15 Standout Episodes From the First 15 Years of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'
Despite a glaring lack of love from awards show voters, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia cemented its place in television history when it became the longest-running live-action comedy series this May after FXX renewed the show for a 15th season. (Not bad for a TV show that started as a bare-bones pilot filmed in the actors’ apartments!)
As the gang starts plotting out Season 15, we’re marking the show’s 15th anniversary on August 4 by rounding up 15 standout episodes—all of which have earned a score above 9.0/10 from IMDb voters.
Season 2, Episode 3: “Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare”
Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) quit their jobs to pursue their life passions with unemployment money, but once they realize their unemployment benefits will eventually run out, they start using cocaine for a welfare scheme.
Season 2, Episode 4: “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom”
After Mac (Rob McElhenney) sleeps with Dennis’s mom (guest star Anne Archer), Dennis decides turnabout is fair play.
Season 4, Episode 2: “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis”
Mac, Dennis, and Charlie (Charlie Day) decide to exploit sky-high gas prices by selling gas door to door.
Season 4, Episode 13: “The Nightman Cometh”
In the show’s beloved musical episode, Charlie stages a rock opera based on his Nightman character. The cast later performed the musical in concerts around the United States.
Season 5, Episode 2: “The Gang Hits the Road”
The gang piles into a subcompact car to take Charlie on a rare trip outside Philadelphia… and to give him his first experience eating a pear.
Season 5, Episode 10: “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System”
Dennis introduces his scheme for picking up women: Demonstrate Value, Engage Physically, Nurture Dependence, Neglect Emotionally, Inspire Hope, and Separate Entirely.
Season 6, Episode 7: “Who Got Dee Pregnant?”
After Dee reveals she’s pregnant, the guys of the gang try remembering the details of their Halloween party to determine if one of them is the father.
Season 6, Episode 13: “A Very Sunny Christmas”
This double-length season finale features the gang’s ill-fated attempt to rediscover the joy of Christmas. It was produced for season 5 and released on DVD in November 2009, but it wasn’t aired on FX until more than a year later.
Season 7, Episode 2: “The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore”
The gang takes a disastrous trip to the Jersey Shore, where Dee and Dennis would go on vacation as kids. Calamity ensues, including Mac and Frank (Danny DeVito) getting lost at sea.
Season 7, Episode 7: “Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games”
Out of boredom, the gang plays another round of a board game they invented, the titular Chardee MacDennis. (See also: Season 11’s “Chardee MacDennis: Electric Boogaloo.”)
Season 9, Episode 3: “The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award”
Fed up with their lack of recognition at the Annual Bar Association Awards—and not at all the Emmy Awards—the gang tries whatever it takes to pander to get voters on their side.
Season 10, Episode 4: “Charlie Work”
Charlie discovers that a health inspector is en route to Paddy’s Pub—just as the bar is inundated by live chickens as part of the gang’s latest scam.
Season 12, Episode 2: “The Gang Goes to a Water Park”
Frank and Charlie embark upon a quest to ride every ride at a water park in this episode, which also featured cameos by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Season 12, Episode 6: “Hero or Hate Crime”
A professional arbitrator has to step in to settle the gang’s dispute over who rightfully owns a scratch-off lottery ticket.
Season 13, Episode 4: “Time’s Up for the Gang”
The gang must attend a sexual harassment seminar after Paddy’s ends up on a list of unsafe establishments for women.