"The Gang Broke Dee" is the first episode of the ninth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Dee starts to embrace the desperate, self-loathing qualities the guys have beaten into her over the years, sending her stand-up comedy career to unexpected places.
Dee is in a bad way. She is eating a cake that Frank threw away nearly a month ago, smoking, drinking whiskey out of the bottle, and generally looks like she hasn't bathed in days. When the rest of The Gang tries to insult her, she anticipates their insults, and tells them that she just doesn't care enough to fight back. She tells them that she might as well throw herself in front of a bus, "because I'm so ugly I can't even get a bus to hit on me." The Gang seems truly disturbed by her behavior, and realize that they have truly broken her.
They go to Dee's apartment. Dee has left the door completely unlocked, and she is lying on the couch, continuing to smoke. The Gang decides since "we realize we may be in some ways responsible for the state you're in", they're going to help her out. Charlie says that they've signed her up for open-mic night at a comedy club; they reason that since she's given up, she won't gag on stage as she has before. They pledge to start supporting her.
However, Dennis isn't on board with the plan. Dennis says it's a good thing she's given up, and tells her what she needs a man to settle down with and "take you off our hands forever." Dee says to go ahead, but she doesn't make it clear which plan she is agreeing to.
So at the open mic night, Dee starts her set by simply standing there breathing heavily into the mic. Dee finally starts telling very self-depreciating jokes about how she is filthy and ugly, using the catchphrase "Joke's on me." Dennis continues to object to the plan, saying Dee will bomb, and he leaves to find some guys for Dee,
After the show, Frank, Mac, and Charlie go to congratulate Dee. Dennis doesn't join in, and tells her she was awful. He shows her some Polaroids of men he found for her, but he is interrupted by a talent scout named Snyder who tells her he wants to help, and gives her a card. Dennis tells him to go away, but Dee seems upset by that.
Dennis goes to Dee's apartment to show her some new men he's found for her. However, Dee (who's now locked the door) doesn't want to look at the pics, and she tells him to go. We then see that Snyder from last night is int he apartment in his underwear. Dennis accuses Synder of using Dee (or vice-versa), but Dee denies this, and claims she is truly attracted to Snyder ("He's...got all his skin...") Dennis tells her she's still in the same old pattern, and she can sink even lower. Dee counters by telling him Snyder got her a gig, and shows off a new act with a lot of sound effects. She slams the door in Dennis' face.
The gig is opening for another comedian named Landslide, and it's in a much bigger theater. Dennis continues to insist Dee will bomb, and he has another man for her, a real winner named Walt. But Sweet Dee's set is well received. Dennis, alone, continues to say the act is simply tasteless and not funny.
After the show, The Gang tries to get backstage to see Dee, who is talking to Snyder. It appear that any of them are on the guest list, however. After Dennis insists to be let backstage, Dee comes over. Dennis orders Dee to come over and meet Walt, but she refuses. She lets Charlie, Mac, and Frank backstage, but leaves Dennis out, and tells him to stay out of her way.
Dee's career seems to be going well; she gets more gigs, soon headlining at the same theater where she'd opened for Landslide before. Dennis continues to try to find Dee a man, and she continues to reject him. Dennis seems very upset by the whole thing.
Backstage at the comedy club, Dee appears to be taking her new found success seriously. She orders someone to get her a new mic so she doesn't have to use the one the others have used. A man who identifies himself as Michael Rotenberg introduces himself to Dee, telling her that one of his other clients was scheduled to go on "Conan" and had to cancel, and he wants her to fill in. He offers to fly her to LA on his private jet. Dee happily accepts..but she begins to gag again. She then tells Snyder that he's fired, tells Mac, Charlie, and Frank they can't come to LA with her, and leaves to go bang Michael Rotenberg.
As the private jet leaves for LA, Dennis comes running over. Dennis tells her he's made a mistake, and he was wrong about finding a man to take her off his hands. He tells her the perfect man for her is...him. He pledges to support her, and he says he believes in her and she's going to be a star. He even tells her he loves her, to which Dee responds with a heartfelt "Suck my dick" and pushes him down the steps. The jet takes off.
On the jet, Michael Rotenberg tells her that they will go straight to Conan. He tells her that if she succeeds here, she'll be famous. Dee prepares for her set -- and pukes a few times. Michael Rotenberg covers her head (ostensibly to protect her from "paparazzi"), gets her on a jet, and they leave for Conan's show. She goes backstage, where people are running around. Dee tells herself she can do it, and steps through the curtain to reveal...
...that she's back at Paddy's. The Gang, along with everyone, greets her with a hearty round of "The joke's on you!" They reveal that everything was a setup, and everyone -- Landslide, Snyder and "Michael Rotenberg", even the crowds at the comedy club -- were actors. But Dennis was not in on the joke either, and Dennis tries to act like this doesn't bother him, but clearly it does. Charlie, Mac, and Frank explain that they did it to show she could sink lower, and to get back at her for joking about suicide, "because some things you just don't joke about." She reacts to this with fury, showing that the old Dee is back. Dennis makes a show about how much he doesn't mind that he wasn't in on the joke, but runs out very upset. Mac notes "He may go kill himself!" and the party continues.