"Never Do Business With Friends"
Season 2, Episode 32
#67 in Series
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: June 29, 1953
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Pugh
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: William Asher
Production code: 2-31 / 066
Episode guide
IMDB Never Do Business With Friends
Episode chronology
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"Ricky And Fred Are TV Fans" "The Girls Go Into Business"
(Season 3 premiere)

Never Do Business With Friends was the 67th episode of I Love Lucy, also the 32nd and final episode of Season 2 of the series. The episode, was directed by William Asher, originally aired on CBS-TV on June 29, 1953.


A beautiful friendship is almost ruined when the Ricardos sell their old washing machine to the Mertzes, who find that it needs repairs and demand their money back, but then change their mind again. In the ensuing argument over who owns the machine, the couples push the washer off the balcony.Herb Vigran guest stars.


Lucy is tired of having to dry clothes in the kitchen when it rains. She asks Ricky to buy her an automatic dryer. Surprisingly, he agrees, and he gets Lucy a brand-new washer AND dryer. Ethel wistfully says how she wishes she could get a new washer, because her current one is sold that it's probably one of the first ones ever made. Fred says that he'll buy her a new washer. Ethel is happily surprised, until she finds out Fred is talking about buying her the Ricardos' OLD washing machine. "It'll be new to YOU!" Fred argues. Ethel is happy to get anything, so she agrees to accept the Ricardos' washing machine. Ricky is wary about selling the Mertzes' the washer, because his father told him never to do business with friends. But he agrees to make the sale when Fred says how buying the washer through a salesman only would make Fred have to pay more money. Plus, Fred says that's he's good with tools, if something would go wrong.

The next day, the Ricardos' go over to the Mertzes' to check out how things are going with Ethel's new washer. Ethel is so pleased at how fast the new washer is. She says that she was just about to go ask Fred to get dirty, so she'd have something else to wash. Suddenly, the washer goes haywire and starts spraying water all over the kitchen. Ricky and Lucy are shocked, because the washer never acted like this before. The Mertzes now refuse to pay the $35 for this "lemon" of a washer. A feud breaks out between the two couples, the Ricardos being accused of having been scam artists, the Mertzes being accused of being welchers.

In the morning, Lucy goes out on the back porch to take out some trash. She finds that the Mertzes have deposited the broken washer in front of the back door. Lucy empties the garbage into the washer, pushes it in front of the Mertzes' back door, knocks, and runs away. Ethel is not happy to see the washer back in her residence. As she goes to push it back over to the Ricardos' porch, Lucy catches her, and the two women play washer tug-of-war, trying to move the machine to the opposite woman's door. Mrs. Trumbull breaks up the fight and says that her nephew is a repairman who could look at the washer. Neither Lucy nor Ethel are interested in repairing the washer.

When Mrs. Trumbull's nephew looks at the washer, he asks if the owner would be interested in selling the machine. He knows someone who would be willing to pay $50 for it. Ethel goes outside, and the nephew mentions the possibility of selling the washer. All of a sudden, Ethel's talking about how she'd be happy to sell HER washer, and not to mention this to Lucy. The nephew doesn't even know who Lucy is, so Ethel thinks she's sealed the deal.

Lucy finds out about the potential sale from Mrs. Trumbull, and Lucy and Ricky couldn't be happier. The Mertzes drop in and try to give Ricky the $35 check, so they can secretly sell the washer for a $15 profit. After a while, the two couples stop pretending as if they don't know what's really going on, and they race out to the porch and fight over the washer. One bad push sends the washer crashing through the porch railing, down to the street below. The nephew then comes by and asks where the washer is, as he now has a buyer who would be willing to pay up to $75. The Ricardos and Mertzes laugh at the irony of the situation, scaring off Mrs. Trumbull's nephew with their uncontrollable laughter. They all become friends again by coming up with a compromise- Ricky and Fred will split the cost of the broken railing, and Fred agrees to pay Ricky for half of the washer ($17.50).


  • Lucille Ball ... as Lucy Ricardo
  • Desi Arnaz ... as Ricky Ricardo
  • Vivian Vance ... as Ethel Mertz
  • William Frawley ... Fred Mertz

Guest starringEdit