Changing the Boys’ Wardrobe – I Love Lucy season 3, episode 76, originally aired December 7, 1953
Changing the Boys’ Wardrobe begins with Lucy and Ricky preparing to go to the neighborhood movie theater with the Mertzes. The problem begins when Ricky tries to go out in his ‘grungy’ clothes, since he’s been working around the apartment all day, and it’s only the neighborhood theater. Lucy persuades him to wear a nice suit and tie, and Fred and Ethel arrive. With Fred in grungier clothes than Ricky was originally wearing.
Embarrassed at the theater
Once Fred taunts Ricky as ‘little Lord Fauntleroy,’ Ricky has had enough and changes back into his grubby clothes. The girls are mortified, and on the way back from the theater, they separate themselves from the boys. They arrive at the apartment first, and the boys enter a moment later, laughing riotously. Why? Because on the way back, Fred took off his hat to scratch his head, and as he did so a woman dropped a dime in it … mistaking him for a panhandler.
The ladies’ plan
Enough is enough, and the next day, Lucy and Ethel decide to gather up all of the boys’ unsuitable clothes, and sell them. The segment is funny, but Ricky and Fred’s revenge is funnier. At Ricky’s club, they are informed by Ricky’s agent Jerry that he’s got Ricky named as one of the best-dressed men in the country. They invite the wives to join them at the club that night, but don’t tell them what’s up — only to dress nicely. In addition, they run across ‘Al’, the man that the girls sold their old clothes to — and buy them back.
Revenge – and Ethel’s had enough!
When Ricky returns to the apartment, he lets Lucy tell him a lie about how she and Ethel were trying to clean the old clothes with gasoline, and they accidentally got too close to the stove and “poof!” – nothing left but ashes! Ricky ‘kindly’ forgives her, before showing her the ‘new’ clothes that he bought – his old clothes, of course. Fred comes in, adding insult to injury, wearing his old ‘Golden Gloves 1909’ sweater. Which miraculously survived being burnt too! After the boys leave, Lucy and Ethel decide to get their own revenge, by wearing their husbands’ grubby clothes to the club that night. Which they do, only to be surprised by the photographers taking their pictures. Which will appear with Ricky and Fred’s (all dressed up) in the papers! Ethel has had enough of Lucy’s schemes, and takes off Fred’s old hat and begins beating Lucy with it.
Funny quotes from Changing the Boys’ Wardrobe – I Love Lucy
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): That shirt looks like you pulled it out of the rag bag!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I did! It must have gotten in there by mistake.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): That was no mistake.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): What’s wrong with these clothes? They’re comfortable.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): If you wanted to be comfortable, why not wear your pajamas and bathrobe?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Aha!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You want to go out and have dinner with the boys?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Yes! What boys?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethel, do you have courage.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): No.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Come on.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I can’t even wear purple ’cause it clashes with the yellow streak down my back.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I’ll give you a dime for a cup of coffee.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Can you make it a dollar for a cup of coffee? I’m a big tipper.