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What The Men Of Mayhem Patch Really Means On Sons Of Anarchy

There were quite a few elements to "Sons of Anarchy" that set it apart when it first premiered on FX in 2008, but its biggest splash on the TV landscape at the time had to be that audiences just hadn't ever seen a world like this highlighted in a one-hour episodic series. Creator Kurt Sutter cut his teeth writing on FX's headbanger of a cop show "The Shield," and he brought the same sort of intensity (along with a bunch of cast members) to the fictional town of Charming. 

Sutter is also a motorcycle enthusiast himself, meaning he shot for a level of authenticity with the look and feel of "Sons of Anarchy" that made pushed it to the top of the heap in the ratings before too long. The brand continues to this day, with spin-off series "Mayans M.C." still going strong on FX. With all the patches and punches and ceremonies and ranks being thrown around in "Sons of Anarchy," it can be hard to keep track — if Sutter and company ever decide to explain at all. 

If you've seen the series, though, you've seen the Men of Mayhem patch on some of the original show's bikers, and there is a good reason behind the patch ... and how the characters who wear it actually earn it. 

The Men of Mayhem patch was only for some members

The Men of Mayhem patch in "Sons of Anarchy" was limited to only some characters, and for good reason. To earn one of these patches, a member of the club needs to prove themselves in some way and do something invaluable for his brothers. This means a member has put themselves in great danger for the sake of the club. "Sons of Anarchy" had plenty of characters who had done that. 

One character who begins the series without the Men of Mayhem patch is Juice (Theo Rossi), who is one of the newer members to "Sons of Anarchy" when the show begins. Juice has as wild of a ride as anyone else in the Kurt Sutter-created drama, even being forced into becoming an informant at one point. Ironically, it is during this double life that Juice earns his Men of Mayhem patch. Clay (Ron Perlman), himself a bit duplicitous, gives Juice his patch, solidifying his place among the men. Juice earns this accolade by killing a newer member named Miles (Frank Potter) who catches one of Juice's many hidden actions on behalf of the police squeezing him. 

Numerous other characters wore the patch, including Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and Opie (Ryan Hurst), the latter of whom has spent years behind bars for the club when the show opens. As many know, he'll go on to sacrifice much more, as is typically required in a Kurt Sutter series.