"Charlie's Mom Has Cancer" is the sixth episode of the eighth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
In perhaps the most depraved scheme of them all, the Gang rallies around Charlie's mom as she battles cancer. As Mac, Charlie, and Dee struggle with their faith, Frank loses his memory and his mind in a quest for buried treasure, and they're all rocked by a revelation that will shake Paddy's to its very foundation!
11:20 AM, on a Saturday, Philadelphia, PA
Charlie's mom has offered to do his laundry, so Charlie is bringing a basket of clothes to her house. Mac comes in after him, with a bag of his own laundry—and other bags with laundry from Dee, Dennis, and Frank. She says she doesn't mind doing their laundry, because it gives her a chance to talk to Charlie. For his part, Charlie doesn't seem too interested in talking, and so he and Mac are about to leave when his mom tells her that she has something she must tell him: she has lung cancer. When Charlie asks how she could possibly have lung cancer, since she has never smoked, Mrs. Mac, her roommate, says "It's just one of those freak things"—as she smokes a cigarette, which is filling the air with its smoke.
Back at Paddy's, Dee tells Frank about a psychic named John she has been working with, who tells her that she is about to come into a "windfall". When Frank tells her she is "losing her mind" for believing that a psychic is real, Dee says he is the one who is losing his mind, asking how many pairs of shoes he's lost during the month. And, sure enough, Frank is barefoot, and he admits to losing 3 or 4 pairs of shoes that month. He protests that his "mind is as sharp as a...whaddya call those things"—he's unable to come up with the word "tack".
Charlie and Mac enter the bar. Charlie is blaming Mac's mom for his mom's cancer, due to the second hand smoke. When Charlie tells the rest of the Gang that his mom has lung cancer, Frank and Dee look genuinely concerned, but Dennis' reaction is far from genuine. In fact, he seems utterly unmoved by the terrible news. Dennis admits that "the cancer thing just isn't grabbing me right now." It seems that he has no feelings at all about this.
Mac says he knows a doctor who can cure Mrs. Kelly's cancer for $4,200. When Charlie asks if anyone else thinks this is a scam, Dee says that people scam old people all the time "as they get old and their brains turn to mush." As if to prove her point, she tells Frank that he agreed to pay for her psychic, which he did not. But Frank gladly hands over the cash.
Mac, Dennis, and Charlie go to see the "doctor", who goes by the name "Dr. Jinx." His "office" appears to be the inside of a garage. Dennis and Charlie are highly skeptical, but Mac says they should just check the guy out and see if he seems legit. They go into the garage to see a black man watering plants; they don't seem to realize that he is Dr. Jinx until he identifies himself. They admit that they have a hard time thinking of a "black man living in a garage" as a doctor (well, they seem to have a hard time thinking that any black person could be a doctor; when Dr. Jinx asks them "Didn't you watch the Cosby Show coming up?", Mac says he wasn't allowed to.) Mac shows Dr. Jinx a rash on his arm, which he says is eczema, but Dr. Jinx tells him it's "sailor's rot" and sprays it with something. Dennis asks Dr. Jinx if he has anything that will enable him to have "feelings." Dr. Jinx's treatment for that is to play him the bass line to "The Right Stuff."
They exit the garage and agree that it's all a scam. Charlie says his mom still needs help, so Mac suggests that they next turn to the Church. They go to a Mass. Mac seems moved by it, but Charlie looks bored and confused, and Dennis is sill desperately trying to have an actual emotion. Charlie is highly skeptical that this will help, and refuses to give an offering, saying that the Church should be giving them money. He declares the Catholic Church to be a scam as well.
Dee has a meeting with Psychic John. He doesn't seem to be that much of a psychic; he uses various tricks to manipulate Dee into telling him that Dennis is her brother. John again tells her that he sees a lot of money in her future, but it'll take a few more sessions to figure out where it's coming from (of course). Frank comes in telling Dee he remembered that he didn't want to give her the money he gave her earlier. Psychic John introduces himself, and when Frank says that he's "full of shit", Psychic John tells him some rather specific facts about himself. Frank then asks John to contact his "dead whore wife." When John says he can't do that, he explains that it's not because he can't contact the dead—it's because he is sensing that Barbara is still alive. This time, Dee is the skeptical one, but Frank says that he was always suspicious of her death, and never saw her body. John says that he feels she is still living in Philadelphia with a "small Mexican dog."
