In a 2010 interview with "Out" Magazine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson said that the running joke that Jay kept "forgetting" that his son, Mitchell, is gay (and Mitchell had to come out to his father repeatedly) is drawn from Ferguson's real life - he had to come out to his real father three different times over many years before his father actually believed it. When Ferguson told the show's writers this story, they found it very funny and decided to add it to Mitchell's backstory.
Ariel Winter was only 11 years old when she was cast as Alex Dunphy, and was always accompanied on set by her mother. According to cast and crew, the mother was always talking down to her about her weight and performance, up to the point where the producers wanted her banned from the set. In 2012, Winter was removed from her mother's home following allegations of physical and emotional abuse, and in 2016, Winter herself announced that she was legally divorced from her parents.
The original show description explained why the show was shot in a "mockumentary" style. It stated a Swedish movie director, who formerly was a foreign exchange student in Phil's home, was shooting a documentary on the American family.
While still living in her native Colombia, Sofía Vergara used to watch the Spanish-dubbed version of Married with Children (1986) featuring her co-star-to-be Ed O'Neill. After she landed the role as Ed's wife Gloria on Modern Family, she was disappointed to learn that Ed spoke no Spanish.
Sarah Hyland has had two of her boyfriends appear on the show, and they both have played Alex's (Ariel Winter) love interest. Hyland's boyfriend at the time, Matt Prokop, appeared in the third season and her ex-boyfriend, Dominic Sherwood, appeared in the seventh season.
Phil's birthday is either on April 3rd or 30th (US release dates of the original iPads). This is due to a joke in which Phil says ''The iPad comes out on my actual birthday, it's like Steve Jobs and God got together to say "We love you, Phil." Since the episode "Game Changer" stated that the day was a Saturday, his birthday is definitely April 30th.
Early in the series in the episode where it was Phil's birthday and he wanted an iPad, Jay attempts to teach Mitchell how to fight. As he's applying a choke hold, he tells Mitch he learned it from the Gracie's, a family of martial arts experts. In real life, as of 2007, Ed O'Neil has a black belt in Brazilian ju jitzu he earned with the Gracie's training.
President Barack Obama cited Modern Family as his favourite show. Interestingly, his opponent in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney, also claimed the show to be his favourite, indicating the mass appeal by Democrats and Republicans alike.
This is actually the second show that ''Ed O'Neil'' has starred in where a flight of stairs needs a single step to be fixed. On Married with Children (1986), the stairs in the Bundy's basement always has one step in need of repair and several characters often fall down as a result of it.
Everytime DeDe (Jay's ex wife) comes to visit, she arrives at a different family household. In Season 1, she went to the Tucker-Pritchett's. In Season 2, she arrived at the Dunphy's. Then in Season 4, she came to the Pritchett's.
Though Andy and Mitch are almost 20 years apart, Adam is only 8 years younger than Jesse. What's more, despite there being a 4 year difference between Andy and Alex, Adam is actually 15 years older than Ariel.
The writers never wanted to trivialize serious teenager problems, and wrote storylines that focused on the severity of anxiety and depression that kids face. They also made a point to show their characters seeking help, so that kids watching would know that their problems are worth helping and are important.
Reid Ewing (Dylan) and Adam Devine (Andy) share a birthday- November 7. However, in separate years, as Reid is born in 1988, whereas Adam is in 1983. Both actors play love interests to Haley on the show.
One of Phil's "Phil's-osophy" mantras is "Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt." Ty Burrell actually worked with William Hurt in The Incredible Hulk (2008).
Throughout his stint on the show, Adam Devine (Andy) was filming two sitcoms simultaneously. On Monday, he would film Modern Family, then spend the majority of the rest of the week on his show Workaholics (2011).
The character of Andy was only supposed to be in for 3 episodes, and was not intended to be Haley's love interest. However, when the writers saw how seamlessly Adam fit into the show, and his chemistry with Sarah, they wrote him into numerous seasons.
In their scenes together, Sarah and Adam would often act more dramatic and serious than the scene intended, due to how invested they were in Haley and Andy's relationship. The producers would constantly have to remind them to keep the pacing fast.
The popularity of Mitch and Cam carries so much cultural significance that many consider Modern Family to be the main influence into the normalization and legislation of gay marriage for the 21st century.
Upon reading the script the first time, Ed O'Neill, himself a sitcom veteran after starring in Married with Children for 11 seasons, exclaimed that he knew that the script was a winner, and that the show would last for at least 10 years.
On Aubrey Anderson-Emmons first day, she watched episodes to help her understand her role as Lily. When she then subsequently shot a scene, she broke character and said to Eric and Jesse: "We watched you guys on Modern Family!"
Adam was initially surprised to get the call from the producers, asking him to play the role of sweet, cheerful Andy, as he had only played the antagonistic, jerk roles in movies and tv. When writing the character, the writers only had Adam in mind, and vouched hard to get him. He eventually got the part, and surprised many of the cast and crew with his ability to portray Andy so genuinely.
The first show in history to have a gay couple in its main ensemble. Due to this, many predicted that the show would get axed, or, in the very least, have low ratings, due to how controversial it was. Miraculously, the show received both universal critical acclaim and very high ratings and is regarded as one of the most successful shows in history.
As Haley shares a lot of Claire's traits, they wanted a character like Phil to balance her out: a fun-loving, energetic, sweet guy. Thus, in the episodes where Phil and Andy interact, the writers highly emphasized the similarities between the two.
Jays nemesis was first introduced as Earl Norton from Closets, Closets, Closets, Closets in the Australian episode but later revealed as Earl Chambers who has a granddaughter named Sophie that is Manny's age.
All of the families are loosely based off of the creators' families and friends. In fact, creator Steve Levitan created the Dunphy children from his own children: Hannah/Haley was 15, Alexa/Alex was 13 and Griffin/Luke was 11.
It was a very lengthy process getting Ty Burrell cast as Phil. The ABC network had its reservations, as Ty had previously starred in Back to You (2007) as a dull character, and they were looking for a well-known actor. The network then thought that Ty didn't have the ability to play a main character, but the creators insisted. Creator Steve Levitan then had an idea to film Ty and Sarah at his own home, just to give a preview of what the show could be like. Eventually, this won the network over and Ty was cast.
Pitching the show to network executives on what stories would be told, Steve Levitan pulled out a home video of him shooting his 10-year-old son with a BB-gun after his son accidentally shot his cousin. This exact situation was then recreated in the pilot episode.
The creators purposely decided to create a relationship-driven and heart-warming show so that families could watch together. They were huge fans on Cheers (1982), and wanted to aim for a show that could make the audience laugh and cry.
Two of the most recurring characters- Andy and Sal- are played respectively by Adam DeVine and Elizabeth Banks, who also co-stared in Pitch Perfect (2012) and its sequel Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) together. Like the franchise, their characters do not interact on screen.
Leslie Grossman auditioned for Claire Dunphy and made it to the final stage of auditions. She says that not getting the part was one of the hardest times in her career. However, she later made an appearance in one episode.
The writers have stated that they value solid stories and character development over having an exaggerated episode that is funny. They wanted the comedy to derive from real-life situations and didn't want to partake in the typical sitcom cliches.
According to TMZ, Brigitte was on the books of Hollywood animal acting agency Good Dog Animals, who subleased the pup to ABC for the show before season two. But the agency recently decided it no longer wanted to work with the cute pooch and made no bones about it as Brigitte was dumped. They then replaced her with a new dog named Beatrice, who Modern Family decided to hire to take on the role of Stella for season four of the show.
With the exception of Easter, the show has portrayed every main celebration in America encompassing over September-July: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Independence Day.
A few of Ty Burrell's Back to You (2007) co-stars have acted on the show, including Fred Willard, Josh Gad and Kelsey Grammer. That show was created by the same creators as Modern Family, and had Back to You been successful, Modern Family would have never been created.
There have been several references to films that feature various cast members. The Muppets (2011) in which Rico cameos, Finding Nemo (2003), whose sequel Finding Dory (2016) features both Ed and Ty, and Ice Age: Collision Course (2016), which stars Jesse and Adam, have all been mentioned in episodes.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The episode "Connection Lost" in season 6 (the episode filmed entirely through FaceTime), Alex begs Claire to read her essay that she keeps making revisions to. In the credits we see Claire attempting to read this essay (while being wildly distracted) and if you read closely in the first paragraph it says "I know you're not reading this, mom".