Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson's Relationship Timeline
Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson went from costars to husband and wife.
The comedians first began dating after meeting and falling in love on the set of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. After keeping their relationship under wraps, they eventually revealed their romance to the rest of the cast and tied the knot two years later.
The couple went on to welcome two sons together: Axel Lee, born in September 2010, and Leo Grey, born in April 2012.
Now, the Mythic Quest actor and Hacks star have been going strong for over a decade and have shared plenty of sweet moments over the years.
"We've had our ups and downs [...] And I can tell you that I love you more now than I did 14 years ago," McElhenney told Olson during a joint appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in August 2022. "As hard as it is sometimes, just like in any relationship, I will keep showing up and doing my best because I love you so much."
From falling in love on set to getting engaged at Danny DeVito's beach house and welcoming two sons together, here's a complete timeline of Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson's love story.
2002: Rob McElhenney develops a crush on Olsom from afar
Years before they met, Olson caught McElhenney's eye on the TV screen, as he later revealed on Instagram in March 2020.
"I remember watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2002 — before I even moved to L.A. — and seeing this woman playing Larry's sister-in-law," he wrote, going on to call her "so funny and so beautiful and so out of my league." He continued, "Well, it's eighteen years later and tonight I get to hold her hand, watch her on another episode of Curb and be reminded of all of those things again. What a lucky person I am."
2005: Rob McElhenney casts Kaitlin Olson in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
While he'd found Olson attractive and funny on TV, McElhenney wasn't sold at first when the pair met in person at a casting call for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As Olson later told Buzzfeed in 2015, McElhenney, who is the series creator, was disappointed in her audition after she left out a line from the script.
"I left the room and Rob was like, 'How did she leave out the funniest line that was in there?' and he didn't want to cast me," Olson told the outlet. "Rob, who I've now married, had to be talked into hiring me."
McElhenney eventually cast Olson as Dee Reynolds, a struggling actress who works as a waitress at the Irish pub the show is centered on. The first season premiered on FX in August 2005, and it wasn't long before Olson began to also develop a crush on McElhenney.
"He was just so easily in charge," she explained of her initial attraction to her future husband during an appearance on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast in June 2018. "He really just has a vision and he's just a wonderful boss and he's a collaborator. But at the end of the day, he's very comfortable taking in information and then just making a decision."
2006: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson begin dating
Olson was the one to start the flirtation with her husband — or at least she tried to, as she later shared on Shepard's podcast.
During a game night at Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis' house (another of the show's costar couples), she decided to make her move. "He was there, and I'd been drinking, because that's how I handled being nervous around him," she said. "I would just move in to sit at the game and back up in between his legs, and like, move myself into his lap."
But things didn't take off from there — yet. "He was just like, 'What — what are you doing?' " she said. "That's the other thing about Rob. He's unbelievably direct. Like, honest to a fault."
Not long after, the pair began dating. However, McElhenney "really just wanted [the relationship] to be casual," as Olson told Shepard. She found that laughable, given that she felt the Always Sunny producer was already head over heels for her.
"I was like, 'This person is completely in love with me — and he has no idea.' It was no problem for me," she added. "It wasn't even a game. It was just like, 'Oh, you don't know, you have no idea that you are completely in love with me. That's so cute!' "
2006: Rob McElhenny and Kaitlin Olson tell their costars they're dating
Albert L. Ortega/Getty
The couple, who began dating while filming season two, managed to keep their love a secret for a few months before they decided to tell their costars the truth.
"They were like, 'We have something to tell you guys,' " costar Ellis recounted to Buzzfeed in 2015, revealing that Olson "just starts crying and says, 'I love [Rob.] I love him so much, you guys. He's such a great person. We don't want you guys to be mad at us because we're dating and on the show.' " The rest of the cast was happy for them, Ellis told the outlet, adding, "They're just so great together."
December 2007: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson get engaged
McElhenney took a classic beach proposal to the next level by popping the question to his love at their friend and costar DeVito's beach house in Malibu.
"She loves the beach when it's cold," McElhenney told InStyle in 2015, adding that he proposed with a vintage sparkler from the 1920s.
September 27, 2008: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson get married
After nearly three years together, the pair said "I do" in front of family and friends, including costars like DeVito and Day, at a vineyard in Malibu, California. Explaining to InStyle that they "wanted [their] wedding to produce as little waste as possible," Olson revealed that they opted for natural decorations such as herbs, berries and artichokes instead of floral arrangements. For her special day, the bride wore a gown by Les Habitudes.
May 2, 2010: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson are expecting their first child
Two months after sharing their pregnancy announcement with PEOPLE, Olson showed off her baby bump at a Pregnancy Awareness Month event, where she opened up about her pregnancy and revealed that she was expecting a son.
"I haven't been nauseous at all, so far — I hate to jinx it," she said of the first two trimesters of her "easy" pregnancy. "I feel pretty normal except I can feel something moving inside of me."
Sharing that they were expecting a baby boy, she added, "You're just happy that all of his little fingers and toes are there. And he's really handsome, I'll tell you that much. We've seen pictures!"
September 1, 2010: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson welcome their first child
The couple welcomed their first child together, a son named Axel Lee, in a home birth on Sept. 1, 2010.
"I went into labor at the Phillies/Dodgers game on Tuesday night," Olson told PEOPLE, joking, "As soon as Ryan Howard hit a three-run home run, we felt comfortable leaving to go have our baby. We love him like crazy, even though he made us miss the second half of the game."
As for his moniker, she told Spin that the inspiration came from one of her favorite movie characters. "We thought the name was cool, and then someone reminded me of Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop and I was on board," she said.
October 27, 2011: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson are expecting second child
The comedians announced that their family would be expanding in October 2011.
"We're having a boy! We're so happy that Axel gets to have a brother so close in age," the proud mom told PEOPLE, adding, "And that I get to add another set of balls to my very, very male world."
Olson added that she found out she was pregnant at her mom's birthday party, joking, "I was instantly so proud of this baby for already knowing how to make someone else's special day all about him."
April 5, 2012: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson welcome a second son
The proud parents welcomed their second son, Leo Grey, on April 5, 2012. Their new addition, who was also born at their L.A. home, weighed 8 lbs., 5 oz. and measured 20 inches long.
On Twitter, the new mom-of-two shared a photo of her newborn and noted that she went through "23 very, very long hours" of labor. "We're in love," she added.
January 13, 2015: Rob McElhenney says Kaitlin Olson is "a lioness" when it comes to their kids
The dad of two told Buzzfeed that his wife is "extremely protective" over their two children, calling her "a lioness" and adding, "I fear oftentimes for my life if I cross a line. I'm afraid she's going to snap my f— neck. The way a female lion might with her cubs."
McElhenney also shared the couple's ideal date night, telling the outlet, "A perfect night is coming home, having dinner, putting the kids to bed, and opening a bottle of wine and watching Game of Thrones."
February 14, 2017: Kaitlin Olson says she and Rob McElhenney have never celebrated Valentine's Day
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the Unsupervised star revealed that the pair nixed the romantic holiday from their calendar almost immediately after they got together.
"My husband made it clear when we first started dating that there would be no Valentine's Day in our relationship," she explained, adding that they still find plenty of time to express their love. "He laid down the law [and said] 'For the record, we can tell each other we love each other year round but I won't be doing Valentine's Day."
It seems in recent years he's eased up on his stance, as he wished his wife a "Happy Valentines Day my love" in February 2021 on Instagram.
August 18, 2019: Rob McElhenney says he is "lost without" Kaitlin Olson
In a heartfelt Instagram tribute for his wife's 44th birthday, McElhenney opened up about his appreciation of and love for Olson. "Every day you teach me about kindness, patience, forgiveness and inconceivable resilience," he captioned a pair of photos of Olson — one professional shot and one selfie.
McElhenney added that the pair's relationship couldn't be reduced to the #CoupleGoals you see on social media — rather, it was more "miserable and joyous" than that.
"Instagram relationships seem to be perfect. We don't have one of those. It's messy and hard and wonderful and boring and sweet and exciting and miserable and joyous," he said, adding, "I don't know much but I know this ... I am lost without you."
May 2020: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson give a tour of their L.A. home
The couple gave a sneak peek inside their L.A. home in the 2020 summer issue of Traditional Home, revealing how they built it from scratch with the help of designer Kishani Perera and architect Steve Giannetti.
"In building this house, we wanted to create spaces that would encourage our boys and their friends to want to hang out here," Olson told the outlet.
The design focuses on an open floor plan, seamlessly transitioning from indoor to outdoor living spaces. The home's floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors keep the home light and airy — plus they allow Olson to keep tabs on her kids. "I need to keep an eye on my kids," she said, adding, "Forever."
August 18, 2020: Rob McElhenney shares a playful birthday tribute to Kaitlin Olson
To mark her 45th birthday, McElhenney shared two back-to-back sultry shots of his wife on Instagram in August 2020, including a bikini-clad beach shot. "Look at this smoke show on her 45th birthday. I mean goddamn. I married a killer," he wrote alongside the photo. He captioned another glamorous headshot, "Whoa. This woman married ME? She's the funniest person on Earth. AND the best Mom. She could mate with anyone she wanted." He joked, "She's clearly got low self esteem."
August 10, 2022: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson appear together on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The pair filled in for host Jimmy Kimmel on his eponymous talk show in August 2022, with McElhenney stepping in as host and Olson as a guest star. During the episode, they joked around with each other, with McElhenney saying at one point, "How did this become a roast? This is a very clear glimpse into what our household is like."
In a more tender exchange, he spoke candidly about the "ups and downs" of the couple's longtime love. "Being in a relationship is very difficult. We've had our ups and downs, we've been married for, coming up on 14 years this September," he began. "And I can tell you that I love you more now than I did 14 years ago. And that for as hard as it is sometimes, just like in any relationship, I will keep showing up and doing my best, because I love you so much."
August 18, 2022: Rob McElhenney calls Kaitlin Olson a "perfect specimen"
In yet another hilarious and heartfelt Instagram post celebrating his wife's birthday, McElhenney shared a throwback shot of her with a rather buoyant updo from the '80s. "I love this woman more than she loved her Aqua-net in 1988," he wrote alongside the photo. "Happy birthday you awkward ass beautiful perfect specimen."
January 24, 2023: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson reflect on the early days of their relationship
McElhenney had his wife on his podcast, The Always Sunny Podcast, as a guest in January 2023, and the couple looked back on the beginning of their relationship.
During the episode, Olson shared that she "didn't really think twice" about McElhenney while auditioning for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but explained that she began to fall for him after seeing how he worked.
"He was just so good at his job, but also very kind and funny," she said of McElhenney. "He just knew what he wanted and was very level-headed. He was just a very good boss."