‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Cold Opens, Ranked

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Cold Opens, Ranked

Some of the most memorable moments in Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia have taken place before the opening credits even start, which means the show probably holds the record for the fastest a character has done something awful in a sitcom. Heres the cream of that morally questionable crop… 

Charlie Goes America All Over Everybodys Ass


Included solely because of Charlie's (Charlie Day) delivery of the fateful words, Were gonna go America ALL OVER THEIR ASSES. They should add that somewhere in the anthem. U! S! A! Char! Lie! Day! 

Reynolds v. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense)

Frank (Danny DeVito) unsuccessfully trying to use a tape recorded by Charlie as a GPS navigation system + Dennis eating cereal from a bowl in his car, thus confirming he really is a psychopath = the dumbest traffic accident ever. This episode could end right here, and itd still be an all-timer.

Dennis Gets Divorced

Maureen Ponderosa (Catherine Reitman), rest her soul, was such a memorable character, but its Dennis getting carried away with the pretend choking that really sells this one.

Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack

Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) having a heart attack alone isnt funny; Dennis dismissive What is her problem? immediately followed by the title of the episode is. Heads up: This show loves that little trick, as well see many more times below. 

Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire


Sweet Dee Gets Audited

Sweet Dees smug You guys all better eat a dick, cause Sweet Dee beat the system is a reminder that shes an asshole too, and the cut to the title is so incredibly satisfying. The shows secret weapon is its ability to deliver a karmic payoff within the first two minutes.

The Gang Misses the Boat

Sometimes the title gag is a little too clever for the shows own good. You actually can get the entire gist of this episode from this one short clip: They go to insane lengths to make themselves believe they havent missed the boat (literally and metaphorically), but its obvious that they did miss the boat. Its like theyre providing their own CliffsNotes versions. 

The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis

This one provides some insight into the shows creative process when Dennis suggests taking Franks house scheme and Dees surrogate pregnancy scheme and somehow merging them while Charlie says, Lets just stick with one; its cleaner. This is also the first, but not last, instance of Franks fixation with flushing people down the drain.

The Gang Desperately Tries to Win an Award

Another meta one in which the Gang insists they dont care about never having been nominated for an Emmy the Best Bar Award, while making it very clear that yes, they very much do. The show got its first Emmy nom for this season, so their desperation worked (it was for Outstanding Stunt Coordination, but still). 

Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare

Often, while trying to pull off a scam, the Gang ends up on the receiving end of a completely different one, like when Dennis and Mac (Rob McElhenney) willingly get involved with a pyramid scheme because people like us, we dont get got, we go get, which the title screen immediately proves wrong.

Mac and Dennis: Manhunters

Included because of Frank mistaking the plot of First Blood for his real life. Wed absolutely watch a full Rambo series remake starring DeVito. 

Paddy s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens

Charlies WTF Kitten Mittens ad and the rest of the Gangs stunned silence is a reminder that, although these characters are all weirdoes, one of them is weird on a whole other level.

Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City

(stunned silence)

The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention

So many classic Frank moments in one short clip: the wine in a soda can, the reveal that the party he was pre-gaming for was a family members funeral, the phrase Flush that turd down the drain! referring to the deceased — the basic essence of Frank Reynolds is right here.

The Nightman Cometh

This earns a top three spot because of Mac reacting to the news that Charlie earnestly wants to put on a musical with the phrase that defines not just his character but the entire Gang: Who versus? Who are we doing it versus?

Mac and Charlie Die

Charlie and Mac trying to frame Macs dad for threatening to kill them, only for their lies to blow up in their faces, is like a little mini episode of its own, culminating in what would be the single greatest cut to a title screen in this entire series if it wasnt for...

Mac Kills His Dad

You just know Macs Im gonna save my dads life is gonna be directly followed by the words Mac Kills His Dad on the title screen, and yet, it still works every time. You might notice that no cold opens after Season Ten made it into this list. Thats because, after this one, they probably knew theyd perfected this joke format and didnt even try to top it.

Special mention, though, for A Monkey Could Do Dee's Job followed by The Gang Replaces Dee With A Monkey from the latest season.

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com. 

Thumbnail: Disney-ABC Domestic Television  


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