It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 8, Episode 5: Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer, Review

Sometimes Karma is one angry bitch: Charlie's mom has cancer. Or does she . . .

By Chris Longo


Borrowing a page from one of Sunny’s landmark episodes, the Gang is faced with a life threatening medical dilemma. No, Charlie doesn’t have cancer for real. This time his mother is diagnosed and she needs money for treatment.  It was another dark episode – something Sunny has done well in the first half of this season.

If you remember way back to the fourth ever episode of the series, Charlie fakes having cancer to get a shot at sleeping with the waitress. We all know how the saying goes. Karma is a bitch. Now his mom has cancer and the healing process is a fickle one.

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At the heart of “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer” is the idea that faith comes in different forms. Dennis is in complete opposition to faith, believing the church scams the people who come through its doors for guidance. We wouldn’t expect anything less of him.

On the contrary, Mac is and always has been a man of great faith. He is also a man of poor reasoning and impulsive decision-making, but we’ll save that for another day.   

When Charlie’s mom looks for money from her church, Dennis concocts a better plan: “Beef and Beer and Jesus.” The Gang holds a “BBJ” fundraiser at Paddy’s emphasizing the power of faith. P Diddy makes a guest appearance as Dr. Jinx, or “the man with a band named after himself.” The former Mr. Puff Daddy is the bass player for a funk band that is headlining the Gang’s money grab. We know Diddy can act after his entertaining turn in Get Him to The Greek and he doesn’t disappoint here even though he had a small role.

The episode takes a turn when Dennis mounts the stage to start his speech.

Dennis gives a cold-hearted heartfelt speech if such a thing exists: “It’s about whether or not we’re dumb enough to believe in it that matters.” The Revered Dennis Reynolds feeds his audience some of the best quotes of the episode, channeling his inner preacher:

“Do you feel the invisible things around you that don’t exist?!”

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After Dennis exists the stage, Charlie and Mac put a bald cap on Charlie’s mom, wanting her to look sicker and give a heartfelt speech that is graphic enough to bring her plenty of cash for her treatments. In a change of heart, Charlie’s mom reveals that she doesn’t have cancer and is just trying to pay for the Virgin Mary statue that she destroyed with her car. She tells the Gang that she modeled her behavior after Charlie’s and boom! We’ve come full circle! 

But the twists don’t end there. Frank, in the side plot, hatches a diabolical scheme to punish Dee after she said Frank was losing it due to old age. He bursts into the bar telling everyone to “get a god-damn shovel” because Dee and Dennis’ mom faked her own death and buried her fortune with her in the casket. 

To no one’s surprise, the Gang cracks open the casket only to find the corpse of Frank’s ex wife. Frank reveals that he’s still got it (and by it I mean a sick and twisted sense of social awareness), although he forgets to wear shoes to the cemetery.

Sunny Moments: 

P Diddy’s funky cameo

Frank forgetting his shoes but conning the Gang:  “Score one for the old people.”

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Sunniest Moment: 

And the winner is… Charlie’s mom for her epic speech: 

“I’m as sick as a three legged dog on the streets of India”