1. The guy who hired Mac and Charlie to work in the mail room is the unlucky waiter at Guigino's

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One of the longest-running trends/gags of It's Always Sunny is that the Gang ultimately destroys or degrades everyone they come in contact with. They're so inherently toxic and self-serving, it's impossible to have the Gang involved in your life without also bringing your life to ruin. The most notable example is (obviously) Matthew Mara, aka Rickety Cricket, whose interactions with the gang has not only destroyed his career (from priesthood to turning tricks on the street) and his spirit (he doesn't believe in god and is all too willing to accept lemons as payment, even when promised otherwise)...

...but even his physical body - which now has: a bum eye, at least one kidney missing, a scar on his neck which may or may not look like a dog's vagina, half of his face horrifically burned, his legs shattered, and...well, the list is nearly endless.

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But beyond Cricket, there are plenty of examples: Dave Foley's principal character was nearly fired and ultimately forced into running a middle school due to Dee and Charlie's employment, Liam McPoyle lost an eye due to Frank's lax AA-sponsor standards, Dennis has left an endless trail of emotionally-abused women, and Mac's dad may or may not have been killed in prison thanks to his interference.

So there's plenty of precedence for what is (probably) just a quirky casting choice: the guy who hired Mac and Charlie to work the mailroom of the corporation...

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...is the same guy who plays the waiter at Guigino's: actor Michael Naughton.

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And while the show has never actually acknowledged any connection between the two characters, it's pretty safe to presume that it's the same person. Mac and Charlie being fired for gross incompetence (Charlie for repeatedly burning piles of mail and not delivering what little he didn't burn, Mac for impersonating an executive) would have sent up a lot of red flags to look into whoever was actually dumb enough to hire those two. He would have been unceremoniously fired and blackballed from the industry, and as a result stuck working a waiter job at a local restaurant.

What helps this theory fit even better is that the Gang (as they are wont to do) very distinctly never remembers him or any misdeeds they may have committed against him (although he certainly remembers them - from his waiting days, at least):

He's gone from a management gig at a corporation to being regularly abused and threatened with hot plates of spaghetti at a restaurant - all thanks to the Gang.



2. Charlie was right about Pepe Silvia & Carol in HR (kinda)

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On the topic of 'Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack' (which is almost a perfect episode, outside the underwhelming "Frank does One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" subplot), let's get to the heart of the mystery that overtakes an obsessive Charlie: WHO IS PEPE SILVIA?

Charlie's rant to Mac about the mysterious Pepe Silvia is odd, even given Charlie's inconsistent levels of dyslexia/illiteracy: Pepe Silvia's name (in Charlie's mind) is on almost all of the mail? Charlie may be suffering from delusions (namely his invisible informant, Barney), but he does genuinely seem to believe Pepe's name is on most of the mail:

Pepe Silvia - this name keeps comin' up over and over again. Every day, Pepe's mail is getting sent back to me. Pepe Silvia, Pepe Silvia! I look in the mail - well, this whole BOX is Pepe Silvia!

What Charlie ultimately finds (again, in Charlie's mind, at least) is that there is no Pepe Silvia - he doesn't exist. Neither does Carol in HR or practically half the people who supposedly work at the company. To which Mac replies - ALL of those people DO work at the company and all of them are complaining endlessly that they're not receiving their mail.

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But here's the thing: Charlie was right. Maybe not about half the company, but definitely about Pepe. Because Pepe Silvia is....Pennsylvania. As in, the state that Philadelphia is located in. As in, a word that would be written on out any piece of mail sent to the company. The only problem? Charlie can't read - and read "Pennsylvania" as "Pepe Silvia" (which is pretty close for Charlie).

Of course, plenty of people would just write "PA" instead of writing out "Pennsylvania" every time - which would explain why EVERY piece of mail wasn't addressed to Pepe through Charlie's vision.

And it doesn't end there - what about "Carol in HR," you might wonder? He tried to find her and she wasn't there - because there also really isn't a "Carol in HR"...because the envelopes were addressed "Care of HR."

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Note: this theory has been formally denied by episode writer Scott Marder, at least insofar as it was not the writers' intention for Charlie to be misreading "Pennsylvania" as "Pepe Silvia." Still, that doesn't directly contradict that that wasn't what was happening, just that it may not have been intentional.



3. Mac made the gang burn Country Mac's body

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"Mac Day" is a truly great episode - really digging into Mac's character and the group's utter disdain about every aspect of someone they consider one of their closest friends (the fact that they're willing to "trade" Mac almost instantly speaks volumes about the group's dynamics). And, like a strangely large number of episodes, it ends with an impromptu funeral being held in Paddy's Pub, this time for Country Mac...moments before Mac Day ends and Frank Day begins (at which point Frank promptly flushes Country Mac's ashes down the toilet).

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And that's the thing - the entire episode takes place over the course of a single day - Mac Day - and Country Mac dies in the evening of Mac Day...so that means, between the point where Country Mac fell off his motorcycle and died and the beginning of Frank Day, the Gang managed to declare Country Mac deceased AND cremate his body.

