It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the most inventive and freshest shows on TV at the moment. The fact that it has been able to keep producing interesting content for nearly 15 years is incredible. Even more incredible is the fact that it has never received an Emmy or Golden Globe during all of this time.
The gang acknowledge this in “The Gang Tries Desperately To Win An Award”, where they make fun of their inability to win awards. In this episode, it is hinted that they are unable to win awards because they don’t play it safe, like other sitcoms. It's also made clear that the show won't change its risqué behavior just to rake in awards, which is probably one of the main reasons why it's still running 13 seasons later.
However, despite the constant level of brilliance that the show displays, this doesn't mean that the series is immune to making mistakes. Most long-running shows have obvious inconsistencies, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is no different.
Such inconsistencies include Mac’s father, who seemingly breaks out of jail for one episode only to return in the next one or Mac’s inconsistent real name. All these mistakes, inconsistencies, and plot holes are all interesting to examine.
With that said, here are the 20 Things Wrong With It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Everyone Chooses To Ignore.
20 Frank is probably not Charlie's dad
One of It's Always Sunny's running jokes is the heavy implication that Frank is Charlie’s dad. On the surface, it makes sense, as they’re both short oddballs who enjoy living in squalor. There is also the fact that Charlie’s mom slept with Frank, who then told her to get an abortion. However, as Charlie’s mom so eloquently put it, “the abortion didn’t take” because Frank used a cheap backstreet clinic.
However, despite this, it seems clear that Frank is probably not Charlie's real dad.
This is because Charlie’s mom was a street worker, so his father could be pretty much anyone. While it may be a sweet idea to assume that Frank and Charlie are related, this implication would actually disturbing if true, considering the fact that Frank and Charlie get married in one episode.
19 Mac's confusing name
For the first six seasons of It's Always Sunny, we never find out Mac’s full first or last name. Instead, we were left guessing why it was so clouded in secrecy. However, it was a bit disappointing to finally discover that it was actually a lame reference to McDonald’s mascot - Ronald McDonald. It is only brought up in “The High School Reunion” and is rarely referred to ever again. While this feels like the epitome of a rather lame one-off joke, it also contradicts several earlier incidents.
In an earlier episode, one of the McPoyle brothers confusingly calls the Karate master “Macwell,” but this is never brought up again. Mac's father is also named Luther Mac and Mac’s mother is always called Mrs Mac. This might imply that his name isn’t really Ronald McDonald after all.
18 Charlie's disappearing sister(s)
Charlie’s family is a strange one. He has an agoraphobic mom, an absent father, and an extremely sinister yet seemingly loving uncle. However, one thing that has remained a mystery is whether or not Charlie has any siblings. After all, you would think that this would have come up at some point during the 13 seasons. Instead, we are teased with random references.
In one episode, Charlie brings up an unseen sister who we never meet and is never mentioned again. Even more bizarrely, we meet two teenage girls in the same episode who are implied to be his sisters. Considering their ages, however, it seems unlikely that they would be Charlie's siblings, since they are much younger than him. It's also unknown whether one of these "sisters" is the one he referenced earlier.
17 Mac's dad temporarily escapes prison
It’s easy to pick on the Christmas episode of It's Always Sunny, as it was filmed before the season. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of the continuity in the episode makes no sense whatsoever. One mistake that is particularly noticeable involves Mac’s dad, who joins the gang for the jolly Christmas festivities.
This may seem normal, but according to previous episodes, he is supposed to be serving a lifetime in prison.
You could argue that he escaped to visit his family during what is often considered the loneliest time of year. However, this still makes little since, since we see him back in prison during the next season. Did he escape from prison just to return after Christmas?
16 Mac's house reappears after it was burned down
It's Always Sunny's Christmas episode had multiple problems. One of the main mistakes revolves around the Mac household, which supposedly burned down in “Mac’s Mom Burns Her House Down”. Due to the fact that this episode was filmed before these events, the house appears as if nothing happened to it.
Since this is an otherwise fairly intricate and clever plot that doesn't trip over other inconsistencies, the fact that the house is brought back seems odd. The entire premise of “Mac’s Mom Burns Her House Down” focuses on Mac taking his mom in and trying to shack her up with Charlie's mom in Golden Girls-esque fashion, so it is extremely strange to see the house again.
15 The gang's school
The high school that the gang went to is revisited in “The High School Reunion”, which provides us with some insight about their earlier lives. Since It's Always Sunny has 13 seasons - and has been renewed for a 14th - there several plot holes in the series. One of these plot holes involves the waitress, who is played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis. The waitress doesn't seem to know who the gang is, which seems odd, since they supposedly attended the same school. She seems to go from remembering them, to often wishing that she could forget them, to being completely unaware of their existence.
Another lot hole involves Mac and Charlie, who state that they went to Catholic School. This is odd, however, since neither Dee nor Dennis attended such a school.
14 Frank is a millionaire... but he still choses to live in poverty
Frank often reminds everyone that he is a millionaire and has no issues with money. However, this seems to be forgotten in a lot of stories in which money would be useful. Though this is likely done to further the plot, it still seems odd. However, one inexcusable instance where Frank’s wealth is brushed over happens when he chooses to live in squalor with Charlie.
Frank could easily buy a house in one of the wealthiest areas of Philly with the fortune that he earned.
However, instead he chooses to live in a place that has buckets of pee, discarded cat food, and an unhygienic Charlie. Perhaps Frank developed a fondness for Charlie and their regular games of Nightcrawlers, but this still seems odd. Why doesn't he buy a nice home and allow Charlie to move in?
13 Dee's back problems
Dee had a lot of problems with her back when she was younger. She was even given an unnecessarily massive brace to help with it. She was also cruelly given the nickname “the Aluminium Monster” by the kids she went to school with. After she finished school, it seemed like her back healed, so she abandoned the device that gave her so much ridicule.
Her condition is known as severe scoliosis, which is something that can reappear later in adult life. Realistically, Dee would have eventually needed another brace at some point during her adult life, since she would've still felt pain. While this is a rather serious problem for Dee, it has yet to be addressed in the series. It seems odd for the show to focus so heavily on her back pain, only to completely ignore it later.
12 How does Paddy's stay afloat?
Paddy's bad is often empty. In fact, we only really see customers in the bar after the gang tricks people into visiting it. A bar depends on a constant turnover of customers – both established and new – in order to make a profit. However, Paddy’s is one bar that never seems to make any money no matter how much the gang tries.
How five people can seemingly live comfortably in Philadelphia off of an empty bar's profits makes no sense. It is also surprising the state of Paddy's - in terms of cleanliness - has not closed them down already. A health inspector does visit them in one episode. However, Charlie manages to keep them open by doing the “Charlie work” to satisfaction. However, in reality, Paddy's probably would have already been shut down.
11 Dee's inconsistent stage fright
One of It's Always Sunny's greatest jokes involves Dee, who always begins to dry heave whenever she goes on stage to perform. This is both hilarious and heartbreaking - she wants to be an actress, but sadly, she cannot perform. The condition that Dee suffers from is called glossophobia, which is otherwise known as a fear of public speaking.
However, this is a rather inconsistent phobia. Dee shows no fear at all whenever she is performing to a camera or talking to a large group of people. In fact, she only displays her nervous tick whenever she is trying to perform a comedy set on stage. This inconsistency is most likely due to the writers forgetting that her glossophobia would affect any form of public speaking.
10 How is Charlie still alive?
It is well known that one of Charlie’s favorite things to do is sniff glue, paint, or any other inhalant. His addiction to these extremely harmful inhalants has seen no repercussions in the show... or has it? It could be argued that his hostility and impaired judgment are symptoms of this addiction. However, this is probably just a coincidence.
The long term effects of abusing these substances includes bone marrow damage, irreversible damage to the heart, and hearing loss.
Understandably, tackling Charlie's declining health would make for a rather bleak episode of It's Always Sunny. However, if any TV show could get away with focusing on such a morbid subject under a comedic light, it would be this one.
9 Frank and Charlie's dangerous eating patterns
Charlie and Frank have a problem with cat food. Charlie claims that, because of the loud cats outside of his flat, he has to eat cat food to fall asleep. The cat food supposedly makes him so sleep and sick that he is able to pass out each night. However, the cats are only there because they can smell the cat food that he and Frank consume nightly.
The fact that both Charlie and Frank eat food that is designed specifically for cats is also an issue. The regular consumption of cat food can have a number of dangerous long term effects. These include a dangerously high level of vitamin A and taurine overexposure,. Cat food also consists of an overabundance of fats that humans cannot digest.
8 Why Wasn't Charlie arrested?
Charlie Day provides such a great performance as Charlie Kelly that many fans forget that his character is a relentless stalker. The fact that he followed the waitress is a running joke on It's Always Sunny. While there is no doubt that Charlie sees this obsession as a romantic pursuit, it is definitely not the case.
We know that the waitress has a restraining order against Charlie, however, it seems off that she hasn't requested his arrest yet. Surely she should have by now. An episode form her point of view would likely look scary to viewers, as it would probably include scenes of Charlie jumping from bush to bush around her.
7 Dee's forgotten fear of old people
One of It's Always Sunny's earlier jokes involved Dee and her fear and disgust towards any older person. Dee probably could have been diagnosed with gerontophobia, which is a fear of the elderly or becoming old.
However, this doesn’t hold up later in the series. For example, when the gang allows a 70-year-old to their group, Dee seems fine. While Frank’s age may be a mystery, it is odd that Dee isn't frightened of him since he is a lot older than her. Perhaps Dee's fear is specific - maybe she is just scared of old people she doesn't know. However, this is never explained in the series.
6 Why did Mac never change his name?
There are many things that don't make sense about “Ronald McDonald” being Mac’s real name. For example, why did he never choose to change his name officially? It's clear that he hasn't embraced the name, since he flinches every time it is used in “The High School Reunion”. However, despite the fact that he hates the sound of his full name, he refuses to have it changed throughout the entire series.
Though it isn't extremely easy to change one's name, it would surely be worth it in Mac's case.
It seems odd that we only discover his name in the sixth season of It's Always Sunny. If Mac really had an issue with it, he would change it.
5 The confused McPoyle heritage
Guillermo del Toro, the Oscar winning movie director responsible for Pan's Labyrinth and The Shape of Water, has an extremely memorable cameo in It's Always Sunny. He plays Pappy McPoyle, the patriarch of the McPoyles, which is one of the weirdest families in TV history.
The part he plays makes very little sense considering the fact that the McPoyle siblings are all white and del Toro is Hispanic. Since this is a big part of the strange McPoyle family, it is all the more jarring. After the episode, del Toro's cameo is never referenced or mentioned again.
4 Why does Frank want to be a legal father?
When you remember that Frank is actually a millionaire, a lot of the situations involving him in It's Always Sunny don’t make a lot of sense. For example, why does Frank want to take custody of Dee and Dennis? There is no massive financial incentive to do so, and even if there was, he doesn’t need money. He is also not your typical father figure, as he isn't very responsibly himself.
Perhaps he regretted not having children or settling down with anyone when he got older. In this respect, the gang might be his family - albeit a dysfunctional one - and he sees himself as their leader. With his substance abuse, love of firearms, and other eccentricities, he is the perfect fit for the equally crazy Dee and Dennis to look up to. However, there are many things that he is lacking when it comes to being a father.
3 Dee and Dennis's quick recovery
It’s hard to apply rules of logic in a sitcom, and It's Always Sunny is no exception. When Dee and Dennis go on welfare in the imaginatively titled “Dennis and Dee Go On Welfare”, they become addicted to substances. In the real world, it would take them a lot of time and effort - not to mention countless stints in rehab - to overcome the addiction. However, they are completely fine in the next episode.
Though Dee and Dennis do become addicted again in a later episode and go back to square one. However, besides this, the storyline is completely forgotten and never mentioned again.
2 How can Dee afford so many cars?
Dee’s cars don’t have a particularly good history, as many of them never survived through the 13 seasons of It's Always Sunny. The gang always ends up damaging the cars during their wild adventures. However, there are a few things that don't add up. Firstly, why does Dee continuously trust the gang with her cars? It's obvious that they don't take care of them. Secondly, how is she able to afford them? The rest of the gang never seems to be able to afford expensive gifts, but somehow, Dee is able to own four cars.
One possible explanation for this could be that her legal father Frank is buying them for her. However, Frank has never shown this amount of love for his legal children and is thus unlikely to dip into his massive fortune just to buy them cars that will soon be damanged.
1 Frank's ambiguous age
Frank was only introduced in It's Always Sunny's season two, so it makes sense that we know the least about him. We do get snippets of his story, including his time in the sweatshops in Vietnam and the creation of his business. However, we never find out is his exact age. Danny DeVito, who plays Frank, was in his early 60s when he started the show and is now in his 70s. However, Frank’s dyed hair raises a lot of questions. Is his character meant to be younger than DeVito or is Frank just in denial?
Frank's fake grave stone states that he was born in 1947 in the Christmas episode. However, his birth year is July 31, 1943 on his driver's license. We may never know how old Frank really is.
Are there any other problems with It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia that everyone chooses to ignore? Let us know in the comments!