"The Gossip"
Season 1, Episode 24
#24 in Series
The Gossip
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: March 24, 1952
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Production code: 1-24 / 024
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The Gossip is the twenty-fourth episode of the first season of I Love Lucy which first aired on CBS-TV on March 24, 1952. Also the 24th overall series episode, it was directed by Marc Daniels.


The boys try to prove that women are bigger gossips than men.


Ricky's sick and tired of Lucy constantly gossiping. When she gets hold of a juicy story, she just has to tell someone (preferably Ethel) about it. She just has heard a scandalous tale about friends Betty and Jack, but Ricky forbids her from telling Ethel about it. Instead, Lucy tells the story to Ethel by acting it out through charades. Ricky says that this proves that Lucy is obsessed with telling gossip. Lucy and Ethel counter that men gossip just as much as women do. So, the men bet the women breakfast in bed for a month that they can go without gossiping longer than Lucy and Ethel can.

To increase their chances of winning, Ricky and Fred decide to trick their wives into gossiping. They invent a phony gossip story about neighbor Grace Foster planning on running away with the milkman, and they let their wives know the gossip by pretending to "mumble" it in their sleep. Naturally, Lucy and Ethel can't wait to tell one another the story, so when they think they're alone the next day, they gossip in Lucy's living room. Fred and Ricky were secretly hiding down in the basement, though, and they tell their wives through the furnace pipes that they've been caught gossiping.

Lucy doesn't like that the men say that they won the bet because telling gossip they knew wasn't real wasn't really gossip at all. Lucy and Ethel disagree, but they begrudgingly prepare breakfast in bed for their husbands. Just as Ricky and Fred are about to start eating, the milkman comes rushing in the room, asking for a place to hide. Then, Bill Foster angrily enters the bedroom with a gun, looking for the milkman, who has been having an affair with Grace! Lucy tells Bill Foster that nothing can be solved by a gun, and he agrees and leaves. Ricky and Fred silently get out of bed and go make their wives breakfast, now that they know the gossip was true. While the husbands are away making breakfast, the milkman crawls out from underneath Lucy's vanity, and Lucy gives him $10, $5 for him and $5 for Bill Foster, as payment for a great performance. Ethel is stunned by Lucy's cleverness, and they laugh about their good fortune.


  • Lucy fans will recognize the actor who plays the milkman as having played Bobby the bellboy in season four (Bobby Jellison).
  • The full piece of juicy gossip that Lucy tells Ethel through charades while her mouth is taped shut was as follows: Couple Betty and Jack had a fight over another woman. Betty went in a club and saw Jack with the other woman. The two of them were caught kissing and drinking. Betty was so angry that she went over and started yelling at Jack and got into a fight with the other woman. Jack tried to stop the two women from fighting, but ultimately, a policeman came in and separated the two women. He put the women in the black mariah, threw Jack in, too, and went driving away in the police car with the siren on.
  • The pendant Lucy wears in the first scene was one of Lucille Ball's favorite pieces of jewelry.


Guest StarringEdit

  • Bob Jellison as Milkman
  • Richard Reeves as Bill Foster