All the members of the gang in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have their issues, and all could certainly be argued to be fairly antisocial in nature. Even so, none of them stick out as much in their blatant sociopathy than Dennis Reynolds.
Dennis, a former Ivy League frat boy, is used to getting his way, and is infuriated when he doesn’t. He loves himself and no one else, not even his sister; if anything, he hates Sweet Dee most of all. His narcissism is matched only by the Donald Trumps of the world. So how did Dennis evolve over the years into the lovable potential serial killer we see today?
In the earlier seasons, Dennis’s insanity was mostly on par with that of the rest of the Gang. He displayed cartoonish levels of vanity, and often manipulated women including the Waitress (poor Charlie..) into sleeping with him.
However, years of frustration over the Gang’s failed plots began to wear on Dennis. Soon he would introduce the other men to the “D.E.N.N.I.S. system”, his simple solution to forcing women to become dependent upon him for protection and then abandoning them. While the guys readily join in on the “fun”, the viewer is left wondering if Dennis has crossed a dangerous line.
Fast foward a couple of seasons later. The Gang is attending their high school reunion and, as is customary, things escalate out of control rapidly. Amidst the chaos comes the revelation that Dennis keeps a shovel and supplies for restraining someone in the trunk of his car. The next year, he attends his ex-wife’s wedding with the sole intention of getting her to sign away his alimony payments… and ends up sleeping with her instead.
In “The Gang Gets Analyzed”, Dennis reveals that he has been feeding Mac “size pills” filled with Mexican ephedra, simply because his supposedly grotesque appearance was bothering him. For Dennis, the rest of the Gang and their emotions are simply afterthoughts once he’s done looking out for #1.
Season 10 marked perhaps the biggest leap yet in Dennis’s psychotic nature. His anger overcomes him on several occasions: he shouts at women for rating him poorly on a phone app (and at the Waitress because she “[doesn’t] have online”), he drives his car into the ocean out of frustration, he breaks down in a fit of anger and despair during a game of Family
FeudFight, and he hits Mac because, in his words, he “was irritated”. Perhaps most terrifying of all, he threatens to chop his sister up into little pieces and display her on his mantle… ironically, while attempting to solicit help for a different psycho.
Season 11 begins in January. What will the new season bring from our psychotic friend Dennis? Is this the season he finally snaps? It seems like all the groundwork is being laid for a finale where Dennis murders the rest of the Gang. Or maybe just Cricket.