'Modern Family' recap: What doesn't kill us makes us stronger

Modern-Family-TruthImage Credit: Michael Desmond/ABC

Umm, hello? Shel Turtlestein! Fliesaminnelli! Zsa Zsa Gaboa! Best pet names ever! This show is pure genius. Pure genius, I say! These fabulous names, plus a fantastic-looking Judy Greer as Phil’s frisky ex-girlfriend, Denise. (You know Judy Greer, she’s everybody’s favorite go-to friend in almost every single romantic comedy — 27 Dresses? Check. 13 Going on 30? Check. The Wedding Planner? Check.) I mean, come on. How does this show do it week after week? It just gets stronger and stronger. And speaking of getting stronger, on to Manny’s sad-sack comment of the evening: “Lots of stuff that doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.” Why does this little boy’s wise-man depression make me laugh so much?

The theme of tonight’s episode was truth. Phil must come to terms with the fact that Denise wants “a slice of him,” Mitchell must stand up to his boss after he realizes that there are more important things in life than his job, and Jay must confess to Manny that he — not a rogue raccoon — killed the boy’s pet turtle, Shel Turtlestein. The truth will set them  free! And it certainly made us giggle.

Oh, I almost forgot, how funny was it when Alex told Luke he was adopted and that Denise was his real mom? I’m telling you, Alex is the dark horse of this show.

Now onto the many, many hysterical quips of the evening:

First, the best interaction of the night:

“Oh my God, gross, I can’t even picture you with a woman.” -Haley when Phil says he is meeting his ex-girlfriend.
“Thank you.” – Claire in response to Haley’s comment.
“You had a girlfriend before mom?” –Luke
“Try two. Trust me, I had plenty of fun in my time. And then I met your mom.” – Phil
“And thank you.” – Claire

“He’s the suckiest suck of all time.” -Mitchell about his boss.

“She’s one of my 447 friends. Everyone wants a slice.” -Phil about his “gal-pal” Denise and his many Facebook friends.

“You’re doing that thing when you say what I want you to say, but your tone seems mean. ” -Phil to Claire

“Women in their thirties on the Internet, they’re like ninjas. They get in their little black outfits and try to sneak their way into your marriage.” -Claire about Phil’s ex-girlfriend

“Yup, only the good die young.” -Jay about Manny’s dead turtle, Shell Turtlestein.

“I’m Columbian, I know a fake crime scene when I see one.” -Gloria to Jay after he lied about accidentally killing Manny’s turtle.

“How did I not know that kid was gay?” -Jay about the name of Mitchell’s childhood bird, Fliesaminnelli.

‘I just figure if my daughter can stand up, so can I.” -Mitchell to his boss.

“I don’t think I can get through this without crying. Maybe we should just go on to the cold cuts.” -Manny during his turtle’s eulogy.

“She bit the air right in front of me!” -Phil about his ex-girlfriend coming on to him.

“Okay, I know the pain is fresh, but the lie is really old.” -Phil after Claire finds out that Phil was dating his ex-girlfriend at the same time he was dating her.

“I’m used to nice thing, what do I do?” Cameron freaking out to Mitchell after Mitchell unexpectedly quits his job.

“Let’s just drink the cheap stuff, because we may have to sell that bottle. ” -Mitchell to Cameron about their celebratory glass of wine.

“And you really didn’t know he was gay?” -Gloria to Jay about Mitchell’s other dead pet, Zsa Zsa Gaboa

“I must have, right?” -Jay in response…

What did you think, Popwatchers? Do you agree that this show amazingly manages to get better and better every week? What quotes did I miss? And did you catch that Phil had a perm, or rather, a Jheri curl in college???

Comments (242 total) Add your comment
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  • julia

    “go around us, re recreating a faux-pas”

    • Diana

      I made that my FB status last night as soon as Cam said it!

      • N. Ominous

        I was going to also, but went with a Zsa Zsa Ga-boa reference instead.

      • Alaric

        I am CONSTANTLY updating my FB status with quotes from the show, and so excited to see how many of my FB friends get the reference…! =)

      • anona muss

        Oh, I’m pulling a Claire. FB? What the heck is FB? Fizbo? moment of enlightenment — ah — not a facebooker

    • Kurt

      The “faux pas” line convinced me that I should never drink a beverage while this show is on. “Modern Family” and “Archer” are the funniest shows on TV IMO.

      • SaraK

        I can DEFINITELY not drink a beverage while watching this show. I don’t think I stopped laughing for more than 60 seconds during the episode. Can we just hand the writers and actors their Emmys right now?

    • Z

      I couldn’t stop laughing…LOVE this show!!

    • Sarah

      So, so funny!

    • Kate

      I heard it as, “phone pas”, which made it even funnier.

  • Kim

    Don’t forget … “Go around, we’re re-creating a faux pas.”

    • Karlover

      That was my favorite line of the night. I also had a giggle fit at Phil’s immediate “I’m in” upon hearing “Hugh Grant”.

    • Air

      God I love that line.

  • Kim

    Ok Julia, great minds think alike.

  • Buffy Freak

    Flyza Minelli just about had me on the floor!

    • Tina

      That’s how I would have spelled it too! Love the writers on this show.

    • be boop

      Perfect spelling. Flyza with a Z

  • jenna

    One of the best episodes. Hilarious, start to finish!
    I just love Manny!

    • Ceballos

      The picture of Shel during the funeral service beautifully hilarious. (How did he take such a nice picture of that turtle?!)

      RIP Shel: Nov. – March.

  • Jen

    “There was traffic, I almost had to shout.”
    “A little bit louder now!”
    “A little bit louder now!”

    • Diana

      That had me rolling!

    • Jason

      We were laughing hysterically at that!

    • Damon

      I cried…and then when Cam giggled..ugh..

    • Wills

      Totally LOL, I had tears rolling down my eyes!

    • Mavis

      Favorite Part, Hands Down! As soon as Mitchell started saying “Shout” louder, I knew what was coming! I started laughing and when Cam did his little “Hey, ey, ey, ey” I was clapping from joy! Too funny! I love this show!

    • Jenn

      I lost it at that moment! Brilliant! Cam is my hero!

      • Mia

        Cameron is my hero too! He is a riot.

    • gtrgrl

      i bust out laughing when i saw it last night, and even when i read it again just now… my office thinks i’m crazy!

    • Tina

      Mu husband and I almost died laughing at that I has to rewind and watch it again. Also love the way Mitch quit, very Office Space.

    • darthwilson

      That was awesome!

    • Vivi

      Favorite moment of the episode! I had to rewind it again just so I can laugh my booty off. Hahahaha.

      • RCCola

        …and not just that his name was Ozone, but he actually did some pop-lock moves….I laughed so hard, I almost peed myself

    • Cuni

      Best line of the night

    • Justin

      That moment had me crying!!

    • boliyou

      I saw that coming a mile off and still it had me rolling!

    • Bob Frapples


    • MaryA

      I could not stop laughing after that!

    • BJohnson

      I saw it coming too but the delivery was worth it. LOL

    • Melissa

      I spit out my water at this part. i didn’t even realize what he was doing until he already did it!

  • Dodge

    Phil’s old breakdance name was Ozone.

    Hailey: I’m totally calling you that!
    Phil; Thanks!

    • Justin

      That one had me rolling. Then, he did a little pop-lock action, like was auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance!! LMFAO!!!

  • Madd

    What about Claire’s “sexy voice” when she was reading what Denise wrote on Phil’s wall?

    • parkR

      I now have to read all replies of the opposite sex in “normal” voice and “sexy” voice, just to see which is more plauseable pertaining to me… but then realize it was just their normal voice

    • Justin

      Oh, Hell yeah!! That was hilarious!!! She sounded pretty good, though.

  • Diggity

    I liked the kind of subtle line:
    Denise: “how many women have you been leading on?”
    Phil: “well now I don’t know”

    • mkaffeine

      That was hilarious. Also, all of Phil’s physical comedy bits in the kitchen (throwing oven mitts, “I didn’t know that was broken,” etc.) were awesome.

    • Jess

      That was by far my favorite quote of the evening!

    • Ambient Lite

      IF they continue sprinkling ex’s into the storylines, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have them bring back Tom Cavanaugh for Julie Bowen/Claire. He was just some guy she dated when they split up after college, when she was teaching in Stuckeyville, maybe?
      The Ed Stevens/Carol Vessey reunion I’ve always dreamed of…sigh…

      • dpinmd

        YES! I second that suggestion!!

      • Madd


      • queensgirl

        Great idea!

      • Sarah

        Or maybe have Matthew Fox?? Although I wouldn’t want their relationship to be the way it was on Lost.

      • cdub

        I read that Tom Cavanaugh is guest starring along with Steve Carrel as Phil’s borthers! (or maybe someone wrote how awesome that would be) But maybe dating Phil’s brother Tom Cavanaugh would add to the hilarity!

      • JayNYC

        I think it was Michael Ausiello who proposed Carrel and Cavanaugh as Phil’s brothers when he was interviewing Ty Burrell (IIRC). It would be inspired casting, though. Maybe Will Arnett too.

    • Ellie

      LoL. Phil, Manny, Cam, Mitchell…okay, everyone…just fabulous. Judy Greer stalking poor Phil was such fun. Great show.

    • Cyndi

      LOVED that line!!

  • KLH

    I just love thsi show. I love Manny and Cam. Flyzaminelli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kim in kentucky

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this show! But, would have liked to see a little more of Alex dealing with his thinking he was adopted – esp after the ex-girlfriend showed up.

    • Jason

      That was Luke – Alex is the girl :) But Luke’s line “I like it here!” was another of the best of the night.

      • kim in kentucky

        ooops! sorry – thanks for the correction!!

    • Mark

      And the look of terror on Luke’s face – and the look of triumph on Alex’s – when the girlfriend said “I used to have curly hair like that when I was your age.”

    • Bet

      I didn’t believe the show was actually over … cause they needed to wrap up the Luke and Alex story!

    • Toni (@ImStillToni)

      I can’t believe no one has mentioned..
      Haley: All that because he called you a dork-to-dork salesman?
      Alex: The Empire strikes back!

      I was lizzing the ENTIRE ep due to Alex’s conviction as she said it with a straight face lmaooooo of course Alex is the Empire hahahaha those Dunphy kids crack me up

  • Kim

    Denise: I still have my old cheerleader’s uniform.
    Phil: Me too.

    • Z

      Spit-laughed my tea on that one. Phil’s (I mean Ozone’s) delivery is so awesome

    • JayNYC

      That was great – the way he said it so nonchalantly!

    • Alaric

      YES!! Loved that!

  • val

    Kitty Sanchez! It always makes my day when I see an AD alum out in the workplace.

    Also, Columbia = university/rain jackets/movie studio. Colombia = country

    • Madd

      Yes! “Hair up, glasses on…”

      • Dave M

        That may have been the funniest moment in Arrested Development when she took her glasses off and was horribly cross-eyed. A lot of attractive actresses would not be willing to self depricate as much as she did on that show.

      • Madd

        She looked gorgeous on the episode!

    • Slow Andy

      I was trying to place her until I remembered she wore glasses before it came to me. Just proves yet again that Arrested Development was way ahead of its time in not only plot/character development but also with casting.

      • Tom

        As soon as ‘Denise’ came on the screen, my roomate and I turned to each other and announced at the same time: That’s Kitty!

    • Ceballos

      Was definitely waiting for her to say, “Take a good look Phil, cuz it’s the last time you’re gonna see these!”

      • Dave M

        Eyes up here!

      • Tom

        Haha, remember me? Well maybe THESE will help you!

      • Jessica

        i love other Arrested Development fans. Take off your glasses. Oh … wait, wait. Let down your hair. No, glasses on, hair back up. Let’s just get that hair right back up.

      • Betty

        Ohhh, they’re crooked.

      • Madd

        “SPRING BREAK!”

      • shelbycheri

        YES! That this has become an AD lovefest for a good 11 comments makes me happy.

    • Jenn

      Thank you for clearing that up, Val! It is one of my pet peeves

      • val

        I don’t classify it as a pet peeve — more like an egregious error. And it still hasn’t been fixed. :(

        “Michael Bluth is threatening me!”

    • Vicky

      Thank you Val! Colombia is the country, not Columbia (as is “District of”).

  • Dave

    “It was like a bloody pillow fight.” -Jay talking about Fliesaminnelli’s death. haha

    • Betty

      That killed me!

    • KarlHall

      HAHA! Yeesss! “He hit the fan…”
      “And it was like a bloody pillow fight!”

      Gloria: “HOW many birds have you killed?!”

  • tellusataletunes

    This has become the only program I make sure watch all week. Of course I do it the next morning on hulu, but I don’t miss it.

    The pet names were the best, but this was almost certainly the best episode to date.

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