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

30 Best It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Episodes Ranked

Most sitcoms peak in the second or third season and then gradually decline in quality from that point forward. Think "The Office," "That '70s Show," and "Arrested Development." But FX's "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" – which follows the insane, selfish, and utterly hilarious exploits of the five buffoons who run Paddy's Pub — only gets better with age. For some reason, we just don't tire of watching Frank, Dennis, Dee, Charlie, and Mac stab each other in the back as they try to better their middling existence as owners of a dumpy Philadelphia bar. 

There's no shortage of riotously funny moments in the show's history, so we went diving into IMDb to find the greatest episodes of a series that's had us holding our sides for years. From absurd musicals to harebrained schemes and hilarious tantrums, here are the best episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" according to IMDb.

30. "Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth" (Season 6, Episode 9)

We're not sure which of this episode's storylines does a better job of capturing the classless, clueless, and offensive behavior we've come to expect from the gang. Charlie and Dee are now working at a local high school, where he's befriended a bullied juggalo and she's gotten a gig as a substitute drama teacher. Naturally, none of the kids respect her when she claims to be an experienced actor, because she isn't one. When her request to take the kids on a field trip to New York is thoroughly shot down by the school's principal, she instead sneaks them to Paddy's for a movie screening.

That movie is "Lethal Weapon 5," the unofficial sequel filmed by the guys, in which Mac and Dennis take turns donning blackface to play Murtaugh (played in the actual films by Danny Glover). For most of this episode, Mac, Dennis, and Frank are arguing over the merits of blackface. Is it offensive? Artful? Hilarious? Only these buffoons could possibly come to the conclusion that it's anything other than the first answer. But by the time the kids sit down in their dumpy pub, it's too late anyway, and nobody has enough self-awareness to shut off the movie.

In any other show, an episode like this would be impossible to make. But "It's Always Sunny" manages to tap dance over laser beams here, lampooning the idiocy of its characters without hiding behind it.

29. "Thunder Gun Express" (Season 7, Episode 11)

The Gang might not like each other very much, but they do love to bond over two action-packed movie series: "Lethal Weapon," and the in-universe "Thunder Gun" series, which is exactly as preposterous (and awesome) as it sounds. In this episode, they're all on their way to the theater to check out the latest "Thunder Gun" movie. Unfortunately, the president is in town, and his motorcade has created legendary interstate gridlock. Most people might call it a day and try again the next weekend.

But as we all know, the Gang is not "most people." They instantly throw some ludicrous schemes together to make it to the theater on time. Charlie and Dee dive into the sewers. Frank commandeers a tour boat and ruins the paid experience for everyone on board by rocketing off towards the theater, all while dropping little pearls of local wisdom that range from untrue to uninteresting to completely inappropriate for a family event. Meanwhile, Mac tries and fails both to fit into the sewers with his friends, and to steal a bike. He ends up reuniting with Dennis, who's been stuck in traffic with the car, listening to tapes of him seducing women. Because of course he has been.

28. "The Gang Broke Dee" (Season 9, Episode 1)

The members of the Gang are friends in name only. In nearly every episode, they scream at, backstab, and undermine each other without mercy or shame, only to come back together in the end because they have nowhere else to turn. Nobody gets off the hook, but by far the most isolated and emotionally battered member is Sweet Dee. In this episode, the Gang takes things to outrageous new heights.

After Dee refuses to fight back against their predictable insults and instead heaps abuse upon herself, they realize they've "broken" her. So naturally, they sign her up for an open mic night. She's no stranger to that, but without her shame, the barriers fall off and she apparently soars on the back of vicious, self-deprecating comedy. Her career begins to take off, despite Dennis' best attempts to berate her into stopping, accepting her worthlessness, and settling for one of the dumpy-looking schlubs he's trying to set her up with.

In the end, Dee heads through the curtains of what she thinks is Conan's show, only to find herself back in Paddy's Pub. There, Charlie, Mac, and Frank inform her it was all a prank, that her fans and agents were in on it, and that her career never existed at all. It's one of the cruelest things they've ever done. But at least Dennis wasn't in on it.

