I Love Lucy: Season 1, Episode 18

Breaking the Lease (11 Feb. 1952)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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The Ricardos try to break their lease after a fight with the Mertzes.



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bennett Green ...
Barbara Pepper ...
Party Guest
Hazel Pierce ...
Party Guest


The Ricardos try to break their lease after a fight with the Mertzes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family




Release Date:

11 February 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Ricky opens the door to Fred and Ethel for their final goodbye, the audience apparently starts to laugh because the light in between the door and the door frame makes it appear that Fred has a large band-aid on his forehead after getting hit by the falling light fixture the night before, but when they walk into the apartment it becomes clear that he isn't wearing one. See more »


When Fred and Ethel leave the Ricardo apartment after singing Sweet Sue, they go off in separate directions in the "hallway." See more »


Lucy Ricardo: Time to make another call to Ethel.
Lucy Ricardo: Hey, get this.
[In disguised voice]
Lucy Ricardo: Hello, this is the Ajax Salvage Company. We buy old glass, I understand you have some rings that you're interested in selling.
Ricky Ricardo: Ha ha ha ha!
[Fires air hammer into the phone]
See more »


Edited into I Love Lucy (1953) See more »


Theme From 'I Love Lucy' (Instrumental)
Written by Eliot Daniel
Performed by Wilbur Hatch and the Desi Arnaz Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Nertz to The Mertz!!
18 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the funniest I LOVE LUCY episodes, "Breaking the Lease" starts off with longtime friends Lucy & Ricky & Fred & Ethel enjoying a long night of singing around the piano and reminiscing about their wonderful friendship. Sometime after 2 am the Mertzs decide to go home and go to bed and after Lucy and Ricky decide to sing a duet, call up and let them know the Ricardo "noise" is not appreciated. Incensed, they also decide to go to sleep but not before a spat about keeping the bedroom window open or close which results in another sharp phone call from the Mertzs. The final straw is when the Ricardo's leaky bathroom faucet keeps them up and Ricky's noisy attempts at fixing it result in yet another testy call which the Ricardos respond to in kind, insulting the Mertz's about their antique plumbing system. The Ricardos announce they are moving out which the Mertzs are only to pleased to hear but when Ethel coldly informs Lucy she will be expecting the full five months rent for the remaining months on their lease Ricky concocts a scheme that the Ricardos will be the loudest, most disagreeable tenants the Mertzs will gladly tear up the lease.

This episode is hilarious and fun and one of the classic Ricardo/Mertz feuds with the "boys" just as bad as the girls this time around. Indeed, Ricky is the one to come up with the sneaky break the lease scheme which normally would have been from Lucy's brain! Lots of good laughs as Lucy, Ricky, and their mysterious guests stomp away to "The Mexican Hat Dance" (the other players include Lucille Ball's longtime friend actress Barbara Pepper in one of her many bit appearances on ILL and Lucy and Desi's stand-ins, Hazel Pierce and Bennett Green.

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