Out of all the terrible things that have happened to those unfortunate souls who have happened to cross paths with The Gang from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, no one has got it worse than Matthew Mara, better known as Rickety Cricket (David Hornsby). A high school classmate who went on to get a Masters in theology and become a priest, Cricket decided to throw it all away over his long-standing crush on Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson). Since that moment, Cricket’s life has become one long, tragic downward spiral.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and rank the absolute worst things The Gang has done to screw Cricket over, inadvertently or otherwise.
9. Having Him MC A Male Strip Show
A shirtless Cricket in front of an audience of women anticipating a strip show isn’t something that was going to build up his confidence, but there wasn’t any real mean-spirited intention behind this one. And while the crowd isn’t exactly wowed by Cricket’s scar-riddled physique, he does manage to get a slightly better reaction than the painfully misguided ‘dad and boy’ dance routine whipped up by Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Charlie (Charlie Day).
8. Using Him To Manipulate A Dance Contest In Frank’s Favor
After Charlie accidentally puts their ownership of Paddy’s Pub at risk as a prize in a non-stop dance contest, Cricket (enhanced by leg braces) enters the contest to both enact revenge against The Gang and finally win the heart of Sweet Dee. After challenging Mac (Rob McElhenney) to a one-on-one dance-off and having his leg braces fail him, he’s recruited by Frank (Danny DeVito) to help rig the contest in his favor.
After cooking up some sedative-laced brownies, Cricket’s wheeled in at the very end as a secret weapon. Instead of helping, he misses his target and accidentally shatters Dee’s kneecap, leaving Frank’s homeless ringer as the last man standing. It wins Frank the bar, but leaves Cricket with nothing but Dee’s continuing resentment.
7. Giving Him Lemons When They Promised Him A Chicken
Brought in as a guest on Dennis and Dee’s podcast to talk about life as a homeless person (in graphic detail), they fail to deliver on their promise of a rotisserie chicken and give him a bag full of lemons instead. Though he briefly protests, he ends up accepting the citrus and proceeds to indulge them anyway. Granted, it’s a dick move to short-change a hungry man a chicken, a bag of lemons is better than nothing at all. Plus, Cricket could probably use the vitamin C to stave off scurvy, if we’re being honest here.
6. When Dennis And Mac Try To Hunt Him For Sport
This idea never really gets off the ground, but as soon as Mac and Dennis get the idea to hunt Cricket for sport, he proves to be a more worthy adversary than they’d anticipated. Or at least a much faster one. Soon, Frank gets involved in trying and helping Cricket (which was more about teaching Mac and Dennis a lesson than anything), but it ends with Cricket trapped in their apartment and about to get teabagged. Even though Mac and Dennis don’t win the hunt, Cricket ends up losing anyway.
5. Letting The Mob Break His Legs
Still exploiting Cricket’s high school crush on Dee, Charlie enlists his help to try and sell a large amount of cocaine to settle their debt with the mob. Unfortunately, Cricket ends up getting hooked instead. After snorting up their supply, Cricket is used as a scapegoat when the mob boss finds out someone hit on his wife. Cricket winds up with two broken legs. On the upside, he did get two sweet new garbage cans out of the deal, which he uses to compose his sexy new musical. Because if it’s not sexy, he doesn’t eat.
4. Frank Shooting Him In The Hand
With the storm of the century thought to be brewing, everyone in Philadelphia starts to panic. Cricket, meanwhile, takes cover in the bunker underneath Paddy’s Pub, which turns out to be his go-to spot to keep dry in situations like this one. After Frank and Dee catch him hanging out down there, Frank opens fire, shooting him through the hand.
While Frank and Dee try to do the right thing afterward by taking him to the hospital, on the way there they get distracted and leave him to bleed out in the back seat while they go into the superstore to find Dennis and Charlie. This ends with Cricket driving the car through the store’s front window, which doesn’t exactly help calm the already panic-stricken crowd.
3. Injuring Him During A Wrestling Match
Inspired by the full-on 1980s patriotism of Hulk Hogan in the ring, The Gang decides to put on their own wrestling match as a tribute to the troops. While Dennis, Mac, and Charlie don what are supposed to be bald eagle costumes, they recruit Cricket to play the heel, giving him the moniker of ‘The Talibum.’ At first, Cricket seems to really live up to his character’s potential, getting a huge reaction from the crowd even before he breaks Dee’s nose mid-song and blows sand in the faces of both Dennis and Charlie.
Just as it looks like Cricket might actually win one, Frank ditches his referee outfit for some spandex. Now calling himself ‘The Garbageman,’ he ambushes Cricket with a trash can, which cuts open the side of his neck. Just shy of victory, Cricket is, instead, left bleeding in the corner of the ring with a wound that permanently alters his voice and causes a number of problems down the road.
2. Locking Him In Their Apartment While It Was On Fire
When the Gang tries, in earnest, to make amends with all their (many) enemies on Thanksgiving, the whole thing predictably turns into a disaster. It starts when Cricket shows up uninvited, as The Gang can’t imagine any sort of beef he’d have with them. Before long, a food fight breaks out, and Cricket catches a hatchet in his arm. Then, amidst the chaos, their apartment catches fire. The Gang panics, runs out to the hallway, and leaves everyone else locked inside to fend for themselves. As a result, Cricket is permanently disfigured. The worst part, though, is the Gang has no recollection of Cricket even being there.
1. Letting Him Think He Had A Chance With Dee
Really, all the terrible things The Gang has put Cricket through over the years can all be traced back to them exploiting his longtime crush on Sweet Dee for the first time.
Back then, he was a humble priest known to most as Matthew Mara. But his vow to the church couldn’t stop him from being at least a little susceptible to Dee’s flirtation. Thanks to that enduring infatuation, the gang was able to get him to come back to the bar to bless a water stain that looked like the Virgin Mary. Of course, it all turned out to be an elaborate sham and Cricket’s life took a dramatic turn. He loses his way, becomes homeless, and starts the long, tragic journey into becoming a (barely) living example of what The Gang does to the people that wind up in their orbit.