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.
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 (1987) 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.
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"'
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 finally in Season 4, she came to the Pritchett's.
This is actually the second show that 'Ed O'Neill' has starred in where a flight of stairs needs a single step to be fixed. On Married with Children (1987), 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.
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 Gracies, 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.
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 current boyfriend, Dominic Sherwood appears in the seventh season.
Both 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.
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.
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".