27. "Charlie and Dee Find Love" (Season 8, Episode 4)

In this episode, Charlie and Dee get rear-ended at a light and get out to kick some ass. They don't get very far, though, as they become instantly infatuated with the two hot, wealthy siblings who ran into them and are now profusely apologizing. Next, they all couple up and get to know each other. Of course, when Dennis, Frank, and Mac realize that Charlie and Dee are getting invited to country clubs and mansions, they weasel their way into the action. It goes exactly as well as you'd expect. The gang makes such fools of themselves that the fact they're not being tossed out on the street almost breaks your suspension of disbelief.

But then it all comes together. The rich folks were just trying to show off their gullible peasant pets to their friends. The Gang catches wind of this and brings the whole house down at the party they've been invited to. Dennis reveals to the crowd that the wealthy son was trading stock secrets, and Charlie dumps Ruby Taft (Alexandra Daddario, of all people), who actually wasn't in on the cruel scheme, for the Waitress. Who then dumps Charlie. Again. See? It all comes around.

26. "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off" (Season 3, Episode 15)

Charlie's illiteracy usually leads to one or two solid punchlines over the course of a show, or even a memorable B plot. Rarely does it form the basis of an entire episode's main story. In this one, the dimwitted janitor unwittingly signs Paddy's itself up as the prize for a dance contest, hosted by a local radio program. In a nutshell, the last dancer standing in a marathon becomes the bar's next owner. In real life, we're sure he could prove his disability to a court and void the contract, or simply point out that he didn't have controlling ownership or the consent of those who did, and void it that way. But then we wouldn't have one of the show's best episodes.

To maximize their chances of winning, every member signs up for the contest. And naturally, as they shuffle and dance, they're scheming about how to take out the other contestants and, when the crowd thins, each other. No holds are barred here. Pot brownies are used to knock people unconscious. Dennis seduces a woman just to intentionally drop her when she reveals she's engaged. People are kicking each other, pulling them down, and getting in fights. In the end, a homeless man that Frank recruited, and who nobody else paid enough attention to until it was too late, wins the contest, and Frank retains ownership. All that for nothing. Except some great laughs.

25. "Mac and Charlie Die: Part 1" (Season 4, Episode 5)

Luther, Mac's intimidating dad who's constantly in and out of prison, has made it clear — more than once, mind you — that he wants nothing to do with his son. After all, it's usually a scheme cooked up by Mac and his friends that gets him stuffed in the joint to begin with. When his parole is granted, Mac and Charlie, who'd tried to frame him to prevent his release, believe their lives are in danger.They then decide to fake their own deaths and go into hiding. Why wouldn't that be the first place their minds went to? They try a few things that naturally involve a poorly assembled suicide tape and destroying Dee's car via crashing it into a wall (with Mac still inside, who was supposed to have jumped clear at the last second), dropping hand grenades into the back seat, and unloading a handgun into the gas tank. Hilariously, the car survives all of this, but they figure it's enough to sell the narrative of their untimely demise.

Both the B plot, in which Dennis, Dee, and Frank find a glory hole in the men's restroom, and the second part of this storyline, in which Mac and Charlie's scheme unravels and Dennis and Frank go to the most disappointing orgy in the world, are worth watching. But Mac and Charlie trying and failing to blow up Dee's car is simply "Always Sunny" gold.

24. "Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens" (Season 5, Episode 8)

In this episode, an upcoming merchandising convention inspires the Gang to roll out a line of Paddy's Pub merch. That sounds like a good idea, but naturally, every idea the friends come up with is more ludicrous than the last. Charlie begins the episode with a classic homemade video advertising "Kitton Mittons" [sic], in which cats are stuffed into wool socks to reduce the excessive noise they make while walking around (a problem that totally exists and needs to be solved ASAP). Dee teams up with him after Mac eats — yes, eats — a contract that says she gets 100% of all the (at the time of signing, nonexistent) merchandising revenue in lieu of a good paycheck. Meanwhile, Dennis and Mac invent hilariously inappropriate beach towels, while Frank loads a handgun with liquor. Wouldn't you love to see these idiots on "Shark Tank?" We would. (Hey, FX — episode idea).

The episode is already stuffed to bursting with classic "Always Sunny" shenanigans. But the icing on the cake here is the Lawyer (Brian Unger), who's as unpleasantly surprised to be roped into another one of the Gang's schemes as he always is. The sarcastic, sharp-witted attorney is easily one of the best recurring characters on the show, and this might just be his best episode.

