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Meet Mac, Dee, Charlie, Frank, and Dennis

"We immediately escalate everything to a ten. It's ridiculous. Somebody comes in with a preposterous plan or idea. Then all of a sudden everyone's on the gas, and nobody's on the brakes. Nobody's thinking, we're just talking over each other with one idiotic idea after another."

The five main characters of the show, a sordid group of degenerates who own and operate an Irish-themed dive bar in Philadelphia called Paddy's Pub.

  • Aesop Amnesia: They never learn a lesson. Ever. And if they seem to it usually turns out to be an Ignored Epiphany.
  • The Alcoholics: All of them (except for Frank) come to the realization that they're alcoholics after experiencing terrible withdrawals. Frank becomes more of an alcoholic in "The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention." Although the reasons the Gang gives him an intervention aren't necessarily normal.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The entire Gang has this in spades as a direct result of their addiction, but Dee is probably the worst offender.
  • All-American Face: "The Gang Wrestles For The Troops" has Mac, Dennis, and Charlie assuming these personas, attempting to model their costumes after eagles and calling themselves "Birds Of War." It doesn't work all that well, due to a mix of poor costuming making them look less like muscular eagles and more like chickens with boners painted on their stomachs, Charlie's attempts to play up the "bird" aspect rather than the "patriotic" aspect, and the fact that they get their asses kicked by "The Talibum".
  • Alliterative Family: Dennis and Dee Reynolds. According to Frank in "The Gang Gets Analyzed", they were supposed to be triplets and the third kid was going to be named "Donnie", but the fetus was reabsorbed by Dennis and Dee.
    Frank: (in tears) Donnie! You would've been the good one!
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There's something very wrong with all of them. Several real-life therapists have entire videos on YouTube in which they attempt to diagnose the Gang. See each member's individual entries for more information.
  • Ambiguously Bi: They all have their moments. Glenn Howerton has even stated that everyone in the Gang is "a little ambiguously gay."
  • Animal Motif: The Gang are frequently associated with crows. Described in-universe as a "trash bird", the pack-based garbage-scavenging animal reflects the group's general behavior quite well. It also alludes to the idiom "to eat crow", which refers to the humiliation felt after being proven wrong regarding something that you took a strong position on; something that the Gang experiences in just about every episode.
  • Anti-Hero: At their absolute best, they manage to be these.
  • Anti-Role Model: Oh big time! Every member of the Gang can be so horrible and usually are that you would think they would be the mascots for this trope!
  • Asshole Victim: They're horrible people which makes the regular gauntlet of humiliation and failure they endure on a daily basis satisfying to watch.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: It's a common occurrence for them to come up with one harebrained scheme only to completely forget about it after latching onto another.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: For all their bickering there are occasional moments showing they do in fact care about each other in their own warped way.
    • A good example is in "The Gang Goes to Hell, Part 2". After spending all episode arguing as the room they are trapped in slowly fills with water, the Gang finally accept their fates and join hands as they wait to drown. This being the Gang, they immediately start fighting each other to be rescued first the moment help arrives. However, for about thirty seconds, the five were ready to die, together, as a family.
  • Ax-Crazy: At their worst, the whole group is so insane and destructive that they could easily qualify as the most dangerous people in all of Philadelphia.
  • Badass Longcoat: Mac's duster is worn specifically for this effect. The other male members of the group frequently steal it from him and wear it themselves in order to invoke this trope. Since none of them are very badass, it never really works.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Technically applies to the whole Gang at certain times, but Sweet Dee is arguably the in-universe champion of this one. Kaitlin Olson's ability to portray a bad aspiring actress and stand-up comic is nothing short of genius.
  • Bad Boss: Everyone in the gang is an owner of Paddy's Pub (except Dee who was just hired as a waitress). Not only are they too lazy and incompetent to run a decent bar, they also treat Dee like crap and even Charlie (initially a part owner) is treated as a subordinate janitor.
  • The Band Minus the Face: The Season 13 premiere revolves around them adapting to the loss of their nominal leader, Dennis.
  • Been There, Shaped History: The Season 15 premiere reveals that the Gang indirectly helped shape that year's political landscape in more ways than one. Dennis and Mac caused the voting count delays in the presidential election, Frank was responsible for the Rudy Guilliani hair dye mishap, and Charlie and Dee provided the costumes for the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
  • Bickering Couple, Peaceful Couple: Platonic version between the two sets of roommates in the Gang. Mac and Dennis are constantly arguing compared to the more in-sync Frank and Charlie.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Frank is Dennis and Dee's legal father, and (until Season 15) is possibly Charlie's biological father; all four of them are disgusting, awful people. Dennis and Dee's mother also manages to surpass the four of them in sheer despicableness, while Charlie's mother displays many of the same psychoses that he does. Outside of immediate relatives, Dennis and Dee's grandfather was a Nazi and their cousin is an emotionally-stunted weirdo. And don't even get us started on Charlie's uncle Jack... Mac's family is just as messed up, but not quite as big and tangled as the rest of the Gang's are.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Mac is the big as he's the most muscular (if also a Paper Tiger who folds at the first sign of conflict). Dennis is the thin as he's the most slender of the guys, and the one who tends to be in charge most often. Charlie and Frank alternate as the short, as they are the most wacky and impulsive of the group, in addition to being its most vertically challenged members.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Generally, the gang tends to gravitate to whoever is the loudest and most coherent about expressing their ideas, even if those ideas are horrible. Dennis in particular is a little smarter than the others (except maybe Frank) and the most willing to take charge, which leads to him pulling the group down incredibly dumb paths.
  • Break the Haughty: Many episodes end with the Gang being knocked off their high horse in the most humiliating way possible. Being who they are, the lesson never sticks.
  • The Bully: The Gang are mean-spirited jerks who have been casually harassing and tormenting other people for fun since at least their teen years. Just look at how they treat the likes of Cricket and the Waitress. They're even this to each other, especially towards Dee. Also, in typical bully fashion, whenever someone bigger or more powerful than them comes along, they very quickly resort to either cowering or toadying.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Ties in with Wrong Genre Savvy below. Their belief in Negative Continuity and that their actions don't have lasting consequences leads to them forgetting and/or generally being indifferent to the lives they've ruined and the spirits they've crushed, and when they bother acknowledging them, their responses usually amount to "get over it." Even amongst themselves, they will often have forgotten their own transgressions against each other by the time the victim gets their revenge.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Gang are one of the most pathetic and dysfunctional groups on TV, and frequently end up humiliated and/or injured. Dee stands out as the biggest butt monkey of the group, often being blamed for things that aren't her fault and receiving no due reparations when someone wrongs her.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': They nearly always fail at their schemes, and none of their dreams and ambitions ever come true.
  • Can't Take Criticism: As a group. Despite incessantly ragging on each other, the moment an outside perspective is rightly critical of their terrible bar, unhealthy lifestyles, amoral schemes, dysfunctional codependence as a group or collective substance abuse and dependence, the whole Gang will respond with cooperative denial. Many an episode entails the characters giving each other a hard time for a flaw but coming together to disregard whoever else points it out, such as during Frank's intervention.
  • Card-Carrying Jerkass: The main characters are rude, vulgar, obnoxious, loud, greedy, self-destructive, occasionally racist, misanthropic jerks who consistently view themselves as better than everyone else. Realistically, they are each others' only friends, as their behavior alienates pretty much everyone they meet.
  • Cast Full of Crazy: The Gang are quite possibly the most deranged and unhinged people you will ever meet.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Hey-oooo!" Used whenever one of them enters the bar with good news.
    • "God damn it." Sometimes followed up with "Charlie."
    • "Shut up, bird!" and "You bitch!" are frequently thrown Dee's way.
  • The Chew Toy: As the Gang are a bunch of obnoxious Villain Protagonists, it's occasionally satisfying to see them get their Just Desserts.
  • Childhood Friends: Charlie and Mac have been friends since they were kids, and met siblings Dennis and Dee while in high school. By the time the series starts, everyone, barring Frank, has known each other for over a decade.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The members of the Gang never hesitate to betray one another if there's something to be gained in return.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Mostly Frank and Charlie, but they all have their own bizarre quirks that present themselves from time to time — namely, Mac's delusions of toughness and Dee's obsession with creating unfunny characters and costumes. Even Dennis, who sees himself as the most "normal" one and frequently lampshades how weird the rest of the Gang are, readily names "laser beams" as something that people use to groom themselves, claiming that "it's the only way to make sure the follicle is completely destroyed."
