It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Our Top 14 "Charlie Week" Episodes

As fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia already know by now, this week is "Charlie Week"- where we celebrate Charlie Day's birthday by also celebrating the raw, uncut genius that is his on-screen alter-ego, Charlie Kelly. Sure, he might sniff a bit too much paint, kill a few too many rats, and write in a manner most people left behind when we stopped writing on cave walls. But if you need someone to pull a con on a health inspector, write an impromptu musical, or help the Philadelphia Eagles win by any means necessary. There is only one Charlie. Earlier this week, Rob McElhenney celebrated Day's birthday via social media by sharing a great outtake from the Season 3 episode "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off." Then, FXX and FX on Hulu hosted a Hulu Always Sunny watch party for "Charlie Kelly: King of the Rats" (S06E10) and "Flowers for Charlie" (S09E08)- along with some "best of" videos, a look at some fan-favorite selections and more. So before the week wraps, we thought we would offer up "The Charlie Kelly Filthy 14"- one episode from each season that best represents the man who we still believe is Frank's (Danny DeVito) kid.

Always Sunny
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (CR: Patrick McElhenney/FX)

So here's the list of Always Sunny episodes you need in your life to make for a proper "Charlie Kelly" weekend, followed by a quick, down-n-dirty highlight reason why it made the cut (and we would be lying if we said some of these seasons were really tough calls):

Season 1, Episode 3 "Underage Drinking: A National Concern": Charlie's ability to keep track of the telenovela-like comings and going of high school seniors is legendary- and slightly concerning.

Season 2, Episode 9 "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass": That song, people. That song.

Season 3, Episode 15 "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off": Charlie took our breath away with some sweet dance moves- with bonus points for the shoulder rolls.

Season 4, Episode 13 "The Nightman Cometh": You don't need Charlie to smack your face off your face to know why this is also our top overall episode (and why it needs to be on the NYC stage).

Season 5, Episode 11 "Mac and Charlie Write a Movie": Their hero would have a nose as his head and would quite possibly run like a dog as it smells crime. Do I need to offer more than that?

Season 6, Episode 13/14 "A Very Sunny Christmas": We're pretty sure Charlie should've been arrested for killing that mall Santa because those teeth clearly hit jugular. But just in case you think this wasn't part of the season, we have another option…

Season 6, Episode 5 "Mac and Charlie: White Trash": A moment that actually made us laugh and touched us was when Charlie pushed back on Mac (McElhenney) for calling him white trash- that it coming from Mac made it hurt more. Then there was the demonstration of his shorts and that just sealed it.

Season 7, Episode 11 "Thunder Gun Express": Charlie Kelly, Philly's "Aquaman of the Sewers"- and someone Dee (Olson) will think twice about second-guessing the next time she faces a tidal wave of poop.

Season 8, Episode 8 "Charlie Rules the World": If you ever wondered what Charlie would look like in Star Trek's "Mirror Universe," here you go. And spoiler? He wouldn't be a kind and benevolent dictator, either.

Season 9, Episode 8 "Flowers for Charlie": Ties into the episode and reason we stated above, thematically. Also, Charlie gets the "Shyamalan twist" he's been wanting- just maybe not right now.

Season 10, Episode 4 "Charlie Work": Charlie is a one-man Ocean's 11, effectively pulling off two cons, saving the bar, and then having all of his work basically ignored or devalued. In other words, a day ending in "Y"- but about those six inches, Dee…

Season 11, Episode 7 "McPoyle vs. Ponderosa: The Trial of the Century": A chance to see "The World's Greatest Bird Attorney" in action- and I get Guillermo del Toro's Pappy McPoyle getting grilled on the stand, too? A definite no-brainer.

Season 12, Episode 3 "Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy": Some nice insight into some of Charlie's issues (an OCD apple doesn't fall far from the OCD tree) as well Charlie getting a better appreciation of how his Mom loves him.

Season 13, Episode 8 "Charlie's Home Alone": The episode that proved above all others that while he might not be perfect and have some issues from sniffing way too many chemicals, Charlie is also one of the most dedicated and committed hypemen you would want by your side. There's something to be said for someone willing to literally offer up a pound of flesh if it would help.

Season 14, Episode 6 "The Janitor Always Mops Twice": Charlie as a film-noir detective looking to crack the case of Frank's diarrhea could've gone wrong in so many ways, but the concept worked because Day bought into Charlie's new-ish role and the world he was currently residing in- making it easier for the viewer to believe.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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