Modern Family's focus on the different types of families that exist within the Pritchett and Dunphy clans has received wide-spread acclaim. Its ten-season run has been very well received by the public due to the show's honest approach to family life. The variety of characters makes the show fresh and fun, and has allowed Modern Family to remain relevant despite its long run.
Whether fans are enjoying the interactions between Jay and Gloria, Phil and Claire, or Mitch and Cam, Modern Family has something for everyone. The show's focus on family, love, and everything in between has made for some hilarious experiences. Sometimes the age gap between Jay and Gloria serves up some great moments, as does Phil's silliness combined with Cameron's exuberance. The endless combinations of hilarity makes the show seem like it can continue on forever. Despite the reports that season ten would be the last, there have been new reports that an eleventh final season will be ordered.
If an eleventh season is on the books, then there are several things that the showrunners need to consider. While the show is highly rated, there are certainly aspects of it that do not make sense. The longer a show runs the more opportunity there is for error. Thankfully, Modern Family is one of the better long-running sitcoms, but it is not without its errors. Perhaps there is only one thing that needs to be asked in this situation - What Would Phil Dunphy Do?
Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Modern Family.
20 They Never Address “The Film Crew”
Since the first episode of Modern Family, the entire Pritchett and Dunphy clan have been shown sitting in their living rooms discussing their lives with an unseen person. It is almost as if they are being interviewed by someone analyzing their lives. The showrunners have even stated that they initially proposed that they family was being interviewed by a foreign film crew. Considering other shows like The Office have seen great success with this, it is a good formula for a show.
The only strange thing is that the family never addresses the film crew directly, even during very intimate moments. The crew often gets side-eyed looks from the family during funny situations, but the crew has never been seen. In fact, other than this they do not interact with the family members in any way.
19 Disappearing Lily
Cam and Mitch are adoring parents to their adopted child, Lily. Their devotion to helping her adjust to life in their family is very touching. However, there is one simple question that continues to pop up – where does Lily go all the time?
As a teenager gets older, it is normal for them to not hang out with their parents as often. However, Lily is often invisible for several episodes at a time without explanation. While she certainly has her own social life now that she is in high school, but her parents do not even address her whereabouts. She may still be present for most family functions, but do Cam and Mitch even know where she is most of the time?
18 Gloria’s Past
Before Gloria married Jay, she was living in Columbia and was married to Javier. During their marriage she gave birth to Manny before they got divorced and moved to America where she let Jay. This is what fans know for sure about her life before becoming a Pritchett. The rest is a jumble of crazy stories, potential felonies, and plenty of violence.
When Gloria mentions a story about her time in Columbia, it is usually followed by a crazy anecdote. Whether it is about how her family used to do something crazy to get by or even a crime that she committed, Gloria is upfront out about her past. However, it is difficult to know if she is embellishing or not. Considering that she even mentions taking lives at some points, fans are right to treat her stories with skepticism.
17 Mitchell Had To Come Out Repeatedly To Jay
Saying that Jay Pritchett has difficultly expressing his emotions would be a big understatement. In fact, he regularly struggles with expressing the simplest of emotions. So, when his only son dropped the bombshell about his orientation on him as a teenager, he certainly had difficulty with it. However, it may have been even harder for Mitchell.
Due to his father’s inability to process emotions, he had to come out to Jay multiple times. While it is possible that due to Jay’s own prejudice that he was actively trying to ignore it, it does seem strange that he would forget. Considering that Jay was a very successful businessman, he should have much better memory, even if he does not like the news.
16 Claire Never Fixed The Step Herself
Phil Dunphy’s carefree attitude makes him easily distracted, which means that he often forgets about things that he has been asked to do. The most obvious example of this is the infamous step in the Dunphy house that makes everyone trip. Phil has famously stated many times that he “needs to fix that step” but took a very long time. On the other hand, Claire Dunphy is a very take-charge type of woman who does not have any issues solving problems herself.
Since Claire is not the type to wait for others to take care of things for her, why would she not fix the step on her own? Phil certainly has some great qualities, but this must be one that frustrates Claire to no end. It is surprising that she has not taken matters into her own hands.
15 No One Calls Joe By His Real Name
Little Joe Pritchett has been a great addition to Modern Family. Watching Jay and Gloria manage through raising a child together has led to some hilarious moments, in no small part due to the young child actor himself. The entire Pritchett family has awesome interactions with Joe.
While Joe is responsible for many entertaining situations, there is one aspect about him that does not make sense. Apart from his first season on the show, no member of the family calls him by his real name. Joe is his middle name, while his given name is Fulfencio. Jay originally started calling him by Joe because he figured that no one would use his real name. Apparently, he was correct!
14 Andy Lost His Weight Very Quickly
Following the will-they-won’t-they saga of Haley and Andy, most fans were disappointed that they didn't end up together. Since neither of them were able to profess their feelings for the other, they wound up moving on with other people.
However, due to the usual meddling from her family, Andy learns about Haley’s feelings. He even discovers that Haley was going to try and stop his engagement to Beth. After learning that he had missed his opportunity, he begins to eat his feelings and gains a fair amount of weight. While stress-eating like this is not uncommon, it is unusual that Andy was able to lose all this weight so quickly. Being a nanny is certainly an active job, but losing plenty of extra pounds in a manner of a few weeks seems very farfetched.
13 Gloria’s Brothers
As mentioned before, Gloria’s past remains a mystery apart from the strange stories she tells. Some clarity was provided when both her mother and sister came to visit from Columbia, as fans were able to see her interact with family. However, there seem to be some members of the Ramirez family that fans have never seen before.
Gloria has mentioned two brothers from Columbia before, but they have never made an appearance on the show. While she has alluded to the fact that her mother had to “deal with them” before, which may explain why they are seldom mentioned. Gloria has remained mysterious about her past to the point that no one knows if she is telling the truth or not. Given how infrequently she brings up her brothers, it begs the question of whether they exist or not.
12 Cam Backs Down From Confrontation
Between Cam and Mitchell, Cameron is usually the more assertive party. Behind closed doors, he is always telling Mitchell that he needs to stand up for himself and go after what he wants. However, Cameron doesn't alwas practice what he preaches.
Cameron may be a very confident person, but he tends to back down when confronted head-on. He would also prefer to confront any aggressor in a passive-aggressive manner instead of directly. Considering how much he encourages Mitchell to deal with things face-to-face it is surprising to see him back down so often from bullies like Andrew or Señor Kaplan. He may tout about his former football glory, but he is not always willing to attack his problems.
11 No One Notices Phil’s Crush On Gloria
Phil is usually very quick to let everyone know that “he has Gloria!” in a time of crisis, but no one from the family has addressed this odd situation. It is not uncommon for Gloria to turn a few heads from onlookers. However, she has permanently distracted Phil just by being around her. It is odd that all the Pritchett and Dunphys have seen him drool over his step-mother, but never said anything about it.
While Claire has quietly discouraged him from saying something too outlandish, it seems odd that no one has discussed it with him. His crush seems to have tapered off over the seasons, but it went unaddressed for several years.
10 Mitch & Cam Would Have Had Trouble Adopting Lily
Modern Family has received many accolades for how it portrays the different types of family that exist in the world. By showcasing nuclear, blended, and same-gender parent families, it has opened things up on TV. While the showrunners should be commended for their actions, there is an unfortunate error that they made early in the show.
When the show first aired in 2009, it began with Mitchell and Cam coming home from Vietnam with their adoptive daughter, Lily. While their portrayal of adoptive parents has been excellent, there is one slight problem – Vietnam banned same-gender marriages up until 2015. Given their partnership, it would be very unlikely that Vietnam would has allowed a gay couple to adopt a child. There is no doubt that Mitchell and Cam are good parents, but the government regulations would have forbidden this from happening.
9 Gloria Should Have Lost Her License
Jay is extremely hard on Gloria at times and puts a lot of pressure on her to live up to his expectations. However, if there is one thing he is spot-on about, it is Gloria’s driving abilities.
Two different episodes of Modern Family have focused on Gloria’s driving abilities – "Moon Landing" and "Hit and Run" – and they both involve her getting in car accidents. Glroia’s aggression behind the wheel (and outside of the car) are a cause for concern. Her short fuse creates the tendency for her to lash out at other drivers and make poor decisions while driving. She has also tried to hide car issues from Jay before so that he won’t come down on her. How has nothing come of this?
8 Manny’s Crush On Haley
Just like Phil’s attraction to Gloria, there is another strange one-sided romance within the family. Manny’s constant flirtation and compliments about Haley in the early seasons of the show were very inappropriate. Due to their family situation, it is often forgotten that Manny is actually Haley’s uncle, despite their relatively close ages.
Since Manny was younger while making these comments, it can almost be excused as underage ignorance. However, when they continued into young adulthood, it became very strange that no one in the family was addressing them. Haley was clearly uncomfortable with the attention that Manny was giving her, but never got any of the adults involved. Imagine how Jay would have dealt with this situation? Manny never would have had the guts to even look at Haley again.
