The 5 Most Absurd (and Hilarious) Scams in “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”

The gang gets a Maxim feature.

What’s the point of being in a gang if you can’t scheme your way to fortune or fame? Our favorite Philadelphia bar owners have tried (and failed) at so many schemes over the years, in such dangerously disastrous ways, it’s a wonder that Philly hasn’t burned down altogether. Just in time for the season 9 premiere (tonight!), here are five of our favorites.  

Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare(Season 2, Episode 4)

We’re all for pursuing your dreams…unless you’re Dee or Dennis Reynolds, and your dreams can only be attained by going on welfare. When their attempt to collect welfare – simply walking into the welfare office and insisting that Dennis was a crack addict and Dee was mentally disabled (she was wearing a helmet indoors) – they realize they may have to up the ante. How? By actually getting addicted to crack. And, not surprisingly, this turned out to be one of the few times that the gang set out to do something and actually accomplished it. Of course, the welfare scheme ended the only way it could: with Dee and Dennis in rehab.

The Gang Runs for Office(Season 2, Episode 8)

If we had to choose just one sentiment where we wholeheartedly agree with the gang, it would be this: We are sick of politicians blasting us in the ass. Politics is just a series of bribes and, when Frank shares this fact with the group, they embark on the only logical scheme: Have Dennis run for office as Philadelphia’s comptroller so they can get in on some of that sweet, sweet bribe money. Dennis eventually figures out that being comptroller sucks and drops out of the race. But not before Mac gets picked up by cops for soliciting the bribe they worked so hard to get, forcing him, in turn, to bribe the cops. That’s politics, bitch.

The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis (Season 4, Episode 2)

What do you do when the price of gas is too high? You seduce a banker, get a loan, use it to buy gas, store it for a year, and sell it at a profit. Obviously. And that’s exactly what the gang did—only they had nowhere to store the gas. So they tried to sell it on the street and attract customers by blowing fireballs…which led to Mac with a burnt head. When door to door didn’t work and the gas station wouldn’t take it back, there was only one thing left to do: buy more gas! In the end, everything worked out fine and they all laugh and eat milk and cookies. Just kidding, it actually ends with Frank waterboarding Dee, Charlie cutting the brakes to the van full of gas, and everything going up in actual flames. Wild Card!

The D.E.N.N.I.S. System(Season 5, Episode 10)

We could try to explain Dennis’s system for picking up women in our own words, but we’d hate to deny you the joy of going back to Season 5 and watching Dennis explain it himself. In the meantime, we’ll let you imagine what it stands for, tell you that nobody but Dennis or clinically diagnosed sociopaths should use it, and remind you that, when Dee did try to use the DENNIS system, she wound up getting stabbed in the gut by an exceptionally dirty carnie.

The World Series Defense(Season 5, Episode 6)

The overall scheme of this episode is that the gang is trying to get out of having to pay a hefty series of parking fines. In trying to explain why they shouldn’t be held responsible for the fines to a judge, they recount a perfect storm of disasters and near-death experiences, all of which indirectly led the tickets to be issued in the first place. Inhaling poison, fighting the Philly Fanatic Phrenetic, getting pushed into oncoming traffic, and, finally, getting trapped in a hotel storage room for nearly a week. And all of it just to go to a World Series game that they initially had tickets for.