Outside the church, Dennis still says he didn't feel anything, and Charlie is still convinced it's all a scam. Charlie asks his mom while he's there, and Mrs. Kelly tells him that she was praying for the money to pay Dr. Jinx. When Charlie tells her he's a scam artist, Mrs. Kelly says that he really does cure people. Mac then shows them that the rash on his arm is gone. This makes him think that maybe Dr. Jinx can help after all.
The priest comes up to them saying they are collecting money for a statue of the Blessed Mother that was vandalized the week before. This causes Charlie to fly into a rage that he is collecting money for a statue while his mother is dying of cancer, pointing out that the priest is wearing a ring that would probably fund his mother's treatment. Dennis pulls him aside and says that maybe they should do a little scamming of their own, and says they should have a "beef and beer" for his mother at Paddy's.
Frank and Dee are in the backyard of their old house, digging up the grave of Barbara's beloved Chihuahua "Bruiser". When Dee opens the box buried in the grave, she thinks she sees a dead dog, but Frank tells her it's his old blonde toupee. They also find a wad of cash in the grave, which seems to confirm that Barbara is alive and hiding money all over town. They run into Mr. Juarez (who got the house after their disastrous "home makeover" attempt) who tells them that he couldn't keep the house due to the property tax and is now the gardener.
At Paddy's, the Beef and Beer is in full swing, Dr. Jinx's band—also called Dr. Jinx—is playing. In the back office, Artemis is applying makeup to Mrs. Kelly to make her look sicker than she is, including a bald cap and painted-on lesions. Mrs. Kelly is very upset by the makeup, and the speech they want her to give, which she calls "too graphic". Mac and Charlie counter that it's okay because she really does have cancer—this is just a way to get people more inclined to give.
Dr. Jinx finishes his (or their, I guess) set, and Dennis gives a speech about faith. He declares that all that matters is that "we be dumb enough to believe." He says that they can do anything if they believe, and he becomes very animated. Mac tells Dennis that he is proud of him for having feelings again, but Dennis reveals he didn't mean it at all. Mrs. Kelly gives her speech. The first part is by Mac, and it is very graphic, talking about her how her lungs are going to "disintegrate" into a "gumbo soup." The second part is by Charlie, and is less graphic, and less, well, literate ("Give me money. Money me. Money now. Me a money needing a lot now."). Mrs. Kelly is visibly upset by the speech, and says she can't do this any longer, and confesses that she doesn't have cancer. Later, she confesses that she and Mrs. Mac are the ones who broke the Virgin Mary statue by running over it with their car. Charlie asks where she got that idea, and she says "I learned it by watching you." Dr. Jinx then admits he's not a doctor; he's the church gardener, and he sprayed Mac with pesticide. Mac's rash is back. Dee and Frank then enter, saying that they know Barbara is alive, and they're going to go dig up her grave, because that's where she's hiding her money.
So they all go to the cemetery. They've dug up the grave, and Frank asks Charlie to open the coffin. He opens the grave, to reveal...the corpse of Barbara Reynolds. Frank then says that he made the whole thing up, including paying off the "psychic", to get back at them for saying he was losing it. The emotions that Dennis has been seeking this whole time suddenly come, and he falls apart sobbing. Frank is jubilant that he put one over on them...but he realizes he's lost another pair of shoes.
Dr. Jinx: Now, I can understand your suspicions. Now, when most people think of a doctor, they don't think of a black man living in a garage surrounded by houseplants.
Mac: I normally think Asian.
Charlie: Yeah, or I think of an Indian guy.
Dennis: Or white.
Mac: Middle Eastern. Pretty much anything other than black. Is that racist?
Dr. Jinx: Hell yeah, that's racist. Your parents ain't let you watch The Cosby Show when you was coming up?
Mac: Oh, my parents would never let me watch something like that...
- Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly
- Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds
- Rob McElhenney as Mac
- Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds
- Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds
- Sean "Diddy" Combs as Dr. Jinx
- Lynne Marie Stewart as Bonnie
- Sandy Martin as Mrs. Mac
- Artemis Pebdani as Artemis
- Paul Bartholomew as Psychic John
- Alejandro Patino as Mr. Juarez
- Christopher Carroll as Priest
- Barbara's body has strangely already fully decomposed periodically after her death in this episode. In real life, it would take more than a decade for a corpse to fully decompose into a skeleton after death, and that's without even taking into account of being in a coffin.
