• Wed, May 22 2013

What Your Favorite Modern Family Running Gag Says About Your Sense Of Humor

Modern Family Cast Photo WhiteEvery so often, a show comes along that has something in it for everyone. Modern Family is that show for all of us here in America. But today marks the end of an era. Today is the day that we have to bid farewell to our good friend, the fourth season of Modern Family.

This is especially eventful because there are so few TV shows —  and even fewer TV comedies —  that allow you to say “Sucks that this season of (insert awesome show name) is ending, huh?” to a random stranger and know that there’s a good chance that the stranger knows AND likes the show you’re talking about. So few TV comedies are able to bring together and maintain fans with such varied senses of humor. But Modern Family does that and then some.

In honor of the greatness that has, once again, withstood TV’s fall season without getting replaced by a nonsensical mid-season show, I propose that we look back on the running gags that have been keeping us gently chuckling and shaking our heads while fondly saying “Oh, Modern Family, you’re so silly.

But isn’t everything better with a little soul searching? Yes, Invisible Person That Always Asks Just The Right Question, I think so. Why don’t we dig deep and figure out why we clung so tightly to that one running joke that was, “like, way better than all the others”. You might feel like you want to call up your pal Miss Cleo and ask her what type of comedy you’re drawn to, but fear not because I’m here to relieve your anguish and figure that out for you.

*Cue A Whole New World background music.*

The Broken Step

The subtle disconnect in Phil’s voice when he trips on the step that’s been broken since the very first episode of the series. The “oh, somebody’s gotta fix that step!” The slight sound of an annoyed sigh made by the other characters as they decide that they’re tired of hearing that. The subtle comedy-lover probably fills with glee anytime the Dunphy family staircase is even remotely in frame because that means that there’s a chance of someone tripping on it before hurrying along. You like your jokes whispered from across the room to you and you kind of take pride in being the only one who catches the really awesome joke that was hidden away in a throwaway line. You definitely watch Arrested Development and you definitely feel superior to people who don’t.

Funny Movie That You Always Quote: Little Miss Sunshine

Your Guilty Pleasure Comedy that no one knows about: The 40 Year Old Virgin

Cam’s Shout-quealing

I want to call it shouting, I really do. But “shouting” feels too adult and not at all very-small-girl-child enough to describe Cam’s squeal. Cam is notoriously panicky and makes his anxiety known through his screech. If you love the physical, slapstick, in-your-face type of comedy, Cam’s scream was put into this show just for you. Like, it’s almost a guarantee that you secretly love Jim Carrey movies,  so don’t even try to deny it. Also, there’s a good chance you’ll pay to see Hangover III this weekend.

Funny Movie That You Always Quote: Step Brothers 

Your Guilty Pleasure Comedy that no one knows about: Any of the American Pie movies

Clive Bixby

Every year on Phil’s and Claire’s anniversary, Clive Bixby emerges from underneath the bar at that fancy hotel where they always meet after a year-long hibernation, ready to sweet-talk the panties off of his wife. And literally, every single time, their attempts at role playing go horribly and hilariously wrong. If you’ve got a soft spot for Clive and Julianne (that’s Claire’s alter-ego), then you like humor that you can see coming. Like the sinister soundtrack that plays in a movie right before a murder, the sight of Clive Bixby promises some funny stuff is about to happen and you love it. No suspense needed to make you giggle.

Funny Movie That You Always Quote: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Your Guilty Pleasure Comedy that no one knows about: The Change-Up

Gloria’s Terrible English

Is Gloria’s inability to speak proper English the thing that makes her funny? That depends on who you ask. Throughout the series, Gloria’s mispronunciations have been the cause of so much confusion and we all know what happens when TV characters are confused. Funny happens, that’s what. If you love Gloria’s Spanglish, you probably love sarcastic jokes and/or jokes at other’s expense. This isn’t always a bad thing, though. Remember, Chandler was everyone’s favorite character on Friends!

Funny Movie That You Always Quote: Horrible Bosses

Your Guilty Pleasure Comedy that no one knows about: Father of the Bride 2

Phil’s Obsession With Gloria

Although he’s married, I know for a fact that Phil would choose Gloria in one of those “hypothetically speaking, who would you hook up with if there were no consequences!” games that people play with their friends for some reason. Over the seasons, I think that everyone has noticed Phil’s attraction to the alluring Gloria and it’s always brought up when the two interact. If you laugh the hardest during these often awkward encounters often filled with misunderstandings, you like deadpan humor the most. It isn’t ever silly or in your face and the funniest part is usually the fact that you know that Phil is as nervous as a teenager in a sex museum with his parents.

Funny Movie That You Always Quote: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Your Guilty Pleasure Comedy that no one knows about: Bruce Almighty

(Photos: IMDB)

You can reach this post's author, Olivia Wilson, on twitter.
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