This isn’t about which character is better, they’re both great and undoubtedly have found themselves forever ingrained in pop-culture lore. Both shows are in my top 5 of all time for sitcoms, and they both are ones you’ll have no problem binge watching when you’ve got nothing better to do. This is strictly about who would win in a fight, if for some reason it ever came down to it. In my head it would probably be because Dwight thinks Charlie is stalking Angela, but in reality he is just obsessed with her cats. Classic mix-up gone awry.
Getting into the character aspects, Dwight is the one who thinks of himself as a bad ass, while Charlie is more street tough with a high pain tolerance, made clear by Mac and Dennis in the episode Hundred Dollar Baby.
Dwight’s skill set is that he is trained in the art of Karate, even allowing his coworkers to see him receive his black belt in a ceremony held in the office. I have questions about the legitimacy of that belt though, due to some prior Dwight moments we saw in regard to his karate training, and also my lack of knowledge on actual karate. First, is there levels to Karate training? Are all black belts throughout considered on the same level due to having that color belt? I feel like it should be yes, and that’s the point of the belt system, but then lets also take into consideration here who was training him. It wasn’t Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid, it was some dude named Ira and then eventually he got his black belt from Sensei Billy in the final season. Not for nothing, but I think even Danny in Karate Kid could take Dwight easily just because he had a superior mentor teaching him. So how legit his belt and training he got from the combination of Ira and Billy is suspect. These two seem like they just happened to know karate and were able to open their own dojo in a strip mall for low rent in Scranton, PA. Dwight was also training with children at first, so the level of competition he faced was definitely not at the highest level. Also, who knows what caused him to switch from Ira to Billy, maybe Ira got divorced and couldn’t afford rent anymore due to alimony payments or something like that. Normal white guy living in Scranton, PA problems.
The few times we do see Dwight throw down have mixed results. In the episode we first hear about his karate training, he lands a pretty solid gut punch to Michael that leaves Michael gasping for air and looking for any sign of his dignity. Of course Michael chalks this up to a cheap shot and challenges Dwight in the Dojo. Michael wins this, after a pretty pathetic showing by both of them, but we’re left thinking neither has much actual fighting capabilities.
Then there’s the time Roy tries to go after Jim, and Dwight steps up and sprays him in the face with mace. This isn’t an actual showing of his strength, but does give us insight into his courage and fearlessness. Dwight has also made it clear he doesn’t have much sympathy, especially in regards to animals. Living on a beet farm his entire life, he has had to slaughter numerous animals, and shows no remorse. He also tries to maintain a superior aura about himself, to perhaps intimidate others, like never smiling, because showing teeth is a sign of weakness and a submission signal of primates.
Dwight also has a large arsenal of weapons at his disposal that we see throughout the series. In addition to the pepper spray he used on Roy, he has nunchuks, throwing stars, a stun gun, boomerangs, swords, and multiple guns, like a rifle and the one he accidentally fires in the office, or the two he has on his arms at all times. He also has a knife strapped to his ankle, and I assume if he were to get into a fight with Charlie, he’d have it on him at the time.
Charlies resume is much different than Dwights, though I don’t think that hinders his chances if these two came to blows. Obviously in Hundred Dollar Baby we see him training for an underground fight club and learn he has an extremely high pain tolerance. Whether this is an actual attribute of his or due to his extreme substance abuse, it doesn’t matter. We will assume that if the two were to fight, Charlie would be a perfect combination of drunk and high off sniffing paint and eating catnip.
Charlie has also been abused his entire life, which has only helped toughen him up. Who knows how intense those wrestling matches he had as a child (and probably an adult) with his Uncle Jack were. The possibilities are endless about what wrestling moves he learned. Not to mention the psychological damage he has sustained probably would stop him from feeling any sympathy towards his opponent.
Charlie also will fight dirty and resort to things to throw Dwight off his game, such as spitting on him, repeatedly. He’s been a victim of the Nightman and one has to think he came out stronger from it. He’s showed he’s not afraid of much and is willing to play with fire if need be, or cut the brake line in someone’s car. You can never count out a Wild Card in a fight, and Charlie is the ultimate Wild Card.
Charlie has also produced the training supplement Fight Milk, which has been used by UFC fighters. Assuming he drinks some himself before the fight, he may be unstoppable. His pain tolerance allows him to pull his own teeth out at his disposal, which would be a challenge to anyone trying to take him down.
The two are equal in one thing, which would be their ability to survive in the wild. Charlie can sleep anywhere, such as the crevice or a dumpster. Dwight made it clear that he can survive in the woods when he took Michael out to them, and even saved Michael from eating potentially poisonous mushrooms. Both are well versed in scouring through the dump, Dwight finding awesome beanbag chairs for (just) him and Michael to use, and Charlie finding multiple coats to protect his first coats, and also Alibaba swords.
In the end, Dwight will put up a fight, but even his knife wouldn’t be enough to stop Charlie, as we’ve seen him be stabbed by the McPoyle brothers and walk away. Once Dwight even steps up to him, Charlie will threaten to smash his face into a jelly and then let loose. All his pent up rage will be let out on Dwight, who though he does know how to fight, has trouble with childlike tantrums that involve physical aggression, which is how Michael beat him. Dwight is a patriotic American, but Charlie will go America all over his ass and Dwight will be slightly outmatched. Charlies Philly street smarts and toughness will outmatch anything learned in the Electric City of Scranton, PA. I think we’d all win in the end though if we ever got to watch these two go at it.