"The Passports"
Season 5, Episode 11
#138 in Series
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: December 19, 1955
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Pugh
Bob Schiller
Bob Weiskopf
Directed by: James V. Kern
Production code: 5-11 / 138
Episode guide
IMDB The Passports
Episode chronology
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"Ricky's European Booking" "Staten Island Ferry"

The Passports was the 138th overall episode of I Love Lucy, also the 11th episode of season 5 of the series. The episode, was directed by James V. Kern, originally aired on CBS-TV on December 19, 1955.


Lucy needs her birth certificate in order to get her passport, but Jamestown has no record of her being born. She devises a way to sneak to Europe with the others: hide in a large steamer trunk. Naturally, she ends up locked in the trunk, and no one has a key.

Plot summaryEdit

Lucy can't seem to find her birth certificate anywhere, and if she doesn't locate it soon, she won't be able to get her passport. She clowns around and hides in Fred and Ethel's old vaudeville trunk to practice being a "stowaway." But the laughs are over when she gets stuck in the trunk.


  • Lucille Ball was very claustrophobic in real life. She loathed having to be stuck inside that tiny trunk, but she was always willing to suffer for her work. Watch when everybody helps her out of the trunk. She almost passes out, dropping to her knees, but she just fluffs it off as part of the script.
  • Lucy Ricardo was apparently born in 1921, which was ten years after Lucille Ball's birth. It also means that Lucy Ricardo wasn't even ALIVE when Fred was in the Army during WWI!
  • In the episode, Lucy tells the Jamestown Hall of Records that they incorrectly had her birth year as three years before her real year of birth. This must mean that the Hall of Records had 1918 as Lucy's birth year.
  • Lucy was born in West Jamestown, New York, not Jamestown. This is why she couldn't find her birth certificate.
  • The trunk has "Mertz & Mertz" written on it, which was probably what Fred and Ethel called their vaudeville act. They bought the trunk from a man who had a seal act, and the hole in the trunk was so the seal could breathe.
  • The Lucy Ricardo porcelain doll made by the Franklin Mint used a replica of the trunk in this episode to be the wardrobe container for the doll's outfits.
  • Ricky announces the trip destinations in this episode, and most didn't get shown on the show. Two such examples are Holland and Madrid. Proof that the foursome went to more countries/cities than was shown on the show is that Lucy bought Dutch wooden clogs to bring home to Marion Van Vlack. So, they must have gone to Holland at some point, even though we didn't see them there.
  • The Europe trip was originally scheduled to be three weeks long, but, like the California trip, it ended up being longer.
  • Lucy used to sing "Skip to My Lou" with the doctor who delivered her (Dr. Peterson), and singing this song is how she proved to him who she was.
  • As a child, Lucy was bitten on the ear by Fred Bigalow's cat.
  • Fred made it to the rank of corporal in the Army, but we don't know how.
  • Lucy's old neighbor Helen Ericson has been married twice since Lucy last saw her. Her first husband's last name was Sears. Her current husband is lawyer Sidney Kaiser.
  • Helen used to call Lucy "droopy drawers" when they were young.
  • The leopard-print bag Lucy takes to Helen Kaiser's will be used a lot as a prop on the show after this episode. For instance, Ethel "buys" the same exact bag in Paris.
  • When Desi is supposed to answer the phone, he forgets because he's so engrossed with laughing at William Frawley's line. Lucy ad-libs a reminder for him, saying, "The phone, honey." Desi was supposed to ask about the Mertzes' trunk BEFORE he answered the phone, but he saved himself by asking about it after he says, "Hello?"


Guest starringEdit

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