Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Recreates One Of The Series' Best Bits In Season 16

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" has finally returned for its 16th season, bringing fans back into the familiar world of Paddy's Pub — though some of its corners may be more familiar than others.

In Season 16, Episode 2, "Frank Shoots Every Member of the Gang," Mac (series creator Rob McElhenney) briefly reconnects with his Uncle Donald. Though Charlie (Charlie Day) is shocked to see how much kinder Donald is compared to the rest of Mac's family, he's even more baffled by the latter's seeming disinterest in accepting a relationship with this potential father figure. As Mac rebuffs Donald's attempts to hang out, they subtly recreate a classic "Sunny" bit from Season 4.

The comedic hook of Donald and Mac's exchange is Mac's limp yet specific excuses for why he apparently can't do each and every activity Donald offers. Charlie and Dennis (Glenn Howerton) have an almost identical conversation in Season 4, Episode 4, "Mac's Banging the Waitress." When Charlie arrives at Dennis and Mac's apartment with 24 beers to have a sleepover with Mac, he comes up with every excuse possible to avoid an unusually needy Dennis. Their banter is arguably even funnier when you realize that it was almost entirely improvised by Day and Howerton on set.

Dennis' banter with Charlie is a highpoint in the series, and we have Jason Bateman to thank for it

On "The Always Sunny Podcast," hosted by Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, and writer-producer Megan Ganz, the real-life gang revealed that Charlie and Dennis' now-iconic scene wasn't written into the original script. Howerton recalled, "I think in the script it was just like 'We could play some board games,' and you're like 'Nah, I'm not really into that' or whatever." However, when they got to set, Howerton and Day were inspired by the prop-board games lying around (which included Chinese Checkers and Connect Four) to build the scene into a bit.

All three men seemed to agree that the back-and-forth is among the best bits they've ever created for the series, though Howerton specifically credited some of its success to actor Jason Bateman. During the conversation, he admitted that he was "stealing some moves" from the "Arrested Development" star. McElhenney readily agreed, marveling that he even noticed the Bateman-esque mannerisms and vocal inflections while he was rewatching the episode on his own.

"He really mastered the dry straight-man..." Day (who starred alongside Bateman in the 2011 comedy "Horrible Bosses") revered with a smile. "So anytime you wanna go dry, it's hard not to be like, 'Oh, I'm slipping into a Bateman.'" Howerton also explained that he enjoyed playing Dennis in the style of Michael Bluth, as it provided a rare moment of contrast for Dennis' regular cartoonishly sociopathic characterization. "I will fully admit it and give [Bateman] credit... for the way I played that scene with you."