The Ladies Who Lunch (Desperate Housewives)

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For the Stephen Sondheim song "The Ladies Who Lunch", see Company (musical).
"The Ladies Who Lunch"
Desperate Housewives episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 16
Directed by Arlene Sanford
Written by Alexandra Cunningham
Production code 116
Original air date March 27, 2005
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of Desperate Housewives episodes

"The Ladies Who Lunch" is the 16th episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. The episode was the 16th episode for the show's first season. The episode was written by Alexandra Cunningham and was directed by Arlene Sanford. It originally aired on Sunday, March 27, 2005.


After Maisy Gibbons is arrested for solicitation, word gets out about her humiliating escapades. As the neighborhood shares in her embarrassment, rumors are revealed that Maisy kept a "little black book" of all of her former clients which includes of course, Rex Van De Kamp. When Bree finds out about this she tries to get Rex cleared from the list by visiting Maisy in jail and is willing to pay $14,000. Maisy asks why, after all the years of supposedly being friends, would Bree not help her or give her the support when Harold lost his job. Maisy refuses to cross Rex's name off the list. When Bree and Rex go out to eat at the country club, everyone is staring at them and they realize the secret is out. They stay and eat dinner with as much dignity as they can, but Bree decides it's time to quit the country club. Meanwhile, Lynette tries to get invited to a very posh party thrown by a friend of the twins. But when a lice outbreak occurs, the other parents point fingers at Lynette, blaming the twins for the outbreak. Lynette then receives word from the school nurse that the party host's child is the original spreader of the lice. Lynette shows up with the boys, uninvited, and threatens to expose the true culprit unless his mom tells every other mother her boys are clean. Gabrielle's plumbing breaks and the family is forced to use their backyard Jacuzzi for laundry, and Gabi even resorts to stealing a Porta Potty. Bree decides to give the bribe money to Gabrielle, for her house repairs. "Good friends offer to help in a crisis. Great friends don't take no for an answer," she tells Gabi. Edie tries to help Susan get over her break-up with Mike by taking her to a bar to pick up a man. Instead, Susan tells Edie she wants Mike back, and all about the Mary Alice/Dana mystery. Edie then tells Susan that as his realtor, she has a key to Paul's house, which they could use to do some snooping. When they search the house, they find a video which is titled "Utah, Angela Award Party", Susan decides to watch it and sees a congratulations party for Angela (Mary Alice). Edie and Susan are forced to hide when Paul unexpectedly arrives home. Edie quickly devises a plan and kisses Paul in order for Susan to escape, where she runs into Mike. She hasn't been returning his phone calls, so he takes the opportunity to assure her he's not a cold-blooded killer; and then he kisses her. After Edie leaves, Paul discovers the tape hidden in the sofa cushions, not at all where he left it.


  • Bree's conversation with Maisy Gibbons, the "town whore", is ironic due to Bree's character in Season 8. In What's the Good of Being Good?, Bree is accused of being the "town whore" at a bake sale by the wife of a man whom Bree slept with. Bree simply smiles and accepts her new status as the "town whore" and walks away.


  • After a three week absence, Nicollette Sheridan returns as Edie Britt and has the most screen time for this episode among the entire cast.
  • Although credited, John Rowland (Jesse Metcalfe) and Zach Young (Cody Kasch) do not appear in this episode.
  • It was Mark Moses who suggested to the writers of Desperate Housewives that he thought Paul and Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) should be intimately linked, which is shown in this particular episode. But a relationship never blossomed between the pair.

Title reference[edit]

The episode title The Ladies Who Lunch comes from the Stephen Sondheim musical, Company.