Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Go To

  • In "The Gang Gets Held Hostage" Frank reaches behind his back to reach for his gun taped to his back. When, during crawling through the air vents, did he get access to duct tape and taped to his back?
    • Probably justified as part of the overall Die Hard parody.
    • Fridge Brilliance It's entirely possible that while crawling through an Air Duct, they found some Duct Tape. Especially considering Charlie isn't exactly the best handy man, a lot of broken things in the bar are probably fixed with duct tape.
  • In "Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead", Dennis and Dee's real father steals the gangs camera as proof that Dennis violated the terms under which he was given his mother's house. It seems like Dennis could have simply avoided losing the house by getting the camera back and destroying the tape. Why no one in the gang tried to get their camera back is beyond me.
    • Probably because even they know when attacking a guy would lead to more problems for them.
    • Despite all their bravado and show, everyone in the gang is a coward.
  • Dennis and Dee's real father is Bruce Mathis. Thus, they are not blood-related to Frank. Why is it, then, that Dennis is an Identical Grandson? Poppop specifically says that the reason they don't know about his war history is because of their "bastard father," which in context HEAVILY implies that Frank is his son.
    • Well unless it specifically stated Frank was his son, it doesn't exactly completely rule out that he wasn't. Plus Frank's character didn't even exist until season two, so little details like stuff early on in season one are liable to change as a quiet retcon.
    • Wasn't Pop Pop their mother's father? That's the impression I got. In that case, typical in-law animosity would explain his attitude toward Frank.
    • Confirmed in the eighth season premiere. Pop pop is indeed their maternal grandfather.
  • In "Mac and Charlie: White Trash", Mac and Charlie get stuck in an empty pool. So why didn't Mac give Charlie a boost over the edge? The pool was only about 8 or 9 feet deep, they could've easily gotten out that way. Or at least grabbed the mattress and dragged it back in.
    • It was a diving pool, those are at least twenty feet deep so people don't get paralyzed when they smash into the bottom.
  • When the gang gets mugged (for the second time) in "Hundred Dollar Baby" why don't they just run? They've got open space behind them and look to be in better condition than a methed out addict with a tiny knife. Hell, they knew running away would work (it did the first time), and even without leaving Dee behind as a decoy (which didn't seem intentional) they would've been fine.
    • Like it's been established before, they are all a bunch of idiotic, cowardly jerks.
  • In season one, Charlie is described as being in love with the Waitress "for months." Later episodes show that they went to school together (and the Reunion episode has Charlie mention that she was the prettiest girl in the school, implying an infatuation from early on). So why is Charlie's love of her so recent?
    • It's the gang. They probably didn't notice or really care until then. Dennis and Dee were at college for a while, presumably and Mac is self absorbed.
    • Advertisement:
    • Maybe Charlie thought she was pretty in school, but didn't develop an actual crush on her until much more recently.
    • Also, in the episode "The waitress is getting married" the Waitress tells Dee that she sat next to her in school, but Dee doesn't remember, so they aren't the most observant bunch
    • Maybe it's all of the above somehow?
  • Mac (Rob McIlhenny) and Charlie (Charlie Day) are The Danza; why is Glenn Howerton not Glenn on the show?
    • Apparently he had more of a problem than the other two to being that connected to his character.
      • Good point. Of the three, Dennis comes off as the most villainous.
      • They might also have decided that Glenn didn't feel right for his character. Mac and Charlie fit the characters pretty well. Dennis doesn't feel like a Glenn.
