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Characters: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
You are the worst group of people who have ever lived.
—Bruce Mathis

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    The Gang 

Dennis Reynolds

Played By: Glenn Howerton

Dennis is a co-owner of Paddy's and is Deandra's twin brother. Dennis is extremely narcissistic, selfish, histrionic and vain perpetuated by his Ivy League education at the University of Pennsylvania. His sense of self-worth is entirely dependent on what others think of his appearance and he often suggests the best way to sleep with a woman is to make her think she may be raped, or by using his personal system, the D.E.N.N.I.S. system.

  • A God Am I: For some reason, realizing that he controls his own life in "Charlie Rules the World" leads to this mindset.
  • Alliterative Name: Uses the pseudonym "Hugh Honey" in "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis".
  • Ambiguously Bi: Although Dennis is a serial womanizer, he also delves pretty heavily into this area as well:
    • There is an episode called "Mac and Dennis Break Up." The title of the episode is only the beginning of the pseudo-romantic relationship antics.
    • In "The Aluminum Monster vs. Fatty Magoo" Dennis dresses up in a tight silver dress to "properly model it", using basketballs as "breasts" and wearing bright red lipstick. He does this while listening to Rick Astley. He considers this the highest point in his life. Or, as he calls it, his "peak."
    • In "America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest" he competes to be the male model on the nonexistent Paddy's billboard. His outfits get gayer and gayer each scene — going from a polo to a tight grey v-neck with a black cropped vest.
    • Dennis thinks he knows absolutely everything there is to know about gay sex. As seen in "The Gang Sells Out." And he considers himself to be a power-bottom.
    • In the first episode of the entire series, Dennis has a drunken threesome with two men that wasn't part of the plan to get revenge on Dennis for his comments on gay men.
    • In "Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens", Dennis models a pair of thong underwear he plans to sell at Paddy's, saying, "I'm not wearin' these because I'm comfortable, I'm wearin' 'em because I wanna turn you on!
    • In "The Gang Reignites the Rivalry", he tells Frank that back in college, he would stick the tip of his penis in his frat brothers' mouths.
    • Mac makes a plan to "plow some ass." Dennis' reaction is to smile and nod his head, seemingly totally on-board with the plan. When Mac clarifies "not gay sex" Dennis looks upset, and says he thought that's what Mac meant.
    • When Dennis and Mac become manhunters, Dennis is just as onboard as Mac is with all of the homoerotic pranking.
    • The DVD Commentary track to Mac and Dennis Break Up basically confirms that Mac and Dennis are in the closet, with Rob Mc Elhenney saying that he's spinning all over the place with his sexuality but will eventually "land on a dick".
    • Dennis in "The Gang Dines Out" sings "You're the Wind Beneath My Wings" (as a tribute) to Mac.
  • Berserk Button: Do not ever question his vanity. The results are not pretty.
  • Camp Straight
  • Casanova Wannabe: Dennis is not nearly as charming or magnetic as he thinks he is.
    • His use of the D.E.N.N.I.S. System. He's first shown using it on a woman who works at the pharmacy. In the beggining, it works, but she later realizes he's a jerk and wants nothing to do with him. Later he uses his system on a married woman and uses a girdle, make-up, and some gossip to seduce her, causing her to think he's Camp Gay.
  • Control Freak: To the point of ordering dishes for the other members of the gang at restaurants.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tends to snark on the others' idiocy with callous indifference.
  • Dirty Coward
  • Even the Guys Want Him
  • The Face: He's the only member of the group who can function in certain social situations.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Fetish:
    • Anonymous sex, particularly glory holes. Major plot point of "Mac & Charlie Die Part 2."
    • Controlling someone else's life. Before it he was just creepily controlling over minor things like meal decisions, but season 8's "Frank's Back in Business" confirms that it's a sexual thing when Dennis attempts to "get off" by impersonating a dead businessman.
    • The season 7 finale reveals he also has a thing for bondage, which actually ties in quite nicely with the control-freak tendencies mentioned above.
  • Freudian Excuse: His amoral father Frank.
    • His mother also heavily favored him to Dee, constantly feeding his ego to the point that by high school he referred to himself as a "golden god."
  • Future Loser: Frequently states that he was the Big Man on Campus (and peaked) while in High School. The Season 7 finale reveals that this was all a lie; Dennis was no more popular than Mac and Charlie.
  • Handsome Lech
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: He has his moments, though the "heroic" part is usually accidental.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mac.
  • Incest Subtext: Has a weird habit of calling his sister "baby", "babe" and "babygirl." They also slow-dance in "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off".
    • Though he also is the loudest of all the gang when it comes to insulting Dee and pointing out every physical flaw, and in the episode where it was implied Dennis might have unknowingly slept with her, he literally would not stop vomiting.
    • "Dammit, Frank, I am NOT banging my sister!"
    • When Dee's about to leave, Dennis decides to go beyond subtext and gives her a speech about how he's perfect for her and loves her. So he could go to Hollywood with her. This says one of three things, either:
      • a) he does really love his sister.
      • b) he's willing to be romantically involved with her, just so he can go to Hollywood.
      • c) the only way he knows to manipulate a woman is in a pseudo-romantic fashion.
  • Instant Expert: Thinks of himself as this, but the reality is otherwise.
  • It's All About Me: He couldn't care less about his friends most of the time.
  • Ivy League For Everyone: He went to University of Pennsylvania and, unlike his sister, he graduated.
  • Jerkass: Arguably the biggest of them.
  • Karma Houdini: On occasion.
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Lolicon: Has an obsession with younger girls. Only dated freshman in High School.
    • Competes with Charlie for the affection of a 12 year old.
    • Even when he's now in his mid thirties, he likes to go for 18 year old girls still. Charlie points out that's kind of weird.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Mistaken for Gay: In "The Gang Gets Racist" Terrell, Dee's friend from acting class, is quite interested in Dennis. When they turn the pub into a gay bar, his greed and vanity is perfectly comfortable with letting all the guys flirt with him as long as he was making cash and feeling good about himself.
    • In "High School Reunion", a married women who he's hitting on is confused when he says that he wants to show her what a boring piece of shit her husband by doing sexual things to her because he gossiped about her husband and his vanity lead him to wear makeup and a girdle.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: In "Mac is a Serial Killer" Dee and Dennis pretend to be serial killers and stalk The Waitress.
  • Narcissist : For a perfect example, in "Charlie Rules The World" He blows himself in a state of realization that he is God of his own universe.
  • Neat Freak
  • Not so Above It All: Dennis, apparently the most normal of the Gang, is slowly revealed to be the most sociopathic of all of them.
  • Of Corsets Funny: Dennis is so obsessed with primping that he wears a girdle when he wants to look his best.
  • The Pornomancer
  • Psychopathic Manchild: While Mac and Charlie are more openly immature and childish, Dennis' immaturity takes form in the spiteful way he reacts when not given his way, his lack of responsibility and self-awareness and his inability to see the considerable psychological damage he inflicts on everyone around him as anything more than a game.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Mac's Red.
  • Schemer: The D.E.N.N.I.S. system for seducing women. Demonstrate value, Engage physically, Nurture dependence, Neglect emotionally, Inspire hope, Separate entirely
  • Shirtless Scene: In nearly every episode of Season 3, Dennis "pops his shirt off."
  • Sissy Villain: A rare Villain Protagonist version.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: So much that this could probably be renamed The Dennis.
  • Smug Snake: Nowhere near as smart or charming as he clearly thinks he is.
  • The Sociopath: Frequently implied.
    Dennis: I am having—this is crazy—but I'm having feelings again, like some kind of 14 year-old kid or something. I mean, you remember feelings, right?
    Mac: Yeah. I have feelings every single day of my life.
    Dennis: Do you?
    Mac: Are you saying you don't have feelings?
    • It gets really creepy in "The Gang Buys a Boat", where Dennis tells Mac the reason they bought the boat would be so he could bring women on it and have guaranteed sex with them. By his logic, a woman would never say no to sex on a boat because of "the implication."
    • His whole subplot in "Charlie's Mom has Cancer" revolves around how he's stopped feeling emotions; lack of emotion is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) signs of a sociopath.
    • When he reveals that he has an entire system for emotionally manipulating and abusing women, Dee straight up calls him one, with good reason. Other gags in various episodes imply he's perfectly comfortable with outright raping women, to the point of having a special hidden compartment in his car for duct tape and ropes.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else: A comedic example. Dennis appears to be the most well-adjusted, handsome, and friendly member of the gang at first glance. Under the surface he's a sociopath whose favorite activities involve manipulating women into sex and exercising total control over his friend's lives.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
    • When he's rejected by the wife of the man who had sex with his prom date at his high school reunion, he rushes out to his car fetches items including ropes and duct tape. When questioned, he begins screaming that he needs his "tools" and that he needs to "bind and be bound."
    • When he's rejected by his old fraternity, he becomes increasingly unhinged, screaming in harsh falsetto that they're all "idiots!" and he's "a goddamn legend!"

Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds

Played By: Kaitlin Olson

Deandra (usually called Dee) is Dennis' twin sister, the main bartender at Paddy's and the show's main female character. She is most often subject to ridicule from The Gang in many different forms: they call her extremely ugly (resembling a bird in a negative and humorous way), lazy, completely talentless, and don't count her as one of the gang, but rather as just someone who works for them. Dee dreams of becoming an actress even though she has no acting experience and has no talent, however, she deludes herself into falsely thinking she is a talented actress/comedienne. Like her brother, Dee is very egocentric and often states that she thinks she is talented and pretty, although she is constantly reminded that these statements are not true, as an example, she has been told she is "a disgusting whore" and "looks like a holocaust victim".

  • Abusive Parents: Her mother thought she was completely worthless, going as far as to call her "a mistake" in her will in spite of the fact that Dee's a twin.
  • All of the Other Reindeer
  • Attention Whore
  • Back from the Dead: After Mac, Charlie and Dee fake their own deaths, they hide in the office of Paddy's. When Frank and Dennis come in, they run out — carrying sparklers — and Sweet Dee yells "Surprise, bitches! We're alive and it's blowing your MINDS right now!"
  • Blondes are Evil: Sometimes.
  • Butt Monkey: Watch any episode of this show. Any episode. If not her, then Charlie. Usually both of them.
  • Character Tics: Kicks in the air when she's angry. Stems from Frank asking to be a part of The Gang, and Dee threatening to "kick the pillars [of Paddy's] in" while kicking at Frank.
  • Characterization Marches On: Sweet Dee's character was originally written to be the voice of the reason or the "useless chick". Kaitlin Olson described the dialogue as "Charlie says something hilarious. Mac says something hilarious. Dennis says something awesome. And Sweet Dee goes 'You guys! That won't work!' " By the end of the first season, Dee is just as deranged and depraved as the guys.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments. Of course, that comes with having to put up with the boys' shit.
  • Eats Babies: Or, at least claims to in "Hundred Dollar Baby."
  • Fag Hag: In "The Gang Gets Racist" the man she is interested in is gay. In turn, he is very interested in Dennis.
  • Faking the Dead: In "Mac and Charlie Die Part 2" Dee leads Dennis to believe she has been murdered.
  • Freak Out: Over poop in "Who Pooped the Bed?".
  • Freudian Excuse: Again, Frank as a father and a a mother who criticized everything about her, made it known that Dee was unwanted (despite that she and Dennis are fraternal twins) and favored Dennis over her - she has very poor self esteem (aided by way of having to spend most of her teenage years walking with heavy braces due to Scoliosis) and a laundry list of neuroses.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes
  • Hollywood Homely: In-Universe. The gang constantly insults her looks in the most vicious way though she doesn't look significantly different from other female characters.
  • Hypocrite: Although Dee considers herself to be a compassionate liberal, in truth she is greedy and manipulative (at least from season 2 onward).
  • Incest Subtext: Dennis frequently calls her "baby", "babe" or "babygirl." They also slow-dance in "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off".
    • Though he also is the loudest of all the gang when it comes to insulting Dee and pointing out every physical flaw, and in the episode where it was implied Dennis might have unknowingly slept with her, he literally would not stop vomiting.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: After finding a baby in the Dumpster behind Paddy's, she and Mac decide to raise it and put it into showbiz.
    • When a passerby asks his name, Mac replies with D.B. — which is short for Dumpster Baby.
  • Jerkass
  • The Lad-ette: She chugs beer and swears like a sailor like the rest of the boys, though she still pretends she is a glamorous starlet like the girls in Sex and the City
  • Manipulative Bitch: We find out in "Dee Gives Birth" that she emotionally abuses men into sleeping with her.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: In "Mac is a Serial Killer" Dee and Dennis pretend to be serial killers and stalk The Waitress.
  • Only Sane Woman: In the first season. Though they eventually made her just as depraved as everyone else, because otherwise there would be no reason why she would even associate with these people.
  • Parental Incest: She and Frank pose as an engaged couple, and even go as far as getting married. Although Frank isn't Sweet Dee's biological father, it's still creepy.
  • Shirtless Scene: "The Gang Solves The North Korea Situation."
  • Show Some Leg: On more than one occasion, Dee dresses as a prostitute.
  • Slap Stick Knows No Gender: Body humor, pratfalls, and Amusing Injuries are Sweet Dee's signatures.
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • The Smurfette Principle
  • Straight Woman: The reason she gets so many scenes with Charlie is because she's the most successful at remaining deadpan when he starts riffing off the cuff.
  • The Unfavorite: Her mother thought Dennis could do nothing wrong and she could do nothing right.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
  • Who's Your Daddy?: The boys spend most of a season trying to figure out who got her pregnant. Turns out she was the surrogate for Carmen the transsexual and her husband Nick.

Ronald "Mac" McDonald

Played By: Rob McElhenney

Charlie Kelly's childhood friend and Dennis's high school friend and later roommate. He is a co-owner of Paddy's and its bouncer. He brags about his incredible hand-to-hand combat skills, though it is quite obvious he lacks any real skill or even a sense of proper athletic balance.

  • Abusive Parents: Mother was emotionally vacant and his father went to prison when he was 8 or 9 for dealing meth and heroin.
  • Alliterative Name: Uses the pseudonym "Vick Vinegar" in "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis".
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • There is an episode called "Mac and Dennis Break Up." The title of the episode is only the beginning of the pseudo-romantic relationship antics.
    • Upon finding out that Charlie was molested as a child by the school's gym teacher, he wonders why he wasn't, and flirts with the man who allegedly did it.
    • Insists that The Waitress dress up like Dennis before they attempt to have sex. Also, Mac insists on being the bottom.
    • He's obsessed with the male physique, and chooses action films to watch purely on the muscularity of their stars.
    • He's obsessed with Chase Utley. He admits, "In many ways I do love him," but insists not in a romantic way.
    • By season 8 it's not that ambiguous any more :
      • In "The Gang Recycles Their Trash", he tries to kiss Dennis.
      • In "Charlie and Dee Find Love", he oils up and wrestles with another man. It looks a lot like they are having sex.
      • In "The Gang gets Analyzed", he notices a pen on the therapist's table, thinks it looks like a dick, then starts fondling it, and sucking on it. According to Dennis he does that all the time.
      • In "The gang Dines Out", he feels the waiter's ass when tipping him the same way Frank and Dennis felt the hostess's breasts.
    • By Season 9, he's not even fooling the rest of the Gang anymore. "Mac Day" has everyone simultaneously agreeing that Mac is completely gay and deeply in denial after he drags them to a Bodybuilder competition so they can "oil up beefcakes".
    • And yet again, in Season 9, where Mac has a fantasy dream sequence where he goes to heaven. Apparently his image of heaven is a bunch of super muscular shirtless men in angel wings standing by a sexy shirtless God.
  • Anything That Moves: Had sex with Margaret McPoyle, a woman he's openly disgusted by, simply because she offered.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: See Ambiguously Gay. Now combine that with the fact that Mac said AIDs is God's punishment for gays in "Mac Day".
    • There's also an episode called "Mac Fights Gay Marriage" though he's really just using homophobia as an excuse to be upset that some guy married Carmen, a woman.
    • In "Mac Day", he apparently spent 5 hours lecturing them about the evils of homosexuality. Everyone else said it was incredibly blatant he had a boner the entire time. Later in the episode, he has himself and the gang grease up male bodybuilders.
  • Back from the Dead: After Mac, Charlie and Dee fake their own deaths, they hide in the office of Paddy's. When Frank and Dennis come in, they run out — carrying sparklers — and Sweet Dee yells "Surprise, bitches! We're alive and it's blowing your MINDS right now!"
  • Badass Longcoat: "It's not a jacket, it's a duster. It's like a jacket, only it's longer, thicker, and far more badass. I look like Lorenzo Lamas, and women find it irresistible." Subverted though, in that Mac is anything but a badass.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Big Eater: To the point of gaining a significant amount of weight in Season 7.
  • Dirty Coward
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Mistreatment of mothers is one of the many things that set him off.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He is typically the only one to protest the scheme that the gang cooks up if it's too morally reprehensible. He also once told off Dennis and Dee for their plan to go on welfare after their unemployment runs out.
    Mac: Welfare is for people who need it, like drug addicts and single mothers. It's not for over privileged pieces of shit who want to waste millions in taxpayer dollars.
    • When he wants out of the Gang's schemes he sometimes just leaves and says "I'm washing my hands of the whole situation!" He has gone back to their schemes after leaving, though.
  • Fake Band: Chemical Toilet.
  • Faking the Dead: "Mac and Charlie Die" Parts 1 and 2. He and Charlie fake their death in order to escape from Mac's father, who they believe is trying to kill them.
  • Freudian Excuse: His father was a meth dealer who was in prison for most of Mac's life and his mother did not care about him at all - he constantly seeks approval and attention.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: He becomes this in "Mac Day" due to his constant denial of who he really is.
  • Global Ignorance: Apparently thinks Philadelphia and Detroit are states.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Dennis.
  • Hypocrite: Mac is a very devout Catholic but lives by absolutely none of the church's teachings. Most notably, he joins an anti-abortion movement until he believes that he gets a girl pregnant, then suggests that she get an abortion.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: When he and Charlie fake their own deaths, they hide in the air-vent during their joint funeral at Paddy's, talking at full volume. This alerts Dennis that they aren't actually dead.
  • Instant Expert: Often believes Himself to be this but he really, really isn't.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: After finding a baby in the Dumpster behind Paddy's, Dee and Mac decide to raise it and put it into showbiz.
    • When a passerby asks his name, Mac replies with D.B. — which is short for Dumpster Baby.
  • Jerkass
  • Likes Older Women: As a result of sleeping with Dennis and Dee's mother.
  • Man Child: While Dennis, Charlie, and Dee show shades of this as well, Mac is by FAR the biggest example. He's constantly doing childish stunts for his "Project Badass" videos, and notice how he acts anytime he shares the screen with his parents.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He was a drug dealer in high school and ratted on all the other dealers to free up the market.
  • Miles Gloriosus
  • Mistaken for Gay: Seen in the original pilot that was pitched to FX.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: The episode "Mac is a Serial Killer." He's actually banging Carmen the Transexual. Again.
  • Mistaken for Racist: "The Gang Gets Racist." Need I say more?
  • Only One Name: Mac. Just Mac. It was believed to be his last name, because his parents are referred to as Mrs. Mac and Luther Mac to keep the gag going. But in "The Gang Cracks The Liberty Bell", in which Mac, Dennis and Charlie tell the story of The Gang's 1776 counterparts cracking the Liberty Bell, he is referred to as "MacDonald." "The High School Reunion" gives us the whole thing: Ronald McDonald.
  • Progressively Prettier: Inverted in Season 7, where he suddenly gains 60 pounds and becomes a lot less good looking. Rob McElhenney was actually really annoyed at the trend of Progressively Prettier in television, especially for actors that play characters that would have no access to (blatantly obvious) plastic surgery or personal trainers, so he put on a ton of weight just to mock the practice.
  • Psychopathic Man Child
  • Raised Catholic: Played for Laughs since he only remembers his Catholic faith when he wants to complain or to criticize other people.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Dennis' Blue.
  • Schemer: The M.A.C. system for seducing Dennis' castoffs. Move-in After Completion
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: To the point of making the rest of the gang do it to when they have to all listen to him for the day in "Mac Day".
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • Smart Ball: Easily the biggest victim of this. Depending on the episode, his intelligence can vary wildly from one of the more rational members to even dumber than Charlie.
  • Stout Strength: This varies in Season 7 when he puts on 50 pounds.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Frequently greets walks into Paddy's and yells "What's up, bitches?"
  • Temporary Bulk Change: This occurs in Season 7.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He tells a mob boss's wife that he won't sleep with her because she's gross in "The Gang Gets Whacked".
  • Unfortunate Name: Ronald McDonald
    • And his nickname was Ronnie the Rat for narcing on drug dealers in high school.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy

Charlie Kelly

Played By: Charlie Day

Charlie is co-owner at Paddy's and a childhood friend of Mac and Dennis. Frank is his roommate and possible biological father. Charlie is the janitor at the pub and an illiterate alcoholic and vapors huffer who suffers from deep psychological problems and has anger management issues and often screams to get his point across. He lives in squalor. Charlie's intentions are often pure but his plans are almost always foiled.

  • Asexuality: While he's obviously got romantic feelings for the Waitress, Charlie is implied to have very little interest in sex, and even explicitly stated so in a deleted scene.
  • Back from the Dead: After Mac, Charlie and Dee fake their own deaths, they hide in the office of Paddy's. When Frank and Dennis come in, they run out — carrying sparklers — and Sweet Dee yells "Surprise, bitches! We're alive and it's blowing your MINDS right now!"
  • Bad Bad Acting: His acting in Lethal Weapon 5 is so terrible that Dennis and Mac seriously consider cutting him out completely.
  • Beware the Nice/Silly Ones: When Charlie has been wronged, and is on his A-Game, he can easily become the biggest Chessmaster in the series.
  • Bumbling Sidekick
  • Butt Monkey: Watch any episode of this show. Any episode. If not him, then Sweet Dee. Usually both of them.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Multiple times.
  • The Cast Showoff: Charlie, like his actor, can sing and play piano.
  • Chaotic Stupid
  • Chekhov's Gun: Often has some sort of crazy idea, scheme or object that's meaning isn't clear until the very end. Ex: "The Nightman Cometh"
  • The Chessmaster: Mostly in "Mac bangs Dennis' Mom," but, it's still present.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: His favorite food? "Milk steak". Hobby? Magnets. Likes? Ghouls. ("You know, funny little green ghouls?") Dislikes? People's knees.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: In "A Very Sunny Christmas" Charlie repeatedly screams "DID YOU FUCK MY MOM?!" at a mall Santa, and then takes a bite out of his neck.
    • In "Mac & Dennis: Manhunters" Charlie drops the F-bomb. It was (obviously) censored when it aired on TV, and disappointingly censored on the Season 4 DVDs.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
  • The Danza: Charlie Kelly is played by Charlie Day.
    • May also apply to his in-universe Expy, the Dayman.
  • Dumb Is Good: Charlie is the least intelligent member of the Gang but is also the least morally bankrupt.
  • Extreme Omnivore: He doesn't deny the possibility of newspaper, credit card fragments, and wolf hair being in his stool in "Who Pooped the Bed?". In "The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore", he drinks sunscreen.
  • Faking the Dead: "Mac and Charlie Die" Parts 1 and 2. He and Mac fake their death in order to escape from Mac's father, who they believe is trying to kill them.
  • Flanderization: He who went from "somewhat awkward, sometimes loud, and occasionally dim-witted, with a mild crush on this one waitress" to "entirely illiterate and completely insane Stalker with a Crush with No Indoor Voice."
  • Freudian Excuse: He was an abortion survivor (may or may not have contributed to his impaired mental faculties) with no father (though Frank may be Charlie's missing father), an OCD, overbearing, and sexually promiscuous mother, and was most likely molested as a child (the "Nightman" song) - explains a lot.
  • Genius Ditz: Charlie has natural piano talent and can pull off some very Machiavellian plots when properly motivated.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Frank.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being functionally illiterate, he was able to compose and direct a musical in "The Nightman Cometh". He can play piano quite well and is skilled at sewing.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: When he and Mac fake their own deaths, they hide in the air-vent during their joint funeral at Paddy's, talking at full volume. This alerts Dennis that they aren't actually dead.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He shows more empathy than any other member of The Gang and seems to have slightly higher ethical standards.
  • Kavorka Man: He gets two very attractive girls interested in him, despite being a spastic weirdo. He has no interest at all in either, preferring to continue stalking the Waitress.
  • Large Ham
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • L Is for Dyslexia: Charlie has difficulty reading and writing, which is often pointed out by the rest of the gang as a learning disability or outright illiteracy. His writing is either garbled gibberish or at least partially in pictoral form, though he does manage to write a musical.
    • Subverted in that he can read and write, but he just doesn't like to.
  • Lovable Coward
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In the finale of Season 2, it is revealed that Frank is Charlie's real father.
  • Lolicon: He gets engaged to a 12 year old in "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation."
  • Made of Iron:
    • Charlie's mom had an abortion while pregnant with him, but he still managed to survive it, along with living through that hilariously revolting life style of his.
    • He's also been electrocuted, like, 500 times according to Mac.
    • Charlie eats a brownie filled with drugs, even though Mac claims it has enough drugs in it to kill a gorilla. Charlie replies "I can handle my sedatives, bro."
    • Mac and Dennis consider him to be almost indestructible. They train him to be a pit fighter by repeatedly smashing him with various objects.
  • Man Child
  • No Indoor Voice: After the first season, CHARLIE SCREAMS ALL THE TIME.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    "God damn it, Charlie!"
    "So stupid, Charlie..."
  • The Pigpen
  • Psychotic Man Child: Charlie's animated day-dream in "The Gang Saves the Day" reveals that he has the mind set of a child.
  • Rape as Backstory: Very strongly implied to have been molested by his uncle.
  • Son of a Whore: In A Very Sunny Christmas, Charlie reflects on what his childhood was like during Christmas. A bunch of Santas would come in, give him presents, & go upstairs with his mom & cheer her up. Mac suggests that his mom was whoring herself out on Christmas day. Charlie doesn't take the realization very well.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Has been obsessed with The Waitress for years, to the point where he often has to live off of dog food because he spends all of his money paying spies to follow her. Even wrote a musical to propose to her. She has multiple restraining orders against him. Ironically, the actress who plays The Waitress is Charlie Day's wife.
  • Token Good Teammate: The only one in the Gang who is NOT a horrible person or a sociopath.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He's usually the nicest one in the group, but at the end of "Charlie and Dee Find Love," reveals that he was only dating a girl to make the Waitress jealous, and does so very publicly and insults her considerably.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Dennis, Mac, and Dee spend an entire episode trying to do this to Charlie when Frank tells them it's his birthday and he seems pretty depressed. Though things like taking him to a movie and a spa backfire horribly due to his insanity, they eventually find a book where he catalogs his dreams in pictographs and recreate some of the items in it. Charlie feels pretty happy.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Not as bad as the other four, though.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He gets even more shrill and angry after gaining power in a social game in "Charlie Rules the World" and having his plans compromised.
  • Wild Card: Given the title of by Mac and Dennis in "The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis."

Frank Reynolds

Played By: Danny DeVito

Frank is the legal (but not biological) father of twins Dennis and Dee, and possibly the biological father of his roommate Charlie. He constantly carries a gun with him and frequently pulls it out for any number of situations. He used to be a successful businessman with a long history of illegal operations (such as sweat shops and drug-dealing) and dealings with sordid characters. Though he is fairly wealthy and, has the money to live elsewhere, he chooses to live in squalor with Charlie in order to add excitement to his life following his split from his ex-wife Barbara, who he frequently refers to as his "goddamn whore-wife". This lifestyle choice involves eating cat food, living on about five dollars a week, keeping a mini meats fridge in his apartment, as well as sausages in his shirt pocket, and sharing a bed with Charlie, which is also their couch. He doesn't believe in, or trust psychiatrists, and was admitted into a school for clinically insane children for a short while as a child, before he was cleared of any legal mental issues.

  • Affably Evil: One of the most depraved members of the gang. Also one of the most pleasant, and arguably the highest-functioning.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Frank volunteers to judge the male models in "American's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model." It turns out that he had already posed with two giant-breasted women, making the whole contest moot anyway.
    • Frank and Charlie have a bizarre relationship. In one episode they are revealed to play "Nightcrawlers," which involves crawling around on the ground together. In another episode he believes that Charles is dead and makes a mannequin of him. Charlie claims that he saw Frank "banging that thing."
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Bald of Evil
  • Blood Knight
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Repeatedly says "What's the action?" in season 2.
    • Repeatedly says "Bigtime!" in season 5.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Becomes this the more depraved he gets. He participates in some of Charlie's weird activities; some involving bridges, boiling denim, among many other things.
  • Dirty Old Man
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Despite his ludicrous levels of depravity and cruelty, he's absolutely opposed to Dennis and Mac hunting Rickety Cricket in "Mac and Dennis: Manhunters." Why this specific sociopathic scheme bothers him isn't particularly clear, unless he really can't tell the difference between his life and John Rambo's.
    • He also opposes dousing a 12 year old in a wet T-shirt contest, and jumps in the way so he gets soaked instead.
    • Although he has no problem using virtually any illicit substance that crosses his path, he thinks that only the true bottom of the barrel sells drugs, according to "The Gang Gets Whacked."
    • He's the only one who insists that Cricket is taken to a hospital, after his hand's been shot.
  • Extreme Omnivore: He doesn't deny the possibility of newspaper, credit card fragments, and wolf hair being in his stool in "Who Pooped the Bed?".
  • Fetish:
    • Food fetish. Has a fling with Artemis in "The Waitress is Getting Married." They put Bacon Bits in her hair to "make her feel like a Cobb Salad."
    • This is also hinted at in "Mac & Charlie Die Part 2." Frank and Dennis go to an orgy, and all Frank does is eat.
    • In "Who Got Dee Pregnant" Artemis and Frank experimented with food while having crazy loud sex in a dumpster.
  • Flanderization: His behavior became more and more wild and depraved. Possibly justified, in that he joined the gang in order to leave behind his successful-businessman lifestyle and embrace hedonism full-on instead, so has become progressively more addicted to any and all sorts of vice he can get his hands on, and more lost in his own life of depravity.
  • The Hedonist
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Charlie.
  • Hypocrite: Buys Dee's and Dennis's dream gifts for himself for Christmas every year in a twisted attempt to teach them that you have to earn what you get, a principle Frank claims made him a millionaire. As Dee immediately throws in his face, what made him a millionaire was embezzling from his partner.
    • Him constantly calling his wife a hoor - sorry, whore - gets rather ironic when he later frequents prostitutes.
  • I Love the Dead: On two occasions he's stated that he doesn't care what happens to his corpse. In "Frank's Little Beauties," he says that he'd have no problem with someone having sex with his corpse.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Plants a baby monitor in a man's apartment in "The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis."
  • Jerkass
  • Kavorka Man
  • Kissing Cousins: Frank hooks up with his ex-wife's sister's daughter. Yes, that would be his niece. For the record all they do is dry-hump, though he describes it as "awful."
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In the finale of Season 2, it is revealed that Frank is Charlie's real father, though he denies it and the plotline is mostly dropped afterwards.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Messy Hair: His balding hair starts out combed down but as he joined the gang and the seasons went on, his hair becomes noticeably dishevelled, likely to match his depravity.
  • Noble Demon: Sometimes.
  • Parental Incest:
    • He and Dee pose as an engaged couple, and even go as far as getting married. Although Dee isn't Frank's biological daughter, it's still creepy.
    • Shares a bed with Charlie, his biological son. They sleep ass-to-ass.
    • After Charlie fakes his death, Frank dresses up a mannequin as Charlie and Charlie claims he saw Frank "banging that thing".
    • Additionally, In "Mac Fights Gay Marriage" him and Charlie try to get a civil union for the benefits.
  • Pet the Dog: Assures a humiliated Charlie that his musical was very good after the waitress refused his marriage proposal in front of the audience. Note that Mac, Dennis, and Dee were unconcerned as usual. This fits well with how far over the deep end he went when he thought Charlie was dead, going to the point of carrying around a dummy of him.
  • Red Baron: "The Warthog".
  • Schemer: Became a millionaire by screwing over his old business partner.
  • Shirtless Scene: Emerges fully nude from a couch in "A Very Sunny Christmas".
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Very frequently uses an emphatic "bitch."
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist

    The Gang's Family 

Barbara Reynolds

Played By: Anne Archer

Bonnie Kelly

Played By: Lynne Marie Stewart

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: When Frank was with her, he would treat her like crap because "The woman prefers to be treated like crap. [He's] never seen anything like it." and says that sometimes it's too much even for him. Charlie later tries to break them up by setting her up with Mac's dad, informing her that he was in prison. And it works.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Played With. In the Christmas Episode, she's revealed to have been a prostitute and is one of the nicer members of the cast. But she also has severe mental issues and is a xenophobe.
  • Nervous Wreck: "I don't want a dog to eat my face off, Charlie!"
  • Really Gets Around
  • Shrinking Violet: Older, but has severe nervous issues.
  • Stepford Smiler
  • Super OCD: She does things, such as flicking light swithes on and off, three times because she thinks that if she doesn't, Charlie will die. She gave Charlie vaccinations every month. And she and him would also wear bubble boy suits every flu season.

Uncle Jack Kelly

Played By: Andrew Friedman

Luther McDonald

Played By: Gregory Scott Cummins

  • The Atoner: Once released from prison, he goes to apologize to all the people he's wronged.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Beard of Evil: The evil part is Subverted.
  • Dark is Not Evil
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He genuinely loves his son.
    • Even after Mac was so worried about getting killed that he called the cops on him which he apparently wasn't going to do & instead ended up getting him arrested for going against his parole in order to buy tickets for Disney Land for his-own son.

Mrs. "Mac" McDonald

Played By: Sandy Martin

    The Mc Poyle Clan 

In General

Liam McPoyle

Played By: Jimmi Simpson

Ryan McPoyle

Played By: Nate Mooney

Margaret McPoyle

Played By: Thesy Surface

Doyle McPoyle

Played By: Bob Rusch
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Downplayed and lampshaded. He doesn't look exactly like his relatives. However once he says his name is "Doyle McPoyle", Mac and Dennis start to notice some similarities.

    Other characters 

The Waitress

Played By: Mary Elizabeth Ellis

  • The Alcoholic: She claims to have a drinking problem. She seems to have it in check, but the few times she slips up, she really goes overboard.
  • Break the Cutie: Thanks to the Gambit Pileup in "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom".
  • Characterization Marches On: Much like Dee, the Waitress use to be the Only Sane Man to the gang's antics. Then see developed an obsessive crush on Dennis, started drinking again, and became more and more of a Butt Monkey.
  • The Chew Toy: The Waitress tends to be easily manipulated because of her one-sided crush on Dennis.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Everyone calls her "the Waitress," even her stalker Charlie and the guy she was engaged to.
  • No Name Given: Lampshaded on a few occasions. In the high school reunion it is heavily implied her name is Nikki Potnick.
    • The creators confirmed this was not her name.
  • The Nondescript: No one can remember her name, and no one except Charlie remembers her from high school, to the point of the school forgetting to make her a name tag for the reunion.
  • Not so Above It All: Can be just as rude and cynical as the Gang at times.
    • 'Flowers for Charlie' also suggested she is as vapid and shallow as them too.
  • Really Gets Around: Which makes it all the more ironic that Charlie still hasn't had sex with her.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: The waitress will sleep with just about anybody except for Charlie.
  • Stalker with a Crush: A recipient of this from Charlie. Sometimes acts this way herself, to Dennis.

Matthew "Rickety Cricket" Mara

Played By: David Hornsby

  • Alliterative Name: Though no one calls him Matthew Mara. He nickname almost rhymes.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: For Dee.
  • Break the Cutie: He goes from a clean-cut, mature, and successful priest to a crack-addicted street rat who has lost his mind. All thanks to Dee.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Card-Carrying Villain: By the later seasons, he had been completely corrupted. To the point where he gladly dresses like a terrorist and blinds the gang in a fight in the name of destroying America.
  • The Chew Toy
  • From Bad to Worse: No matter how low he has sunk, the gang always seems to manage to make his life even worse. At this point, expect every appearance to cost him a body part.
  • Good Shepherd: Was this, until Dee managed to get him to renounce his faith, get a cocaine addiction, become homeless, and have two broken legs from the mob.
  • Love Martyr
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend


Played By: Artemis Pebdani

  • The Alcoholic: Usually can't remember how she spends her nights.
  • The Danza
  • Large Ham: When she starts confessing her poor financial state, Dee can't tell if she's still doing some sort of performance.
  • Really Gets Around: She introduces herself to men by telling them she has a bleached asshole, arguing that they're "going to find out anyway."
  • Sixth Ranger: She's basically the only recurring character to have any sort of positive relationship with the gang, and occasionally joins in on their schemes in some capacity

The Lawyer

Played By: Brian Unger

  • The Ace: Much more capable than the Gang and outwits them with ease during each conflict.
  • Amoral Attorney: Averted. He starts out as a decent person until he's had enough of the gang duct-taping his secretary and constantly bothering him. In fact, he seems weirded out by Dennis suggesting that he could "make love" to his soon-to-be-ex-wife while she sleeps as an act of good faith.
  • Ascended Extra: Originally, he was just the lawyer assigned to read Dennis and Dee's mother's will. Since then, he has frequently been at odds with the Gang in unrelated legal situations.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Makes 50 copies of the contract he gives the gang knowing they'd destroy them. Also keeps a gun in his desk in case someone busts in wanting to kill him.
  • It Amused Me: The only reason The Lawyer got involved in Dennis' divorce was to spitefully give him a hard time.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He got the gang to unknowingly sign a contract that also acts as a restraining order and gives him all the profits from their merchandise and makes about 50 copies, knowing that Mac will just eat the original.
  • No Name Given


Played By: Brittany Daniel

The IT CrowdCharacters/Live-Action TVJAG

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