Oh, and word to the wise: make multiple copies of contracts, in case a disgruntled party tries to eat one.

23. "The Gang Gets Analyzed" (Season 8, Episode 5)

In this episode, the Gang, well, gets analyzed. Naturally, they're some of the most ill-adjusted, miserable patients their poor therapist has ever had the misfortune of trying to treat. And if you're wondering why people with so little class and self awareness would voluntarily submit themselves to psychiatric treatment in the first place, the answer is probably stupider than you would've imagined: they can't figure out who should clean the dishes. In fact, if you've been watching this show for more than a few episodes, it's probably exactly as stupid as you imagined.

In the therapist's chair, everything spills out. Frank melts down recounting his youth in a mental hospital. Mac melts down about his weight. Charlie melts down about being a lowly janitor and getting no respect. Dee melts down when the therapist refuses to believe she really was the original choice for Rachel MacAdams' role in "The Notebook," and Dennis doesn't melt down at all. Not for good reason, mind you, as he's the sickest member of the Gang by at least a full order of magnitude. It's because he believes, despite his complete lack of professional education and experience, that he's a peer of the doctor, and tries to help her analyze his friends, on whom he keeps meticulous dossiers. It's one of the darkest episodes of the show, but still filled with gut-bustingly hilarious moments.

22. "The Gang Dines Out" (Season 8, Episode 9)

In this episode, Mac and Dennis' monthly appointment at one of Philadelphia's finest steakhouses runs into an expiring groupon deal, which fills the place almost beyond capacity and gets them stuffed at a lousy table by the kitchen. To make matters worse, they see Frank and Charlie enter, with overcoats draped over their shoulders like mafia dons. Those two are celebrating the anniversary of their moving in together in Charlie's filthy studio apartment.

Both pairs see each other, but neither table makes the first move to acknowledge the other by saying hi. This leads to all sorts of shenanigans, with Mac and Charlie unable to pay attention to their own dinner dates because of the silent treatment they're getting from the other guys, and Frank and Dennis trying to play it cool and force the other table to pay tribute to them first. Whenever peace offers are made, like fancy wine being sent across the restaurant, they're rejected. Oh, Dee's there too — dining alone and wondering out loud about all the nasty things everyone else is saying about her.

The whole episode is hysterical, but two moments — Mac and Charlie's epic staredown and the Gang reuniting in laughter after the waiter spilling spaghetti on himself (because Dee tied his shoelaces together) — are particular standouts.

21. "Reynolds v. Reynolds: the Cereal Defense" (Season 8, Episode 10)

In this episode, Frank runs into Dennis at a stop light, causing him to spill cereal all over the inside of his car. Dennis demands payment, and Frank denies responsibility (because who eats cereal in a car?).

Naturally, the gang decides to settle things in court. And by court, we mean an idiotic farce they throw together in the bar itself, where Charlie defends Frank, Dee defends Dennis, and Mac stands at the front and more or less presides over the affair, even though he has no clue what he's doing. In fact, to give you an idea of how legally competent the gang is, they can't even agree on who the defendant is, try to acquit Frank via a document that states he doesn't have "donkey brains" (which he got at an asylum as a kid), and eventually wind up listening to Mac try to disprove evolution by pointing out times when scientists have been wrong in the past. Amazingly, as Legal Eagle points out, it isn't even the most ludicrous legal-based story on the show.

It is, however, the funniest. Somehow, some way, the gang combines their moronic ideas and ends up coming to something approaching a reasonable solution to the situation. Unfortunately, this competency test results in Frank rear-ending Dennis a second time, so everyone decides to stick Dee with the bill. Because of course.

20. "The Gang Saves the Day" (Season 9, Episode 6)

In this episode, the Gang's in a convenience store when someone breaks in and robs the cashier. Everyone cowers behind shelves and starts to daydream about how they'd resolve this situation and become a hero. In his dream, Mac uses karate to beat up the burglar before fighting off all his ninja friends and earning high praise from his pals. Dee gets revenge for years of abuse, sides with the burglar (in her dream, a woman), then turns her over to the cops, before getting whisked away to a witness protection program where her acting skills come in handy, and open the door to superstardom (and marriages to Josh Groban and Brad Pitt). Dennis gets shot trying to sweet talk the gunman, falls in love with his well-endowed physical therapist, and kills her when her, uh, endowments are ruined in a car accident. Frank simply imagines himself chowing down on stolen hot dogs while bullets fly. Charlie's segment is animated: he imagines saving the Waitress (who's not actually present) by pushing Dee between her and the gunman, and then living a long, happy life with her, raising a whole generation of future janitors and waitresses.

There's clearly a lot to unpack here, but the takeaway is that almost no other show ever made could get away with such a bizarre, wonderfully constructed tour through the minds of its characters.

19. "The Gang Goes on Family Fight" (Season 10, Episode 8)

Keegan Michael-Key plays this episode's equivalent of Steve Harvey, who quickly comes to learn that the Gang are only winning a match of this "Family Feud"-style game not because of competence or a good grasp of general knowledge, but by dumb luck.

Dennis, obsessed with appearing high class on TV, frequently berates his teammates despite almost never getting an answer right (choosing to give snobby answers rather than correct ones). Frank has no qualms describing his nauseating personal hygiene habits. Dee bounces between smashing the podium button, making outrageously inappropriate sex jokes, activating a fart machine, and collapsing from hunger (she was starving herself to look good). Meanwhile, Mac has no idea how to play and Charlie's bizarre answers always end up being on the board, because, as he recalls at the end of the episode, he'd taken the survey in a mall a few weeks earlier.

Everyone has a role to play that perfectly highlights their uniquely moronic personality, making "The Gang Goes on Family Fight" an almost perfect episode of "It's Always Sunny."

18. "The Gang Gets New Wheels" (Season 13, Episode 5)

There's a lot to love about "The Gang Gets New Wheels." Both Dee and Dennis get new cars, and it changes their lives. Dee's Range Rover gets her in good with some middle-aged, wine-sipping, young-man hunting Karen types (one of whom is actually named Karen). However, that falls apart when she sleeps with a young man herself — who happens to be the son of one of the women and the same high schooler who's helping Frank pass his driver's test. Meanwhile, Dennis gets a Prius and becomes a boring, average white dude, hanging out with others who match that description. All of it is hilarious and fun.

But by far the best storyline here is that of Mac and Charlie, whose bikes get stolen by middle schoolers — one of whom happens to be the child of an old high school bully of theirs, who also used to steal their bikes back in the day. These two idiots ultimately get their bikes back not by diplomacy or sneakiness, but by pummeling the middle schoolers mercilessly. We can't condone it. But we can certainly laugh at it.

17. "Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare" (Season 2, Episode 3)

In this Season 2 classic, Frank (who's just been introduced for the first time a few episodes prior) is ruling Paddy's with an iron fist. Sick of his tyranny, Dennis and Dee quit their jobs to live the high life, planning to use welfare payments to bankroll a life of leisure. Frank replaces them with some workers from a welfare program, who he treats like slaves, and Mac and Charlie lift his credit card and embark on a gluttonous spending spree that ends with a sex worker-filled party.

The best storyline here, though, and still one of the most shocking ones on the entire show, all these years later, is the one in the title. Dennis and Dee try to scam their way to welfare payments by faking crack addictions. When they're informed of the blood test requirement, which must show the drug in their systems, they head out to get their hands on some. Unfortunately for them, they instantly become addicted and miss their appointment. It would be tragic if it wasn't so well deserved and hilarious.

16. "Mac is a Serial Killer" (Season 3, Episode 10)

In this episode, Frank, Dee, Dennis, and Charlie are discussing the latest in a long line of blond women being kidnapped and murdered by an at-large serial killer. Then Mac walks in, covered in scratches along his neck, after a night out doing God only knows what. Instantly, Frank and Charlie assume he's the killer, while Dennis and Dee don't think he's smart enough to be one. They all set out to prove their theories. Dee tries to lure the serial killer out by posing as a sex worker. Meanwhile, Mac's mom implies to Frank and Charlie that she thinks her son could indeed be the killer. In reality, it's all a misunderstanding: Mac is simply dating a transgender woman and doesn't want anyone to know.

Which brings us to the elephant in the room: like many shows at the time, this Season 3 episode has some pretty uncomfortable takes on the issue of transgenderism that have aged poorly. And that's putting it politely. Still, the episode has some great highlights, like Charlie pretending to be a lawyer to defend his buddy, who he still thinks is guilty of murder, and Dee and Dennis chasing the Waitress while dressed like clowns.

