"Flowers For Charlie" is the eighth episode of the ninth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
When an experiment successfully multiplies Charlie's intellect and takes him away from the bar, the rest of the gang find themselves struggling to complete the menial 'Charlie Work ' that has kept the bar running for so long.
- Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly
- Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds
- Rob McElhenney as Mac
- Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds
- Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds
- Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Waitress
- Burn Gorman as Scientist
- Jimmy O. Yang as Tang See
- The title of the episode, along with its basic plot structure, is a reference to the short story turned novel Flowers for Algernon, in which a mentally challenged man receives an experimental procedure that (temporarily) makes him a genius.
- Some similarities with the novel 'Flowers for Algernon' include:
- Both characters are named Charlie, with their occupations being janitors
- Both of them are stumped by a rat maze
- Both understand and refuse to perform demeaning work
- Both Charlies end up losing interest in their love interests as they get smarter
- When they are at the peak of their intelligence, they start carrying out experiments
- This episode has a reunion of sorts with Charlie Day and Burn Gorman who both starred in the 2013 blockbuster, Pacific Rim that was directed by Sunny guest star Guillermo del Toro.
- Almost all of Charlie's Mandarin is gibberish, improvised by Charlie Day.
- This episode is dedicated to Jim Fuller who passed away in September of 2013. Jim worked on a few episodes of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and was also an assistant director on the hit show Glee.
- This episode was written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones. Both of them will go on to guest star in the Season 12 episode "The Gang Goes to a Water Park".
- Antonín Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor plays in the background of the beginning of the episode when the scientists first talk with Charlie.
- This episode has a lab rat named "Armitage Shanks", which is the name of a common British manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and plumbing supplies.
- This episode contains yet another reference to Mac's homosexuality (as well as his true feelings for Dennis): the scene in which Dennis puts on some seductive music in order to lure the rat, but they both just end up dancing suggestively at each other, especially Mac who tries to get closer to Dennis.
- Despite the end of the episode revealing that the drug Charlie had been taking to become smart was a placebo, Charlie does in fact display some increased and unexplained knowledge during the episode. It's possible he is just repeating back things he heard on his audio books, but regardless, it suggests Charlie may have a capacity for learning greater than his or the gang's expectations. For example:
- Charlie's definition of the placebo effect is accurate.
- Charlie is aware of the famous line from Shakespeare's Hamlet and remarks that he agrees with Shakespeare on the subject of brevity ("brevity is the soul of wit").
- However it should be noted that the phrase was mostly used as an ironic statement within the actual play, seeing as Polonius's (The character who delivers the line) character was rarely brief in his statements. Polonius has a habit of paying attention to his appearance and tends to think himself more witty than he actually is. In this sense Charlie can be shown to only have a surface level knowledge of Shakespeare's work, and to not actually understand the eccentricities of the character depicted.
- Charlie's comment about, "the physical level, the metaphysical level, the 'pataphysical level" is a reference to the philosophy of metaphysics. Whereas physics is the study of how matter and energy interacts, metaphysics is the study of how humans interact with each other, including how they study matter and energy. However, 'pataphysics is an openly pseudoscientific discipline created by French writer Alfred Jarry to satirize the concept of metaphysics by arbitrarily creating a tertiary level.
- Charlie's Mandarin contains more "reasonable words" than would be expected from someone entirely making it up - for example, the word "什么" is clearly heard at least once.
- Charlie alludes to the the fable of "The Scorpion and the Frog"
- Apparently, Charlie's concept of looking smart is to do a British accent, button the cuffs on his tattered army jacket, and utilize a wicker wheelchair and a cane
- Mac carries the rat-bashing stick that The Gang made for Charlie as a present in the episode "Charlie Kelly: King of the Rats".
- Mac mentions that Charlie sometimes replaces gasoline cans in the bar with alcohol. This is a direct extension of the previous episode "The Gang Gets Quarantined", where Charlie mentions he replaces bleach jugs in the bar with alcohol.
- Charlie's 'Badnew' tattoo is clearly visible when he meets with the Waitress "Dennis and Dee Get a New Dad".
|—||“You see, I just realized that I have two ears, so it's a waste to only listen to one thing.”|
|“Let me get this straight, you just realized that you have two ears?”||—|
|—||“You must excuse me. I've grown quite weary.”|
|—||“You stupid science bitches couldn't even make my friends more smarter.”|
|“Hey, you're right, stupid science bitch couldn't even make I more smarter!”||—|
|Season 9 Episodes|
| 1. "The Gang Broke Dee"|
2. "Gun Fever Too: Still Hot"
3. "The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award"
4. "Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare"
5. "Mac Day"
|6. "The Gang Saves the Day"|
7. "The Gang Gets Quarantined"
8. "Flowers for Charlie"
9. "The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6"
10. "The Gang Squashes Their Beefs