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YMMV: Modern Family
  • Acceptable Targets: Colombians get an interesting treatment. On one hand, Gloria is one of the most sympathetic and positively-portrayed characters on the show. On the other, all Colombians know how to spot a fake crime scene and smuggle illegal goods onto an airplane.
    • Gloria lampshades this by saying "Because, in Colombia, we trip over goats and we kill people in the street. Do you know how offensive that is? Like we're Peruvians!"
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: (Early) Manny: Sensitive young man who is mature beyond his years, or creepy burgeoning "Nice Guy" (i.e. guy who thinks being "nice" entitles him to reciprocal affection from girls way out of his league) who's been poisoned by years of his mother telling him he's special?
  • Cargo Ship: Played with hilariously In-Universe with Jay and Barkley, the dog butler.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "In the Moonlight"
    • Cameron singing Ave Maria whilst Mitchell simultaneously attempts to kick a pigeon's ass in slow motion.
    • In the Season 5 episode "The Late Show", we see two scenes where they sing Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips, one with the kids and the other with the adults at the end.
    • The season 2 episode "Bixby's Back" which ends with Dylan and Haley reuniting after he serenades her with a rock ballad outside her house on Valentine's Day, and a nice little montage of the other couples to close out the episode.
    "Imagine me NAKEEEEEED! I imagine you NUUUUUUUUUDE!"
  • Double Standard: There's little mention of Phil lusting after Gloria compared to Manny lusting after Haley despite being essentially similar circumstances.
  • Ear Worm: "In the Moonlight" is so catchy, even Haley's grandpa ends up singing about how much Dylan wants to do her.
    • Phil getting autotuned.
    "I, like a lot of men in this town, enjoy making love to my wife-ife."
    • Dylan serenading Haley on Valentine's Day with "Imagine Me Naked". It has a nifty little guitar solo!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Stella, Jay's adorable pet dog.
    • As far as the main ensemble goes, Phil (Ty Burrel) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) have gotten the most praise, winning their respective actors awards.
  • Expy: Phil is one of Michael Scott from The Office (US). Great salesman who is bumbling at his main job (managing for Michael, parenting for Phil)
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The fourth-season episode "Arrested" has a brief scene almost near the end when Haley returns to her room after being expelled from college six weeks into her freshman year. Alex sweetly tells her how happy she is that Haley's home again, a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming that doesn't last as they almost immediately start feuding again. Within a week of that episode airing, it was disclosed that Ariel Winter, who plays Alex, had been removed from her mother's custody due to emotional and physical abuse and was now living with ... her own older sister.
    • The very next episode, "Mistery Date," had a scene where Alex, after washing out of a Brain Bowl-type event unusually early, accuses her mother of trying to live through her. Again, a little hard to watch given what was really going on in the actress's life.
    • An episode with a joke about The Monkees aired the very day that Davy Jones died.
    • Later, a joke about Branson, Missouri aired the day after the death of Andy Williams, one of Branson's biggest attractions.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe. Phil and his father Frank's jokes to explain Phil's mother's absence from web-cam chats and family visits ("She's sinking fast... in the tub, of course!") take on a much darker tone once she dies prior to the Season 4 finale, with Claire describing her death as "sudden, but not entirely unexpected". The knowledge that she's been ill for a long time can make it hard to re-watch some of those jocular conversations, knowing it's actually their way of dealing with the declining health of their wife and mother rather than just their usual brand of silly humour.
  • Hollywood Homely: Alex refers to herself as less pretty than Haley, and is invariably treated as the uglier one of the two. She's really not any uglier than her sister. And then the actress hit puberty...
  • Hype Backlash: Some have found the show's continued dominance at the Emmys to be a little much, especially after Season 2.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Luke is a young teen of below average intelligence, albeit with occasional flashes of brilliance. His actor is a member of MENSA and graduated high school at 13.
  • Older than They Look: Some fans complain that Haley looks far too young to realistically come off as a 16 (now 17-18) year old. The actress who plays her, Sarah Hyland, is over 20 years old.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Stephen Merchant as the Vegas bellhop.
  • Squick: See the Ear Worm entry.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Claire running for city council in season three. It has a very promising start, complete with getting David Cross to play the incumbent she's running against...and then we barely hear anything about it until the actual election day episode, in which Cross doesn't even appear.
    • And incredibly, some fans accused the show of devoting too much attention to that plot.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Claire's old friend from work is a hard-working top executive... who has no family or intimate relationships beyond a set of lovers across the world. Valerie pities Claire/Claire envies Valerie.
    • Until about halfway through the episode, Claire thought the dynamic was the reverse. She's devastated by the epiphany that Valerie pitied her.
    • One episode plays All Periods Are PMS absolutely straight, on a level that's quite shocking for the time.
    • The relationships between Jay and his brother, or Gloria and her sister. Jay has a relationship of insult and physical dominance with his brother ('so when he calls, my butt pops up! to say he's an ass!'), and Gloria has a relationship of verbal anger (as Manny states, "I understood 'crazy old witch', 'go kill yourself', then 'I love you'".) Both Jay and Gloria have aggressive but loving relationships with their siblings, but neither seem to understand the way their spouse behaves toward their brother/sister.

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