'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia': The Gang's 10 Craziest Schemes
by Kim Potts, posted Sep 16th 2010 2:00PM
As you tune in for tonight's season 6 premiere of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (10PM ET, FX), chew on this: The phrase "friends with benefits" has never been used in a more clever way than it is in the season opener's Charlie (Charlie Day) and Frank (Danny DeVito) storyline.
In fact, the duo -- whose chemistry remains one of the very best things about the very funny show -- embark on yet another grand scheme that, like most of the 'Sunny' gang's other cockamamie campaigns, doesn't turn out as planned, to say the least.
But it does make this the perfect time to recall 10 of The Gang's all-time wackiest plots. P.S. -- How do you know when you may have watched too much 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'? When some of The Gang's plots actually begin to make sense ...
Love and Basketball
'The Gang Gives Back' -- Season 2
After burning down a building by throwing a flaming bag of poo into it -- he was only trying to make it smell bad, not burn it down, he explains -- Charlie is given community service to complete and is ordered to attend AA. He walks into a meeting drinking a beer, and when he tries to explain that he's not an alcoholic, he only reinforces that he is. But things look up when Charlie finds out his crush, The Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Charlie Day's real-life wife), is also in AA, and she reluctantly volunteers to be his sponsor. He sees it as his big chance to finally bond with her, but, despite being sober (well, for three days) and doing push-ups in front of her, Waitress is unenthusiastic, until Charlie mentions that Dennis is doing his community service, too, coaching a kids basketball team. Charlie excitedly takes her to the gym where Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) are working with the kids, only to find out that Waitress has as big a crush on Dennis as Charlie has on her.
'The Gang Exploits a Miracle' -- Season 2
When Charlie discovers a major water stain in the Paddy's Pub office, Frank points out that it looks like the Virgin Mary and decides The Gang should charge people to come check out the "miracle." The many ways this goes wrong: While talking about the stain on TV, Dennis becomes obsessed with the idea that he looked fat and starves himself to the point of passing out; Mac, who thinks exploiting the stain is sacrilegious, gets into a bible knowledge war with Charlie, which leads to further exploiting; Frank decides that getting the stain blessed by a priest will make it seem more officially miraculous, and asks Dee to flirt with Matthew Mara (actor and 'Sunny' producer David Hornsby), a former classmate of hers who's now a priest, to get him to agree to bless it. The many ways that last one goes wrong: Matthew, who The Gang used to call "Rickety Cricket" because of his leg braces, believes Dee's flirting is sincere and quits the priesthood to be with her; and since he's no longer a member of the clergy, Frank looks for someone else who'll bless the stain, and the only one he can find is an old drunken priest who, instead of blessing it, urinates on the stain and ruins it.
|It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia||Mon, May 31 9pm / 8c|
|The Viewing of a Miracle|
Shopping at the Welfare Store
'Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare' -- Season 2
When Frank tries to make Dennis and Dee do more work around Paddy's, they decide to quit and use the time to chase their dreams: Dee will become a Broadway actress, and Dennis wants to become a veterinarian. Of course, they'll need to fund those dreams, and that starts with unemployment. The sibs are happy, and surprised, to find out that they can receive $400 week -- it's more than they make working at Paddy's. They enjoy their newfound freedom, and plan to continue it by signing up for welfare, for which they will qualify if only Dennis can prove, via a blood test, that he's a crack addict. They buy crack, smoke it, miss the blood test appointment, and find out they're actually addicted to crack now. Meanwhile, Charlie and Mac, trying their own welfare scam, run into Dennis and Dee at the "welfare store," as Charlie calls it, where he and Mac think they can get free welfare laborers to do their work at Paddy's. In the end, Charlie and Mac steal Frank's money, and Charlie's "initiative" impresses Frank, who makes Charlie a manager at Paddy's. As for Dennis and Dee, Frank takes them back, but assigns them to do all of Charlie's work. Why does Charlie become a manager, while they're assigned the grunt work? Frank's explanation is simple: It's because they're crack addicts now.
The Ballad of Peter Nincompoop
'The Gang Gets Whacked' -- Season 3
When The Gang mistakenly sells a bag of drugs that belong to the mob, they have to come up with the cash to pay the gangster back, lest they get whacked. Mac ends up working for the mob, and Dee and Charlie end up in a drug scam that involves Rickety Cricket, a horse named Peter Nincompoop and both of them getting hooked on cocaine. But it's Frank and Dennis who actually earn some big bucks, when Frank becomes a pimp and starts renting Dennis out to older women. At first, Dennis is just pleased that his handsomeness is finally earning money, but when Frank stars setting the bar lower and lower in regards to the age of Dennis' clients and the kinkiness of what he'll do with them, Dennis rebels and the only thing that saves The Gang from the angry mobsters in the end: The sacrifice of Rickety Cricket, who once again ends up in leg braces.
Bad Boys, Bad Boys ... Whatcha Gonna Do?
'Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City' -- Season 3
When The Gang tires of seeing homeless people around Paddy's, Charlie suggests they buy a junkyard dog to tie up in the alley and scare them away. But a trip to the junkyard turns up something better: a used cop car, which they'll park in front of the bar, to scare off homeless people. But because they never do anything halfway, Dennis and Frank buy police uniforms and start driving around the city, pretending to be real cops, getting free food from street carts and blackmailing jaywalkers. Charlie, who's ticked off that they didn't buy him a uniform (and that Dennis seems to be more concerned with the junkyard cat he picked, a funky feline he endearingly named Agent Jack Bauer), decides to go undercover as "Al Pacino in Serpico," and his mission becomes to bring down corrupt cops Dennis and Frank. In the end, Charlie does bring them down, by setting the cop car on fire, with Agent Jack Bauer inside. No worries, the cat survives ... he is Jack Bauer, after all.
Oil and The Gang Don't Mix
'The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis' -- Season 4
The plan was simple ... really, really simple: Dennis, Mac and Charlie planned to get a $300,000 loan from the bank, which they would use to buy gasoline, which they would store in plastic containers in the basement of the bar. Once gas prices went even higher, they'd then start selling the gas and make a huge profit. Unfortunately, despite their best shirtless attempt to sway the loan officer, they were denied. Plan #2: Undeterred, they steal Dee's life savings and buy as much gas as they can, pumping it into large garbage bins, then try to sell it to customers in front of the gas station, which, thanks to Charlie and a lighter, ends with Mac's head on fire. Plan #3: Selling the gas door-to-door, which ends with the guys scampering away when a woman calls the cops on them, as Charlie tries to put on a "Southern oil man" accent that really sounds like Foghorn Leghorn.
The Indecent Proposal
'The Nightman Cometh' -- Season 4
Charlie has many, um, talents, and we find out in the season four finale that he's a playwright. In fact, he penned an entire play, a musical, and asks The Gang, with the help of Dee's pal Artemis (Artemis Pebdami), to put in on in a local theater. Dee's suspicious of why Charlie would write a whole play for no reason -- or, as Mac puts it, "Who are we doing it versus?" -- put Charlie insists it's simply a creative endeavor. The audience, and then his friends, soon learn that Charlie has written and produced 'The Nightman Cometh' in the hopes of convincing The Waitress to marry him. Despite the fact that the play's disturbing storyline seems to be about Charlie being molested by someone named Antonio, then blossoming into the Dayman, Charlie dons a bright yellow tuxedo for the musical's final number and sings directly to The Waitress, "Will you come on stage and join me?/In this thing called matrimony/Please say yes and do not bone me/Please just marry me?" The Waitress, of course, said no.
'The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis' -- Season 5
Frank wants the guys to help him renovate and flip a house he bought at a foreclosure auction, which initially sounds like one of The Gang's all-time most sane plans. But that would be too easy, of course, so when they go to the house to check it out, they find that the previous owners still occupy it. That leads to a run-in with The Attorney (Brian Unger) they've tangled with in the past, and Charlie's attempt to get all out-legal him. Meanwhile, Mac and Dennis don mustard yellow sport coats and play "good realtor, bad realtor" Hugh Honey and Vic Vinegar to try to sell the house, and Dee lies about her past drug addictions and heart attack to trick a couple into hiring her to be their surrogate mother. Everyone's schemes come to an end when Frank loses the house after the former owners' children do renovation work for him and get injured, and Sweet Dee's sweet surrogacy gig goes south when the guys show up at her clients' house and they realize what a mess she really is. The gang drowns their sorrows by taking a dive into the (horrified) couple's swimming pool.
Does Your Cat Make Too Much Noise?
'Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens' -- Season 5
The Gang's nothing if not entrepreneurial, kinda, so when Charlie shows them his commercial for kitten mittens (or, as he spells it, kitten mittons), they all decide to get in on the merchandising game. For Dennis, that means Paddy's thongs and floaty pens that show him doing his beloved shirt pop-off when they're turned upside down. Charlie's sticking with the kitten mittens (he loves cats, but they just make too much noise walking around), Frank has a gun that squirts tequila into your mouth and a stress ball that's actually a raw egg and Mac has what may be the greatest idea of all: A towel that has male genitals on it, and which he and Dennis will sell via a Website. It all goes awry in the end when The Attorney gets revenge on The Gang for continually annoying him by getting them to sign a contract that gives him all the rights to their merchandise. And by the way, yes, the towels Mac invented are really for sale, at a real Website, whose URL we can't print, this being a family Website and all. But click here to purchase one of your very own.
The Ladies Love (to Hate) D.E.N.N.I.S.
'The D.E.N.N.I.S. System' -- Season 5
When Dennis gets (yet another) voicemail from a scorned woman who tells him how much she hates him, he brags to The Gang that it's an example of another woman who has fallen madly in love with him. They don't get it, so he explains to them his foolproof way of getting any woman to fall madly in love with him for life: The D.E.N.N.I.S. System: D -- Demonstrate Value; E -- Engage Physically; N -- Nurture Dependence; N -- Neglect Emotionally; I -- Inspire Hope; S -- Separate Entirely. Dennis shows the gang how the system has been successful for him (via a guest appearance by Glenn Howerton's real-life wife Jill Latiano as Dennis' love interest, Caylee) ... if making women hate him is considered a success. Meanwhile, Mac reveals that he has a system of his own, which owes a direct debt to the D.E.N.N.I.S. System's fallout. The M.A.C. System: M -- Move In; A -- After; C -- Completion.
Sound off: What's your favorite 'It's Always Sunny' scheme?