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The Inferiority Complex

The Inferiority Complex – I Love Lucy episode 46, season 2, originally aired 2/2/1953

The Inferiority Complex is a flashback episode (giving Lucille Ball time to recover from the birth of Desi Arnaz Jr.), Lucy feels that she’s no good at anything, after failing to tell a joke, and having Ricky and the Mertzes argue over who has to have Lucy as a bridge partner.  The next day, Lucy ruins breakfast, and decides that she can’t do anything right, and retreats to spending the rest of her life in bed. Ricky visits a psychiatrist, who recommends having a handsome stranger shower her with compliments—which only works too well, and the jealous Ricky throws the man out!  It’s a wonderful segment, with the doctor saying “Treatment!” to Ricky when Ricky tries to break up the doctor’s dancing with Lucy.  On Ricky’s third attempt, Lucy is the one who says “Treatment!”

The Inferiority Complex - I Love Lucy - Ricky and the psychiatristAfter Ricky confesses that the flattering stranger was actually a psychiatrist (what a word for Ricky to pronounce with his accent!), Lucy becomes even more depressed.  Later, Ricky (aided by Fred and Ethel Mertz) convince Lucy that she is a great joke teller, card player, and even singer (well, nobody said it was honest flattery).

The Inferiority Complex is available as part of the season 2 I Love Lucy DVD collection.

Quotes from I Love Lucy – The Inferiority Complex

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): It’s some presents I bought Lucy, I want to give her lots of attention. If you just had a baby would this do the trick?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): If I just had a baby I’d be getting plenty of attention.


Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I know something that you do better than anyone in the whole world.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): What?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): There’s nobody can get her hair the color you can.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Thank you.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): That didn’t come out the way I wanted it to.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Neither did my hair.

Trivia about I Love Lucy – The Inferiority Complex

  • This episode introduces Lucy’s well-known “Waaah!” cry, which she uses several times in the episode.

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