It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia recap: The Gang Solves the Bathroom Problem

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA -- “The Gang Solves The Bathroom Problem” – Season 13, Episode 6 (Airs October 10, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Glenn Howerton as Dennis. CR: Patrick McElhenney/FXX
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA -- “The Gang Solves The Bathroom Problem” – Season 13, Episode 6 (Airs October 10, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Glenn Howerton as Dennis. CR: Patrick McElhenney/FXX /

A classic Always Sunny bottle episode sees the gang take sides on the ongoing bathroom debate.

Always Sunny is frequently at its best when it showcases the interchange between the five central jabronis. While early seasons focused mainly on spending time inside Paddy’s Pub, in recent years the show has moved away from setting the bulk of episodes in a single location. This choice was smart. Because now when the gang hangs at the bar for an entire episode, it’s a special and exciting event.

“The Gang Solves the Bathroom Problem” is a bottle episode that steals from previous episodes set in the bar. (Dennis even briefly references the raucous religion debate that the gang had back in Season 8.) The time honored tradition of sitting around and getting drunk in a single location revolves around healthy – and sometimes not-so healthy – debate, and the gang excels at playing off one another with alliances and opinions radically shifting whenever it suits their personal needs.  The central “bathroom problem” emerges when Dee catches Mac using her bathroom as the gang preps to go to a Jimmy Buffett concert. This, of course, sparks an argument.

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The half hour spends a good deal of time in the dirty, disgusting bathrooms of the pub – Charlie confesses to not cleaning them – and focuses on the question of who should be allowed to use which bathroom. It’s an intriguing question given that the gang are generally the only ones who use the facilities at Paddy’s. Dee has been used to having the women’s room all to herself, and has been cleaning it accordingly. But it turns out that Mac and Charlie have also been using it, and Dee isn’t happy about this development. Furthermore, due to his mother dressing him as a girl to bring him into women’s rooms as a child (completely unnecessary), Charlie has a curious habit of dressing as a woman when he poops. He says he can’t go unless he’s dressed in a wig and heels.

Charlie’s predicament is the closest this episode gets to addressing the ongoing trans bathroom debate, and while the story was certainly inspired by the political divide regarding that question, it’s not really the central focus of the gang’s argument here. They just want to poop in peace. That’s all. Isn’t that what we all want?

The gang certainly has a commitment to finding a compromise, or maybe it’s just a commitment to having an excuse to binge drink at the bar in the hours leading up to the concert. Either way, they debate through the night and into the next day, necessitating an order of breakfast burritos. (This begs the question – why were they there an entire day early for the concert? But the Sunny gang doesn’t always traffic in sound logic.)

Always Sunny recap
IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA — “The Gang Solves The Bathroom Problem” – Season 13, Episode 6 (Airs October 10, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Charlie Day as Charlie, Danny DeVito as Frank, Kaitlin Olson as Dee, Rob McElhenney as Mac. CR: Patrick McElhenney/FXX /

After a round of breakfast burritos and sound / smell-proofing the bathrooms with a scented candle, some cardboard, and a soundtrack of screams, the group thinks they’ve finally fixed the problem. That is, until Frank brings up the Constitution.

Interpreting the Constitution is a tall order even for the most intelligent scholars in the country. But the gang does what they do best – twisting elements of the document to serve their own needs. Frank and Dennis discover that, as white men, they are actually minorities in Philly. (They’re not wrong.) This leads down a road of faulty logic that ends in Mac and Dee boycotting the concert.

Bummed, the group wallows in beers and peanuts at the bar. Moments later, the group has a collective epiphany that solves the problem. We’re left with the most simple and elegant argument of them all: Everyone poops. And so the gang makes two signs indicating that the bathrooms are each to be known as “Animal Sh*thouse”, and they head off to the Buffett concert feeling accomplished.

Next. Always Sunny Recap: The Gang Gets New Wheels. dark

Random Thoughts Before I Go:

  • “I beg you to stop using the Constitution in the way that you’re using it” might just be the best line Dennis has ever spoken in the history of Sunny.
  • Jimmy Buffet does not sing “If You Like Piña Coladas”, but a quick Google search shows that Charlie and Mac are not alone in thinking that he does.
  • Mac and Dee both come up with some heartfelt ideas during the bathroom debate with Dee getting dismissed for suggesting, “we should treat others the way we want to be treated”, and Mac astutely observing that, “societies are judged on how they treat their most vulnerable.” But neither of these ideas stick. It wouldn’t be Sunny if they did.

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FXX.