It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has always been funny and watchable and a good show. But the first season was not the first season of a show that could last for 15 seasons. It only became that show — that truly laugh out loud enjoyable show — when Danny DeVito joined the proceedings in the second season
His unique brand of committing to a role and going crazy with it has given the character of Frank Reynolds, and by extension, all of It’s Always Sunny, a kind of lovable charm that makes him a joy to watch. We have Frank Reynolds to thank for many of the most memorable and legendary moments in It’s Always Sunny’s twelve-year history.
He may just be the best thing about the show. So, here are his Frank Reynolds’ 15 finest moments.
15. Fringe class
The episode “Mac and Charlie: White Trash” is a comment on the class divide, as Dennis and Dee argue with Mac and Charlie over what class they are. Dennis and Dee — who grew up in high society — can’t just be upper class. They have to remind those who are blow them that they are below them.
Of course, delusional Mac refuses to believe he’s white trash, despite the fact his dad’s a felon and he works as a bouncer at an Irish bar. And poor sap Charlie falls for it and gets suckered into renovating a dilapidated pool with him.
But Frank, the only member of the gang with any wealth to show, doesn’t care for the class system. He tells them, “I don’t give a rat’s ass about class. I live on the fringe. Fringe class is where I am.”
14. When he got trapped in a coil
The beauty of Frank’s storyline in the season 9 episode “Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare” is that it never quite gets explained. He spends the whole episode trapped inside a metal coil in a children’s playground, wearing nothing but his underwear.
The gang keep stopping by to ask him for advice and to define what a pyramid scheme is, promising to help get him out if he explains it to them and then not getting him out of the coil when he does.
And at the end, the gang think they’ve got it all figured out — Frank was using the coil as a cover-up for his own diabolical scheme to undermine them all and profit from their stupidity. But he really was just stuck in a coil the whole time. Why? Because he’s Frank Reynolds, that’s why.
13. “Hi, ladies, I’m Frack!”
In the episode “The Gang Group Dates,” Dee feels falsely empowered by her ability to assign a number rating to the men she sleeps with on an app. And Dennis feels powerless and belittled as the women he’s dating keep giving him lower and lower scores. Meanwhile, Frank is trying to coach Mac and Charlie in the art of wooing a lady.
As they get into talking points and anti-Semitism and profiling — as Mac delicately puts it, “I’m sorry, I’m just concerned that the person I’m gonna be dating killed the savior of the world. That’s all! That’s all!”
Frank decides to go back to basics and says, “let’s just start with our names.” So, they go out, approach some women, and Frank says, “Hi, ladies, I’m Frack!” and they’re back to square one.
12. When he showed up at his brother-in-law’s funeral drunk
If Frank’s normal self needs an intervention for his drinking, then the totally off the rails Frank in “The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention” definitely needs one. In the opening scene, he’s staining his teeth red with his wine hidden in a Diet Coke can as the gang drive to what Frank has told them is a barbecue.
When they get there and he admits to being “lit,” it is revealed that the barbecue is in fact the funeral of Frank’s brother-in-law. He has shown up only to hit on the widow. He reasons, “I don’t know how many years on this Earth I’ve got left. I’m gonna get real weird with it.”
And get real weird with it he does, as the following day, he’s getting a handy under the breakfast table from his niece.
11. “I guess babies can’t be trusted!”
“The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis” ends terribly for everyone, especially the poor guy who the gang all mistake for Bruce Mathis. Dee and Frank hop in Frank’s overly tinted spy van, which Dee sees as more of a rape van, and head over to this guy’s apartment.
They break in with the intention of planting a bug so they can spy on him. Dee takes one look at Frank’s bug and says, “that’s a baby monitor, Frank. You’re planting a baby monitor?”
Then Frank, in the most Frank way possible, says, “yeah, a lot of people are bugging their babies these days. I guess babies can’t be trusted!”
10. The boat tour
On his way to watch a hot new movie with the gang in the episode “Thunder Gun Express,” Frank steals a boat and takes over the tour of Philly from Captain Tom, who according to Frank, “turned out to be a goddamn junkie.” He proceeds to tell a confused Asian tour group of his various exploits and misadventures around the city.
Among his stories, he recounts, “there’s this waitress who Charlie’s in love with and, uh, I banged her. Charlie got really upset when I banged the waitress, but it was a lot of fun and she was a nice piece of ass.”
“Once I pooped in the bed. I blamed it on him! Hah!” “One time, the guys got hooked on crack. It was really crazy.” “They found a baby in a dumpster. They wanted to make some money with the baby, but nobody would buy the baby because it was white, so they had to turn it brown. We were fighting over the sword, and just about when we were about to hit each other with the sword, Social Services came in, thought we were killing the baby!”
9. When he proposed to a hooker who then died
The season 7 premiere of It’s Always Sunny, “Frank’s Pretty Woman,” gave us a version of the Julia Roberts movie Pretty Woman that was perhaps more realistic than the film. In Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts plays a beautiful, clean prostitute who finds her true love with wealthy Richard Gere.
In “Frank’s Pretty Woman,” Frank falls in love with a prostitute named Roxy, his “favorite whore,” but the difference is that she’s drug-addled and spaced out and obnoxious and rude. But still, Frank wants to marry her, so he proposes to her. His speech isn’t exactly romantic or nuanced, but it gets the job done.
“You are good shit, and I want to make this legit. I’m still gonna pay you, but I want you to stop banging other guys. What do you say? Wanna be my wife or what?” And then she dies and the gang has to drag her corpse out into the hallway to abandon her as Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” plays on the soundtrack.
Classic Frank, unabashedly dark and callous.
8. “I’m the Trashman!”
When the gang puts on their own WWE-style wrestling match to show their support for the troops, Frank’s character, the Trashman, is not well-received. He’s a guy who throws a trash can into the ring and then starts eating garbage. The guys simply don’t see the appeal.
But then they swoop in as the Birds of War to fight “The Talibum” (aka Rickety Cricket) and get sand thrown in their eyes and wuss out. This sends the wrong message to the US troops in the audience, naturally, so then Frank steps in to save the day.
The Trashman throws his trash can at Cricket and cuts his neck open, leaving Frank as the last man standing. He throws his arms in the air, not sure what to expect, and then the crowd goes wild for him.
7. When he purified himself
The episode “The Gang Gets Quarantined” is a weird one. While the gang spend the whole episode practising for their Boys II Men talent show, Frank is more focused on making himself pure. He deduces that all of our diseases are carried in our hair and that the whole point of human evolution is to slowly get rid of it all.
Frank decides to speed up the process by locking the gang in the bathroom and shaving his entire body. When bearded, pistachio-noshing Charlie reveals that he’s had a key this whole time and the gang get out of the bathroom, they find Frank writhing around in the supply closet, naked, completely shaven, and covered head to toe in Purell.
He’s all slimy and delirious and moaning and groaning and it’s freaking hilarious.
6. When he murdered a woman by accident
Frank has done some really terrible things throughout the twelve seasons of It’s Always Sunny (well, eleven that he’s been in). But none is worse than the time he accidentally killed a girl in the episode “Hundred Dollar Baby.”
He spent the episode training Dee to fight his old friend’s daughter. In the end, it came down to Frank fighting his friend instead — Dee got hooked on steroids and was a no-show for the match.
In a parody of the movie Million Dollar Baby, Frank sucker punches his old friend and knocks him into his own daughter. It sends her falling into an overturned stool, landing on her neck to the sound of a bloodcurdling bone crunch. Frank panics and flees the scene. He may just have killed that girl.
5. When he slid naked out of a couch
Dennis and Dee’s attempts at changing the Ebenezer Scrooge in Frank so that he would buy them good Christmas presents blew up in their face. Not only is Frank more of a Scrooge than Scrooge himself, he’s also losing his mind and completely misses the point of everything they’re trying to do.
When they take him to his old office to hide him at the Christmas party so that he can hear his employees say terrible things about him, he’s more preoccupied with the prospect of being sewn into a couch. Though he changes his mind when he becomes drenched in his own sweat and can’t breathe, trying desperately to burst out.
Eventually, he does manage to rip himself out of his couch cocoon and slides, naked and sweaty, out into the middle of the room. That’s our Frank!
4. The rum ham
Everything involving the rum ham in the episode where the gang went down to the Jersey Shore was sheer comedy gold, right from the get-go when Frank showed up on the medical waste-riddled beach with it. Mac approved of the rum ham concept: “goddammit, Frank, eating your drinks? That is genius!”
Then the two of them took to the seas to escape the stray dogs, fell asleep, and drifted out into the middle of the ocean. They lost the rum ham and it was a tragedy.
Frank started calling Mac “Rum Ham” as he became delirious with hunger and his survival instinct kicked in. Then they got picked up by the guidos, fished the rum ham out of the sea, and continued eating it, despite the fact it had been soaking in filthy sea water for hours.
3. “Can I offer you a nice egg in this tryin’ time?”
Frank has an inexplicable fascination with eggs. He seems obsessed with them. He considers them to be a great “jumping off point” when it comes to conducting business. He finds cases of them in perfect condition under the bridge, and he brings them from home to eat in the bunker.
At one point, he and Charlie put on their best Southern drawl. Frank pretended to be Charlie’s limo driver to appeal to a nice, real woman. Charlie then vomited blood packets all over her face and traumatized her. Frank then turned back and said, “Can I offer you a nice egg in this tryin’ time?” He thinks eggs are the answer to everything. He’s insane.
2. The troll toll
Poor Charlie. He tries to put on a musical to impress the Waitress and get her to agree to marrying him and the whole thing gets derailed by his selfish friends. Dee wants to attract the male audience members and Dennis and Mac are caught in an argument over who is the better actor.
Meanwhile Charlie is losing his mind and threatening to “smack everyone into tiny little pieces.” But Frank is just doing his best. At first, he wants to do the show naked, but Charlie refuses. Then he keeps getting the lyrics of his big song wrong.
It’s supposed to go, “you’ve gotta buy the troll toll to get into this boy’s soul,” but Frank says, “you’ve gotta buy the troll toll to get into this boy’s hole.” It’s a classic mishap. But he’s trying his honest-to-God best.
1. “My magnum dong”
Frank’s version of “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System,” which Mac compares to a mantis feeding — leading to Frank’s sexual alter ego, “Mantis” — involves flashing a Magnum condom in his wallet to the woman he intends to get into bed. Frank goes after “the scraps” when Mac is done with the girls that Dennis is done with.
They have a trickle down system going on with an unwritten agreement in place that Dennis was unaware of and is very unhappy with. At the county fair, when the whole D.E.N.N.I.S. System scheme comes to a head, Frank drops the condom out of his wallet, picks it up, shoves it in the woman’s face.
He then says, “whoops! I dropped my monster condom that I use on my magnum dong.”