21 Most Relatable Moments On ‘Modern Family’

Ah, the Pritchetts. Traditional with a twist. ‘Modern’ but sometimes incredibly stuck in the ways of their upbringings. They’re TV’s funniest family that makes us say, “who does that?!” while silently thinking that maybe, we do. This is because they’re so relatable, and they help each other remember to see the silver lining in nearly everything. Over the years viewers have watched their kiddos grow up, the parental figures age, and have witnessed all the tribulations that happen along the way. To say that the upcoming ending of the show is going to be bittersweet is an understatement. We’re going to miss those wild adventures!

Here’s a look back on the moments that made us chuckle and feel like all families definitely have some things in common. After all, we’re all dealing with the meshing of different personalities and the day to day struggle of work/life balance. Though we’re not all lawyers like Mitchell, we know the struggle of finding a job with meaning in our fields. We’re definitely not as slap dash as Claire, but so many of us know the challenges of trying to live up to the greatness set as standard by our fathers. Here’s to the Pritchettts. Long may the reruns reign!

Good cop…confused cop?

Alright, so this is pretty much classic Phil. And, sometimes, this is all of us. It’s hard to agree on discipline with a spouse, especially if two people people were raised quite differently. Claire here is the disciplinarian and the one who clearly feels like the arguing needs to be at an end. Seriously, how many of us parents have thought, “I just need two minutes of peace! Just two!” Phil, on the other hand, wants to be seen as open and empathetic to his daughters’ privacy plight. The best moment is Luke attempting to take off his pants to make everything equal.

Straight Dolphins

Education has changed. A lot. And this is coming from a millennial whose oldest kid is a kindergartner. I can’t imagine how the world has spun away from the norms that Jay grew up with. His unexpected youngest son goes to a California, free range, kindness curriculum based preschool. Jay, on the other hand, still struggles with the idea of looking like Gloria’s dad and Joe’s grandpa so many years after his three children from his first marriage were grown. You can see all this when Joe mentions a snow “person” and Jay has a very Jay-like response. Gloria knows what’s up though.

Two Crickets

If you have close friends, you’ve probably made dumb bets with them. That’s pretty much the entire premise of shows like The League and Impractical Jokers. In this clip, Phil and his buddy are the dumb betters. What they bet on is truly dumb and truly irritating to their wives. Yet, the gig isn’t up (which could be Phil’s tagline). Phil’s buddy is played perfectly by comedian Keegan-Michael Key, and the back and forth is so believable that we feel for Claire. Whatever special spice she can come up with, we think it’s probably hilarious and duly justified. We just wonder if you can buy the ethics off a personal chef, for the other woman.

Answer’s still no

We’re all constantly finding out new, unexpected things about the people in our lives. This is arguably the best and worst thing about human connections. Can you ever really know someone? How do you balance being predictable and being exciting? Cam sees both when he hangs out with Phil on a day the latter has decided he needs to reassert himself. Cam has to face the question- is this ego version of Phil sexy, or at least sexier than the much tamer id controlled model Cam is used to? At the end, the answer to both questions is a firm no. He’s just Phil, and Cam definitely belongs with Mitchell.

Years Away

For one of the first times in her life, Haley realizes you, “don’t have to rush into being adults.” In the next second, her life changes forever. While we’ve probably never found out about a life altering event due to a bumper car incident (although if you have, we totally want to hear about it), we can relate to that sudden heartbeat skipping moment when news hit us in an expected way. You can tell that when Haley looks at Dylan, she knows how big of a change this will bring. Her shock is there, as is her hesitation to do this with that specific person at her side. Haley is no longer a teenager anymore, but it’s clear she doesn’t feel prepared for this next step.

Learn to live on crumbs

Claire and Gloria’s relationship hasn’t always been an easy one. And why should it? Gloria is a beautiful woman barely older than Claire, married to Claire’s wealthy father. If we deceive ourselves into thinking any of us would be okay with that right off the bat, we’re not being honest. Yet, as the seasons have gone on we’ve gotten to see the relationship deepen, and it’s been both hilarious and cringe worthy at times. This scene is one of the best. Each woman gives the other one advice and a pick me up she needs and does it in a way only she can. We love nothing more than a struggling mom who reaches out with her own version of, “These kids are driving me nuts, and I need you to tell me I’m not terrible at this!”

