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Recap / Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia S 03 E 14 Bums Making A Mess All Over The City

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"The streets are flooded with the ejaculate of the homeless, and you people are counting on the police?!"
— Mac

When the gang witnesses a homeless guy masturbating in the alley behind Paddy's, Mac and Dee become vigilantes in order to clean up the city's unsavory elements. Frank and Dennis buy a junkyard police car to scare the homeless away from the bar but quickly begin to abuse the public after they get a taste of the power and respect afforded to the police, while Charlie dresses as Al Pacino from Serpico and tries to expose them.

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This episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Angry Guard Dog: Discussed; Charlie suggests that the gang should get a junkyard dog to guard the bar, but Dennis ends up buying a cat instead.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Charlie: I got a laundry list of corruption charges: extortion, bribery, junkyard cats...
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: When Charlie demands to know why Dennis and Frank didn't get a him a police uniform:
    Frank: You can be an undercover cop in the backseat.
    Dennis: Yeah, dude, then you can wear all the disguises you want.
    Charlie: DAMMIT! ...That is such a good idea!
  • Batter Up!: Dee attacks the masturbating bum with a baseball bat.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: The cold open is just one long shot of Dennis, Mac and Dee watching on in horror as a homeless guy masturbates quite openly and proudly in the alley behind the bar.
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  • Dress-Up Episode: All five members of the gang end up dressing up in some kind of costume. Mac and Dee don vigilante costumes similar to those worn by the Guardian Angels, Dennis and Frank wear police uniforms and Charlie dresses as Serpico.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: After getting dumped in a ghetto area by the police, Mac and Dee approach the only white guy in sight due to their latent racism, claiming that he looks "safe" despite the fact that he's huddled on the floor just a few feet away from a kindly-looking old black man. This turns out to be a mistake, and they end up getting mugged at gunpoint.
  • Impersonating an Officer: After buying an old cop car to protect the bar, Dennis and Frank start dressing up in police uniforms so that people don't think they stole it. The power quickly goes to their heads, and before long they're actively impersonating officers to get free food and extorting random citizens for petty crimes.
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  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Charlie's attempt at a Hidden Wire is just a tape recorder duct-taped to his chest and connected to a full-size microphone.
  • Made of Iron: Agent Jack Bauer, Dennis's junkyard cat. The guy who sells it to him claims that it's indestructible, and sure enough at the end of the episode it jumps out of an exploding car unscathed.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Charlie uses one to blow up the cop car at the end of the episode.
  • Pet the Dog: Dennis seems genuinely fond of the cat and insists on taking it everywhere with him, despite both Frank and Charlie pointing out that it stinks.
  • Police are Useless: Mac and Dee think that they are.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Mac's "Oh. My. God." on seeing the masturbating bum in the cold open.
  • Sassy Black Woman: The desk sergeant at the police station is one.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Dee complains that she and Mac look like Rerun in their Guardian Angels getup.
    • Dennis names his cat Agent Jack Bauer
    • Charlie dresses up as Serpico.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Mac claims that this is his "look".
  • Squick: In-universe, this is the reaction that Dennis, Mac and Dee have when confronted with a homeless person masturbating in their alley.
  • Vigilante Man: Mac and Dee become vigilantes in an attempt to tackle the city's homeless problem.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Mac carries a baseball bat that he insists is just for this purpose, though it gets utterly subverted when Dee takes it from him and uses it to beat the holy hell out of a homeless guy.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Mac slaps Dee across the face when he's freaking out about being in the ghetto.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: The police ditch Mac and Dee in this part of town in order to teach them a lesson when they claim that they could do a better job of policing the city.

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