I Love Lucy (1951–1957)
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Never Do Business with Friends 

The Ricardos sell their old washing machine to the Mertzes after they buy a new one. It's the Ricardos vs. the Mertzes when it breaks down before the Mertzes pay for it.



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The Ricardos sell their old washing machine to the Mertzes after they buy a new one. It's the Ricardos vs. the Mertzes when it breaks down before the Mertzes pay for it.

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Comedy | Family





Release Date:

29 June 1953 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Ethel is talking to the washing machine repairman (Mrs. Trumball's nephew) on the back porch of the apartment building, he tells Ethel that he doesn't know the Ricardos, but when he walks away he goes into the Ricardos back door, leading into their kitchen. See more »


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

How quickly friends will turn on each other
19 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fairly funny episode overall, but it always troubled me the way the friends turned on each other.

Lucy's kitchen is full of clothes hanging to dry because of expected rain outside that day. She (again) pleads for Ricky to buy a dryer but he insists they can't afford it. Lucy tells Ethel she's going to insist on it when Ricky gets home that evening. (I always thought it funny how this night-club performer arrives home from work almost every evening just like the guys with the 9-5 jobs.) Rickey surprises her with news that he found a good deal and is getting her a dryer AND a brand new washer. She already had a nice washer. When Ricky says he got a good deal and the man is going to give him $35 trade in for their washer, Ethel and Fred talk him into selling it to them instead, because Ethel's washer is very old and doesn't work well. Fred is about to get a check for Ricky but is told not to worry about that now, let's get the machine moved to your apartment.

The first time they try to use it, the top door opens on its own and spews out water and clothes all over the Mertz's kitchen. Ethel says, "Good thing we found out in time!" Now starts the big argument. Fred and Ethel insist they are not going to pay for this. Ricky and Lucy insist they took possession and it is theirs and they have to pay for it. With welchers like that for friends, Ricky should have insisted on cash before they took possession.

A fix-it man says he'll buy it for $50. Both Ethel and Lucy find this out separately, and think the other side doesn't know. Now they fight over who owns it, only the opposite way than they fought before.

The rare scenes of the couples' back porches were cool. Two times the machine was being pushed or pulled along the narrow walkway as they argued over who the owner was.

I enjoyed the funny lines and think this a decent episode. What troubled me was that the script didn't carefully write the lines so you could side with either couple. Instead, each of them stated things that were flat out lies, such as Ethel saying, "You practically forced us to buy it." as she accused them of plotting the whole thing in advance, knowing the machine was no good. Earlier that day she had been admiring what a nice machine Lucy had, compared with her own.

Like most Lucy shows, you have to ignore part of the plot to enjoy the show. Here, the poor way each pair treats the other couple needs to be ignored to enjoy the episode.

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