It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s main cast are all hilarious, but is Mac or Charlie the best character on the hilarious show?
Following a group of terrible people who unsuccessfully run a bar, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a cult classic. It has consistently been praised for its ability to make fun of itself and the real world. Each of the show’s characters is objectively terrible in their own way – Dennis is a manipulative psychopath, Charlie is a serial stalker, Frank is a greedy and irresponsible businessman, Dee is easily the most violent character on the show, and Mac is a fundamentalist Christian who’s feelings for Dennis border on obsession.
Despite this, fans of the show have their opinions on who is the best character on the show. Here are five reasons why it’s Mac and five reasons why the best character is Charlie.
Mac: Better Story Arc
Over the course of the series, Mac has evolved perhaps more than any other character. He started as a religious zealot, cherry-picking Bible verses to fit the situation and railing against homosexuality, something the Gang thought was a result of his shame over being gay. Mac was so conflicted about his sexuality that he let his friends think he was a serial killer instead of telling them that he was sleeping with a pre-op transgender woman because he feared it would make him gay.
At the end of season 12, however, Mac made a breakthrough and finally came out to his friends. In the season 13 episode, “Mac Finds His Pride,” he admits he feels like an outcast in the gay community and proceeds to do an electrifying contemporary dance scene that left critics and fans alike in awe.
Charlie: Not As Much of A Follower
Despite Charlie’s many flaws, he’s actually one of the only members of the Gang that doesn’t seem to need approval from the others (not counting the Waitress, of course). Charlie is more confident in himself and goes along with the Gang’s many plans just to have something to do, rather than to try and get Dennis or Frank’s approval and attention, unlike Mac.
Charlie is quite happy to do his own thing, like when the Gang left for the Grand Canyon and Charlie opted to stay at the bar, or when he is left behind when the Gang goes to see the Superbowl.
Mac: Tries To Be A Better Person
Mac had a difficult upbringing – his father has been in jail for most of his life and his mother was so emotionally distant that it led to Mac constantly trying to seek approval.
As such, Mac has several moments of trying to be a better person, like when the Gang when to see the Superbowl and he tried his best to keep them well behaved and in the box, and when he tries to help clear his father as a murder suspect. Additionally, Mac often ends up presenting the most reasonable arguments, like when he talks about hate speech and sexual harassment.
Charlie: Actually Does His Job
Even though Dennis, Dee, and Mac work at the bar, Charlie is often the only one who actually does any work. This can be seen in the episode “Charlie Work,” where he completes a mad dash to get the bar up to code after he learns the health inspector plans to make an appearance.
Additionally, Charlie is often the one who is at the bar more than the other characters, which is due in part to him actually enjoying the janitorial work that he does.
Mac: Smarter Than Other Members Of The Gang
Though it is easy to see that Dennis is easily the smartest member of the Gang, Mac isn’t far behind. Not only is he capable of presenting his views and arguments in cohesive ways (when he’s not angry), but Mac’s memory proves to be better than the others when he is able to redecorate his and Dennis’ apartment exactly as it had been before it burned down.
Additionally, Mac is often the catalyst for setting plans in motion, as he often enters the bar saying that he has news.
Charlie: His Friendship With Dee
Each member of the Gang is more than happy to insult and belittle Dee, the token female of the group. Despite this, Charlie seems to be the one member of the group who’s the least awful to her.
They often team up or come to each other’s aid in schemes, like in the episode “Manhunters” when they are tricked by Frank into believing they are addicted to human meat, or in “Charlie and Dee Find Love” when they pretend to be rich and start dating a pair of siblings. This could be due to potential feelings between the two, as Charlie and Dee kiss in the episode “The Gang Misses The Boat.”
Mac: The Night Man Performance
When Charlie writes the musical The Nightman Cometh, the Gang is reluctant to jump aboard. Though Charlie intends for Mac to play The Boy, Mac decides against it and takes the role of The Nightman to show off his karate skills.
What follows is one of the character’s funniest moments, as he karate chops and kicks across the stage, forgets his lines, and charms the audience with his cat-eye contacts. He even pretends to die in a funny way, attempting to spring back up before falling down for good. It’s a brilliant moment in the show’s history and one that no other character could pull off.
Charlie: Better Ideas
Charlie may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but his product ideas and plans are some of the more interesting ones. He was the one who thought of Fight Milk, a drink that was supposed to enhance performance for bodyguards.
Charlie filmed the video for the commercial, which featured him and Mac bearing their biceps and crowing throughout. Charlie is also the brains behind kitten mittens, which was meant to help quiet the sound of cat paws. Again, Charlie filmed the video for this, and he sewed the prototypes himself.
Mac: The Catalyst For Schemes
Mac often sets plans in motion just by entering the bar. He was the one who set off the events of “The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby,” and he schemes with Dee to try to turn the baby into a model.
Mac also takes the Gang on a Christian cruise after he wins tickets at his Church. Though Frank and Dennis are often the two most responsible for the tangents the Gang goes on, Mac’s presence sets off the main action.
Charlie: A Master Manipulator
Charlie is illiterate and though it is possible that he is dyslexic, he is capable of crafting elaborate schemes to get what he wants. In the episode “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom,” Charlie manipulates Dee into helping him get revenge against Dennis for threatening to sleep with The Waitress, and in turn manipulates Dennis.
Charlie also manipulates Dee in “The Nightman Cometh” when she almost walks out of the production. He is also seen using these skills in the episode “Charlie Rules The World,” where he lures one of the strongest game players to dinner only to tell her that he has distracted her so he can take over her land.