In the wake of the Oct. 7, 2023, attack by Hamas on Israel and the Israeli military response that followed, a years-old post on X (formerly Twitter) about the FX sitcom "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" saw new virality:
Doing an “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” rewatch and I totally forgot there’s a whole ass episode called The Gang Goes Jihad where an Israeli moves next door and tries to annex Paddy’s Pub. pic.twitter.com/EmSrPmkUgE
— Matt Lieb?? (@mattlieb) August 23, 2020
Some online were shocked at either the episode's perceived relevance or at the fact that an episode with such subject matter would have aired in the first place. "The Gang Goes Jihad" — Season 2, Episode 2 — is, indeed, a real episode that first aired on June 29, 2006. In a 2017 ranking of all "Always Sunny" episodes, the online magazine Complex, which placed the episode near the top of its list, summarized the episode's plot:
The gang is completely inept in a battle against a Jewish landowner, resorting to flaming bags of poop as terror tactics. They go so far to actually make a "Jihad Tape..."
"Jihad" is an Arabic word for an Islamic concept understood in its broadest sense as a "struggle for good" or "doing one's utmost," though it can also mean "fighting against oppressors."
At the opening of the episode, an Israeli emigre announces that land he recently purchased next door to the main character's bar extended "exactly 100 feet to the north" and that "anything south of that dividing line" belongs to him. His claim was based on a "300-year-old" zoning law. "Gonna need you outta here in a week," he told the owners, collectively known in the series as "the gang."
As tensions escalate, the gang find themselves fenced in their bar as part of the businessman's effort to force them to leave. In response, they throw a flaming bag of dog poop into his building, causing it to explode.
The episode was generally well received at the time. "This is dangerous, potentially inflammatory ground for a TV comedy to mine for laughs," a review in Canada's National Post said in 2006, "but It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia pulls it off like a charm."
In a January 2022 episode of the "Always Sunny in Philadelphia" podcast, show creator and star Rob McElhenney said of "The Gang Goes Jihad": "I love this episode, I think it held up."
Because the episode is real and its plot fairly described in viral social media posts, the claim is True.