Modern Family: Phil's 10 Funniest Storylines, Ranked

While Modern Family has been off the air since 2020, fans love rewatching comforting episodes and seeing what the cast is doing. Sarah Hyland married Wells Adams in the summer of 2022 and when the special A Modern Farewell aired before the series finale, Hyland said "When my fiancé proposed, he asked my mom and dad for their blessing. Then he also hunted down Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell for their blessing. They really, really are like my second set of parents."

Burrell's portrayal of silly and goofy husband and father Phil Dunphy is a favorite for fans who enjoy Phil's entertaining storylines and quotable unique phrases that he thinks of himself. Most seasons of Modern Family include hilarious pltolines featuring Phil and his distinct way of viewing life.


10 Phil Keeps Locking Himself Out Of The Home He Can't Sell

Phil with his real estate sign on Modern Family

Phil's most mature Modern Family moments include his love of working in real estate, and in the season 5 episode "The Big Game," he has a tough time selling a house. Phil is upset because he's attempting to inspire his children to feel that they can do anything that they set their mind to and have a happy mindset.

The storyline becomes funnier as the episode goes on as Phil locks himself out of the house several times in a row. While there are other real estate focused plotlines that are even more hilarious, like the "sexy house" Phil works on later, it's charming and relatable seeing Phil's luck running out.

9 Phil And Mitch Go To A Favorite Film Together

Mitch standing with Phil at the movies on Modern Family

It's fun seeing Phil and Mitch explore their love of a movie franchise in the season 7 episode "The Party," and when someone gives them some gummies, they become upset and leave without even enjoying the film that they were so excited about.

It's funny seeing Mitch and Phil let loose and have a good time. While these two characters are part of storylines together that are more hilarious, this one proves that the best Modern Family plotlines involve the goofy and moving interactions between the family members.

8 Gloria, Cam And Phil Get Together To Vent

Phil, Cam and Gloria standing together looking surprised on Modern Family

Viewers find out in the season 8 episode "The Alliance" that Gloria, Phil and Cam like to get together to talk about their marriages. They feel that since they are each in a serious relationship with a member of the Pritchett family, they understand each other and know that it can be stressful and difficult.

While this is a brief plotline and isn't as important as other ones that show more of Phil's personality, this one is still enjoyable. It's nice seeing Phil interact with Gloria and Cam and since Phil's scenes with Gloria can sometimes be creepy, this one is much better.

7 Phil Creates A "Duck Village"

Split image of Claire and Phil holding ducklings on Modern Family

Phil frustrates Claire in season 7 when he takes care of ducks and even comes up with a "village" for them. This is a great storyline since Phil and Lily are both interested in the ducks, which shows that Lily can be mature on Modern Family.

Watching Phil's passion for his new hobby and Claire's irritation is pure comedy, and while this is a dynamic that plays out throughout the entire sitcom, this is still a great part of Phil's story arc. The couple doesn't always know why the other person does something, but seeing them try to support each other is realistic and moving as well as always funny.

6 Phil Is The Proud Host Of A Real Estate Industry Banquet

Phil Sitting in a bench with his face on it

There's nothing that Phil loves more than attending the banquet for real estate agents, something that he always does with enthusiasm. In the season 5 episode "Spring-a-Ding-Fling," Phil wants Haley to come with him, and the event is a big mess as he ends up falling.

When Phil blends physical comedy with his childlike approach to life, the result is some of his most memorable storylines, making this one stand out among all the times that Phil talks about his passion for showing houses and helping clients. Seeing Phil try to get Haley interested in his career and life makes this even funnier as, in true Haley fashion, she doesn't want to be there at all.

5 Phil Makes Haley A Book Called "Phil's-osophy"

The words and phrases that Phil creates are some of the best parts of Modern Family and in the season 4 episode "Schooled," he writes a book of advice that he gives Haley when she goes to college. While Haley's time at school doesn't last long and she scrambles to find herself, it's definitely funny that Phil loves to share wisdom with everyone.

While Haley doesn't fully appreciate what Phil has done for her, as it takes her becoming a parent to see what Claire and Phil have sacrificed and been through to help her along, it's still funny and entertaining that Phil has his own approach to living life. Phil has fun with the big and the little moments and he just wants Haley to be happy.

4 Phil Wants To Fire Mitch, Who Wants To Leave The Job

Mitch and Phil holding flowers and looking upset on Modern Family

One common sitcom trope is when characters misunderstand each other, and this happens in the season 3 episode "Tableau Vivant" when Mitch works at Phil's real estate company. Mitch wants to leave but Phil thinks that he has to fire him and they dance around saying what they really want to for a while.

While this is often a cliche that feels irritating, it works in this storyline as Mitch and Phil act hilariously and try to be as polite as possible while hiding how they really feel.

3 Phil Is Devastated When Haley Splits Up With Dylan

Phil sitting on the couch with Haley and Dylan on Modern Family

The season 2 episode "Mother Tucker" features one of the most hilarious Phil storylines as Haley ends her relationship with Dylan and Phil finds it difficult to understand why she would do this. Phil understands Dylan's immature but kind nature and thinks that they are a great couple and he hates seeing them apart.

Phil's emotions are played for laughs here in an over-the-top way. Since Phil doesn't act the way that fans would expect him to, as it seems like he would agree with Claire who thinks that Haley and Dylan are better off apart, the result is a perfectly silly episode.

2 Phil Tries To Go Camping On His Own

Phil recording a video of himself camping on Modern Family

Phil doesn't always give great Modern Family advice and he doesn't always have the best ideas when it comes to activities. In the season 9 episode "Tough Love," Phil goes camping on his own and then realizes that he's terrified and feels lost, lonely and isolated.

When Phil wants to cover up how he's really feeling so Claire doesn't laugh at him, viewers not only find Phil adorable and endearing, but it's hard not to laugh at how intensely Phil acts during this situation. Phil adds to the goofy tone by filming himself giving advice about wilderness survival.

1 Phil Steals A Kid's Bike Without Meaning To

Claire, Phil and Luke riding bikes and talking to Jay driving in his car in Modern Family

Phil's season 1 storyline of stealing someone's bike so he can show Luke that he needs to be more responsible couldn't be sillier or more significant at the same time. Phil realizes that he has stolen a child's bike, which he feels awful about as this was the last thing that he wanted to do, and the situation becomes chaotic and confusing as he tries to make it right.

Season 1 of a sitcom or drama often features the storylines that really dive into each unique character, and the beginning of Modern Family examines Phil's role in his family as he tries to let his kids grow up while understanding that they can find independence and he can still be there for them.

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