YMMV: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Occurs in-universe and lampshaded/discussed in "The Nightman Cometh"; the rest of the gang notes multiple times that Charlie's musical reads more like the account of a child being molested by an adult in his sleep than the romantic epic fantasy he envisioned. This also raises some distressing questions about Charlie and his relationship with his increasingly creepy uncle both in and out of universe.
  • Award Snub: The closest the show has ever come to an Emmy has been a few nominations for Stunt Coordination (which it never won). The fact that the show has never been considered for a more prominent Emmy, the cast and crew's indignation over it, and the possible reasons it's been consistently passed over were highlighted in the episode "The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award."
  • Badass Decay: Inverted with Frank, who becomes more insane and Crazy Awesome with each episode. Subverted with Mac, who, despite his delusions, was never badass to begin with.
  • Base Breaker: Mac has become a mild one. While he's still generally well liked, more and more complaints have begun popping up about his Flanderization to being in the Transparent Closet, which just as many people find hilarious.
  • Broken Base: Some fans were upset by the fact that by season nine, Mac's basically canonically gay rather than just implied to be. Some people also think that it's an invention of the later seasons, despite the fact that there's an implication of his homosexuality right off the bat in the pilot episode. Other fans debate about whether Mac's homosexuality being made more obvious is less fun than when it was merely implied.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Charlie and Frank.
    • Country Mac. It's even lampshaded, with the Gang noting what an insane badass he is.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • "Frank Sets Sweet Dee On Fire", in which he does so twice.
    • "A Very Sunny Christmas," which crosses the line so many times it's impossible to count.
    • The "Does This Remind You of Anything?" parts of "The Aluminum Monster Vs. Fatty Magoo".
    • Dee literally does in "Dennis & Dee's Mom is Dead".
    • Charlie eating cereal and watching cartoons in his underwear while wearing the Nazi uniform cap that belonged to Dennis and Dee's grandfather at the end of "The Gang Finds a Dead Guy."
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Happens a lot, but usually ends up being funny due to Refuge in Audacity (of the "Crosses the Line Twice" variety)
  • Ear Worm:
    • Day Man! (uh-AAH-uhhh), Fighter of the Night Man! (uh-AAH-uhhh)
    • Flip, flip, flip-a-delphia! Flip, flip, flip-a-delphia!
    • The "Birds of War" theme performed in "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops".
    • Boom, I got your money! Boom, I got your credit card!
    • All the '60s stock music used as scene transitions, especially "Blue Blood", "Derby Day", "Captain's Table", "On Your Bike", and "Take the Plunge". And a special mention to "Grand Central", which played in the Christmas special when Charlie goes berserk at the mall.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Rickety Cricket and Artemis.
    • Dennis and Dee's biological dad also counts. Or did...
    • The McPoyles.
    • Despite only showing up a few times so far, the Lawyer has gained a following due to being one of the only outsiders who's gotten a handle on how to deal with the gang's outrageous behavior, trumping them consistently and effortlessly since the entire Gang is legally clueless.
    • Agent Jack Bauer, the indestructible junkyard cat.
    • Country Mac is a one episode character but quickly became beloved due to being a Crazy Awesome Badass Gay.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Pacific Rim, due to the presence of Charlie Day (and possibly the fact that Newt is basically a marginally-smarter version of Charlie...).
  • Growing the Beard: The show really came into its own during the second season, adding Danny DeVito as a contrast to the main four, turning Dee away from the Closer to Earth trope and generally going for more manic, darker, exaggerated tone.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Any scene featuring the saintly Bruce Mathis is now very uncomfortable after Stephen Collins was revealed to have molested/exposed himself to at least three underage girls. Especially since a big part of Bruce's character is that he loves children and is great with them. And of course, there's this exchange:
    Dee: What are you expecting to find?
    Frank: Lot of shady shit.
    Dee: Like what?
    Frank: Like maybe Bruce is banging dudes!
    Dee: Why would that be shady?
    Frank: Maybe the dudes are babies!
    Dee: What?! Bruce is not banging any baby dudes!!
    • Psycho Pete gets put on an Amtrak train and sent away in an episode that aired about three months before the derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight and injured more than two hundred people.
    • When "Charlie Got Molested" aired it was a standard humorous misunderstanding plot (except with child abuse) in which the gang mistakenly believed Charlie had been molested. Later once it starts being implied he was actually molested, the episode becomes harsher. This is particularly true of the ending where he talks about going somewhere and crying now everyone in his family believes he was molested.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A year after the episode premiered, there was a movie released that bears a striking similarity to The Nightman Cometh.

  • Ho Yay: Constantly between Mac/Dennis and Charlie/Frank. You may as well call them the show's OfficialCouples.
  • Idiot Plot: Most of, if not all, of the plots. It helps that they're all just the kind of idiots the plot requires.
    Dennis: I'm just saying that the plan was genuinely dumb! ...As many of our plans are, I now realize.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Charlie, Dee and Mac.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Lawyer. In one episode, the gang repeatedly pesters him for different legal reasons, like for patents and a job contract, their tactics involve assaulting his secretary, stalking him, hiring him a hooker, threatening to rape his wife (as an act of good faith), up until he gives in, resolves all their troubles legally, and gets the inventions to patent. Then at the end, he reveals that the contracts everyone signed gave him the profits from any and all sales of the inventions, as well as a restraining order from them (and back-up copies, because the first was eaten in an attempt to stop him).
  • Memetic Badass: Agent Jack Bauer. Not surprising given that the cat is canonically indestructible.
  • Memetic Molester: Dennis, which was kind of inevitable, given his screwed up ideas of consent.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Charlie gets a LOT. Notably:
    • Dee's dance that she learned from the inflatable man is second only to "Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man" from Family Guy.
    • "Flip-flip-FLIPADELPHIA"
  • Signature Episode: "The Nightman Cometh" is probably the most well-known episode and is frequently cited as one of, if not the best episode so far.
  • Spiritual Licensee: The show is frequently described as Seinfeld, only with everything cranked Up to Eleven.
  • Squick:
    • Nearly every moment with the McPoyles.
    • Nearly every aspect of Charlie and Frank's living habits. Charlie has such bad oral hygiene that he can effortlessly pull out his teeth without feeling anything, and he presumably doesn't change or wash his underwear as it started to fall apart after a failed attempt at a wedgie. Frank poops wherever he feels like it because it's funny to him, and he clips his toenails with a steak knife which he also uses peel fruit.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot. If you're not paying attention you'll miss a bunch of character important lines, hints at future events, and small, easy-to-miss jokes. For example, "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" is even funnier upon rewatch because you know that Dee's lying about one of the gang being the father of her child.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • In "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" the episode begins with the guys discussing a plan to spend the night at the city museum, dodging security and generally enjoying themselves. Though the episode was also funny, it's a shame this never came to pass.
    • Charlie and Dee working at a high school, which lasted for all of two episodes.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: The show has been described by many as "Seinfeld on crack."
  • Too Cool to Live: Country Mac. But it's less an example of him being killed off because he will make the gang look bad in comparison and more because it's unspoken rule that no one cool can be a part of the Gang.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Charlie.
  • The Woobie:
    • Charlie the Butt Monkey is often so pathetic that the viewer is intended to feel sorry for him and the Gang is even moved to pity him on a few occasions. In contrast, Dee is another Butt Monkey, but she's so shrill and spiteful that she never gets any woobie moments.
    • Rickety Cricket, who is introduced this way and grows steadily worse with each appearance.