It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has had its share of milestones. For one thing, it’s two years from turning 20, with 15 seasons and three more recently ordered. But mind-blowing longevity has nothing to do with a new record it’s achieved: As caught by The Wrap, a new study concludes that the show about five bickering dirtbags is TV’s “wordiest” show.
The study, done by WordFinderX, was launched in a broader study of subtitles and how much they’re accessible to those with disabilities. The National Disability Authority recommends that English language subtitles not exceed 170 words per minute, though they prefer that they stick to a maximum of 140 pm.
After collecting subtitles from the most popular TV shows on subtitle downloading services and breaking down the WPM, what did they find? Well, comedy was the wordiest genre they studied, at an average of 133.6 wpm — still well below the authority’s recommended maximum output. For context, no popular sci-fi/fantasy shows they studied exceeded 100 wpm, while the wordiest superhero show was DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
This isn’t that surprising. Comedy often relies heavily on language, and pratfalls and slapstick aren’t what they once were. What’s also not surprising is that the wordiest comedy they encountered was It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which broke the maximum recommended wordage with a whopping 176.2 wpm.
The gang sure does like to talk, as anyone even casually familiar with the show can attest. As the study points out, the network even once pitched it as “like Seinfeld on crack,” referencing another language-heavy comedy about a group that loves to yada yada. It’s Always Sunny, meanwhile, has one more protagonist, plus plenty of recurring weirdos, like the one known only as The Waitress, the McPoyle brothers (who haven’t been seen in ages), and poor old “Rickety Cricket.”
(One flaw in the study, by the way, is that subtitles are sometimes not straight transcripts of dialogue, but often simplify it, partly for condensation purposes. In other words, the It’s Always Sunny gang probably rattle off even more words than the study thinks, which is saying something.)
Anyway, congrats on the new seasons orders, which will take the show through at least 2026, and congrats on having the most words.
(Via The Wrap)