March Madness: IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA Sweet 16
Over the last week, our crack staff of six writers have managed to whittle 32 of the best It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes down to just the Top 16. There were a few first round upsets, including #6 Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens knocking off #3 The Gang Gets Analyzed. Check out the other winners below, along with our writers explaining their picks below.
1. Chardee MacDennis over 8. Gang Goes Jihad 6-0
The game of games dominates the jihad in the opening round. CharDee MacDennis has maybe the funniest scene in the entire series, when Mac and Charlie throw darts at an unflinching Dennis. Without even speaking a word, Glenn Howerton has never been funnier. CharDee MacDennis should make a deep run into the tournament, because it not just a game. It’s a war.
It’s sort of sad to see The Gang Goes Jihad bow out in the first round. The gang’s attempts to keep a lawyer from taking the bar are so desperate and depraved, even they can’t go through with all of it. The episode also ends with one of the greatest “oh shit’s” ever, courtesy of Charlie. – Ryan Hill
5. The D.E.N.N.I.S. System over 4. The Gang Reignites the Rivalry 4-2
Sure, the Flipadelphia flip cup anthem is mighty catchy, but “The Gang Reignites the Rivalry” just couldn’t demonstrate enough value to defeat “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System” in the writers’ vote. A spot-on evisceration of pickup artist philosophies, the episode illustrates how Dennis’ charisma is both his greatest strength and his Achilles heel.
Though Dee correctly points out that his seduction methods are sociopathic (nurture dependence by “having her car towed, or slashing her tires”), Dennis has all the guys enthralled before promptly losing control of them. Turns out there’s a pecking order unknown to Dennis after he’s lost interest in a woman – Mac “swoops in” for seconds, Frank gets “scraps,” and Charlie, well, he’ll just stick to stalking, thank you very much. The mayhem that ensues in the final five minutes is some of the finest in Sunny’s run, with the added in-joke of Dennis’s conquest being played by Jill Latiano, also known as Glenn Howerton’s real-life spouse. – Eric Ambler
3. Mac and Dennis Break Up over 6. Underage Drinking 6-0
Underage Drinking holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia I ever saw. The three main guys, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney, came to visit my class at USC, and this was the first of three episodes they showed. It’s definetely a classic, and against many episodes, it would have moved on. However, it didn’t have much of a chance against Mac and Dennis Break Up.
“Cat in the wall!!!” It’s one of my favorite lines in Sunny history. The whole dynamic of the episode is brilliant. Mac and Dennis stop hanging out so much, and the lives of everyone else in the gang gets affected. No longer will Frank be wrapping his toe knife cuts with candy wrappers. He has socks for that now. Plus, any episode that makes a repeated reference to Predator is a winner in my book. Mac and Dennis Break Up is easily in my top 5 episodes of all time, and I’m very happy to see it move on to the Sweet 16.- Kevin Taylor
2. The Gang Gets Held Hostage over 7. Hundred Dollar Baby 4-2
“We need to stick together.” This ironic line kicks off the episode after the legendarily disgusting McPoyles take the gang hostage inside Paddy’s. One of the things that’s so great about the show is, unlike many sitcoms, anyone in the group will turn on the others at a moment’s notice. It’s every man for himself, and neither Dee nor Dennis are against sleeping with a McPoyle in order to survive. That kind of dirty tactic is much funnier than the techniques Charlie and Dee learn in “Hundred Dollar Baby,” which is a pretty decent parody of boxing movies, but as a Season 2 episode, it’s still a show learning its strengths. – Kip Mooney