Any time I mention the hit TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” the first thing that follows is the general consensus that the series is hilarious but ridiculously messed up on a variety of levels, from the characters, their dialogue, to the way they react to different situations. However, once you start analyzing it, the series is actually totally on point with many social issues that are still relevant today.
Season 1, Episode 1: “The Gang Gets Racist”
The series begins with the gang (the group of main characters) analyzing their friend group and deciding that they need to make more black friends to prove they aren’t racist. The entire episode just provides a ton of secondhand embarrassment for the audience, but that’s the point — racism is very real and very much a key issue. The show can highlight the topic, but it’s up to us to fix the problem.
Season 1, Episode 2: “Charlie Wants an Abortion”
This episode sparks an issue that has continuously been debated and, unfortunately, will continue to be debated for a while. The gang takes sides as they join the fight about whether to maintain the legality of abortion or to prohibit it. Granted, they do it for the absolute worst reasons possible (just another attempt to hit on women), but the episode itself brings light to the issue and the thought processes behind the supporters and protesters.
Season 1, Episode 4: “Charlie Has Cancer”
In this episode, the plot line branches off in two directions. One follows the character Mac as he begins dating a transgender woman. The rest of the gang is disgusted, but Mac genuinely likes her and continues seeing her despite their disapproval, proving that gender identity should not matter when it comes to who you fall for.
Season 5, Episode 10: “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System”
Here is the advent of the explicit usage of character Dennis’s woman-seduction system. It’s basically a system that allows him to manipulate women into dating him, then he will damage them emotionally. Sociopaths like Dennis are the reason that women and men alike have serious trust issues when it comes to relationships.
Season 8, Episode 5: “The Gang Gets Analyzed”
In this episode one of the main characters, Dee, takes the gang to see her therapist and Mac admits to her that he lost about sixty pounds because Dennis gave him “size pills.” Dennis was disgusted by Mac’s obesity and took control of the situation by giving him weight-loss pills that destroy his appetite. It’s a tribute to the world today — we care so much about being skinny or “perfect” that we resort to incredibly unnatural methods to do so.
Season 8, Episode 10: “Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense”
Here we catch a glimpse of the classically controversial argument of creationism vs. evolution, a topic that will probably never be settled, ever. Mac fights the rest of the gang on the truth of religion, and the gang fights back that religion is a lie. At this point, we all have different ways of coping with life, and it shouldn’t matter what someone believes in as long as they’re a good person.
Season 9, Episode 2: “Gun Fever Too: Still Hot”
In this episode we follow the gang as they split into opposing sides and argue about gun control. Dennis and Dee believe that guns need to be taken off the streets, so they go about attempting to prove how easy it is for anyone to buy guns and contribute to the unrest of society. Meanwhile, Charlie and Mac advocate the use of guns for safety reasons and take matters into their own hands in an attempt to keep a local middle school safe from a nonexistent shooter. At the end of the day, it’s just a get-rich-quick scheme for their father Frank.