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Lucy is tired of having to dry clothes in the kitchen when it rains. She asks Ricky to buy her an automatic dryer. Surprisingly, he agrees, and he gets Lucy a brand-new washer AND dryer. Ethel wistfully says how she wishes she could get a new washer, because her current one is sold that it's probably one of the first ones ever made. Fred says that he'll buy her a new washer. Ethel is happily surprised, until she finds out Fred is talking about buying her the Ricardos' OLD washing machine. "It'll be new to YOU!" Fred argues. Ethel is happy to get anything, so she agrees to accept the Ricardos' washing machine. Ricky is wary about selling the Mertzes' the washer, because his father told him never to do business with friends. But he agrees to make the sale when Fred says how buying the washer through a salesman only would make Fred have to pay more money. Plus, Fred says that's he's good with tools, if something would go wrong.

The next day, the Ricardos' go over to the Mertzes' to check out how things are going with Ethel's new washer. Ethel is so pleased at how fast the new washer is. She says that she was just about to go ask Fred to get dirty, so she'd have something else to wash. Suddenly, the washer goes haywire and starts spraying water all over the kitchen. Ricky and Lucy are shocked, because the washer never acted like this before. The Mertzes now refuse to pay the $35 for this "lemon" of a washer. A feud breaks out between the two couples, the Ricardos being accused of having been scam artists, the Mertzes being accused of being welchers.

In the morning, Lucy goes out on the back porch to take out some trash. She finds that the Mertzes have deposited the broken washer in front of the back door. Lucy empties the garbage into the washer, pushes it in front of the Mertzes' back door, knocks, and runs away. Ethel is not happy to see the washer back in her residence. As she goes to push it back over to the Ricardos' porch, Lucy catches her, and the two women play washer tug-of-war, trying to move the machine to the opposite woman's door. Mrs. Trumbull breaks up the fight and says that her nephew is a repairman who could look at the washer. Neither Lucy nor Ethel are interested in repairing the washer.

When Mrs. Trumbull's nephew looks at the washer, he asks if the owner would be interested in selling the machine. He knows someone who would be willing to pay $50 for it. Ethel goes outside, and the nephew mentions the possibility of selling the washer. All of a sudden, Ethel's talking about how she'd be happy to sell HER washer, and not to mention this to Lucy. The nephew doesn't even know who Lucy is, so Ethel thinks she's sealed the deal.

Lucy finds out about the potential sale from Mrs. Trumbull, and Lucy and Ricky couldn't be happier. The Mertzes drop in and try to give Ricky the $35 check, so they can secretly sell the washer for a $15 profit. After a while, the two couples stop pretending as if they don't know what's really going on, and they race out to the porch and fight over the washer. One bad push sends the washer crashing through the porch railing, down to the street below. The nephew then comes by and asks where the washer is, as he now has a buyer who would be willing to pay up to $75. The Ricardos and Mertzes laugh at the irony of the situation, scaring off Mrs. Trumbull's nephew with their uncontrollable laughter. They all become friends again by coming up with a compromise- Ricky and Fred will split the cost of the broken railing, and Fred agrees to pay Ricky for half of the washer ($17.50).


  • We learn that Mrs. Trumbull's first name is Mathilda and she has a nephew named Joe.
  • Ethel complains that her washing machine is old enough to belong in the Smithsonian Institute, but Fred JUST bought her a new Handy-Dandy washing machine only 22 episodes ago! Did Fred end up returning the Handy-Dandy washer for a refund (quite likely, actually)? Did Ethel break the Handy-Dandy washer within days of receiving it? Although considering the luck they had with the Handy-Dandy appliances, it may have just been a piece of junk to begin with.
  • The washing machine Lucy sells Ethel is Epernay brand.
  • The cold cuts Ethel had for lunch the afternoon the Ricardo's old washer went haywire consisted of bologna and salami.
  • When Ethel buys the Ricardos' washer, she keeps it in the kitchen. Lucy already has a washer at the beginning of this episode, but we never see where she keeps it. It is quite possible that she keeps it in the bathroom or the closet off of the bedroom. Keeping it in the basement makes no sense since we have seen the basement in The Freezer and in Lucy Writes A Novel and there were no washers down there.
  • This is the first and last time we get a glimpse into the Mertz's kitchen.
  • This is also the first time we get a glimpse of the Ricardo's and Mertz's back porch. It has a balcony.
  • When Ricky is mimicking Fred's line about being "handy with tools," he lapses into Spanish for part of his rant, before yelling again in English. The part he says in Spanish is: "Entonces, Senora dijo, 'A mi no me importa nada.'" This means: "Then, the Mrs. [Ethel] said, 'It doesn't matter to me.'"
  • Lucy took off her false eyelashes before the start of the scene where the washer sprays water everywhere.


  • Lucy: (shakes Ricky's hands after finding way through clothesline "jungle") Dr. Livingston, I presume?
  • Lucy: (about having to hang laundry in kitchen when it rains) It's an awful problem, but it's one that you could solve if you say the word.

Ricky: What word?

Lucy: "Automatic dryer."

Ricky: That's TWO words, and I'd like to add one more.

Lucy: What would you like to add?

Ricky: "No"!

  • Ricky: Now, look, Old Man River, would you dry up?
  • Ethel: Honestly, I think [my washer] was the first one ever made!
  • Lucy: (finally realizes Ricky's news) New washer and dryer?! Ethel, did you hear that?

Ethel: Yup, five minutes ago.

  • Ethel: Aren't they sweet? Just like two lovebirds.

Fred: What are you, a birdwatcher?

  • Fred: I'll buy you the Ricardos' old one.

Ethel: "Old one"? You just said a new one!

Fred: Well, it'll be new to you!

Ethel: Oh, fine. All I ever get is hand-me-downs...

  • Lucy: (sarcastically) Ricky, be careful. Don't scratch [the washing machine]. It might ruin our friendship!
  • Fred: (to Ethel) Oh, it's you [singing]. I thought there was somethin' wrong with the washing machine!
  • Ethel: I was just getting ready to ask Fred to go out some place and get dirty [to have more clothes to wash]!
  • Ricky: (in very mocking tone) He said, "I'm a very handy man with tools. If anything goes wrong, I can fix it!"
  • Lucy: (looking at washing machine that fell off balcony) Look what happened to YOUR washing machine!