ABC’s Modern Family isn’t just a sitcom created for laughs. Modern Family is comprised of three (3) families: the Dunphys, Tucker-Pritchetts, and Delgado-Pritchetts. Ultimately, the title “modern family” is because the three families stray from the traditional definition of the word. The Dunphys have three kids with working parents. The Tucker-Pritchetts is headed by two gay men and two adopted children. Lastly, the Delgado-Pritchetts have stepchildren from previous marriages. The show also has profound moments, given that it revolves around a family bonded by blood and heartfelt experiences. Here are 5 moments from the show that made us cry.
Haley leaves for college in Modern Family, S04E02.
In Season 4, Episode 2, Haley (Sarah Hyland) leaves for college. Her parents Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) help her pack her things and drop her off at the university. This is an especially profound moment as Haley was the eldest of the Dunphys. Long before college, she is also known to be reckless and fiercely impulsive. Because of that, her decision to go to college acts as an important point in her character. Haley kept driving her parents away throughout the episode but once she was alone in her dorm room, reality sets in. It finally sinks in that she is now becoming a person separate from her parents. Alone for the first time, Haley calls her parents, thanking them for everything they’ve done for her.
Alex opens up about the pressure she feels in S05E12.
In Modern Family’s Season 5, Episode 12, Alex (Ariel Winter) breaks down in front of her parents. She screams for no reason over breakfast. Later on, it was revealed that she has been feeling overwhelmed by her workload. In this episode, Alex immediately sets an appointment with a therapist after her nervous breakdown. Meanwhile, her mother Claire attends a meeting at her school, realizing how difficult Alex’s schedule and workload are. Now, it is important to remember that Alex is the middle child of the Dunphys. She is also dubbed as the “achiever” of the family, given that she’s hell-bent on securing her spot as valedictorian. During her therapy session, Alex opens about feeling alone and misunderstood by her family. She also discusses how she feels pressured to be perfect all the time, as that’s how she’s always been.
The adults attend a group therapy session in Modern Family, S07E08.
This episode was especially heart-tugging as it is the first time for the adults to address their issues. The therapist first instructs them to “clean out their junk drawer”. Immediately, Jay (Ed O’Neill) expresses disdain. This is because he believes that his father wouldn’t like him talking about his feelings. However, his wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) encourages him to open up. After being assured that he is in a safe space, Jay begins to talk about his father’s death. He narrates how his father always thought of feelings as a weakness. Because of that, Jay always found it hard to express emotions, even going as far as not crying at his father’s funeral. He recalls being judged by their relatives who assumed that he didn’t love his father. Annoyed at the therapist’s methods, Jay vents,
I didn’t even cry at his funeral. You believe that? The guy was my whole world. Not a tear. Everybody looking at me like. . . like I didn’t love him. But he knew! He had to know, right?
Mitchell tells his father Jay off in S05E22.
In Season 5, Episode 22 of Modern Family, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) begin their wedding preparations. As the episode progressed, the two argue about trivial things like the theme, table settings, and invitations. The episode showed how Mitch and Cam truly get each other despite always bickering. Another notable moment in this episode was how Mitch defended Cam. His father Jay always seems to dislike Cam more than his sister’s husband Phil. His devotion was displayed when he tells Jay off regarding his views on gay marriage. Because Jay kept being unsupportive about their wedding, Mitch told him not to attend. Of course, the decision broke both Mitch’s and Jay’s hearts but it was necessary. They needed to see the importance of supporting each other even if it doesn’t seem to make sense sometimes.
Jay’s medication makes him “too emotional” in Modern Family, S11E14.
In this episode, the entire family ends up in the same restaurant for dinner. Meanwhile, Jay has a back injury so he had to take pain medication. In turn, the pain medication made him emotional which is a bit out of character for Jay. Throughout the show, Jay is shown as someone who refused to display emotions in front of the family. This was solely because his father thought of vulnerability as a weakness. Anyway, Jay gives a speech for the family at the restaurant because of said medication. He opens up about his fear of how their kids grow up too fast. Despite being unintentional, the speech winds up a tear-jerker amongst fans. Jay tells the other adults of the family,
You never know the last time you pick up your kid.
Overall, Modern Family has learned the balance between comedy and heart. Besides straying away from the conventional definition of a family, it showed how modern families function the same as “traditional” ones. Moreover, it did not shy away from discussing hard-hitting issues; like the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community and women’s rights. Want to read more articles like this? Click here.
If Florence is not busy with her school works, then she is probably binge-watching TV series and films. She finds it easier to write with the help of playlists she curated. However, she is still looking for the balance between fiction writing and journalism. Because she likes both, she tries to do both even if their techniques and concepts could not be farther from each other.