Dress Big

Dress Big
"Dress Big"
Desperate Housewives episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 17
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Written by Kevin Etten & Susan Nirah Jaffee
Production code 317
Original air date April 8, 2007
Guest stars
Episode chronology
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List of Desperate Housewives episodes

"Dress Big" is the 64th episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. It is also the seventeenth episode of the show's third season. The episode was written by Kevin Etten and Susan Nirah Jaffee and directed by Matthew Diamond. It aired on April 8, 2007.

Nicollette Sheridan chose this episode for consideration in the category of “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2007 Emmy Awards.[1]



After Gabrielle's wardrobe is ruined by a plumbing leak, she asks Victor if she can borrow one of his ex-wife's dresses. When Victor refuses, Gabrielle steals a few dresses and wears one of them to an event that Victor attends. Victor's ex-wife is also at the event and notices Gabrielle wearing her dress. She then threatens Gabrielle and makes her remove the dress. While Gabrielle is hiding in the restoom in her underwear, Victor offers his coat for her to wear and admits that he doesn't treat his ex-wife very nicely.

Lynette has a problem with the Scavo Pizzeria uniform and objects to wearing it. Her partner, Tom, is her boss at work and orders her to wear the uniform. When Lynette goes home, she thinks Tom is mad and leaves him several messages. Eventually she decides to confront Tom at the pizzeria. She finds him unconscious with a ruptured disc that requires surgery.

Mike is seeing a therapist to help him fill in the missing parts of his memory. He is concerned about not remembering the ending to a movie which involved the heroine serving raw pancakes to her boyfriend. Mike tells the therapist that he might have seen the movie with Susan. The therapist, realizing that Mike has unresolved feelings for Susan, suggests that Mike ask Susan about the movie. Susan tells him that this wasn't a movie scene, instead it was her bad attempt at making breakfast for him after they made love for the first time.

Susan meets Ian's parents, Graham and Dahlia, for the first time and accidentally sets fire to Dahlia's chiffon dress. At dinner, Susan admits to Dahlia that she is a divorcée and not a widow. After dinner, Susan has another accident when she opens a door and spills red wine over Dahlia's second outfit of the evening.

Graham is surprised by Susan when she goes into her bedroom and catches him wearing her clothes . She then agrees to keep his cross dressing secret. Dahlia decides that Susan is not to be trusted and wants her to sign a pre-nup. Ian is against the idea initially, but changes his mind and Susan agrees to sign it. Before she signs the pre-nup, she indicates that she isn't the type of person to keep secrets. This alerts Graham, whom Susan caught wearing her clothes, who then declares that Susan is clearly not a gold digger and tears up the pre-nup.

Edie decides that Carlos doesn't just make a great fill-in father for her son, Travers, he'd be a great boyfriend too. She decides the best way to put the moves on him is through his relationship with Travers, so she invites him over to the house and instructs Travers to go to bed early. Carlos is about to go home, so she snaps a piece off a model airplane for him to fix. He quickly realizes she's hitting on him and tells her he's not looking for a party girl—especially one who uses her son as date bait. The next night, he sends flowers as an apology and when she comes over to thank him, she assures him that Travers is at a sleepover so, at least for tonight, she's not being a negligent mother. She tells him he was "dead on" in his assessment of her, but that she's getting tired of being the party girl. She says she'd like him to see her for who she really is, under this facade—as she strips off all her clothes. He's moved by her naked vulnerability and hugs her, which leads to her waking up in his bed the next morning.


Although credited, Bree Hodge (Marcia Cross), Julie Mayer (Andrea Bowen), Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan), Danielle Van De Kamp (Joy Lauren), Preston Scavo (Brent Kinsman), Porter Scavo (Shane Kinsman), and Parker Scavo (Zane Huett) do not appear in this episode.

Josh Henderson (Austin McCann) who was a series regular since the beginning of the season is no longer credited.

Series continuity

This is the episode where Mike Delfino's amnesia weakens enough to allow his memory of Susan to return.


This episode had 15.7 million viewers on its original airing, and is the lowest rated original airing of an episode from third season.

Title reference

International titles

  • Español: Vistete Bien (Dress Well)
  • French: L'objet du désir (The subject of desire)
  • German: Kleider machen Leute (Clothes Make the Man)
  • Hebrew: להתלבש בגדול (Lehitlabesh BeGadol; Dress Big)
  • Hungarian: Ruha teszi az embert! (Clothes Make the Man)
  • Italian: Dietro il vestito (Behind the Dress)
  • Polish: Prosto z szafy (Just From the Wardrobe)


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