      • They do, however, both contain "enn". It's a stretch, but it'll do.
      • Glenn Howerton has said outright that he wants to distance himself from the character of Dennis.
  • Is Frank still as wealthy as he was when he first entered the show. He was a successful businessman but he's mostly spent the last 6-7 years participating in unsuccessful schemes with the gang and doesn't seem poorer for it. He just paid $200 to Dee to suck the poison out of his head in the last episode (S8E3), so he can still throw away money, I suppose.
    • Frank says that he's rich in "Charlie and Dee Find Love," so he's apparently still got a lot of his money left. Frank seems to have a lot of shady connections, so he's probably always grifting on the side.
    • Frank makes a good deal of dough in "Frank's Back in Business," not to mention fracking the mountain in "The Gang Hits the Slopes" and investing in Gunther's Guns before riling people up about gun control in "Gun Control Too: Still Hot."
    • In "Wolf Cola: A Public Relations Nightmare," it appears that Frank has been producing soft drinks under his company Frank's Fluids, seemingly for a good profit. Of course, it requires a combination of less-than-upstanding buyers and people buying it for "alternative purposes."
  • Why does Frank choose to live with Charlie if he has enough money to bail the gang out when they're in trouble?
    • He likes Charlie. And he ends up losing all of his money in "The Great Recession".
      • Frank gets his money back at the end of that episode. He lives with Charlie because he wants to live the gang's debauched lifestyle, scheming his way through life.
  • A minor question but in "The Gang Gives Back" why is Charlie running around blocking shots and everything and being such an awful referee?
    • This could probably be attributed to him being quite drunk, and angry at all of his friends and the Waitress
    • Because he wants to show the Waitress how much damage she's done by ceasing to be his sponsor in favor of pining over Dennis.
  • Rickey Cricket can join the priesthood any time he wants, right? If he quits because he's in love with a girl and doesn't do anything about it or consummate that relationship, I'm pretty sure he's not in trouble. The priesthood even takes people who had sex before taking a vow of celibacy.
    • He implies in the episode where he first leaves the priesthood, that he left in such a way that he would never be allowed back.
  • Did Bruce Mathis completely lose interest in his kids? As far as I know, their only crime was not wanting to be in an air-conditioned room with a bunch of terminally ill kids that they had little or no idea how to help. Also, how good could Bruce Mathis have been if he had sex with a married woman? I presume he might have known about it all this time if he independently messaged Sweet Dee anyway.
    • After the events of "Dennis and Dee's Mom is Dead" I'm pretty sure he doesn't want anything to do with them. Would you?
    • Also, it probably has a great deal IRL with the actor who played Bruce Mathis turning out to have made sexual advances at minors.
  • Why hasn't Charlie been arrested? I mean I know he's supposed to be a downplayed Token Good Teammate who's not really good per se, just the least immoral one in the group. But he's been stalking the waitress for a long time & she hates him for being so obsessed with her. Why doesn't she call the police or try to get a restraining order? I know it's probably hard to get a stalker arrested in certain situations. Though he obviously knows where she lives and makes no secret of the fact that he's stalking her and I'm pretty sure the lawyer (which they used to see) would love to help her out.
    • She has a restraining order. Multiple restraining orders, in fact, according to "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System." Charlie just ignores them.
      • In that episode she begins to call the police when she finds Charlie in her apartment destroying her sink (or "fixing it" as he claims). Unfortunately, he mentions Dennis, and she gets Distracted by the Sexy.
    • Also throw in the waitress' behavior during her frequent falls off the wagon.

  • Why is Frank's hair black if Danny DeVito's hair as of a Season 9 TV interview I just saw was white. Frank is likely as old as Danny DeVitto, so why go through the trouble of dying his hair?
    • Season 8 shows that he deludes himself into thinking he's not old, so he probably dyes it. In Frank Retires, he actually looks like an old man.
    • People are accustomed to seeing Danny with dark hair. He looks the way he's always looked when he first appears in the show, and they didn't want his hair to suddenly change color between seasons.
    • In the beginning of "Being Frank", we see Frank dying his roots in front of his mirror as he starts the day. It's the character's cosmetic choice.
    • Everyones hair doesn't go white at the same rate either. I know people older than Danny DeVito who still have their old hair colour.

  • How did Country Mac die in "Mac Day"? The motorcycle was going 5 miles an hour.
    • It seems he just tilted over drunk and cracked his head open on the asphalt.
      • He was wearing a helmet, so it seems he snapped his neck when he fell over.
      • Actually he wasn't. Snapped neck or cracking his head open are both legitimate possibilities.
  • In "The Gang Gets Held Hostage", Margaret is revealed to be a deaf mute. But in "Who Got Dee Pregnant?", the McPoyle brothers tell Mac to call her. My question is: Why are they telling him to call her, if it's impossible to communicate with her over the phone?
    • One of her brothers would probably pick up and be a very creepy middleman.
  • In "Flowers for Charlie" could the experimenters have been any more insensitive or any bigger jerks? Was there any delicacy to try to portray behavioral scientists as ethical?
    • I don't know. But if I had to guess, it's probably due to Rule of Funny, especially since it's kind of a Sadist Show. Or Tsang Te (the scientist interacting with Charlie) could have seen how Charlie treated everyone when he thought he was smarter than them and thought he needed to be taken down a peg. I mean, the dude did rag on Charlie a bit for thinking he was suddenly too good for a woman he spent years pining for. It's debatable whether Charlie really deserved that (especially since Tsang Te's the one who caused it), but it's possible.
    • Recall that at the end of the episode, the lead scientist mentioned that Tsang Te's (spelling?) role was to reinforce Charlie's belief in his own intelligence. What's unethical about that?

  • In "Flowers for Charlie" most of Charlie’s behavior can be explained as simple effects of the placebo. However he actually does some clever stuff: he quotes Shakespeare, he gives an informed opinion of Stephen Hawking’s role in the scientific community, he identifies Frank’s intentions and describes them in an eloquent way and he explains the etymology of placebo. How did he do that? Those are not exactly super genius level observations, but is definitely way beyond Charlie “I can’t actually read” Kelly’s capacities.
    • Charlie has produced Grammy-grade songs, manipulated a girl just to get The Waitress jealous, & gotten Paddy's a passing health inspection. He really is a genius...who just happens to be illiterate.
    • Furthermore, his "genius" moments were probably just things he heard elsewhere and repeated without actually knowing what he was talking about (even though he thinks he does).
    • It's likely that he heard those words, opinions, and facts in his audiobooks and was repeating them. That's why he couldn't do it again by the end of the episode- enough time (a few days) had passed that he already forgot them.

  • How can Frank fall out that window in the 11th season and survive if he lands on his head?
    • It's happened often enough in real life, and Frank/Danny is a pretty small guy, so the impact wouldn't necessarily be as bad.

  • In "The Gang Hits the Slopes", when did the gang find time to develop into great skiers? Mac in particular is known to be far less athletic than he lets on.
    • In Dennis' and Dee's case, it's probably a hobby they picked up in their spoiled youth.
    • The Slopes have different rules.
    • Rule of Funny in that the episode was generally parodying over-the-top 80's movies, maybe.

  • Why hasn't anyone tried to get help for Dennis? Yes, they are UnsympatheticComedyProtagonists, but they all must know he is a serious danger to all of them.
    • They're all dangerous people (Dee admitted to outright plotting to killing off Dennis and Frank for the inheritance money. Charlie seemingly might have murdered the "leprechaun" in "Charlie Catches A Leprechaun" if the gang hadn't stopped him. Frank carries a gun on him constantly and is reckless with it). They're also extremely ignorant, stubborn people who refuse to change their long-set ways, learn new things, or admit to their flaws. It seems like they're willing to let themselves kill each other than admit that any of them need help. They're also all severe alcoholics, drug-users, and people who just generally put themselves in bad positions (they do run a dive bar that they've described as the kind of place where people get stabbed). It doesn't seem like they put much thought into health or safety in any real way. The Gang must know the stuff they do is seriously dangerous, but as they say in "The Gang Gets Quarantined" after realizing they're alcoholics:
    Charlie: What do we do with that information?
    Dennis: What do you do with any information? You just stuff it deep down inside and keep an eye on it.
    • In "Mac is a Serial Killer", the gang gets ready to chop Mac up into pieces with a chainsaw because they think Mac is a serial killer. In "The Waitress is Getting Married", Mac and Dennis tell Frank that they're arming themselves with weapons because they think that Charlie will be distraught at losing the waitress and "try to take them out". Their patterns of dealing with potential danger in other members of the gang doesn't line up with trying to get help for anyone, or doing whatever would be the healthiest/most rational method for the situation.

  • In "Mac and Dennis Move to the Suburbs" the pair make a bet with Frank that they can live in the suburbs for one month, otherwise they have to sleep with an old (black) man for a year. If they make it Frank must pay their rent for a year. After a long Shining-eqsue descent into madness Mac and Dennis make it the full month. Frank then says the year's rent would be for the house in the suburbs. The end of the episode finds them sleeping with the old man as if they had lost the bet. If they held up their end of the bargain, it shouldn't matter that Frank has surprise parameters for the rent usage. They could just not use the money.
    • I like to think that the camera cut away just before Mac and Dennis did something to forfeit the bet at the literal last second.
    • The spirit of the bet was that Mac and Dennis couldn't hack it in the suburbs, while they were insisting it would be a piece of cake. The idea was that if they indeed liked it there, Frank would pay the rent on that house for a year, something they didn't think of after they realized they hated it. After the bet was over, they wanted out of the house as soon as possible, and doing that would be admitting that they couldn't live there, proving Frank right. Going by the strictest rules of the bet, they won. Going by the reasoning behind the bet, Frank won. So maybe in between those scenes they hashed it out with a trial like when Frank hit Dennis' car with his and Frank won.

  • I know it's a comedy, and Rule of Funny supersedes anything else, but when exactly did The Gang acquire the bar? The series debuted in 2005, and in the underage drinking episode, Mac explicitly states that he is 28 years old. The rest of the gang graduated in the same year as of the high school reunion episode, so they're all 28 in that episode apparently. But in Storm of the Century, they mention that the bar has a panic room that they cleared for Y2K. The gang would have been 21 years old then - how did they own the bar in 1999?
    • What makes you think they designed the panic room?
    • Where did I write that they designed the panic room?
      • In that episode they state that Dee made them create the panic room for Y2K, because she was terrified of machines uprising, and then immediately raided it after it passed. If Mac was 28 in 2005, that'd make him 22 in 1999. Dennis and Dee never state what level degrees they were pursuing in college, only that Dee dropped out and was briefly institutionalized. It's possible that during a summer break from college in 1995-1998 that Dennis, Charlie, and Mac happened upon a run down bar, and got Dennis' parents to bankroll them owning it, since Frank was still Dennis' real dad at that point and his mother spoiled him. Frank could've twisted some arms to let them work underage until 1998, Charlie and Mac could've been running it while Dennis was away at school, and Dee would presumably be in the mix at that point.

  • In "The Gang Gives Back" why would the A.A. meeting not understand that Charlie doesn't want to admit that he's an alcoholic? It's clear that the court sends people with alcohol-related violations to the group so shouldn't the group be prepared to deal with people who have committed alcohol violations and aren't self-diagnosed alcoholics?

  • In "The Gang Turns Black" Charlie says (well, sings) that he and Frank live in Section 8 housing. so how are they on Section 8, considering that Frank is definitely at least middle class, which should disqualify them?
    • Because as far as the law is concerned, Frank isn't middle class. Nearly all of his money was hidden from the government in a series of fake accounts to presumably to keep his ex-wife from getting ahold of it. Furthermore, many of the businesses in which he is currently making money from aren't exactly on the up-and-up, so the government wouldn't have any knowledge of them. As far as the United States Government knows, he's broke, and therefore eligible for Section 8 housing. Alternatively, Charlie could be the only official tenant, and Frank is only freeloading at his place without the landlord's knowledge.

  • Towards the end of Season 7, Mac's real name is revealed. Question is, the writers clearly intended to keep Mac's real name a secret, as seen in the credits to Lethal Weapon 5 where Dennis is listed as "Dennis Reynolds" and Mac is listed as "Mac," so why did they wait 7 years to have this joke in the show if they already planned it?
    • It's much funnier to reveal the name Ronald McDonald after building up the mystery for 7 seasons than to reveal it right off the bat.


Example of: