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The Diet
Episode Info
Series: I Love Lucy
Season: 1
Episode: 3
Broadcast Info
Air Date: October 29, 1951
Channel: CBS
Production Info
Directed By: Marc Daniels
Written By: Jess Oppenheimer
Madelyn Pugh
Bob Carroll, Jr.
Produced By: Jess Oppenheimer

The Diet is the third episode of I Love Lucy. It first aired on October 29, 1951.


To her dismay, Lucy finds out that she's put on 22 pounds since marrying Ricky. After Ricky tells her that she can be in the show if she can lose 12 pounds and fit in the costume, she tries anything and everything to lose weight.


The Diet 2

Lucy weighing herself

The episode starts with the Ricardos and Mertzs sitting in the Ricardo's apartment after a meal, all of them stuffed after the meal. The girls and guys both critique the other on how much they ate, and Lucy boasts that she still weighs the same as when she was married. Nobody else believes her, so Ricky gets a scale to weigh her. Lucy is shocked to find out that she's gained 22 pounds, and begins to cry and hate herself, thinking she won't be able to perform on stage, when that opportunity comes. Jerry calls Ricky shortly after on the phone and tells him that the Joanne, the girl who dances with Ricky has quit, and he has to find a new girl as soon as possible. Lucy wants to be that girl, but Ricky is against it. Ricky finally agrees to audition her, although he will show no favoritism.

At the Tropicana, Lucy arrives to find many younger girls already waiting to audition. The girls don't think Lucy has a chance, but Lucy is persistant. Ricky arrives, and the auditions begin. Ricky asks all the girls if they're size 12, but Lucy hesitates before answering. Ricky gives Lucy the costume she would have to wear, and she struggles to get it on, and eventually rips it. Desperate, Lucy asks Ricky that if she loses enough weight, can she get the part, to which Ricky agrees, highly doubtful that she can do it.

The Diet 1

Lucy trying to eat a potato

The next day, Ethel is in the Ricardo's apartment, and Lucy is running around the fourth floor for exercise. After running, Ethel gives her a jump rope for more exercise, but Lucy is too tired by now. They decide to weigh Lucy again, and find out Lucy has lost two pounds total. That evening, Ethel provides dinner for everyone, and Lucy gets a piece of celery while everyone else gets a steak. Fred brought along his dog Butch as well. Lucy desperately wants food, and tries to take a potato from the bowl, with no luck. Lucy decides to leave, but sneaks back in and hides under the table. She pretends to be the dog to get a piece of meat, but the dog takes it from her.

The next day, Ethel comes up to the apartment to find Lucy in a human pressure cooker. Lucy plans on spending the next five hours in the pressure cooker to lose the last five pounds. Ethel comes back at 6:00 before the show is about to start to check on Lucy. Lucy is incredibly tired, but she loses enough weight and is determined to dance with Ricky.

At the club, Ricky begins singing the number, and Lucy comes in instead of the other girl, and starts dancing the number with Ricky. The dance number is successful, and Ricky and Lucy are applauded by the crowd. Afterward, Lucy is very weak from malnutrition, and she is taken home in a stretcher. While heading off, she gives Ethel a key and points to a door. Ethel unlocks it to find the girl supposed to do the number with Ricky tied up in the closet.


Lucy Ricardo Lucille Ball
Ricky Ricardo Desi Arnaz
Ethel Mertz Vivian Vance
Fred Mertz William Frawley
Marco Marco Rizo


Producer Jess Oppenheimer
Director Marc Daniels
Writers Jess Oppenheimer
Madelyn Pugh
Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director of Photography Karl Freund
Music Wilbur Hatch
Associate Producer Al Simon
Art Director Larry Cuneo
Editor Dann Cahn
Make-up Max Factor

Memorable QuotesEdit

"What if I cried every time I gained a pound?"
"We'd be up to our ears in tears."
- Ethel, Fred

"I'm as strong as, as a very weak horse"

