"The Gang Exploits A Miracle" is the seventh episode of the second season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
11:00 AM on a Tuesday
Charlie stumbles out the office, having slept in there, and tells the gang that there is a water stain. They go in to see it and Mac recognizes it as a resemblance of the Virgin Mary. Frank decides to cash in on the "miracle".
A news crew covers the "miracle" and Dennis thinks he looks fat on TV. Philadelphians are coming to view the "miracle" but aren't donating very much money to Paddy's. A former high school classmate turned priest, Matthew Mara, stops by the bar to view the stain. The boys remember him as Rickety Cricket, the boy who wore leg braces and was in love with Dee. When he leaves, Frank tries to convince Dee to get Cricket to bless the stain. She finds him outside his church and flirts with him, but he refuses to bless the stain. Dee returns to Paddy's and Frank blames her failure on her aging beauty. She goes to confession and tells Cricket that she is in love with him.
Meanwhile, Mac and Charlie argue about the legitimacy of the stain when a woman asks Mac to bless her. They decide to become more religious and bless the other visitors. Mac dresses in all black and Charlie dresses in all white and they compete with each other in inspiring and blessing Paddy's patrons.
Dennis returns to Paddy's after a three-day fast. He is convinced he looks less fat now, but has trouble speaking and walking due to his malnutrition. He and Frank go find an old senile priest, Father O'Grady, to bless the stain. O'Grady instead urinates on the stain, washing it away. The people who came to see it blame Charlie and Mac for being false prophets and leave.
Cricket, having left the cloth, returns to Paddy's and professes his love for Dee. She apologizes and tells him that she doesn't love him, and that he should return to the priesthood. Unfortunately the Catholic church won't let him return. Dennis collapses to the floor and Mac suggest a way for Cricket to cheer up - by tea-bagging Dennis.
- Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly
- Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds
- Rob McElhenney as Mac
- Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds
- Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds
- Gina Morelli as Hispanic Woman
- Jack Axelrod as Father O'Grady
- Philip Perlman as I.V. Man
- This episode marks the first appearance of Matthew Mara, known to The Gang as Rickety Cricket. Cricket is portrayed by David Hornsby, a producer and writer for Sunny.
- Seeing images of the Virgin Mary created "naturally" was a big religious trend in the mid-2000s. In November 2004 a piece of toast featuring a likeness to the Virgin Mary sold for $28,000 at auction. (Source) In April 2005 a water stain in Chicago made national news, likely inspiring this episode of Sunny. (Source)
- In later episodes Charlie becomes very anti-religious. In "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer" he throws a fit at Mass and calls Catholicism a scam and in "Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense" he instantly dismisses Mac's opinions because Mac is religious.
- David Hornsby is credited as"Father Matthew Mara".
- In this episode Charlie wears a white suit. In "The Nightman Cometh" he wears a yellow suit.
- It appears that the "Virgin Mary's" nipples are showing.
|—||“That is the Virgin Mary! Look, look, look! The head, and the arms, and the cape!”|
|—||“It could be a miracle, it could be bullshit. There's only one thing we know for sure. It's a goddamn gold mine.”|
|—||“If you like the Virgin Mary, and you like beer? Come on down to Paddy's Pub. We got 'em both.”|
|—||“I know it's been years since we've seen each other, but does my face look fat to you?”|
|—||“Hey, remember how you would pass out at parties and Dennis would tea-bag you?”|
|—||“Do you ever get balls-to-the-chin, Matt?”|
|“It would be funnier as a priest!”||—|
|—||“Remember the time when you said you'd kiss him if he ate a horse turd? He ate the whole thing! Then, she doesn't kiss him 'cause his breath smelled like shit.”|
|—||“I wasn't always a tease! I let you do my math homework.”|
|—||“I've been fasting for three days, so I probably look good.”|
|“You haven't eaten anything for three days?”||—|
|—||“And I feel great.”|
|“Why the hell are you fasting?”||—|
|—||“Well, I thought I would get into the spirit of the religious aspect of what we got going on here.”|
|“It's because we said his face looked fat.”||—|
|—||“It is not. People have been fasting for thousands of years for health and religious purposes. Moses. Jesus and Moses in the woods, and in the desert...”|
|—||“[singing] I got the Lord! I got the Lord! I got the good Lord, he's going down on me!”|
|—||“Hear me out for a second. Technically that stain did appear to me. Also I am familiar with carpentry and I don't know who my father is... so... am I the Messiah? I don't know. I could be. I'm not ruling it out!”|
|—||“God damn it.”|
|“Really wish you wouldn't take my name in vain.”||—|
|—||“Here's a confession: I'm in love with a man. What? I'm in love with a man... a man named God. Does that make me gay? Am I gay for God? You betcha.”|
|—||“Let's go toe-to-toe on the Bible, bitch!”|
|—||“Well, God has a plan for everybody.”|
|“That seems dumb.”||—|
|—||“Well, it's not. It's God's plan.”|
|“Well God's plan sucks this time.”||—|
|Father O'Grady||—||“Shh! Cats! And they're brown!”|
|—||“Hey Cricket, do you know what would make you feel better? You want to tea-bag Dennis?”|