"The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis" is the second episode of the fourth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
To profit from high gas prices, Mac, Dennis, and Charlie fill barrels of gasoline and sell them door-to-door. Meanwhile, Dee and Frank plot to brand Bruce Mathis a terrorist after learning that Barbara's inheritance money is going to be donated to a Muslim community center.
10:30 AM on a Monday
Mac and Dennis complain to Charlie about his use of a generator to power Paddy's Pub. He says electricity was expensive so he was using the generator to save money. They point out the flaw in his logic - gas is more expensive. Mac then decides, as the brains of the group, that they are going to solve the gas crisis. They also agree that Dennis is the looks and Charlie is the wildcard.
Dennis draws a chart with pictures of large-breasted women while Mac explains to Charlie their strategy: ask a bank for a loan, buy a bunch of gasoline, store it in Paddy's basement, and sell it a year later at a higher price. At the bank, this strategy doesn't pan out so Dennis tries to seduce the banker. Charlie jumps in (doing his role as the wild card), also trying to seduce her. All three men take their shirts off and ask the banker which one she would like to have sex with.
At a gas station, Mac pumps gasoline into a plastic trashcan, and states that Dee is stupid for keeping her savings in her sock drawer. The gas station attendant stops them. They then transport the gasoline to Paddy's via Dennis' land rover and Charlie siphons it out of the fuel tank. Six barrels later, they decide to try and sell it back to the gas station. The attendant refuses, so they attempt selling it at a stand like lemonade. Mac and Charlie start blowing fireballs to attract customers, but Charlie accidentally burns Mac's head.
At Charlie's apartment, Charlie duct tapes a towel to Mac's head. Dennis then takes control of the team, claiming to be both the looks and the brains, where Mac is the muscle. They steal Frank's rape van and proceed to sell gasoline door-to-door. Charlie's Texas oil man character frightens a woman and they flee as she calls the cops.
Meanwhile, Frank and Dee are upset that Bruce Mathis is planning on giving part of Barbara's inheritance to a Muslim community center. Frank buys a van with tinted windows ont he inside and out to survey Bruce's apartment. The gas pedal is broken, so Dee accidentally runs into a car as she tries to drive away. Later, they break into his apartment and plant a baby monitor and fertilizer. They survey again, and after the baby monitor is discovered, they get out of the van to fight. Mac, with the towel taped to his head, takes the van but crashes into the same car Dee hit before. The owner looks out of his window, furious.
Back at Paddy's, Frank waterboards Dee in a urinal. Dennis, Mac, and Charlie enter, bickering about the gasoline. Mac realizes that the paradigm of the gang was off because they weren't including Frank - Dennis is the looks, Mac is the brains, Charlie is the wildcard, Frank is the muscle, and Dee is the useless chick. Mac orders the gang into the van to go get Bruce. There, he explains his strategy: frame Bruce, turn him into the cops for a reward, and buy more gas with the reward. As they approach the apartment, Charlie surprises everyone by playing the wildcard and cutting the brakes. They bail out, but the van - with trashcans full of gasoline in the back - rams into the same gold car, exploding into a fireball.
- Charlie, Dennis and Mac—invest in gasoline.
- Dee and Frank—frame Bruce for terrorism to get his inheritance.
- Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly
- Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds
- Rob McElhenney as Mac
- Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds
- Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds
- Zachary Knighton as Random Guy
- Eileen Fogarty as Female Bank Clerk
- Jay Harik as Gas Station Owneer
- Melora Hart as Woman (Suburban House)
- The theme song of Ghostbusters (by Ray Parker, Jr.) plays during
the final scene of this episode.
- Bruce Mathis does not actually appear in this episode. A photo of him does, in a newspaper. And that is clearly a photomontage!
- In this episode we get another example of Dennis' hot drawings.
- Dee keeps her life savings in her sock drawer.
- This is the first appearance of Charlie's oil tycoon character. We'll see him again in "Frank's Pretty Woman". (In that episode, he'll give his name as "Hoss Bonaventure, CEO", and he'll claim to have made his fortune in a vast array of ventures, including boiling denim and bridges. Unfortuately, he is poisoned by his constituents.)
- Dee's desire for vengeance is so strong that she went and tried to ruthlessly ruin her own father's life, and was even willing to kill him.