- Lucy
I Love Lucy Episodes
Season 1 The Girls Want to Go to a NightclubBe A PalThe Diet
Lucy Thinks Ricky is Trying to Murder HerThe Quiz ShowThe AuditionThe Séance
Men are MessyThe Fur CoatLucy is Jealous of Girl SingerDraftedThe Adagio
The BenefitThe Amateur HourLucy Plays CupidLucy Fakes Illness
Lucy Writes a PlayBreaking the LeaseThe BalletThe Young FansNew Neighbors
Fred and Ethel FightThe MoustacheThe GossipPioneer Women
The Marriage LicenseThe KleptomaniacCuban PalsThe Freezer
Lucy Does a TV CommercialThe Publicity AgentLucy Gets Ricky on the Radio
Lucy's ScheduleRicky Thinks he's Getting BaldRicky Asks for a Raise
Season 2 Job SwitchingThe SaxophoneThe Anniversary PresentThe HandcuffsThe Operetta Vacation From MarriageThe CourtroomRedecoratingRicky Loses His Voice
Lucy Is EnceintePregnant Women Are UnpredictableLucy's Show Biz Swan Song
Lucy Hires An English TutorRicky Has Labor PainsLucy Becomes A Sculptress
Lucy Goes To The HospitalSales ResistanceThe Inferiority Complex
The Club ElectionThe Black EyeLucy Changes Her MindNo Children Allowed
Lucy Hires A MaidThe Indian ShowLucy's Last Birthday
The Ricardos Change ApartmentsLucy Is MatchmakerLucy Wants New Furniture
The Camping TripRicky And Fred Are TV FansNever Do Business With Friends
Season 3 Ricky's 'Life' StoryThe Girls Go Into BusinessLucy And Ethel Buy The Same Dress
Equal RightsBaby PicturesLucy Tells The TruthThe French Revue
Redecorating The Mertzes' ApartmentToo Many CrooksChanging The Boys' Wardrobe
Lucy Has Her Eyes ExaminedRicky's Old GirlfriendThe Million-Dollar Idea
Ricky Minds The BabyThe Charm SchoolSentimental Anniversary
Fan Magazine InterviewOil WellsRicky Loses His TemperHome Movies
Bonus BucksRicky's Hawaiian VacationLucy Is EnviousLucy Writes A Novel
Lucy's Club DanceThe Black WigThe DinerTennessee Ernie Visits
Tennessee Ernie Hangs OnThe Golf GameThe Sublease
Season 4 The Business ManagerMertz and KurtzLucy Cries WolfThe Matchmaker
Mr. and Mrs. TV ShowRicky's Movie OfferRicky's Screen TestLucy's Mother-In-Law Ethel's BirthdayRicky's ContractGetting ReadyLucy Learns to Drive
California, Here We Come!First StopTennessee BoundEthel's Home Town
L.A., At LastDon Juan and the StarletsLucy Gets Into PicturesThe Fashion Show
The Hedda Hopper StoryDon Juan is ShelvedBull Fight Dance
Hollywood AnniversaryThe Star UpstairsLucy in Palm SpringsDancing Star
Harpo MarxRicky Needs an AgentThe Tour
Season 5 Lucy Visits Grauman'sLucy and John WayneLucy and the Dummy
Ricky Sells the CarThe Great Train RobberyHomecomingFace to Face
Lucy Goes to a RodeoNursery SchoolRicky's European BookingThe Passports
Staten Island FerryBon VoyageSecond HoneymoonLucy Meets the Queen
The Fox HuntLucy Goes to ScotlandParis at LastLucy Meets Charles Boyer
Lucy Gets a Paris GownLucy in the Swiss AlpsLucy Gets Homesick in Italy
Lucy's Italian MovieLucy's Bicycle TripLucy Goes to Monte Carlo
Return Home from Europe
Season 6 Lucy and Bob HopeLittle Ricky Learns to Play the DrumsLucy Meets Orson Welles Little Ricky Gets Stage FrightVisitor from ItalyOff to FloridaDeep-Sea Fishing
Desert IslandThe Ricardos Visit CubaLittle Ricky's School Pageant
I Love Lucy Christmas ShowLucy and the Loving CupLucy and Superman
Little Ricky Gets a DogLucy Wants to Move to the CountryLucy Hates to Leave
Lucy Misses the MertzesLucy Gets Chummy With the Neighbors
Lucy Raises ChickensLucy Does The TangoRagtime BandLucy's Night in Town HousewarmingBuilding a B-B-QCountry Club DanceLucy Raises Tulips
The Ricardos Dedicate a Statue
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