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"The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis" is the first episode of the fifth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.


While Frank, Mac, and Dennis try their hand at real estate, Dee arranges to be a surrogate mother to a wealthy couple with a sweet house. Meanwhile, Charlie faces off with a lawyer on the intricacies of the judicial system.


Morgage Crisis.jpg

11:30AM on a Tuesday

Frank convinces Charlie, Dennis and Mac to aid him in selling a recently purchased foreclosed home. Similarly, Dee wishes the gang to help her become a surrogate mother in order to earn 'easy' money, the gang concludes that they will aide Frank as the job is seemingly more profitable.

When Deandra meets the potential parents they ask her several questions about her past; Dee blatantly lies by denying having previous problems with alcohol or illegal substances as well as lying about several other aspects of her life. She fails to mention her heart attack when claiming that she has never had a health problem in her entire life. Dee tries to convince the couple of receiving reduced fees through a bulk purchase. An up on the octo-mom if you will.

As Charlie, Dennis, Frank and Mac prepare to renovate Frank's new home, they find home fully furnished with food on the stove. Moment's later, the previous home owners arrive and a minor conflict occurs; where the gang briefly mentions raping the mother and killing the family, although they conclude that would be inconvenient. They tell the family that they will return with the deed and paperwork.

Deandra tries to exploit her surrogacy by convincing the parents that she should be able to use their home in order to 'relax' and prepare for pregnancy.

Upon return to Frank's new house, they find that the locks have been changed and that a lawyer is present. The gang has had an experience with this lawyer before in "Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead." Upon conversation with the lawyer, Frank learns that the family has 90 days to vacate the home.

Dennis and Mac still try to sell the home as realtors in order to avoid using a realty agency, under Frank's concern that the family will ruin his new home. Dennis and Mac chose to stylize themselves as a "Good Realtor and Bad Realtor" combination named Hugh Honey and Vic Vinegar as Honey and Vinegar Realty.

The first couple to come to the "open house" are forcefully coerced into buying the house by "Vic" screaming at them to buy the house.

Dennis and Mac come to realize that their recent characters may also be capable of helping Dee earn more money. They visit Dee while she swims in the surrogate parents' pool. Dennis and Mac act as a homosexual couple and claim that they paid more money for Deandra's services. Suddenly, Frank arrives and tells the gang that he lost the home because he had injured the families' children while he had them do renovation work to their rooms. The buyers of Dee's surrogacy inform Dee that she is no longer a candidate as they find her immoral and unsuitable. The entire gang then decides to use the surrogate parents' pool in order to relieve their tension.


  • Charlie, Mac, Dennis and Frank - Team up to sell a foreclosed home that Frank has bought.
  • Dennis and Mac - They team up to try and sell Frank's home without using a realtor. Then team up to act as a homosexual couple trying to buy Dee's services as a surrogate.



Guest Stars[]

  • Benjamin Koldyke as Sean
  • Melanie Lynskey as Kate
  • Brian Unger as The Attorney
  • P.J. Byrne as Tad
  • Ray Porter as Gerry


  • Jennifer Blanc as Claire
  • Brighid Fleming as Suzie
  • Caleb Guss as Henry
  • Anna Vocino as Fay



  • Kaitlin Olson usually does all of her own stunts, but not in this episode ("sweet jackknife").
  • When Mac and Dennis are pretending to be a couple, they're talking about "trophy husband" and "power bottom" - it is a reference for their twinks and bears conversation from "The Gang Sells Out".
  • Originally, Season 4 was to include an episode entitled "Frank Exploits the Mortgage Crisis." Due to Danny DeVito's limited availability at the time, the episode had to be held off until Season 5.
  • Charlie was right about the "bird law". It is illegal in the United States to keep a hummingbird as a pet. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 makes it illegal to capture, possess, or kill many species of birds, including hummingbirds, without a permit. However, he was wrong about bird law with regard to gulls, as gulls are also protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
  • Later, Dee will successfully implement her "baby scheme" with delivering the baby for Carmen and Nick. ("Dee Gives Birth") She got her surrogate money in 07x04.
  • Dee lies to the couple she is applying to be a surrogate mother for in multiple ways: she has been addicted to crack ("Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare"), cocaine ("The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)") and to steroids ("Hundred Dollar Baby"), and she drinks heavily (multiple times throughout the series), and she is lying about not having any health problems, since she has had a heart attack by this point in the series. ("Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack")
  • Frank picks up an umbrella to use as a weapon against the family living in the house. This may be a reference to Danny DeVito's character "The Penguin" from the 1992 movie "Batman Returns".
  • "Vic Vinegar" reappears as a "bodyguard" to a man whose identity Dennis has stolen in "Frank's Back in Business".
  • The Surrogacy story arc is a heavy reference to the movie Juno - with Dee behaving towards the family like Juno did in the film, but without the couple responding in kind.
  • Charlie will square off with The Lawyer on bird law again in the Season 11 episode "McPoyle vs. Ponderosa: The Trial of the Century".
  • This is the first episode to be broadcast in 16:9 widescreen format.


Charlie: All right, you're getting hung up on "can't", and I'm not saying that you can't. I'm saying that it is illegal.
Dennis: No, but it's not illegal.
Charlie: Says the guy who knows nothing about the law!
Dennis: I can absolutely keep a hummingbird as a pet, bro. It's no different than having a parrot or a parakeet. It's a bird, bro.
Charlie: You really can't, and I'm not saying I agree with it. It's just that bird law in this country—it's not governed by reason.
Dennis: There's no such thing as "bird law".
Charlie: Yes, there is.
Dennis: You know what? I'm going to get a hummingbird and I'll show you.
Charlie: Hummingbirds...hummingbirds are illegal tender!
Dennis: I'm going to get one.
Charlie: You cannot.
Dennis: To spite you, I'm going to get one.
Mac: Where are we with gulls?
Charlie: You can keep a gull as a pet, but you don't want to live with a seabird, okay, 'cause the noise level alone on those things...have you ever heard a gull up close? It's going to blast your eardrums out, dude.

Dee: [Interrupting the gang as they argue about house investing] I'm having a baby!
Frank: Do yourself a favor and flush it out.

The Gang: House! House! House! House! House! House! House! House!

Dennis: No, no, of course we shouldn't bash these people up. Look, OK, absolutely, we could cave the husband's skull in here. Yes, we could take the wife down to the basement, have a frenzied free-for-all with her. We could tie the kids up in their little rooms upstairs, so they wouldn't hear anything.....
Mac: In that scenario you'd have to kill the kids because they would have seen our faces.
Dennis: Right; we could smear the walls with their blood, guys... There are any number of twisted scenarios that could play out here. But the easiest thing, really, is to just go get the deed.
Charlie: Right, why get weird?

Lawyer: You know what? This family, behind me, has 90 days to vacate. Until then, you can't touch them.
Frank: That's bullbird man.
Charlie: Alright.
Frank: Whaddaya got there?
Charlie: Lemme handle this, Frank. It's not bullbird. He's making a few good points. Look buddy, I know a lot about the law and various other lawyerings, uh, I'm well educated, well versed. I know that situations like this, real-estate wise, they're very complex.
Lawyer: Actually, they're pretty simple. The forms are all standard boiler-plate.
Charlie: Okay. Well we're all hungry. We'll get to our hot-plates soon enough. Let's talk about the contract here.
Lawyer: I'm sorry, I forgot. Where did you go to law school again?
Charlie: Well I could ask you that very same question.
Lawyer: I went to Harvard.
Charlie: Ah, mhm.
Lawyer: How about you? Hm? Uh?
Charlie: I'm pleading the fifth, sir.
Lawyer: I'd advise that you do that.
Charlie: And I'll take that advice into cooperation, alright? Now what say you and I go toe-to-toe on bird-law and see how comes out the victor?
Lawyer: You know, I don't think I'm going to do anything close to that and I can see clearly you know nothing about the law. It seems like you have a tenuous grasp of the English language in general.
Charlie: (said as fly flies past his head) I, uh, well, filibuster!
Lawyer: Do you.. Do you know what that word means?
Charlie: Ah-yup!
Lawyer: Yeah, whats that mean?
Charlie: uhhhhhhh. AHHHHHHH!!!(proceeds to slam through the door)

Mac: I'm thinking we do a classic "good realtor, bad realtor" dynamic.
Dennis: Oh, shit! I'm the good, you're the bad?
Mac: You're the sweet to my sour!
Dennis: Honey to your vinegar?
Mac: That's good, dude! Honey and Vinegar Realty.

