"The Great Recession" is the third episode of the fifth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Mac and Dennis try to keep the bar afloat in the tough economic times; Frank starts a family business with Dee; newly poor people gather outside the bar.


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11:00 A.M. on a Tuesday

The recession has hit Paddy's Pub with the arrival of an RV. Frank decides to hang himself because he lost everything in a ponzi scheme. After losing his money, he meets with Mac & Dennis at Dave & Buster's to talk shop over steak and video games. Mac decides to make their bar as efficient as the government so they cut Frank from the management team and begin consolidating.

Charlie crabs

"Fresh local Delaware runoff crabs!"

Mac and Dennis start firings at Paddy's with Dee after asking her to mix a mojito for them. She proceeds to give them a Coors Light and quits before they can fire her.

Charlie shows Mac & Dennis how he burns trash in the furnace, changes the rain water barrels and siphons electricity from other buildings while showing his illiteracy by explaining that everyday he turns on the "Coors" sign which is actually the "Closed" sign. With one swoop, Charlie is fired and kicked out onto the street because Frank sublets the apartment to start up his business with Dee in their trailer.

Dennis and Mac get drunk off Merlot at Dave and Busters and think of a stimulus plan to help Paddy's pub in this tough economic time. Dennis in his drunken state, comes up with Paddy's dollars. Frank and Dee try to sell knives and a vacuum to their first client but within minutes Frank has sliced open his hand so in a state of depression he attempts to hang himself yet again in their clients bathroom.

Mac and Dennis's plans don't work out as Dennis thought Mac knew the system but Dennis instead reveals he blacked out the night at Dave and Busters. Frank takes Dee to meet a new business associate who turns out to be Charlie. They plan to sell crabs that Charlie has caught but due to a strong sewage runoff in the river, the plan cant work despite Charlie's claims that "crabs are sewage proof".

At the end of the episode, Frank is somehow given a bailout by the government and is again wealthy, saving the group.

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They're NOT going to Dave & Buster's

From an extended ending scene.


Guest starringEdit


  • Kristen O'Meara as Beth
  • Sabrina Vittore as D&B Waitress


  • Shaun Paul Costello as Dude


5x3 The Great Recession - Frank hangs himself
  • The entire episode is one giant endorsement for the Coors Light and Dave & Buster's restaurant. A joke that was ruined, says Glenn Howerton, by the fact that FX ran commercials for both during the entire episode, resulting in overkill.
  • From Glenn Howerton's ("Dennis") Twitter:
    • 11:05 AM Oct 8th : Just got back from vacay. Gotta love n quite a bit of hate on last week's recession ep. Sounds like 50% got the joke and 50% did not
    • 11:08 AM Oct 8th: Although I will say FX was NOT supposed 2 accompany the ep. w all those fucking D&B's and Coors commercials. That's what fucks it up.
    • 11:10 AM Oct 8th: If u watch the ep. w no commercials on DVD or iTunes or whatever u will like it
      a lot more. I promise. We learned our lesson on that one.
  • The plotline revolving around Frank losing his money in a "Ponzi scheme" is most directly a reference to the case of Bernie Madoff, a financial advisor who bilked his clients out of billions. Similarly, his getting "bailed out " at the end by the government references how world governments spent hundreds of billions of dollars to keep banks from defaulting after they lost billions of dollars on bad investments. (An earlier episode from this season, "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis", also was inspired by the economic woes of the time that the episode first aired.)
  • The "crabs" Charlie and Frank pull out of the river that Dee refers to as "sea scorpions" are actually crayfish, an extremely common type of crustacean that can be found in many types of rivers and are fairly worthless in comparison to crabs and lobsters.
  • The location of Paddy's Pub - at least approximate - can be seen if you look closely enough: we see a street sign that would place it at off the corner of 3rd and Dickinson, in South Philly. (Source) However, the real building of "Paddy's Pub" - Pan Pacific Warehouse - is set in LA at Mateo St. and Palmetto St. (544 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013).
  • In case you must make a mojito to save your job, here's a recipe .
  • The harness that's actually holding Danny DeVito up is pretty obvious under his shirt in the opening scene where Frank is attempting to hang himself.


