Guest Column by Lana Cooper
Bigger Nemesis to the Gang: The McPoyles or Rickety Cricket?
When the Paddy’s Pub gang isn’t busy being their own worst enemies, they get a little competition in the form of their arch-nemeses, the McPoyles and Rickety Cricket. While both the incestuous family and the scruffy ex-priest have cause the gang more than their share of grief throughout all 9 seasons of the show, the question remains: Who is the gang’s worst enemy?
In order to answer that question, we’ll take a look at three key categories: Origin Story (because every villain needs a good backstory to explain the route of their conflict), the Gross-Out Factor, and the amount of wrongdoing / justification for the villain’s hatred of the gang. We’ll pit the McPoyles and Rickety Cricket against each other in a skeezy showdown and see which nemesis emerges victorious. Ready? Then let’s examine the stats!
Rickety Cricket: Cricket’s history with the gang that dates all the way back to high school — back when the gang used to make fun of him when he wore leg braces that gave him his unflattering namesake. Like many a great villain, Rickety Cricket’s origin story is steeped in spurned affections. Not only did Dee turn him down (repeatedly), she played a nasty prank on Cricket, telling him she would kiss him if he ate a piece of horse poop. He did and Dee went back on her word because, well… Would you kiss a dude with poop on his breath? (Yeah. Didn’t think so.)
The McPoyles: Ryan and Liam McPoyle also have a history with the gang, having attended the same elementary school as Mac and Charlie. The unibrow-ed brothers have a vendetta with the gang ever since Charlie blew the lid off of their faked claims against their old school district, proving that the McPoyles weren’t ever molested and shooting a hole in the family’s plot to cash in with a lawsuit.
Speaking of shooting, the rest of the gang drew McPoyle-y wrath when Frank accidentally shot their brother, Doyle McPoyle, in the leg. This gunshot put the kibosh on the younger McPoyle’s chance at gridiron glory with the Philadelphia Eagles. When you mess with one member of the (large and inbred) McPoyle family, you mess with them all!
Better Villain Backstory Winner? The McPoyles.
Rickety Cricket may have a longer history with the gang, however, the McPoyles win this category for their longstanding, dastardly tendencies.
The Gross Factor
Rickety Cricket: Frequently unwashed with unkempt hair and beard, Rickety Cricket’s hygiene is questionable, at best. Factor in that dogs have had their way with the hole in his neck and a stellar case of ringworm he unveiled at the high school reunion and Cricket has proven himself to be one disgusting street rat.
The McPoyles: Perpetually drenched in a thick film of sweat (because they like it that way), clad in bathrobes and underwear, and sipping warm milk, the McPoyles have the disgusting thing down pat. However, when you factor in that brothers Liam and Ryan have an incestuous relationship with each other and their deaf/mute sister, Margaret, things get a whole lot squickier. The gross ante is further upped with the revelation that the McPoyle trio also enjoy watching their siblings get it on with other people.
Who’s More Disgusting? The McPoyles
Sorry, Cricket. Not even close. Compared to the McPoyles, you’re a rank amateur when it comes to disgusting.
The Gang Done Them Wrong
Rickety Cricket: Arguably, the gang could be responsible for every new low point in Cricket’s life. After graduating school, Cricket became a priest. After running into the gang — and Dee — again, he decided to renounce the priesthood after Dee led him on (yet again) that she was interested in him. From there, Cricket became a homeless addict who had his legs broken by the mom as a direct result of Dee and Charlie making him their patsy. In addition to broken legs, Cricket has sustained multiple severe injuries due to his interaction with the gang. These injuries included: a gunshot wound through the hand, a throat lacerated by a trashcan lid, and a hatchet to the arm (thrown by the McPoyles, but at a dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner thrown by the gang).
The McPoyles: The McPoyles are constantly scheming — even more so than the Paddy’s Pub gang. Difficult as it may be to believe, the gang actually serves a greater good by squashing many of the McPoyles’ schemes. The gang cost the McPoyles ill-gotten gains when Charlie foiled their plan to shakedown the school district with fraudulent molestation charges. Frank accidentally shot Doyle McPoyle in the leg, effectively shooting his chances at playing pro football into the toilet. And the gang helped to foil the McPoyles’ plot to take over the world by ruining Liam’s wedding to Maureen “Dead Tooth” Ponderosa. In the ensuing wedding aftermath, Maureen’s brother Bill spiked the milk bowl with bath salts and the crazed McPoyle’s turned on one another. Liam lost his eye in the process and mistakenly blamed the gang for partially blinding him.
Who did the gang screw over the most? Rickety Cricket
Rickety Cricket has long been a pawn in many of the gang’s schemes. Although he’s frequently been a thorn in the gang’s collective side, Cricket is more victim than villain. The McPoyles, on the other hand, have more aggressively pursued the gang with the intent to make their lives miserable. The McPoyle plots backfire as a result of their own inbred ineptitude. Rickety Cricket, on the other hand, is just a sad, sad man whose life has been one, long downward spiral as a result of his contact with the gang.
Overall winner: The McPoyles
Time and time again, the McPoyles have proven to be worthy (and creepy) adversaries to the Paddy’s Pub crew. The siblings interference in the gang’s lives completely eclipse any attempts at revenge that Rickety Cricket could possibly imagine. That said, however… The McPoyles may be a greater nemesis to the gang, but if anyone will ultimately take down the gang, it will likely be Rickety Cricket. One man can only take so much before he tries to extract severe revenge. Don’t count the Cricket out!
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