"Ricky Has Labor Pains"
Season 2, Episode 19
#54 in Series
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: January 5, 1953
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: William Asher
Production code: 2-19 / 054
Episode guide
IMDB Ricky Has Labor Pains
Episode chronology
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"Lucy Hires an English Tutor" "Lucy Becomes a Sculptress"

Ricky Has Labor Pains was the 54th episode of I Love Lucy, also the 19th episode aired in Season 2 of the series. The episode, was directed by William Asher, aired on CBS-TV on January 5, 1953.


With all the attention that mother-to-be Lucy has been getting, father-to-be Ricky feels neglected; from this he starts to develop psychosomatic "labor pains".

Plot summaryEdit

After Ricky feels neglected because Lucy was too preoccupied with her baby shower to make his dinner or pick up his dry cleaning, he develops a sickness whose symptoms are oddly like those of common pregnancy complaints. The doctor tells Lucy that Ricky's symptoms should go away with a little attention and coddling. Lucy and Ethel tell Fred to have a "daddy shower" for Ricky, and this instantly cheers Ricky up. But Fred has started calling the daddy shower a "stag party" instead, and Lucy and Ethel are curious what that means. So, the women dress up like male newspaper reporters and crash the party, only to have their husbands discover their true identities. In the final scene, while eating a disgusting food craving, Lucy tells Ricky the real reason why they threw him the baby shower. He starts feeling "sick" again, and joins Lucy in eating her gross craving snack!


  • The newspaper article mentioning the unborn baby that Lucy wants to use for a scrapbook's beginning says that Lucy is "infanticipating." This is clearly a word for "pregnant" that is no longer used in the English lexicon.
  • The McCall's magazine that Lucy reads in the comfy chair included an article about I Love Lu
    Lucy Has Labor Pains Screen Shot 2012-06-22 at 2.31.41 AM

    Lucy reading the McCall's magazine with "I Love Lucy" visible on the cover.

    , written by Desi Arnaz himself.
  • Lucy Ricardo is said to be six months pregnant in this episode.
  • For the end scene, the pistachio ice cream with hot fudge is really mashed potatoes with gravy. The sardines were real, though. Lucille Ball was utterly disgusted by sardines, but she ate them for the sake of the episode's comedy. As soon as the director yelled "cut" at the end of the scene, Lucy ran off-stage and threw up from the repulsive sardines.
  • All of the guests at Ricky's daddy shower brought bottles of alcohol for presents.
  • To satisfy his need for a diagnosis other than "I need attention," Ricky gets told by the doctor that he has ptomaine.
  • When posing as reporters, Lucy goes by "Pete" and Ethel goes by "Sam." They say the paper they are from is the uncommonly known New York Herald Times Tribune.


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

Guest starringEdit