10 Jokes That Are In Every Modern Family Episode

Claire Dunphy sorry I tried to care GIF(via)

I don’t know if you’ve been keeping track, but Modern Family has its fifth season finale tonight. Fifth! That’s five seasons — how did I lose track of that? I knew it had been on for a while, but I guess it all just blended into one long season in my brain.

Probably because that’s one of the things the show is really good at — making it so you can jump in anywhere. No matter how long it’s been since you saw your last episode, you can tune in while you’re doing the dishes and chime right in as a one-person laugh track just in time for the next joke. Why? Because you saw something pretty similar the last time you watched, whenever that was, and pretty much nothing in the plot has changed since then.

Think about it! Over five years later, everyone is pretty much exactly where they started , with the addition of a baby or two. We’re seeing the second half of Mitchell and Cam’s wedding tonight, so that’s something, but pretty much everything else is just where we left it on day one, including the running gags.

I’m not super into that style myself, but before I throw shade at the formula, I’ll point out that it makes the show ideal for syndication. It’s almost better suited even than a show like Friends because it doesn’t have all those pesky plot points to deal with; just the same familiar characters making the same ten familiar jokes in every twenty-two minute episode.

Don’t believe me? Check it out.

1. Cam or Mitchell tells a lie.

Cam Tucker Modern Family GIF are you happy(via)

Or sometimes it’s just keeping a secret, but either way, it will involve elaborate plots to one-up each other and prove the other one wrong, ending with each effusively promising the other that they’ve never lied before and they never will again. Until next week.

2. Haley does something stupid.

Haley Dunphy what is that shirt GIF Modern Family(via)

Remember that one time when they sent Haley to community college? That lasted, what, like five minutes? And then all of a sudden she was kicked out and back home again, and they never sent her back ever again amen. Because with Haley and her crippling ignorance gone, who would balance out Alex??

3. Manny is a little old man.

Manny Delgado self-potty-trained GIF Modern Family(via)

See also: Manny has an espresso. Manny has a top hat. Manny has a cane. Manny is independently wealthy. Manny writes poetry. Manny wears a monocle. Manny makes a romantic gesture. All in the same category.

4. Alex dies alone.

Alex dunphy hope to have so more friends Modern Family GIF(via)

What’s funny about Alex is that she’s too smart for her own good, and growing up in a world that doesn’t value intelligence! HAHAHA.

5. Phil doesn’t deserve Claire.

Claire and Phil Dunphy I am going to kill you GIF(via)

…because he’s way too dopey. But then halfway through the episode, we find out that he does deserve her! And actually she doesn’t deserve him, because she’s so stressed and ruthless all the time! Spoiler alert: they deserve each other the perfect amount, but we won’t find that out until right at the end when Phil tears up.

6. What are the words coming out of Gloria’s mouth?

Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in Modern Family you put egg on my house, I kill what you love GIF(via)

Honestly, I know we’ve lived with her as a member of our family for literal years at this point, but WHAT IS THIS FOREIGN BITCH SAYING. She makes English words sound so. so. so. funny — and she’s always so angry at Jay! What a crazy Latina!


Manny Delgado stroking fake beard Modern Family GIF(via)

It seems like the writers’ biggest fascination right now is with the fact that Luke and Manny are actively moving through their awkward stage while still on the show. Anything puberty-themed you can think of, it’s either already been done or being written into the script at this very moment.

8. Jay is old.

I knew it Modern Family GIF(via)

He will likely die soon, while we all laugh.

9. Phil wants to motorboat Gloria.

Phil Dunphy thumbs up Modern Family GIF(via)

I don’t think Phil truly wants to cheat on Claire with Gloria or for Gloria to cheat on Jay with him, he’s just mesmerized by a crush. At least once an episode there’s a moment where he falls out of time and space because her breasts have traveled near his immediate vicinity.

10. Luke averts death.

Luke Dunphy toss a grenade and run away GIF Modern Family(via)

Like killing off Kenny in South Parkit hasn’t been an episode of Modern Family until Luke has wandered too close to a blade, fallen off a high place, or been nearly crushed by something heavy. Boys will be boys!

11. Lily is a nightmare.

Lily Pritchett are we poor GIF Modern Family(via)

That’s a bonus one, just for me, because I doubt anyone will agree with my take on it, but honestly, she ruins everything.

Share This Post:
    • Jenni

      I find Lily to be insufferable.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Same. But she was perfect as a baby.

      • Jenni

        Bring that actress back! She was amazing.

      • Kate

        Thirded. Lily makes me want to never have children if I’m being completely honest

      • Jenni

        If you sent her to high schools across America, I guarantee teen pregnancy would no longer be a thing.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Hahaha, I know that about you.

      • Jenni

        Way to make everyone who doesn’t sit next to me all day, every day feel very excluded.

    • Olivia Wilson

      I can’t believe you’ve summed up hours upon hours of footage with like a paragraph, in number 5. You have a special gift.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Thank youuuuu!

    • TJ

      I knew there was a reason I got bored with this show in Season 2… Well said!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Thanks! Glad you enjoyed!

    • capoupascap

      I feel like I’m supposed to find Lily adorable but I just hope my son never acts like her
      Also I’m a terrible person because I want to slap her all the time even though she’s a child. Why do Mitch and Cam let her act like that/encourage it ugh. My hate is out of control but she’s the worst.

      • Kate

        I TOTALLY AGREE! It actually does make me like Cam/Mitch slightly less because I can’t stand that they let her be such an unbearable diva

      • capoupascap

        Exactly! They just laugh it off, let it slide…..imagine her being a teenager? Regina George all the way.

      • Katie

        My boyfriend literally just yells “shut up Lily!” every time she is on the screen, whether she talks or not. And then the scene ends and he pouts “Ugh, I hate her”. It seems irrational, but I GET IT.

    • MegzWray

      Lily is the WORST! I have a toddler and there is no way in EFFFING hell she would act like that.

      On the flip side though, I love Manny and just image him as a future Cam whenever he’s being pretentious. Makes it even funnier.

    • Penelope

      What bothers me the most is that the child is a terrible actress. Every line she says is like the worst. No delivery whatsoever.

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