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The show as a whole is this thanks to them.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Through a combination of narcissism, insecurity, stubbornness and stupidity, every member of the Gang is quick to take innocuous advice as insult or criticism as praise or nonsense. This is perhaps best exemplified by the episode "The Gang Gets Analyzed", where each member speaks to a therapist and hears only what they want to hear or most fear to hear.
  • Comic Trio: Dennis, Mac and Charlie switch between four distinct set ups depending on the episode:
    1. Dennis as the clueless leader, Charlie as the dumb follower and Mac as the ignored voice of reason.
    2. Dennis as the clueless leader, Mac as the dumb follower and Charlie as the ignored voice of reason.
    3. Mac as the clueless leader, Charlie as the dumb follower and Dennis as the ignored voice of reason.
    4. Charlie as the clueless leader, Mac as the dumb follower and Dennis as the ignored voice of reason.
  • The Corrupter: Just interacting with the Gang consistently causes Sanity Slippage or some other life-ruining outcome, almost completely without fail. Victims of the Gang's corruption include Rickety Cricket (goes from a clean-cut priest to a horribly mutilated Crazy Homeless Person), Maureen Ponderosa (has become a literal Crazy Cat Lady), Bill Ponderosa (Dee helped ruin his marriagenote , and with Frank as his AA sponsor he's become a drug-fueled suicidal maniac), Mac's dad Luther (whose interactions with the Gang usually land him back in prison or endangered by other inmates), The Waitress (is driven insane by Charlie's stalking and Dennis' sociopathic manipulation, and also gets fired from her job, causing her to sink further and further into poverty and alcoholism), and The Lawyer (despite outsmarting the Gang on multiple occasions to his own benefit, they've ruined at least one of his marriages and indirectly caused his eye to be pecked out in court).
  • Deck of Wild Cards: The Gang are each other's only friends. That doesn't stop them from constantly backstabbing each other in their various schemes, sometimes for no reason at all.
    • In "Frank Retires," Charlie squabbles with Dennis and Dee over who will inherit Paddy's Pub from Frank. Mac loudly announces every time he switches sides, Dee betrays Dennis and joins Charlie, and Dennis tries using a fake heir as a bid to take everything for himself.
    • "Paddy's Pub: Home Of The Original Kitten Mittens": Charlie and Dee, Mac and Dennis, and Frank separately try to come up with merchandising ideas for the bar, constantly trying to one-up each other and stealing ideas back and forth. It ends up All for Nothing when the Lawyer they've been irritating tricks them into signing all the merchandising profits over to him.
  • Depending on the Writer: Each member's intelligence can vary wildly depending on what the plot calls for. They also take turns being the "voice of reason" who displays the most common sense.
  • Dirty Coward: All members of the Gang are miserable wimps who will stab each other in the back to save themselves. A classic example is the ending of "The Gang Goes To Hell" where the group are holding hands and accepting their apparent deaths... until rescue arrives, at which point they begin kicking and fighting each other to see who gets saved first.
  • Dislikes the New Guy: In Season 2, Dennis and Dee are extremely reluctant to accept Frank (who, at this point, they believe is their biological father) as part of the Gang. Charlie is also uncomfortable with having Frank as a roommate at first, though they later become close friends.
  • Dumb Is Good: The borderline illiterate Charlie is the closest thing the group has to a decent person. In contrast, Dennis, the only member of the group who has had a higher education, is easily the worst of the bunch. As a whole though, they avert this trope because they are both immoral jerks and idiots.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Between the lot of them, everyone in The Gang has a variety of health problems (notably, they're all alcoholics), mental health problems (Dee and Frank have both been institutionalized, Dennis has borderline personality disorder (at least), and Charlie has... whatever it is he has), trouble coming out (Mac), parental issues, anger management issues, toxic co-dependence on each other, and a general inability to sustain meaningful relationships outside of their group.
  • Eagleland: They all heavily embody the Type 2 flavor.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Gang are a bunch of crass, scheming, petty, spiteful, self-centered assholes who will screw over anyone at a moment's notice, but whenever a clearly immoral issue like racism pops up, they will immediately distance themselves from it, talk at length about how wrong it is, and attempt (in their limited understanding of the world) to dissect the problem like mature, rational people. Of course, they are all racists, but it's more of an unconscious ignorant prejudice than genuine malice. They also draw lines at Nazism, direct homicide, and pedophilia, though this too is clearly more due to their awareness that these things are seen as negative by society at large than out of any sort of genuine moral conviction.
    • Besides Frank, they're all uncomfortable with the idea of direct homicide (though Dennis fantasizes about it), but they're fine with indirect acts of manslaughter like watching a game of Russian Roulette play out or having Cricket push a suicidal man to his death.
    • In "PTSDee", the guys are horrified by Dee tricking a father into a borderline incestuous situation with his daughter out of spite. Even Dee seems to realize that she crossed a line, saying she doesn't want to talk about it.
    • In all of the Carmen storylines, the Gang (minus Mac) is clearly supportive of her (them calling her "the tranny" notwithstanding) and of transgendered people in general. When Mac fumes about her being in a "gay marriage", Dennis points out that she's a girl and he's a guy so it's not a gay marriage, Dee opines that a marriage should be between two people who love each other, and Frank says (in his own way) that they should have the chance to get married like everyone else.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: While hardly the focus of any episodes, it should be noted that, for a quintet of insufferable white-trash losers, the Gang have gotten a surprising amount of action over the course of the show. Dennis alone has had over a hundred sexual partners (if his number of sex tapes is any indication) and both Frank and Dee really get around. Even Charlie (who is fixated on the Waitress for much of the series) has had sex with at least six women, which is more than the average man in a lifetime. This is played with, though, in that a lot of these encounters are often one-night stands with people with very low standards and that no one in the Gang is capable of maintaining a relationship beyond sex on account of their wildly unstable and toxic personalities.
  • Everyone Is Related: Frank is the legal father of Dee and Dennis and possibly the biological father of Charlie (until Season 15). Mac, the odd one out in this respect, was apparently adopted by Frank in Season 10, though whether this was a one off joke or actually canon has yet to be confirmed.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The four younger members of the Gang attended high school together.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Whenever they try to do something good, it always ends poorly and traumatizes or otherwise hurts people because they just don't understand the most basic decency. Their attempt to give the Juarez family home an "extreme makeover" amounts to kidnapping the family and whitewashing them. Dee's limited knowledge of Spanish does little to help.
  • Evil Is Petty: Overlapping at times with Disproportionate Retribution, one of the Gang's defining traits is that they can never let anything go and will try to get back at whomever for an imagined slight, deserved or not.
    • A standout example has to be in "Paddy's Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia", in which the Gang kidnap a bar critic because he gave them a deservedly lousy review. Then, after narrowly getting out of the mess and avoiding legal action, they go to kidnap him again because he neglected to mention their names (which would get them into legal trouble) in his follow-up review.
    • To say nothing of "The Anti-Social Network", which involves the Gang trying to track down a man who shushed them in a bar for being obnoxious, all so they can shush him back.
  • Fanboy: One thing all the members of the Gang have in common is that they're fans of the Lethal Weapon series. As such they have produced three unofficial sequels, tentatively titled Lethal Weapon 5, 6 and 7.
  • Flanderization: Played with. Every member of the Gang gets more extreme in their characterizations as time passes, but it's justified by their deteriorating mental health, decreasing ability to maintain relationships outside the Gang, ungraceful aging, and overall spiraling deeper and deeper into delusion and toxic codependency. It's also lampshaded heavily in Season 10's episode "The Gang Misses the Boat", where they all become conscious of their traits that have become most heavily flanderized.
    Dennis: By the way, all of us have become so goddamn weird.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: It varies between episodes, but for the most part, Charlie is sanguine, Dennis is melancholic, Mac is choleric, Frank is leukine, and Dee is phlegmatic.
  • Freudian Excuse: As detailed below, all of them have one.
  • Freudian Trio: The mindlessly impulsive Charlie is the id, the cold-hearted and manipulative Dennis is the superego, and the vacillatingly intelligent Mac is the ego.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Dee is generally the biggest one, but they've all taken turns being this. Mac becomes more openly hated starting with "Mac Day", and later episodes show the group to be itching for the chance to stick Frank in a nursing home.
  • Friendship Moment: While this usually ends up subverted more often than not, a few episodes end with the Gang genuinely coming together to enjoy each other's company. Examples include "The Gang Solves the Mortgage Crisis", "Mac and Charlie: White Trash", "The Gang Dines Out", "Flowers for Charlie", "The Gang Escapes", and "The Gang Carries a Corpse Up a Mountain".
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Generally averted as every potential duo in the Gang gets a few episodes together, but Dennis and Charlie rarely have storylines together without Mac or Frank acting as an intermediary between the two, and Mac and Dee, who hate each other vehemently only have a handful of episodes centering around just the two of them.
    • Dennis and Frank have a moment of this in "Dee Gets Stuck in a Bog", where they realize they haven't had much time alone together without a third party to act as a "buffer".
  • Global Ignorance:
    • In "The Gang Hits the Road", the main characters pass the time by playing a game that involves drinking while naming all 50 states in America. Among the incorrect guesses that Mac, Dee, and Charlie throw out are East Virginia, North Virginia, South Virginia, Philly, Milwaukee, and Detroit. Most of these were named while sober.
    • In the episode "Frank Falls Out the Window", after Frank falls out of the window in his apartment, The Gang asks him "obvious" questions to see if he has a concussion:
      Dennis: What is the capital of Pennsylvania?
      Frank: Philadelphia.
      Dennis: Yes... no...
      Mac: I don't think that's right.
      Dennis: Is it Pittsburgh?
      Charlie: At one point, it was Philly. I'm pretty sure.note 
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: All of the main characters have very intense anger issues that hardly get resolved and this leads them to act in ways that are extremely petty, vindictive and spiteful.
  • Harmful to Minors: Ironically, Dennis (the most sociopathic of the Gang) is probably the least guilty of putting children in harm's way.
    • Mac and Dee consider putting a baby in a tanning bed.
    • Mac and Dee are implied to have drowned a child when they let him go down a tube slide while asleep. The lifeguard doesn't care, and the child's mother is later seen frantically looking for her missing son.
    • Frank has no problems shooting a child in a virtual reality game.
    • Mac and Charlie dish out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on a bunch of kids. Charlie thinks he may have killed one of them.
    • Dee unwittingly has sex with an underage high school student.
  • Hated by All: With the exception of Cricket (in later seasons), Pondy, Mrs. Kelly, Z, and maybe Artemis and some of the recurring bar patrons, nobody in Philadelphia is especially fond of the Gang. It's hard to see why.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: They're sociopathic idiots, but egalitarian idiots to be sure. They will use colorful insults but they'll never exclude anyone for being who they are.
    • They aren't homophobic towards Mac and make it clear that they would rather have him be true to himself than keep lying. When Country Mac casually reveals that he's gay, everyone expresses support for him and appreciate his honesty.
    • When Mac's ex, Carmen, fully transitions into a woman, everyone but Mac are supportive of her and they support her marriage. Mac only rejects the relationship because of his own closeted sexuality and religious beliefs.
    • They are all very uncomfortable by the portrayal of Karen White (an entitled white woman played by Dee) since she's "a cunt" for expressing thinly veiled racism and threatening a black man for being in her neighborhood.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: On a good day. And the "heroic" part is usually accidental.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • A minor one, but singing appears to be the one thing all of them are actually any good at, which they each show off pretty frequently.
    • "The Gang Hits The Slopes" reveals that Dennis, Mac and Dee are all world class skiers.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Besides Mac, they have a low opinion of religion and religious people.
  • Hot-Blooded: The Gang are very emotionally unstable and act out in the worst ways possible because of it.
  • Hustler: While their main line of work is (ostensibly) running the bar, more often than not they abandon their duties in favor of some con or other. On very rare occasions, their schemes actually prove to be successful.
  • Hypocrite: All of them are quite adept at pointing out the others' flaws, while completely ignoring their own glaring problems.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Despite being perpetually trapped in a mutual network of manipulation and abuse, the Gang will sometimes rally together as a unit against third parties who offend or annoy any of them.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Mainly Dennis, Dee and Mac. Their narcissism and delusions come from their insecurity.
  • Insufferable Imbecile: The entire main cast fall into this to varying degrees, as the premise of the show is that they are all self-deluded, idiotic and vindictive degenerates.
  • It Amused Me: Whatever they do that isn't motivated by greed, fame, lust, or vengeance is prodded along by a mixture of whimsy and boredom.
  • It's All About Me: Nearly every scheme they ever concoct that have even the slightest chance of succeeding usually winds up sabotaged in-part by their inflated and conflicting egos. For instance in "Wolf Cola: A PR Nightmare", Dennis comes up with the plan of give impartial answers in a public news interview and while Dee and Frank stand there quietly, only for Dee to butt-in and give a public apology (something Dennis expressly told her not to do) and Frank to make multiple pro-terrorist comments. In the second interview, Dennis struggles to prevent the interview from derailing, only to immediately go into a savage rant of how much he hates dogs.
  • Jerkass: They're spiteful, narcissistic, petty and obnoxious all around.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Whenever they do anything remotely heroic, it's for selfish reasons.
  • Karma Houdini: By all accounts, they should have gone to jail some time ago. This trope is very downplayed, though, as while the Gang often escape legal punishment, their actions are almost never devoid of consequences, and they're rarely ever better off than they were at the start of the episode.
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: The main characters are a bunch of Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists. They try to scheme their way through life, but usually just end up making things worse for themselves and/or each other. The driving point of the show is that they're so awful, they deserve everything that happens to them. The two biggest butt monkeys of the group are Charlie (a stalker who is treated like a servant by the rest of the Gang) and Dee (a spiteful, violent rapist who is The Friend Nobody Likes).
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Whenever their Wrong Genre Savvy assumptions lead them to making the wrong conclusions about something or gives them bad ideas, they will follow through with it no matter how obvious the incoming failure is. Whenever anybody - whether it is each other or someone outside of the Gang who knows better - tells them they are wrong, at best they will either ignore them completely, thinking The Complainer Is Always Wrong. At worst they will snap and attack you with hurtful words and physical violence. Mac and Charlie, being dumbest and most impulsive out of the five of them, are the worst at this.
  • Lack of Empathy: The entire group has a very hard time understanding the emotions of others. And when they do, they don't care enough to take them into account when creating plans.
  • Large Ham: All of them are prone to ranting while shouting at the top of their lungs. Dennis is easily the best at ranting while Charlie is the best at shouting.
  • Laughably Evil: The Gang are a loathsome and despicable bunch, but their crazy antics are always hilarious to watch.
  • Lethally Stupid: Their idiocy has led to multiple instances of fatal and near-fatal injuries.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Corrupt as they are, they can't even compare to the McPoyles in terms of depravity. Somehow they still manage to be much greater threats to society.
    The Lawyer: My client [Liam McPoyle] is odd. You might even refer to his family as very creepy. But they are saints compared to [this] sordid lot of degenerates.
    • While Mac and Charlie are no saints, they can arguably be considered this within the group, being much less cold-hearted and malicious than the three Reynoldses.
  • Limited Social Circle: Simply put, the Gang really wouldn't function in normal society outside their own little group. The fact that the Gang has no other friends is occasionally lampshaded and used as the premise of episodes.
    • In "Dennis and Dee's Mom is Dead", Charlie, Mac and Dennis plan a party and realize that they have alienated all of their friends. They spend the rest of the episode advertising for new friends.
    • In "The Gang Gets a New Member", the Gang welcomes back a previously ousted friend, Schmitty. They force him to go through an elaborate ceremony to become a member of the Gang, then (attempt) to throw him out of a moving car at the end of the episode when he doesn't take their peculiarities seriously.
    • After Frank purchases a children's beauty pageant, the Gang gets Frank's on-off girlfriend Artemis to run the soundboard. Dee asks whether she's really qualified to do it, only for Mac to respond that the Gang doesn't have "a deep bench."
    • When the Gang goes on a Bland-Name Product version of Family Feud, the only "friend" they could get to record a video message cheering them on was their homeless associate Rickety Cricket. And he only did it because they paid him five bucks.
    Mac: We couldn't get anybody else?
    Charlie: No.
    • The Gang does, however, have a good-sized network of associates, enemies and former lovers, who become recurring characters. In "Dee Gives Birth", the men of the Gang run around to all of the men in the extended cast trying to find out who fathered Dee's baby.
    • Their lack of friends is justified in that the Gang is so horrible that the only people who can stand to be around them are those who are just as messed up as they are, such as the McPoyles and Bill Ponderosa.
  • Loser Protagonist: No matter what Dennis says about himself, all of the Gang are just horrible and toxic people who will find no success in life.
  • Lower-Class Lout: While they technically have millions of dollars at their disposal (thanks to Frank's Arbitrarily Large Bank Account), they definitely fit the bill of being unintelligent white trash who regularly engage in petty theft and violence. Dennis and Dee like to think of themselves as above this, but they really aren't.
  • Manchild: Aside from Frank, none of the Gang have matured past their teen years (at most). While sometimes it does seem like there's an endearing aspect to this (usually in the case of Charlie's good-natured love for some things), it's shown as a horrible thing all around - the Gang are demanding, selfish, uppity monsters with no self-control who can barely take care of themselves.
  • Manipulative Bastard: This is Dennis' main dynamic, but everyone in the Gang gets up to it at some point or another, to varying degrees of success. Even Charlie can be surprisingly cunning when sufficiently pushed.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: “The Gang Buys a Roller Rink”, a Whole Episode Flashback to 1998 contradicts the Gang’s previous characterizations as teenagers, which is that they were always horrible bullies. In particular, it claims that Dennis and Dee Used to Be a Sweet Kid before being corrupted by Frank and a head injury caused by Charlie, respectively. Considering the episode is shown from the Gang’s point-of-view, and the Gang’s memories have been established as being... faulty, for lack of a better term, it's safe to say they shouldn’t be taken completely at face value.
  • Never My Fault: None of the Gang ever takes any responsibility for their own flaws. If they're ever called on it, they'll immediately dismiss it or try to steer the conversation in another direction. Charlie is adamant that he's not illiterate and can't see that most of his life problems are caused by his own "solutions" to said problems, Dee can't admit she's terrible at her dream job of acting and unpopular with men, Dennis doesn't understand why women tend to run away screaming from him as often as not, Mac insists upon his own masculinity and competence, and so on. A truly staggering example comes in "Time's Up for the Gang" when Dennis brings up a photo of Cricket in his current state and outright says he was "born this way", completely ignoring how the group has reduced him to a crazy homeless person living on the streets.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • In the core trio (see Comic Trio and Freudian Trio), Charlie is the nice (the closest thing the Gang has to a Token Good Teammate, if only by comparison), Dennis is the mean (the most sociopathic of the Gang), and Mac is the in-between (a jerk who can be arrogant but is still less manipulative and cruel than Dennis, and calls him out on his more sociopathic behavior).
    • This also extends to the three Reynolds family members in their own trio: Frank is the nice (again, by comparison), an Affably Evil but amoral businessman who isn't against backstabbing other people to get ahead in life; Dee is the in-between as a temperamental jerk who will occasionally voice concern over some of the Gang's more outright bigoted behavior; and Dennis, again, is the mean as a full-on sociopath who enjoys controlling and dominating the lives of his friends.
  • No Indoor Voice: Charlie in particular, but everyone in the Gang is prone to loud, obnoxious arguments in public places. It's been lampshaded many times In-Universe.
    Frank: This manager's been to Paddy's, and he said it's nothing but a bunch of people yelling over each other.
    Dee: Well... So what? That's what we do. We yell at each other, and if people want to tune in and listen, then they're welcome to.
  • No Social Skills: Only Dennis has anything even close to normal social skills, and that's simply in comparison to the others. By the later seasons, even he can't have a conversation with someone outside of the Gang without being thrown into a screaming tirade.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: One of the rules of their self-produced board game, Chardee MacDennis. Cheating is punishable if caught, but still highly encouraged.
  • Odd Friendship: Between the group of them, Dee and Charlie form an actually stable and (mostly) non-toxic friendship (with benefits), despite her being a wholly shrill and unpleasant person and Charlie being... Charlie. (This is actually a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, as Kaitlin Olson is the best of the cast at not breaking character when Charlie Day begins ad-libbing.)
  • Once per Episode: Every episode will at some point have one of the Gang deliver an exasperated "Goddamn it!"
  • One-Hour Work Week: The reasoning for them being bar owners was that it'd free them up for daytime antics (since most barflies show up at evening), but they're usually busy with the Zany Scheme in the evenings as well. Pretty much the only one who's actually shown doing their job on a somewhat regular basis is Charlie. It's not hard to figure out why Paddy's Pub is such a dive.
  • Paper Tiger: Monstrous as all of them can be, the Gang only has a very nebulous capacity to affect the world around them, and it usually only takes a firm stance and a few strong words to send them running the other way. Barring a few isolated instances such as encounter with Gary the serial killer, they also fold rather easily when they cross paths with bonafide career criminals.
  • Parent-Child Team: Happens whenever Frank shares a plot with his adopted children, Dennis and Dee.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Apparently, all of them except Dennis have "Paddy's Pub" as their computer password.
  • Pet the Dog: The five of them are highly unpleasant people and the friendships within the group are strenuous, but all of them (even Dennis) are capable of demonstrating genuine kindness and concern towards each other on (very rare) specific occasions.
    • Aside from Mac, the rest of the Gang seem genuinely pleased for Carmen completing her transition and getting married.
    • They all take a moment to marvel at the adorability of Dee's newborn baby in "Dee Gives Birth".
    • None of them hold any prejudice towards Mac for being gay. What they are put off by are Mac's transparent attempts at convincing them that he's really straight. When he finally comes out in Season 12, they're supportive.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: As seen in under Comic Trio, most of the Gang ping-pong between ridiculous naive and seasoned lie detectors. Mac and Charlie have it the worst.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The members all own/manage/work at Paddy's (in theory Frank is the manager, Dennis is the bartender, Dee is the waitress, Mac is the bouncer and Charlie is the janitor) but they rarely do their actual jobs. This is lampshaded in one episode where Dennis suggests they just spend the night running the place and serving customers instead of doing a zany scheme, but the others are confused and assume it's all part of a scheme he has cooked up.
  • Place Worse Than Death: The bar, of course. A critic decides not to press charges against the Gang for kidnapping him because he thinks that being stuck together at Paddy's is a far more fitting punishment than sending them to jail.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: All five of them have displayed racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/anti-Semitic/Islamophobic/ableist tendencies at one point or another, though the four younger members are all generally shown to be Innocently Insensitive and prone to stating And That's Terrible when they're aware that the group that they're talking about is an oppressed one. Frank, however, is shown to openly possess backwards opinions regarding just about everything.
  • Potty Failure: Every member of the Gang has defecated on themselves at least once throughout the series: Mac in "Mac Day", Frank in "Frank Retires", Charlie in "Chardee MacDennis 2: Electric Boogaloo", Dee in "Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy" and "The Gang Beats Boggs: Ladies’ Reboot", and Dennis in "The Gang's Still in Ireland".
  • Psychopathic Manchild: All of them act like immature children and get worse and worse every season.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Each of the Gang has gotten a handful of few episodes centered around their character. The main focuses in the early seasons tend to be Dennis and Charlie, while in later seasons it seems to be Dennis and Mac.
  • Sanity Ball: Who's given the role of Only Sane Man within the Gang tends to vary. This gives the impression of both Hidden Depths and hypocrisy, especially since their role as the Only Sane Man or Straight Man will last for a scene or two, lampshading others' stupidity or horribleness. Everyone in the Gang is better at pointing out the flaws of others than their own.
  • The Scapegoat: Dee is the biggest one, but they have no problems throwing any of the other members of the group to the wolves.
    Mac: Everything's gonna be fine, Frank.
    (Frank leaves the room)
    Mac: (to Dee) Now, you pinned the whole thing on him, right?
    Dee: Oh yeah, of course I did.
  • Schemer: While Frank and Dennis are the standout examples, all members of the Gang are prone to hatching (usually ill-fated) plots in virtually any given episode.
  • Selective Memory: All five of them are prone to completely rewriting history in their own minds to either make themselves look better or to avoid taking responsibility for something.
  • Selective Obliviousness: All of them have this bad except for Frank, who openly chooses to be where he is and at the very least has no illusions about what kind of a person he is.
    • Dennis refuses to admit that he runs a failing business, he isn't as smart as he thinks, and in general that he is just as much of a loser as the others.
    • Dee refuses to admit the fact that she is a terrible actress and is a rude, crude, and white trash alcoholic waitress.
    • Charlie refuses to acknowledge the fact that the Waitress hates him and will never love him.
    • Mac is probably the biggest example of this trope. He refuses to acknowledge the fact that his mother couldn't care less about him, he is terrible at karate, he isn't a badass, he isn't heterosexual (at least until later seasons), his friends openly despise him, and that he isn't as devoutly religious as he believes himself to be. It's enough that even Dennis of all people says, "the man is in complete denial about absolutely every aspect of his life!"
  • Serial Rapist: Nearly the entire Gang have been guilty of predatory behavior at one point or another. None of them realize this, however, as they only see their actions as 'playing the game', with only Dennis being fully conscious of what he's committing (something which disturbs even the rest of Gang). Charlie is the only exception, but this is due to him settling on 'merely' being a Stalker with a Crush.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Lampshaded in "The Gang Goes To Hell Part 1", each of the Gang are guilty of some cardinal sin. While they may be protagonists, they are all too horrible to collectively count as Mr. Vice Guy.
  • Shouting Free-for-All: This is what the Gang considers a standard way of exchanging opinions: screaming over each other no matter how inappropriate the setting (at the bar, fancy restaurants, court, etc.)
  • Sibling Team: Dennis and Dee in their more courteous moments, such as when they team up for a game of "Chardee MacDennis". In general, they seem to get along pretty well away from the influence of the rest of the Gang.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: All of them swear like sailors. Dee even considers "cocksucker" to be her favorite word, and she takes great pleasure in cursing on national television when the Gang competes on a game show.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: All of them fit this description, though Dennis really stands out.
  • Smart Ball: Any character within the Gang can play the role of the Only Sane Man for a scene or two. From most common to least, the people likely to get the Smart Ball are Dennis, Dee, Mac, Charlie, and then Frank though this can and will change at a moment's notice.
  • Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Given that the smarter members of the Gang also tend to be the bigger jerks, this is natural when characters pair up (though the "smart" and "nice" parts tend to be quite relative). For instance, if Mac and Charlie team up, Charlie tends to be the basically well-meaning one who is also barely functional, while Mac is smarter than Charlie but also more malicious and greedy. If Mac and Dennis team up, meanwhile, Mac tends to come across as stupid-but-has-a-moral-center, while Dennis is considerably cleverer but also a complete psychopath.
  • The Sociopath: Every character is essentially a sociopath (albeit to varying degrees). They're frequently doing things that are unethical if not illegal for the pettiest benefits, stabbing each other in the back, have a grandiose and delusional sense of self-importance and not one of them is able to stick to a plan or think in the long term. Dennis deserves a special mention.
  • Status Quo Is God: After fourteen seasons, the only two developments that have actually stuck are Mac coming out of the closet and Charlie finally sleeping with the Waitress. And even the latter is quickly downplayed by the Waitress being caught "cheating" on Charlie with a sex doll of Dennis.
  • The Straight Man: Can be anyone, depending on who gets the Sanity Ball, though in Season 1 this role was mainly reserved for Dee.
    • Dennis probably takes on this role most often while Charlie is least likely to get the Sanity Ball.
    • Often Dee whenever when she's paired with Charlie. This is because Kaitlin Olson is the most successful at remaining deadpan when Charlie Day starts riffing off the cuff. Though Charlie has also been The Straight Man to Dee ("The Gang Solves Global Warming").
  • Straw Misogynist: All of the male members are incredibly disdainful towards women, with Mac even outright saying that he hates them. While Dee likes to think of herself as a passionate feminist, she's also more likely than not to form one-sided rivalries with any and all women she interacts with.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Probably closer to "crabs in a bucket" than tall poppies, but whenever one member of the Gang seems to be pulling things together to potentially escape the squalor and misery of the others, the rest of the group will sabotage them.
  • Teens Are Monsters: As adults, the Gang are a bunch of cruel, sadistic bullies, and always have been. In high school, Dennis would tea-bag Cricket after the latter got drunk and passed out at parties, which Mac would then take photos of and pass around the school for everyone to see. Dee once promised Cricket she would kiss him if he ate a horse turd; then, once he actually did it, she refused to follow through because his breath "smelled like shit."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: They can't stand each other more often than not, but they'll work together to achieve whatever goal or scheme they're running in that particular episode.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Dennis and Deandra Reynolds.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: At first glance, you might think the Gang are just everyday citizens of Philadelphia. They're actually a quintet of Villain Protagonists with rap sheets a mile long who have been responsible for countless robberies, assaults, sexual crimes, and even a few deaths.
  • Three Plus Two: Dennis makes it clear in an early episode that he considers "The Gang" to be just him, Mac and Charlie. Notably, the original pitch of the show only featured Dennis, Mac and Charlie; Dee was added early on into the series' development in order to give it a major female character, while Danny DeVito was cast at the start of Season 2 to increase the show's middling ratings. By the later seasons they seem to have more or less accepted Frank and Dee as "official" members - not that it makes their treatment of them, especially Dee, any better.
  • True Companions: Very deeply dysfunctional, yes, but a fellowship nonetheless. The bizarre co-dependence that the group has cultivated over time only becomes more pronounced as the show progresses and they become more and more wrapped up in their own strange little world separate from the reality. In a major subversion of this trope, it's debatable whether or not this is in any way a good thing. True Companions or not, the Gang loves to back-stab one another and sell each other out, which only winds up reinforcing their co-dependence.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Temporarily in the Season 13 premiere, which reveals that another woman, Cindy, has joined the Gang in Dennis' absence. While also a Jerkass, she proves to be a much more effective leader than Dennis ever was and the other members of the group are much less dysfunctional people for it. It doesn't last as the Gang are quick to accept Dennis back into the group when he returns at the end of the episode — including Dee, who dismisses Cindy's membership on the grounds that she prefers being the only woman in the Gang as it makes her "feel special."
  • Ultimate Job Security: Actually justified in-universe. Frank is incredibly wealthy and can keep the bar afloat no matter how little actual business they do, and Charlie always manages to miraculously prepare the bar before health inspections to ensure that it gets a decent grade.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The Gang's memories are never to be believed, in part due to alcohol abuse and because they’re usually so self-absorbed and out-of-touch with reality that they'll rewrite history if it suits their own desires. "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" and "The Gang Does a Clip Show" are classic examples of this.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: In case you haven't figured it out yet. Their rude, immoral behavior and misfortunes are Played for Laughs, the most sympathetic being Charlie and the least sympathetic being Dennis.
  • Villain Protagonist: Don't hang out with these guys, or they'll crush your spirits and make you as vile as them.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Even as late as Season 14, the various members of the Gang can be found around Philadelphia passing the time in rather mundane ways like playing basketball.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: At best. How fond the members of the Gang are of each other varies, but they have a true sense of camaraderie... when they’re not ripping into each other or arguing about something. Lampshaded in "The Gang Goes to Hell Part 2" when the Gang spend over four hours arguing about what kind of sound a boat makes when it breaks down. Dennis tries to raise their spirits by pointing out they've cut their usual conflict resolution time in half.
  • Who's Watching the Store?: The creators made the main characters bar owners so that they could believably get into hijinks during the day. Even still, the trope is lampshaded in one episode where a newspaper reviewer writes that patrons of Paddy's Pub must often serve themselves because the owners are too busy arguing with each other to actually tend bar.
  • With Friends Like These...: They constantly sabotage each other with dangerous stunts and yet they're still close enough to do things like make a board game to play together, have regular movie nights, and sing a capella every once in a while.
  • Would Hit a Girl: None of the guys have any problems physically assaulting Dee or putting her in harm's way.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: All of them seem to believe that, should they desire it to, the universe will bend itself to follow the structure of whatever movie or TV series they currently wish to emulate. Similarly, they tend to act as though the world is governed by Negative Continuity, and that nothing they do will ever have any lasting consequences.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: They are often punished, mostly undeservedly, when they let their guards down to try and do normal, non-malicious, and totally legal pass times. Such as visiting a public pool and jumping into it only to discover that its bottom is covered in broken glass. Or having a genuinely nice Christmas with a newly empathetic Frank just to be robbed at gunpoint by one of his ex-business associates.

    Frank Reynolds 

Frank Reynolds
"Can I offer you a nice egg in this trying time?"

Played By: Danny DeVito, Michael Shaktah (young, "Psycho Pete Returns"), Farley Jackson (dream, "The Gang Turns Black")

Debut: "Charlie Gets Crippled"

"I don't know how many years on this earth I got left. I'm gonna get real weird with it."

