The 1 Most Hated Episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ Is Completely Unexpected

I Love Lucy is an iconic television series. Lucille Ball broke boundaries playing the lead role at the age of 40, something practically unheard of in Hollywood at the time. Even though I Love Lucy is a beloved, award-winning sitcom, some episodes didn’t always resonate with viewers. 

‘I Love Lucy’ spent 6 years on the air

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in pilot episode of television series 'I Love Lucy', 1951
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in pilot episode of I Love Lucy | CBS/Getty Images

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The TV landscape changed forever when I Love Lucy premiered. CBS aired the first episode of the 30-minute comedy series on October 15, 1951. 

Real-life couple Desi Arnaz and Ball played husband and wife, Ricky and Lucy Ricardo. Close friends with their neighbors, Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) and Fred Mertz (William Frawley), the show centered on Ricky and Lucy with Ethel and Fred as supporting characters. 

Ricky’s an orchestra leader and singer. Wanting to be a star like her husband, Lucy often hatches plans with Ethel to get famous. Their schemes almost always go wrong but not without having a few laughs in the process.  

I Love Lucy went on to run for six years. The series finale aired on May 6, 1957, when the show went off the air after six seasons and 180 episodes.

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The most hated episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ is the pilot

According to IMDb ratings, the least popular episode of the series is the first-ever episode of I Love Lucy. The pilot episode has 7.6 stars out of 10. In it, Ricky tries keeping Lucy from auditioning for a TV show. But she finds a way. When a clown becomes unavailable, Lucy offers to take over. 

Two other episodes also have a 7.6-star rating. One is I Love Lucy Season 5 Episode 17: “Lucy Goes to Scotland.” As the title suggests, Lucy travels to Scotland where she learns about her family history. 

The other is I Love Lucy Season 1 Episode 14: “The Amateur Hour.” Originally airing on January 14, 1952, Lucy babysits a boy to make extra money for a new dress. Amazed the pay is so good — she’s earning $5 an hour — Lucy discovers the boy’s mother has another son she wants her to watch. 

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‘I Love Lucy’ Season 1 also has the highest-rated episode

Not only does the first season of I Love Lucy have the most-hated episode but it also has the most popular. There are many beloved episodes of I Love Lucy but only one has 9.6 stars out of 10 on IMDb. 

I Love Lucy Season 1 Episode 30: “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” is the show’s highest-rated episode. Originally airing on May 5, 1952, the episode follows Lucy as she finds a way to be on Ricky’s special. She pitches “Vitameatavegamin,” a medicine she doesn’t know contains 23% alcohol. 

Watch I Love Lucy on Hulu.

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