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But, obviously, no coroner / police department in the world would have a dead body declared dead, processed, autopsied, and released for cremation in the span of a few hours. So what must have happened was the Gang found Country Mac dead and - because it was still Mac Day and they had to do whatever Mac wanted - Mac instructed them to grab his body and incinerate it in the furnace of Paddy's Pub so that he could hold a funeral service and firmly establish Country Mac was the inferior Mac.



4. A variety of factors has caused the gang's mental deterioration

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One of the best aspects of It's Always Sunny has been the way the show subverted (whether intentionally or not) the curse of all long-running sitcoms: Flanderization. "Flanderization" means, essentially, that characters will be exaggerated to greater and greater extremes as a show continues in order to mine laughs, single aspects of their personality will take over, and what made those characters special and fun will be lost in the imbalance. It's what happened with Joey on Friends, with practically EVERY Simpsons character (namely Flanders), Michael Scott on The Office, and...well, most characters on sitcoms.

And it's certainly true that - on a surface level - the same has happened with It's Always Sunny characters: Frank has grown infinitely more depraved, Charlie is progressively dumber and more illiterate, Dennis' sociopathy seems to increase every season, Mac's self-delusions grow and grow, and Sweet Dee's patheticness and rage have steadily increased. The key differences are that the Gang is acutely aware of how weird they've gotten, due to their narcissism and co-dependence, and that there are multiple in-story explanations for this behavior.

First, and most prominent, is the variety of toxins and harmful gasses constantly being ingested by various members of the Gang. Charlie regularly fills the bar with carbon monoxide (around inspection times, to keep the rat situation in the basement controlled) and spent years burning trash and blocking off ventilation to fill the bar with "the smokey smell we all like."

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And then comes the general substance abuses: the glue, turpentine, and paint fumes Charlie (and occasionally Mac and Dennis) huffs on a regular basis, the rampant alcoholism amongst the group, the occasional indulgences in crack, cocaine, and ecstasy. The end result of such non-stop ingestion of mind-altering substances should be...substantial, to say the least.

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And while the rest of the gang have gotten mentally less stable due to their total lack of coping mechanisms, constant failures in almost every aspect of their lives, and gradual descent into misanthropy, Frank has gotten notably worse than the rest - primarily due to his advancing age and a number of injuries:

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For Frank specifically: he's getting older and possibly beginning to suffer from dementia (even when he used that against Dee, he was still losing shoes), he's suffered a stroke (when he found out Dee and Dennis were not his children), he likely has a brain tumor (implied in Being Frank), he's suffered grievous head injuries (in "Frank Falls Out a Window"), and his (multiple) attempted suicides in "The Great Recession" clearly had some effect on his mental state (note that the episode following "The Great Recession" was the beginning of Frank at his most depraved - "The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention"). The net result of all of this is Frank as a depraved, confused, grotesque human barely capable of taking care of himself.

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But of course, the real culprit is that the Gang are a few individuals who are purely self-involved, narcissistic, toxic towards one another and strangely co-dependent - they're friends with each other because no one else would ever be friends with any one of them. They have no choice but to constantly be around others who are just as monstrous, selfish, and uncaring as they are, and even in their brief moments of self-awareness can think of no way out of their situation or how to make positive changes in their lives. They've allowed each other to get progressively worse, because to fight against that would make them aware of what sad, pathetic messes their lives are (all people in their early 40s with no ambitions who hang around a failing bar all day).



5. Dennis has killed before

Much has been made of Dennis' sociopathy and his gradual descent into full-blown psychopathy - we know he doesn't really have "feelings," that he keeps very ominous "tools" hidden in a secret compartment of his car, that he approaches things so methodically that even Charlie describes him as behaving "like a serial killer", that he has a heavy interest in torturing animals (mostly crows) and skins in general, and that he has a very detached view of humanity in general and feels no empathy for the people he aims to use for his own pleasure (the D.E.N.N.I.S. System).

Really, the main difference between Dennis Reynolds and Dexter Morgan is that Dexter is a lot nicer to his sister.

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But the show has always backed away from actually implying that Dennis has literally committed a cold-blooded murder - as it miiiiight be a step too far to have one of the main characters in a mostly-silly sitcom be an actual serial killer (not counting the crows, of course). But what if Dennis has already murdered someone? What if they built an entire episode around that and we didn't even really notice?

Here's the thing: THEY DID.

Dennis murdered a man named...Brian LeFevre.

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This theory was most thoroughly fleshed out by RJ Collins on his blog - so be sure to check this out for an even more detailed explanation (including some possible callbacks to the time Dennis came into contact with an ACTUAL serial killer - Dee's neighbor, Gary).

Before delving too deep, the explanation must be prefaced by reiterating something: Dennis is really, really obsessed with skin - in a way weirdly reminiscent to Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. He's ranted to Dee about how he would take her skin and turn it into luggage ("You forgot about the smell, you BITCH!"), revealed that he only wanted to be a veterinarian to keep animal skins, and developed an acute aversion to eating apples before they've been skinned (although to be fair, that was the influence of Mac). The point is - the implications the show has made about Dennis is not just that he was some run-of-the-mill killer, but that he had a specific fixation on skin.

