I Love Lucy

Season 3 Episode 12

The Million Dollar Idea

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 11, 1954 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Ricardo household budget is in shambles (as usual) after Lucy decides to put her salad dressing on the market. Her plan? To market it on a TV morning show on the station her friend Caroline Appleby's husband runs. Home economist Mary Margaret McMertz (Ethel) will invite "an average housewife," (Lucy) to taste the dressing on the air.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (3)

      • This is the fifth time Frank Nelson (Dickie Davis) has appeared as a guest star. He also plays Freddie Fillmore in seasons 1 & 3, a waiter and police sergeant in season 2, Ben Benjamin in season 4, a train conductor and customs officer in season 5, and Ralph Ramsey in season 6.

      • In the last scene, Lucy and Ethel head out on roller skates and with shopping carts full of salad dressing (not to mention that they have several jars strapped to them). How are the girls supposed to get downstairs and out of the building when the Ricardos' apartment is three floors up and the building has no elevator or wheelchair ramps?

      • In the last scene of this episode Lucy calls Ethel, "Ethel Roberta." Vivian Vance's actual middle name was Roberta (b. Vivian Roberta Jones). Ethel has other middle names in later episodes: "Louise" in episode 69, and "Mae" in episode 113. She is later called "Ethel Mae" in the second Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour special, "The Celebrity Next Door", which aired in 1957, after the half-hour series had ended its first run.

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Lucy: I've used up my allowance until June the 12th.
        Ethel: That's not bad.
        Lucy: June the 12th, 1978?!

      • Lucy: (as Lucille McGillicuddy breathing in the aroma of the product) Arrgh! What's that?
        Ethel: (as Mary Margaret McMertz) Why, that's Aunt Martha's Old Fashioned Salad Dressing.
        "Mrs. McGillicuddy": Are you sure, smell it?! (Puts the open jar under Mary McMertz's nose who draws her head back with tactful repulsion)
        "Mrs. McGillicuddy": How about that? Looks like Aunt Martha had too many Old-Fashioneds.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Notice that Vivian Vance looks like she doesn't know how to roller-skate in the final scene. The fact that she made a valiant, and fairly convincing attempt at it shows that she was a real 'trooper'.

    • ALLUSIONS (2)

      • Lucy speaks the last line in this episode. Addressing Ethel, Lucy says,
        "You take the East side and I'll take the West side, and I'll be in Jersey before ya!"

        This line was adapted from the lyrics of a traditional Scottish song, "Loch Lomon' ".

      • As the TV pitchwoman, Ethel calls herself Mary Margaret McMertz, a reference to Mary Margaret McBride who was a popular host of a long-running woman's radio program during the 30's and 40's.