- The title of this episode is a reference to the title of the 1st Season's episode "Charlie Has Cancer". Also, Mrs. Kelly lies about having cancer the same way Charlie did back then.
- The Gang set up Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. McDonald to live together in the 6th Season episode "Mac's Mom Burns Her House Down".
- There's at least three huge disconnections with previous seasons: Frank and Dee supposedly dug up Barbara's corpse once in the search of her jewelry ("Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead"), from the end of 04x12 we know what the actual name of this Mexican family isn't Juarez, and in 03x02 Mac recognizes Geoffrey Owens from the Cosby Show, despite claiming that his parents would never have let him watch something like The Cosby Show.
- This episode had some "hard times" to get itself to its audience: initially, it was supposed to be the fourth in the season, but later it was changed to "Charlie and Dee Find Love"; then it was rescheduled to be the fifth, but shortly been replaced with "The Gang Gets Analyzed". For now, it's the sixth one.
- Mac used to wear a bald cap to simulate cancer back in Season Four. ("Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life")
- Mac and Dennis were going to throw "some P. Diddy-style parties" on the deck of their boat back in Season Six. ("The Gang Buys a Boat")
- "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" by New Kids on the Block plays at Dr. Jinx's garage (he's also played the bass line from this song for Dennis).
- The song that Dr. Jinx performed with his band - is "We Want the Funk" by Parliament (with the additional line "We're gonna turn this cancer out!").
- In the church, Dennis hugs Charlie with the same face as when he tried to seduce Mrs. Kelly back in Season Two. ("Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom")
- Dennis' constant lack of emotions and faith was first pointed out in "Sweet Dee Gets Audited" (his "God Hole" conception, etc.).
- Last time when Dennis had actual and strong feelings - is when he just married Maureen Ponderosa. ("Mac Fights Gay Marriage")
- Barbara's grave was first seen in "A Very Sunny Christmas".
- Frank, Dee and Dennis weren't at Barbara's funeral.
- Barbara's dog from 02x02 was named Bruiser, and it died in 2006.
- Charlie's part of Bonnie's fundraiser speech is another example of his goddamn illiteracy!
- Mac's parents would never let him watch something like The Cosby Show. In the episode Mac's Mom Burns Her House Down, we do hear Mrs. Mac expressing very racist opinions ("Damn foreigners...If they ain't American, I don't wanna know [where they're from]."
- This episode shows that Dee and/or Frank did not actually dig up Barbara's grave as Dee threatened to in the episode Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead, because she was unaware that Barbara's body was actually in the grave.
- When Mac talked about Kensington, most likely he meant a neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA.
- Quinceañera - is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America.
- Two cast members tweeted about P. Diddy on Sunny: by Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Glenn Howerton
- According to this interview, during shootings of this episode Mark Wahlberg himself had stopped by the set of Sunny to meet Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, but Kaitlin showed up a little bit late this time, so she missed him.
- When the psychic is talking to Dee in her apartment there is a small statue of the Hindu God, Lord Nataraja, sitting on the shelf behind them.
- Artemis' appearance was a last minute addition while shooting this episode, as the Sunny crew realized they hadn't written her into any season 8 episodes. Luckily, Artemis Pebdani was available to film her scene.
- With this episode, every member of the Gang has had at least one episode named after an immediate family member.
- Mrs. Kelly: (reading Charlie's sentence in mike) Give me money. Money me!.. Money now!.. Me a money needing a lot now.
- Dr. Jinx: (to Mac about his "eczema situation") What you have there, my friend, that's "sailor's rot".
- Mac: Sailor's rot? I'm not a sailor, Dr. Jinx.
- Dennis: (distraught) My mommy's a skeleton!
|Season 8 Episodes|
| 1. "Pop-Pop: The Final Solution"|
2. "The Gang Recycles Their Trash"
3. "The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre"
4. "Charlie and Dee Find Love"
5. "The Gang Gets Analyzed"
| 6. "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer"|
7. "Frank's Back in Business"
8. "Charlie Rules the World"
9. "The Gang Dines Out"
10. "Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense"