After 11 seasons and over 200 episodes, the lovable families of Modern Family had their fair share of monumental moments. Fans of the ABC sitcom have seen the kids grow up into young adults and have seen the parents of each respective household make transitions in their lives as things changed.
More importantly, no matter how many things shifted in these three households, they always came together and loved one another. As is the case with any family, monumental moments in their lives were shared with one another. From pregnancies to new jobs to graduations, the Dunphys, Tucker-Pritchetts, and Delgado-Prithcetts had a lot to celebrate.
Updated on June 28th, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs: Even though Modern Family was a mockumentary, its focus on family was incredibly relatable. With Jay Pritchett as the patriarch and his two kids having their own families, together they were just like the families who were watching them. Since the show was on for 11 seasons, viewers watched many of the characters grow up over the years and mature into adults. As is the case with growth, the three families experienced monumental moments that many viewers experienced as well. These relatable milestones were just one of the reasons why this series was such a success.
When Haley Dunphy Found Out She Was Pregnant
In the episode ‘Did the Chicken Cross the Road?’, Haley Dunphy found out she was pregnant with Dylan’s baby. Little did she know, she was actually pregnant with twins. Becoming pregnant is a huge milestone for any couple, but it’s even more shocking when the couple wasn’t planning it.
Haley and Dylan’s relationship didn’t always make sense but it was clear they were devoted to each other. After realizing she was pregnant, Haley was forced to get her life together. She and Dylan were lucky Claire and Phil let them stay in their basement for an extended time while they got their life sorted, otherwise who knows where she’d end up. And although having babies unexpectedly was surprising for Haley, motherhood is a milestone that Haley welcomed.
Gloria & Jay Became Parents
Gloria and Jay didn’t always make sense to strangers but they made a great couple. They were both strong-willed, independent, and loved family.
When Jay married Gloria, Manny was in middle school and it took some time for the two to adjust to each other. Over time, Jay saw Manny as his own son. A few years into their marriage, Gloria found out that she was pregnant. Although the couple was older, they were thrilled about their miracle baby and dove head-first into parenting. They were already parents to their own children but it was a milestone to become parents together.
Claire Got Her Dream Job
Even though Claire had a milestone moment in becoming the CEO of Pritchett’s Closets & Blinds, she realized she wasn’t fulfilled. While she loved running her family’s business, she wasn’t passionate about closets and blinds and wanted more.
After a lot of thought, Claire was ready to step down as CEO and interview for other jobs. In ‘Baby Steps,’ she interviewed for a job that revolved around organizing — which was one of Claire’s many hobbies and something that brought her peace. Although the interview went awry, Claire landed her dream job. This proved that dreams do come true regardless of age.
Phil Invested In An Open Lot
One of Phil’s best real estate moments was investing in an open lot with Jay’s help, creating a large parking lot for paying customers. As a lover of business and real estate, Phil knew that he wanted to expand his horizons but didn’t know which avenue to take.
When he saw an open lot for sale, he teamed up with Jay to buy it as an investment. While their business moments weren’t shown often in the parking lot, this was a milestone for the pair. Jay didn’t always love Phil but it proved how much he trusted him by joining a business venture with him. It also showed Phil getting out of his comfort zone by trying something new.
Jay’s Adventure With Dog Beds
It was no secret that Jay loved Stella as much as Gloria, and that love transpired into a new business venture. Once his son Joe was more independent, Gloria had a job, and everyone else was taken care of, Jay wanted a new venture to stay busy with.
Because of his love for Stella, Jay created a line of dog beds to sell. He made them incredibly trendy and fun, hoping to sell to a younger crowd who loved their dogs as much as he loved Stella. He had a hard time getting his business off the ground but it brought him joy creating something for pets. This was a milestone for Jay because his business was created out of joy instead of necessity, which was big for him.
Phil Dunphy Finally Had His Magic Shop
Phil Dunphy had a ton of monumental moments throughout Modern Family and some of the best quotes. With a personality and work ethic as strong as his, he was capable of doing anything he put his mind to. Presenting the SCARBs was a huge deal for Phil, but his biggest moment was owning a magic shop.
In the episode ‘Ten Years Later,’ Phil found out that Claire killed his dream of working in magic when she never told him about the magic shop gig 10 years prior. He was blatantly upset that Claire decided his future for him. To make up for it. Claire bought the magic shop back for Phil and made him the happiest man in California. Oddly enough, viewers didn’t hear too much more about the magic shop after that but it was still a big moment for Phil.
