Over the course of the last thirteen years, fans have watched the gang from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia slowly destroy themselves with drugs, alcohol, and outlandish antics. It seems each successive season ups the ante on how much damage Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Dee, and Frank are willing to inflict on their brains and livers. If we’re being honest, the gang needs help. At least, that’s the conclusion of a recent study from Alcohol.org that catalogues every use or mention of drugs and alcohol over the course of the show. The results are predictably troubling.
It should come as no surprise that Charlie has the most instances of visual substance abuse as well as the most eclectic list of substances consumed in the show’s past 134 episodes, including turpentine and cat food. It also makes sense that, given the show’s setting, beer and alcohol sit firmly at the top of the list for each character, though we’re not sure why Rum Ham wasn’t given it’s own classification.
But the gang’s descent into debauchery hasn’t been a straight line. They’ve had seasons where they’ve taken it (relatively) easy on themselves and seasons where things got really off the rails. Season 10 secured the title of “Most Excessive” when it premiered with the episode “The Gang Beats Boggs” in which each character attempts to drink 70 beers on a cross-country flight. All told, that season averaged just over 31 mentions or visual depictions of substance abuse per episode. That’s pretty impressive for a 30-minute comedy.
The Always Sunny gang doesn’t do things like normal Americans. They don’t like to drink on the weekends or when it’s supposedly “cocktail hour.” They like to express their freedom to do whatever they want, when they want. Or, as Charlie would say, “Rock, flag, and eagle.” That may explain why the majority of the drinking on the show takes place on weekdays before 5 p.m. “Nearly half the episodes set in the morning hours of the day show alcohol consumption immediately following the time stamp in the first scene,” notes the study. That certainly can’t be healthy, but not being healthy is what this country was founded on, we think.
Alcohol.org takes pains to emphasize that alcoholism, addiction, and drug abuse are no laughing matter. The lifestyle depicted on Always Sunny is incredibly dangerous and not recommended for anyone that wants to stay alive for more than a day. Of course, most people watching the show already know that, which is why it’s so fun to watch the show’s cast of lunatics indulge themselves.
You can read the full report here.
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