On the tail end of a wildly successful 11-season run, Modern Family reached its highly anticipated conclusion this year with a mostly satisfactory series finale. By taking the mockumentary style of The Office and Parks and Rec out of the workplace and into a domestic setting, Modern Family managed to pull off an entirely new kind of family sitcom.
Not every single one of Modern Family’s 250 episodes is a stone-cold classic, but that would be a pretty tall order. However, the series does have a few standout installments. Here are 10 episodes of Modern Family that’ll never get old.
- 1 10 Yard Sale (Season 4, Episode 6)
- 2 9 Disneyland (Season 3, Episode 22)
- 3 8 Caught In The Act (Season 2, Episode 13)
- 4 7 Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)
- 5 6 Las Vegas (Season 5, Episode 18)
- 6 5 A Year Of Birthdays (Season 10, Episode 22)
- 7 4 Arrested (Season 4, Episode 7)
- 8 3 Little Bo Bleep (Season 3, Episode 13)
- 9 2 Moon Landing (Season 1, Episode 14)
- 10 1 The Wedding (Season 5, Episodes 23/24)
10 Yard Sale (Season 4, Episode 6)
In order to raise money for charity (but really to land their class a pizza party), Luke and Manny organize a yard sale on Jay’s driveway, much to the curmudgeonly Pritchett patriarch’s dismay.
Every character gets a chance to shine here, from Phil getting stuck under a motorcycle to Gloria reciting her old ventriloquist act from a Colombian beauty pageant.
9 Disneyland (Season 3, Episode 22)
Maybe the Dunphy-Pritchett-Tucker clan only went to Disneyland to promote the theme park arm of the network’s parent company, but as far as commercials disguised as TV episodes go, Modern Family’s “Disneyland” is pretty great.
Each character has a few terrific moments, from Phil struggling to keep up with Luke on the roller coasters to Jay explaining that Disneyland’s animatronic presidents inspired him to stay with DeDe for his kids’ sake.
8 Caught In The Act (Season 2, Episode 13)
Season 2’s “Caught in the Act” starts out innocently enough, as Haley, Alex, and Luke make their parents breakfast in bed to celebrate their anniversary.
Unfortunately, when they get up to Phil and Claire’s room, they walk in on them having sex. All the Dunphy kids react hilariously to the situation.
7 Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)
The characters of Modern Family arrived surprisingly fully formed in the pilot episode. The show saved the revelation that the three families at the heart of the story are all from the same big family until the end of the episode, when Mitch and Cam introduced a newly adopted Lily to their loved ones.
From Phil embarrassing the kids with his rendition of High School Musical to Jay being mistaken for a mall walker, “Pilot” is filled with classic moments.
6 Las Vegas (Season 5, Episode 18)
After fitting a luxury Vegas hotel with new closets, Jay and his family are treated to complementary rooms. This is one of the few episodes to only feature the adult cast members.
It’s a classic farce, as characters drop in and out of each other’s storylines, leading to increasingly hysterical mix-ups and misunderstandings.
5 A Year Of Birthdays (Season 10, Episode 22)
Although the overall quality of Modern Family has dipped in recent years, the show’s season finales can always be counted on for a healthy balance of laugh-out-loud moments and emotional catharsis.
Season 10’s “A Year of Birthdays” is a prime example, as it takes us through a year in the characters’ lives, stopping at each of their birthdays along the way, culminating in the heartwarming arrival of Haley’s twins.
4 Arrested (Season 4, Episode 7)
During Haley’s brief stint at college, she gets arrested after accidentally falling on a cop on her way out of a booze-soaked party. Phil and Claire have some of their finest parenting moments in this episode.
They bring in Mitchell to represent Haley, although his legal services turn out to be unnecessary, which leads to some great humbling character moments. And props to Sarah Hyland for continually humanizing a character who could’ve easily been clichéd and one-dimensional.
3 Little Bo Bleep (Season 3, Episode 13)
Children swearing will always be funny. Mining an ironclad comic premise for laughs could be considered lazy, but if it works, it works. In “Little Bo Bleep,” Lily accidentally drops an F-bomb and continues to drop them when she realizes it makes her dad laugh.
Mitch is desperate to clean up Lily’s language in time for her gig as the flower girl at a wedding, but when she swears at the ceremony, to Mitch’s relief, everyone finds it hilarious.
2 Moon Landing (Season 1, Episode 14)
The first time that Modern Family addressed Jay’s homophobia and began his journey toward acceptance was in season 1’s “Moon Landing,” in which Jay and Cam go to the gym to play racquetball and accidentally touch butts in the locker room.
At first, Jay is extremely uncomfortable about his first “moon landing,” which is the name Cam has given such a mix-up, but by the end, he’s so comfortable with it that he does a couple more for good luck — although it’s on the wrong man.
1 The Wedding (Season 5, Episodes 23/24)
Same-sex marriage was legalized across the U.S. between the fourth and fifth seasons of Modern Family, so in the season 5 premiere, Mitch and Cam got engaged. Throughout the season, they planned their wedding, and in the season finale, they finally got hitched.
The ceremony is marred by setbacks for two whole episodes before culminating in Jay walking his son down the aisle for an irresistibly sweet conclusion.
NEXT: Parks And Recreation: 10 Episodes That’ll Never Get Old
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About The Author
Ben Sherlock is a writer, filmmaker, and comedian. In addition to writing for Screen Rant and CBR, covering a wide range of topics from Spider-Man to Scorsese, Ben directs independent films and takes to the stage with his standup material. He’s currently in pre-production on his feature directorial debut (and has been for a while, because filmmaking is expensive). Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema and BabbleTop.
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