It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has gone from a tiny micro-budget show that nobody watched, to one of the most beloved comedies on television. Despite constantly facing cancellation early in its time on the air, It's Always Sunny is now about to enter its fourteenth season. The show continues to be hilarious, giving us inventive and outrageous adventures with the gang from Paddy's Pub. But after all these years, not every episode is a winner.
While everyone has their own opinions, the IMDB ratings for the show's episodes seem to indicate the thoughts of the majority of fans. Most of the episodes are very well-received, but some fall short of expectations. Here are the worst episodes of It's Always Sunny, according to IMDB.
10 Psycho Pete Returns
In "Psycho Pete" returns, Charlie and Mac welcome home an old friend with a dark past. Psycho Pete was known for his crazy behavior in their youth, but when he shows up, it's clear he's on a better path now, which doesn't sit well with the gang. As Mac and Charlie try to reignite Pete's crazy side, the rest of the gang cautiously waiting for him to get dangerous.
It's Always Sunny is filled with very memorable supporting characters, but sometimes they introduce a new character who doesn't mesh with the show. It's fun watching the gang be so oblivious to Pete's feelings, but their exploits are very random and the ending makes it feel like they ran out of ideas.
9 Dennis Gets Divorced
When Dennis got married to Maureen Ponderosa in Season 6, it was clear it wouldn't last. Sure enough, one episode later, Dennis is ready for a divorce which is not as easy as he thought it would be. Meanwhile, Frank and Charlie are struggling with their own domestic partnership, Dee is dealing with the downfalls of being a mistress and Mac is left on his own.
The episode has a lot of funny moments with the gang and their inability to be functioning adults. Dennis particularly shines as he struggles with his relationship. However, the storytelling of the episode feels rushed to the point of being unsatisfying.
8 A Cricket's Tale
Rickety Cricket is one of the most memorable side characters on It's Always Sunny. The show has taken great joy in abusing him over the years but "A Cricket's Tale" is finally his time to shine. The story follows Crickey on a possible path of redemption as his family reconnects with him and he finds love.
This episode highlights a key problem we'll see throughout this list -- the show suffers when it doesn't focus on the gang. Cricket is a great side character, but it doesn't work when he is put front-and-center, especially in a fairly uninspired story.
7 Dee Made a Smut Film
The gang is always getting involved with topics they have no business discussing, and in "Dee Made a Smut Film" they delve into the art world. After seeing Dee in a smut film, the gang takes sides in a debate about the merits of modern art.
The show can often make some great commentary of subjects thanks to the gang's ignorance. Unfortunately, in this episode, they just don't seem to have anything interesting to say. Modern art is a topic filled with comedy potential and while there are funny bits, the commentary is surprisingly unoriginal.
6 Ass Kickers United: Mac and Charlie Join a Cult
Seeing the gang start a cult is a concept with a whole lot of potential. When the gang finds out that Dennis has been exploiting Mac through a fake cult that he created, the rest of the gang start a competition to see who can be most manipulative as a cult leader. Meanwhile, the Ass Kicker's cult grows larger.
This episode does have a lot of fun with how dark the group gets, but there's a lot left unexplored. The episode never says anything too clever about this kind of blind worship. Also, Dax Shepard's dim-witted character feels very cartoonish.
5 Charlie's Mom Has Cancer
Fake illnesses and disabilities seem to be a common theme in It's Always Sunny. When Charlie thinks his mom has cancer, the gang deals with the tragedy in their own individual ways and, of course, tries to exploit it for their own personal gains.
There's plenty of funny moments in the episode, but it does seem like territory the show has explored many times before. The episode also features Sean 'Diddy' Combs in a guest appearance but his character feels like it's from another show entirely.
4 The Gang Beats Boggs: Ladies Reboot
"The Gang Beats Boggs" is a highly entertaining episode of the series as the gang tries to complete a drinking contest while on a plane, inspired by the exploits of baseball legend Wade Boggs. It makes sense that they would want to revisit the episode. This time, Dee leads a female-centric attempt at the contest.
While it's fun to see the women of It's Always Sunny come together for a story, the episode lacks the chemistry of the main gang. It really just makes you want to watch the original episode again. Plus, the episode doesn't say anything very interesting about gender differences despite the potential.
3 The Gang Wins The Big Game
When the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018, you just knew It's Always Sunny would have to make an episode about that momentous occasion. Mac brings a group of the show's most deplorable characters on a party bus to the event.
Despite the significance of the moment, the episode is very mundane. The story is very contained and small scale. It's as if the show knew they had to make an episode about this moment but didn't know what to do with it. In the end, it's more of a celebration of the event than a typical episode of the show.
2 Charlie's Home Alone
"Charlie's Home Alone" is the episode that came before "The Gang Wins The Big Game" and showed what Charlie was up to during the big game. After Charlie gets accidentally left at the bar alone, he begins to become paranoid and goes to extreme measures to defend the place from burglars.
Again, the episode mainly suffers from not having the whole gang together. Those characters are so fun that when the show focuses on just one, it feels like a lesser episode. The gimmick episodes have worked in the past, but this one falls short.
1 Frank's Brother
Frank Reynold's is one of the most outrageous characters on television and the show continues to expose more and more of the character's madness. "Frank's Brother" is a chance to delve into his past as his long lost brother returns and the two share the story of what caused the bad blood between them.
This is yet another example of the show pulling focus away from the gang dynamics and suffering for it. The concept of a story set in the past has potential but the story that the episode tells is just dull.