The legal father of twins Dennis and Dee, and possibly the biological father of his roommate Charlie. He used to be a successful businessman with a long history of illegal operations and dealings with sordid characters, but chose to abandon that life and redeem himself after leaving his money-grabbing, cheating wife. He now shares a tiny, filthy studio apartment with Charlie, where they share a pullout couch.

  • Abusive Parent: He was a terrible father who relentlessly emotionally tortured Dennis and Dee. When the possibility of Frank being Charlie's father comes up, he seems to be genuinely invested in being a father figure to him.
  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: The way he says "whores" sounds more like "hoors".
  • Affably Evil: One of the most pleasant members of the Gang, and arguably the highest-functioning. While Dennis, Dee and Mac are manipulative and Charlie can fly off the handle at a moment's notice, Frank just wants to have fun.
  • Affluent Ascetic: Unlike the rest of the Gang who have to endure problems typically found with lower and middle-class people, their schemes being ways of moving up in the social and financial ladder, Frank is already rich and can join high society any time he wants. He does not however, feeling most comfortable as a sleazy Con Man living in squalor and financing the Gang's zany and legally sketchy schemes solely for the thrill of it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In the episode "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer", Dee tries taking advantage of Frank when she thinks that he is suffering from dementia, when really he is just faking it to lure her and the Gang into a prank. In "Being Frank" however, it is made clear that he suffers from routine bouts of memory loss (having forgotten Dennis's name and fumbling his way through the Gang's scheme of the day with having no idea what it even is) and having some physical malady that - while preventable - could prove to be fatal if not treated. This clues us in that while Frank has not reached the late stages of any form of dementia, he is suffering from a degenerative condition brought on by his age and his poor diet, not to mention the copious amount of alcohol and drugs he consumes regularly.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Frank and Charlie have a bizarre relationship. In one episode he believes that Charlie is dead and makes a mannequin of him. Charlie claims that he saw Frank "banging that thing."
  • Animal Motifs: He was known as the "Warthog" during his days as a CEO. Frank's rotund, slovenly appearance, disgusting personality, and filthy living habits make the comparison to the infamously grotesque-looking pig animal quite appropriate.
  • And Starring: "And Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds".
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Frank's - in the words of Dennis - "seemingly infinite wealth" allows the Gang to do whatever crazy scheme they want without having to worry about money. However, his vow to live a life of depravity means that he only uses his money to finance zany schemes, and he otherwise lives in complete squalor with Charlie and acts like a major tightwad.
  • At Least I Admit It: While his younger companions are all to varying degrees delusional about who they are as people, Frank openly and proudly admits that he considers himself to be scum.
  • A-Team Firing: Whenever he fires his gun, he never really manages to hit anything. Justified by his own admission that his eyesight is bad.
  • Ax-Crazy: He will pull out his gun and fire wildly into the air at the slightest provocation... or just no provocation.
  • Bad Boss: He used to run sweatshops in Vietnam. His management tactics haven't changed much since buying Paddy's Pub.
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald and a Depraved Dwarf.
  • Big Eater: He can really pack it away. He's so obsessed with food that he has a fetish for it.
  • Blood Knight: He seems pretty happy doing water torture and also wanted to kill a serial killer in the episode "Mac is a Serial Killer."
  • Brutal Honesty: In "The Gang Dines Out", Frank attempts to tip the hostess at a restaurant by placing a $100 bill in her cleavage, despite her resistance:
    Hostess: Um... you can just hand that to me.
    Frank: I was trying to feel your breast.
    Hostess: ... I got that.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Psychotic as he may be, Frank is genuinely competent as an underhanded businessman, which, compared to the rest of the Gang, makes him come off as something of a sage.
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: He always brings a gun with him to the bathroom, for safety when he's "at his most vulnerable".
  • Catchphrase: Repeatedly says "What's the action?" in Season 2 and "Bigtime!" in Season 5.
  • Characterization Marches On: Frank's introduction in the second season sees him as a successful but very corrupt business man and an actual functional adult in society. His involvement with the Gang, and particularly becoming roommates with Charlie, has seen Frank become more depraved and suffer Sanity Slippage.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Frank has no problem selling anyone down the river.... friends, Good Samaritans, business associates, even (actually, especially) his own children.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: More so as the series progresses. He participates in some of Charlie's weird activities involving bridges, boiling denim, and many other things.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He never hesitates to use dirty tricks in a fight, which is why he generally wins them.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Frank is an experienced company owner and operator who seems physically incapable of conducting business in an honest and ethical manner.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Frank is completely insane and apparently totally illogical, but he did make millions through dirty deals and is an expert manipulator. The best example might be "Gun Fever Too: Still Hot." Frank goes on TV and describes how he was mugged, thanking the guns he always carries for saving him. He proceeds to whip all of Philly into a frenzy over their Second Amendment rights, appearing on radio and television programs and urging them to buy firearms from Gunther's Guns. At the end of the episode—and after he's arranged a huge gun rights march on City Hall—Frank reveals that he doesn't care about the Second Amendment at all; he bought a stake in Gunther's and brilliantly played on everyone's fears and insecurities to make himself a fortune. The episode ends with him preparing to pull the same scheme with a water filter he's recently invested in.
    • On a lesser note, he is a better physical fighter than most of the Gang. In "Hundred Dollar Baby", he knocks out two professional boxers, and in "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops", he knocks out Cricket, who had already defeated most of the Gang, with a trash can.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Being Frank" is shown entirely from his perspective and depicts what a typical day in his life might look like.
  • Dirty Old Man: Frank has no problems groping women or trying to look up their skirts (with mirrors he's attached to his crocs). He also hires prostitutes and has a food fetish.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: In "The Gang Goes to a Water Park", he pretends to have AIDS so he can cut to the front of the line on all the rides.
  • Disease Bleach: His hair turns white in "Frank Retires" due to excessive blood loss.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Frank is a terrible driver. He fails to recognize this, and he blames at least one accident he caused on Asian drivers.
  • Drop-In Character: Several episodes begin with him kicking off the plot by announcing something while walking into the bar.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Season 15 goes out of its way to show that Frank really does care about Charlie as if he were his own son.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Despite his ludicrous levels of degeneracy 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 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.
    • He's disgusted at the very notion of Dennis and Dee having sex as he considers incest to be too perverted even for him.
    • In "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties" he states that it's his personal policy to never sleep with anyone younger than his daughter. Keep in mind Dee isn't a blood relative.
    • Frank overall seems to have morals and understand what it takes to be a good person, and is often appalled at the actions of others (despite consciously deciding to be scum himself).
    • "The Gang Goes to Ireland" reveals he was in business with Jeffrey Epstein and actually went to his private island, but only for the snorkeling and (by his admission) didn't know about the sexual crimes against minors.
  • Evil Mentor: Plays this to Mac whenever they share a plot together, such as teaching him how to run a sweat shop.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: He's a scumbag who has Danny DeVito's signature raspy voice.
  • Executive Excess: Already an abusive, greedy and transparently criminal businessman (to the point it seems the majority of his wealth came from embezzlement, tax fraud and multiple illegal ventures rather than actual work), Frank Reynolds is likewise a massive hedonist who regularly sleeps with prostitutes, openly does multiple drugs and flat out refuses to spend his vast fortune on anything other than enabling the Gang's insane and depraved schemes. It's best demonstrated in "Franks Back In Business" when he's temporarily called out of semi-retirement in the hope of saving his company, Frank instead blows money on outrageous purchases such as eating sushi off a naked prostitute rather than actually trying to save the company.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: As the seasons go on, Frank's hair becomes increasingly longer and unkempt, symbolizing his descent into insanity.
    • In Seasons 14 and 15, his hair is once again shorter, and he also behaves much more coherently compared to the middle seasons.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: He mentions being attracted to pumas and notes that things got "very sexual" with manatees when he went snorkling at Jeffrey Epstein's island.
  • 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?".
  • Fat Bastard: One of the biggest bastards of the Gang, and is played by Danny DeVito who is fairly overweight.
  • Fat Slob: Frank's a rather heavy set guy with disgusting eating habits.
  • Fetish: Has a food fetish. He 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." when 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 has steadily become 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. "Being Frank" also heavily implies that he's dying from a malignant brain tumor, which may have something to do with his increasingly erratic behavior.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He wears glasses and is a repulsive human being. Fittingly, he switches to more thick-rimmed glasses as he becomes more depraved.
