It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: 15 Best Episodes Ever (Seasons 1-7)

I’m taking alook at the best episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as we wait for the new season. Let’s get right into it!

15) 1.02 – Charlie Wants an Abortion

If there was any episode in that first short season that really showed us who ‘The Gang’ was, it was this one.


Dee: So, you’re not allowed to use birth control, but abortions are no problem…?    

Charlie runs into a girl he slept with years ago and finds out he has a son. And the kid is pretty much the biggest A-Hole you can imagine.Charlie tries to spend some QT with the brat in order to impress the Waitress, only to later learn it’s not his kid at all.

Meanwhile, after talk about how that kid deserved to be aborted, Mac decides to look into the religious ramifications of aborting a pregnancy. This leads to him hooking up with an extreme anti-abortion hottie, who later tricks him into thinking she is pregnant and dumping him when he insists on aborting the baby. He and Dennis also attend a rally at an abortion clinic to try to pick up chicks. Sweet Dee, disgusted with her brother and Mac, joins the Pro-Choice side of the rally, which ends with Dennis getting pelted with eggs from both sides when he tries to hop the fence.

This is the episode that hooked me forever. Even before DeVito joined the cast the following season, I knew this show was gonna be one of my favorites early on.

14) 3.11 – Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender

In this episode a child molester moves into the neighborhood and bears a striking resemblance to Dennis. After being repeatedly mistaken for this pervert Dennis becomes angry; not because they think he’s a sex offender, but because they think he looks like a fat guy.


While this is happening, the same budget cuts that got the molester released from prison got Luther (Mac’s Dad) released as well. Mac tries to reunite his parents so he can have the childhood he lost. At the same time Frank decides to move out of Charlie’s place to acquire a ‘Bang Maid’ to take care of him.

Frank: Charlie, I need a woman. I need a woman to… to cook for me, and clean up after me, and somebody that will do everything I say. 
Charlie: Well, that’s just a maid. You want a maid?
Frank: Yeah, that’s right, a maid. A maid I can bang.


Dee then convinces Dennis to give an improv workout seminar to the kids in the park. shirtless and with a fake mustache. Mac’s attempts fail and Charlie’s mom (who is Frank’s Bang Maid) leaves Frank for Luther. Mac drives Luther around while he tracks down the people on his list. Charlie’s name is last on said list and he and Mac become convinced that Luther is killing all these people. So they call the police, only to find out that Luther was actually apologizing to all those people and had plans to take Mac and Charlie to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which violates his parole. So he is taken back to jail.

13) 3.02 – The Gang Gets Invincible

‘The New Kids on the Block movie’ aka Invincible starring Marky Mark was the inspiration for this episode. Like in the movie the Eagles hold an open tryout for the fans and Dennis, Mac, and Dee all decide to make a run of it. This is the also the first appearance of Green Man.

Also at the tryout is Doyle McPoyle, brother to the infamous McPoyle boys. Frank, while tripping balls shits in a trash can and shoots Doyle right after he made the team.

Artemis: He’s been trying to climb through that garbage can for 20 minutes. I’m pretty sure he’s on acid. 
Frank Reynolds: Thank God you guys are here. How’d you get in here?
Dennis Reynolds: What are you talking about?
Frank Reynolds: I’ve been stuck in this bathroom for three hours.
Artemis: I think he pooped in there.

The exploits of the gang on the field are embarrassingly hilarious. Mac gets leveled by McPoyle, Dennis gets knocked out cold by a football, and Dee shatters her foot attempting to punt the ball.

12) 3.04 – The Gang Gets Held Hostage

This one really hit a chord with me, as it both heavily features the McPoyles, and is a spoof of Die Hard with Frank as our John McClane.

