It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia S11E03 Recap: 'The Gang Hits The Slopes'

The eighties were weird, man. The music, the movies, the fact that sexual assault was basically okay... I kind of understand how anyone under 25 might not get why even those of us born in its second half miss it as we do. Tonight's episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia takes a pretty apt look at a lot of the things that made that decade such an anomaly, as it transplants The Gang away from the bar and spoofs 80s ski movies in "The Gang Hits The Slopes".

Full of every trope you'd expect, from the New Wave soundtrack, to the over-the-top ambiguously foreign villains, to fake boobs filling every second frame, anyone who fondly remembers those kinds of movies (even though, let's be honest, it's not like any of us remember any actual 80s ski movies, more the idea of them) probably got a good blast of nostalgia. But this isn't just for nostalgia, this is IASIP, damnit, and in its usual form, they took it just a few steps too far.

The episode puts The Gang in the Poconos, where they're spending a weekend away. Mac, Dennis and Dee are inexplicably well-versed in skiing, while Charlie is a beginner and doesn't really know what he's doing. As a result, his role in the episode is to be an outsider, unaware of what's really going on around him or why things are happening as oddly as they are. Conflict arises when they find out that a rich fat cat (who just happens to be Frank) has bought the island and plans to turn it into a resort for rich businessmen to bang their trophy whoores on. In the classic Sunny format, the gang splits into two, with Dennis enamored with the delightfully evil idea, and Dee and Mac determined to keep the mountain a party haven. Also in classic Sunny form, Charlie is stuck in the middle, uncertain of which plan to join up with.

Dennis immediately regresses into the form of every villain from every said 80s ski movie, as you'd well expect him to, and the psychopath excels in the role, complete with a troupe of faceless, nameless Swiss skiers to back him up. But the real subversion comes mostly from Dee and Mac's side, as they're subjected to the "pranks" of one of the lodge's residents, which, let's be honest, are basically all just various forms of sexual assault. And it really is weird how that stuff was just okay back then. Ripping off girls' tops, cutting holes into walls to spy on girls showering, and just masturbating in front of them; the eighties were just a different time, and the show handles it pretty well without stopping itself from paying proper homage.

The weird part of the episode, however, was the out-of-nowhere overlong sex scene Charlie has with a hooker, only made weirder by the blurred out boobs and cheesy eighties music. I thought that was maybe one step too far, although it wouldn't be IASIP necessarily if they toed the line. In the end, it all winds up being an elaborate distraction so that Frank could frack the mountain for its natural resources, which honestly felt like a cheap way to get out of everything the episode had set up, but honestly, it's fitting of Frank's character so we'll let it go.

I loved the eighties nostalgia in this, I loved the soundtrack and a lot of the lines and how The Gang easily fits into the world of a cheesy ski movie. It was definitely a weird thing to do, and it probably had no business being as good as it was, but I enjoyed "The Gang Hits The Slopes" way more than I probably should of. It was a departure from recent episodes which were more nostalgic of the show itself, but that in and of itself is a good thing, as the show certainly hasn't ever done anything like this before. "The Gang Hits The Slopes" gets 8.5 hot babes and cold brews out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • Seriously, I don't remember a single actual serious ski movie, just spoofs of them like this. Maybe the genre never really existed in the first place.
  • The soundtrack, as it usually is on Sunny, was fantastic in this episode. Bonus points for "Panama" and "Jessie's Girl".
  • No real callbacks at all this week, but I do always enjoy the way Frank says "whoores"
  • "I'll take a helmet. While you're back there could you slap a sticker on the side of mine that says 'pussy'?"
  • "Hang on a second, I'm so lost. Who do I go with in this situation?" "Go with them." "Who cares? We're only here for two days."
  • "Did you cum in my burrito!?"
  • "Rent money!"
  • "Only when you are clean will you know my power."