For the past 10 years, Modern Family has gifted us with corny dad jokes, parenting struggles, and relatable moments for anyone with a large family. We've seen all the kids grow throughout the years — Luke was only 10 when the show started — and saw relationships mend and strengthen through the hard times, like DeDe's death. However, out of all the wonderfully unique couples on Modern Family, none are quite as adorable as Phil and Claire Dunphy.
As silly as Phil is, he's always been a dedicated and loyal husband to Claire. Likewise, as raw and as (sometimes) scary as Claire can be, she needs Phil to bring her back to earth. However, as much as these two are the yin to each other's yang, they've definitely had their mean streaks. Claire is more aggressive than Phil in a lot of ways so it's easy to list all the ways she's wronged him, but Phil has made some mistakes as well. Here are the worst things the Dunphy couples has done to each other.
10 CLAIRE ALMOST SET HIS DUCKS FREE
In "Spread Your Wings," we saw Alex leave the Dunphy nest for college. With their second child away at school, both Phil and Claire felt a hole in their heart. To fill the void, Phil found a nest of duck eggs and decided to raise them until they were old enough to soar.
Claire knew how much those ducks meant to Phil. They weren't just short-term pets; they were a symbol of fatherhood. But in Claire's one-track mind, she was sick of the ducks and tried to get rid of them when Phil was out of the house. She put them all in a cage and released them in a park. It wasn't until they were gone that Claire finally realized why they meant so much to Phil, so she found them all and brought them home.
9 PHIL BOUGHT A SPORTS CAR WITHOUT HER PERMISSION
In the third season, we see Phil having a hard time finding himself. In an attempt to regain some control over his life, he impulsively buys a sports car. To be fair, he needed a car anyway; he was just supposed to get a more family-friendly vehicle — not a convertible with little room. Claire didn't say much about this purchase — which annoyed Phil even more — because she knew it wasn't going to last. As a realtor and a parent to three kids, Phil would have to find out his mistake on his own, but it was pretty uncool of him to impulsively buy something so expensive.
8 CLAIRE HIRED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO ACT LIKE THE PERFECT MOM
Now that Claire is the head honcho at Pritchett's Closets and Blinds, she has literally no time to do it all. Between being the boss, a wife, and the mother to three kids, Claire was slowly losing her cool.
Instead of admitting defeat and asking Phil for help, Claire pretended that she could do it all by secretly using her personal assistant to do everything she didn't have time for. Not knowing she had additional help (yet), it made Phil feel belittled and not good enough as a father. If Claire ignored her pride and asked Phil for help to begin with, Phil would have had more confidence.
7 PHIL LIED TO CLAIRE TO HAVE "SEXY HOUSE" ALL TO HIMSELF
As a realtor in southern California, Phil had the keys and codes to some of the most beautiful homes in the area. One home, in particular, called the Sexy House, had everyone under a trance. The entire family was trying to find their way inside this house for a night of passion. However, Claire was working to the bone and felt like she was ignoring Phil. In an effort to make it up to him, he asked to have time to role-play in the new Sexy House. However, he wasn't talking about role-playing with Claire — he was talking about a virtual reality game he wanted to play by himself. For once, Claire felt not needed by her husband and was questioning how much time she was putting in the office.
6 CLAIRE TRIED TO HAVE THE HOUSE TO HERSELF OVER SUMMER BREAK
With all the kids home for summer break, Phil and Claire hit the drawing board to find a few days where all the kids were out of the house. Between vacations and summer camps, Claire knew she could carve out one kid-free week. But that's not where she stopped. She decided why have a kid-free week when you could have a kid- and husband-free week?
She called Phil's dad to invite Phil down to Florida for a couple of days while Claire had the whole house to herself. Phil soon learned of Claire's plan, which made Claire look evil because he was trying to plan out a few romantic days with his wife while she was trying to get rid of him.
5 PHIL LIED TO HER ABOUT HIS CLIENT ANGELA
True fans of Modern Family know that Phil has a "type" when it comes to women. The funny thing is, Claire is the complete opposite of what Phil finds attractive.
After meeting a woman named Angela in a coffee shop (who was exactly his type), he lied to Claire and told her she was an overweight Irish woman whom he couldn't stand. Claire later found out the truth and the three of them had a laugh, but it was still sketchy of Phil to hide something like that from his wife.
4 CLAIRE TOOK AWAY AWESOMELAND
Phil is a man of many passions. He finds a lot of things cool, which is why he was so excited to put them all into one house, repurposing the Dunphy home into AwesomeLand.
While Claire is typically the Halloween queen, Phil was in charge of decorating for Halloween one year because Claire had to work. Instead of making their house scary, he decided to make it awesome and fun. But after a wager with the neighbors gets in Claire's head, she decides to eliminate AwesomeLand when Phil leaves the house. Phil came back broken-hearted because Claire ruined his hard work.
3 DOES PHIL LIKE JULIANA MORE THAN CLAIRE?
Every Valentine's Day, Phil and Claire role-play as their alter egos, Clive and Julianna. Both Clive and Julianna are incredibly suave and clever. They live dangerously and try things that Phil and Claire would never. However, in one particular episode, Claire realizes that Phil may be more attracted to Julianna than to her. Did she create a monster? In an effort to have Phil think Juliana is repulsive, it starts to work but throws Phil off. This leads to a heartwarming discussion after a long night. Viewers don't see Claire vulnerable often and it was sad to see.
2 CLAIRE WENT TO LUKE'S SOCCER GAME WITHOUT PHIL
In an amazing episode called "Farm Strong," Phil and Claire grew tired of going to Luke's soccer games because he usually rides the bench. With their own things to do, Phil and Claire told Luke they were too busy to go. However, Claire wrapped up her errands early and decided to go to the soccer game without telling Phil. When she arrived, she found Luke finally playing and doing great. But when Phil called Claire, she continued to lie to him in an effort not to make him feel bad. Thanks to Cam, Phil found out about Luke's game and Claire's lie and was seemingly pissed.
1 PHIL SUBCONSCIOUSLY THINKS ABOUT HIS HIGH SCHOOL LOVERS
It's obvious Phil loves Claire and adores his role as a dad to three kids. But he also subconsciously thinks about his exes and what could have been.
In the episode "Truth Be Told," Claire found out Phil has been messaging his former high school girlfriend, Denise. Claire pointed out that the two were totally flirting but Phil denied it and said it was strictly platonic. But when Denise showed up at the Dunphy household, she really did hit on Phil. The two women even found out that he was dating both of them at the same time in the beginning. Furthering this point, in the episode "Sleeper," we see Phil obsessed with the memory of losing his virginity to a woman named Carla to a very specific song. We know Phil loves Claire, but does he have some doubts?