Mac: I'll tell you who. New poor. Ever since the recession hit, waves of new people are suddenly broke. These people have no idea how to live without money. They're what's called "new poor". We're "old poor".
Dennis: They could stand to learn a lesson or two from us because we would never take our homelessness and shove it down everybody's face.
Charlie: Have some class, if you're gonna be poor.

Charlie: You start putting plans under a microscope, nothing's gonna make sense alright?

[Frank hangs from a noose]
Dee: Frank's trying to kill himself.
Frank: Don't try to stop me. I lost all my money in a Ponzi scheme. I'm broke!
Dee: His neck is so thick I feel likes he just gonna swing and dangle around for a really long time.
Frank: Tie a chair to me, tie a chair to me...

Mac: I'm comfortable being 'chaff' if you want to be 'wheat'.

Charlie: Ok, boys! Let's talk rat traps!

Frank: What part of "I am Broke" don't you guys understand? I tried to hang myself! No more bail outs!!!

Frank: Are you willing to destroy your credit?
Dee: Well, it's never really been a problem before.

Charlie: Now lets talk about the trash, what do I do with the trash, how I dispose of the trash?
Dennis: I don't know we disposed of the trash in the dumpster last night, what are you doing with it?
Charlie: I am taking it to the furnace..
Mac: We have a furnace?
Charlie: Absolutely, where do you think the heat comes from?
Dennis: You burn the trash in the furnace?
Charlie: This bar runs on trash, dude. This bar is totally green that way.
Dennis: How is burning trash green?
Charlie: Uh, because I'm recycling the trash into heat for the bar, and lots of smoke for the bar giving the bar the smokey smell we all like.
Mac: The bar smells like trash!
Dennis: That's the exact opposite of green, Charlie.
Charlie: Oh, I'm sorry. Well I could put the trash into a landfill where it's going to stay for millions of years, or I could burn it up, get a nice smokey smell in here and let that smoke go into the sky where it turns into stars.
Mac: That doesn't sound right, but I don't know enough about stars to dispute him.

Charlie: Lastly, before I open the bar in the morning I always make sure to turn on the Coors sign to let people know we have nice delicious Coors in the bar.
Dennis: Charlie. That sign does not say "Coors". Come outside, come outside, come outside.
[They go outside]
Dennis: Closed! It says "closed" Charlie!
Charlie: Yea, I can see that now, but you can't really read it from the inside.
Mac: You can't read it from the outside!

Frank: Feast your eyes on your new business. Knives!!!
Dee: You want me to sell knives door to door?
Frank: No! You're selling vacuums!
Dee: I'm sorry... I took out a high interest loan to invest in a door to door knife and vacuum selling business!?

Dee: Oh Goddammit!

Dennis: Break down what I'm holding in my hand, right now.
Mac: Uh, that is a Dave & Busters power card.
Dennis: Yeah. Now - does your Dave & Busters card work at any other similar establishments, like say a TGI Fridays?
Mac: Mine does not. Believe me, I have tried. Several locations.
Dennis: Yeah, because if you recall I've actually been with you on many of those occasions where you tried
Mac: Right. I don't think I've tried it enough.
Dennis: I think you have, because clearly at this point you should have realized that it doesn't work anywhere else.
Mac: There's one out in Franklin Mills I haven't tried, I feel like it might work.

Frank: All right, now, pretend that this shoe is an unboned chicken. And you're gonna cook it tonight, make a tasty dinner. It's gonna smell all through the house like cooked chicken.
Beth: Actually, I'm vegan.
Frank: Okay then pretend this shoe is whatever you people eat. Maybe it is a shoe.
Dee: Nice one.

Frank: I cut myself!!! It's a deep cut!!!!
Dee: Uhhh!!! I see your bones!!!
Frank: It's a deep cut!
Dee: Oh, Frank...
Frank: It's okay, it's alright, I got band aides in my bag. I just need your bathroom!

Charlie: We're crab people now, Dee.
Dee: We're crab people now, Charlie?

Dennis: How does this work dude?
Mac: I don't know.. I thought you knew.
Dennis: I thought.. what? I thought you were on top of this.
Mac: Your the one that came up with the plan.
Dennis: Did I come up with this plan?
Mac: Last night dude... With the D&B power card...
Dennis: Oh I blacked out... I blacked out that night...


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"