After an excruciating summer full of senseless waiting, I can now proudly proclaim, SUNNY’S BACK!!!
That’s right, today marks the premiere of the 8th season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The cult favorite show features the exploits of the staff of Paddy’s Pub, a fictional dive bar in North Philly. There’s Charlie (an illiterate, paint-huffing janitor), Mac (the would-be-cooler/security guard), Dennis (a narcissistic megalomaniac), his twin sister Sweet Dee (a failed actress who really gets around), and Dennis and Dee’s father, Frank (a former millionaire embracing his life on the fringe of society). Of course, this may all change since apparently the entire show has been re-cast this season:
God I hope they actually do an episode with this cast this season.
All kidding aside, I LOVE THIS SHOW. Sunny has consistently been the funniest, most shocking, and infinitely quotable show on TV for the past 8 years. It’s basically a post-apocalyptic Seinfeld. The characters on this show are so delusional and self-absorbed that none of them realize what genuinely horrible people they are. To quote a friend of mine, they’re all Peter Griffins. Like the patriarch in Family Guy, they do and say horrible things with no realization of the world around them and they are never rewarded for their selfishness. Granted, it doesn’t sound like I’m describing a funny show right now, but, believe me, all of these characters are all the more loveable and endearing because of their horrifying character flaws.
Fans of the show already know what I’m talking about, but if you’re not a fan, I beg you to give it a try. At first it’s shocking and uncomfortable, but I promise you it will live in a special place in your heart forever if you let it in…like some kind of parasite, I guess. So, in the interest of public service, I’d like to present to you the Top 11 episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I made the list 11, because one of these episodes originally went straight to DVD and I get to count it as an extra, since whittling it down to 10 was hard enough.
11 – The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore
The Plot: The Gang decides to visit the Jersey Shore so Dee and Dennis can recapture some of their youthful memories. While Dee and Dennis realize that you can never go back again, Charlie falls in love with the ocean and Mac and Frank barely cling to survival after losing a ham they pre-soaked in rum.
The Moral: Don’t ever go under the Boardwalk.
Best line: Frank – “RUMHAM!!!!!!”
10 – Who Got Dee Pregnant?
The Plot: The gang tries to piece together the events of last Halloween after Dee reveals that one of the group is the father of her unborn child. It’s the Rashomon of paternity-flashback episodes.
The Moral: Be careful if you dress up like a sexy bird for Halloween.
Best Line: Frank – “We gotta get you and that monster that’s in your gut down to Mexico ASAP!”
9 – The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition
The Plot: After realizing that they need good karma if they are going to get their vision boards to work, the gang decides to kidnap a Mexican family from down the street and give them and their house an extreme home makeover, whether they want it or not.
The Moral: Sears cares about people.
Best Line: Mac – “Apocalypto. They can learn about how their ancestors used to be savages until Mel Gibson and the Catholics came in and saved everybody.”
8 – The Gang Wrestles for the Troops
The Plot: After the guys find out Dee has been online chatting with a soldier returning to the US, they decide to put on a wrestling match to support the troops, because what’s more American than wrestling. Dee decides to bail on the soldier after he shows up in a wheelchair and the fellas realize they’ve hired a terrifying and dangerous pro wrestler to participate.
The Moral: When in doubt, give the gift of jean shorts.
Best line: Dennis – “He’s been calling you the N-word!”
7 – The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis
The Plot: The gang decides that the best way to combat the gas crisis is to stockpile as much gasoline as possible and then sell it back to people for a profit.
The Moral: Every group needs a wildcard.
Best line: Mac – “You’re about to experience the hard knocks of a free market, bitch. Get ready to feel it where it hurts.”
Charlie – “Your dick.”
Mac – “No. No, not his dick. His—his wallet.”
6 – The Gang Gets Held Hostage
The Plot: The gang gets held hostage by their occasional rivals, the incestuous McPoyles. While the gang fights Stockholm Syndrome, Frank gets trapped in the air ducts, Die Hard-style, while looking for his will.
The Moral: Seducing your way to freedom is not foolproof.
Best line: Mac – “Broken bottles everywhere? Oh shit, dude. I think you’re in Charlie’s bad room.”
Frank – “What the hell is that?”
Mac – “It’s where he goes to be alone and break bottles.”
5 – Mac & Dennis: Manhunters
The Plot: Mac and Dennis decide that they are going to hunt Rickety Cricket, a former priest/homeless crack addict, for sport. Frank simultaneously confuses his life for that of John Rambo and he manages to convince Dee and Charlie that they have been eating human flesh.
The Moral: Beware the hunger.
Best line: Charlie – “Cannibalism? Racism? Dude, that’s not for us… those are decisions that are best left to the suits in Washington. We’re just here to eat some dude.”
4 – The Gang Gets Invincible
The Plot: This episode is the reason why you can’t go to a sporting event anymore without seeing at least one guy in a green spandex suit. The gang decides to try out for the Eagles because of that Marky-Mark movie. There’s also a surprise cameo by someone from the Cosby Show.
The Moral: Don’t use a tiny bathroom when you’re on drugs.
Best line: Charlie – “What? Is that what all these little pieces of paper were floating in my beer? I drank all that shit, dude! There was like a ton of acid in there!”
3 – A Very Sunny Christmas
The Plot: Christmastime in Philly. My wife and I have incorporated multiple viewings of this episode as part of our annual holiday ritual. Dennis and Dee try to pull a Christmas Carol on Frank to get back at him for ruining every Christmas while Mac and Charlie make some upsetting realizations about their childhood Christmases.
The Moral: Your real family are the ones who throw rocks at trains with you.
Best line: Charlie: “DID YOU F%$& MY MOM, SANTA?!”
2 – The Nightman Cometh
The Plot: Charlie writes a musical and everyone wants in, but does he have an ulterior motive?
The Moral: No one writes a musical for no reason.
Best line: Frank – “You gotta pay the troll toll, if you want to get into this boy’s hole.”
1 – The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby
The Plot: Greek tragedies have less going on in their plots than this episode does. Mac and Dee find a dumpster baby, who they lovingly dub DB, and decide the best way to handle the situation is to turn him into a child actor. Charlie and Frank realize the joys of finding junk at the dump, just as Charlie finds out some upsetting things about his birth (spoiler alert – Frank might be his Dad and he’s also an abortion survivor). Dennis runs afoul of some hippies and vows to destroy them.
The Moral: You are not allowed to put a baby in a tanning bed.
Best line: Mac – “Are you happy, Dee? Is this what you wanted? You just gave this baby full-blown AIDS.”
So what do you think? Have I missed any Sunny episodes that should definitely be on this list? Or are you not a Sunny fan? If you’re not, why do you hate things that are fun? Leave your thoughts below!
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia premieres tonight at 10 pm on FX.