Deandra "Dee" Reynolds (aka: Sweet Dee) is the bartender at Paddy's Pub. She is the twin sister of Dennis Reynolds, and the legal daughter of Frank and Barbara Reynolds. Dee considers herself a member of The Gang that runs Paddy's, although the rest of the gang often disagrees with this assertion.
Dee lived alone in her apartment with her cat ("Mac and Dennis Break Up"), but lost it in the wall and when Mac and Dennis apartment burns down ("The Gang Squashes Their Beefs"), they have to move in with her and an old black man joins in Season 11 ("Mac & Dennis Move to the Suburbs). She rarely has success with men and she is an aspiring actress. Her best (and only) friend is Artemis Dubois. In season 6, Dee gave birth to a child using a donor's egg and Carmen's sperm and gave the baby to Carmen and her new husband ("Dee Gives Birth").
Dee has a very tall, lanky, and often clumsy frame. The Gang frequently compare her appearance to that of a bird. Dee also has size 13 feet ("Who Pooped the Bed?"). She has also never really liked her earlobes ("Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack").
Although Dee identifies herself as a compassionate liberal, she is self-centered, vain, careless, and often holds the same prejudices as the rest of the Gang. She is highly sensitive about her appearance and her professional failings. Sweet Dee battles The Gang's view that "females are inferior" and feels that she must prove that she's as able as her male friends. In "The Gang Gets Invincible," Dee poses as male alter ego "Cole" to try out for the Philadelphia Eagles with Mac and Dennis. Since high school, Dee has had a long string of failed relationships and one-night stands throughout the series including:
- A high-school boy who used her for alcohol and to make his girlfriend jealous ("Underage Drinking: A National Concern").
- A man while pretending to be crippled ("Charlie Gets Crippled").
- A thief who robbed the bar ("Gun Fever").
- A middle-aged toothless Korean busboy ("The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation").
- Lil' Kev, a rapper The Gang was convinced was a retarded person ("Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person").
- Ben Smith - the soldier ("The D.E.N.N.I.S. System").
- Bill Ponderosa, the now overweight brother of Dennis' high school sweetheart ("Mac Fights Gay Marriage").
- Rex - the model ("Dee Gives Birth").
- Trevor Taft, who seduced her into a "dangerous liaison," in order to make fun of her, with his wealthy friends ("Charlie and Dee Find Love")
- Snyder, and, later, Michael Rotenberg, both "talent scouts" (but not really) who she sleeps with to further her suddenly burgeoning stand-up career ("The Gang Broke Dee").
- Multiple men she meets through a "Bunchers" website who she bangs and then intentionally gives a poor rating on another site that rates men (which doesn't bother them as much as she hoped it would) ("The Gang Group Dates").
- Aidan, an underaged boy she though was the "boytoy" of a rival, as opposed to her son. ("The Gang Gets New Wheels")
Much of the negative aspects which are what make up a large majority of Dee's personality stems from years of bullying, being overlooked, a lack of emotional support, being looked down on, failed relationships and emotional abuse from her mother. This has resulted in a serious inferiority complex and numerous insecurities, which have affected her life choices and later relationships with other people. Despite her many insecurities, Dee is aggressively outspoken and prone to violence when angered.
- She assaulted a masturbating bum in the alley behind Paddy's ("Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City").
- Like Charlie, her anger was greatly amplified by the use of anabolic steroids ("Hundred Dollar Baby").
- Along with Frank and Mac, Dee was on an American Idol-like panel where she portrays a drunken spoof of Paula Abdul, slurring her words and judging hopefuls in a talent contest. She drank heavily from a cup full of "rum and Cokes" and used the event as an excuse to criticize and demean the contestants ("The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation").
- Dee attacked Charlie and Mac, due to her anger at them for crashing her car, and thinking that she did not see the crash, they did not understand her violence and aggression towards them, and instead, believed her to be zombie, possibly due to an infection of "bat rabies" ("The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre").
- When Dee attempts to buy an assault rifle, the background check reveals that she was institutionalized for setting her college roommate on fire ("Gun Fever Too: Still Hot").
- List of crimes committed by the gang
Sweet Dee's acting-career aspirations have inspired her to create and perform as several characters, most of which are based on offensive ethnic stereotypes. Many of these are seen in the episode "America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest," in which she attempts to be discovered by talent agencies by posting videos of her acting on a YouTube-like website. However, her presence in the videos is overshadowed by Charlie's idiotic performances as Greenman. Dee's intense desire for fame and attention also cause her to embarrass herself, to risk suffering physical and/or emotional harm, to lie or create false identities, and to put herself in unpleasant, embarrassing, and/or awkward situations, countless times. Some Examples:
- Passing out drunk in trash, being set on fire by Frank two times, and being broadcast on the public access channel's "dancing guy" program, dancing in a bra and diaper with Dennis, all in attempt to become famous. These incidents occur as a result of her plan of becoming famous by being a "dirty drunken whore," like Paris Hilton ("Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire").
- Going to a comedy club every night to do stand-up, despite her inability to perform stand up comedy for more than a few jokes, without dry heaving or vomiting due to nerves, and despite the subsequent heckling she receives ("Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life").
- Pretended that she is a famous actress, who was offered the lead role in The Notebook, but declined due to scheduling conflicts, when meeting with her psychologist. Dee seems to not just do this to take on her dream identity, but also to get attention and praise from her counselor ("The Gang Gets Analyzed"). Dee has a problem with addictive substances. Like the other members of the gang, she drinks heavily, especially to calm herself after meeting an attractive man ("Underage Drinking: A National Concern"). She has also been addicted to crack ("Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare"), steroids ("Hundred Dollar Baby") and cocaine ("The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)"). Relative to the rest of The Gang, Dee seems to drink more and be drunk more often. Dee considers herself to be a 8 or 9 out of 10 ("The Nightman Cometh"). The gang often ignores Dee when she speaks, even if she's saying or doing something very important. If someone else says the same thing, they will often listen to that person instead. The gang easily forgets things that have happened to Dee, as well as forgetting and ignoring what she says:
- Dee had a heart attack in front of the gang and passed out in front of them. Dennis just said, "What is her problem?" ("Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack").
- Dee tried to tell the Gang she had "huge news" and they ignored her. Then Frank came in and told people he had "great news", and they immediately started chanting "news" over and over. Then when she told them that she was having a baby, they considered talking about her subject until Frank starts chanting "house" over and over and the Gang agreed to ignore Dee ("The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis").
Skills and Abilities
Dee took several years of Spanish in high school, and can speak some very rudimentary Spanish ("The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition"). She also took a semester of psychology with Dennis which allowed them to determine how to best handle Charlie's molestation ("Charlie Got Molested"). Dee possesses an extensive knowledge of Gay culture ("The Gang Recycles Their Trash"). Dee is suggested to be the physically strongest member of the Gang, easily outperforming both Mac and Dennis while trying out for the Philadelphia Eagles ("The Gang Gets Invincible"), destroying a buzzer by accident ("The Gang Goes on Family Fight"), and managing to become a decent boxer ("Hundred Dollar Baby"). However, this doesn't mean much, as the rest of the Gang are in generally horrible shape. Along with Mac and Dennis, Dee has been shown to be an excellent skier (though the rules are different on the mountain). ("The Gang Hits the Slopes").
Dee is a poor waitress and an unskilled bartender—she can't make simple drinks like a mojito ("The Great Recession"). She is also apparently very rude to customers ("Here you go. Stupid customers."), such as the time she called a customer (who turned out to be Lyle Korman, a restaurant critic) a "faggot" for ordering wine ("Paddy's Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia"). She also has admitted to intentionally using the same check for two different tables and pocketing the difference, a practice she calls "double-dropping" ("The Gang Sells Out"). Dee consistently faces severe stage fright and often chokes under pressure when performing in front of an audience:
- While trying out for the Philadelphia Eagles, she hurt her leg while kicking - even though she had previously been able to kick a football very well ("The Gang Gets Invincible").
- She dry heaves on stage due to her anxiety when she performed a stand-up comedy routine at a local comedy club ("Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life").