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Of course, the plotline of the episode (from "Frank's Back In Business") is that the Gang has found the wallet of a man named "Brian LeFevre" and decided to masquerade as him a bit to take advantage of box seats at a Phillies game. But when they discover that Brian LeFevre was intended to be meeting with some businessmen about a potential major deal, Dennis decides he'll truly try to inhabit the persona of Brian LeFevre. In essence, Dennis sees if he can "become" Brian LeFevre believably. He sees if...he can wear his skin.

Of course, Dennis is using the phrase "wear his skin" metaphorically, but it's hard to deny that the wording conjures up other times Dennis has become overly focused on skin:

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Dennis seems to truly revel in the journey of "becoming" Brian LeFevre fully - which he's doing so that he can "get off." Wearing this man's skin, convincing the world that he is someone else - this is what excites Dennis on his deepest, most base level. His commitment to this scheme runs so deep in him that he pushes himself to the furthest limits that are probably even allowable on basic cable: he nearly has sex with (who he believes to be) a teenage prostitute (who is later revealed to just be a caddy).

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By the end of the episode, it's revealed Brian LeFevre was murdered in the alley behind Paddy's - at which point Dennis, completely unmoved and unphased by the news that the man he'd been impersonating was actually dead, "gets off." It's clear that the reveal that he's not Brian LeFevre makes up a big reason as to why Dennis is finally about to "get off" (I'm sorry for continuously putting this in quotation marks, but that feels right in this context), but even Dennis readily admits that it was the reveal of LeFevre's severed finger from the corpse that got him off the most.

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This is the moment Dennis has waited for, to reveal his ruse and how well he'd worn LeFevre's skin in front of as many people as possible - that he'd gotten away with it. But it got even better - not only did Dennis get to show everyone that he'd gotten away with taking the identity of Brian LeFevre - he got to show everyone that he killed Brian LeFevre as well. Watch Dennis' face - LeFevre's death not only doesn't phase Dennis, it clearly doesn't even surprise him. And the fact that the reveal of one of LeFevre's severed body parts is what got Dennis off "the most" means that he's so ready to indulge in this moment that he's willing to essentially admit it to everyone.

It's almost as if Dennis had been waiting and planning for this moment the whole time...because he had.

Even if you get into the details of LeFevre's death, Dennis is still easily implicated: all we know is that he was stabbed by a crackhead in the alley behind Paddy's. And who's the biggest crackhead who hangs around Paddy's, you ask?

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The golden god himself.

So - Dennis Reynolds couldn't help himself, and in a moment of heated passion, gave way to his darkest impulses and murdered Brian LeFevre. Knowing he would be unable to literally take his skin, Dennis did the next best thing: take Brian LeFevre's actual life itself. And through doing so, get himself off in a way that he'd never done before.

There's an added wrinkle to this fan theory - what would set Dennis off? Why would he finally give in to his murderous rage now? Some kind of traumatic event would have had to occur to cause this psychotic break from his usual cool demeanor, right?

Let's look at the episode directly preceding the Brian LeFevre "getting off" episode, "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer." To get back at Dee for routinely trying to convince him he was going senile to screw him out of money, Frank concocts an elaborate scheme to lead Dennis and Dee to believe their mother had faked her own death years before and that she'd hidden a treasure trove of wealth in her grave. Dennis and Dee go to the cemetery to open their mother's supposedly empty grave to find...the skeletal corpse of their mother.

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Earlier in the episode, Dennis had been talking about his normal lack of feelings and ability to feel empathy for anything or anyone - calling back to his "God Hole" speech to Frank and his revelation to Mac that he "didn't feel feelings." He'd spent most of the episode trying to connect to religion and faith, coming up completely empty as usual....until the reveal of his dead, decaying mother's corpse buried deep within the Earth.

Between the weeping and cries of "My mommy's a skeleton!" and "I FEEL TOO MUCH!", it's clear that this is a defining moment for Dennis - he feels an overwhelming level of feelings for the first time in years, and they are ones of deep, unsettling trauma. While his mind tries to repress this event, Dennis would be off - less able to control himself. And this moment of shock to his system and emotional core only had one inevitable conclusion: the murder of Brian LeFevre.

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Bonus! The Waitress' real name is....

NOT Nkki Potnick!

...although that WOULD be the most logical fan theory possible, if not for the writers RUDELY telling us all that we're wrong repeatedly.

Really, it's the closest thing to a "name" that one could ever apply to The Waitress - and it would've made sense, given The Waitress was the only person at the high school reunion whose nametag was missing and Frank had grabbed the nametag of someone named "Nikki Potnick" who no one seemed to accurately remember.

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But, alas, it's not that, so the only remaining clues are:

  • Her name does NOT start with "W" (since she was confused at why Mac would be searching the W section of Dennis' sex tape collection when looking for her tape)
  • Her name probably starts with a letter at the beginning of the alphabet (from the same scene, The Waitress starts by looking towards the early section of the alphabet)


For now, the closest thing we have to go on is this tweet from the Waitress herself: