Charlie Day in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

FX

The famous Charlie Day meme, explained

How the infamous “Pepe Silvia” scene has come to be immortalized as a meme.

 

Tricia Crimmins

IRL

Posted on Dec 5, 2023

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is an incredibly meme-able show: Off the rails storylines, mixed with the character’s affinity for physical comedy, plus Danni Devito? Every episode could be a meme in and of itself.

That said, no other moment from the show has lived on quite like the infamous “Pepe Silvia” scene, immortalized as a meme. In the still, Charlie Day, who plays Charlie Kelly, stands in front of a bulletin board on which there are overlapping pieces of paper pinned, all connected by red lines Charlie (the character) has drawn on them. Day has a crazed look in his eyes, and is explaining his conspiracy to someone offscreen. 

Charlie Day in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
FX

What part of It’s Always Sunny did the meme come from?

In the show’s fourth season (during the tenth episode), Charlie and Mac (Rob McElhenney) find themselves working in the mailroom of an office. Charlie thinks something suspicious is going on behind the scenes at the company, because he noticed that the company has been receiving an influx of mail for someone named Pepe Silvia. He says that no one named Pepe Silvia works at the company—but Mac denies this and says that Pepe does work at the company and said he hasn’t been receiving his mail. Mac also says he’s worried that he and Charlie will lose their jobs over the Pepe fiasco.

Then, in true It’s Always Sunny fashion, Charlie reveals that the pair was actually already fired from their jobs three days ago… and that he’s been hallucinating a man named Barney who told him about the Pepe Silvia conspiracy.

What does the meme mean?

The meme pretty much communicates what Charlie was doing when explaining Pepe Silvia to Mac: Overthinking, being delusional, connecting things that weren’t related to each other, creating false theories, or passionately ranting. 

For example, some captions for the meme could be “me planning the hundreds of different ways a simple, upcoming 2 minute social interaction can play out,” or “when someone asks why I broke up with my ex, and I’m like…” or “qanon trying to figure out if COVID is still a hoax now that trump got it.”

Charlie Day in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
@Meeeeesh/Cheezburger

The meme has also come to be known as simply “Pepe Silvia,” and “Charlie Conspiracy Meme.”

Popularity 

A meme has to reach a certain (high) level of popularity for there to be a meme generator created specifically for it. So, of course, there is a meme generator for the Charlie Day meme, courtesy of ImgFlip. There are also many versions of the meme available for use on GIPHY. Some show the traditional photo, while others have replaced Day with video game characters.

Charlie Day in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
@regularfeller/ImgFlip

Unlike many other prolific memes, there aren’t many t-shirts sold of the Charlie Day meme. That’s probably because it’s such an elaborate visual. There are, however, birthday cards and posters with the meme on it for sale. 

Other It’s Always Sunny Memes

In addition to being a beloved sitcom, It’s Always Sunny is a treasure trove of memes. Alongside the Charlie Day meme, the show has also produced the Danny Devito coming out of a couch meme, the “I ate all the pizza and drank all the beer” meme (which also comes from a Day line in the show), and the “Did somebody get addicted to crack?” meme. 

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*First Published: Dec 5, 2023, 3:07 pm CST