- She was unable to perform in a flip cupping competition, even though she had practiced for days and become quite skilled. She had also previously choked while competing in the 1998 Flipadelphia competition ("The Gang Reignites the Rivalry").
- Dee also gets nervous around certain people. In high school, she used to gag while around Bill Ponderosa, whom she described as "hot with great buns." She even gagged while around him in Season Six, even though he had now gained a great deal of weight ("Mac Fights Gay Marriage").
- Dee cannot cry on command. When Dennis and Frank stage a funeral for her fake child Dee cannot cry and only does when Dennis blows chili powder directly into her eye. ("Sweet Dee Gets Audited") She harbors a phobia of the elderly, especially their hands ("The Gang Finds a Dead Guy"). Dee is quite awkward and clumsy, and tends to break things by accident. Dennis describes her as having "hands like anvils." ("The Gang Goes on Family Fight")
- Dee is a poor artist. ("The Aluminum Monster vs. Fatty Magoo") Though she shows up to the local comedy club whenever possible, Dee is an abysmal stand-up comedian. Aside from her stage fright issues, her set features obnoxious sound effects, barely coherent rambling about her day, regular references to her vagina, and awkward stretches of breathing into the microphone.("The Gang Broke Dee") Her acting “skills” are limited to broad ethnic stereotypes that even the rest of The Gang acknowledges are racist, and she is so terrible with accents that she cannot even do a Philadelphia accent successfully (”Chardee MacDennis 2: Electric Boogaloo”)
Dee was born on August 18, 1976, 3 minutes before her brother Dennis, to Barbara and Frank Reynold's. Dee and Dennis' Nazi grandfather 'Pop Pop' took them to a Neo-Nazi summer camp in 1981 ("Pop-Pop: The Final Solution"). Frank was a terrible father to both Dee and Dennis growing up. He would find out what they wanted for Christmas and then buy it for himself ("A Very Sunny Christmas"). Frank's wealth allowed the two siblings to grow up in a higher social class than the rest of the gang, and Dee and Dennis seem to believe that they are still in that class ("Mac and Charlie: White Trash").
Dee was unpopular in high school due to her severe scoliosis, which forced her to wear a back brace and earned her the nickname "The Aluminum Monster" ("The Aluminum Monster vs. Fatty Magoo"). Her one “successful” moment was playing the monster in a musical version of the Frankenstein story under the encouragement of her acting teacher Dr. Larry Meyers, who has noted he was drunk most of the time during that era.
Most of Dee’s social and romantic relationships were based on her attempting to assert her superiority over others deemed “losers.” In high school, she dated Brad Fisher,who also dated The Waitress, and dumped him because of his acne. Dee's best friend in High School was Ingrid Nelson, also known as "Fatty Magoo;” Dee constantly bragged about how she would one day be successful to “keep her down,” but it actually motivated Ingrid to lose weight and eventually open a successful clothing shop.Matthew Mara ("Rickety Cricket") had a crush on Dee in high school and she tricked him into eating a horse turd with the promise of a kiss; after he ate the turd, she refused to kiss him because "his breath smelled like shit" ("The Gang Exploits A Miracle").
After flunking out of the University of Pennsylvania, where she had intended to major in psychology, Deandra decided to become an actress. ("You gotta take it one step at a time when you want to be an actor") However, she has put little effort into realizing her ambition and has never had any significant acting work. ("I learned a lot in my theater and psych classes about the human nature.") She also admitted to sleeping with her psychology professor in college. ("He was a hot older man") During this time, she was involuntarily committed for copying her roommate, stealing her hair, and lighting her mattress on fire (”Gun Fever Too: Still Hot”).
- According to creator and star of the show Rob McElhenney, the name "Sweet Dee" was the nickname of one of his friend's girlfriends. He liked the nickname and later thought of it while creating the character of Dennis' sister.
- Dee's catchphrase is "Goddammit!" or "Goddammit, Charlie!" - she says both in multiple episodes.
- Dee wears a size thirteen shoe ("Who Pooped the Bed?").
