Dennis Reynolds (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

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Dennis Reynolds is a fictional character on the FX television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Dennis is the twin brother of Deandra Reynolds and the legal son of Frank Reynolds.

Character overview

Dennis is a co-owner and occasional bartender of Paddy's Pub. He is extremely abrasive, self-centered, egotistical, and narcissistic, and frequently attempts to use his looks to manipulate people and situations to his advantage (usually to no avail). Appearing to see himself as a leader in the group, he will still readily abandon plans and loyalty to pursue more immediate and selfish goals. He is not opposed to extorting sex from women he has just met by using fear, intimidation, and trickery, typically videotaping the activity in his bedroom without the woman's knowledge. He often portrays himself as knowledgeable in various issues, but actually has only a superficial grasp of the topic at hand. He is also materialistic, not liking others touching his prized property, such as his car or smartphone.

Although he appears to be smarter and more level-headed than other members of The Gang, such as Charlie and Mac, Dennis' short-sighted narcissism tends to get in his way. He can be extremely blunt with others, telling them plainly that they are ugly or stupid, but is himself emotionally fragile, especially with regard to his physical attractiveness. He displays many sociopathic characteristics, as most of the gang does, including a lack of ability to empathize with others, though he has at times displayed a deeper, more sympathetic side, such as on one such occasion when he became very close to a junkyard cat he named "Agent Jack Bauer", and on another occasion when he and Mac attempted to set Charlie up on a date, out of fear he would become depressed after learning The Waitress was getting married (though it should be noted that he only attempted to help in this way because he was afraid his friend would go on an indiscriminate, murderous rampage).

More recent seasons of the show have played up Dennis' sociopathic tendencies,[1] hinting that he may be a serial killer and/or rapist. Examples of this include "The Gang Buys a Boat" (in which the concept of "The Implication" is introduced) and "The High School Reunion Part II" (in which Dennis begins to gather his "tools" to get back at some fellow alumni, claiming that they will "pay the ultimate price"). The series has stopped short of explicitly confirming this, however.

Biography

Dennis and his twin sister Dee were fathered by Bruce Mathis, who had an affair with their mother, but were raised by Frank Reynolds since childhood. He and his sister grew up believing Frank was their biological father, until it was revealed that their real father was Bruce. Dennis attended the University of Pennsylvania and co-owns Paddy's Pub in South Philadelphia. The waitress, love interest of Charlie Kelly, was originally attracted to Dennis, and Dennis slept with her, then promptly began ignoring her. He repeatedly took advantage of the waitress's attraction to him, including using it to obtain a bartending job and to try to win a dance marathon. He uses what he calls the D.E.N.N.I.S. system to manipulate women into sleeping with him then leaving them. Eventually, Dennis reunited with and married his high school girlfriend Maureen Ponderosa, but became annoyed with her very soon after and divorced. In the same episode, Dennis revealed to Mac that he had not experienced feelings in many years due to an emotional shell he had built up.

At times, he has had a close, somewhat codependent relationship with Mac, while his relationship with his sister Dee is more contentious and unbalanced. He frequently puts down her appearance and worth, and often uses her in dangerous ways, such as offering her as bait to catch a serial killer or throwing knives at her to test their sharpness. Although Frank is his father, Dennis appears to see him more as a friend and member of The Gang than a paternal figure. Dennis is in some ways a polar opposite to Charlie, being extremely concerned with his style and appearance and routinely assuming leadership roles. When the entire Gang embarks on a venture, Dennis usually places himself in a creative or managerial role, avoiding difficult or undesirable tasks in favor of powerful and influential positions. He is given to frequently removing his shirt in public in order to impress women, either in order to have sex with them or as a negotiation tactic, although it usually fails and creates more trouble for himself and The Gang. He is also prone to soliloquize with a distinct, pretentious oratory style, usually in order to proclaim his own greatness or to insult others.

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References