"The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre" is the third episode of the eighth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
10:00 PM, On Friday the 13th, Somewhere Outside of Philadelphia, PA
Frank, Dennis, Charlie, and Mac are running for their lives. Under a flickering strobe light, it appears that they have fled into the forest and they are calling out for each other in complete terror. But soon, the red light of a police car and the sound of a siren is heard, and the voice of a police officer comes over a bullhorn, telling them to stay where they are.We next see the four of them in a police interrogation room. (Dee is very conspicuously missing.) Mac insists that they had nothing to do with what happened. The detective interrogating them tells them that in the other room, he has 15 wedding guests with various injuries, a groom with his face half chewed off -- and a missing bride. He says that since the four of them were not invited to the wedding, their presence there is suspicious. He particularly focuses on some marks on Dennis' neck. He suggests that Dennis, jealous about his ex-wife being married, crashed the wedding with the intention of breaking it up and things got violent. Dennis insists that that's not what he was there to do at all: he was there to make sure the wedding happened. So the story begins.
Dennis, Charlie, and Mac are on a bus, heading to Maureen Ponderosa's wedding, which is being held in a secluded location out in the woods. Charlie is disturbed at the remoteness of the location, at the fact the wedding is on Friday the 13th (which he calls a "monster day"), and that they're being bussed to the wedding, which he says makes him feel like they’ll be "trapped up there". Mac tells Dennis that he and Charlie have his back, but Dennis makes the point again that he doesn't need or want their help. He’s there to stop the wedding, and he thinks that they will just "make a scene" and get in his way.
When they arrive at the cottage where the wedding will be held, Charlie is even more creeped out by the location, and Mac notes the large number of bats he sees. Things get even creepier when they see who the groom is: Liam McPoyle. When they ask Liam what his "angle" is, he says he’s marrying Maureen because he’s in love with her. Charlie says he thought Liam was in love with his brother Ryan, and asks what Ryan thinks of this. Liam says that Ryan is dead to him. He tells them they can stay.
The detective interjects at this point asking why they thought that the wedding might not happen. Dennis says that it was because he’d heard some other people wanted to ruin the wedding -- and he points to Frank. And then Frank begins to give his account of what happened.
Frank says that he was there to support his friend Bill Ponderosa, and that he's Bill's AA sponsor. He and Dee arrive at the wedding in Dee's new car, and upon their arrival, they are immediately confronted by Dennis, who accuses them of wanting to break up the wedding so he will have to continue paying Maureen alimony. As they argue, a bat swoops down and hits Frank in the head. He demands someone "suck out the poison", which Dee does. But after she says she swallowed it, Mac and Charlie say she should throw it up, which she has difficulty doing. Dennis is horrified, saying this is the kind of "scene" that he was afraid they'd pull. After Dennis, Mac, and Charlie leave, Frank tells Dee "Let's go break up this wedding." This, of course, contradicts his earlier statement, and the detective calls him out on that. Frank insists the idea to break up the wedding was not his idea, and that the week before, he and Dee had a visitor at the bar: Ryan McPoyle. Ryan tells Frank and Dee that the wedding must stop because the McPoyle bloodline "has been pure and clean for a thousand years." Dee gets a clarification that that means that no McPoyle has bred outside the family line, and says that makes a lot of sense. Ryan says that only Dennis could talk Maureen out of this. Frank tells Ryan that there’s no way that Dennis would want to stop this wedding -- but he and Dee do, so they will help him.
They smuggle Ryan into the wedding in a disguise. When Ryan says that they have to kill Maureen, Frank and Dee tell him that no killing will be going on: they’ll just get him into the wedding so they can "talk or bang or whatever you guys do." At that point, Bill shows up, telling Frank that he is sorely tempted to drink or do drugs. Frank doesn’t quite live up to the normal role of an AA sponsor, and encourages him to do whatever he wants. Bill tells him the reception is dry and they are only serving milk, but he might do some drugs. Frank tells him that he should do that. Ryan insiss they go find Liam.
