The Real-Life Partners Of The It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Cast

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the stuff of dreams... literally. The cult comedy began to take shape when its creator and star, Rob McElhenney, had a dream about a man with a cancer diagnosis and an insensitive acquaintance. According to Entertainment Weekly, McElhenney shared the dream with friends Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day in 2004, and they shot a pilot for less than $200. FX picked up the idea, and to say it all worked out pretty well is an understatement. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's 15th season is set to air in 2021, making it the longest-running live-action comedy series in television history.

Despite its record-breaking success, Sunny remains a passion project. Longtime friends Day, Howerton, and McElhenney are now members of a tight-knit cast that includes their wives and, of course, Danny DeVito, who joined the TV show in Season 2. Romance may not be a key plotline in the slacker comedy, but it features heavily behind the scenes. The core members of the Always Sunny gang are all married... mostly to each other.

Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson started 'secretly dating'

Mac and Sweet Dee wouldn't work as a couple for myriad reasons, but Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson share a longtime love offscreen. When Olson joined the cast, she was the outsider. "I didn't know [any of them]," she told Entertainment Weekly. "My manager actually asked [after my audition], 'Were any of them cute?' And I was like, 'Nah. Not really.' But I do take it all back now."

On a 2018 episode of Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, Olson revealed she fell for McElhenney "halfway through" filming the show's first season, and that she was the first one to make a move. "Once I fell in love with him, I realized that I was deeply in love with him in a way that I hadn't been in love with anyone before," she said. "And we started secretly dating, and he really just wanted it to be casual ... and I had this, for some reason, uncharacteristic confidence, because I was like, 'This person is completely in love with me and he has no idea.'" Turns out she was right: After keeping their romance a secret from the entire second season of the show, the couple married in 2008, and they now have two sons. McElhenney also opened up about Olson during a podcast interview on WTF with Marc Maron, calling her "the funniest woman working in show business."  

Charlie Kelly and Mary Elizabeth Ellis played twins once

In defiance of multiple restraining orders, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie Kelly has spent years stalking The Waitress. The real-life romance between Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis adds another layer of comedy to the storyline. "It's good therapy," Ellis told Us Weekly. "Yeah. Everyone should do it. Like role-playing of like, 'I'm your stalker and you're awful to me.'"

The two actors met in 2001 when Ellis saw Day's play in New York City. "I was 21, 22, and he was 25 or something like that," Ellis told AfterBuzz. "'The professional answer is we met each other and thought each other were great and had a very above the board, classy relationship. The true story is it's a one-night stand that's still happening." As ScreenRant recalled, the couple previously appeared as incestuous twins in a 2004 episode of Reno 911! Regarding their appearance on the comedy mockumentary, Day told Monster Fresh, "Nothing says 'This is the girl I want to marry' like pretending she's your sister and making out with her to get a job." Day and Ellis tied the knot in March 2006 and welcomed a son, Russell Wallace Day, in 2011.

Glenn Howerton didn't need to use the D.E.N.N.I.S. System

In the tenth episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5, Dennis demonstrated his D.E.N.N.I.S. System for seduction on a pharmacist named Caylee. The system goes as follows: Demonstrate value, Engage physically, Nurture dependence, Neglect emotionally, Inspire hope, and Separate entirely. Of course, the system didn't work, and Caylee moved on with Dee's ex. In real life, Glenn Howerton, who plays Dennis, had already been married to Jill Latiano, who guest-starred as Caylee, for months. The pair tied the knot on September 8, 2009.

Today, the couple have two sons, Miles Robert and Isley Ray. In September 2020, Howerton commemorated his 11th anniversary with Latiano on Instagram. "My advice? Marry your best friend. Bonus points if your best friend happens to be a stone cold babe," he wrote. "Happy 11th Anniversary to this incredible lady... I can't imagine being more in love with another human being."

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman hit it off right away

Three decades before Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis met at a play, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman fell in love the same way. Perlman went to see a friend in a 1971 off-Broadway show, in which DeVito starred as a "demented stable boy." It was love at first sight for Perlman. "I had to meet him immediately," she told The New York Post in 2018. "I asked my friend if he had a girlfriend and she said no... I came on to him big time!" She moved from Brooklyn to his Manhattan apartment two weeks later.

Perlman went on to guest-star as DeVito's girlfriend on the late '70s/early '80s sitcom Taxi, and the pair also co-starred in the 1996 classic movie Matilda. The real-life couple married in 1982, and had two daughters and a son together. DeVito and Perlman separated in October 2012 after more than 40 years together, but reconciled six months later. Alas, they split up again in 2017, but as of 2020, the comedic couple remain friendly. "We're separated... but I'm not getting divorced," Perlman said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2019. "What for? We do live separately. But we see each other a lot, too!"

David Hornsby's love life is anything but rickety

While unrequited love sends recurring character "Rickety Cricket" into a dramatic downward spiral in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, actor and writer David Hornsby's love life seems like a totally different story. Hornsby is one half of a decade-long marriage made in Hollywood heaven: He married Bones star Emily Deschanel in the lush Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles in September 2010, after three years of dating. Hornsby plays a priest who ends up addicted to drugs on Always Sunny, and the actor was able to return to his priestly roots when he appeared alongside Deschanel on Bones in 2013.

In September 2011, People revealed Deschanel and Hornsby welcomed their first son, Henry. Four years later, Us Weekly shared Deschanel gave birth to their second son, Calvin. Both of Deschanel's pregnancies were written into Bones. According to Organic Spa, the family's home life consists of healthy, plant-based food—Deschanel is a vocal vegan—and "trips to the park and the public library."

Milk didn't spoil either of Jimmi Simpson's weddings

On It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 8, Liam McPoyle plans to marry Maureen Ponderosa and take over the world, but the wedding turns into a full-blown catastrophe after someone adds bath salts to the milk. Actor Jimmi Simpson has had two weddings of his own, both of which (hopefully) ran a bit more smoothly.

Simpson met actor Melanie Lynskey when they both appeared in Stephen King's 2002 miniseries Rose Red, according to the Chicago Tribune. While filming, the actors shared a taxi and a moment "We kissed each other unexpectedly!" Lynskey told InStyle Weddings. "Once that happened, I was head over heels for him." The couple exchanged vows in New Zealand in 2007. She filed for divorce in 2012, but the couple remain friends.

Simpson married British actor Sophia Del Pizzo in 2019. "We just looked at each other and said, 'I want to get married! Let's just get married because it'll feel nice,'" he told LA Confidential. "We set up an appointment at the courthouse, went in and got the rules, and then we went about calling our folks for permission. We basically had kind of an expedited wedding ceremony and it was just as beautiful as anything I could have hoped for."

Catherine Reitman's marriage sparkles like a bejeweled tooth

Catherine Reitman plays Dennis' high-school sweetheart and ex-wife, Maureen, on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Her character arc includes cat sweatshirts, breast implants, and a diamond-studded dead tooth. Reitman's real-life love story sounds about as cozy as a fleece-lined pullover that's entirely covered in a rendering of a cat's face 

Reitman told TRNTO that "there was clear electricity" when she met her husband, actor Philip Sternberg. "We just smiled and knew that something was happening," she said. "Three months later, we ran into each other at an event. Philip told me there was no way I was walking out of his life again."

"We moved faster than either of us had ever experienced in previous relationships," Sternberg said. "We were saying 'I love you' within the first month and were engaged by six months. We just knew." In true fairytale fashion, Sternberg proposed after a picnic while writing 'Will you marry me?' in the sand on a nearby beach. "We were married in Santa Barbara, California, at my parents' home the following year," Reitman said. "We honeymooned in Italy and managed to each gain 20 pounds. Worth. It."