‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Has the Most Words Per Minute of Any TV Show, Study Finds

A new study finds that the rapid-fire FX sitcom has the hardest dialogue to follow on subtitles because it’s so wordy

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is the wordiest show on TV with 176.2 words per minute, a new study by WordFinderX reveals, which makes the Rob McElhenney-created FX sitcom the hardest series to follow if you’re watching with subtitles.

To put that in perspective, the National Disability Authority recommends that subtitles should be no more than 140 words per minute.

Ranking just behind “Sunny” was “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” at 174.6 wpm, followed closely by “Gilmore Girls,” where the witty banter clocked in at 167.8 wpm.

Using OpenSubtitles, Subdl and TVSubtitles.net, WordFinderX analyzed the subtitles from the most recently aired seasons of several TV series. The wordiest genre was comedy, which usually relies on quick verbal wordplay. According to the study across the 15 wordiest comedies, including “Modern Family” and “Parks and Recreation,” the average was 133.6 wpm.

The study also found that “DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow” is the wordiest superhero show at 115.0 wpm, while animated series were led by Apple TV+’s “Central Park” with 163.9 wpm. “South Park,” “Bob’s Burgers” and “Bojack Horseman,” were also among the most verbose.

More and more people are using subtitles to watch TV, with four out of five 18-25-year-olds saying they turn on closed-captioning, even even though only one in ten of these say they are deaf or hard of hearing.