WARNING: If you have not watched Season 16, Episode 3, “The Gang Gets Cursed,” then do not read this article (SPOILERS AHEAD). Go watch it on Hulu right now!
Every sitcom has its defining moments, but ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ just notched a milestone unlike any other. In a long line of unique achievements, the irreverent comedy hit a peculiar peak in its 16th season, a peak that has been rising since its inception – the inclusion of every main cast member’s spouse in the series.
Kicking off in the very first episode of the series, “The Gang Gets Racist,” with Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Charlie Day’s real-life wife), the trend has since woven its way through the show’s enduring narrative. Now, in Season 16, Episode 3, “The Gang Gets Cursed,” with the introduction of Rhea Perlman, ex-wife of Danny DeVito, the series wraps up this unusual pattern in a neat, humorous bow.
At the heart of this heartwarming off-screen connection to on-screen storytelling is Kaitlin Olson. Long before becoming Rob McElhenney’s spouse, Olson has been bringing to life the role of Dee Reynolds. Meanwhile, Ellis, embodying the Waitress, has served as a consistent counter to the gang’s antics since season 1.
This peculiar tradition continued with Glenn Howerton’s spouse, Jill Latiano, stepping into the role of Caylee in Season 5, Episode 10, “The D.E.N.N.I.S System.” As an unsuspecting target of Dennis’s manipulative machinations, Latiano left a lasting impression on the show’s narrative and fans alike.
Though Danny DeVito’s partner hadn’t previously made an appearance, Lucy DeVito, his daughter, did feature in three separate episodes. Now, with the introduction of Rhea Perlman, the circle of family guest stars is complete. Perlman’s portrayal of Bertha Fussy offers a new dynamic, with her sharp wit and comedic prowess matching the gang’s hilarious absurdity blow for blow.
‘Always Sunny’ has not only stood the test of time but has also bent the norms of sitcom storytelling. The recurring guest appearances by the main cast’s real-life partners have added an endearing touch of reality to the show’s chaotic universe. In the grander scheme, it represents the blending of the off-screen world with the on-screen narrative, an element that’s rarely seen in sitcoms.
As ‘Always Sunny’ continues its exceptional run, fans are always on the lookout for unique milestones and Easter eggs. This peculiar achievement is just another testament to the show’s enduring charm and its ability to surprise.
So, while we wait for the next boundary the show decides to cross, enjoy the delightful ride that is Season 16 every Wednesday on FX and Hulu.