The Waitress is a woman openly stalked by Charlie Kelly, despite numerous restraining orders. ("The D.E.N.N.I.S. System") She went to high school with the Gang, and used to work at a local coffee shop frequented by Charlie. She attends the high-school reunion with the Gang, where her name tag is missing (further implying her status as 'easily forgettable', a theme in that episode), preventing her name from being revealed. Many fans assumed her name was Nikki Potnick when Frank showed up with a stolen tag bearing that name. However, Glenn Howerton specified on Twitter that this is not the case[1].

The Waitress has often worked a number of side jobs to make extra money: first as a manager of a corporate pub ("The Gang Sells Out"), later as a booth manager at a local fair and most recently delivering food. She lives in an apartment in Philadelphia.

The Waitress is a recurring character, appearing in every season. She is portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Charlie Day's real life wife.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Waitress.png

The Waitress is an on-and-off alcoholic ("The Gang Gives Back") ("Who Pooped the Bed?") ("The Waitress Is Getting Married") She has been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous in the past ("The Gang Gives Back"), although she has relapsed at least twice. When drunk, she is rude and belligerent. ("Who Pooped the Bed?") ("The High School Reunion")

The Waitress is frustrated by Charlie Kelly's obsessive stalking. She has no interest in him but has harbored an unrequited crush on Dennis, who has played with her feelings so many times that she now has a love/hate relationship with him, depending on if he is expressing interest in her. She has slept with Frank Reynolds ("Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom"). She also desires revenge on Dennis, which made her try to win Paddy's Pub in a dance contest. ("The Gang Dances Their Asses Off")

Charlie goes to great lengths to woo the Waitress, even expressing his affection and intentions with a musical production.

The Waitress has low self-esteem, which has allowed various people to manipulate her in humiliating ways:

She appears to be concerned for her safety. She warned Charlie that she carried Mace in "The Nightman Cometh". She sprayed a Mace-like can on Dee and Dennis when they followed her late at night. ("Mac Is a Serial Killer")

The Waitress is extremely technologically illiterate. In "The Gang Group Dates", she tells Dennis she does not "have online" or use "the emails", and has owned the same cellphone since the 90s (at least 16 years).

Early Life[edit | edit source]

The Waitress went to high school with The Gang and sat next to Dee in Trig, but none of them except Charlie seem to remember her. ("The Waitress Is Getting Married") In an earlier episode she asks Dee "if she went to high school" when Dee tricks her into filling out a job application for her. (In the syndication run of the episode the line is changed saying she doesn't know Dee's address.) ("The Gang Sells Out")

Character History[edit | edit source]

Season One[edit | edit source]

Charlie proves he's not racist.

As Charlie has coffee with Mac and Dennis, they talk about Terrell's plans for recruiting people to the bar. They repeat his assurances about filling the bar, directly quoting something Terrell said, but the Waitress just hears Charlie hurling a racial slur, and she calls him Hitler. He later brings a black girl, Janell, to the coffee shop on a date to prove he isn't racist, but the Waitress reveals his plan to her. ("The Gang Gets Racist")

The Waitress sees Charlie yelling at a drunk kid.

While spending the day with his supposed son Tommy, Charlie bumps into the Waitress at a toy store. She tells him that she is a member of the Big Sisters of America program, and he lies that he and Tommy are also in the program to secure a date with her at a program picnic. Later, after Tommy sneaks drinks from the bar, she finds Charlie yelling at the drunken boy. ("Charlie Wants an Abortion")

Charlie and the Waitress on a date ("Charlie Has Cancer")

Seeing her wear a Livestrong bracelet, Charlie schemes to get her to date him, starting with telling Dennis he has cancer. Dennis works with Mac to get Charlie laid and decides to guilt the Waitress into banging him. However, when Dennis tells her Charlie is ill, she responds by consoling Dennis who takes advantage and sleeps with her. Mac then pays her $250 to sleep with Charlie, but she takes him out for the day and makes him buy her jewelry and clothes. ("Charlie Has Cancer")

Season Two[edit | edit source]

Dennis attempts to get out of Charlie Work by telling Charlie he will bang the Waitress unless Charlie agrees to do all the Charlie Work for him. Charlie's scheme to get back at Dennis by encouraging Mac to bang Dennis' mom brings on series of complications that leads the Waitress to bang Frank to get back at Dennis when she spots him trying to bang Mac and Charlie's moms to get back at them. ("Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom")

Charlie runs into the Waitress at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting he had to attend as part of his sentence for setting fire to Ari Frankel's property. She agrees to be his sponsor, but he soon Charlie is using this as an excuse to constantly visit her apartment. She in turn uses him to get closer to Dennis, who is coaching a kids' basketball team as part of his sentence for the fire. When Dennis uses the fact that she's Charlie's sponsor to turn her down when she asks him out, she stops being Charlie's sponsor, which causes him to resume drinking. ("The Gang Gives Back")

Season Three[edit | edit source]

A Starbucks moves in across the street from the Waitress' coffee shop, stealing all her business, so she's forced to get a second job at a corporate pub as the manager. She gets fired from the pub after being manipulated into hiring Charlie, Dee and Dennis, who completely ignore her directions and behave as they do at Paddy's. ("The Gang Sells Out")

Attempting to get inside a serial killer's mind, Dennis and Dee decide to stalk the Waitress like serial killers stalk their prey. The Waitress detects them thanks to the squeaky shoes that are part of Dee's "killer clown" costume and blasts their faces with pepper spray. ("Mac Is a Serial Killer")

The Waitress enters the Dance Marathon to win Paddy's Pub to spite The Gang. Despite acting hostile towards Dennis, Dee quickly discovers that she has feelings for him and suggests that she dirty-dance with a homeless man to make Dennis jealous. When Dennis offers to dance with her later, she immediately accepts, and he quickly drops her to the floor, eliminating her from the competition. ("The Gang Dances Their Asses Off")

Season Four[edit | edit source]

The Waitress promises to sleep with Mac so she can find and destroy the sex tape Dennis made of him banging her. She then tells Mac that she'll only have sex with him at Charlie's apartment. This is so she can find and destroy yet another sex tape Frank has made of him banging her, but she finds that Charlie has already destroyed it. ("Mac's Banging the Waitress")

The Waitress falls off the wagon after hanging out and drinking with Dee and Artemis after her cat Frederick dies. ("Who Pooped the Bed?")

Charlie creates the musical "The Nightman Cometh" to woo the Waitress into accepting his marriage proposal. She only agrees to attend because Charlie promises to never bother her again if she shows up. She refuses Charlie's proposal, and Charlie reneges on his promise. ("The Nightman Cometh")

Season Five[edit | edit source]

The Waitress is engaged to Brad Fisher in "The Waitress Is Getting Married".

The Waitress gets engaged to her high-school ex-boyfriend Brad Fisher and Dee, who also dated him in high school, tries to break it up. Brad reveals that he was leading both of them on for dumping him in high school because of his acne. ("The Waitress Is Getting Married")

The Waitress has a new side-job working at a carnival. ("The D.E.N.N.I.S. System")

Season Six[edit | edit source]

The Waitress gets dirty mop water dumped on her during Dennis and Dee's podcast. ("Mac's Big Break")

Charlie hallucinates that the Waitress was at the Halloween party. ("Who Got Dee Pregnant?")

Season Seven[edit | edit source]

The Waitress and Charlie at the Jersey Shore

When The Gang visits the Jersey Shore, Charlie breaks off to explore the beach himself. While playing in the ocean, he finds the Waitress walking along the beach. She lets him hang out with her; the two spend the night talking, laughing and enjoying the beach. The next morning, mortified that she has lived out one of her worst nightmares, she tells Charlie she had been tripping on Ecstasy the night before. ("The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore")

The Waitress attends her high-school reunion completely drunk. Nobody remembers her, she has no nametag, nobody talks to her, and she sits alone at a table getting drunk. ("The High School Reunion") As the night ends she offers to bang the next man who talks to her. Before Charlie can say a word, Schmitty arrives, talks to her, and takes her home. ("The High School Reunion, Part 2: The Gang's Revenge")

Season Eight[edit | edit source]

The Waitress demands that Charlie stop stalking her; he unexpectedly agrees and starts dating Ruby Taft. It turns out that he hadn't been just stalking her, but doing all sorts of things to help her, such as chasing off people who might steal her bike, putting vitamins in her shampoo, and testing her food for poison. Without these little helps from Charlie, her life falls apart, and she asks Dennis for help. Dennis sends Frank out with Charlie's task list; since he (unsurprisingly) has trouble reading it, he mixes things up, such as thinking that Charlie puts rat poison in her shampoo, which makes her hair fall out; and he hits her with his car as he follows her around keeping her bike from being stolen. It turns out that Charlie was using Ruby to make the Waitress jealous. She asks Charlie to go back to whatever he was doing for her and even agrees to reduce the distance he must stay away from her from 100 to 50 feet. ("Charlie and Dee Find Love")

At the Marriage Store

Season Nine[edit | edit source]

In his (animated) fantasy of how he handles the convenience-store robbery The Gang gets stuck in the middle of, Charlie saves the Waitress from being shot when she comes into the store by throwing Dee in front of the bullet. His act of heroism wins her over and she moves into his apartment with him. She's horrified by the rats she sees there, but charmed when they turn out to be helpful: making her a lovely wedding dress, making them a romantic dinner, and building them a house. They have a large family together (obtained at the Baby Store), and happily grow old together until the Waitress dies. Charlie grieves for awhile, then fills the house with balloons and lets it float away. ("The Gang Saves the Day")

The Waitress in Flowers for Charlie

When the "intelligence drug" that Charlie is taking makes him separate himself from The Gang, Frank tries to get him back by paying the Waitress to date him. But Charlie, who has become far more intelligent since starting to take the experimental drug (or so he thinks), finds the Waitress vapid and ends the date. ("Flowers for Charlie")

Season Ten[edit | edit source]

Reeling from his extremely-low rating on a website where women rate men they've dated, Dennis takes the Waitress to dinner at Guigino's. He tells her that he has realized that he has treated women--including her, of course--poorly over the years. He offers her a "promise ring," with which he promises to "treat [her] nice" if she'll give him a good rating on the dating website. But the Waitress tells him she doesn't "have the online" and even has an ancient phone that is actually just a phone, and Dennis storms out in disgust. ("The Gang Group Dates")

Season Eleven[edit | edit source]

As part of Level Three of their Chardee MacDennis game, Charlie must endure one minute of intense public humiliation from the Waitress without crying. He loses. According to Dee, Charlie cried like a baby, and the team flag got burned. ("Chardee MacDennis 2: Electric Boogaloo")

Mac lures The Waitress to Charlie and Frank's apartment by telling her it was available to rent. She tells them she's been going through a very rough time and living in a women's shelter. When she finds out Mac was lying, she angrily says she'd rather live on the streets than with Charlie, who then tries to toss her out the window, believing it's a "time portal" because Frank has been thinking the year is 2006 since he fell out the window (because of a head injury, not actual time travel). Mac rescues her and she escapes. ("Frank Falls Out the Window")

Season Twelve[edit | edit source]

Dennis announces that his time in North Dakota during The Gang Beats Boggs has resulted in a child and asks the Gang to help him out of the situation, but Charlie gets sidetracked with the idea of trapping the Waitress by getting her pregnant. He convinces her to come to his apartment by paying her $1 a minute, but she's immediately skeptical when she sees rosebuds scattered through the apartment. Charlie shows her through various charts that she's been on a steady decline and that he knows she's always wanted children (he's spied on her looking longingly at kids around town). He says that if the two of them had a baby, Frank would provide for them The Waitress angrily demands why he's still pursuing her if she's such a mess; he simply says "I love you" and they sleep together. Then she starts talking about how they'll need to move somewhere nicer to raise a child and gets furious when Charlie says she'll need to control her emotions to be a good mother. He leaves her at his apartment, terrified of the mess he's gotten himself into, and believes she is stalking him when she calls his cell phone nonstop, and he decides to ghost her for a few days. ("Dennis' Double Life")

Season Thirteen[edit | edit source]

