Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia tv show poster.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Character Analysis

Character Analysis for the main characters in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Spoiler alert and mentions of abuse.


Mac is a needy, possibly homosexual, kid in a mans body. He desperately wants his mother and father to get back together.

Mac needs affection from figures of authority, most likely because he grew up in a home devoid of physical affection… seeing how his father has a no touching rule. He seeks love from God, his father, and Dennis through ought the show.

Mac is obsessed with the male form, constantly ends up feeling men’s bodies, and even dated/had sex with the biologically male Carmen who was getting a sex change. All this while claiming being gay is against god and that gay marriage is an abomination.

Mac needs to be seen as a tough guy by his friends and by strangers. This may be because his father is a tough guy.

Mac has an intimate, if not romantic, relationship with his roommate and friend Dennis.

Dennis Reynolds

Dennis is simply a sociopath. He is constantly caught talking about elaborate schemes to in essence rape women. This is only hinted at in the show, since flat out saying “Dennis rapes women” would simply sound horrible.

Dennis once stated that he did not have emotions, that he had not felt motions since he was a kid.

Dennis is obsessed with having sex with women. He uses the D.E.N.N.I.S. system to emotionally abuse his potential bed-mates into having sex with him, he will have sex with anything with a pulse, he is enamored with “conquering” these women rather than having relationships with them. He keeps a drawer full of sex-tapes from his conquests.

Dennis has no regard for other people’s feelings or physical safety through ought the show.

The only relationship Dennis seems to ever have in this show that has a modicum of intimacy is his relationship with Mac. Seeing how Dennis meets his sexual needs through his constant conquering of women, and has very few emotional needs to begin with, it makes sense that his roommate/non-romantic relationship with Mac would meet the rest of his needs.


Charlie Kelly

Charlie Kelly is, like Mac, a child in a mans body. Charlie is very childlike, he most likely has a learning disability seeing as he did in fact go to school but cannot really read or write, and he was apparently molested as a child.

On occasion Charlie Kelly’s story arc in the show mentions or hints at him being molested as a child. In fact the songs Nightman, Dayman, and the musical The Nightman Cometh all seem to be inspired by his childhood experiences. His dislike of his Uncle and the mention of some man Antonio seem to cement this.

Charlie in season 2 becomes besties with Frank Reynolds, Dee’s and Dennis’ former father. Frank Reynolds moves in with Charlie and as the seasons go by Charlie on multiple times protects his relationship with Frank. Charlie and Frank sleep together in the same bed of a one bedroom apartment and frequently wriggle around the floor in his childlike game “nightcrawlers”. We also discover that Charlie’s dad may very well be Frank.

Continuing his chidlike theme, Charlie Kelly abuses substances. However he does not seem to partake regularly in your regular drugs and instead regularly abuses the childish choices of glue and spray paint.

Charlie Kelly is also obsessed with the Waitress, for reasons not exactly known. She makes an appearance in his musical as, shockingly, the waitress… but she does not seem to link back into his traits. His love of the waitress seems to be independent of his nature.

Dee Reynolds

Dee is on a constant search for approval.

Dee always wanted to prove her mother wrong, that she was in fact pretty, so she entered and won beauty contests.

Dee harbors a desire to be an actress and partakes in stand-up comedy, apparently nightly, as an attempt to launch herself into an acting career.

Dee is constantly abused by her mother, her father, her brother, and her friends. Her entire role seems to be to be abused.

Frank Reynolds

Frank Reynolds is insane.

Frank Reynolds role in this show seems to be Charlie’s best-friend/intimate relationship and to do crazy shit.

Frank is obsessed with making money, often getting the gang in trouble with his various schemes.

Frank brings an occasional moral light to the gang despite his rather insane nature. He also act as a provider to the entire gang, money-wise.

5 thoughts on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Character Analysis”

  1. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” boasts a hilariously flawed cast, each character contributing a unique comedic flair. Their outrageous antics never disappoint!

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