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Recap / Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia S 05 E 03 The Great Recession

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"What part of 'I am broke' don't you guys understand? I tried to hang myself! No more bailouts!"

Frank suffers a financial loss from the economic downturn and decides to start a new door-to-door sales business with Dee, while Mac and Dennis make some changes by firing Dee and Charlie and creating "Paddy's dollars", a new currency to be used in the bar and boost business. Charlie is left homeless and ends up living on the streets after Frank sublets their apartment.


This episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Charlie asks Frank if he's alright while he's hanging from the ceiling by a noose.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: At the end of the episode it's revealed that neither Mac nor Dennis understands how their "self-sustaining economy" is supposed to work and each had assumed the other was on top of things.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Frank cuts himself with one of the super sharp knives he's trying to sell and ends up bleeding all over some poor woman's living room, causing Dee to gag and exclaim that she can "see his bone".
  • Broke Episode: Frank loses his fortune and attempts to start a new business with Dee, Charlie ends up homeless and jobless after Mac and Dennis fire him and Frank sublets his apartment, and Mac and Dennis manage to lose all their money and inventory thanks to their poor business sense.
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  • Cardboard Box Home: Charlie is reduced to living in a cardboard box after Frank sublets their apartment and he finds out that his mother is subletting his old bedroom to his Uncle Jack.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The gang's reactions to Frank trying to hang himself in the bar range from apathy to amusement.
    Dee: His neck is so thick, I feel like he's just gonna swing and dangle around for a really long time.
  • Creepy Uncle: Charlie's Uncle Jack, who's constantly trying to touch him and making inappropriate comments. It's implied that he either molested or attempted to molest Charlie as a child.
    Uncle Jack: You ever seen wrestling on television?
    Charlie: I'm well aware of what wrestling is. It's just not what uncles do to their nephews.
  • Door-to-Door Episode: Frank and Dee's subplot sees them becoming door-to-door knife and vacuum salespeople.
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  • Funny Background Event: While Mac and Dennis are discussing "Paddy's Dollars" at Dave & Busters, Charlie can be seen attempting to camp out on the restaurant's floor (before being thrown out by an employee).
  • Gilligan Cut: After Mac and Dennis shoot down Charlie's idea to slash the tires of the RV parked outside the bar on the grounds that the owners won't be able to move it.
    Charlie: I'm sorry, do you have a better plan?
    (cut to the three of them entering the bar)
    Charlie: Dee, sharpest item in the bar! I need it now, let's go!
  • Insane Troll Logic: Charlie explaining his system for recycling the bar's trash.
    Dennis: How is burning trash green?
    Charlie: Uh, because I'm recycling the trash into heat for the bar and lots of smoke for the bar. I'm giving the bar the good smoky smell that we all like.
    Mac: The bar smells like trash!
    Dennis: That's the exact opposite of green, Charlie.
    Charlie: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, I could put the trash into a landfill where it's going to stay for millions of years, or I could burn it up and get a nice smoky smell in here and let that smoke go into the sky where it turns into stars.
    Mac: That doesn't sound right, but I don't know enough about stars to dispute it.
  • It's All About Me: The rest of the gang's reaction to Frank suddenly losing all his money is mostly to worry about how it's going to effect them.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While they were clearly firing her to try to secure their own financial positions, Dennis and Mac were right that Dee is a terrible bartender. Her only skill is opening and serving bottled beer and she doesn't even know how to make mixed drinks like mojitos.
  • Kick the Dog: Frank sublets his and Charlie's apartment and then refuses to let Charlie move into his new trailer, leaving him homeless. To make matters worse, Mac and Dennis also refuse to let him crash at theirs, right after firing him from the bar.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Mac and Dennis constantly going on about the economy makes it clear that they know absolutely nothing about how it works. Lampshaded at the end of the episode:
    Dennis: I don't understand how the US economy works, much less some sort of self-sustaining one. I don't understand how finances work.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Dee quits her job at Paddy's rather then letting Mac and Dennis fire her, much to their annoyance.
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia": It's revealed that Charlie has been misreading the bar's "closed" sign as "Coors" and turning it on every morning to advertise the "cold, delicious Coors" that they serve.
  • Nouveau Riche: Inverted; Mac calls the crowds of homeless gathering outside the bar "new poor" in comparison to the gang, who are "old poor".
  • Oh, Crap!: Pretty much sums up Mac and Dennis's reactions once they realize that nobody has bought any more of their "Paddy's dollars", causing them to lose a ton of money and all of their inventory.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative:
    Dennis: Frank, if you are looking for a better steak in an arcade setting, you are shit outta luck.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The episode deals with the fallout from the 2008 economic recession.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Happens when Dennis states that they need to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and an argument ensues over which one he and Mac would be.
    Mac: Why would you wanna be wheat?
    Dennis: Why would you ever wanna be chaff?!
  • Status Quo Is God: Frank gets his fortune back at the end of the episode, leaving him free to continue bailing the gang out at every opportunity.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Frank trying to kill himself twice over the course of the episode is largely played for laughs, with Dee commenting that his neck is too thick for the rope to break it.
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: Frank's knife demonstration relies heavily on this.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Lampshaded when Mac and Dennis claim that they don't actually know what it is Dee does around the bar.


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