Guys guys guys! I've got news! After over 165,000 votes, we've finally been able to rank the top 25 best characters on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia based on your choices. So settle in, get hot, and prepare to be blasted in the face.
25. Da Maniac
Da Maniac may not have appeared too often on It's Always Sunny, but he made each appearance count. Beginning as a parody of Mickey Rourke's soulful, washed-up wrestler from The Wrestler, Da Maniac came into the Gang's life when they were searching for a pro to headline their wrestling event for the troops - only to find out he was a crazy, kinda racist ("You know, he kept calling you the n-word earlier?"), mostly incoherent mess (who kept a bucket of nuts in his car, which he lived in), and later became a regular floater in the Gang's various schemes, buying a timeshare from Dennis and Mac (which he thought was their apartment) and becoming one of the top Invigaron salesman.
Rowdy Roddy Piper was pitch-perfect casting - obviously a former pro wrestler, but also skilled in the weird, off-kilter tics that the dysfunctional world of It's Always Sunny thrives on. It's entirely possible we would have seen even more of Da Maniac, had Piper not passed away in in 2015.
Best Episode: "The Gang Wrestles For the Troops"
24. Ben the Soldier
The great part of Ben the Soldier is how relentlessly chipper he seems on the surface - practically Ned Flanders-esque, really. And all of this despite of the Gang's perception of how he SHOULD be - a dark, PTSD-ridden war veteran. Still, he mostly exists as just another person for the Gang to manipulate and abuse, but for the most part, they seem to never get to him (except for in Dee Gives Birth, where it's implied Dee uses verbal abuse to take advantage of him sexually). Otherwise, Ben is just a happy-go-lucky, jean shorts-wearing soldier who has the unique ability to not let the Gang drag him down with them.
Best Episode: "Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare"
The mythical fourth member of the Gang, but when Charlie turned on him, was ousted via being shoved out of a moving car - Schmitty. The Gang went through a brief moment of self-reflection in The Gang Gets A New Member and felt bad for dumping Schmitty (except Charlie) and tried inviting him back - except the Gang's rituals (Dennis ordering food for everyone that no one wanted, the special clover rings, the initiation ceremony) proved too weird for Schmitty, and if there's one thing the Gang can't abide, it's someone disrespecting their rituals.
Best Episode: "The Gang Gets a New Member"
22. Bill Ponderosa
Bill Ponderosa was simply introduced as a former football jock who grew into a pudgy, cheating gross dude - but quickly took a Frank-like evolution into a completely amoral, drug-addicted bottom-feeder (who went so far as to spike the McPoyle-Ponderosa wedding's milk bowl with bath salts while wasted, leading to Liam losing an eye). It's hard to imagine a bigger piece of shit than Bill Ponderosa.
Best Episode: "Mac Kills His Dad"
Mac's ancient (and apparently unkillable) childhood dog - at least 20 years old, with an eye that occasionally pops out and the ability to appear completely dead but still pop back to life - and his disgusting nature (he smells like piss and eats cigarette butts) might do a lot to explain Dennis' constant hatred of dogs (although he DOES share invincibility with another pet from It's Always Sunny that we'll get to in a moment).
Best Episode: "Mac's Mom Burns Her House Down"