Ronald "Mac" McDonald is a co-owner and self proclaimed "Sheriff" of Paddy's Pub and generally the pub's most active manager. He is roommates with his best friend from high school, Dennis Reynolds, and has been best friends with Charlie Kelly since childhood. Mac is a member of The Gang which also includes Dee and Frank.
Mac gets upset at injustices, but will pounce on any opportunity he sees as a fair chance to bang or make money. He was proud of his body and weight gain during Season 7, and is secretly ashamed of returning to his regular size.
Mac is portrayed by Rob McElhenney.
Mac works out at the gym all the time. ("Charlie Has Cancer")
However, he only works out his "glamour muscles" (bis and tris) and lacks core strength. ("The World Series Defense") He is also not athletic in any sense: when he wins a contest to take a shot at a Philadelphia Flyers game, it's revealed that not only can he not play hockey at all, he can't actually ice skate either. ("Mac's Big Break")
Mac usually wears sleeveless shirts or tight tees to draw attention to his glamour muscles and to exhibit his "tribal" tattoos. ("Charlie Wants An Abortion") The tattoos are a dragon on his right forearm, a leaf on his right bicep, and an eagle on his left. He also seems to have a leaf shaped tattoo on his right thigh. ("Charlie Got Molested")Mac's T-shirts usually have an ironic slogan on the front, and are occasionally worn with a long sleeved thermal underneath. His most iconic shirts are a purple T-shirt with "Detroit" stylized as a smoking gun, a black "RIOT" T-shirt (also seen in grey), and a variety of obnoxious, colorful Hawaiian shirts. Completing the ensemble is a pair of navy blue Dickies slacks and worn out combat boots. Occasionally he will wear a battered leather blazer, or a long leather duster. Mac maintains a light beard and mustache, though in Season 7 grows it out bushy and in Season 8 goes with only a 5 o'clock shadow. He often slicks his hair back, like his father Luther's. His formal attire appears to usually be a black polo shirt with a tie.
A major plotline during Season 7 was Mac's sudden, and quite dramatic, weight gain. Mac claimed that he was "cultivating mass", but everyone else, correctly, saw him as just getting fat. However, Mac seemed to truly believe that his weight gain was muscle, not fat. He has lost the weight again, and in the Season Eight premiere, Mac says that his "sudden and unfortunate" weight loss is putting Paddy's in jeopardy, because it might hinder his ability to do his job as head of security. (The Gang assure him that they don't feel any less safe than they did when he was fat.)
It is revealed that the reason for Mac's weight loss is that Dennis has been giving him "Mexican ephedra" pills, which caused him to lose his appetite, and telling Mac that they were "size pills". ("The Gang Gets Analyzed")
Mac comes from a broken home; his father Luther was an incarcerated meth dealer, and his mother was extremely apathetic. He is highly aggressive, often quick to begin shouting and threaten physical violence. He once got a knife-wielding meth head to back off after he sternly told him to "give us a minute" while arguing with Dennis ("Hundred Dollar Baby"). He's frightened even Dennis with his rage when, in Mac's eyes, he was just simply responding to Dennis' light banter. ("The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award") In a therapy session, Mac admitted to feeling a large range of emotions in quick succession. ("The Gang Gets Analyzed") Mac also admits to being gay in the sixth episode of the twelfth season. ("Hero or Hate Crime?")
Mac is obsessed with being tough and looking like a badass. Mac constantly seeks acceptance of his parents, but his over-earnest efforts make him come off as an asshole. ("Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender") He has a series of project badass videos that involve him doing various stunts to make him look tough, badass, or like a dare devil. ("Mac's Banging the Waitress") Mac frequently strives to appear "hard," usually to impress his father or friends. In reality though, he is a coward.
Mac is highly competitive, and is unable to control his competitiveness. ("The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition") For example, when he learned that Charlie and the McPoyle brothers were possibly sexually molested by their—and Mac's—elementary school gym teacher, he feels rejected and worries that he is somehow inferior for having not been molested himself. He proceeds to research why he didn't get molested, stating that, "If the McPoyles got blown, and Charlie got blown, then why didn't I get blown?" ("Charlie Got Molested")
Mac is jealous of other people's success. Although he seeks his friends' acceptance, Mac takes special pleasure in undermining, physically harming, contradicting, and publicly belittling Sweet Dee at every possible opportunity.
Mac is easily flattered and manipulated, especially if complimented about his body or his fighting skills. He had had an ongoing sexual relationship with a pre-op trans woman named Carmen, largely because she was so adept at flattering him about his buff body. ("Charlie Has Cancer") He claimed that he was just "putting in time" as he waited for her surgery. ("Mac Is a Serial Killer")
Due to his inflated and fragile self-image, Mac is riddled with insecurities and often places great pressure on himself to look superior or not fail at anything. Consequentially, when given an unwanted position, he will attempt to use it to glamourise himself, such as, when being forced to referee the Gang's drinking challenge in "The Gang Beats Boggs" due to losing a chugging contest, Mac immediately convinces himself the Gang made him "Bud Selig", despite being repeatedly told that "no one did", and takes his refereeing duties far too seriously, to the point that Charlie tries to calm him down. In "The Gang Goes To Hell", thinking he has "failed" at a game, he gets extremely emotional and produces a cat-o-nine-tails for someone to beat him with "so [he] can be a better boy", implying he punishes himself harshly for every perceived failure.
At one point described by Dennis as being "in complete denial about absolutely every aspect of his life", Mac is the most openly self-delusional of the Gang, clinging to various fantasies about being tough, badass, a good Catholic, and, in particular, loved by his cold and exploitative father. Whenever anything happens to puncture these self-deceptions, he immediately twists or rationalises his perception of them to fit with his view of himself and the world.
Position in the Gang Edit
Like Dennis, Mac sees himself as superior to the rest of The Gang and often attempts to prove his supremacy. For instance, in an attempt to impress Charlie and Dennis, he makes a series of "Project Badass" videotapes that consist of various idiotic stunts; however, the pair believes that Mac is just trying to "bang" them. ("Mac's Banging the Waitress")
Mac sees himself as the boss in most situations and the gang constantly complains about his bossiness.
A Catholic, Mac is the only member of The Gang to profess a religious faith. In "The Gang Exploits A Miracle", Mac fears that the Lord show his wrath if they continue to exploit the water stain in the bar. Throughout the series Mac refuses to wear a condom during sex, because as he explains Charlie he went to Catholic school. Though Mac seems to care more about issues such as abortion, community activism, and parenting than the rest of The Gang, his views on such subjects are invariably twisted, ignorant, or prejudiced, and his actions regarding them are always hypocritical and selfish. For instance, after pretending to be adamantly pro-life in order to attract a female activist, Mac later demands that she get an abortion when he thinks she has become pregnant by him. In another instance involving the transgender woman Carmen, Mac discovers that she has married and had the operation to remove her penis. He then belittles Carmen and her husband by quoting the Bible to them and calling them "gay"; however he only reacts so because he expected Carmen to call him once she had the operation so they could date again. Mac constantly drinks alcohol like the rest of The Gang and abuses other substances, such as poppers and glue.
Mac prefers not to use condoms, even when he's having sex with people he doesn't know. ("Mac Is a Serial Killer") He only reluctantly agrees to wear a condom with the Waitress in "Mac's Banging the Waitress". There is much evidence that Mac is harboring one or more STDs. ("The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 1)")
Mac seems to have a thing for older women. He had sex with Dennis and Dee's mom, Barbara Reynolds, later saying it was the best sex of his life. ("Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom") He also expressed interest in Barbara's sister, Aunt Donna. ("The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention")
Mac places sex above friendship, and has betrayed his two best friends by dating or having sex with women very important to them:
- In high school, Mac had sex with Dennis' prom date and blamed it on Tim Murphy. ("The High School Reunion, Part 2: The Gang's Revenge")
- Later, Mac started secretly dating the Waitress despite Charlie's obsession with her. ("Mac's Banging the Waitress")
Throughout the series there have been insinuations that Mac is a closeted gay man. This is manifested by his obsession with men's physiques and his reactionary religious views on homosexuality.
Some examples of Mac exhibiting behaviours or saying things that make it appear that he may be gay:
- In the season 3 episode "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off", Mac challenges Dennis to a dance-off. During the dance-off, Mac gets on his knees and bobs his head in front of Dennis's groin.
- In the final scene of the season 4 episode "Mac's Banging the Waitress" Charlie says to Dennis, "Do you still get the feeling he wants to bang us? That's what this is all about" after Mac tries to demonstrate how "badass" he is by falling from the roof onto a pile of mattresses after lighting fireworks taped to his jacket that fail to ignite.
- In the Season 6 finale, "Dee Gives Birth", as Charlie and Mac discuss the fact that one of possible fathers of Dee's baby is Rex, Mac calls Rex a "quality lay".
- In episode 2 of season 8, "The Gang Recycles Their Trash" Mac makes an attempt to kiss Dennis following a rally with Charlie and themselves.
- Also in season 8, in "Charlie Rules the World", Charlie asks Mac to watch Dee while Charlie goes and meets an online girl in person, to which Mac insinuates he'd like to meet any of her friends if they're fat or ugly or sick. Charlie then replies with a 'yeah, sure, if they're ugly or sick or male or female, whatever it is that you like'. Mac simply shrugs.
- In "The Gang Dines Out", Mac intentionally inserts a dollar bill into a waiter's back pocket in order to feel his behind.
- In the season 9 episode "Mac Day" Charlie says, "I know we've never said this as a group, but Mac's gay," to which the rest of The Gang agrees readily. Also as part of Mac Day, Mac forces The Gang to oil male bodybuilders, which gives him an erection. He also gets an erection in the episode when he is preaching to The Gang about the wrongs of homosexuality.
- There are two highly homoerotic scenes in Lethal Weapon 6 that lead a hedge-fund manager they show the movie to call it a "gay porno". In a scene that immediately follows, where Riggs and Murtaugh go to a strip club, Mac obviously stares at Dennis' lap at one point, apparently checking if he has an erection. At the end, he cannot bring himself to kiss Dee, who is playing Murtaugh's daughter (who Riggs is marrying.) ("The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6")
- In "The Gang Group Dates", a customer asks Dee for a drink in which she replies saying," go ask one of the other ones, the dirty one or the gay one." Dennis later mentions how Mac tells himself he's "tough, and straight", to which Mac replies, "I am tough!"
- In Mac Kills His Dad", Mac tries to prove his dad's innocence in as a murder suspect. Charlie agrees to along with him, along as he doesn't ask to put stuff in their butts again. Mac says he'll do it this time to which Charlie replies "well you'll probably enjoy it more".
- Mac meets a girl 'Dusty' at a club and introduces with a speech alluding to his homosexuality and with the pretence that Dusty is a man. Once it is revealed otherwise, the gang question Mac on it, confused, he just says that he was giving Dennis '10s' and he decided he was sick of it and wanted to go for a '10'. Later the gang go to the back office where they discover Mac has just been paying Dusty angel dust (PCP) to pretend to have sex with him, because he couldn't get it up, which he then denies claiming that she's "Not even that hot." to which Dennis replies "She is very hot.". He agrees to go back if everyone agrees to forget everything that happened. (The Gang Misses the Boat)
- While at a strip club with Charlie, Charlie believes it to be 2006 and tries to clarify that was when Mac was still into women, to which Mac just tiredly asks him to drop it. ("Frank Falls Out the Window")
- He refuses to talk about his "mission" at the Rainbow, a gay bar in Philly, despite having returned in a tight undershirt, covered in glitter, and searching for towels. ("Charlie Catches a Leprechaun")
- While on a Christian cruise Mac is shocked to learn that there are two gay men on the cruise, to which Charlie asks who the other one is; Mac does not understand the joke. He later attempts to "cure" the gay couple but instead is lured into their cabin. He imprisons himself in the brig with the rest of the gang confessing "well, I'm gay" to no surprise from his friends. ("The Gang Goes to Hell") When he is rescued from the ship he immediately says it was a test from God and he's not actually gay. ("The Gang Goes to Hell: Part Two")
- While "saving" his life after he picks up a lotto scratcher, a piano almost falls on him, Frank calls Mac a faggot, Mac sees this as a hate crime. After going through three arbitrators to dispute who has ownership of said scratcher. Dennis reveals Mac's "bike", an elliptical bike that Mac modifies into an anal fisting bike (ahem, "Asspounder 4000"). The final arbitrator rules that Frank and Mac split the ticket 50/50, because Frank saves Mac, and it wasn't a hate crime as Mac isn't gay. Mac realizing the way to keep the whole ticket is to come out, thus he does, and wins the $10,000 ticket. The gang states that Mac will then take it back after signing the official document, but Mac then decides "maybe I'll stay out". (Hero or Hate Crime?)
Mac is extremely clean, and very good at keeping his apartment extremely tidy. He even cleaned up Charlie's filthy apartment after he moved in with Charlie and Frank, after Dennis kicked him out. ("Mac and Dennis Break Up")
Apparently, nobody "understands the subtleties of Charlie's retardation" like Mac does. ("The Gang Gets Held Hostage")
Mac believes he is a natural story-teller. ("How Mac Got Fat") He is also able to give a persuasive argument; he is able to make Charlie, a staunch atheist, as well as Frank and Dee (and possibly Dennis), doubt the absoluteness of evolution, due to their faith in science, fossil records, and data being similar to his faith in God and the Bible. ("Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense")
Though it takes him a considerable amount of time, Mac can make some decent charts and graphs. ("Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense")
At times, Mac has been shown to have decent physical strength when he is not delusional about the details of what he's doing and how much stronger he believes he is. He was once able to score a real point in a karate match for blocking a hit. ("Mac Day")
Along with Dennis and Dee, Mac has been shown to be an excellent skier (though the rules are different on the mountain). ("The Gang Hits the Slopes")
When given the opportunity to explore it, Mac found he has a passion and talent for musical theatre. ("The Gang Goes to Hell")
Mac has a delusional belief in his abilities as a security professional. He thinks of himself as "The Sheriff of Paddy's" and believes he can achieve feats of strength, assess strangers for security, and that he is highly skilled at combat. Despite this, Mac has fared poorly in physical altercations and feats of strength:
- Mac was beat up when he replaced Charlie and fought in a fight club. ("Hundred Dollar Baby")
- Mac failed in his attempt to climb the outside of Charlie's apartment building. ("The World Series Defense")
- Mac was going to beat up Bruce Mathis in a fight, but ran away from him instead. ("Dennis and Dee Get a New Dad")
- Mac attempted a roundhouse kick to the front window of a car, but missed and kicked the drivers side mirror instead. ("Paddy's Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia")
- Mac does an "ocular patdown" of a hitchhiker and assessed him as safe; later, the hitchhiker steals Dee's car. ("The Gang Hits the Road")
- When Mac and Charlie are stuck at the bottom of an abandoned swimming pool that they are trying to fix, Mac attempts to get out of the pool by doing a "backflip" out of it, scaling the wall, but he doesn't even come close to getting out. ("Mac and Charlie: White Trash")
- Mac's "exit strategy" to get out of a luxury box the Gang has schemed their way into at a Phillies' game is to "spring off the balcony to safety". When Dennis points out that it's a 50 foot drop, Mac says that he will be able to "tuck and roll" and thus survive the drop unscathed. ("Frank's Back in Business")
- When Mac attempted to put Charlie in a chokehold, Charlie simply went limp, and Mac promptly exhausted himself trying to keep Charlie held up, eventually passing out. ("Frank Retires")
In a similar vein, Mac also maintains a threat level assessment for the bar. Ordinarily the threat level is set to Orange, but Mac has upgraded the threat level to Yellow. ("The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation")
Mac often has trouble thinking up of the right word to convey his ideas, which Dennis is often more than glad to provide. ("Mac and Dennis Break Up")
Mac is also a poor typist. ("Mac and Charlie Write a Movie")
Mac has bad peripheral vision, due to his eyes slanting downward. ("The Gang Dines Out")
When Mac was young, his parents would break into houses with him on Christmas to steal presents. ("A Very Sunny Christmas")
Dennis notes that Mac only survived high school by selling weed to popular kids, and even then was considered a jerk. He and Charlie would hang out in the latter's basement and huff glue, which Dennis found creepy. ("Underage Drinking: A National Concern")
In high school, Mac was called "Ronnie the Rat," due to his propensity for tattling. He narced on the previous weed dealer in order to get a foothold on dealing himself. He would hang out under the bleachers with Charlie and Dennis, and slept with Dennis' prom date. ("The High School Reunion")
- Mac is a terrible dancer. ("The Gang Dances Their Asses Off")
- Mac has at least 2 gay cousins: Brett ("The Gang Gets Racist") and Country Mac .
- When Mac was young, he had an invincible dog named Poppins. ("Mac's Mom Burns Her House Down")
- Mac has only two numbers in his phone - Charlie and Dennis. ("Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead")
- Mac originally introduces Mac's duster to the Gang. ("The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation")
- Mac's full name was unclear for most of the first seven seasons. In the season four episode "The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell", the Colonial-era Mac character is referred to as "McDonald." In 7th Season "The High School Reunion", his full name is revealed to be "Ronald McDonald."
- It was initially hinted that Mac's last name is simply, "Mac". On parole papers seen in "Mac and Charlie Die (Part 1)", Mac's father's name is listed as "Luther Mac" and his mother is usually referred to as Mrs. Mac.
- In the Season 10 episode "The Gang Goes On Family Fight", Mac introduces himself as "Ronald Reynolds", and says that Frank has adopted him. Whether this is indeed the case, or this is something they made up to get him on the show, is unclear at this time. If this is true, that would make Dennis and Dee his step-siblings, Charlie his alleged step half-brother, and Dennis' son, Brian Jr., Mac's step-nephew.
- In the episode "Who Got Dee Pregnant?", one of the McPoyle Brothers referred to Mac as "Macwell".
- Mac often says his signature line, "What's up, bitches?", throughout the series.
- In many episodes, Mac will enter the bar announcing "I've got news," or a variation on that basic idea, to set the episode's plot in motion. The others rarely share his enthusiasm, but he usually convinces one of them to follow him, though often reluctantly. This running joke was an ironical failed in the beginning of "Chardee MacDennis".
- Mac keeps a karate trophy in his childhood room - which is not weird at all: he found it in the street. ("A Very Sunny Christmas")
- Throughout the series, Mac flashes his signature "puppy-dog look" when he is ashamed or when he proposes something reprehensibly shameful.
- Mac is one of the characters on the show who use their name (or a variant of their name) as their stage name. Among the other people who do this are Artemis and Charlie.
- Mac had always considered for Paddy's to be an "Irish Catholic bar". Here is his full-of-righteous-anger question to the Gang: "Where's our goddamn Bible?!". ("Mac Fights Gay Marriage") Later, in "Sweet Dee Gets Audited", Mac stated it literally: "...we're an Irish Catholic bar".
- Mac is not familiar with Stalin. ("Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass")
- Mac sometimes uses the alias, Vic Vinegar. ("Frank's Back in Business")
- Mac's sexuality sometimes was questioned ("Flowers for Charlie") until the season 12 episode, "Hero or Hate Crime?" where Mac finally admitted to being gay.
- Despite being very religious, he breaks the "rules" of the Bible multiple times during the show.
- Mac's name has been used in the titles for multiple different episodes:
- Season Two: "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom"
- Season Three: "Mac Is a Serial Killer"
- Season Four: "Mac and Dennis: Manhunters", "Mac's Banging the Waitress", "Mac and Charlie Die (Part 1)", "Mac and Charlie Die (Part 2)"
- Season Five: "Mac and Dennis Break Up", "Mac and Charlie Write a Movie"
- Season Six: "Mac Fights Gay Marriage", "Mac's Big Break". "Mac and Charlie: White Trash", "Mac's Mom Burns Her House Down"
- Season Seven: "Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games", "How Mac Got Fat"
- Season Nine: "Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare", "Mac Day"
- Season Ten: "Mac Kills His Dad", "Ass Kickers United: Mac and Charlie Join a Cult"
- Rob McElhenney, the actor who portrays Mac, is married to Kaitlin Olson, the actress who portrays Dee.
- In episode "Mac Fights Gay Marriage" Dennis kicks Mac out of their apartment and tells him he doesn't own a single thing in the entire apartment.This is likely because previously, in episode "Mac and Charlie Die (Part 2)" Dennis threw out all of Mac's belongings when he thought Mac was dead. (Later we find out he knew Mac was alive anyways.)
- Mac is technically the only member of the Gang to physically appear in every episode, as Frank is absent in season 1, he and Dee are absent in "Mac's Banging the Waitress" and "The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell" (though they have old timey counterparts), and everyone but Mac is only shown in flashbacks while he confesses in "How Mac Got Fat".
- Mac is left-handed.
Mac has banged the following people:
- Megan - a pro-life woman who tests Mac's sincerity against abortion after a protest at a Planned Parenthood building. ("Charlie Wants an Abortion")
- Barbara Reynolds - Dennis and Dee's Mom. ("Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom")
- Z-Man's sister and Sully's sister - Mac banged both of their sisters, so he couldn't invite them to his party at Dennis' new house. ("Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead")
- Carmen - A trans woman who Mac on-and-off dates. ("Mac Is a Serial Killer")
- Dominique and Tabitha - model contestants in "America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest" (they also banged each other and let Mac watch).
- Numerous unnamed leftovers from the DENNIS System using the MAC system (Move-in After Completion). ("The D.E.N.N.I.S. System")
- Margaret McPoyle - shown in a flashback of the Halloween the year before, and again to get "bombshell" information from her. ("Who Got Dee Pregnant?") ("McPoyle vs. Ponderosa: The Trial of the Century")
- Dennis's prom date. ("She was gross.") ("The High School Reunion.")
|Mac in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia|