It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia always looks to separate itself from the rest of the pack. Even during their normal string of episodes, they set the bar for how low and depraved comedy could get. So you should not be too surprised what they come up with when they set their sights on Christmas.
Frank was a pretty terrible father to Dee and Dennis, and apparently, it was no different during Christmastime. Using it as an opportunity to teach his children a “lesson” about earning what they wanted, Frank would often buy himself the things they wanted most just to torture them. That, of course, is when he wasn’t giving them empty boxes. He’s up to his old tricks even as the kids are full-grown adults, and his twisted merriment sparks conversation about how each of the gang spent Christmas as a child.
Suffice it to say that both Mac and Charlie didn’t exactly fare any better: while Mac’s parents created the “tradition” of opening and stealing gifts from under the neighbors’ trees, Charlie’s mom would spend Christmas Day with gentlemen callers. Hilariously, both were naïve to what was really going on until the exact moment that they described these traditions to each other. It culminates into a moment where Charlie has a meltdown on a Mall Santa’s lap. Seeing as how this is Philadelphia, you wouldn’t expect a different fate for Santa Claus.
Dennis and Dee, meanwhile, are trying to exorcise their own childhood demons by playing A Christmas Carol-themed prank on Frank in order to get him to see how wrong it was to treat them the way he did. Of course, the point is lost on Frank and it dissolves into an attempt to just get people to say mean things about him.
It’s Always Sunny… has a sick sense of humor and you either enjoy it or you don’t. If you don’t watch the show ordinarily, their Christmas episode will probably be a skippable event for you. If you’re a fan of the show, however, rest assured that the special keeps with the spirit of the rest of the series’ wretchedness.