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March Madness: IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA Final Four

It is fitting that the weekend the NCAA Tournament decides it’s Final Four, so do we here at the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia bracket! All four #1 seeds made it to the Elite Eight, but two of them were knocked off! Find out which episodes have earned the distinction of being the top four episodes of our It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia bracket!

 

2014 Sunny Full Bracket Final 4

1. Chardee MacDennis over The Gang Gets Held Hostage – 4-2

Eric Ambler- “It’s not just a game. It’s a war.”

That’s how Charlie sums up the gang’s homebrew cure for boredom in “Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games,” and it might as well be the episode’s slogan as it steamrolls through the bracket. Not even the gang’s Die Hard episode can match the intensity of this cutthroat competition, which combines inexplicably elaborate rules and rituals with the show’s customary degradation. Case in point: the game’s “jail” is a dog cage, the perfect size to enclose poor Frank while he’s forced to gorge on cake ingredients.

“Chardee MacDennis” is a near-perfect narrative manifestation of Sunny’s hodgepodge of strangely specific and inherently funny ideas, a pointillist portrait of character-driven humor that adds up to one twisted, hilarious whole – all in less than 20 minutes. I could definitely see it smashing its way to the championship, provided it can avoid the dreaded coin flip…

2. Gang Dances Their Asses Off over 1. Gang Gets Invincible- 5-1 

Cat Edison- The Gang Dances Their Asses Off is awesome for so many reasons, but I will share my top three. One, Cricket gets to be more than just a bit part and uses his opportunity so very well. Two, Dennis is at some of his most lecherous in this episode, which is saying a lot. Three, Charlie’s interpretive dance is unrivaled in it’s beauty and depth. What is wonderful about this episode is that we know the gang so well by this point that it is absolutely no surprise that they almost lost the bar to with dance contest. The Sklar Brothers as the dance marathon DJ team works so well that it makes me wonder if they shouldn’t embark on a secondary career. The team-up attempt between Cricket and the Waitress show how truly desperate they both are to take down the Gang and the resulting depravity takes the episode to it’s lowest point…Charlie’s zombie-like cough-syrup enduced state and Cricket’s Tanya Hardingesque failure to prove himself to Dee yet again.

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA

1. The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre over 3. Who Got Sweet Dee Pregnant 4-2

Ryan Hill- Any episode with the McPoyles is a classic, but add a touch of zombies, and the result is one of the best episodes in the history of SunnyThe Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre claws it’s way into the Final Four, taking down Who Got Sweet Dee Pregnant with relative ease. Honestly, how could it not? The episode is literally Sunny on acid…er, bath salts. After Bill Ponderosa spikes the milk with bath salts, the entire McPoyle clan turns into a group of cannibalistic zombies, and Liam McPoyle loses an eye? Fantastic. Who Got Sweet Dee Pregnant made a nice run, but it doesn’t belong in the pantheon of all-time great Sunny episodes.

It’s a shame Sunny doesn’t do more holiday themed episodes, because between Wedding Massacre and A Very Sunny Christmas, few shows do the holidays as well as Rob McElhenney and company. The series may have dipped a little in quality with the later seasons, but Wedding Massacreproves that the gang’s still got it after all these years.

Gabe Ruzin- Now we get into the exceedingly difficult bit of this year’s March Madness. And also the frustrating bit. How do you pick a winner between these two eminently quotable episodes? ‘Sweet Dee’ is a David Fincherian study of the gang’s differing ‘brown out’ memories of the previous Halloween’s Paddy’s party, when SOMEBODY got Sweet Dee pregnant and, after the 1000th bird insult pushes her too far, she revenge-mindf*cks the gang into thinking it’s one of them, thus ruining their haphazardly planned and thoroughly illegal plan to go all ‘Night at the Museum’ that evening. As each of their attempts at solving the mystery only further complicate the mystery (in increasingly ridiculous fashion), they have no choice but to reluctantly enlist the help of Artemis and the McPoyle brothers to get to the bottom of it. It’s one of IASIP’s best, an excellent episode that only gets more excellent with multiple viewings.

But it couldn’t quite take down one of the titans of Always Sunny, ‘Maureen Ponderosa’s Wedding Massacre’. Technically Sunny’s only ‘special’ episode (the credits were famously changed into a Halloween-y font), Wedding Massacre involves Dennis entering the lion’s den of sorts, a wedding between ex-wife Maureen Ponderosa and Liam McPoyle, to ensure the wedding goes forward and his alimony payments cease. Meanwhile, Frank and Dee temporarily join forces with Ryan McPoyle to crash the wedding. Add a jonesing Bill Ponderosa, a large quantity of bath salts, Guillermo Del Toro as a deranged Pappy McPoyle, zombies (sort of), and some hilarious shake-o-cam and you’ve got a Sunny standout. I would have been perfectly happy with either of these episodes moving on to the Final Four, but one had to be a winner. And ‘Maureen Ponderosa’s Wedding Massacre’ is certainly worthy.

3. Gang Solves the Gas Crisis over 1. Nightman Cometh- 3-3 Tie Breaker: Wild Card Bitches!- EIC Kristal Bailey

 Cat Edison- The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis is an episode I had to ruminate on when choosing a winner in this round. The decision came down to two factors for me: I really hate watching Dee in the princess costume in The Nightman Cometh, same goes for Dennis in the Dayman costume. Of course I see the humor in both and appreciate what it adds to the overall tone, but it still bugs me. Also, The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis and the proclamation of Charlie as the “wild card” inspired me to try to figure out how to create an It’s Always Sunny family costume theme for Halloween this year (with my Border Collie as the wild card/Charlie). You have to admire the gang’s lofty goals and the fact that they take the steps to get the job done whatever way they can.

I don’t know if we’ve ever seen them more determined to accomplish anything. The large breasted women on the chart would have been an excellent idea if not for all the successful women around, and the boys’ perpetual shock at women who have jobs with merit is always guaranteed to get a laugh out of me. Waterboarding in a urinal is such a novel and disgusting idea I can’t believe no one has thought of it before. Frank is an evil genius. What it ultimately comes down to is the focus on Charlie and his wildcard status. He manages to round out the episode perfectly.

Kip Mooney- This is the best episode of the series because it best exemplifies all the horrible traits of the Paddy’s Pub crew. Frank is insane: staking out the wrong person’s apartment in a van with windows tinted on the inside. Dee is willing to do anything to get someone to like her, even temporarily. Dennis is a creepy horndog. Mac is only looking out for himself. And Charlie, of course, is the wild card. This is the show at its best: a complicated get-rich-quick scheme that turns ugly, pitting the gang against one another. Above all else, it’s hilarious, from the guys stripping in the bank to Frank waterboarding Dee. I’d make a strong case that is the funniest episode of the show and the absolute best.

Next week, we will narrow these four down to just two! In the meantime, keep an eye out for how the fans voted on facebook, as we will be opening the Final Four fan poll shortly! Thanks for tuning into our It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia bracket!

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The Author

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor

I grew up in the south, raised watching TV, Movies, and Sports. Entertainment is my life, and I can't imagine what my life would be like without it. I'm a USC grad, and proud to be a Trojan for life! Some of my favorite shows include South Park, Always Sunny, Dexter, and How I Met Your Mother, which I write a weekly recap of here. I also play and report on poker for a living. Its a hard way to make an easy living!