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Fred and Ricky are thinking about going into business, and Lucy and Ethel announce that Hansen's, their favorite dress shop, is up for sale. The boys say how they'd know absolutely nothing about running a dress shop, and Lucy and Ethel say that they don't have to do anything- they'll do all the work. Fred and Ricky are wary about this proposition, but Lucy and Ethel go ahead and buy the store anyway, without their husbands knowing. The store seemed to be booming with business when Lucy and Ethel bought it, but now that they own it, the only sales they're getting are coming out of their own purses.

They get into more trouble when Mrs. Hansen tells Lucy her check for the store bounced. Lucy says that Ricky can attest to the fact that the check is good, but she lies and says he only speaks Spanish. Mrs. Hansen says that she knows Spanish. So, Lucy rushes home and makes up an excuse for Ricky to say "the check is good" in Spanish ("El cheque esta` bueno."). The girls still need to sell the store, so Lucy plans to use the sick old grandmother bit on Mrs. Hammond that Mrs. Hammond originally used on Lucy and Ethel to make them pay full price for the store. But when she goes downtown to the store in an old woman disguise and wheelchair, she finds out that Ethel has left a note on the door, saying that she found a buyer for the store and was down at the bank signing the papers.


  • What this episode is best known for by Lucy fans has nothing to do with the actual episode plot/script itself. Instead, it is remembered as the episode that was filmed during the week Lucy went through her "red scare" and was labeled a Communist. To please her wacky grandfather who she loved as a father figure, she agreed to register as a Communist back in 1936. Her grandfather was never a Communist in the "bad" sense of the word. He just always had sympathy for the working class/proletariat. Lucy never planned to vote for the Communist party, and she never followed any of their beliefs. The whole cast and crew was on pins and needles all week from worrying.
    • When it was time for Desi to go out and do the warm-up before the show, nobody knew how Lucy would be received by the audience. Desi explained how Lucy was in no way a Communist, and that Desi had actually been kicked out of Cuba by the Communists back during the Batista revolution. He never would have married someone who was a Communist. He introduced her with this famous quote: "And now, I want you to meet my favorite wife, my favorite redhead. In fact, that's the only thing red about her, and even THAT'S not legitimate! Lucille Ball!" Lucy received a clamorous amount of applause and cheers. The whole incident showed how truly popular the show and Lucy were in America at that time. Very few people accused of being a Communist at that time had their name completely cleared and saved their career from being ruined.
  • Although it is impossible for viewers to notice in the black-and-white episodes, Lucy actually makes her hair darker for the next few episodes, trying to rid any association of being known as "red." Lucy's hair was most likely an auburn- still reddish but not an actual orange color like she normally wears.
  • The sectional part of Lucy's new couch is already gone from the set. She only got it five episodes ago!
  • Mrs. Hansen, the dress shop owner, knows Spanish.
  • Mrs. Hansen also is very sneaky. She appears to be a sweet old lady, but in reality, she's a shrewd businesswoman. She made up all of the unfortunate accidents she told Lucy and Ethel (like her sick mother and the house fire) just so they'd pay her the amount for the store that she wanted. She planned to have customers in the store to seem to be buying up lots of items, so that she could sway Lucy and Ethel into thinking that the store got lots of business on a regular business. Also, she had no sympathy for Lucy when Lucy's check bounced. She was downright mean about it.


  • Lucy: That's $17 we saved today. What'll we spend it on?
  • Lucy: I won't get to wear [my new dress] for a couple of months yet.

Ethel: What do you mean you won't get to wear yours for a couple of months yet?

Lucy: I have a system. You know how mad Ricky gets at me when I buy a new dress. Well, I just hang this away in the closet for a couple of months, and then I take it out and wear it. And Ricky says, "Is that a new dress?" And I say, "No, it's been hanging in the closet for months!"

  • Ricky: Look, I already own a dress shop.

Lucy: What do you mean you already own a dress shop?

Ricky: Have you looked in your closet lately?

  • Fred: Ethel, did you buy another dress?

Ethel: Yes, at Hansen's. That's where I bought all my dresses, ever since we've been married- all THREE of 'em!

  • Mrs. Hansen: How do you want to handle the down payment?

Lucy: Well, what did you have in mind?

Mrs. Hansen: MONEY!

  • Lucy: "Ethel-Lu's"? Well, that doesn't sound very good.

Ethel: Why not?

Lucy: Well, it just doesn't have an easy flow, a nice, pleasing sound.

Ethel: What would you suggest?

Lucy: Well, something that rolls right off your tongue, like "Lucy-Eth's."

Ethel: "Lucy-Eth's"? Oh, that rolls right off your tongue, alright. You couldn't keep it on your tongue if you tried!

  • Ethel: I think "Ethel & Lucy's Dress Shop" sounds better to the ear.

Lucy: Not to MY ear it doesn't!

Ethel: Well, you've got a tin ear!

  • Ethel: We made five sales.

Lucy: Yeah, to each other!

  • Mrs. Hansen: Mrs. Ricardo, your check bounced!

Lucy: My check bounced?

Mrs. Hansen: Like a rubber ball!

  • Ricky: What does she want to know how to say [in Spanish]?

Lucy: "The check is good."

Ricky: "The check is good"? That's a funny thing for a kid to know how to say.

Lucy: Well, it's probably one of those sentences they have to write out. You know, like, "Do you have an umbrella?" "Do you have a match?" "The check is good."