The Golden God: A Freudian Analysis of Dennis Reynolds

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the longest-running American sitcoms in history, having just started its landmark 10th season. Throughout the series, flashbacks of the character’s upbringing are few and far between and even word-of-mouth stories of their youth are equally as rare. Analysing “the Gang”, a group of five self-absorbed underachievers all with varying degrees of dishonesty, laziness, pettiness, selfishness, egotism, ignorance among many other unethical personality traits, could take a lifetime. As such, I’ll be analysing just one character: Dennis Reynolds, a self proclaimed Golden God who is the most sociopathic, abrasive, and histrionic of the members of the Gang.
As with the other characters, not much is known about Dennis Reynolds’ childhood. Illigitimate child to Bruce Mathis and Barbara Reynolds, along with his twin-sister Deandra, yet raised by Barbara and Frank Reynolds. Clearly affected by the alcoholism and abrasiveness of his mother and the outright lunacy of his father, his parents lack of guidance have raised him to be the narcissistic, vain, sociopath he is today.
An indication of an oversized Id, Dennis’ gluttonous impulses always seem to get the best of him regardless of any financial or legal consequences he may run into on the path of desire. An exemplary showcase of this is The D.E.N.N.I.S. System “a comprehensive approach to seduction” that Dennis has “perfected over the years” that according to Dennis “does not soley stem from my good looks and my charm, but a careful systematic approach that has allowed me to become the playboy that I am today.” The Dennis System is a six-step which Dennis claims can “get any chick’s undying love and devotion for life.” The steps consist of Demonstrating one’s value towards a woman they are attracted to, Engaging the woman physically then Nurturing her dependence, followed by Neglecting her emotionally and then immediately Inspiriring hope in the relationship, before finally Separating entirely from her. Dennis’ wild and inhumane treatment for other’s well-being is a clear indicator of an uncontrollable Id.

Another example of Dennis’ overpowered Id and lack of superego is his intentional attempt to do anything to get out of a day of work. In one instance, rather than channel his talents or and natural abilities he may have into socially acceptable pursuits Dennis attempts to get on government welfare. Since government welfare is reserved for “drug addicts, mentally disabled, people with dependents and that sort of thing” Dennis decides that, rather than returning to his day-job working at Paddy’s Pub, he would rather become addicted to crack cocaine in order to qualify for welfare programs.
Here I have just delved into two episodes of the TV comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and it is already clear to see that Dennis Reynolds has some serious psychological problems stemming from his emotionally and intellectually scarring childhood and his highly unbalanced id, and superego.

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