15. "The Gang Hits the Road" (Season 5, Episode 2)

Who doesn't love a good cross-country road trip? Especially to the Grand Canyon? Well, you might want to rethink things if you're stuck in the car with the five ne'er do wells of the Gang. Originally, only Mac and Dennis were to accompany Frank on this late-life bucket list journey, as Charlie was too scared to leave Philly and Dee is, well, a giant bird that nobody thought to include. But before you know it, all five members are piled into Dennis' Range Rover, drinking, crossing off other bucket list items along the way, wrecking the car while trying to run a bicyclist off the road, stealing Dee's car and almost losing it, stopping by antique shops and filling the trailer, picking up and hitting on hitchhikers (looking at you, Dee), and more.

When they wake up the next morning, they find themselves not in the midwest like they expected, but back at the bar. Dee's car is missing, of course, because Charlie told the hitchhiker they'd picked up en route to drive them to the Grand Canyon because he was too scared to do it himself, and everyone else was asleep in the back. Whoops.

It's an all-time classic episode that begins and ends at the only place we'd ever want to be with these buffoons: Paddy's Pub.

14. "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" (Season 6, Episode 7)

"It's Always Sunny" doesn't usually bother with the kind of drawn out, season or seasons-long arcs that you might find in shows like "The Office" or "How I Met Your Mother." But when they do, well, it's as insane as you'd expect. This Season 6 episode begins a whole "Dee's pregnant" storyline with her announcing that one of the guys in the gang is the father. Cue a whole round of flashbacks to their recent Halloween Party, where each member of the Gang seeks to disprove everyone else's recollections of various costumes, attendees, fights, and more. At different points of the episode, it looks like multiple people had sex with Dee, only for this to be debunked in the next version of the story. They even have to bring in witnesses, like Artemis and the McPoyles, to corroborate accounts and get even more points of view, none of which seem to neatly align with any others. It's a head-spinner of a case and every bit as hilarious and stupid as one might expect.

Oh, and none of them is the father, by the way. Dee announces she only said that to get them to care about her and the pregnancy, but refuses to explain the situation further than that. Naturally, everyone collectively decides they no longer care anyway. Figures.

13. "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom" (Season 2, Episode 4)

After Mac is sent to Frank's old house to grab his toupee, he's seduced by Barbara, who wants revenge against her ex-husband. This unleashes a landslide of sexual back-stabbings in which multiple characters attempt to sleep with various people's mothers, thus enraging people who loved them and inspiring them to get revenge by keeping the sex train going. The Waitress gets involved. Mrs. Kelly gets involved. Dee, who's trying to get her job back (she'd quit in the previous episode to go on welfare), gets involved too. Frank and Mac are at the center of it, as is Dennis, because of course he is. It's an explosion of classless hijinks that ends in outbursts and fistfights. And, honestly, as hard as it is to be betrayed like this, it's hard to do anything but laugh at these stupid, reprehensible people as they keep getting what's coming to them. Having older women tell a megalomaniacal Dennis they're not attracted to him, thus sending him into a spiral of self-doubt, is particularly funny and satisfying. 

12. "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis" (Season 4, Episode 2)

In "The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis," Mac, Dennis, and Charlie come to the conclusion that their plans never work because they're not sticking to a formula in which there's a designated brains, brawn, and wild card (Mac, Dennis, and Charlie, respectively). Supposedly, this dynamic will ensure success in any scheme they might concoct, even one that involves trying to turn a profit by selling giant barrels of gasoline.

There are several versions of this plan. One involves trying to store the gas in the basement at Paddy's until the price goes up, but this fails after a gas station attendant demands they stop. Then, they briefly try transporting the gas back by filling their tank and siphoning it out at the bar before realizing they're only wasting money. They then try selling it lemonade stand-style and then door to door, but those plans go exactly as well as you'd expect. Charlie certainly doesn't help because he thinks being a "wild card" means making impulsive, destructive decisions.

At the end of the episode, they decide the only reason they've failed thus far is because they haven't included Frank and Dee as "the muscle" and the "useless chick," respectively. Those two, after trying and failing to surveil Bruce Mathis (Dee's biological dad) upon learning he's giving away Dennis and Dee's inheritance to a Muslim community center, are more than happy to join the moronic scheme.