As payback for the events at the Eagles tryout, and the Gang being responsible for Doyle’s leg injury, Liam, Ryan, and Margaret McPoyle take the bar hostage. It’s ridiculous how quickly the gang turn on each other, almost immediately betraying one another. Dee soon starts to fall victim to a case of Stockholm syndrome, and Dennis attempts to seduce Margaret…

Dennis: Margaret, you like sweat, don’t you. Margaret–it is Margaret, isn’t it? Of course it is. You know, your eyebrow drives me crazy. It’s so thick, it’s so dark, so very…connected. You’re a stone cold fox, Margaret. You’re a stone cold fox, and I want you. I gotta have you–I need you. I want you inside me. But you know that, don’t you, Margaret? 

All the while Frank is stuck in the air ducts searching for his will, which is hidden somewhere up there by Charlie. The McPoyles then demand that the gang destroy their own bar, before taking them up to the roof for a helicopter escape. As they reach the roof, Frank emerges from the vent with Charlie who escaped earlier. They have a very Die Hard ending – Frank with a gun taped to his back and maniacal laughter coming from their captors, Frank opens fire, which results in Ryan falling off the roof ala Hans Gruber. The fall however is comically short and it’s revealed that the McPoyle’s guns were fake all along.

Easily my favorite part was when Liam commands his brother to “Stab SOMEBODY!” and Ryan charges from behind the bar to bury a small knife in Liam’s arm. Which they then pour warm milk on…hilarious.

11) 2.03 – Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare

In typical ‘Reynolds-Fashion’, Frank begins screwing with the gang and Dennis and Dee decide they want no part of it. So they quit and go on unemployment. They have big plans to become very successful, but when their unemployment runs out, they’re not ready to get off of the government teet. So, until they can achieve their dreams, they decide they’ll go on welfare. To qualify for the government assistance though, they decide that they should first get hooked on drugs. They quickly become addicted to crack.

Dennis and Dee Welfare
Hi, I’m a recovering Crackhead. This is my retarded sister I take care of. I’d like some welfare please.

Meanwhile, tired of the added workload around the bar, Frank, Charlie, and Mac apply to get some ‘Work for Welfare’ slaves employees. With the new government funded help, Mac and Charlie are free to entertain themselves elsewhere. When they starting bumming Frank out though, he fires the new help. At this point, Mac and Charlie have dipped into Frank’s money, which he hides from his wife in Charlie’s bank account.

While Dennis and Dee become low life drug addicts, Mac and Charlie become men of privilege, at least until the ATM declines them…

10) 2.05 – Hundred Dollar Baby

As the episode starts out, the gang is cutting through an alley when they’re approached by a mugger. The guys quickly leave Dee on her own and run away. This inspires Dee to learn some self-defense from Frank, who used to box in the 60s.

Dee and Charlie

The guys meanwhile find an underground fight club where they decide no one can take a beating like Charlie. So in a Rocky-esqe training sequence, they continually beat him with various objects. At this time Frank and Dee are at the gym and Dee meets a shady character that offers her a quick solution – steroids. This is when the episode really takes off.

Dee soon becomes addicted and sets up a fight with an amateur boxer, who is the daughter of Frank’s old rival.

Brianna: You look like a Holocaust victim in pageant makeup.
Dee: I will eat your babies, bitch!
Frank: Nobody’s eating anybody’s babies.
Dee: Come on, let me eat her babies.
Dee: What did you just say you little bitch! 

Dee begins to scare Frank…

As the steroids start to really take hold, Dee’s new mustache and sideburns come through. Charlie then finds her drugs and starts taking them himself. This leads to a confrontation between the 2 which is hilarious and ends up in both Dee and Charlie missing their scheduled fights. The episode ends with a ‘Million Dollar Baby’ reference after Frank fills in for Dee, and with Mac having to fill in Charlie and getting his ass kicked under the name ‘Clown Baby’.

9) 4.04 – Mac’s Banging the Waitress

Two Words: Project. Badass. This is the cause to all the problems that arise in this episode.

Project Badass

Mac has been making a series of videos to show what a badass he is. Things like taping firecrackers to his jacket and falling down and what not. Well under the impression that Charlie hates his videos, Mac does what any logical person would do – fabricates a sexual relationship with the woman Charlie loves – The Waitress. She agrees to play along in hopes it will grant her access to steal back the sex tape Dennis made of them. Charlie initially doesn’t know who the Waitress is seeing, so he asks Mac to investigate for him. This is when Dennis learns that Charlie considers Mac to be his best friend and tries to change that.

the waitress

This is the only episode that does not feature Dee, and Frank is also absent. That’s part of what makes its placement so impressive, it was able to deliver even without them. This is in large part due to the performance of the Waitress who delivers one of her best episodes yet. So while Charlie is waiting for Mac to return, Dennis tries to convince him that he should be Charlie’s best friend, but Charlie resists. He stays up all night waiting for Mac to return and finishes an entire case of beer and several pizzas. When he finally confronts Mac he starts to believe what Dennis has been saying and goes to Dennis’ room to sleep.

Charlie: (in Dennis’ bed) Am I peeing?… Hey Guys, if I’m peeing – Wake me up.

In the end, once Mac learns that Charlie actually loves his Project Badass tapes, he confesses that the whole affair with the Waitress was a lie, and all is forgiven.

8) 3.09 – Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person

Dennis so easily places ideas into Dee’s head. The best of them was that her new boyfriend, local rapper “Lil’ Kev” is actually retarded.

Dee then must spend the rest of the episode trying to figure out if Dennis was right or not. From his juice boxes to his laugh to his still living with his mother, Lil’ Kev is a mystery…

Dennis: That’s funny, because people who aren’t retarded usually drive. Retarded, one. Normal, zero.

While that is happening, Frank, Mac, and Charlie form a band. The band quickly falls apart and Charlie is kicked out for writing a song seemingly about a rape…

Night Man, sneaky and mean
Spider inside my dreams
I think I love you

You make me wanna cry
You make me wanna die
I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you
Night Man

Every night you come into my room
And pin me down with your strong arms
You pin me down, and I try to fight you
You come inside me
You fill me up
And I become the Night Man…

It’s just 2 men sharing the night
It might seem wrong but it’s just right
It’s just 2 men sharing each other
It’s just 2 men like loving brothers

One on top and one on bottom
One inside and one is out
One is screaming, he’s so happy
The other’s screamin’ a passionate shout

It’s the Night Man
I’m feeling so wrong and right, man
I’m feeling so wrong and right, man

I can’t fight you, man
When you come inside me
And pin me down with your strong hands
And I become the Night…
The passionate, passionate Night Man

When they refuse Dennis entry to the band he joins up with Charlie and “Dayman” is born.

Day Man – by Electric Dream Machine

Electric Dream Machine - Always Sunny
Day Man
Fighter of the Night Man
Champion of the sun
You’re a master of karate
And friendship for everyone

Day Man (Aah-aah-aah)
Fighter of the Night Man (Aah-aah-aah)
Champion of the sun (Aah-aah-aah)
You’re a master of karate
And friendship for everyone

The gang decide to do a show at the bar and the final band ends up with Dennis joining Mac and Frank onstage to much crowd disappointment. Lil’ Kev then appears and in a final conclusion to Dee’s conundrum, he dumps her in a rap.

The lasting effects of this episode would be seen more than a season later in “The Nightman Cometh”.

7) 5.07 – The Gang Wrestles for the Troops  

This is the first episode mentioned so far that came after the 3rd season, and it’s a doosey. Featuring maybe the best guest star ever, Rowdy Roddy Piper – the gang decides they want to do something nice for the troops. This results in them putting together a wrestling match and much hilarity ensues. This is all sparked by the internet relationship that Dee (aka Desert Rose) has been having with a soldier named Ben Smith, who is returning from overseas. When he arrives however, Dee mistakes him for a cripple and takes off, while Frank presents him with a salute and a pair of Jorts.

