Now that it’s known that the sixteenth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is set to begin filming this winter, fans are wondering if the longest-running live-action sitcom in television history can keep up the quality.
While the series has excelled at maintaining its humor and engaging storylines over the years, it also has to be said that some episodes haven’t managed to hold up as well as others. The users of Reddit in particular have been vocal about which of the series’ many episodes they find to be the worst.
“A Cricket’s Tale” (Season 12, Episode 9)
Cricket is, of course, one of the best recurring characters in It’s Always Sunny. As the object of the Gang’s manipulations, he is the living exemplar of how terrible they are. However, while his own episode, “A Cricket’s Tale,” has its high points, it is one that isn’t popular with many Redditors.
Jurkas26, for example, writes: “The gang is only in A Cricket’s Tale for around 90 seconds and, while a funny side character, Cricket isn’t funny enough to carry a whole episode by himself.” It’s a reminder to all television shows, particularly sitcoms, that relying on a secondary character to carry an entire episode by themselves is a risk.
“Frank’s Brother” (Season 7, Episode 5)
“Frank’s Brother”, like “A Cricket’s Tale” is an episode that has relatively little screen time for its central Gang, focusing instead on Frank, his brother, and their shared love of the same woman. While this gives Frank some much-needed backstory, it also robs the episode of the usual banter among the cast.
The Danimal438 argues that it is “another 1 of those episodes that felt too sitcomy with the flashback trope.” The episode feels less adventurous than the typical It’s Always Sunny adventure, and it ultimately lacks the important chemistry that is so key to the series’ best episodes.
“The Gang Cracks The Liberty Bell” (Season 4, Episode 11)
Given that it has been on the air for so long, it makes sense that It’s Always Sunny would often have to stretch to find new things for its characters to do. In “The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell,” the present is interpreted with the past, in which the main cast plays their 18th-century counterparts.
While it has its strong points, as a whole the episode is just not that funny. As Timelighter bluntly puts it: “I really hate The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell for failing to be funny… with the exception of Dee spitting in Cricket’s face. That almost makes the episode worth it.” Ultimately the episode relies too much on the flashback storytelling and less on the series’ usually strong writing, which makes it feel too gimmicky even for a sitcom episode.
“Who Pooped The Bed” (Season 4, Episode 7)
There’s no question that It’s Always Sunny has always excelled at pushing the envelope in terms of what is acceptable (and not) to show on television. In the episode “Who Pooped the Bed,” this is taken to its gross-out extreme, and the story focuses just on what the title suggests it does.
It is perhaps not surprising that many on Reddit would find this episode to be a bit too much. Ajrsfeldash writes that it “is one I always skip… Dumb premise and the dramatic stuff didn’t work for me. Also it feels like it’s “LOL ISNT POOP FUNNY.” As the Reddiotr suggests, this episode relies far too much on cheap laughs and less on the edgy comedy which the series usually excels at.
“The Gang Hits The Slopes” (Season 11, Episode 3)
“The Gang Hits the Slopes” is one of those It’s Always Sunny episodes that is essentially fine but doesn’t do much to stand out from the rest. As its title suggests, the entire episode takes place at a ski lodge, with the usual mishaps and madness that accompany the Gang wherever they go.
One Redditor notes: “I hate the one where they go to the ski lodge, I get it that it’s supposed to be like those crappy 80s movies but it just fell flat for me.” While the episode is fine by typical sitcom standards, it is one of those episodes that feels more like filler than anything truly extraordinary.
“The Gang Makes Paddy’s Great Again” (Season 13, Episode 1)
Though it is arguably one of the best shows on FX, there are times when It’s Always Sunny makes some questionable choices. Once it becomes clear that Dennis might be leaving, for example, the Gang brings in a new character, played by Mindy Kahling. As charming as she is in many roles, she feels like a mismatch here, as Redditors have pointed out.
Grokabilly says it is “The only bad episode in my opinion.” More than anything else, the episode’s weakness suggests that, when it comes to a sitcom like this one, it is truly impossible to replicate the existing chemistry of the original cast.
“Charlie’s Home Alone” (Season 13, Episode 8)
One of the things that It’s Always Sunny does very well is to create “themed” episodes. In one of the most notable of these, Charlie has to contend with the fact that he has been left in the bar and, after booby-trapping it, he becomes ensnared in his own traps.
While it has its funny moments, it is ultimately not a favorite for many Redditors. As andtosumitup says: “Charlie’s Home Alone is by far the worst episode. It’s so unwatchable and not funny at all.” It is an episode whose central gag quickly begins to wear thin pretty quickly, failing to live up to the originality of the rest of the series.
“The Gang Gets A New Member” (Season 6, Episode 8)
Part of what makes It’s Always Sunny one of the best sitcoms is the undeniable chemistry among the members of its cast. Any disruption to this dynamic is sure to upset both the central dynamic at the show’s heart as well as its fans.
This helps to explain why many Redditors do not like “The Gang Gets a New Member.” The addition of Schmitty, however, brief, rubs many people the wrong way. Herpaladerpala, for example, puts it bluntly: “I also don’t really enjoy The gang gets a new member.” Sometimes, it is best to just leave things as they are.
“The Gang Gets Trapped” (Season 7, Episode 9)
“The Gang Gets Trapped,” as its title implies, focuses on the Gang’s attempt to get out of a house they are attempting to burgle. It is, of course, filled with the usual bizarre antics of the show’s beloved characters, but it has to be said that the episode’s central story does, at times, feel more than a bit contrived.
Because of this, it makes sense that users like ImAwesomeThanks would write that the episode “felt weird and slightly lame.” While it isn’t a terrible episode per se, it clearly doesn’t achieve quite the heights of the series’ best episodes.
“How Mac Got Fat” (Season 7, Episode 10)
Mac is arguably one of the series’ best characters. He is also one of the aspects of the show that has changed the most from the first season of It’s Always Sunny, and a great deal has focused on both his sexuality and on his issues with his body.
The episode entitled “How Mac Got Fat” is seen by many Redditors as being among the show’s worst, for more than just the obvious reasons. JF0GT writes: “It is literally old unused scenes mixed into a new episode. It has no continuity whatsoever to the point of being cringe-worthy.” Even a strong series like It’s Always Sunny has moments where its quality declines and this episode is perhaps the biggest misstep in the sitcom’s history in the eyes of fans.