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Recap / Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia S 10 E 04 Charlie Work

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"Do me a favor, make sure no-one is in the bar today. I cannot have these guys in here making a mess."
— Charlie

Charlie sets about preparing the bar after receiving word of a surprise health inspection, but the gang's decidedly unhygienic scam involving chickens, steaks and airmiles threatens to jeopardize the entire operation.


This episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Pickpocket: Charlie lifts the health inspector's keys while standing too close to her so that Mac and Dennis can move her car, and then slips them back into her pocket by hugging her at the end of the episode.
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  • Almighty Janitor: Charlie is proven to be one, as he manages to secure the highest grade for the bar in the inspection and successfully pulls off the gang's chicken/steaks/airline miles scam almost singlehandedly.
  • Body Paint: Frank covers himself in black paint after flushing his shirt and shoes down the toilet.
  • Brick Joke: The "joke stool". Dee's initial idea was to have a standard bar stool with a nail sticking out of it sitting out in the open for someone to sit on, which Charlie quickly points out is better fodder for a lawsuit than a practical joke, and the stool in question is promptly thrown into the keg room and forgotten in the chaos of the rest of the episode. During the health inspector's visit, Charlie winds up picking up a random stool and slamming it to the ground every time he passes it ostensibly due to the stress of the situation that's been forced upon him. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that he did that on purpose when Dee sits on the stool and it promptly collapses from under her.
    Charlie: That's how you make a joke stool, okay?
    • Frank's aforementioned Body Paint. Initially introduced as a half-assed attempt to pass off his lack of shoes and a shirt, this later becomes a crucial element to fool the health inspector into giving the bar a passing grade.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Charlie insists on covering the glory hole for the inspection.
    • Charlie's musical genius is demonstrated once again when he's able to identify the note made by the carbon monoxide detector as a G# by ear, suggesting that he has perfect pitch.
    • Mac can't look Dennis in the eye when they're talking to each other.
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  • Chekhov's Gag: See Brick Joke above.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Charlie's musical ability comes back into play when he determines the pitch of the carbon monoxide detector's beeps.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Charlie anticipated a health inspection prior to being tipped off, so he made sure all the toilets were in working order, covered up the glory hole, and blocked the vents to get rid of the rats long before his discovery of the gang's chicken/steak/airline miles scam; everything else after that was just him improvising on the fly.
    • Bonus points have to be given for his ability to tell which stool Dee would sit on later in the episode for his variation of the joke stool.
  • Deadly Gas: Charlie blocked the vents to the furnace in order to drive the rats away for the inspection due to the buildup of carbon monoxide in the basement.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Frank spends the entire episode barefoot after flushing his shoes down the toilet. He claims it's an "anxiety thing".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Dennis scratching Mac's face and screaming at him to "look at me when you're talking to me!" is disturbingly reminiscent of the behavior of a domestic abuser.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Invoked by Charlie after the gang starts lording "the plan" over his head. When asked why they should listen to him and move the chickens from the front of the bar into the air ducts, he quickly points out that it's not a very good idea to let a city official see that a scam is going down. The gang quickly acknowledges this and begins to move the chickens.
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  • The Face: Invoked by Charlie, who tells Dennis to be the face of the bar.
  • Hidden Depths: Charlie manages to both ace the inspection and deduce the gang's scheme (without anybody explaining it to him) at the same time.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Mac: You just don't know what it's like to be overlooked.
    Charlie: Oh my God. That's exactly what's happening to me, right now!
  • Indy Ploy: Everything Charlie does during the health inspection.
  • Insistent Terminology: Charlie insists that the alley outside the bar is a "patio" and the back office is a "VIP lounge" in an attempt to convince the truck driver that they're actually a restaurant.
  • The Inspector Is Coming: The episode's plot is kicked off when Charlie learns that Paddy's is about to have a surprise inspection.
  • It's All About Me: Mac spends several minutes whining to Charlie about how Dennis won't give him credit for the scam while Charlie is frantically trying to get the bar ready for the inspection.
  • Loophole Abuse: The gang's latest scheme involves exploiting some kind of loophole in the airmiles system to generate cash.
  • Never My Fault: Dennis, Dee, Mac and Frank all start blaming each other for the airmiles scam when it starts to go wrong, despite them all previously fighting to claim the credit.
    Mac: Dee, we should have never done your stupid plan!
    Dee: My plan?! No way, this was Frank's idea.
    Frank: Wasn't my idea. Dennis was all over it.
    Dennis: Me? No, this was Mac's stupid plan.
  • No Respect Guy: The gang completely fail to acknowledge the amount of work that Charlie puts into ensuring they pass the inspection and refuse to give him credit for either the successful scheme or the stool prank that he pulls on Dee.
    Mac: (To Dennis) Did you do that?
    Dennis: You know what, I think I did!
    Charlie: Are you kidding me?!
  • Oh, Crap!: Charlie's reaction when he walks into the bar and sees chickens everywhere and Dennis hand-painting a new sign.
  • The Oner: The second half of the episode, focusing on dealing with the truck driver and the health inspection, is edited together to appear like this (since the exterior, interior, alley, and basement of the pub are separate sets), mainly through the usage of green screens and closeups on characters/doors.
  • Only Sane Employee: Charlie is the only member of the gang who actually understands that to pass the inspection, the bar needs to appear clean.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The very premise of the episode is that Charlie is the Only Sane Man when it comes to health inspections.
  • Pastiche: The percussion-led soundtrack and supposed one-shot in the second-act are very reminiscent of Birdman.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Lampshaded when Charlie tells Frank to take the "Talk American" sign from behind the bar down.
    Frank: Are you sure? Maybe he's a racist too.
    Charlie: The health inspector's not a racist, Frank.
  • Serious Business: Charlie treats the inspection as such, since he's never failed it before and isn't going to do so now.
  • Shirtless Scene: Frank spends most of the episode wandering around without a shirt after he flushes his down the toilet.
  • Shout-Out: Dennis's "alright, alright, alright" every time he greets the health inspector is a reference to Matthew McConaughey.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The inspector asks if she can smell cheese when Charlie is standing close behind her.
  • Zany Scheme: The gang's scheme involving chickens, steaks and airmiles.

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