ItsAlwaysSunny - Roddy Piper

Frank then informs the guys he wants to wrestle as a villain called ‘The Trash Man’ who eats garbage. They instead relegate him to reffing duty.  They hire Da’ Maniac (Piper) to be the villain and the three of them will be ‘The Birds of War’. But when Maniac gets arrested, they have to hire Cricket as a last-minute fill in. He will play ‘The Talibum’ and fight all three of them.

The Birds of War: Stomp! Clap! Stomp! Stomp! Clap! Stomp! Clap! Stomp! Stomp! Clap! The eagle’s born out of thunder. He flies through the night. Don’t you mess with his eggs now, or you’ll see us fight! Yes we have feathers, but the muscles of men. ‘Cuz we’re birds of war now, but we’re also men! Birds of war! Ah ah ah ah!! 

Before the match however, we learn that Ben is not cripple, Dee sings Kiss from a Rose to win him back. However it’s too much for Cricket to take as she has ruined his life and he flattens her with a chair…

Notice the drawn-on abs. Classic.

Once in the ring Cricket throws sand in all their eyes and just when it appears as though Cricket is the winner, The Trashman shows up out of nowhere and throws his trash can at Cricket.

The edge however catches Cricket in the neck and he starts to bleed profusely.

The Trashman is the winner.

6) 6.09 – Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth

This is a must see for any fan of 80’s action movies. While Dee and Charlie get new jobs at the local High School, the rest of the gang decides to make a movie: Lethal Weapon 5.


Charlie, now a janitor at the school, sees a kid being picked on for being a juggalo, and takes him under his wing. Dee is teaching the drama class and for some reason thinks a field trip to the bar to see the guy’s movie would be a good idea. She soon learns it was not.

The movie is perhaps one of the greatest parodies ever created. With Dennis as Murtagh and Mac as Riggs, then with them switching parts half way though – and the best use of ‘black face’ ever, just edging out Ken Jeong in Community

5) 5.10 – The D.E.N.N.I.S. System

This whole episode is a systematic breakdown of how Dennis dates. Using woman for sex then breaking off contact completely.


We also learn that the other guys have systems too. The MAC System (Move in After Completion) is when he picks up these woman, emotionally damaged by Dennis, and bangs them himself. And finally, Frank swoops in for the scraps after Mac is done. Charlie simply relies on stalking the Waitress. Dee is disgusted by all of this, and they convince her that Ben Smith is running a system on her too. She then challenges Dennis to win back one of these girls and he accepts said challenge.

Dennis tries repeatedly to win back Caylee and it’s not going so well. Perhaps the best part of the episode (outside of Dennis’ calls from the pay phone) is Frank’s alias: Toboggan, Mantis Toboggan, M.D.

Frank: I got my magnum condoms, I got my wad of hundreds; I’m ready to plow!

While Dennis is trying to prove Dee wrong, she is throwing away her relationship with Ben, and Charlie is trying to apply the DENNIS system to The Waitress. Charlie however is unable to apply it correctly, and ends up only making her further hate him.

4) 4.05 – Mac & Charlie Die: Part 1  

After the events of the sex offender episode, when they got Luther arrested, Mac and Charlie now fear for their lives. So when they find out that Mac’s dad will once again be released from prison they decide their only course of action is to fake their own deaths.

Always Sunny - Fake Death

They obviously decide that the best way to do this is to steal Dee’s car and smash it into a wall, assuming the car will explode and people will think they perished in the fire. Then, in what is my 2nd favorite moment in the show’s history, they attempt the car smash…

The plan being that Mac will run the car at the wall and leap out at the last-minute. Well the car never gets up to speed and Mac makes no attempt to escape the car, so instead he just smashes into the wall. Mac exits the car with a concussion, and hilarity ensues.

This is from PART 2, but it features the Glory Hole. Note the shadow…

While this is all happening, Frank and Dennis discover a ‘Glory Hole’ in the bathroom. This leads their imaginations to run wild, and seek out an orgy…

Frank: This slot defeats the purpose. I can see your eyes! We might as well get married. 
Dennis: It’s the safest way, Frank.
Frank: Dennis, if I was looking for safe I wouldn’t be sticking my dick through a wall.

The 2nd part is also quite good, but this first half is one of the best.

3) 3.15 – The Gang Dances Their Asses Off

The season 3 finale has the gang getting screwed by Charlie’s inability to read. Again apparently.

Mac: Your illiteracy has screwed us again, Charlie!

Mac and Charlie

From Wiki: ‘Frank announces that he’s created a “ranking system” for the pub’s employees. Everyone at the bar then obsesses over their rank. When prompted for their ranks, Frank informs Dennis that he’s 2nd after himself. Mac is told that he’s third because he’s too volatile (which Mac protests). Sweet Dee is fifth and last because she has too much lip and is too sassy. When Dee argues the fact, Frank claims she’s just proving his point. Before the matter can go any further, Charlie shows up to the meeting late with a signed contract in his hand.

It would appear that Charlie signed the bar up to host a dance contest, but upon closer examination, it’s a dance marathon and the bar is the prize. The entire gang must now enter the contest to retain the bar.


Predictably however, they all turn on each other in hopes of moving up in the ranking   system. The Waitress and Cricket also show up in hopes of winning the bar away from the Gang. Well the gang all start ‘challenging’ each other to dance offs where the loser is eliminated. Mac’s ‘Fight Dancing’ is a personal favorite of mine. This though is not enough to keep Mac alive in the contest.

In the end, they hold on to keep the bar thanks to some massive amounts of cheating.

2) 6.07 – Who Got Dee Pregnant?

This was awesome. The whole episode is a flashback to a Halloween party where Dee got knocked up. The guys are trying to figure out who she banged and putting together what they can each remember of the night.  As the episode progresses, with each story told, Dee becomes more and more Bird like. This is my favorite moment of all time on this show. In Mac’s version, Dee is just flat-out a bird.

Oh, Hey Dee

Unable to solve the puzzle they are forced to ask other people who were there, including Artemis and the McPoyles.

After combining all they know they become convinced that Dennis and Dee slept together. This turns out false, but it’s awesome while it lasts. Everything about this episode is awesome. The McPoyles insisting the toilet not be flushed, Frank and Artemis ‘dumpster banging’, and Charlie harassing someone he thinks is the Waitress, but who isn’t.

Excellent episode.

1.) 4.13 – The Nightman Cometh

The single greatest episode ever was the finale for Season 4. This episode spawned a live tour that sold out in minutes. I know, I tried to get tickets to the Boston show. Hey guys – a Detroit show next time? Anyhow, this episode revolves around Charlie writing a musical. Charlie insists that he has no alternative motives, simply wants to create something. He is met with doubt.

Mac: But who versus? Who are we doing it versus? 

He rewards each member of the gang with a role in the show, which is based off the song that got him kicked out of the band in  Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person – Nightman. The stage production, assisted by Artemis and Gladys (who also appeared in The D.E.N.N.I.S. System), is a pleasure to watch, and is highlighted by DeVito’s Troll character.

Frank: You gotta pay the troll toll to get into this boy’s hole. You gotta pay the troll toll to get in. You want this baby boy’s hole, you gotta pay the troll toll.
Charlie: Stop, stop, stop. All right not bad, good rhythm, love the enthusiasm. I feel like you’re saying “boy’s hole”, and it’s clearly “soul”. And I know, Artemis, you did write “soul”, right?
Artemis: I did write “soul”. I definitely did.

In the end Charlie does of course have other motivations, as the rehearsed ending to the show has him being lowered from the ceiling and proposing to the Waitress, who promptly refuses.

Honorable Mention

– Season 2, Episode 4: Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom
– Season 4, Episode 7: Who Pooped the Bed?
Season 6, Episode 11: The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods
– Season 7, Episode 2: The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore
– Season 7, Episode 11: Thunder Gun Express

Rum Ham

So there you have. The Best of Always Sunny. What’d you think, what was overlooked?

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21 thoughts on “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: 15 Best Episodes Ever (Seasons 1-7)”

  1. wtf the gang solves the gas crisis is the best episode ever, and it didn’t even get an honorable mention. How about the mortgage one? How about the great recession? Come one – registered sex offender? that was one of the worst. Gang dances their asses off as well, not a string episode


    1. Gas Crisis – Tormenting the random guy’s car and the “Wild Card Bitches” line were excellent. The rest of the episode was weak. Best ever? That’s a joke.

      The Mortgage one had a great ending, and Mac and Dennis were great, but the episode wasn’t.

      The Recession episode sucked.


      1. come on man. When they were in the bank taking their shirts off and how dennis couldn’t believe that they did that to him. classic. “the ghost busters would never something like that”


        1. I won’t argue, that’s a great scene. And the guy who’s car they destroy – awesome. Just not my favorite. That being said, there isn’t an episode I don’t like..


  2. terrible list
    this is my list
    30 Charlie Wants an Abortion
    29 Charlie Goes America Over Everybody’s Ass
    28 The Gang Gets Whacked 1 & 2
    27 Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare
    26 Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom
    25 The Gang Runs for Office
    24 Underage Drinking: A National Concern
    23 The Gang Sells Out
    22 The Gang Gives Back
    21 The World Series Defense
    20 Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire
    19 Mac is a Serial Killer
    18 The D.E.N.N.I.S. System
    17 The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis
    16 America’s Next Top Paddy’s Billboard Contest
    15 Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City
    14 Hundred Dollar Baby
    13 Who Got Dee Pregnant?
    12 The Waitress is Getting Married
    11 The Gang Reignites the Rivalry
    10 Mac’s Big Break
    9 The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention
    8 Sweet Dee has a Heart Attack
    7 The Gang Buys a Boat
    6 A Very Sunny Christmas
    5 Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens
    4 The Great Recession
    3 The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis
    2 Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person
    1 The Nightman Cometh
    and and the great recession was awesome whoever said it sucked does not know comedy.


    1. Is this a joke? Was it hard to narrow it down to 31? Why not just make a TOP 70?

      MAC AND CHARLIE DIE isn’t even on your over sized list, but the Christmas special is almost Top 5? Yeah, good one.


      1. don’t bitch, take i like a man that you made a shitty list. You have the gang dances their asses off as 3! what the fuck, terrible. The whole plot for that episode was terrible, just some fodder they used as they ran out of ideas late into the season. Only funny part was the cream rising up.


      2. also, the christmas episode fucking rocked!!!! best special ever, it so killed Community’s attempt at claymation.


  3. I think that the amount of varying opinions here only further speak to the massive amount of good episodes they’ve produced. There isn’t a single episode I don’t enjoy.


  4. wow this is a little ridiculous regarding the comments and aggression about a list of ‘best’ episodes, which are entirely based on opinion. That being said, I remember one of my favorites being Manhunters episode. If indeed that is the same one where Dee and Charlie get “the hunger” from eating human meat. Surprised nothing in here or comments mentions it!


  5. Pretty good list, but a I would replace Shaping America’s Youth and the DENNIS System. The one where Mac and Dennis break up was pretty funny, with Mac getting jealous and calling in a missing person’s report and so on. Hysterical! Frank sets Sweet Dee on Fire was a great one too as well as where the Gang does an Extreme Makeover-them busting into the house with that music and Dennis making faces and the short shorts. And I can’t remember the name of the ep, but it’s the one where Dee and Charlie walk in each other’s shoes for a day-Charlie eating cat food and huffing glue to sleep and one of my FAVE MOMENTS EVER, Dee’s horrible comedy routine and the GAGGING! OMG, she pulls that off better than anyone ever! The other storyline in that ep brought it down though (with Sinbad).


    1. That episode was called “Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life”. The DENNIS System is just too good to replace though. When Frank shows up as ‘Dr. Mantis Toboggan’ and drops his “Monster condom for my magnum dong” and the carnnie stabs Dee. Classic.


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