Chardee MacDennis, also known as the Game of Games, is a game played by the Gang. But, according to Charlie, it's not just a game: "It's a war".
The game is played with two opposing teams for fifteen minutes (not including stoppage time, which is frequent) where each team must progress through three stages with its own set of rules. The game ends when one team has completed the required number of challenges from each level. Upon achieving victory the winning team gets to smash the game pieces of the losing team. Mac and Charlie have never won in 18 games.
If you are looking for how to play, free printable rules, instructions, cards, and more can be found here: Chardee MacDennis Rules.
- There are 15 minutes on the game clock (but the game lasts far longer due to stoppages). Stoppages occur in between rounds, during the teams 3 timeouts, and during injury stoppages.
- Be sure to always have a first aid kit for injury stoppage.
- It is highly suggested that the game board be nailed down as someone will get angry at losing and try to flip the board.
- Cursing is not allowed in level two. If a player curses, he or she must chug for 5 seconds, but the opponents count.
- Asking questions is not allowed while the clock is running, and it results in drinking for five seconds, Although on level two, The opposing team counts.
- If a player spills his drink, his team must chug the opposing team's drinks.
- Five cards are needed to advance to body from mind.
- Three cards are needed to advance to spirit from body.
- Two cards are needed in spirit to win the game.
- In the event of a tie the instructions on the Black Card must be followed. It reads:“In the event of a tie, a winner must be chosen. There can be only one, and so it comes to this. Flip a coin.”
Cheating is a big part of this game. It's tolerated and accepted, but there are penalties for getting caught. If a player is caught cheating while both teams are at the same level the opposing team advances one level. If the team at the higher level is caught cheating the opposing team is advanced to the same level.
- Pre-Round Etiquette
Classical music should be played while the participants dine and make small conversation, it gives the illusion of respect for one's opponent. Ask any questions now because asking questions are forbidden while the clock is running, an infraction of the question rule results in being penalized by the team drinking for five seconds. After the reception wine glasses should be smashed and fierce dancing and Maori war dances should occur to intimidate the other team.
In the new edition of the game the Maori war dances have been replaced by a flag-raising ceremony where each team shows its flag.
Level One (Mind): Trivia, Puzzles, and Artistry
At this stage only wine is to be served. To advance the team must complete five challenges, taking the card to show proof of victory. Each team picks a card that contains a trivia question, puzzle, or artistic challenge. There are also chance cards taken directly from monopoly, but can be modified. The cards include:
- What is the greatest band in the world?
- Answer: "Chumbawamba".
- Denis is asshole. Y Charlee hat? ("Why Charlie hate?")
- Answer: Becauze Denis is a bastardt man.
- What Philly Celebrity would you most want to have a drink with?
- Answer: Bill Cosby.
- ALL PLAY: The artist from your team must draw the clue from the card on their teammates back. Teammate must guess the clue solely on feel.
- ALL PLAY: The artist from your team must create the clue from the card out of clay. Teammate must guess the clue.
- Take the money from everyone’s pockets.
- Swallow this card whole.
- Go to jail*. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
- Back Pain- who has been carrying this team
* Jail is a dog kennel and the only way out is to eat the ingredients of a cake.
The team must put something broken back together.
Level Two (Body): Physical Challenge, Pain, and Endurance
At this stage only beer is served. There is no cursing allowed either, in the event of cursing the team has to chug a drink for 5 seconds while the other team counts as slow as they wish.
Accent Challenge (optional) : level two begins with the accent challenge. every Team must spin a globe and point on a random country. For the rest of the Level the teams must speak in the accent of the country they randomly picked. In case someone does not/ forgets to do so, the team must drink. In case someone is caught cheating the challenge stops in order to shame the cheating team in ones native tongue properly.
The team picks a card which has a physical challenge written on it, completing two challenges will allow the team to advance to the third level. Cards include:
- Player must put his or her hand on the dart board while the opposing team throws darts. If he flinches or shows any sign of pain he loses the challenge.
- The grape gobble. One player from each team must fit as many grapes in their mouth using only their faces. The player must prove how many grapes he or she has in their mouth by spitting them out when the challenge is over; hence eaten grapes do not count.
Level Three (Spirit): Emotional Battery and Public Humiliation
At this stage only hard liquor is served. The team picks a card which has an emotional battery or public humiliation challenge. No mercy should be shown.
During a game that got to Level Three, Dee drew an Emotional Battery card. Charlie and Mac tell Frank that they "berated that bitch for, like, two straight hours" with "really personal stuff...the kind of stuff that cuts you to the core." Dee held it together during the game, allowing her and Dennis to win, but they say that when the game ended, she "cried for a month straight" and attempted suicide.
In another game that gets to level 3, Charlie draws a card that forces him to endure one minute of being berated by The Waitress without crying. He passes out, due to the heavy drinking he's been doing and blood loss from Frank's attempt to introduce a "Level 4" to the game (see below), and after he wakes up in the hospital, Dennis and Dee inform him he started crying almost immediately as soon as the Waitress started in on him, and they lost.
Level Four: Horror
Frank suggested adding a fourth level, the Horror level, to the game, but this suggestion was rejected by the rest of the Gang. However, in a playing of Chardee MacDennis held for a "Mattel executive" named Andy, he drugged the rest of the gang and moved the game to Level 4. He handcuffed the others to the wall in the basement, and announced to them (a la Jigsaw in the Saw movies) that the key to their handcuffs had been sewn into their arms, and the only way they could get to it was by digging it out of their arms with tweezers attached to car batteries. (When The Gang objected that everything in the game should be based on another board game, he stated it was: Operation.) After the Gang gives up, he announces it was fake (but not before Charlie loses a lot of blood -- and shits his pants -- trying to dig the key out), and that since they gave up, he wins, but when it is discovered that Andy is not, in fact, a Mattel executive, and this was all a scheme for him to win Chardee MacDennis, he is declared a cheater and the game returns to Level 3.
It says: "In the event of a tie, a winner must be chosen. There can be only one. And so it comes to this: FLIP A COIN" - clearly, that is not any dark at all, Mac explains "When we were writing the rules, at one point, we just got really bored, and we phoned it in".
The game shown in the episode "Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games" is the only time the Black Card has ever come into play, and judging from the reaction that everyone had to it, they were obviously expecting it to be far worse than it is.
Chardee MacDennis in the Real World
Many fans of It's Always Sunny and the two episodes have tried recreating the game in real life. There are many different communities online and in real life that have created rule lists that are based on the TV show and have expanded and defined many other aspects of the game including a sub-Reddit and fan sites.