Alex Dunphy Graduated Top Of Her Class At Caltech
Fans can’t say they weren’t surprised when Alex Dunphy graduated with high honors in the episode ‘Commencement.’ She graduated top of her class from middle school and was co-valedictorian when she graduated high school. Anything other than the best of the best would have been unlike Alex.
Like all teenagers, Alex had some trouble deciding where she wanted to go to college, but when she finally decided on Caltech, it was the right decision. She didn’t necessarily like her first semester away but over time, she found her steps. Seeing Alex’s slow transformation was a huge moment in her and her family’s life.
Claire Dunphy Was Promoted To CEO Of Pritchett’s Closets & Blinds
As much as Claire was TV’s favorite mom, she was destined for more. Her big-time career plans were put on hold after she had a surprise pregnancy with Haley. After Haley came Alex and Luke, forcing Claire to put her dreams on hold once again.
But as the kids grew up, Claire was ready for the workforce once again. She started working for her dad at Pritchett’s Closets & Blinds, which eventually landed her the CEO position when Jay retired. There was no thrill bigger than seeing Claire run a major company on her own terms.
Luke Dunphy Finally Made It To College
When Luke was a senior in high school, he realized that his charming personality and good looks weren’t enough to get him into college. Luke wasn’t dumb, he just had issues paying attention and applying himself in school.
After getting denied and wait-listed from every school he applied to, Luke decided to take some time off and work until he was able to apply again. As nervous as fans were for Luke’s future, it ended up being the right move for Luke. He was able to find himself and he realized what he wanted to do with his future. By the final season, fans learned that Luke was finally getting his chance by going to the University of Oregon.
Gloria Delgado-Pritchett Became An Entrepreneur
Gloria and Claire were in a similar position when their kids got older. Gloria got pregnant with Manny as a young woman and put all her dreams on hold so she could create a better life for him. Once she married Jay, she was comfortable being the stay-at-home wife, taking care of the family. But as time marched on, Gloria wanted more; she needed an identity.
Gloria started her own family hot sauce business (which she shamelessly stole from her family), and it did well at first. Having a business fulfilled Gloria and she felt more respected by her peers. But Gloria needed more. By the final season, Gloria started working under Phil and became a promising realtor.
Jay Pritchett Finally Retired And Let Go Of Control
Long-time fans never thought they’d see the day when Jay Pritchett stopped working entirely and focused his efforts on being a stay-at-home dad. When Jay realized he was ready for retirement and gave the company to Claire, he eventually realized he was too bored at home to be retired.
He eventually started helping Claire at his former job to fulfill his time. But the biggest monumental moment for Jay was when he put his hopes and dreams aside and supported Gloria. Jay was known as a control freak and didn’t have the best moments as a father with Manny, Claire, and Mitchell. Seeing him release control and want to spend time with his youngest son Joe was a milestone moment for him.
Manny Finally Released Himself From His Mother’s Embrace
Manny was the ultimate mama’s boy. He and his mother were all each other had before they met Jay. Due to them relying heavily on one another, Manny found it difficult to leave his mother’s embrace. Being near her was comfortable for him, but he needed to grow.
Deciding to go away to college was a big move for Manny. It proved that he was ready to become a man and that he was ready for the unknown instead of his mother’s comfort. Viewers saw this again in the final season when Manny agreed to leave everything he knew to travel the world for new experiences with his biological dad.
Mitchell Started Doing What Made Him Happy
Mitchell started the series as an environmental lawyer — he even won an award for his work. But over time, Mitchell realized he wasn’t happy with his job. It was one of the saddest things about Mitchell. After doing some pro-bono work for Gloria, Mitchell was born again. He found a love representing those who needed him in court, so he switched his focus. He started working at the Center for Justice and loved work again.
It was frightening for these characters to give up their normal day-to-day lives for something new, but Mitchell proved he couldn’t grow without making a change. Aside from work, deciding on adopting a second child was also a huge moment for Mitch and Cam.
Cameron Tucker Got The Job Of His Dreams
Similar to Claire, Cameron was a stay-at-home dad when Lily was born. He loved being home with her and teaching her about the arts. But as Lily grew, Mitchell began to pressure Cameron about going back to work.
Not only could they use the money, but Cam was slowly spiraling. Despite having some toxic traits, he luckily found a job as a sub for the music department at Luke, Manny, Cam, and Haley’s school, which led to a high school football job. But the real kicker was when Cam’s hard work finally paid off. In the 11th season, Cameron was finally offered his dream job: a college coaching position.
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