The semi-popular American sitcom, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is about four friends and a father who own a low-budget Irish themed bar in the city of Philadelphia. Each new episode centers around a new, and often obscure, problem “the gang” faces. The four friends usually solve their challenges in an innovate, immature and naive way, during which there is always much fighting and chaos. While the show may be intended as a satire that pokes fun of various different social stereotypes and conceptions, what really sticks out is the ever present chaos and disorganization that “the gang” partakes in. This constant disorder and arguing perpetuates certain social stigmas pertaining to stereotypes often associated with the working class. These stereotypes would include opportunistic, lazy, egocentric and aggressive.
In one episode one member of the gang, Dee, attempts to evade taxes by claiming a baby she has as a surrogate as a dependent. The IRS quickly catches on to her scam, but she continues wrap herself further into the lie by constructing cribs and even go so far as to holding a funeral for the fabricated child. Scenes like these promote stereotypes that paint the working class as opportunistic and wont to take advantage of the system.
In other scenes, the characters show off their large egos. One example is when members of “the gang” plays an elaborate board game they invented. Dennis and Dee who are on a team together and have always one the game whenever it had been played. Both Dennis and Dee have no problem rubbing their victory in the faces of Mac and Charlie, who have never won. Besides being extremely egocentric, the characters are also exceedingly violent. The prize of the same game mentioned earlier is smashing the opponent's’ game pieces with hammers until they have been destroyed as much as possible and walk away in silence.
While a very entertaining TV show, It's Always Sunny is perpetuating harmful stereotypes.