Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the FX series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as well as discussions of depression, suicide, addiction, and grief.
Viewers know they can expect wild antics from the rowdy gang on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but fans understand that there are rare moments on the sitcom that can be touching and even tear-jerking. These scenes are often punctuated by surprisingly deep quotes, which stay with fans long after they’re done binge-watching the series.
From Cricket’s important realization about his addiction to Charlie’s emotional outburst on the cliffs of Ireland, the moving moments in It’s Always Sunny are few and far between. Whenever the show does depict something genuinely profound, though, fans can count on the gang to say some truly unforgettable lines.
“I Like You, Too, Charlie.”
Most of the wholesome moments in It’s Always Sunny often involve Frank, especially if something has happened between him and Charlie. This is the case in the season 4 episode “Mac and Charlie Die (Part 2),” when Frank has a difficult time accepting Charlie’s fake death.
As Mac and Charlie peer through the apartment window, they see Frank arguing with a mannequin version of Charlie about whose turn it is to take out the bedpan. Things get emotional when he has fake Charlie say he’ll take out the bedpan “only because” he likes Frank so much. His simple response is memorable because he cries and hugs the mannequin as he says it, underscoring how much he loves and misses Charlie.
“What’s The Point? The Joke’s Always On Me, Alright? I Get It.”
Years of being bullied and mocked by the gang finally take their toll on Dee in the season nine episode “The Gang Broke Dee.” Dennis, Mac, Charlie, and Frank are worried that she’s “eating trash cake and smoking” instead of being her usual annoying self.
Dee’s depression is no joke and her statement about throwing herself “in front of a bus” prompts the rest of the gang to plan an elaborate scheme to help her. It’s a jarring moment for the group and likely for viewers who are used to Dee’s feisty spirit and not-so-witty comebacks.
“It All Means Nothing If You’re Not Enjoying It.”
Clearly inspired by the popular play “Waiting for Godot,” the season 14 episode “Waiting for Big Mo” is a bottle episode that leads to unexpectedly philosophical realizations for the gang. After spending countless hours playing laser tag, the group begins to wonder if their efforts are worth it for a prize that may always be out of reach.
Dennis puts it perfectly when he tells the gang that if they are “not having fun anymore, then screw it.” If “it’s time to move on” then that’s what they should do. It’s an important lesson that applies to things outside of laser tag.
“Maybe It’s Time To Make A Change.”
Cricket is one of the best recurring characters in the series, but his entertaining appearances almost always affect him in a negative way. The season 12 episode “A Cricket’s Tale” is a moment of reflection for the character and for audiences who have watched his addiction get worse over the years.
When his concerned father offers him a final chance at a better life and tells him “it’s time to come home,” Cricket looks in the mirror and sees what he has become. It’s a poignant story that predictably only lasts until the end of the episode when everything goes back to the status quo.
“It Was Terrible, But Not Her, She Was An Angel.”
Fans get a rare glimpse into an aspect of Frank’s dark past in the season 8 episode “The Gang Gets Analyzed.” After Frank reluctantly agrees to sit down with a therapist, he finds himself quickly pouring out stories about traumatic events from his past.
His experience in the “school for the mentally disabled” was only bearable because of his first girlfriend who he claimed was “always smiling” because “she had no lips.” Her suicide two weeks after their relationship started still haunts him, as he starts crying uncontrollably and blaming the therapist for “unzipping” him.
“I Think I’m Out Now. Yeah, I’m Gay.”
Mac finds himself in a unique position in the season 12 episode “Hero or Hate Crime,” as he can claim a lottery ticket worth $10,000 if he comes out as gay. When he does, however, the rest of the gang groans and complains about how he will “just go back in the closet” as he has several times before.
This time is different for Mac, who “feels pretty good” about finally being out. It’s a shocking moment for the group who then unanimously support him and let him know that they’re happy for him. They still hate him for the lottery ticket, though.
“I Don’t Know How Many Years On This Earth I Got Left. I’m Gonna Get Real Weird With It.”
The season 5 episode “The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention” is where one of Frank’s best quotes is said. When he wants to sleep with the deceased person’s widow at the funeral, the gang criticizes him for being gross.
His response about getting “real weird” with his life while he still has time perfectly captures his personality. Frank does away with societal norms and expectations and only tries to live the way he wants doing the things that make him happy, especially if it involves roasting a bone.
“The Bar’s Done.”
Things get too complicated for Dennis in the season 12 finale “Dennis’ Double Life.” The gang tries their best to get him out of his situation, as he doesn’t want to become a father nor leave Paddy’s Pub.
After a wacky attempt and a silly dance towards the end, Dennis realizes he wants to do something bigger with his life, even if that is fatherhood. He says goodbye to the group and hilariously turns off the lights in Paddy’s Pub, declaring that “it’s done,” much to the rest of the gang’s disapproval. It’s a genuinely scary moment that left fans concerned about his future in the show.
“I Get It.”
Mac’s most iconic scene in the series happens during the season 13 episode “Mac Finds His Pride.” He struggles with his identity and openly talks to Frank about it who ends up helping him come out to his dad.
Mac’s tear-jerking dance leaves Frank speechless, whose words –“I get it” – mean so much for both Mac and the audience. His well-deserved standing ovation is barely noticeable in the background as the camera zooms in on a crying Frank. It’s a moving moment that likely caused fans to shed a tear or two.
“You Weren’t There, And I Needed You! I Needed You There. You Were Supposed To Carry Me!”
The finale of the latest season of the show tugged at viewers’ heartstrings, as the episode “The Gang Carries a Corpse Up a Mountain” depicts Charlie’s emotional outburst as he struggles to follow his father’s final wish.
As the rain pours over the cliffs, Charlie cries about how it “isn’t fair” that his dad “never carried” him “up a hill” or picked him up from school. It’s an uncharacteristically hard-hitting scene in the sitcom and is arguably the most emotional moment in the show so far. Charlie’s feelings about finally learning the truth about his biological father only to lose him so soon all come to the surface, resulting in the heartbreaking scene.
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