Here's how Charlie described it to a therapist: "Well, Charlie Work is, like, you know... like basement stuff, cleaning urinals, uh, blood stuff, your basic slimes, your sludges, anything dead, or decay, you know - I'm on it, I'm dealing with it." ("The Gang Gets Analyzed") He makes it clear in that same discussion that he doesn't mind Charlie Work; he is bothered by the fact that The Gang just expects him to do it, but he likes the actual work.
The rest of the Gang usually refuses to do Charlie Work, unless forced to do so. In one episode, Frank Reynolds fired Dennis as manager of the bar, and put Dee and Dennis in charge of Charlie Work. (Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom) Later on, Charlie takes an "intelligence drug" that makes him consider himself too smart to do Charlie Work, which leaves it to Mac, Dennis, and Dee, who are promptly outfoxed by a rat they are trying to catch and end up getting very high from huffing gas. (Flowers for Charlie)
Examples of Charlie Work include:
- Cleaning toilets. (Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare, Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City, Paddy's Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia)
- Changing out kegs. (Charlie Has Cancer)
- Setting up the glue and cheese traps for the rats. (Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom, Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life, Flowers for Charlie)
- Killing whole generations of the rats. (Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass, The Great Recession, Charlie Kelly: King of the Rats)
- Hose down seats where people died. (The Gang Finds A Dead Guy)
- Burning trash. (The Great Recession)
- Filling in the dick holes. (Mac and Charlie Die (Part 1))
- Digging up dead women. (Charlie's Mom Has Cancer)
- Charlie: Okay, I just killed three very large rats that were stuck in glue traps.
- Dennis: Good work.
- Charlie: No. No, no, that's not good work. I am done with rat detail. That's by far the worst job in the bar.
- Dennis: That's why we call it Charlie Work.
- Season Two, Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass
- Charlie: I am done with rat detail. That's by far the worst job in the bar.
- Dee: That's why we call it Charlie Work.
- Season Two, Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom
- Dennis: (to Charlie) Okay, listen. Here's the deal. Uh, I'm gonna bang her tonight, probably around 10:30 or so. Now, I really don't wanna do that. So all you have to do to stop me is call my cell phone, by 10:30, and say "Dennis, you don't have to do Charlie Work anymore".
- Season Two, Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom
- Frank: There are gonna be some changes made. All right, first of all, you two, from now on, are gonna do all of Charlie's work. (Dennis and Dee protest) Stop! Charlie, you got a lot of balls stealing my money. This shows leadership. I am promoting you to management.
- Charlie: That's why I did it.
- Mac: That's—that's fantastic! That's why I did it, too, Frank! I stole lots of your money. What do I get?
- Frank: You get dick because you are a follower and a thief.
- Dee: But ... how come Charlie—no fair. How come Charlie—
- Dennis: No, why would you do this to us, Dad?
- Frank: Because you are crackheads, children.
- Season Two, Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare
- Dee: OK, you guys, listen up, we got a serious problem. The Waitress is getting married.
- Frank: Oh yeah, heard about that. Artemis told me.
- Dee: Since when do you talk to Artemis?
- Frank: (gesturing towards the phone) She's my booty call.
- Dee: Weird. We'll deal with that later. Right now we gotta get into this Waitress situation.
- Mac: Dee, why do you give a shit that the Waitress is getting married? She's been nothing but trouble for us.
- Dennis: That's a good point. She doesn't seem to get our sense of humor. I mean, I tell a joke that I think is funny, and...
- Mac: Hilarious!
- Dee: You guys! I cannot believe you aren't thinking about Charlie right now. This is gonna crush him.
- Dennis: You don't give a shit about Charlie. All you care about is that the Waitress is getting married before you, right?
- Mac: That, or she's afraid Charlie might blow his brains out, and then she'd have to do all the Charlie Work.
- Season Five, The Waitress Is Getting Married
- Therapist: "Charlie Work"? What's "Charlie Work"? Fill me in.
- Charlie: Oh, right. You don't even know what Cha... Well, Charlie Work is, like, you know... like basement stuff, cleaning urinals, uh, blood stuff, your basic slimes, your sludges, anything dead or decay, you know - I'm on it, I'm dealing with it!..
- Therapist: And you dislike it... (?)
- Charlie: Well, no. I mean, at its core, I love it. I love the dark, I love slippery things, I love being naked... in the sewer. Bleach smells good, uh, tastes good, you know, but it's just, like, I don't like being told what to do... (grunts)
- Season Eight, The Gang Gets Analyzed
- Season Two: Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare, Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom, Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass
- Season Five: The Waitress Is Getting Married
- Season Eight: The Gang Gets Analyzed
- Season Nine: Flowers for Charlie