The clip show is an iconic rite of passage for any long-running sitcom — but, since It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia isn't just any sitcom, you had to know the Always Sunny clip show would get a little weird with it (we only have so many years left on this Earth, after all).
"The Gang Does a Clip Show" started out as your average, every day sitcom clip show: As Dennis (Glenn Howerton) called the premise of recalling iconic moments lazy, we flashed back to early seasons and marveled and how young everyone looked, had a supercut of a character doing something –in this case, Dee (Kaitlin Olson) being a klutz—and laughed for the thousandth time over Charlie (Charlie Day) biting Santa in the neck. You know, the usual stuff.
But then, the episode took a Sunny turn. After one flashback scene ended a little differently than fans might remember, The Gang suddenly plunged us into a confusing, twisted world worthy of being a storyline on Legion's next season.
The second half the episode featured The Gang recalling iconic moments in the show's history — and how your memory can betray you and even alter reality. As Dennis said, "How you remember something becomes reality" — or at least your reality. The "normal" clip show then escalated to them fighting about who misremembered the way Dennis left the bar (and Philly) in season 12, then escalated even further to involve Charlie speaking another language, Frank (Danny DeVito) with hair, and Seinfeld.
So not only did we watch The Gang bend reality and confuse each other, but iconic moments in Always Sunny history are now changed forever. Or are they?! Here are some of the most iconic moments that have (possibly) been forever altered:
1. Dennis' Grand Exit
After Dennis made his speech about leaving Paddy's for North Dakota, Mac (Rob McElhenney) turned the lights out and grabbed Dennis' hand, claiming he was leaving, too. And then Dee and Charlie did a hilarious bit where they flipped the lights on and off. Dennis' farewell has been forever tainted.
Dee and a few others remembered that one time in their New York City apartment in the early '90s (when they were in high school) where they had big shoulder pads, bigger hair, and — no, wait, that was actually just an episode of Seinfeld. Charlie is the Kramer, in case you were wondering. And to top off the confusing not-really-a-flashback, there were two Jerry's.
3. The Nightman Cometh, Translated
Charlie recalled one of the show's most memorable moments — that would be "The Nightman Cometh," duh — and how he spoke fluent Mandarin during it. As the rest of The Gang correctly remembered, he definitely did not.
4. Charlie's Kid?
Wait, Charlie and the waitress got together, and she had a kid? And a second Charlie watched them together (that's how he remembers things)? Now there are two Charlies? We’re confused. And so is The Gang. Will the show be forever haunted by the fact that no one will ever know which Charlie they're talking to?
5. Frank's Hair
If there's one thing Frank is known for, it's his long legs and flowing hair. That is 100 percent real and accurate.
In the end, The Gang had to figure out if everything they were living was just a complete fabrication. How do you ever know if you're in reality, anyway? You test it via an Inception-style spinning top, then promptly forget about the spinning top when your phone is finally done updating.
If the top keeps spinning and you don't actually notice, are you in reality? In the end, is anything that happens on Sunday real? Does anyone else feel like they're in a dorm room at 3 a.m.? Can someone send help? Or pizza?
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FXX. We think.
Watch every season of Always Sunny on FX+, without ads.