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"Lucy Tells the Truth"
Season 3, Episode #5
#72 in Series
Air date: November 9, 1953
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Pugh
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: William Asher
Production code: 3-5 / 072
Episode guide
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"Baby Pictures" "The French Revue"

Lucy Tells the Truth was the 72nd episode of I Love Lucy, also the 5th episode of Season 3 of the series. The episode, was directed by William Asher, originally aired on CBS-TV on November 9, 1953.


When Ricky and the Mertzes wager that Lucy can't go a full day without telling a lie, her husband and friends feel more than a bit stung by her unabashed honesty.


When Ricky finds out that Lucy lied and said he sprained his ankle to get out of a dinner she didn't want to go to, he and the Mertzes lecture Lucy on her pathological amount of lying. They bet Lucy $100 that she can't tell the absolute truth for 24 straight hours. Lucy's first honesty challenge is a bridge game the next afternoon at Carolyn Appleby's. She at first avoids controversial topics such as Carolyn's hideous new Chinese Modern furniture and Marion Strong's hideous new hat, but Ethel forces Lucy to tell the truth about these subjects. Once Carolyn and Marion understand that Lucy isn't saying mean things on purpose and they find out about the bet, they secretly collaborate with Ethel to ask Lucy, point blank, her real age, weight, and natural hair color. Lucy fires off the honest answers without any hesitation, and she realizes she enjoys the free feeling honesty gives. She then becomes TOO honest, telling everyone "exactly what she thinks of them," according to Ethel.

Ricky and Fred find the tale of Lucy being overly honest at bridge hilarious. That is, until Lucy then becomes overly honest about Ricky's and the Mertzes' character faults. Ricky thinks he has found a surefire way to win the bet, though. He plans to take Lucy to an audition before 8 pm. When there, she either has to lie about her credentials in showbusiness to snag the audition (thereby losing the bet), or she will lose the audition (if she tells the truth).

At the audition, Lucy does end up lying, when she says that she can speak Italian. An Italian knifethrower needs a girl for his act, and of course, Lucy has no idea what he's saying. When she figures out that he will be throwing knifes at balloons set up around her, she is naturally petrified. She stands still for several thrown knifes, but when the knifes get too close to her head, she screams and runs for Ricky, sobbing that she'll pay the bet. Ricky says not to worry about the bet, and that she wasn't even in real danger. The knifethrower was just pretending to throw knifes, and someone from behind the set would make knifes installed in the back pop the balloons. Lucy nervously laughs at this ugly truth before fainting from fear.

When Lucy tells Ricky what happened, Ricky is upset, because he's supposed to do a show show for Charlie's TV station. He tells Lucy that she's better make up with Carolyn no matter what. How does Lucy arrive at compromise with Carolyn? During the TV show, Lucy brings out Stevie, introducing him as the "most bea


  • Forced-to-Be-Honest Lucy reveals that she is 33 years old, weighs 129 pounds, and her natural hair color is "mousy brown." While we have no way of knowing Lucille Ball's weight at the time, her natural hair color in real life was indeed brown. As far as age goes, however, when this episode was filmed, Lucille Ball was really 42 years old. Lucy Ricardo was consistently 10 years younger than Lucille Ball's real age. One thing that is interesting about the weight Lucy gives in this episode is that she is said to weigh almost as much as she did in the beginning of "The Diet," even though she is clearly slimmer in this episode. Maybe the writers added on to her weight because she had a baby the previous year?
  • From episode #61, when the Ricardos switched apartments, until the previous episode, the new apartment's number was 3B. The apartment number was changed to 3D in this episode, to make the 3rd dimensional joke at the audition work. The writers didn't think anybody would even notice the difference. They were wrong!
  • The original script had the final act being about Lucy finding out that Ricky lied on his income tax return, and the Ricardos find out that they will have to undergo an audit. When Desi Arnaz first read this scene, he vehemently ordered the writers to make a new scene. Very proud of his nationalized status as an American citizen, Desi didn't want the audience to think that Ricky and/or Desi would ever lie to the American government. He took his role as the first Latino TV character very seriously. So, the tax scene was scrapped and the knife-throwing scene was written instead.
  • This is the second appearance of Shirley Mitchell playing the role of Marion Strong, and it is the performance where most fans remember Marion Strong the best, mostly for the cackling hen laugh.
  • Jim and Dorothy Wynn are the ones who send Ricky the flowers for his "sprained ankle."


Guest starringEdit

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