- Dee has been referred to as "Sweet Dee" in four episode titles: "Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire", "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person", "Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack", "Sweet Dee Gets Audited".
- Sweet Dee owns a violet dildo - she calls it "Steven", and the object is probably her LONGEST sexual relationship ("Underage Drinking: A National Concern").
- Frank often refers to Dee as "Deandra", her first name. ("Come on, Deandra") But the first person on the show who called her by her full name was her mother, Barbara ("The Gang Goes Jihad").
- Although Deandra was originally written as a female voice of sanity to contrast with her ill-intentioned co-stars, the character quickly became an equal participant in the gang's illicit and morally questionable activities.
- Rob McElhenney has also said that a reason that the plan to make Dee the "voice of reason" was abandoned because they felt that using her in that way would be wasting Kaitlin Olson's talent, and also they realized that the rest of the world can act as "the voice of reason" when necessary (as an example, he's mentioned the character of the loan officer in the episode "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis").
- Dee is often ridiculed for her resemblance to a bird by the rest of the Gang, especially Mac and Dennis (since 02x06). This started in the episode "Mac is a serial Killer," when the gang starts comparing her to the former professional basketball player Larry Bird, because of their resemblance in appearance. This devolved into the gang comparing her to an actual bird. In the episode "Who Got Dee Pregnant?", in one of the flashback sequences, Dee is "played" by an actual ostrich.
- She is consistently criticized and belittled by The Gang for her appearance, for her lack of talent, and for being a woman. (One exception is in the episode "The Gang Broke Dee " where Charlie, Frank, and Mac start encouraging her stand-up career, but it will turn out that their motivation isn't as altruistic as it appears.)
- Dee is usually ignored or ridiculed whenever she presents an idea to The Gang; however, if someone repeats her exact suggestion, it is immediately accepted ("The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis"). * In her mother's will, Dee is told that she has been a disappointment and a mistake even though she is Dennis' twin ("Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead").
- There is a subtle running gag throughout the show in which Sweet Dee will exaggeratedly kick into the air when she is angered or frustrated.
- Dee will often parry an insult by repeating it back. For example if Dennis says that Dee is dumb, she'll say back, "You're dumb" and then there will be awkward silence. Another instance is when Mac calls Dee's new car a "piece of shit car" and Dee responds with "You're a piece of shit... car".
- Frank is the only one who considers Dee a true member of The Gang ("Dennis, let your sister be part of the gang"). Whenever there is a decision or a vote amongst members of The Gang, the three younger guys habitually exclude her. After discovering Dennis and Dee are not his children, Frank typically treats Dee as badly as the others do.
- There is a running gag about Dee's car always being stolen. Charlie and Mac stole her car and crashed it to fake their deaths ("Mac and Charlie Die (Part 1)"). Later Dee purchases a new car, and that night it is stolen by a hitchhiker she picks up ("The Gang Hits the Road"). Later, Bill Ponderosa gives Dee a car but it turns out the car really belonged to another one of Bill's mistresses who stole it back from Dee ("Dennis Gets Divorced"). Charlie and Mac end up crashing yet another of Dee's cars, when they try to flee from "zombies" at Maureen Ponderosa's wedding (and after Mac, inexplicably, lets Charlie drive) ("The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre").
- The Gang will often try to ditch Dee. When they went on a road trip, they tried to leave her behind. Then later when they stopped off at an Italian market, they tried to steal her car and leave her there ("The Gang Hits the Road").
- Once, on the Level 3 of the "CharDee McDennis!" board game, Dee got an "Emotional Battery" card. She endured two hours of deeply personal insults from Mac and Charlie, and after holding it together "without a single tear", cried for a month and even tried to kill herself by taking too many pills.
- There is only one episode in the entire series where Dee is absent ("Mac's Banging the Waitress").
- Kaitlin Olson is married to Rob McElhenney, who portrays Mac; Glenn Howerton (Dennis) is married to the actress who portrayed Caylee the pharmacist; and Charlie Day (Charlie) is married to Mary Elizabeth Ellis (the Waitress).
- Dee is left-handed.