"Charlie Work" is the fourth episode of the tenth season of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Charlie gets tipped off that the health inspector is coming to inspect Paddy's on the day Dennis, Dee, Frank, and Mac are involved in a scheme involving steaks, airline miles, and chickens.
9:00 AM, On a Monday, Philadelphia, PA
Charlie walks briskly toward Paddy's Pub, calling Frank telling him to not let anybody in the bar as he has it cleaned and ready for an impromptu health inspection he just learned about. Inside, he finds dozens of live chickens and the gang preparing a scam involving airline miles, live chickens, and 400 steaks.
Charlie orders them to hide the chickens in the office and attempts to find Frank's shoes in a toilet (Frank confesses he flushes things down a toilet to "feel in control".) Mac and Dennis begin fighting for ownership over the chicken/steak scam idea, and Dennis scratches Mac's face. Charlie tells him they always figure out ownership in "arbitration." Later, when the plan nearly falls apart the ownership is lobbed between Mac, Dee, Frank, and Dennis.
The steak delivery man arrives, thinking Paddy's is Carmine's Restaurant, and asks for a meal before he unloads 4,000 steaks. (Dee's fat fingers mistyped "400.") Knowing the health inspector is minutes away he has Dee wait on him in the alley behind Paddy's while Frank moves the semi truck and Mac remove the sign from the bar. The health inspector arrives and it's a new woman that is not as lenient as the former inspector. He shows her inside the bar and the bathrooms, which he's managed to tidy up except for one that Frank clogged, which is posed to appear as if it is occupied.
While she inspects the women's restroom, Dennis and Mac transport some of the steaks into the office to contaminate them with chicken feathers and re-package them via vacuum sealer (their scam involves them returning the steaks for cash.) Charlie moves the delivery guy to the bar to pose as a patron and asks Dee to move the dumpster 6 inches. He shows the inspector the back alley and moves the delivery guy into Paddy's office. He then shows the inspector the bar, which she finds very clean. As she inspects, Mac and Dennis move all the chickens and re-packaged steaks back into the truck.
Charlie takes the health inspector down into the basement, which Frank - painted all in black - plays a note on a recorder to match the carbon monoxide detector's noise. (Charlie clogged the furnace vent to fill the basement with fumes to drive away the rats for the inspection.) Back upstairs Dee shows the delivery driver out of Paddy's, and Charlie tells the inspector he's just another drunk patron.
The inspector walks outside Paddy's as the truck pulls away and Mac drives her car back into position. She comments that the dumpster was 6 inches too close but she's still giving them a high passing grade. He hugs her, dropping her keys back in her purse as Dennis removes the Carmines sign. She drives away.
Charlie enters the bar, very proud of what he pulled off. The rest of the gang didn't care and were more impressed that their chicken scam worked successfully, unaware that they only passed their health inspection because of Charlie's genius effort.
- Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly
- Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds
- Rob McElhenney as Mac
- Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds
- Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds
- Francesca P. Roberts as Sandy Lawlor
- David Pressman as Delivery Guy
- This episode features an uninterrupted seven minute long shot, inspired by a similar shot in the HBO series True Detective. Dennis tells the health inspector "alright, alright, alright" in the manner of Matthew McConaughey's character in Dazed and Confused.
- Many viewers thought the episode was also a tribute to the movie Birdman, because of the jazzy soundtrack and the fact both used very long takes (in fact, the movie appears to be one continuous shot.) However, this episode was written and filmed before Birdman was released in theaters.
- Frank similarly had trouble holding on to his shoes in the season 8 episode "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer."
- The "Talk American" sign is a reference to a similar sign at Geno's Steaks (in the real South Philadelphia), which controversially told customers that they must speak English there.
- Charlie's "idiot savant"-like musical ability is shown in this episode: he can tell the beep the carbon monoxide detector makes is a G-sharp, which suggests that he possesses perfect pitch. Frank can also apparently play the recorder as of this episode.
- Charlie was right; both the carbon monoxide detector and the recorder playing that Frank does are indeed G-sharp, like Charlie says.
- This episode is actually an homage to P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love. In the film, the main character (played by Adam Sandler) found a loop hole with a pudding company for frequent flyer miles and it has the same soundtrack and continuous shots. Also, whenever Charlie slams the stool is similar to a scene in that movie.
- Frank would briefly try to replicate events from this episode in "The Gang Misses the Boat"; he lets a ferret loose in his new crew's bar (to drive all the rats out) before calling a health inspector.
- At the end of the Season 11 episode "McPoyle vs. Ponderosa: The Trial of the Century", we learn that Paddy's Pub is being sued over the steak delivery they obviously did not pay for.
- This is the first time in an episode where it's shown characters going through doors and corridors to different parts of the pubs. For example, the basement, the alleyway, the entrance to the pub are actually all sets and in this episode it's the first time it's shown how all these areas fall into the vicinity of the pub.
- This episode has an IMDB rating of 9.6/10. It is the highest rated episode in the series.
- This is one of the few episodes where Charlie is depicted as being capable and/or clever. He manages to pass the health inspection despite the inept schemes of his coworker and also deduces the exact nature of their scheme without having it explained to him. He is portrayed as the gang's most capable member during this episode.
|—||“Where did the cover for the glory hole go?”|
|—||“We'll solve it in arbitration!”|
- ↑ 2/5/15 - Observer.com - Bird(man) Law: ‘Always Sunny’ Director Matt Shakman on Inspiration for ‘Charlie Work
|Season 10 Episodes|
| 1. "The Gang Beats Boggs"|
2. "The Gang Group Dates"
3. "Psycho Pete Returns"
4. "Charlie Work"
5. "The Gang Spies Like U.S."
|6. "The Gang Misses the Boat"|
7. "Mac Kills His Dad"
8. "The Gang Goes on Family Fight"
9. "Frank Retires"
10. "Ass Kickers United: Mac and Charlie Join a Cult"