Just like any parents, Phil Dunphy and Claire Pritchett from Modern Family try their best to navigate through parenthood. They may not always succeed, but their attempts can tug at your heartstrings. As Modern Family is leaving Netflix on 31 December 2021, why not take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the times where Phil and Claire were amazing parents to their three children, Haley, Alex and Luke?
1. Phil Consoles Haley After Breakup with Dylan (S02 E09)
In Mother Tucker, Haley Dunphy broke up with Dylan because she fancied her tutor. Not long after, Haley regretted her decision, especially when she thought Dylan was already seeing someone else. It turned out to be a huge misunderstanding, but Dylan still decided to break up with Haley. At night, while reminiscing the times Dylan picked her up from home, a devastated Haley admitted to her dad that she missed Dylan. Phil consoled Haley letting her know “That’s how you know that is a relationship worth having”. This father-daughter moment was one of the best scenes in Season 2.
2. Claire Understands Alex's Pressure (S05 E12)
In the beginning of Under Pressure, Alex broke down during her 16th birthday celebration. Having noticed she was under a lot of pressure, Alex signed herself up to meet a psychiatrist. During the school open house, Claire realized how much work and pressure there is on Alex to excel in her studies. When Claire picked Alex up from therapy, she admitted to Alex that she could not believe how Alex does not have a meltdown every day. Seeing how a member of her family finally understands her, Alex broke down into tears again, hugged her mom and thanked Claire for her words.
3. Phil and Claire Save Luke's Halloween Party (S08 E05)
When Phil and Claire found out Luke’s Halloween party was a total bummer, they stepped in to save the day. Phil disguised himself as a transfer student called Rod Skyhook who was wearing a beaver costume for Halloween. He managed to entertain and kept the party going using his 90s dance moves. Meanwhile, Claire used a dirtier tactic. Claire found out the reason most kids are not attending Luke’s party is because they are at Sophie Chamber’s party. She headed to Sophie’s house and played the role of the responsible mom giving the teenagers unwarranted advice. Thinking Claire was a total party-pooper, the other teenagers left Sophie’s party for Luke’s.
4. Phil Gets Alex A Cheesy Prom Dress (S07 E11)
Phil felt like he was growing apart from Alex since Alex went to Caltech. Therefore, he visited Alex on campus only to embarrass her when he played around with robots from the university. While on the way to the car, a student invited Alex to a Caltech tradition where girls jump into the swimming pool with the cheesiest prom dresses. Phil was surprised when Alex declined the invitation and asked if anything was wrong. Alex then told her father that she was thinking of coming back home as she did not feel like she got along with most people on campus. Although Phil wanted his daughter to come home, he decided that his kids need to “spread their wings” and instead bought Alex a pair of swimming goggles and a cheesy prom dress.
5. Phil Will Not Accept A Slimy Jeans Salesman (S04 E12)
After dropping out of college, Haley brought home a guy she was seeing. The guy was a middle-aged man who sells jean for a living. Both Phil and Claire were concerned but Claire suspected that Haley was just pretending to be with the guy to get back at them. Phil ran after Haley despite Claire not wanting him to, and told Claire off for letting their daughter go out with such a man. Turns out Claire’s suspicion was right. Haley overheard her father’s outburst and hugged him.
“I need her to know no guy on Earth is good enough for her, let alone some slimy, middle-aged jeans salesman”
6. Claire Lets Haley Know She Will Be There (S10 E11)
Claire wasn’t the most supportive person when it comes to Haley’s relationship with Dylan. However, when Haley had a panic meltdown after finding out she was pregnant with twins, Claire assured Haley that she is not alone. Claire told her daughter that even though they may not know what may happen in the future, she will always be around for her daughter no matter what.
7. Phil and Claire Need To Get To Alex's Graduation (S02 E23)
On the day of Alex’s middle school graduation, the family gathered in Jay’s house before heading to the school. Alex went ahead to prepare for her speech as valedictorian. Due to a stroke of bad luck, Jay’s house gate couldn’t open. Phil and Claire did not want to miss their daughter’s graduation and therefore, went through leaps and bounds to get there. They used a bike which broke down and Claire still wanted to walk all the way even if it means they were going to be late. They eventually hitchhiked to the school and arrived at the ceremony tumbling through grass just in time for Alex’s speech.
8. Phil Lets Luke Hang Out With His Friends (S07 E02)
Phil and Luke always shared a tight bond when Luke was younger. However, when Luke entered high school, he preferred to hang out with his friends than spend the day with his dad. Phil, still wanting to hold on to old times, prevented Luke from seeing his friends and got Luke to come to a house showing with him instead. But when Phil saw how disinterested Luke is at the house showing and how reluctantly Luke agreed to go trampolining with him, he realized that he needed to let Luke go. Hiding his disappointment behind his usual smile and a white lie, Phil asked Luke to hang out with his friends from school because he still had work to do in the open house. Luke understood his dad’s hidden sacrifice and brought home the duck eggs they both found at the open house.
9. Claire Tracks Down Haley (S06 E16)
Connection Lost is one of Modern Family’s most unique episodes. The story of the whole episode was told through Claire’s laptop camera as she Facetimes multiple people when she could not get through to Haley. Claire, being the responsible parent panicked when she found supposed evidences which pointed to Haley getting married to Andy in Vegas. Even though Claire used pretty invasive methods to get through to Haley’s social media, we could see her concern for Haley’s safety and her conviction to make sure her daughter is alright. The part where Claire cried after watching Haley’s childhood pictures was also a heartbreaking scene to watch.
10. Phil Carves Alex's Initials On The Moon (S03 E20)
When one of the Dunphy’s neighbors, Walt passed away, Phil wanted to make sure he had a special bond with all his children. Realizing that he did not spend as much time with Alex, Phil tried to have an adventure-filled day with his second daughter only to have many things go awry. Phil then confessed to Alex that he wants to be like the Apollo 17 astronaut, Eugene Cernan. Cernan, the last man on the moon, apparently carved his daughter’s name on the lunar surface before he left. Alex told her dad how much she appreciated him for trying to create a whole special day for her. Before both of them left Moonlight Diner, Phil carved Alex’s initials on the diner’s board.
Modern Family is streaming on Netflix until 31 December 2021.
Read more movie reviews and articles: