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Fringe-Class: The Best of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
A long, long time ago It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia premiered and blew everybody's nips off with it's awesome comedy. Now, over a decade later, The Gang shows no signs of slowing down. Let’s take a look back at the best Sunny episodes so far and if you disagree with any of these choices, feel free to go suck an egg (or just leave a comment below). Let’s start with Season 11 and move backwards, because that way is more better.
Best Episode: "Mac and Dennis Move to the Suburbs"
From Dennis’ frustration with fat cow drivers to Mac starving a dog to death, this episode is an all-time classic. Thinking that they need a break from the city, Mac and Dennis rent a big house in the suburbs of Philadelphia. House noises, Wally the neighbor, and Mac’s famous ‘Mac & Cheese’ drive the two of them crazier than they’ve ever been (which is saying a lot).
Factoid: "Mac & Dennis Move to the Suburbs" is heavily influenced by The Shining.
Another Great Season 11 Episode: "Charlie Catches a Leprechaun"
Best Episode: "The Gang Beats Boggs"
There’s no way this couldn’t have been a fantastic episode with such a Sunny-rific plot. The Gang tries to beat a record set by baseball hall of famer Wade Boggs of drinking 70 beers on a cross-country flight. Dennis bangs desert trash, Dr. Mantis Toboggan gives a kid a seizure, and of course Charlie beats Wade Boggs’ record.
Factoid: Behind the scenes of "The Gang Beats Boggs" Wade Boggs told Charlie Day that his record was not 70 but actually 107 beers.
Another Great Season 10 Episode: “The Gang Group Dates”
Best Episode: "The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award"
The Gang tries to win Philadelphia’s Best Bar award by trying to be as generic as possible - amazingness occurs. They visit a corny ass bar, Mac chokes out Dee for saying he has a cigarette for a mother, and they all spit on a crowd of people.
Factoid: "The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award" was written as a metaphor for Sunny never winning an Emmy.
Other Great Season 9 Episodes: "The Gang Broke Dee" / "Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare" / "Mac Day" / "The Gang Gets Quarantined"
Screenshot of the Season:
Best Episode (Tie): “The Gang Dines Out” / “Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense"
In “The Gang Dines Out” the five of them unintentionally show up at Guigino’s Italian Restaurant on the same night. Frank & Charlie are out celebrating their anniversary, Dee has no friends, Mac wears two colognes, Dennis gets aggravated, and they all ruin a waiter’s night.
Factoid: The Guigino’s waiter in “The Gang Dines Out” is played by Michael Naughton. The same actor appeared in Season 4’s "Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack" as the HR Director who hires Mac and Charlie to work in the mailroom.
In "Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense" Frank crashes his Cadillac into Dennis’ Range Rover. Frank’s poor eyesight and Dennis eating a bowl of cereal behind the wheel make things complicated, so the only way to find out who’s more at fault is to hold court at Paddy’s – COMEDY GOLD. There are many great moments in this episode but Mac’s SCIENCE IS A LIAR SOMETIMES presentation is the tits.
Factoid: Season 8 was the first season of Sunny where no episodes were shot in Philly.
Another Great Season 8 Episode: “Charlie and Dee Find Love”
Best Episodes: "Frank's Pretty Woman" / "The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore" / "Thunder Gun Express"
Frank gets engaged to a fantastic prostitute and soon after gives a beautiful eulogy at her classy funeral. Dee, Dennis and Charlie find a couple of bums having fun under the boardwalk in Jersey. Every man is left behind on the way to see Thunder Gun Express. Season 7 has more hilarious scenarios, one-liners and great moments than any other. Oh and Mac is fat as shit.
Factoid: Rob McElhenney (Mac) tried to get all 4 original cast members to gain weight for Season 7, but they refused - so he alone sacrificed flexibility and packed on 50lbs of solid mass.
Other Great Season 7 Episodes: "The Storm of the Century" / "The ANTI-Social Network" / "The High School Reunion" / "The High School Reunion Part 2: The Gang's Revenge"
Best Episodes: "The Gang Buys a Boat" / "Mac and Charlie: White Trash"
In Season 6, The Gang is trashier than ever and Dennis is especially awesome. He marries and divorces dead-tooth Maureen Ponderosa, thinks he may have gotten his sister pregnant on Halloween, and gets super drunk with Charlie in front of a couple of baseball legends. But best of all (in "The Gang Buys a Boat") Dennis teaches us that out in the open ocean a lady cannot say no-
Between Dee shooting a snot-rocket at the elitist pool guy, Frank being fringe-class, and everything that happens in the pool Jamie Nelson died in, "Mac and Charlie: White Trash" is The Gang at their realest.
Factoid: There is an un-aired episode from Season 6 called “The Gang Gets Successful". It was recut with new footage for the season 7 episode "How Mac Got Fat".
Another Great Season 6 Episode: “The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods”
Great Additions to Season 6: Maureen “Dead Tooth” Ponderosa and her brother Bill “Pondy” Ponderosa
Best Episodes: "The Waitress is Getting Married" / "Mac and Dennis Break Up" / “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System”
Season 5 is great. Straight out the gate in “The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis” Dee is funnier than she’s ever been. And "Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens" revolutionized the towel game.
But with scenes like this:
And also this:
“The Waitress is Getting Married”, “Mac and Dennis Break up” and “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System” are all three tied for Best Episode of Season 5.
Factoid: Dennis’ victim Caylee in “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System” is played by actress Jill Latiano, the real-life wife of Glenn Howerton (Dennis).
Other Great Season 5 Episodes: “The Gang Hits the Road” / "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops"
Best Episode: "Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack"
After Dee has a heart attack she and Dennis decide it’s time to hit the gym, take fat burner pills, and try Botox. Charlie and Mac want medical insurance so they share a mailroom job, where Mac sings Day Bow Bow and Charlie goes batshit crazy. Frank takes too many drugs and ends up in a Cuckoo’s Nest. “Sweet Dee has a Heart Attack” is the best of the best.
Factoid (sort of): In the final mailroom scene of “Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack" Charlie rants about the fact that Pepe Silvia doesn’t exist and neither does Carol in HR. There is a fan theory that Charlie’s illiteracy is causing him to misread the incoming mail and that what he reads as Pepe Silvia is really just “Pennsylvania” and Carol in HR is really “Care of HR”. An argument against this theory is Mac responding to Charlie, “Not only do all these people exist, but they’ve been asking for their mail on a daily basis.”
Other Great Season 4 Episodes: “Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life” / “The Nightman Cometh”
Best Episodes: “The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation” / “The Gang Sells Out” / “Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person” / “Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender” / “Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City”
Best season of the show. The balance was perfected. Charlie and Dennis kill it.
Factoid: At 15 episodes, Season 3 has more episodes than any other season of Sunny.
Other Great Season 3 Episodes: “The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby” / “The Gang Gets Invincible” / “The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 1)” / “The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)”
Best Episode: “Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare”
Good season. Charlie really shines. Frank joins The Gang. Mac bangs Dennis’ Mom. Frank bangs The Waitress. And this:
Also, in Season 2 we meet this guy:
Who will eventually become this guy:
Factoid: Charlie improvised this:
Other Great Season 2 Episodes: “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom” / “Hundred Dollar Baby”
Best Episodes: "The Gang Gets Racist" / "Charlie Wants an Abortion" / "Underage Drinking: A National Concern" / "Charlie Has Cancer" / "The Gang Finds a Dead Guy"
Frank hasn’t shown up yet. Dee is almost the voice of reason. They’re all sort of sane (except for Charlie). Regardless of all this, Season 1 of Sunny is fresh, ridiculous, and hilarious. In only seven episodes The Original Gang cover a ton of controversial issues. Plus we get Artemis and Charlie's creepy Uncle Jack.
Factoid: Throughout the shooting of Season 1, show creator Rob McElhenney (Mac) still waited tables at a Los Angeles restaurant. He and his wife Kaitlin Olson (Sweet Dee) are now millionaires.
Well there you have it boners. The best of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (so far). Keep it fringe-class.