  • Friend in the Black Market: As an ex-businessman with a long history of dirty dealings, Frank claims to have "a guy" for just about anything the Gang might ever need.
  • Freudian Excuse: He was institutionalized as a kid, and the resulting traumatic experiences probably contributed to his highly unstable personality.
  • Funny Flashback Haircut: Played for Laughs when we see a flashback to Frank at 19 years old... played by Danny DeVito and looking exactly as he does in the present day, only with an obvious toupee slapped on.
  • Genius Bruiser: While he's old and crazy, he's also tough and deceptively crafty.
  • Gonk: The already rather strange-looking Danny DeVito goes out of his way to make himself appear as bizarre as humanly possible. Frank, who is barely half as tall as the rest of the cast, obese to the point of being egg-shaped, and balding with only a few scraggly tufts of hair, resembles a troll about as much as a person possibly can.
  • A Good Way to Die: By the fourteenth season, he's pretty much fine dying so long as it doesn't involve choking, spending his last moments on Earth in a hospital bed, or being raped to death.
  • The Grinch: He's been deliberately ruining Christmas for Dennis and Dee since they were children.
  • Gun Nut: He loves to pull out his gun and according to "Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense", he has several guns without a permit.
  • The Hedonist: See Dirty Old Man, Fetish, Ax-Crazy, Blood Knight, and Extreme Omnivore. He gave up his wealthy lifestyle for the sake of doing all the depraved things he wants to. He kept the money, though.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Charlie. Few others would tolerate the squalor they live in together, but more than that they each enthusiastically support each other's weird habits (like sewer scavenging), have their own traditions and games (like Nightcrawlers) and rely on each other to be able to explain their joint weirdness which is pretty much incomphrensible to anyone else, the rest of the Gang included. When he finds out Charlie was trying to poison him in "The Gang Chokes", he's genuinely hurt.
  • Hidden Depths: On multiple occasions Frank has shown a genuine appreciation for art, including Mac's interpretive dance in "Mac Finds His Pride."
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Before joining the Gang, he was a crooked businessman whose schemes actually succeeded. As a result, he is hands down the most competent and knowledgeable of the Gang at cheating people, but generally chooses to take a back seat to the rest of the group as he enjoys doing their incredibly depraved and ridiculous schemes more than he does doing one that would actually work.
  • 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. Dee immediately points out that what made him a millionaire was embezzling from his partner.
    • Him constantly calling his wife a hooer - sorry, whore - is rather ironic given he frequently cheated on her with his secretaries and prostitutes.
    • His upset reaction to his wife's cheating becomes this after the reveal that he and Charlie's mother had an affair.
  • 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.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: He isn't introduced until the Season 2 premiere, but put someone in front of the TV who's heard of but never seen the show before, and start them on the first season, and they're guaranteed to ask "Where's Danny DeVito?"
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Plants a baby monitor in a man's apartment in "The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis."
  • Insufferable Imbecile: While somewhat more mature and crafty compared to the others (a number of his schemes actually end up working), Frank is a depraved, greedy, lecherous, bigoted hedonist who openly brags about his corrupt business practices, is uncaring toward the suffering of his own children, and holds onto hopelessly outdated views. When asked what his own company makes, Frank reveals he doesn't know or care (or even seem to understand the concept) beyond that it makes money, and sees being a CEO as bullying your employees, stealing money and blowing cash on hookers and drugs.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Frank is old enough to be the father of the other main characters (and kind of is in the case of Dennis and Dee) but is considered one of the Gang and is Heterosexual Life-Partners with his roommate, Charlie.
  • Irony: Spends far more time with Dennis and Dee as a member of the Gang than he ever did in their youth as their parent.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Anytime Frank is shown eating, it's a given he'll be as sloppy as possible. One key moment being when he eats pistachios whole and spits out the shells.
  • Kavorka Man: Considering he's quite the Gonk, he's done pretty well for himself even without using his money and is the only character to have a consensual, on-going relationship (with Artemis).
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • Frank hooks up with his ex-wife's sister's daughter. They're not blood-related, but she's still his niece. Though he describes it as "awful," he still was willing to accept a handjob from her later in "The Gang Squashes Their Beefs."
    • He specifically does this when he's trying to achieve the most depraved behavior possible. Originally, he wanted to bang his dead wife's sister (at her husband's funeral) but Mac convinced Frank that going after his own niece would be even more twisted.
  • Lack of Empathy: Not quite as bad as Dennis, but it's there. He has no problem with running a sweatshop, and is even willing to feed his employees the cooked bodies of their coworkers who died from exhaustion. He also casually admits to having shot a few people who tried to steal shoes from the factory, and feels nothing at all about it.
  • Les Collaborateurs: It's implied that he collaborated with the Nazis for his businesses. Old films showed that Dennis and Dee were unknowingly part of a neo-Nazi summer camp as children (through their grandfather on their mother's side). In the games, Frank's flag resembles a swastika, something he claims that was supposed to be 4 Fs and didn't realise the implication but Dennis doesn't believe him.
  • Luke, I Might Be Your Father: In the finale of Season 2, it is revealed that Frank might be Charlie's real father, though he denies it and the plotline is mostly dropped after the Season 3 premiere. Charlie's paternity is repeatedly mentioned in Season 10, where the Gang reveals that they intentionally avoided confirming it after all this time due to it being "too much of a hassle". Charlie takes some interest by trying to have Frank's DNA tested, but the results are inconclusive. In Season 15, Charlie meets an Irishman claiming to be his father and the plotline is seemingly resolved, with Charlie embracing Frank as his father of choice after the man dies from COVID-19.
  • Made of Iron: He falls out of a second-story window and lands on his head. Frank somehow manages to remain conscious during the entire ordeal.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Frank is a very shady business man. One time, he brought up the whole gun regulations debate up because he made a deal with a gun company and then decided to do the same thing with clean drinking water.
  • Messy Hair: His balding hair starts out combed down but as he joined the Gang and the seasons went on, his hair becomes noticeably disheveled, likely to match his depravity.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Due to being played by the famously 4'10" Danny DeVito.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: In "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties". Frank gets offered to host a beauty pageant and agrees. So he can see some hot chicks. But it turns out to be a children's beauty pageant and the original host was a pedophile. So he starts to get worried people might think he's a pedophile. As the Gang points out, his obsessive attempts to try and prove he's not a pedophile just made him seem more suspicious.
  • Near-Death Experience:
    • He crashes his Lamborghini in "A Very Sunny Christmas". To get the Gang to show up at the hospital he asks the doctors to tell them he actually did die.
    • He almost chokes to death in "The Gang Chokes". His life is saved by the Waiter, while the rest of the Gang look on either apathetic (Dennis), excited (Dee) or confused (Charlie and Mac).
    • To determine whether Frank is Charlie's father, the rest of the gang covertly steal multiple quarts of his blood, within what might be a single day, for DNA tests in "Frank Retires". His hair and skin turn ashen gray, his voice is left a gurgling rasp, and he becomes so frail and enfeebled that he loses bowel control and has to use a mobility scooter.
  • Noble Demon: One of the biggest things that sets him apart from the other four. While Frank doesn't have much in the way of empathy, he has a distinct moral code that he generally tries to follow to some degree.
  • Not Actually His Child:
    • "Dennis and Dee Get a New Dad" has Frank finding out, while out to dinner with his ex-wife Barbara, that Dennis and Dee aren't actually his children and Barbara had an affair with a man named Bruce Mathis during their marriage, then tricked Frank into raising the twins anyway. This inevitably leads to a meltdown in the middle of the restaurant, where Frank goes around asking random strangers if they had "banged his whore wife" before having a stroke and collapsing.
    • At the end of the same episode, Frank finds out his roommate Charlie might actually be his son instead. It's mostly dropped after the Season 3 premiere, however, and as seasons go on neither of them seem all that interested in finding out the truth. Frank's relationship with Charlie nevertheless evolves into a paternal one, and a few episodes show that Frank does in fact consider Charlie to be the son he always wanted. Season 15 reveals once and for all that Frank isn't actually Charlie's father either.
  • Older Sidekick: While he's the eldest member of the group and provides much of the capital needed for its schemes, he typically follows the lead of its other members. Ironically, Mac sees him as the muscle of the team.
  • Out of Focus: Similar to Dee, Frank is less front-and-center in Season 14 than in previous seasons, and has fewer independent storylines as a result.
  • 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.
    • In "Mac and Charlie Die: Part 2", he almost gets into a glory-hole situation with Dennis, his adopted son.
    • In "Make Paddy's Great Again", he admits to having participated in an orgy with Mac, Charlie and a Dennis-shaped sex doll.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Occasionally dons these, with a dash of Bavarian Fire Drill for good measure. Surprisingly, they usually work.
    • In "Thunder Gun Express," he pretends to be a tour boat captain by running on to the boat when the real skipper leaves and stealing it.
    • His recurring persona of "Dr. Mantis Toboggan" includes wearing a shirt and tie and declaring that Dennis has HIV.
    • In one episode, he passes himself off as "Ongo Gablogian," an Andy Warhol-esque Caustic Critic and stereotypical avant-garde artist, by wearing a black turtleneck, pair of horn-rimmed glasses, and long white wig.
  • Parental Substitute: A twisted one for Mac and Charlie, particularly the latter, who didn't have father figures growing up. He tends to act more fatherly when dealing with them than he does when dealing with his legal children Dennis and Dee.
  • 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.
    • After his Near-Death Experience in "A Very Sunny Christmas", Frank has a change of heart and surprises the gang by giving them all the gifts they wanted. True, they all get stolen by his ex-business partner Eugene a moment later, but it's still a nice gesture.
    • He's also consistently the member of the Gang most willing to treat Cricket as an actual human being and express concern for him. He still views him as an expendable stooge, but he at least has some amount of empathy for him.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Frank is tiny, but stocky and incredibly strong.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Frank once saved Mac's life just by shouting "Hey, faggot!".
  • Racist Grandpa: While everyone in the Gang can be pretty prejudiced, the other four don't hate marginalized groups, rather they are just ignorant due their sheltered upbringings. Frank on the other hand is a xenophobe who regularly uses slurs and treats people who are part of other racial groups as subhuman.
  • Rags to Riches: Rose from being gutter trash to a multi-millionaire through underhanded business scams. He prefers acting like gutter trash.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: The number of gun safety rules the man breaks is pretty astonishing; he's very fond of drawing and audibly cocking his revolver and then waving it around casually. You can count on it to go off, rarely hitting whatever Frank intended it to.
  • Red Baron: Frank's old business views his "The Warthog" persona with reverence and fear.
  • Retired Badass: He was a street fighting, drug dealing gang leader in his youth and still has several of his old connections.
  • Retired Monster: His first episode has him retire from being a Corrupt Corporate Executive. As the rest of this page implies, it wasn't a moral decision.
  • Sanity Slippage: "Being Frank" shows that old age, hard living and already straddling the line of sanity have all taken their toll on him to a point where, of the Gang he can only remembers Charlie's name and otherwise simply pretends to know what's going on while randomly reacting to his environment.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Has increasingly shown signs of senility in the later seasons. The term the Gang use is "donkey-brained". His own POV episode shows how warped his mind is even before he accidentally ingests some drugs.
  • Schemer: Became a millionaire by screwing over his old business partner, and regularly does the same to others.
  • The Scrooge: Despite his Arbitrarily Large Bank Account, he rarely tends to put it to use in getting a scheme going and tends to penny-pinch. It's justified on his part, though; no scheme the Gang makes could make him as much money as he already has, and if he wanted to, he could live comfortably the rest of his days with no need to connive. His refusal to spend money just means that the Gang is guaranteed to constantly be clawing for any scrap of cash, guaranteeing absolutely ridiculous schemes.
  • Self-Made Man: Albeit one who did a fair amount of backstabbing to scrounge his way to the top, it's nostalgia for his former desperate lifestyle that causes Frank to room with Charlie when he joins the Gang.
  • Serial Rapist: While he normally remains 'depraved but not quite crossing into assault' when he tries to have sex, it's revealed in "Time's Up for the Gang" that he has sexually harassed and assaulted many assistants and female employees in his lifetime.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: As arguably the most depraved member of the Gang, it is no surprise that he embodies some of these traits. It is even implied that he is actively trying to see how depraved he could possibly become.
    • Lust: He has had various, incredibly kinky one-night stands with Artemis and ends up sleeping with his niece - the incredibly abhorrent Gail "the Snail" - in his efforts to have sex with her recently widowed mother.
    • Gluttony: Being a stout, fat slob and an alcoholic, Frank usually eats things that he shouldn't. His feces included wolf hair, paper and cut up pieces of a credit card, he pictures himself eating a hot dog as the convenience store he is in is being robbed at gun point and he even starts eating from a bag full of anthrax before he is told by Dennis that it is just powdered sugar.
    • Greed: While originally established as a Defector from Decadence, Frank seems much more interesting in the thrill of gaining riches through his shady dealings and scams than he is actually being rich. He created a 2nd Amendment scare just some could profit off of gun sales, he sells a company he founded after he was asked to help reform it (outsourcing hundreds of jobs in the process), has created and ran several sweatshops with terrible working conditions, etc.
  • Shirtless Scene: Emerges fully nude from a couch in "A Very Sunny Christmas".
  • Sixth Ranger: Joins the Gang at the start of Season 2. Like any good Sixth Ranger, he also contrasts the rest of the group by being an old man actively trying to live a depraved life rather than a delusional thirty-something who is mostly oblivious to his own depravity.
  • Slime Ball: He ran a sweatshop, has sexually assaulted a lot of women and he doesn't have much regard for the law, so he's definitely this.
  • Slumming It: While Frank is at least a multi-millionaire, he prefers living as cheaply and poorly as possible, and almost never uses his money for anything other than funding the Gang's antics.
  • The Smart Guy: Frank is sometimes this, particularly when the rest of the Gang falls victim to manipulation or scams.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: He's overjoyed when he finds out his ex-wife Barbara has died from a botched neck lift, and pops open a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
  • Stout Strength: Frank is fat and very short, but packs enough of a wallop to be able to knock out two professional boxers.
  • Team Dad: To the group. Whether they like it or not, the Gang does turn to Frank when they need guidance and in a weird way actually respect his opinions and insight. This trope is twisted though, as Frank does nothing to protect the Gang from their worst instincts or manipulates them for his own ends, essentially making him an Abusive Parents version of this trope.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Very frequently uses an emphatic "bitch."
  • Token Adult: Despite all of the other members of the group being in their thirties, Frank is still treated like "the old guy" and is several decades older than everyone else. It helps that the other members of the Gang are manchildren whose emotional levels are (at their oldest) that of teenagers while Frank genuinely acts like a (mentally unstable and manipulative) adult.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Frank and Froggy were one and the same the whole time.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Eggs and rum ham.
  • Trigger Happy: He's guaranteed to misfire a gun if he's holding one. He's a pretty terrible shot though.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: In preparation for the beauty pageant in "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties", Frank gets his foundation done by a mortician, both because he's a cheapskate and because he thought he needed something drastic for his bruising ("ya go to a funeral home to get gruesome repairs!"). The end result is him looking unnaturally smooth, pale and waxy, like he's been embalmed.
  • The Unreveal: For the first fourteen and a half seasons of the show, it's unconfirmed if he's Charlie's biological father. Season 15 finally reveals he isn't.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In "PTSDee", he seems to delight in using a virtual reality game as an excuse to murder children without consequence.
  • The Vietnam Vet: Parodied. Frank indignantly claims to have gone to 'Nam, but Dee points out it was a "business trip" in 1993 to establish a sweatshop.
    "And a lotta good men died in that sweatshop!"
    • The closest Frank has seemingly ever come to actual service in Vietnam is his insistence in "Mac and Dennis: Manhunters" that he did a tour, came home, and was hitchhiking through Oregon when he was hounded by an army of state troopers. Everyone is very quick to mention that Frank is confusing the plot of First Blood for his own life experiences, and it's not even the first time he's done it.
  • The Watson: As the only outsider in the Gang, he frequently is used as a quick way for the others to explain their many weird traditions.
  • Wild Card: Frank fits the webpage's definition of this trope because he has no loyalty and is willing to switch sides (and betray his own side) for his own benefit. He simply does what he thinks will give him the most profit. However in the Gang's definition of a Five-Man Band dynamic, he's less of the wild card and more of the muscle.
  • Wrongfully Committed: Part of his backstory is that he got sent upstate to a "nitwit school" after getting scrambled by questions from a psychologist. He eventually gets out with a certificate declaring him not having "donkey brains".

Alternative Title(s): Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia Frank Reynolds