Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the FX series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as well as discussions on depression, suicide, addiction, and grief.
Viewers know they can expect wild jokes from the noisy gang It’s always sunshine in Philadelphia, but fans understand that there are rare moments on the sitcom that can be touching and even tearful. These scenes are often marked by surprisingly deep quotes, which remain with fans long after they have finished binge-watching the series.
From Cricket’s important realization of his addiction to Charlie’s emotional outbursts on the cliffs of Ireland, the moving moments in It’s always sunshine are few and far between. However, when the show depicts something really profound, fans can count on the band to say some really unforgettable lines.
“I like you too, Charlie.”
The most of healthy moments in It’s always sunshine often involves 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),” where Frank has a hard time accepting Charlie’s fake death.
As Mac and Charlie look through the apartment window, they see Frank arguing with a mannequin version of Charlie about whose turn it is to take the bed pan out. Things get emotional when he gets fake Charlie to say he wants to take out the headboard “just 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 is always on me, okay? I understand that.”
Years of being bullied and mocked by the band finally take their toll on Dee in the episode “The Band Broke Dee” in season nine. Dennis, Mac, Charlie and Frank are worried that she is “eating trash cake and smoking” instead of being her usual annoying self.
Dee’s depression is no joke, and her statement about throwing herself “for a bus” causes the rest of the gang to plan a comprehensive plan to help her. It’s a gripping moment for the group and probably for viewers accustomed to Dee’s fat spirit and less witty comebacks.
“It all means nothing if you do not enjoy 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 unexpected 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 expresses it perfectly when he tells the gang that if they “don’t have fun anymore, slip it away.” If “it’s time to move on”, then this is what they need to do. This is an important lesson that applies to things outside of laser roofing.
“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 momentary reflection for the character and for the audience who have seen his addiction get worse over the years.
When his worried father offers him one last chance for 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 gripping story that predictably only lasts until the end of the episode, when everything goes back to the status quo.
“It was awful, 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 Band Gets Analyzed”. After Frank reluctantly agrees to sit down with a therapist, he quickly finds himself pouring out stories of traumatic events from his past.
His experience in “school for the mentally handicapped” was only tolerable because of his first girlfriend, whom he claimed “always smiled” because “she had no lips.” Her suicide two weeks after their relationship started still haunts him as he begins to cry uncontrollably and blames the therapist for having “shut up” him.
“I think I’m out now. Yes, I’m gay.”
Mac is in a unique position in the season 12 episode of “Hero or Hate Crime”, as he can claim a $ 10,000 lottery ticket if he comes out as gay. When he does, the rest of the gang moans and complains about how he “just wants to go back in the closet,” as he has done several times before.
This time is different for the Mac, which “feels pretty good” about finally being out. It is a shocking moment for the group, who then unanimously support him and let him know that they are happy on his behalf. However, they still hate him for the lottery ticket.
“I do not know how many years I have left on this earth. I get really weird with it.”
The Season 5 episode “The Band Gives Frank an Intervention” is where one of Frank’s best quotes that being said. When he wants to sleep with the deceased’s widow at the funeral, the gang criticizes him for being ugly.
His response of becoming “really weird” with his life while still having time perfectly captures his personality. Frank breaks with society’s norms and expectations and only tries to live the way he wants to do the things that make him happy, especially if it involves frying a bone.
“The bar is done.”
Things get too complicated for Dennis in the season 12 finale “Dennis’ Double Life.” The band tries their best to get him out of his situation as he does not want to become a father or leave Paddy’s Pub.
After a crazy attempt and a silly dance towards the end, Dennis realizes that he wants to do something bigger with his life, even if it’s fatherhood. He says goodbye to the group and funnily turns off the lights in Paddy’s Pub, declaring “it’s done,” to the rest of the band’s disapproval. It’s a really scary moment that made fans worry about his future in the show.
“I understand it.”
Mac’s most iconic scene in the series takes place during the season 13 episode “Mac Finds His Pride.” He struggles with his identity and talks openly with Frank about what ends up helping him get out to his father.
Mac’s tearful dance leaves Frank speechless, whose words – “I get it” – mean so much to 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 probably made fans shed a tear or two.
“You were not there and I needed you! I needed you there. You had to carry me!”
The finale of the show’s most recent season drew viewers’ hearts as the episode “The Band Carries a Corpse Up a Mountain” depicts Charlie’s emotional outburst as he struggles to follow his father’s last wish.
As the rain pours over the rocks, Charlie cries that it is “not fair” that his father “never” carried him “up a hill” or picked him up from school. It’s an uncharacteristically hard-hitting scene in the sitcom and is without a doubt the most emotionally charged moment of the show so far. Charlie’s feelings about finally learning the truth about his biological father to lose him as soon as everyone comes to the surface, resulting in the heartbreaking scene.
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