11. "A Very Sunny Christmas" (Season 6, Episode 13)

It's probably not surprising that the members of the gang never had a proper Christmas growing up, and therefore, they don't know the meaning of the holiday as adults. Interestingly, Mac and Charlie thought they'd had normal, healthy Christmases as kids. But neither Mac's family's penchant for breaking into other people's homes and stealing presents (which he'd thought was a fun neighborhood tradition) nor Charlie's mom's tradition of bringing multiple "Santa Clauses" back to her room if they agreed to get young Charlie a present were, in fact, normal or healthy ways to celebrate.

Dennis and Dee's problems with Christmas as kids, of course, can be traced back to their father, Frank, who used to buy whatever they wanted ... and then give it to himself. He thought rubbing his ownership of their presents in their faces was hilarious, and they never forgave him for it. Apparently, he did it to others, too, including his old business partner, Eugene, who he also once defrauded. Hoping for revenge, Dennis and Dee track Eugene down and discover he's converted to Christianity and has long since forgiven Frank. Except, you know, not really — he was just pretending so he could get Frank to lower his guard and kill him. It doesn't work, but everyone is hilariously miserable by the end of the episode, one that also include a fantastic claymation sequence and the iconic moment of a naked Frank emerging from a sofa.

10. "The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore" (Season 7, Episode 2)

In this "Always Sunny" episode, Dennis and Dee strong-arm the rest of the gang into going to their favorite childhood vacation spot — the Jersey Shore. Naturally, everyone has the time of their lives ... except them. 

Charlie, who spends much of the day mistaking sunblock for an alcoholic beverage, ends up meeting the Waitress by chance and spending a romantic night with her. But as it turns out, she was high the whole time and rejects Charlie the next morning after waking up sober. And Mac, Frank, and their beloved rum ham drift out to sea after falling asleep on a raft, only to be picked up by a party yacht.

Dennis and Dee, however, are met with disaster after hilarious, terrifying disaster. Some of Dee's hair gets ripped out on a roller coaster, causing Dennis to get sick. At the hospital later, they join up with some partiers, reasoning that their trip couldn't possibly get worse. Only it absolutely can. The "partiers" are, in fact, dangerous criminals who effectively kidnap Dennis and Dee and force them to take angel dust and help them rob a laundromat. In the end, after a truly horrible vacation, Dennis and Dee — the ones who demanded everyone go — are now the ones demanding everyone leave the Jersey Shore asap.

9. "Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games" (Season 7, Episode 7)

When most people are bored, they throw something on TV or read a book. When the gang is bored, they play Chardee MacDennis, a psychotic, violent, three-level game in which the teams drink heavily and deceive, shout at, and abuse each other. Each round begins with the competitors feigning respect before screaming at each other like lunatics. Cheating is allowed if you don't get caught, but asking questions and cursing are against the rules. The prize is that the winning team gets to stomp on the others' game pieces. Needless to say, things get pretty insane. At one point, Frank has to eat the raw ingredients of a cake in order to escape a dog crate he'd been placed in.

As Charlie points out in the beginning of the episode, it's less of a game and more of a war, and as Dennis points out, he and Dee have never lost to Mac and Charlie. This time, however, Dennis and Dee get caught cheating, which allows the trailing team to tie the game just before the buzzer goes off. Mac and Charlie have victory in their sights for the first time, and Dennis and Dee are afraid their winning streak will be snapped at last. However, Frank flips a coin, which gives the win to Dennis and Dee. They stomp Mac and Charlie's pieces yet again in one of the funniest endings the show has ever had.

8. "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System" (Season 5, Episode 10)

We'd known for a while that Dennis Reynolds was a player with questionable habits, but season five's "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System" reveals just how far he routinely goes to get laid. 

If you break his acronymic system down, it's essentially just a quantified list of what jerks do to women all the time. (Demonstrate value. Engage physically. Nurture dependence. Neglect emotionally. Inspire hope. Separate entirely.) Gross, cruel, and immature, yes, but hardly anything criminal. Besides, we learn much more disturbing things about Dennis' conquests later on, like how he secretly films women he sleeps with, sometimes locks them in his room, sends "I consent" messages to his phone from theirs in order to dodge potential legal issues after they hook up, and how he may have actually murdered someone.

