episode of Season One, which aired November 12, 1996, 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.
PlotEustace and Muriel check into the Katz Motel on their way home from a vacation during a thunderstorm. They are welcomed by Katz, but are strictly prohibited from bringing in their dog, Courage, under motel policy. He is tied up outside for the night. The spouses settle into their room, Muriel preparing a bath and Eustace falling asleep. When an enormous venomous spider is released onto Courage by a hidden culprit, he breaks free of his leash. Meanwhile, as Muriel soaks in the bathtub, another hostile spider plops into the water from the faucet.
While sneaking through the halls in search of his owners' room, Courage overhears Muriel screaming. The door is locked, but with the assistance of a cannon which launches him through the window, he enters the hotel room to the sight of Muriel attempting to subdue the attacking spider and is told to wake Eustace. Eustace refuses to wake up despite numerous efforts by Courage to do so. While Courage is distracted, the bed flips into the floor through a hidden compartment, and Eustace vanishes. When Courage discovers that Eustace is missing, he seeks help in the lobby, which is deserted. Noticing the private back room's door ajar, he opens it to reveal a large spider web. Eustace, still asleep, is wrapped in a blanket of spider silk and is about to become an impending spider's next meal. Courage realizes that the hotel is all a ruse employed to provide human flesh for Katz's ferociously hungry arachnid collection. Utilizing a loose floorboard as a weapon, Courage crushes the spider. Courage grabs Eustace and is about to liberate him when Katz appears, blocking the exit into the lobby.
To escape, Courage tosses Eustace onto Katz, and then flees into a dark basement room. A flick of the lights reveals endless shelves of failed experiments preserved in jars. Horrified, Courage bursts out of the room, unintentionally detaching the door from its hinges which flattens Katz underneath. Courage finds himself cornered in the basement. Katz catches up and challenges Courage to a game of handball before his death. In the meantime, Muriel manages to wrestle the spider into the toilet, and changes into her clothes. Courage loses the game, and as Katz strangles Courage and is about to unleash a spider, Muriel arrives and smashes a badminton racket over his head, knocking him unconscious. Complaining that the service was unacceptable, the family leaves the hotel, Muriel and Eustace totally oblivious of the danger they had just been in, and Eustace still in his spider silk "blanket".
- Katz (debut)
- Katz' spiders
- "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.