by Nancy McDonald

Trying to describe It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to my sister wasn’t easy. I ended up saying, “Well, it’s about these people who work at a bar and they do terrible things and then terrible things happen to them. In fact, you almost kind of want terrible things to happen to these people because of what they do.” That’s the essence of the show, really. These five clueless people are Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Frank (legendary actor/producer Danny DeVito). They are so selfish and inconsiderate that they consistently do bad things only to have karma kick them in the butts tenfold. Despite (or maybe because of) the fact that we want bad things to happen to them, it’s funny. I typically buy every single season immediately when it comes out and I’m sure that their sixth season, which dropped September 13, will not be any different. To help celebrate another season’s dvd release, here are my favorite episodes, one from each season currently available on dvd.

“Underage Drinking: A National Concern” – Season 1, Episode 3

The gang accidentally serves drinks to teenagers, but then decides to take it upon themselves to serve them “responsibly” since they are bringing in quite a bit of business. Dee and Dennis both end up falling for a couple of seniors, while Charlie and Mac start partying with some of the other teenagers (while their parents are away, of course). Blind to how morally wrong and illegal their actions are, they even throw a party at Paddy’s Pub before prom.  This is when things quickly unravel for the gang. Danny DeVito did not join the series until season 2, but I kind of wish this episode had featured his character Frank. Would he have scolded the gang for their actions, or would he have dusted off a tux and spiked the punch bowl at prom? I think I know the answer.

Charlie, having witnessed a verbal fight between a teenage boy and girl, steps in between them. Charlie (to boy): Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Look at me! Cool your jets! Alright, beat it. (Charlie turns to girl.) Are you okay?

Girl: He’s such a player.

Charlie: Is he a player?

Girl: Big time!

Charlie: I hate players. Alright, I’m sorry, I get fired up.

Charlie walks back over to Mac.

Mac: that’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done!

Charlie: I know. I’m gonna be sick.

“Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare”- Season 2, Episode 3

Upon deciding that they have dreams to follow, Dennis and Dee quit the bar. Once they realize that they can’t follow their dreams and not have a job at the same time, they look for alternative ways to make money. They apply for welfare by saying they are addicted to crack cocaine, which they assume will automatically qualify them. They are stunned to find that they must take a drug test to prove they are addicted, so, like any person willing to do anything for their dreams, they buy some crack. They dive head-first into their addiction and, in the process, develop a new dream to not be addicted to crack cocaine.

Dee: I want that welfare, Dennis.

Dennis: I know you do, so do I.

Dee: You don’t understand. I got a taste of my dream. I can’t go back. I gotta get to Broadway and welfare’s the key.

Dennis: Well, what do you want to do?

Dee: Let’s go buy some crack.

“The Gang Gets Held Hostage”- Season 3, Episode 4

Oh, the McPoyle brothers. We are first introduced to Liam and Ryan during the first season in an episode called “Charlie Gets Molested.” We learn that they are two brothers living together who have strange fascinations with milk, each other, and any other family member. Gross. As revenge for all of the gang has ever done to them (sent them to jail, shot their brother during a tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles,etc.), they take the gang hostage in the bar. The McPoyle brothers make them destroy their bar and, very quickly, the gang starts to turn on each other hoping to spare their own lives. Now, if that’s not a great set-up for comedy, I don’t know what is. If you happen to get the dvd for season three, you should definitely check out the blooper reel. There are plenty of moments in this episode where the cast could not keep it together.

Charlie, after realizing they’re being held hostage: Okay, don’t shoot! Take whatever you want.

Mac: Yeah, take the cash register.

Dennis: Take the girl!

Dee: What do you mean, “Take the girl”?

Charlie: Just go with them!

Dee: Well, they’re not trying to take me anywhere!

Mac: Don’t try to be a hero, Dee, just do what they say!

“The Nightman Cometh” – Season 4, Episode 13

In an episode entitled “Sweet Dee is Dating a Retarded Person” during the third season, we are introduced to Charlie’s brain child: The Dayman and The Nightman. Charlie writes songs containing these two imaginary characters and, in the season four finale, he finally writes a musical about them. Of course, he gets the whole gang involved, giving them parts. And, of course, the gang takes advantage of the situation by throwing in their own songs, exchanging roles, or adding unwanted karate moves to a scene. At the end of the episode, we discover the true reason behind the musical. There is a great special feature on the dvd which shows the entire cast performing this episode live at a bar. Keep an eye out for Fred Savage (he directs a ton of the episodes) during the live show.

Charlie: Oh, I’m sorry, Dee, let me try to remember something here. Now, did Dee write a musical and bring it to Charlie? No, Charlie wrote a musical and brought it to Dee and the gang, and the gang likes to screw Charlie over and think about themselves, okay? Alright, so I can tell you what I can do, I can cut the song ‘cause I wrote it, alright? I can have Artemis do the song, okay, because you didn’t write it, or I can strap on a wig and do the song myself. So you tell me little miss all that, tell me what’s it going to be: song, or no song?

“Mac and Dennis Break Up” – Season 5, Episode 9

After Dee makes Dennis feel weird about how much time he spends with Mac, he decides a break might be for the best. Mac, hurt by this slight, takes up residence with Charlie and Frank. Dennis, looking for friendship elsewhere, goes over to Dee’s place unannounced for “movie night.” Realizing just how good he had it with Mac, Dennis soon regrets initiating the break with Mac. The slightly creepy, yet endearing bromance is highly accentuated in this episode. Oh, and Dee gets several cats stuck in her apartment walls. Yep, you read right.

Charlie: Cat in the wall, eh? Okay, now you’re talking my language. I know this game.

Like what you just read, or already a fan? Then check out this teaser for Season 7!