- This episode references the use of the torture technique known as "waterboarding", which the US government used to obtain intelligence on terrorist activity—much of which turned out to be inaccurate. Similarly, Frank's use of waterboarding leads him to make wild accusations of Bruce Mathis being involved with terrorist activity. Probably, that is some sort of homage for Jack Bauer, which has been previously mentioned on the show.
("Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City")
- At the gas station Dennis refers to Charlie, who they had designated as the "wild card" member of the group as a "mild card".
- When Mac steals Frank's van, as he is turning the van around, he bashes the van multiple times into the driver's side of the car of the person that Frank thinks is Bruce Mathis. The camera cuts away showing Charlie and Dennis, but as it cuts back to Mac, the van is now behind the car, and the driver's side of the car shows no damage.
- In 07x09 The Gang use a van, too - but the white one (instead of the black in here).
- This episode is very heavily referenced in the 8th season episode "The Gang Recycles Their Trash". That episode also revolves around a door-to-door business scheme: in that episode, the plan is to go door to door collecting trash for people, taking advantage of a sanitation workers' strike, though later they decide to revive the door-to-door gas scheme. At the end, Charlie tries his "wild card" act and cuts the brake of the van they are using, but Mac anticipates this and has had the brakes fixed.
- The Gang's scheme to buy gas at current prices and resell it later certainly is possible in real life: it's called a Futures contract. It usually does not involve filling trash cans full of gas, however. Also gas only has a shelf life of 5-8 months.
- The Random Guy, whose car The Gang destroys in this episode, appears again in the Season Nine finale "The Gang Squashes Their Beefs ". Apparently, The Gang's "intel" isn't getting any better, because Mac thought he was inviting Bruce Mathis to Thanksgiving.
- This episode makes a lot of references to the movie "Ghostbusters ", directed by Ivan Reitman . Ivan Reitman's daughter Catherine plays Maureen Ponderosa.
- Mac: How are we suppose to scale back our energy costs when you are filling this generator with gasoline?
- Dennis: Yeah bro, since when did you start running the bar on a gas generator?
- Charlie: About a week ago. I've been doing it for about a week.
- Dennis: Why would you do that?!
- Charlie: Well because you know electricity is so expensive man. So I figured let's get a generator and you know run the bar on it.
- Dennis: Are you kidding me?! Gasoline is like a thousand times more expensive than electricity!
- Mac: You know what Charlie, you shouldn't be making these decisions anyway, okay? You're not the decision making type. As the brains of this organization, I should have made this decision.
- Dennis: Hey, whoa, whoa, I'm sorry. Since when did you become the brains?
- Mac: Uhh...I'm sorry. I've always been the brains.
- Dennis: What?! What are you talking about? I thought I was the brains. What the hell am I?
- Mac: You're the looks.
- Dennis: Well, yeah, of course I'm the looks, but I always thought of myself as the brains and the looks.
- Mac: No, you're the looks, I'm the brains, and Charlie is the wildcard. That's...
- Charlie: Whoa! That's awesome.
- Mac: Yeah! Yeah, that's the classic setup. You know this, no? Look, every great crew in history has followed that basic dynamic, right? Looks, brains, wildcard. Think about it! The A-team did it. Scooby Doo did it. The Ghostbusters did it!
- Charlie: Oh shit!
- Mac: Yes! Right? Our problem is that we don't stick to that basic format and it gets us in trouble.
- Dennis: So what you're saying is that by breaking from that format, we're actually limiting our ability to be as successful as those organizations.
- Charlie: You're totally right, dude.
- Mac: Great, onto the matter at hand. We're getting plowed in the ass by the oil companies and the gas companies with their ten gallon hats and their rotten ass-plowing hearts. So, as the brains of this organization, I came up with a plan.
- Dennis: Lay it on us, bud.
- Mac: It involves us pulling up our bootstraps, oiling up a couple of asses, and doing a little plowing of our own. (long pause) Not gay sex.
- Charlie: Ah... okay, 'cause that's what it sounded like. What did you mean...
- Mac: We're gonna solve the gas crisis!
- Charlie: Oh, good!
- (After Charlie fills a trash can with gas by siphoning it out of Dennis's car)
- Charlie: Alright barrel number six is done, dudes.
- Dennis: This is not working, okay? We are actually losing money driving back and forth from that gas station all day long.
- Charlie:You burn up your product plus I have swallowed a good deal of it, and it's a damn waste.
- Dennis: Alright, well just let me do the talking.
- Charlie: Well, I feel like you got to at least talk with a southern accent, man. [rings doorbell]
- Dennis: No, I'm not going to talk in a southern accent. It's bad enough that you wore this stupid "disguise."
- Charlie: But we're oil men! We would have southern accents.
- Dennis: Yeah, but we don't need bolo ties and stupid hats...
- Charlie: Yes, we do! She's gonna...
- [front door answered]
- Dennis: Hello ma'am. Well, uh, what a lovely house dress.
- Charlie: Yeah, well you're lookin' all sorts o' good!
- Dennis: Now, you seem like a sweet, sophisticated, nice, busy young lady so we're not going to waste your time today.
- Charlie: Nah, we're just a couple oil men in from Dallas and well, heh, we're itching like a hound to give you ah somethin' you want.
- Dennis: Heh, what my associate is trying to say is that we're here to offer your community a much needed service...
- Charlie: Hells yeah! We want to fill you up if you so inclined to let us.
- Dennis: Please let me do the talking. Please.
- Charlie: Now, we ain't gonna take no for an answer now you here, heh. Okay? So don't be making me sick my associate on your here, alright? He don't take kindly to no. So, can I fill you up or what? (rushing into the van)
- Charlie: Ya, best get to steppin' cause Johnny Law's a-comin'!
- Dennis: Yeah, you might want to start driving because she called the cops on us.
- Mac: Why's he talking like that?
- Dennis: Well, wildcard over here decided to lose his mind.
- Charlie: Now I say, I say that's just damn preposterous, boy!
- Dennis: Now you're just talking like Foghorn Leghorn!
- Mac: Alright guys, I think it's time we just cut our losses and go back to the original plan.
- Charlie: Ah, the generator!
- Mac: No, not the generator! Storing the gas at Paddy's.
- Charlie: Alright.
- Mac: It's too soon to sell this gas anyway. Just shut the door.
- Dennis: Go go go...
- Charlie: Okay okay...
- Frank: You're not calling the cops! They'll find the bug I'm gonna plant!
- Dee: That's a baby monitor, Frank. You're planting a baby monitor?
- Frank: Yeah, a lot of people are bugging their babies these days... I guess babies can't be trusted...
- Dee: What are you expecting to find?
- Frank: Lot of shady shit.
- Dee: Like what?
- Frank: Like maybe Bruce is banging dudes!
- Dee: Why would that be shady?
- Frank: Maybe the dudes are babies!
- Dee: What?! Bruce is not banging any baby dudes!!
- (The gang driving in the rape van)
- Mac: Wait...the brakes...the brakes aren't working.
- Frank: The gas pedal...
- Mac: Brakes aren't working. No, I'm saying...no, the brakes.
- Frank: Wiggle it, it gets better...
- Mac: Guys, why aren't the brakes working!
- Charlie: Because I cut the brakes! Wildcard, bitches! Yeeeeehaaaaw!!! [jumps out of the back of the van]
- Mac: We'd like to return some gas please.
- Dennis: Yeah, don't worry bro, we got receipts.
- Samsa: I can't do that.
- Dennis: You can't do it, or won't do it?
- Samsa: Both.
- (Charlie flips open a cigarette lighter, apparently threatening to burn the place down)
- Mac: Not yet buddy. (To Samsa) OK bro, you wanna play hardball, fine. You're about to experience the hard knocks of a free market, bitch. Get ready to feel it where it hurts.
- Charlie: Your dick!
- Mac: No, not his dick. His wallet...Your wallet.
|Season 4 Episodes|
| 1. "Mac and Dennis: Manhunters"|
2. "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis"
3. "America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest"
4. "Mac's Banging the Waitress"
5. "Mac and Charlie Die (Part 1)"
6. "Mac and Charlie Die (Part 2)"
7. "Who Pooped the Bed?"
| 8. "Paddy's Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia"|
9. "Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life"
10. "Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack"
11. "The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell"
12. "The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition"
13. "The Nightman Cometh"