The Waitress is still calling Charlie constantly, and he is still trying to avoid her, so he lets her use the sex doll of Dennis that Mac made and tells her to talk to it. Like the others, she feels like the doll is telling her what to do and lets it talk her into drinking a bottle of wine and having sex with it. This leads her to announce that she's breaking up with Charlie. ("The Gang Makes Paddy's Great Again")

Despite Charlie's frustration of The Waitress while they were in a relationship, he seems to once again be infatuated with her and openly stalking her again after their break-up. ("Time's Up for the Gang")

In The Gang Does a Clip Show, the Waitress was pregnant with Charlie's child and shown coming into the bar with the now born baby and another Charlie. She leaves the baby with both Charlies and goes behind the bar to drink. This turns out to be an alternate reality initially created by Charlie to "rewrite the past" to have the Waitress and Charlie still be together. Towards the end, the alternate reality is overtaken by Frank, who wanted Charlie to move back in with him; Frank also gave himself long, tall legs and hair.

In a flashback to when they were still together, the Waitress attempts to make Charlie eat asparagus before they leave for the Super Bowl. ("Charlie's Home Alone")

Season Fourteen[edit | edit source]

In Charlie's black and white Noir memory, Charlie

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • While the Gang has gotten themselves into several morally-depraved antics that usually end badly for them, the Waitress' life is evidently far worse than any of theirs, and she's considered by fans and even herself to be a complete loser compared to the entire Gang. She even admits to wondering what Charlie sees in her; even she considers herself a nobody.
    • This could be in part due to the fact that, despite their aggression towards one another, nobody in the Gang is by themselves, and also have Frank's money to support them; the Waitress is meanwhile completely self-reliant.
  • As a recurring joke, none of them with the possible exception of Charlie seems to know her real name; everyone refers to her as "the Waitress." When she calls Dennis after Charlie temporarily stops stalking her, she says her name and he doesn't recognize it at all. ("Charlie and Dee Find Love").
    • Charlie lists the Waitress as his emergency contact, which would suggest that he knows her name but does not necessarily confirm that as fact. ("The Nightman Cometh")
  • Her real name has not been revealed, other than two clues:
  • The sex tape that Dennis made with the Waitress is filed simply as "Waitress (Coffee Shop)"; she only got one star, ("Mac's Banging the Waitress") but in season 12 episode 10, Charlie says that his sex with her is "Fantastic" ("Dennis' Double Life").
  • She has no friends. ("Who Pooped the Bed?")
  • She had a cat named Frederick, but he died. ("Who Pooped the Bed?")
  • Her alcohol problem makes her gums bleed. (The Gang's Dating Profiles)
  • Actress Mary Elizabeth Ellis is Charlie Day's real-life wife; they married in 2006.
  • In 2004 Mary Elizabeth and Charlie had a cameo in the popular mockumentary comedy series "Reno 911!" (season two, episode seven), portraying an incestuous twin brother and sister not unlike the McPoyles.
  • The Waitress might be stalking Dennis Reynolds; she somehow got Dennis' new cell phone number after he changed it. ("Charlie and Dee Find Love")
  • The Waitress has appeared in more episodes than any other recurring character: 26 times.
  • Along with Artemis and Charlie's mom, the Waitress is the only other recurring character who has appeared in the first six seasons of the show, and she is currently the only recurring character to appear in all of its 13 seasons.
  • According to Charlie, The Waitress has always wanted to be a mother, exemplified through her longingly watching children throughout the city.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • There was fan speculation that Nikki Potnick was the Waitress' real name. In the 7th season episode "The High School Reunion" Frank steals Nikki Potnick's name tag to get into the reunion, and later the Waitress shows up without a name tag and says someone stole hers. Glenn Howerton tweeted in response that this was not true, stating "Sorry, but the Waitress' name is not Nikki Potnick. If u wanna know who N.Potnick is, re-watch S.1 Underage Drinking. First 10 mins."[2]
    • The tweet is a reference to a story Charlie tells in which the gang, back in high school, drove Nikki Potnick's car into a tree while drunk. Dee was puking in the back seat.
  • In the shape of a joke: the Waitress' real name.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Bangs[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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