No More Dennis?


By: TJ Rotolico

     If you know “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” then of course you’re familiar with Dennis Reynolds. Played by Glenn Howerton, Dennis Reynolds is one of the main characters in the popular FXX TV show. Dennis is vain, superficial, and hypersexual. He must always get his way or he will become belligerently angry and seemingly go crazy. While being very-narcissistic, he just adds to the chaos that is constantly fused by the gang. Throughout the years Dennis has been the focal point of many episodes, as well as Glenn being the co-creator and co-writer of episode ideas and dialogue. However, it was hinted on and off screen during the season 12 finale that Dennis Reynolds / Glenn Howerton would possibly not return for season 13. With Dennis being a vital piece to the Always Sunny mix, fans have tried unearthing the strange plot to be. While watching Dennis on screen, they have also carefully analyzed Glenn Howerton’s commentary on the show. Dennis and Glenn are both incredibly necessary to the show’s success. Having been so fresh, wildly popular, and full of ideas for so long, I’m not sure how well season 13 would pan out without him. Myself and fans included are frightened for the future to be without a Dennis.

     So where did this all begin? In season 12 episode 10, we learn that Dennis has been living a double life. While working at Paddy’s Pub with the gang, he discovers that he has a son with a woman named Mandy from North Dakota. Faced with his newfound fatherhood, Dennis immediately rejects the idea of being a dad and conspires with the gang on how to rid of his son and Mandy. Going as far as faking his own death, Mandy finally tells off Dennis, stating that they’ll be fine without him back home in North Dakota. Something unexpected happens next, something we’ve never seen from Dennis in all twelve seasons. With some strange change of heart, Dennis decides that he must step up for the sake of his son and live a life with his family. Assuring the gang of his decision, we watch Dennis walk away from the bar and his life in Philadelphia. At this point, the gang is puzzled and isn’t too sure what’s to happen next for them and Paddy’s Pub.


     For people who have never seen the show, Dennis is most commonly known for his womanizing ways. In season 5 episode 10, he incorporates The D.E.N.N.I.S. System, which was designed to be a foolproof plan for seducing women. The acronym stands for Demonstrate value, Engage physically, Nurture dependence, Neglect emotionally, Inspire hope and Separate entirely. Dennis is a jerk and a woman’s worst fear, charming yet ultimately deceiving for his own gain. After so many years of watching Dennis treat women poorly, this leaves many viewers puzzled as well. What drove him to finally break his system? A child? A family? Settling down? A better life than his father gave him?

Using The D.E.N.N.I.S System – 

    The aftermath of season 12 episode 10 was a storm of tweets, updates, statuses, and speculation from fans in an uproar. Through a series of interviews, articles, and questions, fans were able to determine a few different ideas of how this will play out in season 13. Many fans believe that Dennis will in fact be back for season 13. Ideas range from him focusing on life in North Dakota, and then after a few of these episodes him venturing back to Philadelphia, or something simple as being back behind the bar with Dennis saying “it didn’t work out,” and then gang carrying on as if nothing happened. If you know Dennis, you know there is something off. There is just absolutely no way Dennis would just disappear from the show. Too many fans believe Dennis has something up his sleeve, but the part that comes next might break a few hearts.

     According to a few different interviews with “UPROXX” and “The Wrap,” Howerton reported that the show might go on an extended hiatus. He stated that when the show comes back, it actually could go on without him. Howerton said, “The option to come back is there, but it’s very much a creative decision.” While reporting this, the show itself has been renewed for season 13 and season 14. It’s a matter of whether or whether not Howerton will stay a series regular, it’s something to be discussed with Howerton, and other co-creators Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day in the future. Not only has Howerton openly admitted to his time off from the show, but has discussed the works of his new NBC pilot and possible conflicting schedule times with Always Sunny.


     Despite this clear and cut evidence with Howerton, he was sure not to say too much on his possible departure. The fans are still skeptical, Glenn / Dennis are crucial to the show’s success and writing. I myself could not envision an entire season or even a few episodes without Dennis. Each character including Dennis is vital to the gang’s pandemonium and episode plot. Not only vital to the ideas, but they play off each other in the ad-lib dialogue for those memorable scenes and moments. With the train of hype around the show, I couldn’t imagine Howerton, Day, or McElhenney letting Dennis walk away without the conclusion of the show as whole. The whole show would feel off without the company of Dennis. While we’re not sure what the cast and creators could possibly have planned in season 13, they have plans for two new whole seasons, so they must be confident in the fate of Dennis Reynolds. All theories on Dennis / Howerton aside, there’s nothing left to do but sit back, wait, and watch to find out the verdict.


2 thoughts on “No More Dennis?

  1. This genuinely interested me. I’m also a Sunny fan, but in recent years have only caught new episodes here and there. But when I saw the finale from this season I was surprised. I wondered if Dennis leaving at the end of the season actually meant that Glenn was leaving the show. Until now, I forgot about this. From what you’ve presented, if Glenn is working on a new show for NBC, then it could be possible that he will not be coming back. It could also be possible that Dennis comes back, but only as a visiting character. I agree that the show would not be the same without Dennis in it. If Dennis doesn’t return, I hope they don’t try to replace him with a new character, because that almost never works out.
    -Cam S.


  2. I have to say that I am a huge ASIP and I was also a little concerned when I found out that Dennis would not be returning for season 13. In my opinion over the past few seasons, the show has been running out of ideas and have been in a sense “half assing” the show. They began to bring back old concepts from old episodes like Chardee mcdennis (from season 7) and charrdee mcdennis 2 electric boogaloo (season 11). Or how they have solved the nations “gas crisis) and then later on in the show solved the “trash crisis”. The newer seasons just dont feel as fresh to me and I cant see that changing anytime soon especially with Glenn Howerton leaving the show. Really enjoyed your blog and taste of TV shows. Hopefully we all find season 13 to be as entertaining as when the show first began. – Jack Kenny


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