It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Wiki

"The Gang Turns Black" is the first episode of the twelfth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It aired on January 4, 2017.


After an electric heating blanket shorts out while the gang watches The Wiz, they look in the mirror and realize they've turned black; to get back to being themselves they go through all manner of classic body-switch movie shenanigans. It is later revealed to be the dream of the old black man.



Guest starring[]

  • Scott Bakula as Scott Bakula
  • Chad L. Coleman as Z
  • Wil Garret as Old Black Man
  • Kyra Locke as Social Worker


  • Edwin H. Bravo as Orderly
  • Charlie Corrado as Owner
  • Retha Grey as Ruth
  • Scott Broderick as Detective
  • Marc Scizak as Cop
  • Farley Jackson as Black Frank
  • Leslie Miller as Black Dee
  • Jamal Mixon as Black Dennis
  • Anthony Hill as Black Mac
  • AJ Hudson as Black Charlie


  • The season premiere marks the second time the series did a musical episode, the first being The Nightman Cometh. This is the first time that the musical numbers were part of the show itself, however, like a movie musical; in The NIghtman Cometh and other shows with musical numbers, like "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties", the musical numbers are within other shows done during that episode.
  • The end of the episode reveals the gang being black was part of the Old Black Man's dream which in turn is a reference to the film The Wizard of Oz (or, probably more directly, The Wiz.)
  • The dialogue at the beginning references Black Lives Matter.
  • There are references to Quantum Leap. Guest star Scott Bakula previously starred in the series. Contrary to what is said about him on this episode, however, he actually has been steadily employed on TV since Quantum Leap ended, including playing Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise and, currently, Special Agent Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride on NCIS: New Orleans.
  • This episode set a record for the highest rated original program ever on FXX, with 1.41 million total viewers.[1]
  • There was an alternate take of the scene in which Mac says "We did have a black president before the orange one" in which he says "We did have a black president before the woman," in case Hillary Clinton won the election; this episode was filmed before the 2016 Presidential election, and got a quick re-edit after the results were final.
  • Dennis previously expressed a lack of interest in other people’s dreams in The Gang Gets Racist.


Mini-Mac.jpg   We did have a black president before the orange one.



Mini-Charlie Kelly.jpg   (singing) ♪ Guess I'm just another black kid who doesn't know his dad. ♪ Guess we got that in common, huh, kid? Oh, unless he knows his dad. Oh, shoot. That was racist.



Mini-Frank Reynolds.jpg   (trying to not say "black") I'm a friend of Frank's, and I was looking for, uh, a man, you know, that Frank came and brought to Dee's apartment, to sleep with a bunch of other people, and, uh, I don't know how to describe him. He's, uh, old. And, uh .. he's, uh, about this tall, he has ..
Nigga, you talkin' 'bout Old Black Man   Z



Season 12 Episodes
  1. "The Gang Turns Black"
2. "The Gang Goes to a Water Park"
3. "Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy"
4. "Wolf Cola: A Public Relations Nightmare"
5. "Making Dennis Reynolds a Murderer"
6. "Hero or Hate Crime?"
7. "PTSDee"
8. "The Gang Tends Bar"
9. "A Cricket's Tale"
10. "Dennis' Double Life"