But still, there's something chilling about how he breaks down his manipulative approach to women in such cold and almost scientific fashion and then turns it into a system he can remorselessly teach to his idiot friends. Naturally, the rest of the gang decides to try some of Dennis' ideas out in their own romantic lives. It goes well at first, but their victims sniff it out and abandon them all. Their comeuppance is funny and well-deserved, even though you know nobody learned a thing.

7. "The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award" (Season 9, Episode 3)

In this "Always Sunny" episode, the gang is fed up with being underappreciated and ignored by the Restaurant Bar Association (RBA), which distributes an annual award to eateries around town with the best atmospheres, themes, and unique menu options. When they call to complain, they're informed by a representative that previous attempts to reach and include Paddy's Pub in the running had been rebuffed (the forms had always been returned covered in urine, fecal matter, and racial slurs). The gang insists they were only kidding and are determined to participate for real.

They begin by scoping out the competition. Sudz is a preppy, colorfully lit establishment in which the staff members play characters and act out sappy, sitcom-like scripts about love triangles between each other in order to entertain patrons. The gang finds this gimmicky and obnoxious, but they can't deny it's popular with both repeat guests and with the RBA.

So, they decide to implement a darker, edgier version of this approach back at Paddy's, with predictably hilarious and disastrous results. Nobody can remember lines, ad-libs go into offensive territory, and the vibe attracts the wrong type of crowd. In the end, the gang realizes they are indeed the reason for their own lack of recognition but decide they'd rather be unpopular and true to themselves then fake it for money.

6. "Time's Up for the Gang" (Season 13, Episode 4)

There was never much of a chance that a gang — consisting of Frank (a classic chauvinist), Charlie (a stalker), and Dennis (who rivals Barney Stinson when it comes to predatory behavior) — would make it through the #MeToo movement unscathed. Enter the "Sh***y Bar List," an online database of Philadelphia pubs with lousy reputations in the sexism department. To get Paddy's Pub removed, the owners have to attend a sensitivity seminar and pass a test.

The gang goes to the seminar, but their various personality issues prevent them from taking it seriously or understanding anything. Dee begins accusing nearly every man in sight of sexually harassing her. Charlie has a near meltdown after being forced to confront the fact that his stalking of the Waitress constitutes sexual harassment. Even worse, Dennis lectures some attendees on how whether or not a man's behavior is considered inappropriate depends on how attractive he is, how being gay doesn't mean you couldn't possibly commit harassment, and how it's okay to be ugly as long as you play your cards right. 

He then reveals that he guards against legal assault charges by sending himself "consent" forms from the phones of women he sleeps with, all before announcing that he had, in fact, created both the Sh***y Bar List and the seminar in order to lecture local bar owners. It's all at once disappointing, hilarious, and perfectly in character for the sociopathic Dennis.

5. "Mac And Dennis Move to the Suburbs" (Season 11, Episode 5)

It all starts with a bet. Frank insists that Mac and Dennis, who've moved to the suburbs to get a place for a reasonable price, won't be able to hack it for a full month on account of their being "city scum." They insist they can. If Frank wins the wager, they have to sleep in bed with an old man for a year. If they win, Frank pays their rent for the same amount of time.

Turns out, Frank is right. Mac and Dennis' initial excitement at the change of scenery quickly evaporates when they're forced to confront long commutes, malfunctioning smoke detectors, obnoxiously polite neighbors, and repetitive meals from Mac, who plays housewife while Dennis works. Both remain determined to last out the month, but their sanity and their relationship begin to spiral out of control.

And then, just when they're about to murder each other, Frank, Dee, and Charlie arrive to congratulate them on their victory — the month is over. Dennis and Mac are suddenly friendly again ... until they realize that Frank only agreed to pay their rent at this place for a year. They take the loss to avoid 11 more months of hell.

There's plenty to enjoy in this episode, but the best parts are Dennis' temper tantrums, which get more and more over the top as he loses his mind. Any Dennis meltdown is worth a watch, but these are probably the funniest.

