Pushing Daisies centers on the life of Ned, a pie-maker gifted with the mysterious ability to bring dead things back to life by touching them. There are some conditions to this somewhat unusual talent. Ned quickly learns that if something is revived for more than exactly one minute, something of similar "life value" in the vicinity drops dead, as a form of balance. Additionally, if he touches the revived person or thing a second time, it falls dead again, this time permanently.
Ned works in a pie store and seems to lead a perfectly normal life. This, however, is far from the truth. Ned can, through the touch of his hand, wake people from the dead. He decides to use this ability of his to solve crimes, but this appears to be much more difficult than it sounds, when he gives life to his childhood crush, and decides to let keep living.
Ned, Emerson and Chuck visit the morgue to inspect the body of a victim of a car accident, a 45 year old man who specialized in automobile safety. The police is offering a reward to anyone who can find the killer and Emerson wants answers to be able to get the reward.
Chuck holds true to the threat she made in the pilot by baking anti-depressants into her aunt's food, in the form of Ned's pies. Olive delivers one to them and stumbles onto Chuck's secret. Now that she has dirt on Chuck - that her aunts think she's dead - will Olive use it against her to get Ned?
Emerson, Ned and Chuck are hired to prove that a pilot was murdered, rather than committing suicide, but soon become involved in a case of stolen jewelery and an escaped prisoner.
In this Halloween episode, Emerson and Olive track down "the ghost" who's been killing the jockeys at the old race arena where Olive used to race as a former jockey herself. With help from Ned and Chuck, they try to solve the big mystery.
Ned, Chuck, Emerson and Olive tackle a murder mystery involving a man who was murdered over a dog and claims to have been killed by his wife. Problem is, he's a polygamist with four wives.
Ned, Emerson, and Chuck's next case involves an olfactory assistant who was killed when her scratch-'n'-sniff book combusted.
Emerson, Ned and Chuck investigate the death of Tony DiNapoli, who appears to have been strangled by a woman. Meanwhile, business at the Pie Hole plummets when a new candy store opens in town. Alfredo Aldarisio returns and continues to pursue an oblivious Olive who, herself, still pines for affection from the Pie Maker.
Chuck learns the most shocking secret of her life and refuses to forgive Ned. In order to take the Pie Maker's mind off of Chuck, Emerson gets him to solve the mystery of a man killing life insurance agents and hiding them in snow banks. Oscar Vibenius returns to investigate why Chuck has an unique smell. Meanwhile, the aunts' antidepressant-laced pies begin to show some hallucinogenic effects.
Emerson is hired by Dusty Fitz, whose wife Kentucky died in a tragic bee-related incident. She was involved with another man who Dusty claims she was preparing to leave, and Dusty suspects murder. Meanwhile, Lily helps Olive move to a nunnery.
Georgeann Heaps hires Emerson to find her missing daughter, and the trail leads to a circus. Meanwhile Ned and Chuck try to deal with the change in their relationship, and Olive considers staying longer at the nunnery.
Olive calls on the Pie Maker and Emerson to solve a suspicious suicide of a fellow nun that she believes is murder. Meanwhile, Chuck considers what to do in the present with her new lease on life.
A sexy new client hires Emerson to solve the murder of her best friend Joe. Emerson and the gang discover that Joe had a lot of best friends... and they all had a reason to kill Joe.
The wife of a murdered chef, Bao Di, hires Emerson to investigate the death of her husband. They soon discover that Bao was heavily in debt, and wagered his daughter Mei's hand in marriage to cover his markers.
Ned agrees to help a famed magician whose animal assistants are being killed off; Dwight Dixon tries to cozy up to Lily and Vivian, but Lily is suspicious of his motives.
A lawyer for the late Gustav Hoffer suspects his client's death was not part of a robbery gone wrong as was reported, but rather murder. He hires Emerson Cod and Ned to find out who killed Hoffer.
Ned brings back to life Colonel Likken, who was mysteriously deep fried to death. His world-famous original recipe has gone missing and Likken asks Ned, Emerson, and Chuck to find who stole it.
Chuck and Ned deal with the shocking return of someone from their past; Emerson and Olive investigate the death of a lighthouse keeper.
After Emerson turns down Vivian's request to look into Dwight Dixon's sudden disappearance, she turns to another P.I. team led by Magnus Olsdatter (Orlando Jones), Emerson's bitter rival.
Erin Embry, window dresser extraordinaire for Dicker’s department store, is killed and Chuck manages to get the Pie Hole gang on the case. Erin’s fans think it was her window-dressing partner, Coco Juniper, who did the deed. Apparently the two artistic minds did not always meet. Meanwhile, Ned loses his zapping ability which causes him a small crisis of identity. How can he assist in solving cases if he can’t undead and redead? How does it change his relationship with Chuck? And why are Ned and Olive posing as a couple?
Lila Robinson, a beautiful grifter from Emerson’s past resurfaces, revealing a painful secret that Emerson has kept hidden all these years. Now on the lam for murder, Lila promises Emerson a quid pro quo if he clears her name.
The past becomes the present when one half of the Darling Mermaid Darlings’ arch rivals, the Aquadolls, is killed. In order to find the murderer, the Darling Mermaid Darlings must come out of retirement with Ned as their manager and Olive as their stylist. Chuck, of course, cannot participate. Olive gets close to Sid, with whom she shares her experiences in gender discrimination, what with him being a male synchronized swimmer and her attending Vassar on a jockey scholarship. But was Sid jealous enough of the headliners to commit murder?