Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney's 2 Kids: All About Axel and Leo

The 'It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia' costars share two sons

<p>Kaitlin Olson Instagram</p> Rob McElhenny and Kaitlin Olson with their kids Axel and Leo.

Kaitlin Olson Instagram

Rob McElhenny and Kaitlin Olson with their kids Axel and Leo.

Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney couldn’t be further from their unfiltered and crude characters on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia when it comes to parenting their kids, Axel and Leo.

The costars, who met on the FX show in 2005 and married in 2008, welcomed their first son, Axel, in 2010. Their second son, Leo, joined the family in 2012.

“Our philosophy is to raise our child in safety, confidence and happiness; to teach him that the world is a good place, rather than a scary place,” Olson told Healthy Mom & Baby right before the birth of Axel.

Related: Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson's Relationship Timeline

McElhenney shared that he and his wife also turn to their support system — which includes costars Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman — for guidance and parenting advice.

“They raised their children in very specific circumstances and they raised three kids who could not be better human beings: kind, respectful, driven, courteous. We defer to them,” he told Fatherly in 2020.

Axel and Leo have spent part of their childhoods visiting their parents on various sets, including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The Mick, which Olson starred in and produced.

“My kids are one hundred percent my priority, so I don’t take things that will take me away from them too much,” Olson told reporters during a press junket for Finding Dory in 2016. “I always want to be there for bedtime."

Here's everything to know about Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney’s kids: Axel and Leo.

Axel Lee McElhenney, 13

<p>Kaitlin Olson Instagram</p> Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney's son Axel Lee McElhenney.

Kaitlin Olson Instagram

Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney's son Axel Lee McElhenney.

After Olson famously went into labor at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, she and McElhenney welcomed their first child, Axel Lee McElhenney, at their home on Sept. 1, 2010.

"As soon as Ryan Howard hit a 3 run home run, we felt comfortable leaving to go have our baby," the actress told PEOPLE. "We love him like crazy, even though he made us miss the second half of the game."

Olson opened up to Spin in 2011 about how the pair landed on their firstborn’s moniker. “We thought the name was cool, and then someone reminded me of Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop and I was on board," she revealed.

The actress’ pregnancy was written into the sixth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, when her character, Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds, became pregnant. "Ultimately we realized we were never going to be able to hide it, realistically," McElhenney told TVGuide.com of the decision to script the pregnancy.

"Being able to write it into the show and document it has been really awesome," Olson added. "It just happened to work out perfectly where I was shooting during my second trimester and I felt really good."

<p>Kaitlin Olson Instagram</p> Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney with their kids Axel and Leo.

Kaitlin Olson Instagram

Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney with their kids Axel and Leo.

The proud parents continued to incorporate their son into the show after he was born — having Axel play Dee’s baby throughout the season — and even developed a special episode for him in season 8 in honor of one of his favorite things.

“Axel’s obsessed with trash trucks,” McElhenney told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2012 about creating an episode centered around a Philly garbage strike. “Specifically so we could have a trash truck on set and he could spend at least three or four hours with it."

In addition to being an integral part of his parents’ show, Axel has attended Dodgers games with his dad and played pranks on his mom. While talking with host Conan O’Brien in 2017, Olson opened up about how her sons teamed up on her while McElhenney was out of town.

“I got a glass of wine, turned the lights down, I was just like, in heaven. And maybe 20-30 minutes goes by, and all of a sudden I feel a finger on the back of my neck," she recounted.

The actress continued, "I’m alone in the house, I freaked out and turned around and Axel’s standing there and he goes, ‘I’ve been watching you the whole time.' "

All jokes aside, in honor of his 12th birthday in 2022, Olson honored her elder child with a heartfelt post, sharing a throwback photo.

“Happy birthday to my big boy. You’re twice this age now and twice this big…and I love you six hundred times more,” she wrote on Instagram.

Leo Grey McElhenney, 12

<p>Kaitlin Olson Instagram</p> Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney's son Leo Grey McElhenney.

Kaitlin Olson Instagram

Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney's son Leo Grey McElhenney.

McElhenney and Olson welcomed their younger son, Leo Grey McElhenney, on April 5, 2012.

"Leo Grey McElhenney..born April 5th after 23 very very long hours. We're in love," she wrote on X (formerly Twitter), alongside an image of the newborn sleeping peacefully.

The couple had announced they were expecting their second child the year prior.

"We're having a boy! We're so happy that Axel gets to have a brother so close in age," Olson told PEOPLE in 2011. "We found out I was pregnant during my mom's birthday weekend in Ojai. I was instantly so proud of this baby for already knowing how to make someone else's special day all about him.”

McElhenney and Olson chose to delay filming It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia after he was born to soak up the newborn days.

<p>Kaitlin Olson Instagram</p> Rob McElhenny and his kids Axel and Leo.

Kaitlin Olson Instagram

Rob McElhenny and his kids Axel and Leo.

“We still wanted to have enough time that we could both spend not sleeping and being up three, four times a night,” McElhenney told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “And being able to focus on him and not being worried about anything else.”

Once his parents returned to set, Leo joined them and later made a cameo in the 2023 episode "Risk E. Rat's Pizza & Amusement Center."

Leo is also involved with the soccer team Wrexham A.F.C., which his dad co-owns with Ryan Reynolds. While speaking with PEOPLE in 2023, Olson shared that she and her children are equally as excited as McElhenney about his Welsh sporting endeavor.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a crazier fan than him but our whole family is very crazy about it,” she said. "We love it. We love the players."

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