Charlie: I knew that guy was full of shit! I knew it!
Dennis: What guy?
Charlie: That lawyer guy, okay. He totally besmirched me today, and I demand satisfaction.
Mac: You want him to bang you?
Charlie: Mac, be serious. He slandered me in front of a jury of my own peers. Look what they used to do when that sort of thing happened
[shows gang history book]
Charlie: Take a look at this picture. What do you see?
Mac: I see two trannies shooting at each other.
Charlie: No, dude. They're dueling, okay? These are lawyers settling an argument by dueling it out.
Dennis: How do you know that the two trannies are lawyers?
Charlie: [slams book, looking at Frank] Because it's an old book, okay? I don't need to explain everything to you about what I know. I'm trying to... get satisfied... From this dude... and you're trying to... [giving up and leaving] I'm getting satisfied.

Dee: So suck on that, white stains.

Girl: Hey, hey, hey, you jerks aren't supposed to be here when our mom and dad are at work!
Mac: Your mom and dad aren't at work. That's why they lost the house. They're probably at the dog track getting wasted.
Boy: Dude. Eat my boogers.
Mac: You eat my boogers!

Mac: I'll tell you what buddy, how about I take your wife upstairs and show her what it's like to be deep inside a really big house?
Tad: What?
Dennis: What?
Mac: What?
Dennis: Uh, you, you'll have to excuse my associate. It's just his passion for quality real estate that makes him so intense.

Dennis: I'm Hugh Honey and this is Vic Vinegar. We're partners in real estate and partners in life.

Charlie: (entering The Lawyer's office) Well, well, well, well, well. If it isn't the big-time, hot-shot Lawyer Man.
The Lawyer: Oh my God. I do not have time for you.
Charlie: Yes, we do both have busy schedules. So I'll make this quick. I shan't mince words with you for long. I am challenging you, sir, to a duel.
The Lawyer: I accept.
Charlie: (Stunned by what he just heard) Are you serious?
The Lawyer: Yeah, I accept your challenge.
Charlie: Do you want time to think it over?
The Lawyer: No, no, not at all. What time were you thinking of duelling?
Charlie: Anytime is good, really. I don't have...You don't have time, because you'd have to go out and get a proper gun...
The Lawyer: Well, I have a gun. I actually keep one right here in a drawer...
Charlie: You got one? Well, I don't need to see it...
The Lawyer: I like to keep it loaded, because you never know who's gonna walk into a law office these days...
Charlie: Safety first. Well, let's regain some things. Let's say that you've learned your lesson now, and I've learned a little lesson, and we'll call it even, and I will respectfully decline the duel.
The Lawyer: Well, you can't decline. As you know, once the duel's been accepted, there's no backing out. And that's the law...
Charlie: Yep.
The Lawyer: Anyway, great, this is settled, and I was looking for something to do tomorrow afternoon anyway, so I'm gonna pencil you in for high noon tomorrow...
Charlie: Don't do it.
The Lawyer: ...and don't worry, because wherever you are, I'll find you. I'm gonna put one right between your teeth, and it's gonna pop out the back of your neck.


File:Accepting The Challenge (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)


File:Deed (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)


File:Interview Process (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)


File:Making A Sale (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)


File:Merging Ideas (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)


Season 5 Episodes
  1. "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis"
2. "The Gang Hits the Road"
3. "The Great Recession"
4. "The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention"
5. "The Waitress Is Getting Married"
6. "The World Series Defense"
7. "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops"
 8. "Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens"
 9. "Mac and Dennis Break Up"
10. "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System"
11. "Mac and Charlie Write a Movie"
12. "The Gang Reignites the Rivalry"
13. "A Very Sunny Christmas"