"The Diet"
Season 1, Episode 3
#3 in Series
The Diet
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: October 29, 1951
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Production code: 1-3 / 004
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Be a Pal Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her

The Diet is the third episode of the first season of I Love Lucy, also the 3rd overall series episode. Directed by Marc Daniels, it first aired on CBS-TV on October 29, 1951.


Ricky provides an incentive for Lucy's diet by telling her she can appear in his show if she can fit into a size 12. Can Lucy resist the temptations of eating?


Lucy finds out that she's gained 22 pounds since she got married 10 years ago. But that doesn't stop her from wanting to be in Ricky's new show. Trying to find any excuse he can to keep Lucy out of the act, Ricky tells her that's she too fat to be in the act, since she can't fit into the size-12 costume. Lucy asks if she can do the number if she loses enough weight by Saturday night. Ricky agrees, as a way to shoo Lucy away from bothering him.

Ever determined, Lucy goes on a mission to lose 12 pounds in 5 days. She does everything from jumping rope to running laps around the apartment building to starving herself with a celery-only meal while the Mertzes and Ricky eat a delicious dinner of steak and potatoes. By Saturday, Lucy still has some weight to lose, so she rents a steam box and stays in there all day. Weak, malnourished, and dehydrated, Lucy has lost enough weight from the steam treatment in time for the number at the club.

At the Tropicana, Ricky is surprised when none other than Lucy comes out to perform during the Sally Sweet portion of the Cuban Pete number. The two dance fabulously, and Lucy does a bang-up job. Sadly, after the performance, she is laid up on a stretcher, suffering from weakness as a result of starving herself all week. Before she is wheeled away, she gives a key to Ethel and motions for Ethel to open the nearby closet door. Ethel finds out how Lucy was able to procure doing the number with Ricky- the girl who was supposed to do the Sally Sweet number is bound and gagged inside the closet.


Guest StarringEdit

  • Marco Rizo as Piano Player