I have been watching Star Trek: TNG from the beginning, and I remember a scene where Wesley makes an offhand comment about him being an acting ensign before Picard officially makes him one. Which episode is this from? Am I remembering this incorrectly?
Picard promotes him to Acting Ensign at the tail end of Where No One Has Gone Before, just the sixth episode in the first season. But not before a little charade with Riker:
PICARD: (to Wesley) At ease -- sit here in Command. (Picard indicates the bench beside Troi. Wesley hesitates.)
RIKER: Captain -- that's not allowed. Your orders.
PICARD: Oh, that's true. I can't waive them again. (to Wesley) Only commissioned officers.
WESLEY: It's quite all right, sir, I understand.
PICARD: (interrupting) Please don't interrupt me, Wesley.
WESLEY: (very nervous again) Sorry, sir...
(Picard looks first from Riker then to Wesley and back to Riker. He knows that Riker is orchestrating this a little.)
PICARD: (to Riker) Any commission rank? (he pauses) Even an ensign?
RIKER: Then he would have authorized access to the bridge.
So if there was any mention of the rank of Acting Ensign before then, it must have been in those first five episodes.
No. I've recently started watching TNG and I just finished "Where No One Has Gone Before". I don't recall Wesley being referred to as ensign or Wesley referring to himself as an ensign. As a further check searching the scripts found here gives no indication that Wesley mentioned being as ensign before the episode in question.