Best It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Episodes Ranked

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
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Well, how ironic is it that sometimes it isn’t always sunny in Philadelphia… Terrible segue aside, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been one of the most consistently excellent shows for a while now. And yes, while its irreverent humour has occasionally crossed a line (Yeah even It’s Always Sunny has its limits), that hasn’t stopped it becoming the longest running live action American Sitcom. So, with more It’s Always Sunny on the horizon, what better time to rank the very best episodes it has to offer? Anyway, before I get into the list properly, here is some history about the show.


It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (IASIP) first premiered on Fox in 2005 and has also since aired on Netflix. That is if you can still use Netflix with the imminent password crackdown. Anyway, the show has just aired its 16th season on FXX, a slightly different variant in FX apparently as Seasons 9 through 16 have aired on FXX, but it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows for the hit show. And yes, I’m referring to the horribly dated blackface episodes which have rightly been cut from Netflix as well as FX or FXX as even cast members have admitted how poor of an idea that was and is.

Bar that very obvious misstep, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia received critical praise for how it portrays the gang as utter sociopaths. But while still making them very entertaining. See Velma? This is what you were writing for your ‘likeable lead’. Anyway, dig aside let’s get into the best episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

10. Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer (S8, E6) 

One of the best things about It’s Always Sunny is how far the characters will go to try and spend time with each other. Oh, and also don’t let any of these characters be your role model because they’re awful. Anyway, during a routine trip to his mum’s house Charlie finds out she has cancer. So naturally he starts exploring every single avenue to cure her. This involves marijuana from a very legitimate doctor, going to church and then shaving her head and trying to mine sympathy from the Church congregation. Well that escalated quickly. While I won’t give the ending away, this episode does a great job exploring Charlie’s complicated relationship with his mother and his unusual coping mechanisms.

9. The Gang Gets Quarantined (S9, E7) 

Surprisingly this is an episode from way back in 2013 and it was about the flu rather than the dreaded other virus. Anyway, when a nasty flu outbreak forces Frank to quarantine the gang in the bar to keep them from losing their voices for a singing contest it all descends into madness. Whether it’s everyone, bar Frank, not knowing what a quarantine is or him slowly locking all of the gang in the bathroom this episode is great. Oh and the fact it’s also full of the usual escalating tensions and absurd antics of Philadelphia’s finest bar.

8. Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare (S2, E3) 

Once again, don’t let these characters be your role models as this episode especially proves. When Dennis and Dee find out about the welfare system they attempt to abuse it. Already morally reprehensible until the plan devolves into them buying crack in order to fool the welfare officers. However, I’m sure you can imagine how well this plan works out. It’s not like Mac and Charlie’s plan works out much better either as their plan to steal money from Frank for a shopping spree. All while Frank also exploits the system to try and get cheaper labour. Overall a great episode with some fantastic humorous situations.

7. Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person (S3, E9) 

Maybe it’s poetic that I reviewed Meg 2: The Trench this weekend as this episode sees Dennis jump the gun on assuming that Dee’s new rapper boyfriend is mentally challenged. On top of this, Mac and Charlie try to start a band but can’t work out what music to play. It probably isn’t helped by Charlie’s only song being about a mysterious creature called the Night Man who violates him in his sleep. And I’m sure that won’t be the last episode that features the Night Man. Anyway, yeah Dee’s boyfriend may end up going 8 Mile or Taylor Swift on her at the end. Overall, the gang’s politically incorrect misunderstandings make for a controversial but memorable episode.

6. The Gang Goes on Family Fight (S10, E8) 

What’s better than one cast member of the Super Mario Bros Movie being in It’s Always Sunny? How about two cast members? Anyway, when the gang enters the definitely not a Family Feud rip off show, Family Fight, to try and win money it all devolves very quickly. Whether it’s Charlie not understanding how the answering system works, Charlie’s answers skewing the game for the gang or Dennis trying to get the gang to behave appropriately only to end up having a panic attack on the floor. Oh, and Keegan Michael Key is great as the game show host who slowly gets annoyed at the gang. As usual there’s some hilarious and cringe-worthy interactions.

5. The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis (S4, E2) 

Why do you need proper trained economists to fix a gas crisis when you can get some bartenders from Philadelphia to do it? When gas prices skyrocket, Mac, Dennis and Charlie start to fill up containers with fuel in order to sell it door to door. Meanwhile, I hear you asking what Dee and Frank are up to? Well, they’re trying to brand her and Dennis’s biological father as a terrorist. Why you ask? Because he was donating money left to him by Dee’s mum to a Muslim community centre. And they would have got anyway with it too if they hadn’t been following the wrong man the entire time…. Who would have seen their plan having unexpected consequences.

4. Mac and Charlie Die (S4, E5) 

Oh my god, but what about the other 12 series of the show? Terrible segue aside, I’m putting both parts on this list because they’re equally insane and brilliant. When it turns out that Mac’s dad is a little bit peeved that his son and Charlie put him in prison Mac and Charlie decide to steal Dee’s credit card and fake their deaths. However, that goes about as well as you can expect… And, somehow the B plot is even more weird as Frank and Dennis start obsessing over the fact that there’s a gloryhole in one of the Paddy’s Pub bathrooms so naturally try and exploit it to get pretty women. What a lovely group of people….

3. The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore (S7, E2) 

Surely, the Jersey Shore won’t be exactly like the trashy reality show? Well, when the gang decide to take a holiday to the Jersey Shore, there’s a series of absurd events and memorable moments. These range from the Waitress being off her head on drugs and having a romantic moment with Charlie, Dennis and Dee getting involved with a criminal gang and Frank and Mac getting stranded at sea with a rum soaked ham. And yes that leads to them being rescued by a party boat full of Jersey Shore wannabe contestants. Also, I feel like everyone needs to see Danny DeVito yelling Rum Ham. Overall, a very fun episode with a 180 from the start of the episode in terms of character development. 

2. Charlie Work (S10, E4)  

While Charlie doesn’t normally have a lot of pride, this episode demonstrates the one day which he takes pride in above anything else: Health Inspection Day. Considering the fact Paddy’s has never failed one solely thanks to Charlie, he certainly wasn’t going to start failing now. Despite the rest of the gang trying to run a steak scam. Oh as well as a scheme with chickens that threaten to tank the rating. The best thing this episode showcases is Charlie’s chaotic yet ingenious efforts to maintain Paddy’s Pub during a health inspection.

1. The Nightman Cometh (S4, E13) 

And the best episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is….. The Nightman Cometh. When this episode leads to a live play which ran for 6 dates you know this is a very good episode. Charlie’s dream to put on his musical, The Nightman Cometh, with the gang turns out to naturally be a mess. Whether it’s the entire thing being an elaborate set up to propose to the Waitress or Frank’s performance or just everyone deciding to improve their parts halfway through it’s clear to see why this is a fan favourite episode. Who doesn’t love the gang’s hilariously terrible attempt at putting on a musical?

What are your favourite It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes? Let me know in the comments below!