7 Phil Does Not Have A Teaching Degree
Season 10 of Modern Family has given Phil the opportunity for a new career. While has always been happy as a realtor, the chance to teach a real estate course at Luke’s communitycollege was something he could not turn down. Given his natural charm and charisma, he has been very successful as a teacher so far. However, there is one thing about the situation that does not make sense – Phil does not have a teaching degree.
While community college is often portrayed as being on the low end of the education spectrum, teachers there still require accreditation to educate students. Despite his experience in the field, Phil is lacking this very important component. It seems very strange that the college would allow him to teach considering there.
6 Cam and Mitchell's Friendship With Pepper
Mitch and Cam have an eclectic group of friends with very strong personalities. At times, their friends come off as snobby and rude, but none of which come off as poorly as Pepper. He operates without a filter and has no problem with speaking his mind, even if it will insult someone else. Also, a little-known fact is that Cam used to date Pepper before he met Mitch. With all these things under consideration, one big question remains – why would they be friends with him at all?
Considering Mitch and Cam’s good nature, this friendship strikes a lot of fans as strange. Pepper isn't kind or considerate, yet they continue to subject themselves to his “famous” themed parties. Perhaps they will cut him out at some point, but it would be upsetting to lose Nathan Lane’s hilarious performance.
5 Claire's Naivete about Haley
Haley Dunphy has never been a perfect angel. In fact, there have been many situations over the past ten years where she has been caught breaking Phil and Claire’s rules. From her relationship with Dylan to her hard partying while she was in high school, her past makes it very hard to believe that her parents would believe she would only be having her first drink on her 21st birthday.
The season six episode that features Haley’s 21st Birthday, Claire takes Haley out so she can have her “first drink” with her at a bar. Meanwhile, Claire had already dealt with a severely hungover Haley in season four following her escapades at prom. Perhaps Claire was practicing a selective memory so that she can still consider her daughter innocent, but it does not make any sense.
4 Joe Is A Thief
Despite being the youngest (and most adorable) member of the Modern Family cast, Joe Pritchett is certainly not the most innocent. In his short years of life, he has managed to break his own fair share of laws. While some of his indiscretions have landed him in hot water with his family – such as harming a chicken – others have not been dealt with.
While the family is visiting Mexico in season eight in "A Tale of Three Cities", Joe reveals that he has been stealing from the hotel. Considering that most people remove the travel-size shampoos from hotels, this is understandable. However, Joe says that he also “took some bigger things” because he “likes stealing. It makes [his] heart go fast.” If Jay and Gloria do not address this quickly, they may notice some of their own things missing.
3 Claire’s Disease Is Not Shown Often
Claire Dunphy is not well-known for taking things easy. Her high-strung personality combined with her full schedule as a mother, wife, and running Pritchett’s Closets and Blinds makes for high levels of stress. Claire is a perfectionist and tends to boss her family around in order to get things done around the house. That is why her Wolff–Parkinson–White diagnosis was so surprising. However, the show has not addressed Claire’s illness very often and rarely brings it up, almost to the point that it seems forgotten about.
A Wolff–Parkinson–White diagnosis directly effects the heart and could potentially lead to cardiac arrest. The abnormality of the heart’s rhythm is not something that should be taken lightly. While Claire would not let it keep her down, the showrunners have not made it a part of the show either.
2 Mitch’s Fear Of Birds
Poor Mitchell Pritchett – while he is generally high-strung, he is able to manage himself, unless it comes to birds. Mitch suffers from ornithophobia, which is the fear of birds. Whether one has flown into his home or the princess castle he made for Lily, they always frighten him.
That is why it was so strange when Mitchell developed a deep connection to a chicken. In the season ten episode "Did The Chicken Cross The Road", Cam has forced Mitchell to live with a chicken in the backyard. While he would normally be terrified, he is shown hand-feeding the chicken and caring or it. Did he forget about his own fear? Or did the showrunners?
1 Cam Never Goes To Visit Missouri
Cam’s intense pride in his country roots is often brought up on the show. He is incredibly proud of growing up on a farm and taking care of livestock, as well as the misadventures he had gotten into. Cam’s family (including the livestock he considers brothers and sisters) still live in Missouri but travel to visit him from time to time. The only real question is – if Missouri is so important to Cam, why has he never gone back to visit before?
Cam’s life in California is plentiful with family, friends, and a coaching job. He spends his time raising Lily and working, so he is very busy, but to think he has never found the time to make his way there does not make much sense.
Are there any other crazy things about Modern Family that do not make sense? Let us know in the comments!