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The Ballad Of Frank And Charlie: How 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' Gave Us The Best Relationship On TV

By Petr Knava | Miscellaneous | September 18, 2016 |

By Petr Knava | Miscellaneous | September 18, 2016 |

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is not only an incredible, degenerate comedy with fantastic performances and inspired imagery, but it has also, amidst the dumpster babies and abortion survivors and implications and toe knives and dog orgies and man-eating pig bloodbaths and Gail the Snails — somehow, against all odds — given us one of the sweetest, most well-rounded relationships on television. Now granted, this isn’t a romantic relationship, but it has gone through so many stages — and shown so many of the developmental signs — of one, that it at times seems scarcely distinguishable from one.

Over the course of nine years, Frank and Charlie have been through (much, much more than) their fair share of scrapes together and have emerged stronger than ever in their union. From relatively inauspicious beginnings arose a shining example to the rest of us (well, in some ways): the Gruesome Twosome.

First and foremost they look after each other’s bodies. When one has a problem with his back and it needs cracking, the service is provided without question, from one:

To the other:

In the early days of their relationship, they went through what would have been terminal trauma for any other pair: a revelation of a potential blood bond:

But of course they put this nonsense behind them and focused on getting freaky and high on acid together instead (even if it was against one’s will):

Which, yes, lead to…complications:

But they made it through. Together. And they got straight back to business, interviewing the mothers of potential serial killers:

And, sure, they’ve been through some tough, externally-imposed, unavoidable times. When a recession hit, they were briefly separated by circumstance. But even in such dire straits, before long Frank knew there was only one person to turn to when it was time to become crab people in order to survive:

In the toughest times, the best couples know to stick together. Even if that means scavenging delicious, delicious trash from the streets:

They even found the strength in their union to be able to cohabit and make the best of a bad living situation:

And to cook and dine on Grilled Charlies together:

Did I mention how much these guys love trash?

And even though they are both completely accepting of each other’s foibles — like the toe knife:

Sometimes friction can, of course, rear its ugly head and they can get into wheelchair fights in a strip club (hey, we’ve all been there, right?):

Or the occasional inbred freak family hostage situation can arise, which can lead to some infighting:


But it doesn’t matter. Because no matter the severity of the relationship hiccoughs these two always made it through:


And god forbid when one of them believed the other dead. The mental trauma (and strange, strange, doll-related symptoms) unleashed were beyond comprehension:

So when it all turned out okay in the end, after so many years together Frank and Charlie even decided to take the big leap, and they got married:

Unfortunately, like so many blessed unions, this one ended in divorce. But they handled it amicably, and with grace (and with the help of a pedophile uncle):

But married or not it doesn’t matter, because these two will never need a jabroni government-approved bit of paper to function. Because they are bulletproof, and they will continue to do what they have always done together. Like drink boat fuel (with mixer of course!):


Or a thing with Russian hats (which they told us about, but it only confused us and made us wanna know more):


It doesn’t matter what schemes they concoct, or what bumps in the road might come their way, Frank and Charlie will always have each others’ backs. Because they are the Gruesome Twosome, and they are perennial.





Petr Knava
lives in London and plays music

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.