Top Ten It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Characters
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia doesn’t have a lot of recurring characters so ranking them was a pretty easy task for me. However, ranking the gang was very difficult as all five of them are amazing, unforgettable characters so I only ranked them by my personal preferences and even that approach did not make it any easier. So here is my ranking of the show’s characters, both major and minor.
10. The McPoyles
To me this crazy family is repulsive and sometimes too disgusting. But I cannot deny their presence so they cracked the top ten. All of the family is ridiculous and the humor aimed at them was great, but of course Liam, Ryan and Margaret are the three that appear the most and they have quite a handful of classic episodes with The Gang Gets Held Hostage being the best example of their signature dynamic.
9. The Lawyer
A straight character but a necessary one nonetheless, he is great for giving us the opportunity to see just how crazy the gang is when interacting with normal people. But I liked his character because he was the only one who could get the better of them as he did in a couple of occasions. The highlight was Charlie’s rivalry with him as he tried to prove himself as a competent bird lawyer.
8. Mac and Charlie’s Moms
These two are such comedic gems and they bring a different kind of humor to the table wonderfully. Watching Bonnie’s ridiculous OCDs and interactions with Charlie was a lot of fun whereas Mac’s mom is hilariously gross. They interact so well with their sons, but to me the highlight was the dynamic between themselves as best exemplified in stupendous Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy.
7. The Waitress
Another straight character who is nevertheless extremely important, watching Charlie trying to win her over was always a treat. Every episode with her is amazing and the writers always found a great and different use of her. She is also great for being a fully realized character in her own right and following her hit rock bottom and then eventually end up with Charlie was a really fun journey.
Of course Cricket gets the top spot when it comes to minor characters as he is such a ridiculous, incredibly funny character who is best at being a sparringly used sidekick. He appeared from time to time and rarely for a full episode, but whenever he was on screen, he was bound to get a lot of the laughs and entirely steal the show. His journey from a priest to a street rat was so well written and consistently hilarious while being a great proof of how the gang destroys everyone who gets close to them.
And now we get to the members of the gang themselves. Yes, Frank gets the last spot, but that is only because in the second half of the series he isn’t as great as he was in the first half. But his ”living on the fringe” shtick provided some of the most repulsive and hilarious moments on the show. He is the best at being gross and at being the mastermind as he certainly was in most situations. He truly is the brain of the group and the first season wasn’t the same without him.
Dennis also lost some of his momentum as the series progressed and he could get too creepy at times, but his narcissistic behavior consistently led to a lot of very funny situations. At first, he was just a manipulative, lying narcissist, but eventually he got crazier and crazier with each season to the point of becoming a sociopath and even a psychopath at times. He definitely provided some of the edgiest and darkest comedy on the show along with great sexual humor.
Dee should have been used more often, but whenever she got more to do, she killed it. Kaitlyn Olson is terrific in the role and she gave the best performance on the show after Danny DeVito. Always being a butt of the gang’s jokes (she is after all ”one giant bird”), she can also be pretty smart and manipulative in her own right as evidenced in episodes like PTSDee. But the highlights were her pursuing of an acting career along with her crazy, humiliating sexcapades.
I didn’t like him all that much at first, but Mac truly got better and better with each passing season until eventually becoming my second favorite character on the show. He is a superbly developed character and his interactions with his parents are always terrific. But it is his desperate attempts at being cool (proclaiming to know karate and how to do a backflip) coupled with his closeted homosexuality that gave us his best episodes (Mac Day is his finest hour). In the series’ late run, he is the best.
I love all five of the gang members and it was very difficult to decide the number one, but I eventually went with Charlie for a number of reasons. One is that stupid and disgusting characters are overly familiar by now, but his character gets some of the best use of those qualities and he is consistently funny. The other reason is that he is the most likable and certainly the best person of the entire gang which is why following him was very rewarding and I rooted for him throughout most of the episodes. His budding relationship with his could-be-father Frank is great, his living in filth and squalor is very amusing, his musical episodes were very funny and of course his pursuit of the Waitress was a lot of fun. It was a difficult choice I had to make, but in the end I am happy that I chose Charlie as my number one.
Barbara Reynolds – ”My whore wife”, as Frank so often called her, only appeared in a handful of episodes before she died, but she was very funny as Dennis and Dee’s absolutely horrible mother.
Maureen Ponderosa – Maureen is the campiest and silliest character of all and her journey from Dennis’s wife to a full-on cat before her death was hilarious to follow.
Carmen – Carmen the Tranny gave us a couple of terrific episodes and was an essential love interest for Mac in his coming out journey.