'Modern Family' recap: Luke puts the 'He' in 'Hero'

Modern-Family-Ty-SofiaImage Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCEvery now and then I wonder if the writers of Modern Family were invisible guests at my family dinner table. Take last night’s “Family Portrait”: Claire’s obsession with the flawed step, the stress of taking a family picture, and even Mitchell’s reaction to a pigeon trapped indoors (see: my sister, a Lord & Taylor dressing room, last winter) were all scarily reminiscent of my own family.

After two great Hawaii-centric episodes, Modern Family went back to basics for its season finale. The simple plots — a family picture, a basketball game, a school project — could have felt boring as there were no big-name guest stars or scenic backdrops, but each of the characters’ personal quirks made them endlessly entertaining (Phil’s paranoia, Claire’s obsessiveness, Mitchell’s fear of animals, and Cameron’s newly acquired Divadom). They’re what make family family, and what makes this show so brilliant. Here are the 10 best lines:

Phil: Ordinarily I’m a rule follower, but when someone tells me I can’t bring my own snacks into their stadium? That’s when I get a little… nuts. It’s a free country right? Let’s just say it Ruffles me when some Goobers tell me I have to spend my half my PayDay on their hot dogs.

Gloria: The question is, why isn’t all your underwear good, Jay? You make a nice living!

Manny: Hey Mom, I think my diet’s working! My underwear won’t stay up!

Phil: Ridiculicious!

Phil: I brought my own snacks, not because I’m cheap — it’s a matter of principle. Plus I get a little rush from the danger. Be cool, be cool, be cool! Just look straight ahead… I’ve never felt more alive. WoOo!

Claire: Quick, quick tell me something to say that will freak him out.
Haley: Tell him I’m pregnant!

Cameron: Calm down, you know I grew up around many animals. One time a rooster attacked me and my mom rung its neck and we had it for dinner.

Mitchell: [singing] We love to play in Lily’s room, we don’t need any milk!

Luke: My dad says the greatest singer who ever lived is Peabo Bryson.

Gloria: Ay, of course because I’m Latina I’m supposed to know everything about gardeners and sprinklers!

Once again, Luke was a gleaming gem this episode. From falling asleep to his grandfather’s stories about the ’60s, to being plastic-wrapped and walking Hurt Locker-style (pure genius!) across the lawn, I’ve grown to appreciate and crave his hilarious and slightly delayed responses to things.

How did Kobe Bryant do in his cameo? Would a foam finger from Phil be enough to make you forgive him? (It would be for me. Get in here, Ty Burrell!).

Sadly, this brings us to the end, PopWatchers. What were the funniest lines of the season? (Check out some of EW’s favorites in our Modern Family quotes gallery). Do you have any ideas for season two? I’m crossing my fingers that we get more of the Haley/Dylan relationship, accompanied by some more of Dylan’s awesome love songs (but can anything top “In the Moonlight [Do Me]”?). For those of you panicking at the thought of a Modern Family-less summer, it looks like ABC will be replaying episodes on Wednesday nights. Yipee! Who needs sun anyway?


Comments (252 total) Add your comment
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  • Matt

    Best thing all season for me has to be Fliza Minelli.

    • Madd

      YES.

    • Mc Prophet

      Don’t forget about Zsa Zsa Gaboa! (“You mean you REALLY didn’t know?!”) ha ha

    • Michael

      It’s not a line, but I have to say: Cam singing “Ave Maria” while Mitchell (in slow motion) destroys their house trying to bring down the pigeon. I don’t think television has been THAT good since Ross and Rachel first kissed on Friends!

      • Karen

        That scene was awesome!!! I also loved how, after he finished singing and only a few people clapped, Cam held out his hand like he was expecting more applause.

      • Leila

        That was my favorite scene too, I can’t believe it’s the season finale already.

      • ET

        I am with you about Cam. I have a job where I sing liturgical latin, so his treatment of the words, especially in the middle where he faked it almost had me peeing my pants! LOVE this show!

      • joblo

        YES! That was pure hilariousity! And a wonderful spoof of a gangster death scene.

      • erin

        ET – I kNOW! At one point, he wasn’t even singing Ave Maria anymore.

