A few weeks ago, I referenced Charlie Kelly from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as one of TV’s great lovable dumbasses. In fact, if there was a Hall of Fame of TV dumbasses, Charlie might have a whole wing. His dumbassery knows no bounds. It’s this dumbass behavior that has given Charlie one tremendous scene after another throughout It’s Always Sunny’s run. Here are Charlie’s ten best scenes.
What makes this so special is discovering that, even if it’s massively ridiculous and you have to pay the toll to get into this boy’s “soul”, Charlie has a creative side capable of creating an entire musical. Of course, he used it the only way he knew how- in an attempt to endear himself to the Waitress. There’s also something perversely charming about the “Dayman” song. It explains how Charlie sees himself in some childlike way, as a champion of the sun, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.
I didn’t misspell “mittens” there, but Charlie sure did in his ad for the product he created. That’s because he borders on illiterate. And as the ad explains, he’s a cat enthusiast who happens to loathe the noise of cats stomping around his house. “Enthusiast” is the operative word there, as Charlie describes the problem as if it applies to everyone.
I will smash your face into a jelly!
As far as recognizing the ridiculous greatness of Charlie goes, it all started early in the series. In the second episode of the series, Charlie threatens what he knows as his long-lost son with one of the most hilariously menacing lines you can imagine. In fairness, the kid deserved it.
Who pooped the bed?
Technically, “Who Pooped the Bed?” was a whole episode and not a specific moment. But it’s thirty minutes dedicated entirely to a key part of the show- namely, Charlie’s recurring chicanery with Frank. Never was said chicanery more on display than in the “Who Pooped the Bed?” episode, wherein the two argue about which one is sleep-pooping in their shared bed each night.
It is the most quintessential of It’s Always Sunny moments, with the gang acting as their own made-up version of the A-Team, traveling in peril with a bunch of gasoline, and the Ghostbusters theme playing, all before Charlie’s stupidity intrudes.
Charlie’s campaign ad script
This list would be incomplete without featuring Charlie’s ongoing battle with English. His illiteracy is one of the very best recurring gags on the show, a perfect blend of Charlie’s childlike nature and his incredible ignorance. The watching of video is right thing to do, Philadelphia. So do.
The appearance of Green Man was so completely genius, and so beloved, that it’s become a “cultural phenomenon”, to quote Rob McElhenney. People in Green Man suits show up all over the place at sporting events now, all thanks to Charlie’s appearance in the lycra outfit dancing with the McPoyles while on acid. And the show keeps bringing Green Man back. It never gets old, but it’ll also never be as funny as it was the first time.
The Cat Food Ritual
Charlie’s perverse relationship with cats makes a second appearance. This time, Charlie explains to Dee why he must eat cat food to make himself nauseous and pass out every night. The convoluted logic could come only from the mind of Charlie Kelly, and the illusion is made complete by a pair of long johns and Frank bursting in right before the buzzer to inhale his own can of cat food. Apologies for the low sound quality.
King of the Rats
Admittedly, it’s a little forced, but it was a whole episode that revolved around Charlie’s stupidity, including a “spa” day; confusion about 3D movies; denim chicken; wrestling around in a sauna with Frank; and some German guy named Hans Vermhat who haunts Charlie’s dreams.
The Butt Dance
Only Charlie would have an entire dance, called the Butt Dance, sitting at the ready for a joyous occasion like opening a time capsule.