It's Always Sunny is officially TV's least shutting-up-est show
It’s not a secret that the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Gang likes to talk, what with the vast majority of the show’s plots eventually devolving into its five central weirdos attempting to verbally badger their victims, each other, and sometimes just reality itself into submission. A new study would seem to confirm that, as WordFinderX—which, as far as we can tell, mostly concerns itself with helping people cheat at Scrabble—analyzed subtitle data from a ton of American TV shows and determined that Sunny had the highest words per minute, at 176.2.
Which might not actually be ideal, in terms of accessibility; there’s a “six-second rule” in subtitle creation that suggests a two-line snippet of dialogue should be on the screen for about six seconds, which is roughly 140 words per minute. (That being said, we found at least one academic paper that notes the “rule” is nebulous in origins, and that viewers can actually handle, and enjoy, faster text.) In any case, Sunny for sure pushes those limits; its nearest competitor is the now-ended Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which averaged 174.6 words per minute.
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Other high performers included, not surprisingly, Gilmore Girls (167.8 words per minute), Modern Family (166.2) and the animated Central Park. (163.9) (It’s kind of a Loren Bouchard thing; Bob’s Burgers is right behind the Apple TV+ series, at 160.6 words per minute.) As the study itself notes, the fast-talking approach to dialogue is much more prevalent in comedy; even highly verbal shows like Succession sit comfortably back at 118 words per minute. (Although, weirdly, the actors on Suits apparently burnt that mother down, coming in at 161.0 wpm. Must have been all that lawyerin’.)
Data for the study was reportedly collected back in November of 2022.
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