Frank's makeup job from the mortuary in "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties" makes him look like The Penguin in Batman Returns, one of Danny DeVito's more famous film roles.
The Cast Showoff: Charlie, like his actor, can sing and play piano. He's also great at ice skating, as Day used to play hockey.
Channel Hop: In an effort to attract interest in the launch of FX's comedy-oriented spinoff channel FXX, Sunny was moved to the new channel along with The League and Legit.
The Danza: Charlie Kelly is played by Charlie Day, Mac is played by Rob McElhenny, and recurring character Artemis is played by Artemis Pebdani. Specifically averted by Dennis: Glenn Howerton did not want his real name associated so closely with the character.
Those dick towels they were trying to market? You can buy them, but don't Google them if you're on a shared home computer or on a computer in a public setting (read: library, computer lab at school, etc).
Greenman, which has not only been defictionalized, but is well on its way to cultural phenomenon status.
Recipes for "milk steak", a dish Charlie apparently made up in "The Waitress Is Getting Married", have appeared online.
And now fans have done the same for Rum Ham (not to be confused with an existing recipe for wussy, rum-glazed ham). It tastes pretty awful, but it'll get you good and wasted.
Development Gag: A subtle one in "The Gang Beats Boggs". The show was originally going to be set in Los Angeles and named "It's Always Sunny on Television", in reference to LA's picturesque weather. When Charlie and Mac get to LA in "The Gang Beats Boggs", Mac pointedly states how gloomy the overcast city looks.
Dyeing for Your Art: Rob McElhenney gained 50 pounds in order to prove a point about sitcoms for season 7.
Exiled from Continuity: Averted; Rob Mc Elhenney got the idea for Charlie's "Green Man" persona from an unnamed friend, who donned a green zentai suit while attending a football game with McElhenney. McElhenney would later pay his friend an undisclosed amount of money in exchange for the rights to his "character", so that he could use the concept in later episodes.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Stephen Collins plays the altruistic biological father of Dennis and Dee, who is active in children's charities and adopted a dozen African orphans. In 2014, Collins was recorded confessing to the molestation of multiple children.
Incestuous Casting: A minor case. Lucy DeVito, Danny DeVito's daughter, plays the waitress whom Frank ogles in "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom."
Dee is the resident Butt Monkey of the group and is constantly abused by everyone. Kaitlin Olson is married to Rob, the show's creator.
Even more ironic, there's two scenes where Dee and Mac have to pretend to be into each other and act very unconvincingly. One time, they act out a Sitcom "Will They or Won't They?" subplot to help popularize their bar. It ended in a fight where Mac strangles her. Another time, Dee plays the Love Interest of Mac's character in a film which worked out fine until they had to kiss.
Jossed: A fan theory is that The Waitress's name is Nikki Potnick because she couldn't find her name tag at her high school reunion and Frank had stolen the "Nikki Potnick" tag. During his "Ask Me Anything" for Reddit, Glenn Howerton said in no uncertain terms that "the Waitress is NOT Nikki Potnick."
Mean Character, Nice Actor: The main cast kind of have to be this trope, givenwhotheyhavetoplay. Special mention goes to Glenn Howerton, who finds Dennis to be such a repulsive psychopath that he opted out of being The Danza like Charlie and Rob, not wanted to be too associated with someone like Dennis.
No Budget: The show's first season was produced at 1/3 of a typical network sitcom's budget, starred unknown actors and during production, Rob McElhenney still kept his day job as a waiter. Eventually, the budget increased with each successive season.
Danny DeVito's daughter Lucy has had a couple of one-shot cameos in "Mac bangs Dennis' mom" and "The Gang find a dumpster Baby".
The Waitress is Charlie's real life wife, which makes the whole Running Gag of Charlie stalking the Waitress some meta-irony.
Dennis and that pharmacist from "The DENNIS System" are also married, and when the episode is done on stage Rhea Perlman plays Dennis's fake grandmother.
Retroactive Recognition: Future Joss Whedon possemember Fran Kranz has a small role in "Who Pooped the Bed?" as the Econ student who just wants to see some poop.
Unintentional Period Piece: Thanks to the large number of references to the then current events of the Turn of the Millennium. The show debuted during that decade, as such many episodes make references and jokes that seem to be ripped from that decade's headlines, such as references to the gas crisis, terrorism, waterboarding, Hurricane Katrina, North Korea, the bar getting a new flatscreen TV and Blu-ray player, just to name a few.
When series creator Rob McElhenney was asked a question about his character Mac in a featurette, he replied "I don't know... I just show up, say my fuckin' lines, and go home."
Charlie's play The Nightman Cometh was for a while actually touring various cities around Philadelphia with all of the original cast members.
According to Charlie Day, during a recent interview on Conan O'Brien, Danny DeVito has stated that he's up for pretty much ANY storyline the show might throw at him save for one topic: prison rape. Apparently, DeVito informed series creator Rob McElhenney that was the only type of shock plotline that he refuses to have anything to do with.note Offhand jokes about prison rape are apparently fair game, though. In season six's "Mac's Mom Burns Her House Down", there's a joke about Frank thinking that prison rape happens at nursing homes.
The writers of Game of Thrones were such big fans of the show that they ended up writing "Flowers For Charlie".
Rob McElhenny also landed a small role on LOST after meeting co-creator Damon Lindelof, who is a big fan of the show.
Guillermo del Toro made a cameo appearance as the McPoyle family's insane patriarch in a season 8 episode. Apparently, while they were working on Pacific Rim, Del Toro mentioned being a big fan of the series to Charlie Day and he liked the rat-killing monologue so much that it was the reason he cast Day in the film.