Inside the reception, we see many, many McPoyles, all looking eerily similar. Dennis says he's going to go find Maureen, and tells Mac and Charlie to not follow him. Dennis finds Maureen getting ready for the wedding. Maureen seems happy to see him. Dennis has some legal documents for her, which will end his legal obligation to her. At that point, however, when Maureen turns around, Dennis sees that Maureen has gotten a boob job, and now has much larger breasts. She also says that she’s gotten her "dead tooth" fixed. Dennis resolves to not be distracted by this, and again asks her to sign the documents, but then Maureen's maids-of-honor show up and shoo him away. Dennis again tells her she must marry Liam.
Dennis goes to find Charlie and Mac, and asks them to help him find Liam to get his signature. The reception is getting weird, though, and Charlie points out Pappy McPoyle, who is ranting in gibberish. Charlie tell the detective that he thinks that Pappy was warning them about zombies, and then goes on to quote, word-for-word, Robert Shaw's speech from Jaws. Dennis yells at Charlie to stop it, that it wasn't zombies at all. Charlie says that if it wasn't zombies, he should explain what happened next.
And we then see the guests at the wedding starting to shamble around aimlessly -- one of them walks into a wall over and over. Pappy McPoyle continues ranting, a bit more coherently now, screaming something about how the McPoyle babies "sprung from my loins fully formed" and that "one of them tried to eat me, I ate him first." Charlie and Mac decide to flee. Dennis says he will stay behind -- and then he turns around to see the McPoyles all staring at him, gathered together in an apparently mindless horde.
Frank and Dee are leading Liam into a room in the back of the cottage. They tell him that someone wants to talk to him. When they get into the room, Liam doesn’t recognize who it is at first, but when Ryan takes off the fake moustache that’s part of his disguise, Liam does recognize him. Dee and Frank leave them alone to talk. But when they leave the room, they see a very strange sight: one of the McPoyle’s is crawling across the floor, contorted into a strange position where one of her legs is pinned back behind her head. She looks at them with a crazed look. Other McPoyles shamble out, looking dazed, and completely mindless. Some of them groan and snarl. Dee decides that she has to get out of there, even though Frank tells her not to. Frank tells the detective that after Dee left, they never saw her again.
Mac and Charlie then say that they did see Dee after that. They saw Dee walking out of the building, looking as dazed and mindless as any of the McPoyles. They themselves look bloody and battered, and they tell Dee that they have just been attacked by zombies. Dee doesn’t really respond -- she moans and grunts and then attacks them ferociously. They manage to fend her off. It appears that Dee is now a zombie as well.
Back inside, Dennis fights his way through the horde of McPoyle zombies, looking for Liam. He finds Frank very pleased with himself, standing in front of the room where Ryan and Liam are. Frank informs him that Liam is being “talked out of” the wedding. Dennis bursts into the room to see the most horrifying sight of all: Liam is standing there, looking pleased, while Ryan is kneeling in front of him, his head bobbing up and down, making gagging sounds. We then see what’s actually happening: Ryan is sobbing in front of him (and, thankfully, Liam’s pants are safely up and his fly is closed.) Ryan says he gets it now: it’s not that the McPoyles’ bloodlines is being tainted, it’s that this marriage will taint the bloodline of the rest of the world. Liam screams out that the McPoyles will take over the world. Frank is disturbed by this, but Dennis doesn’t care -- he just wants Liam to sign the document he has, which he does by jamming his pen through it.
They leave that room to find the hallways jammed with McPolyes shambling around, attacking each other. Charlie and Mac force Dee into a walk-in freezer, and as she throws herself against the door, still in a rage, Charlie says that sucking the “bat poison” from Frank’s head must have turned her into a zombie, and maybe it's what's turning the McPoyles into zombies as well. Charlie and Mac have a discussion about whether or not that would make you a zombie: Mac tells Charlie that a bat would turn you into a vampire, not a zombie. When Charlie says that it could also turn you into "a Batman", Mac tells Charlie that Batman didn't really get turned into anything, he's just a guy in a costume. Charlie says that sounds ridiculous. They decide that they must get out.
Mac and Charlie find Frank hiding behind a table. The party has gotten even more chaotic, as the McPoyles, now all apparently crazed zombies, attack each other. Dennis runs over to them and hides with them. He says he wasn’t able to get Maureen to sign, and that he has done something "really, really bad" and that he’s "messed up bad." They decide to make a break for it, running for their lives. We see that Liam has apparently had most of his face bitten off. We then are back to the beginning of the episode, with the four of them fleeing into the woods.
The detective, obviously, finds their story that the wedding was full of zombies implausible. At that point, another detective comes in saying they just picked someone else up from the site who claims to know what happened, who had been locked in a freezer. It’s Dee, still shivering, wrapped in blankets. When the rest of the Gang protests that she is "infected", Dee, acting more rationally than before, tells them she wasn’t infected by anything, and no one there was "infected" by anything.
She then tells what happens. On her way out of the party, she ran into Bill Ponderosa, who seems rather insistent that she drink some of the milk from the punchbowl, which he says will "make [her] butthole hot." When Dee asks how milk could do that, Bill reveals that he has spiked the milk with "bath salts". That seems to explain the suddenly violent behavior of all the McPoyles. She shoves her way past Bill, and when she gets outside, she sees Mac and Charlie stealing her car. Charlie gets in the driver’s seat, even though Mac asks him if he even knows how to drive a car. The answer, of course, is "no", and Charlie drives straight into a light pole. That makes Dee go into a rage, and she attacks them. That accounts for her zombie-like behavior.
Dennis says that that wraps up the case, but the detective does not agree. He says the question of what happened to Maureen is not answered. He says that Dennis is his main suspect. He demands to know what happened to her, and that Dennis must confess. So Dennis does confess.
Dennis went to get Maureen to sign, and she was crying. Dennis says "something bad happened" at that point, and we see what -- he banged her. Dennis tells her that it was "terrible" when they are finished, and that her boob job is terrible: "The nipple placement is crazy." He asks Maureen to sign the papers, but Maureen is apparently totally in love with him again, refusing to sign, telling him that they should "run away together", and when Dennis refuses, saying she’ll find him.
The detective finds the story hard to believe, but just then the other detective comes in saying Dennis is free to go, and that his bail has been posted. We then see who paid his bail: Maureen. She comes in and tells him "Let’s go home and put this whole adventure behind us." Dennis begs for help, and screams "What have I done?" in terror.
- Catherine Reitman as Maureen Ponderosa
- Jimmi Simpson as Liam McPoyle
- Nate Mooney as Ryan McPoyle
- Lance Barber as Bill Ponderosa
- Thesy Surface as Margaret McPoyle
- Guillermo del Toro as Pappy McPoyle
- Jeremy Ratchford as Detective Marconi
- Sianoa Smit-McPhee as Bridesmaid
- Gerald Webb as Another Detective
- This is the first episode of Sunny directed by Richie Keen.
- This is the second Halloween episode on the show. The first one was "Who Got Dee Pregnant?".
- This is the first episode of Sunny without classical opening titles sequence. A different, scary font is used for the titles instead, and none of the regular music is used.
- It should also be noted that this is the first time the titular font is changed. (The closing credits actually use a mixture of the usual font and the "scary" font, though the text is red rather than the usual white.)
- This is the second episode that gives the location as somewhere other than Philadelphia (the first being "The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods"), and the second that gives a specific date, not just the day of the week, for when the episode happens (after "A Very Sunny Christmas").
- This episode's original title was "Maureen Ponderosa's Wedding Massacre", but it was later changed.
- Margaret McPoyle, a deaf mute, was playing the cello for the wedding. For anyone who enjoyed the cello score that Margaret was playing, a very similar one can be found here.
- Glenn Howerton tweeted the title photo of this page on September 18th: "The usual suspects".
- Danny DeVito tweeted this photo October 21st: "Trollfoot!!".
- Charlie Day described this episode as being more stylized than the show is used to and drawing inspiration from Friday the 13th: "It's very funny and at moments shocking and scary, and I think it's one of the best episodes we've done".
- Charlie Day talking about Guillermo Del Toro's cameo appearance: "I don't know if he's good enough. I mean, he's OK. [smirks] He did join us for a cameo. Well, the episode is a little long and we've got to make trims. So if he makes the cut, he'll be in our Halloween episode. Of course if he doesn't make the cut, he might cut me out of "Pacific Rim", so we'll see".
- Here's Mac's life lesson for Dennis from Season One: "If you lowered your standards a bit, you'd
get laid more". ("Gun Fever")
- The reference to "bath salts" making people eat each other's faces is a reference to an infamous event that took place in Miami on May 26, 2012. A man named Rudy Eugene, who was believed to be high on "bath salts", assaulted a homeless man named Ronald Poppo, and eventually chewed off most of Poppo's face before being shot and killed by police.
- A scene with a close-up of Dennis' face while he's banging Maureen is a reference to a similar scene from "The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby" where he was banging Asriel.
- Apparently, Charlie really loves the Jaws franchise; he also mentioned "Jaws 4" in Season Four.
("Mac and Dennis: Manhunters")
- Charlie seems to be slightly less nervous about leaving Philly in this episode: in The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods, they have to tie him up in the trunk to try to get him to Atlantic City, and, similarly, in The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore, Mac has to use a sleeper hold on him to knock him out to get him to go to the Jersey Shore with them. In this episode, though he is very nervous about going so far into the woods; he's at least conscious. In The Gang Beats Boggs, he gets aboard a cross-country flight, from Philly to L.A., with no apparent nervousness. In The Gang Hits the Slopes, he again expresses nervousness about leaving Philadelphia, but apparently willingly joined the rest of the gang on a trip to the Poconos.
- This episode marks the first time Mac is referred to by his full name, Ronald McDonald, since it was revealed in the 7th season episode "The High School Reunion, Part 1".
- Mac's remark "We could definitely get laid here" as he looks over the guests at the wedding is a reference to how he banged Margaret McPoyle in the episode "Who Got Dee Pregnant?"
- The music that starts to play, after the woman with her leg over her head shrieks, is very similar to zombie movies such as Resident Evil.
- Ryan: The McPoyle bloodline's been pure and clean for a thousand years. This marriage is an abomination.
- Dee: Now, when you say "pure and clean", you mean what, exactly?
- Ryan: Means we haven't bred outside the bloodline.
- Dee: For a thousand years?
- Ryan: Yeah.
- Dee: That makes a lot of sense.
- Pappy McPoyle: (in weird rage) All the McPoyles sprung from my loins, fully formed! One of them babies
tried to eat me - I ate him first! (sobs) I ate him first!..
|—||“(to Dee) Suck it harder!”|
|“I got it.”||—|
|—||“Did you swallow it?!”|
|“Of course I swallowed.”||—|
- Charlie:(as Quint form Jaws) I seen once before in a rat, and I seen it now in men. Once one gets a taste for its own kind it can spread through the pack like a wildfire, mindlessly jumping and biting at their own Hines. Nothing but the taste of flesh in their minds. Thing about a rat is he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes, like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't even seem to be livin' 'til he bites ya, and then the eyes roll over white and then ya don't hear nuthin' the screamin' and the hollerin.
|Season 8 Episodes|
| 1. "Pop-Pop: The Final Solution"|
2. "The Gang Recycles Their Trash"
3. "The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre"
4. "Charlie and Dee Find Love"
5. "The Gang Gets Analyzed"
| 6. "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer"|
7. "Frank's Back in Business"
8. "Charlie Rules the World"
9. "The Gang Dines Out"
10. "Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense"