“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” Seasons Ranked

Probably my favourite sitcom of all time, Sunny has everything I want from a comedy show – great jokes, outrageous situations, and a group of core characters that make me want to tune in each week. The show is still going strong after 14 seasons, but how would I rank them all?

Here are some of my other TV season rankings:

Meh

14 – Season 1

This season is definitely lacking something. The main offenders for this season are Dee and Frank (or the distinct lack of Frank). The guys didn’t write Dee particularly well this season, and no Danny Devito is always disappointing.

You can tell the show has potential, with the pilot “The Gang Gets Racist” being a decent introduction, and “Charlie Got Molested” has some of the best moments of the season. A pretty “meh” effort overall.

  • Best Episode – Charlie Got Molested
  • Worst Episode – Charlie Wants An Abortion

13 – Season 13

I’m gonna come out and say it – Dennis is my favourite character on the show, so not having him in half the episodes (due to the actor’s busy schedule elsewhere) really lets the season down.

The other thing that puts this season in “meh” is the volume of bad episodes, such as the Boggs ladies reboot and the two-parter about the Superbowl.

Still, there are some all-time great episodes like “Time’s Up for the Gang” and “The Gang Gets New Wheels” that make this better than season 1. Even some filler-ish episodes like the escape room one and the bathroom problem one are elevated due to the whole gang’s chemistry. This is a season I wouldn’t mind re-watching, but it’s definitely far from good.

  • Best Episode – Time’s Up for the Gang
  • Worst Episode – The Gang Beats Boggs: Ladies Reboot

OK

12 – Season 2

Undoubtedly an improvement from the first season, but I still think this season doesn’t showcase the immense talents of the writers and cast (especially since Devito’s scenes had to be filmed in 20 days, so they come off as a bit rushed).

Still, this season is where the show starts to create some truly memorable and iconic moments. “Dennis And Dee Go On Welfare” is a classic, “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom” has an amazing script, and “Hundred Dollar Baby” has some all-time great Charlie and Dee performances. If I had to pick a favourite, I’d probably pick “The Gang Goes Jihad” for the premise alone.

  • Best Episode – The Gang Goes Jihad
  • Worst Episode – The Gang Runs For Office

Good

11 – Season 14

The latest offering for the creators of Sunny wasn’t sensational, but it was definitely a huge improvement over the previous season.

There are some great ensemble episodes like “Dee Day”, “Waiting for Big Mo” and “The Gang Texts”, and to be honest none of the episodes this season are that bad. This has to be one of the most consistent seasons they’ve ever put out, but none of the episodes were stand-out. Still, there’s lots of good here.

  • Best Episode – The Gang Chokes
  • Worst Episode – n/a

10 – Season 6

Most people would probably put this season higher, but I just think there aren’t enough great moments to propel this above some of the other seasons.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some great episodes – “The Gang Buys A Boat” is a great time, the Lethal Weapon parody in “Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth” is hilarious, and “Who Got Dee Pregnant?” is one of those amazingly written episodes that the show is famed for.

There are definitely some boring ones here, like the opening two-parter and “The Gang Gets A New Member” (sorry Jason Sudeikis, even you couldn’t save that one).

  • Best Episode – Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth
  • Worst Episode – Dennis Gets Divorced

9 – Season 7

Ah yes, season 7 was when Fat Mac blessed the world with his presence. Again, this season is probably higher for most, but it just doesn’t have that oomph that I want from a season of Sunny.

Of course, there are some absolute classics in here – “Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties” and “Thunder Gun Express” are iconic, and episodes like “The Storm of the Century” and “The High School Reunion” have some great moments. Best episode has to go to “CharDee MacDennis: The Game of Games” just for how bonkers it is. Worst episode is easily “Frank’s Brother”, which might be the worst episode of the entire show.

  • Best Episode – CharDee MacDennis: The Game of Games
  • Worst Episode – Frank’s Brother

8 – Season 10

Like with any season of Sunny from now on, there are just so many iconic episodes. “The Gang Beats Boggs” and “The Gang Group Dates” is a great start to the season, and “The Gang Misses The Boat” and “The Gang Goes on Family Fight” serve up the laughs.

Best of the season has to go to the unbelievable feat that is “Charlie Work”, where the second half of the episode is seemingly filmed in one take (it isn’t actually, but you wouldn’t be able to tell). Very solid stuff.

Honourable mention to the psychotic Dennis breakdown in “Psycho Pete Returns”.

  • Best Episode – Charlie Work
  • Worst Episode – Frank Retires

Great

7 – Season 12

Now we get onto the seasons of Sunny that I’d love to watch if I had the chance.

Opening on “The Gang Turns Black” and “The Gang Goes to a Water Park” is guarenteed to supply the laughs, and individual gems like “The Gang Tends Bar” and “PTSDee” have a lot of good going for them as well.

The last two episodes aren’t quite up to par, however. “A Cricket’s Tale” is a complete flop (even though the way it relates to the rest of the series is pretty clever), and “Dennis’ Double Life” is a strange finale, mainly because at the time I thought my favourite character might be leaving the show for good. Thank goodness that didn’t happen, otherwise Sunny would devolve into the worst parts of series 13.

  • Best Episode – Hero or Hate Crime?
  • Worst Episode – A Cricket’s Tale

6 – Season 11

This season contains probably my all-time favourite episode of the show – “Mac & Dennis Move to the Suburbs”. That episode alone elevates this to “Great”, but the other episodes are all good as well.

“The Gang Hits The Slopes” is a much needed location change, the McPoyle trial is bonkers, “Being Frank” is as weird as it is wonderful, and the two-part finale is a strong closer.

There are some slight misfires like “Dee Made A Smut Film” and “Frank Falls Out the Window”, but on the whole there are no truly bad episodes.

  • Best Episode – Mac & Dennis Move to the Suburbs
  • Worst Episode – Frank Falls Out the Window

5 – Season 8

Other than “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer”, every episode here demonstrates the gold standard of Sunny.

The award for best episode could easily be a five-way tie between “The Gang Recycles Their Trash”, “The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre”, “The Gang Gets Analyzed”, “The Gang Dines Out”, and “Reynolds vs Reynolds: The Cereal Defense”, but I think I’ll give it to the analysing one for giving us further insight into their twisted minds.

  • Best Episode – The Gang Gets Analyzed
  • Worst Episode – Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer

Amazing

4 – Season 5

There are some amazingly good episodes in here: “Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens” is great, “The Waitress is Getting Married” contains one of my all-time favourite Charlie scenes with the dating profile, and of course “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System” is unbelievably iconic. I’d have to pick the latter for best episode, and “Mac and Charlie Write a Movie” is probably the worst (but it’s still pretty good).

  • Best Episode – The D.E.N.N.I.S. System
  • Worst Episode – Mac and Charlie Write a Movie

3 – Season 3

Season 1 didn’t really grab me, and it took a while to get through season 2 (which was definitely a better season), but season 3 was when I was properly hooked on the show.

It starts with a bang with “The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby”, which was the kind of balls-to-the-wall story-telling I was longing for in Sunny. There are so many other great episodes, especially “Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person”, and it’s only really “The Aluminum Monster vs. Fatty Magoo” that wasn’t up to standard.

  • Best Episode – Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person
  • Worst Episode – The Aluminum Monster vs. Fatty Magoo

2 – Season 9

There can’t be many people who put this season in the top 3, but I just love it to bits.

It contains some of my all-time favourite episodes: “The Gang Gets Quarantined” (very topical), “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6” and “The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award” are all contenders for best of the season.

I have to give the gold medal to “The Gang Squashes Their Beefs” for being one of the funniest episodes of television I’ve ever seen. Worst is probably “Gun Fever Too: Still Hot” but even that is pretty good.

  • Best Episode – The Gang Squashes Their Beefs
  • Worst Episode – Gun Fever Too: Still Hot

1 – Season 4

This season is prime Sunny, where the gang fires on all cylinders and the stories are as wacky and hilarious as ever.

When people think of Sunny, they probably think of Charlie’s conspiracy theory breakdown in “Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack”, or the way they deal with worldly issues such as in “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis”.

The crowning achievement of the season, and possibly of the entire show, has to be the incredible musical episode “The Nightman Cometh”, which was so popular the cast actually did a few live performances of the musical in its entirety.

This is an amazing season of television, and episodes like these are why I consider Sunny to be one of my favourite shows of all time.

  • Best Episode – The Nightman Cometh
  • Worst Episode – The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell

Welp, that’s it for this list. This has been a really fun one to make, I love most episodes of Sunny so it’s great to talk about some of them. You should check out some of my other posts below, what’s the harm in it?

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