"Pilot" is the beginning of the story that marks the chaos and romance. It's the first episode of the first season and the first episode overall.
As a new school year begins in the town of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Wildcats wins the last championship basketball game of the year. The show centers around the "Golden Boy" of East High, Troy Bolton, and all his high school challenges. With the weight of the world on Troy's shoulders, weighing heavily on his mind is helping out shy new kid, Brett Shimura, when a shocking video of him goes viral to various social media sites. Hateful comments come pouring in, and the whole school is buzzing.
Close up of Troy Bolton in the middle of the big championship game against the West High Knights basketball team. The buzzer sounds, and East High is down. There are only sixteen minutes left in this game, and only sixteen minutes left for the seniors to wear a Wildcats basketball uniform. Troy and Chad then lead the team out. The Wildcats win, to thunderous applause and with Troy actually drawing the attention of the rival team away before making the final basket. He sees Gabriella Montez and they kiss lovingly.
The following day, Troy is awoke by his alarm clock and gets ready for school. His mother makes breakfast and Troy hurries to leave. Troy arrives in standard style at East High, as students congratulate him down the hall. Chad arrives, and talks with Troy before running into Ryan Evans. Ryan talks to Troy about the fall musicale and Troy is unsure about it. Taylor McKessie appears. Soon after, Gabriella arrives and is complimented by a stunned Troy. A few minutes later, Zeke Baylor appears and the boys walk up to the championship glass case. Meanwhile, Sharpay Evans arrives in standard style at East High, separating students with a wave of her hand as her tasseled high heeled boots click clack down the hall. She asks Troy, "When's the big game?" without noticing that Zeke and the other basketball members are placing the new trophy in the cabinet behind her, and saying, "Good luck," after Troy explains that the game was yesterday. Sharpay proceeds to her double locker, pausing to kiss her snow globe with the photo of her dog before noticing a petite, blonde girl behind her. The girl explains that she is Tiara and she is applying to be Sharpay's personal assistant. After proving that she knows Sharpay's schedule and preferences already, Sharpay accepts Tiara, remarking that she likes Tiara's British accent. Meanwhile, Troy and Gabriella kiss passionately as they approach Chad and Taylor. Troy tells Gabriella that she's his "one in a million". Later, not paying attention, Troy unknowingly collides into Brett Shimura. Troy immediately befriends him and shows him around the school. While noticing Brett is a shy kid, Troy offers to introduce him to the gang. Brett accepts and is introduced to Chad, Taylor, Ryan, and Gabriella, who all tell him East High is a friendly school.
- The episode addresses many relevant issues as well ranging from peer-pressure, cyber-bullying, and LGBTQ rights.