Top 10 Hilarious Modern Family Running Gags

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Top 10 Hilarious Modern Family Running Gags

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
These "Modern Family" running gags never get old. Our countdown includes Claire loves wine, mature Manny, the broken step, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Modern Family Running Gags


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern Family Running Gags.

For this list, we’ll be looking at those funny show moments that, like a helicopter propeller, kept “taka taka taka” coming back around.

Now, put on your tightest bicycle shorts and leave us a comment below.

#10: Phil’s Fixation with Gloria


Gloria is a very beautiful woman and it’s no surprise that men are attracted to her. But when that man is her stepson-in-law, it can be a little uncomfortable, and also very funny. There are multiple moments throughout the series where Phil’s obvious fixation plays out, from some awkward slips of the tongue to some hysterical misunderstandings. And Phil is always the one to jump on Gloria when a fight breaks out. The writers loved this one so much, Phil saying “I’ve got Gloria” became a running gag in itself.

#9: Gil Thorpe


Every superhero needs a supervillain. Every hero needs a nemesis. And every Phil needs a Gil. Gil Thorpe is Phil Dunphy’s arch business rival and picks on him as well. We first find out about Gil when he sends Phil a photo of a topless woman that ends up on Claire’s computer. But that’s just the beginning of the fun that Thorpe has messing with Phil over the next several seasons. Phil is always trying to beat him and paranoid that Gil is always going to screw him over in one way or another. As the kids say these days, Gil was “living rent-free” in Phil’s head.

#8: Claire Loves Wine


A character who loves wine is a staple of many sitcoms and “Modern Family” was no exception. In this case, it was Claire who was fond of, as Sheldon Cooper calls it, “grape juice that burns.” Whether she’s drinking it out of a coffee mug or spouting the benefits of day drinking to her heart-broken daughter, wine is a constant love in her life. Running her family ain’t easy and as Claire likes to say, [“Day drink. That’s how you come out the other side.”] Wise words from a wise woman.

#7: Phil's Unintentional Innuendos


We’ve all had that moment when you say something and it unintentionally sounds like your saying something sexual. Well, if you’re Phil Dunphy, those moments aren’t as rare as you might like. The double entendre running gag finds Phil putting his Dun’feet’ in his mouth rather often. As happened in a speech he gives trying to defend his wife during her run for city council. Although, some of the funniest moments are the times when he doesn’t even realize he’s done it. Often popping up out of nowhere. No pun intended… Okay, that was kinda intended.

#6: Cam's Farm Stories


Did you know that Cam grew up on a farm in Missouri? If you’ve watched any “Modern Family” episode, the odds are you did know that, because he talks about it all the time! It seems like for every situation that comes up in their lives, Cam has a story from the farm that can help. There are actually two great things about this particular running gag. First off, the stories themselves are often hysterical, but the reactions from his city-slicker husband, Mitch, are often just as priceless. Opposites do attract!

#5: Mature Manny


Manny is a great example of the expression, “an old soul.” He’s one of the youngest members of the entire extended “Modern Family,” but he’s also one of the most cultured and mature. From his morning espresso to his online book club, his fedora hats, his love of jazz, and his ability to have deep, emotional adult conversations. This running joke plays out in a whole host of ways throughout the series. And unlike some of the other items on this list, this gag is so much a part of who Manny is as a character rather than a joke that keeps popping up.

#4: Phil Answers the Phone


What’s nature's surefire sunburn remedy? Aloe! Okay, so that isn’t really funny on its own. But, when Phil Dunphy asks the question and then responds while answering the phone, it’s groan-out-loud hysterical. And that’s just one of many examples of this brilliant running gag.
Not only do they make us laugh, but we’re pretty sure we aren’t the only ones that try to figure out the answer before he says it into the phone. It’s also fun to see how annoyed everyone is by it. Except for Luke, who always gives him a well-deserved lol.

#3: Gloria’s Accent


Who ended up with small nativity Jesuses when what they wanted were baby cheeses? Gloria of course. Another long-running “Modern Family'' joke had to do with Gloria’s thick Colombian accent and all the misunderstandings that came from it. And while overall, her English is very good, there are still some words she doesn’t know and can’t seem to remember. The one that comes up more than once is “helicopter.” Or as she calls them, “taka taka taka.” It’s very funny, but as some fans have pointed out, “helicopter” in Spanish is “helicóptero.” So, of all the words in the English language, it’s a little weird that she can’t remember that one.

#2: The Broken Step


In the 1980s, it was “Gotta Getta Gund.” Starting in the 90s, it was “Gotta catch them all.” And in the 2010s it was, “Gotta fix that step.” The broken step bit was such a major running gag on the show you might be surprised to know that it actually began as an improv by actor Ty Burrell in Season One. It was such a hit that it became part of the family. Phil’s somewhat precarious relationship with stairs even extended out beyond the Dunphy house to other homes as well. In Season Two, Phil does actually fix the step, but an earthquake later in the episode undoes his work.

#1: Clive Bixby & Julianna


They say that role-playing is a good way to spice up a marriage, and in the Season One Valentine’s Day episode, Phil and Claire give it a shot. The “bored housewife” and the “high-end electro-acoustic transducers” designer make a number of appearances throughout the show’s run. And each time, their attempts at romance lead to unintended, comedic, and quite awkward situations. But, while they might not have had the desired effect on Phil and Claire’s love life, the introduction of Clive Bixby and Julianna certainly spiced up our relationship with the show.
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