Charlie’s Most Incredible Moments of Illiteracy on ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’

Why Charlie hate written word? We don’t know, but we’re glad he still can’t read
Charlie’s Most Incredible Moments of Illiteracy on ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’

Charlie Kelly can read and write, he just doesn’t like to read and write. Chrundle, on the other hand, can’t do either.

Of all the running gags on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the funniest one has to be the fact that the janitor-in-chief of Paddy’s Pub has never come anywhere close to understanding the written word. Every character on that show has their own absurd quirks that complicate the collective’s many schemes, but Charlie’s peculiarities are so numerous and absurd that it’s amazing that he somehow survived as long as he did in a world where being able to read the warning labels on glues, paints and other toxic materials is practically a requirement for surviving past early childhood. And, over the course of the 16 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia seasons and counting, Charlie’s literacy has somehow lessened while his use of scribbled symbols has skyrocketed.

Here are our favorite moments when Charlie Kelly tried — and failed — to engage with the written word, starting with…


God knows how many potential patrons the neon “Closed” sign in the window of Paddy’s Pub turned away because Charlie saw three letters he recognized and let his very special brain fill in the gaps. Every single employee of Paddy’s Pub has committed dozens of fireable offenses while on the job, but Charlie’s blunder in “The Great Recession” stands out as egregiously bad for business.

Dennis Is Asshole, Why Charlie Hate?

Charlie, you definitely wrote this one. Its more than a little puzzling (no puzzles, no puzzles, no puzzles!) that Mac didnt think to help his teammate out when Charlie was attempting to write his trivia questions during the making of Chardee MacDennis, but Mac may have incorrectly assumed that, if the question was unintelligible to the literate, only Charlie would be able to remember the answer. Unfortunately for them, the Bastard Man had a better memory.

Chrundle the Great

Chrundle may be but a lowly abortion survivor, glue-sniffer and janitor, but he does have pride enough to attempt to save face when his best effort to write his own name in blood on a contract printed on a paper plate takes a turn for the worse. Sadly, many seasons after the episode “Frank Retires,” we find out that Charlie definitely wasnt Franks son, so Chrundle the Great is both illiterate and deadbeat fatherless.

You Think A Pirate Lives in There?

Sometimes, you wonder what it would be like to live in Charlies brain just for a moment and experience existence through his twisted, fantastical worldview. In “The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation,” Charlie briefly lives in a universe where peg-legged pirates take up residency in the locked rooms of rival bars.

4 the Mare

This one makes the list for no other reason than Charlie genuinely seemed so proud that he somehow spelled some words correctly in “Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City.” Of course, they werent all the correct words, but the fact that he wrote two words in a row that both are found in the dictionary and a number that isnt an original symbol is a serious achievement for the Serpico superfan.

The Campaign Speech

“The Gang Runs for Office” contains arguably the most incredible improvised moment in the history of the show. As Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day revealed on The Always Sunny Podcast, Dennis fired off this campaign speech off-the-cuff and created a legendary monologue that continues to be quoted by Sunny superfans to this day. So do.

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