    • Jason

      The entire Pigeon scene has to be the single funniest moment on TV in the last 5 years. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time. From Mitchell running out to get Lily’s bottle, to Cam singing while Mitchell throws down with the bird- absolutely hilarious.

      • besimon

        Hate to admit it but I’m so Mitchell-freaking-out-on-the-way-to-the-kitchen whenever I see a dead bug.

      • Martha

        I agree with Jason–I was laughing so hard I was crying. It was pure genious. I can’t wait for them to start re-airing all the episodes. This time I’m going to save every single one to our DVR.

      • KC

        When that pigeon kept flying around and he was Oh oh oh-ing…
        I was crying I was laughing so hard. Rewound it 3x.

  • legnayram

    Last night’s episode wasn’t the best but it was still great! Phil Dunphy thinking that Peabo Bryson is the greatest singer will forever amuse me. I would love to have a fun family photo like they did. I can’t wait until next season!

    • Sina

      That was the funniest part of the show, imo. Peabo Bryson! That was great and later Phil said to Claire Whenever I’m in your arms again to get her not to be mad I was rolling. Mitchell and the bird scene was so realistic.

  • pop

    the ave maria part was awesome.

    • Ken

      the Ave Maria scene was a parody of some some movie, but I can’t remember which one. maybe Boondock Saints or a John Woo film. the episode was great. I will miss new episodes during the summer, can’t wait for next season.

      • Charlotte

        Yeah, John Woo uses doves in all his movies, usually in slow motion. The one it really reminded me of was Face/Off… hilarious parody.

      • sam

        I thought it was a take on The Godfather.

      • Arnie

        Maybe , because they have no original ideas.

      • KRibbons

        It reminded me of LOTR when Pippin is singing and the army is storming the castle.

      • Madd

        Now whenever I hear Ave Maria I usually think of Step Brothers.

      • blp

        It was Travolta/Cage, in “Face Off”! Thanks! I hadn’t made that connection until I read your post! haha!

      • RG

        The movie was The Untouchables…Robert De Niro at the Opera while Sean Connery getting gunned down in his home

      • RG

        They also did the same thing in a Richard Gere movie (he played an actor that played a gangster)…can’t remember name of movie…but I remember someone singing at the Cottom Club (hmmm…i guess THAT was the name of the movie!!!) singing while someone was tapping whacked in the bathroom

    • Roma

      Sam is correct, they were riffing on The Godfather; some of the stars of Modern Family were on the View yesterday morning and they said to watch for that part, that it was inspired by The Godfather.

      • Doris

        I didn’t catch that because Ave Maria at a wedding isn’t baptismal promises and pigeon assault isn’t multiple murders. But I see it now.

      • Madd

        I don’t recall them playing Ave Maria during that Godfather scene. Weren’t they just playing an organ?
        Michael: “I do renounce him.”
        BAM! Everyone gets shot!
        I love The Godfather.

    • Amber

      I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard at the Ave Maria part…HI larious!

    • darthwilson

      That was the funniest thing I have seen on TV in a long time. Hilarious!

  • justin

    Great episode to end the season! My favorite part had to be Cameron singing/Mitchell going “Loco” trying to kill that pigeon! Honestly, I fell out of my chair laughing for the entire time!! I definitely had to do a lot of rewinding this episode cause it had me rolling! Modern Family = Best Comedy on Television!

    • justin

      Also, Gloria was looking SO DAMN HOT in that white dress!!! GOODNESS!!

      • ANONA MUSS

        Yeah, my husband strolled into the room right as Gloria was coming down the stairs. I think he’s gonna start watching it now.

    • Shel Turtlestien

      My fav part of the episode last night was when Phil said he wanted to do the family portrait with them all in a bed willy wonka style!

  • rj849

    Between Claire’s obsessing over tiny little imperfections in her house to Jay asking where his “good underwear is” I feel like this show has hidden cameras in my house or something. This show is quirky and weird but it feels so realistic in the family dynamics. It’s fun to watch humor based in things that are infinitely relatable.

  • Heather

    I was wondering why Mitchell freaked out about the pidgeon when he had Fliza Minelli.

    But yeah I really hope MF doesn’t lose their touch. This wasn’t the funniest episode ever but it was a good ending.

    • Diggity

      A pet bird and a dirty pigeon are 2 very different things. Thats like asking why someone with a hamster would be afraid of a rat.