Work on that

Cam loves, and does everything else really, in a way that’s all in. This can lead to his moments of being a touch extra. His clown persona comes to mind, as does his messy cooking. Mitchell, on the other hand, seems so put together and organized. It’s easy to see how they make a great team in dealing with the world at large and as easy to see why Lily might at first form a special bond with Cam. There are aspects of his personality that are almost childlike with enthusiasm and open caring. In this clip, we see just how bonded little Lily and Cam are. Is it weird? Maybe. Are we probably guilty of it in one way or another with our own kids. For sure.

Work Triumph

A music teacher and a lawyer. It sounds like a rom-com where two characters are made to see life from someone else’s opposing perspective. One job is all brain, scheming strategy for a courtroom or contested legal document. The other job is all heart, working with kids to teach them one of the dying-in-public-schools arts. But, instead, this is Cam and Mitchell’s life. We as an audience are allowed to see it’s funny, but the struggle is real. This is expecially so for Cam, who isn’t as on board with leaving Lily. When Lily reacts in a pretty typical kid way, Cam is overwhelmed.

Stop Crying!

So, if you’re a parent and not guilty of this one you’re a saint. While we may try really, really hard to use only appropriate language and our best teacher voice with our kids, sometimes foul words just slip out. The first time we hear our little ones use an adult word can be shocking…and hilarious. Laughing at it only teaches them one thing- that swearing brings joy to big people (and we’re not contesting that now, are we?). Lily learned this and wanted to cheer up her daddy in front of a crowd of wedding guests. Oops! The word may not have been exactly scholarly, but her heart was in the right place.

Don’t feel like you got to stick around

This clip should count for at least three entries on this list. Why?  Because the relatable moments are so many. First, there’s Gloria doing everything she can to make sure Manny doesn’t have to share his birthday. Parents with multiple kids know this challenge. Sometimes the oldest, the most independent in the world, ends up sharing more than a parent would maybe want them to. Sharing possessions, yes, but also sharing responsibility and time that would be better as one-on-one time. Then, there’s Jay telling Gloria that he’s never had more fun with her. While most women wouldn’t describe the delivery suite as “fun” we know what he means, and we know silly endearments like that matter when a baby’s about to be born. Finally and best of all, at the very end, Jay tells his family not to feel as though they have to stay at the hospital. Anyone with a big, loud, involved family knows the feeling. A hospital room is very small. A noisy family can feel very needy. New parents need some space. If only we all had Jay’s gumption to just say that.

Some Rivalry

Gloria and her sister, who she refers to as ‘la diabla’, have had an interesting relationship. While both are beautiful, they are obviously accustomed to very different lifestyles in their adulthood. Gloria once carried guilt that she took her sister’s place coming to America. Also, Gloria’s sister may have made a pass at Jay, one that ended in a knock down, drag out fight that Jay was rather proud of. In this clip, we see the feud hasn’t ended. Jay’s still trying to make peace, Manny’s both irritated and holding a grudge, and Joe gets an unexpected face full of water. Basically, it’s another day of parenting in Gloria’s world.

No binkie!

Once again, Gloria shows us that she has unexpected skills. While the rest of the family may see her as a surface level beauty and loud mouth mom, she’s so much more than that. In fact, Gloria’s a crack shot. No one knows how she stepped in to help the rather goofy men of her clan, and she’s just fine with that. Add sharp shooting to her list of skills like hot sauce making, ventriloquism, and cosmetology. She also refuses to give in, which can be both a good and bad thing. In this episode, it’s to her benefit since she doesn’t bow to little Joe’s demands and restart the pacifier separation process.

It’s really jammed

Claire and Phil decide to spend Valentine’s Day away from the kids and with an exciting twist. However, their sexy plans cause quite the cringe inducing commotion. Claire is eventually saved by Gloria, hinting at another of Phil’s quietly kept fantasies. What makes this scene so relatable is Claire’s utter embarrassment and her exasperation with Phil for not having any answers to the problem at hand. How many times have married folks looked at one another and thought, “Just fix the damn thing!” Whether this is rational or not in the moment doesn’t matter. Just fix it and let’s go!

We all have bad days

But we don’t all have them with the flamboyance of Phil Dunphy. It’s not enough that he doesn’t have the right underwear and that Claire still expects him to be helpful around the house. No, Phil has to fall out a window, get attacked by a squirrel, and break perfectly sturdy furniture. Claire’s detached acceptance of these facts is hilariously on point for so many moms out there. This pretty much sums up what dealing with a man cold feels like. Oh, you’re sick, just like everyone else in the house? No? Yours is THAT much worse? Sure, I’ll bring you some more Kleenex along with the other thousand things I have to do. No, of course I don’t mind dear.

Accept traditions change

Their family has grown up. Instead of the three kids constantly butting heads despite a house large enough to grant everyone privacy, Claire and Phil now have three young adults who don’t need their interventions much anymore. Therefore, the parents of the group have had to make some adjustments in their life together. For Season 9’s Halloween episode, this means Claire and Phil try to race a giant hallowed out pumpkin. They’re not very good at it, but it looks like they’re having a good time together. In fact, in the midst of their fun, each of the kids shows up. While these moments of having everyone together may be fleeting now, that just makes them all the sweeter.

That’s what you say to people who aren’t pretty

Circumstances have changed a great deal for Gloria since she came into Jay’s life. She’s no longer the struggling single mother with a small apartment on the bad side of town. Instead, she’s accomplished so much. She opened her business. Gloria got married and had another baby. She accepted two adult step children and all their emotional baggage concerning their mother. Gloria, however, feels that one additional thing has changed. She’s gained a bit of weight, and her dress doesn’t fit her anymore. Jay doesn’t see what the big deal is. What he says to her is the sweetest, most kind way of saying “get over it” we can imagine.

You’re going to have to push me

How many times have you wanted to do something terrifying but exhilarating but you just needed that one final push? Phil thought that’s where he was at. Apparently, it wasn’t. While Claire had no problem diving in and over the threshold of a different kind of life together, Phil obviously was still struggling. That’s okay. We get to places in our lives at our own speed. However, the problem therein lies when you don’t share exactly where you are with your spouse. That’ll leave one of you dry as a bone and the other dripping sea water. Example A- Phil and Claire.


Weddings should be a time of celebration. Should be. Yet, no matter how long a couple has been together and how stable the relationship, weddings and the bringing together of families tend to cause a pretty hefty amount of stress. When the wedding is one of the same sex variety and both sets of parents have had stumbles in adjusting to that fact, the normal stress is amplified. Enter Cam’s somewhat inaccurate wedding cake topper. Mitchell doesn’t say what he wants to, taking in both his promise not to use too many vetoes and Cam’s feelings about his dad. Like we’ve learned so many times from this show, keeping secrets never leads to anything good. Here Mitchell, maybe you should drink this to feel festive again.

Just the number

Who can you go to to ask for money? For Haley, it’s Luke. Although all the Dunphy siblings have bickered, these two seem to have the most relaxed grown up relationship of the set. Maybe it’s because they both have that same laid back, it’ll happen when it happens attitude. It could also be that Alex got all of the ambitious anxiety for the three of them. Anyway, this scene is relatable because so many of us have been that adrift young adult looking for a good job that matches our strengths and the teenager who feels like a baller because that first job actually pays more than allowance.

Don’t ask me about my business

While Cam may be a bit of a hoverer as a parent, Phil sometimes takes it to the next level. When he sees his kids struggling in their social lives and his business’ marketing being blocked, he takes things into his own hands. We know that Phil would never hurt anyone and never encourage his kids to, but this side of him may just be the one Cam felt had sexy potential. Claire has no idea what Phil has done to make sure that things shifted in their favor, and Phil likes it that way. In addition, kiddo Luke made a good goon for his father’s Godfather persona. While none of us probably take the protective parenting thing this far, we can’t say we don’t want to at times.

I’m sorry

We all have to say it, especially if we want to keep things on even footing with our partners. Why? Because no one, absolutely no one, is perfect. The Pritchett family is a great example of how and why we have to sometimes utter those words that’re so hard to say but fantastic to hear. “I’m sorry.” In the midst of the graduation drama, everyone’s hurt eachother’s feelings a bit. Yet, watching the boys graduate brings out all the proud, warm feelings of family and nostalgia. Holding onto grudges is no fun. The only one not moved is Phil, who’s already pretty much emotionally spent.

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