4. "The Gang Goes to a Water Park" (Season 12, Episode 2)

Even when the gang is just looking to have some fun, they can't help being vindictive and insane. In "The Gang Goes to a Water Park," Dennis ends up finding a young protégé in the form of a 12-year-old girl. He teaches her how to steal out in the open and get away with it, and she becomes the master by using his lessons to rob his own locker. Meanwhile, Mac and Dee get trapped in a slide with a bunch of kids. It'd make for a good horror story if their hysterical performances didn't make it so funny.

At the same time, there's even more hilarious horror when Frank and Charlie, having set out to ride everything at the park, come upon a not-yet-opened water slide. Not seeing why a slide would need to be "turned on" like a roller coaster, the two hop on, only realizing on the way down that water slides require, well, water. Without it, the friction tears their backs open, pouring blood into the pool below. That'd be bad enough, only the "gruesome twosome" spent the day skipping to the front of lines by saying Charlie has AIDS, allowing him to go first as part of a Make-a-Wish-style program. The sight of "AIDS blood" in the water sends everyone into a panic, clearing the pool immediately.

3. "Hero or Hate Crime" (Season 12, Episode 6)

Whenever the gang goes to some kind of professional to settle their disputes, it never ends well. Therapists, lawyers, and judges alike have given up on these hysterical psychopaths in disgust and shock. Fortunately for us, this "Always Sunny" episode is no different, although it does have an important ending.

In the beginning of "Hero or Hate Crime," Mac is chasing a scratch-off lottery ticket that's slipped out of Dee's purse when a piano almost falls on top of him. Frank saves his life by shouting out a warning to him that includes a certain slur for gay people. Yes, that one.

The gang goes to an arbitrator to determine both who owns the scratch-off ticket (which nobody has even bothered to activate, making it likely worthless) and to settle whether or not Frank is, as the title suggests, a hero for saving Mac's life or a bigot for involving an offensive slur in the process. The ownership of the ticket itself is a mess to sort out due to various revelations. But it's the second issue that makes the episode memorable, in that Mac finally admits he's gay. Both we and the gang had suspected it for some time, but it was a disarmingly triumphant and heartfelt moment nonetheless.

2. "The Nightman Cometh" (Season 4, Episode 13)

Sing it with us: "Dayman, ah-ah-ahhhhh! Fighter of the Nightman. Ah-ah-ahhhh!" 

Sorry about stuffing that tune into your head, but everyone loves the most famous song from Charlie's absurd "Nightman" musical. It's about, well, a Dayman, played by Dennis, who fights a Nightman, played by Mac. Frank plays a troll, one who levies a toll on anyone who wants to get to "the boy's soul" (although, much to Charlie's irritation, Frank keeps accidentally saying "boy's hole"). Dee plays the princess, whose lines also seem pretty inappropriate in regards to kids, and when she ad-libs some lyrics explaining her character isn't a pervert, that enrages Charlie more.

In the end, though, despite the audience laughing at what the gang intended to be serious, Charlie descends onto the stage, dressed in a yellow outfit. He then proposes to the Waitress, who'd only attended on the condition that Charlie never speak to her again afterwards. Needless to say, she rejects his marriage offer and storms out, ending the episode.

It's one of the most bizarre and hilarious episodes the show ever did. It's also so popular that the actors led a crowd in a brief rendition of the song at the 2011 Comic-Con, and "Dayman" was adapted for the stage in real life.

1. "Charlie Work" (Season 10, Episode 4)

We know, we know. One-shot scenes can be a little gimmicky. But look no further than the opening of "Touch of Evil," that ambush scene from "Children of Men," and ... let us check our notes here ... an episode of FX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" for proof that it can be mesmerizing when done right.

It might seem weird that the high-water mark of a show known for being riotously funny is one of the least traditionally funny episodes there is. That's not to say that Season 10's "Charlie Work," in which Charlie frantically gets the pub in shape for an in-process health inspection without the inspector realizing, isn't hysterical. It is. There are plenty of hilarious lines and moments, like the opening scene when Charlie rushes to warn everyone about the impending surprise inspection and stumbles upon the rest of the gang stuffing dozens of chickens into cages to pull of an air mileage scam (don't ask).

But it's the mind-blowing craftsmanship of the episode, featuring the aforementioned, unbroken, seven-minute inspection sequence that make it so memorable. It's one of those things they must've rehearsed a hundred times to pull off so seamlessly, and it shows.