      • Tego Livi

        The main difference is between a bird in a little cage and a bird flying around loose in the house. My cousin used to deliberately scare her grandmother by letting her parakeet out (to “clean the cage”) when she was visiting.

    • Ceballos

      Also, “pigeons aren’t afraid of anything…they stand on electrical wires!”

    • llevinso

      A pigeon is a dirty rat with wings. A pet bird is COMPLETELY different. No continuity problems there.

      • haleysname

        Also, I’ve had pet birds, no big deal. On the other hand I am TERRIFIED of chickens (also turkeys and ostriches) i totally understand his freak-out.

      • Marti

        It’s not based in logic. Like another commenter said – the difference is one is safely in a cage and one is able to fly wildly around my (oops I mean Mitchell’s) head. Trust me, this is the difference.

  • Brian

    Some good lines as usual provoking hearty laughs but thought the pigeon scene went a little overboard. Still, great show and going to miss new episodes over the Summer.

    • Roma

      I’m going to miss looking forward to new episodes, too, and I’m sure will watch the reruns. Am I the only one, though, who usually ends up teary eyed at the end of each episode? Last night was very emotional for me, because I think that in spite of (or maybe because of) their quirks and craziness they really love each other. It is all very heartwarming!

    • Georgie

      I agree-loved the episode, but the pigeon scene was a little overboard.

  • che

    Not a good episode to end the season. Horrible gay stereotype joke with the pigeon scene.

    • Isembard

      Sorry, but there’s a stereotype that gay men are scared of pigeons? That’s a new one on me. A lot of my straight friends have stories of freaking out about birds (including bats) in their homes. Guess they were living out some obscure gay stereotype.

    • lea

      It’s one bad stereotype after another ,hysterical gays ,hysterical Latinas ,clueless dopey fathers etc .

      • mia

        I’m not saying ALL of any group is the same, but stereotypes exist for a reason. I think it’s healthy to be able to laugh about it rather than funnel it into hatred. By the way, I’m a hysterical, bad driving, Latina.

      • djt

        then don’t watch…duh

      • ANONA MUSS

        But it isn’t really. It’s done from the perspective of people living together and seeing how the “others” are. My hubby is Hispanic and he is terrible at yardwork and can’t select the fruit worth a darn at the grocery store. We tease him all the time about how he’s letting his culture down. Then he calls me an Irish mick. It’s all good.

      • To Mia

        Gloria: In my country, they blame everything on the Latina driver!
        Mitchell: In your country, isn’t everyone the Latina driver?

      • Javo

        But wasn’t it Cam, his gay partner, who Mitchell called when he was freaking out? Unless I’m missing that another gay stereotype is farmboys with mothers who killed their dinners in front of them…

    • footballmom

      ummmm, my ex-husband is not gay and that is exactly how he acted when we had a bird in our house….I could not stop laughing!!! My previous husband laughed also!

      • Chris

        Exactly. I’m hetero, and I laughed hysterically at that scene because it’s exactly how I would’ve reacted. The hilarity had nothing to do with the character’s sexuality. Get over it, people.

    • llevinso

      How was that a gay stereotype?

    • Jason

      Get over yourself!! Gay stereotypes exist because there are stereotypical gays. Take your issues up with them, and just appreciate a good laugh when one comes around. The show is hilarious, and that moment was 100% realistic (unless of course you only associate with the .0004% of the gay population that are totally butch, and straight acting lumberjacks that eat pigeons for breakfast). Lighten up, seriously.

    • Ronnie

      “The Big Chill”—Kevin Kline, William Hurt and Tom Berenger all trying to get THREE bats out of the attic…you saying their characters were gay? Get over yourself…

      • Mark

        “Okay…now we’ve got a fair fight!”

    • Kim

      I’m a straight woman and I’m terrified of birds. I once hid in the family room for an hour because my dog was trying to give me a dead pigeon.

      • llevinso

        Face it Kim, you’ve just outed yourself.

    • Jeff

      You’re way off base on the stereotype of gays being afraid of pigeons. I happen to be gay and am NOT afraid of pigeons…and thought that scene was the funniest thing on TV this year.

