Fred is entertaining Ethel and the Ricardos with magic tricks and is boring everyone to tears. He decides to do a handcuff trick, which Lucy manages to foil. The Mertzes leave and a relieved Ricky announces that he has to rehearse later that night for a television show. Lucy protests, saying that Ricky promised that he was going to take her to dinner and a movie. Ricky reminds her how important the show could be to his career.
Ricky studies his script and falls asleep on the couch. Lucy comes in with a pair of handcuffs and slaps one cuff to Ricky's wrist. Seeing that it's another one of Lucy's gags, Ricky asks her to remove them. Saying the "magic words," Lucy isn't able to remove the handcuffs. Ricky now begins to panic since he has a rehearsal shortly. Fred and Ethel arrive with a warning for Lucy not to put the handcuffs on; they're handcuffs from the Civil War that had been given to Fred at a policemen's benefit where he performed. Desperate, the Ricardos begin calling locksmiths all over the city who would come over and remove the handcuffs.
It is now late, and Ricky has resigned to the notion that it's too late for him to go to rehearsal, so he and Lucy prepare for bed. They have a time trying to figure out how to get undressed while handcuffed to each other and decide to just sleep in their clothes (Ricky refuses to allow Lucy to cut up his new suit jacket). Lucy insists on sleeping on her stomach in her bed, so after a few position changes, the Ricky finally drifts off to sleep.
The next day, Ethel arrives with Mr. Walters, a locksmith who lives all the way in Yonkers. He makes a few attempts to take off the handcuffs, Mr. Walters realizes that none of the keys fits, so he goes home (a two-hour trip) to get a collection of antique handcuff keys. An impatient Ricky paces back and forth, waiting for Mr. Walters. He finally calls-five hours later-announcing that he's locked himself out of his house. Ricky instructs him not to come to the apartment but to come straight to the television studio. Meanwhile, the Ricardos go down to the television station and Ricky's agent tries filing the handcuffs off. Ricky's performance time quickly approaches, so he's forced to go on anyway, and he instructs his wife to stay behind the curtain. Lucy is literally Ricky's right hand while she improvises during a brief interview with the show's emcee. After Ricky launches into "In Santiago, Chile", Mr. Walters finally arrives at the studio and removes the handcuffs. Of course, Lucy has to take her bow after Ricky's performance, and Ricky pushes her back behind the curtain. While taking his bow, Lucy kicks him from behind the curtain.