    • Marti

      I’m a straight woman and could totally relate to Mitchell’s plight. Been there, done that. Phobias know no gender/orientation. lol

    • KC

      Really? Gay=scard of pigeons?
      Now you’re just being silly.

  • albert

    I am straight as can be. I played football in highschool and college. I eat red meat and love to hunt. If I had a the same thing that Mitchell had happen to him, I would have freaked. Matter of fact, while in college we got a bat in our house and non of us big manly football players would go near the thing, we had to get a friend from the south who dealt with bats in the past to get it out of us. Not a gay stereotype at all.

    • scout

      Can totally relate about the bat. I love animals in general, but I had a bat in my house once and it might as well have been King Kong.

      • ANONA MUSS

        LOL, bat = King Kong

      • Bill

        Rodan would have been a better comparison than King Kong :)

      • justin

        I feel ya, scout. Bats are nice to look at on tv, but in person is a whole different ballgame.

    • KarlHall

      Albert, I’ve got one word for you: RABIES.

      Good lord I sound like Manny.

  • Portion Control

    for me it was the worst episode so far. A big let down to end the season. Kobe’s cameo was pointless, seeing Cam & Mitchell at odds was not fun, and overall just not the best. Highlights were Jay, Luke, and Claire, but over all a disappointment

    • hutchy

      I’m glad someone else thought so. I chuckled once, and my wife, who is a huge sucker for this show, chuckled maybe twice. The slow-mo bird scene went on for what seemed like hours. This show has mad funny moments in the past, but last night wasnt one of them. Having said that, Gloria in that dress……DAYUMMMM.

    • Ames

      I actually think Kobe had the best line of the night. “A little preparation next time; this is a mental game.” Coaching Phil before his own basketball game.

    • AIan

      We all disagree with you.

      • haleysname

        I don’t I thought Kobe was funny! I love that Phil just froze.

    • justin

      Are you nuts! That episode was freaking hilarious! Especially the slo-mo bird part. You need to get you head checked!

  • Toneeee

    Best show television!!!!!!

    • jack

      low I.Q.

      • JCK

        I can’t imagine being the same 3-4 losers that wait every Thursday morning to make comments on this board ripping people for enjoying this show. What a pathetic life you have.

      • Marti W

        jack, I’m curious – what do you consider a high IQ comedy? (not being a smart a$$, just wondering.

      • KarlHall

        This is as smart as it gets. The humor is subtle. The jokes actually subvert stereotypical notions. The acting is top notch.

  • Rebecca

    I loved it! Laughed out loud when Phil ignored Claire’s call, so hilarious

    • Sarah

      yes!!!

    • LC

      That actually happened to my boss. His wife and kids were at their summer home and he was at the office showing them to us on this web cam by the dock where they were swimming. So he calls his wife to tell her we are watching them. She looks at her cell phone and totally ignores the call and puts it in her pocket. We wer all like ooops – it was like seeing them naked or something. Un-Comfort-Able Much? ??

      • JayNYC

        This *almost* happened to me THIS WEEKEND. I called my partner from a hidden spot in the woods where I could see him (don’t ask). Fortunately he answered, or I would have kicked his a55. We joked about it, and then were hysterical when Phil ignored the call.

  • CR

    Funniest Phil EVER— “Claire to Phil” You look like the guy from Dance Fever”…..Phil, eyes aglow…THANK YOU!! busted a gut on that one—

    • Rio

      That was my fave last night!

    • llevinso

      Classic Phil.

  • Ian

    Best part was Phil “choking” when he asked Kobe if he liked basketball!

    • JLC

      And I actually thought Kobe’s line about being prepared and it being a mental game was pretty funny.

    • BLM

      Phil asking, “Do you like… being a… basketball player? I’m sorry, I choked! I never thought you would look up here!” Ha! That was my favorite part too.

  • Ben

    Mitchel: They’re paying you in flowers.
    Cameron: I was going to spend it all on flowers anyway. All great divas are payed in flowers anyway.
    Mitchel: Yeah, along with a paycheck.

    Cameron’s whole taking being the singer at the wedding too seriously was classic. His facial expression when he was done singing were probably the best of the episode from any character.

    • Ceballos

      I don’t know why, but the scarf he was wearing (to protect his sensitive throat/instrument?) when he left the house to go to the wedding also cracked me up.

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