All the actors and actresses made a pact since the first season to always submit themselves to awards ceremonies in supporting roles, never leading.
Nolan Gould, who plays "dumb" Luke Dunphy, has actually been a member of Mensa since he was four.
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 emancipated from her parents.
Upon reading the script the first time, Ed O'Neill, himself a sitcom veteran after starring in Married with Children (1986) for 11 seasons, exclaimed that he knew that the script was a winner, and that the show would last for at least 10 years.
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.
Ed O'Neill would often help Sofía Vergara understand her lines and jokes that are difficult to translate due to language differences.
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.
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 Devine fit into the show, and his chemistry with Sarah Hyland, they wrote him into numerous seasons.
Contrary to many sitcoms, the show films its car scenes completely genuine on a camera rig, compared to a typical green screen.
At one point, the creators discussed having the show animated because they were concerned it wasn't going to appeal to children.
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.
Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cam Tucker, is heterosexual in real life but is a great supporter of the LGBT community.
The first ABC series to win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 22 years since The Wonder Years (1988).
Tied with Frasier (1993) for most consecutive Emmy wins (5) for Outstanding Comedy series (2010-2014).
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.
Phil's birthday is either on April 3rd or 30th (US release dates of the original iPad). 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 Modern Family: Game Changer (2010) stated that the day was a Saturday, his birthday is definitely April 30th.
For the first two seasons, Cam and Mitchell's daughter, Lily, is played by a set of twin girls named Ella Hiller and Jaden Hiller. They are not given an on-screen credit.
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 Steven Levitan then had an idea to film Ty and Sarah Hyland 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.
The whole cast are huge fans of Haley and Andy's relationship, and said that whenever Adam Devine showed up on set, they would all get so excited to see how their relationship would progress.
The older cast mates would often assist the younger ones with their lines and the timing of jokes, mentoring them like parents would to their actual children.
There have been many scenes/episodes that were inspired by a single line in a previous episode.
Rob Huebel turned down the role of Phil Dunphy and in later interviews expressed regret over this decision. He would later go on to appear as a nemesis of Phil.
The license plate on Cameron and Mitchell's car (2GAT123) is the same as Larry David's on Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000). The license plate number has been used in many other movies including Beverly Hills Cop (1984), L.A. Story (1991), Go (1999), Traffic (2000), Pay It Forward (2000), Crazy/Beautiful (2001), She's No Angel (2002), National Security (2003), Harsh Times (2005), and S.W.A.T. (2003). It can also be seen in Two and a Half Men (2003) and _"Chuck"_.
Whilst Haley and Beth strongly dislike one another, Sarah Hyland and Laura Ashley Samuels are actually best friends.
Impressively for an ensemble cast, all twelve main characters have celebrated a birthday at some point, though it's not always the focus of the episode.
In many episodes, Mitch is compared to looking like legendary painter Vincent Van Gogh. Jesse Tyler Ferguson also gets this quite a lot in real life.
Became the first show in history to have a gay couple propose, and have a main gay couple marry.
Lily goes to Watson Elementary, a play on the often misquoted Sherlock Holmes phrase, ''Elementary, my dear Watson''.
The creators wanted a family show that accurately depicted the 21st century, and said that it would have been such an injustice to not include a gay family in the cast.
Ty Burrell improvised tripping on a step as he was going up the stairs during a scene, which then turned Phil saying 'gotta fix that step' into a recurring joke.
Sarah Hyland suffers from kidney dysplasia, and received a kidney in 2012. As such, she is on regular anti-rejection medication and steroids, and has been placed on bed-rest several times. Despite this, she continues to film the show simultaneously. When she had her second kidney transplant in 2017, all the cast and crew took all the safety precautions to ensure she didn't get any infections, including wearing surgical masks on set.
The cast is so talented at physical comedy that the writers try to incorporate it as much as possible, especially for Ty Burrell.
Sarah Hyland is three years older than her character. She was already an adult when she first started playing the role of 15-year-old Haley.
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.
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 Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson: "We watched you guys on Modern Family!"
Eric Stonestreet is quite different than his character Cam, and says that sometimes fans are disappointed that he isn't as dramatic and bubbly as Cam.
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.
When Jesse Tyler Ferguson was cast as Mitchell, he was 33 years old, and didn't think he looked old enough to play a father. He then grew a beard, and it's been a staple of his character ever since.
When creating the character of Mr Kleezak, the writers knew from the very beginning that eventually they would kill him off, so that Luke would experience grief.
Full name of Manny's character is Manuel Alberto Javier Alejandro Delgado. This is mentioned in season 6 episode 7.
Despite the authentic look of the families' houses, all three are sets, and stand meters apart from each other on the Fox lot.
In their scenes together, Sarah Hyland and Adam Devine 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 writers purposely chose to have Andy without a dad, so that he would naturally bond with Phil more.
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.
The concept of the series was influenced by the French mockumentary series Fais pas ci, fais pas ça (2007) created in 2007.
Every time the show goes to a specific location, it is actually filmed there, instead of being recreated in a studio.
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'Neill has a black belt in Brazilian ju jitzu he earned with the Gracie's training.
Won the Emmy for Directing in a Comedy Series four years in a row (Michael Spiller, Steven Levitan, Gail Mancuso and Mancuso again), from 2011 to 2014.
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 cast, especially Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, have stated that the most rewarding part of their job is hearing people tell them that the show made it easier for them to come out as gay. In one heartwarming example, a child came out to his parents, and his mom's response was: "Well, which are you? Mitch or Cam?"
The former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady, Michelle Obama, stated that Modern Family is one of their favorite shows.
Julie Bowen is extremely close to Sarah Hyland and Ariel Winter, and considers them to be her daughters.
Britney Spears was reportedly offered a role in the middle of Season 3, but by the time producers heard from her people, they had the rest of the season already planned.
The creators conceived the idea of the show during discussions with each other about the crazy things their families had done that week.
The producers were hesitant to see Sarah Hyland for the part of Haley because she was 18, and they were looking for 15 year old. However, when they saw how young she looked, she was hired for the role.
ABC, the network which airs Modern Family, is owned by Disney. This makes it a ground-breaking first for Disney to, indirectly, have gay characters.
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 (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.
Sarah Hyland was an avid dancer when she was little, doing tap and ballet. The writers occasionally allow her to dance to show off her skills.
There are a number of episodes that are set on historical days- "Suddenly Last Summer" was set on June 26, 2013, the day that gay marriage was legalised in California; and "Lake Life" on the day of a total solar eclipse in America: August 21,2017.
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.
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).
A running gag is members of the family blaming their problems on an unseen raccoon.
Pitching the show to network executives on what stories would be told, Steven 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 writers have stated that the mockumentary filmmaking is just a clever storytelling device, and that there is no actual film crew, as they "hated the idea of people intentionally allowing cameras into their homes with their children."
Rico Rodriguez has articulated that Ed O'Neill often gives him tips and encouragement when they're running their lines together, and expresses his appreciation of such a seasoned actor taking his time to be with him.
Prior to getting the role of Phil, Ty Burrell was previously typecast in unsympathetic roles. He was then very glad in securing a role that allowed the audience to like him.
Many writers previously worked at Frasier (1993), both famous for their high level of wit and ingenuity. Christopher Lloyd was also show-runner at Frasier, and holds the distinctive record for winning the most Emmys as a producer-12.
Ed O'Neill has the distinctive accomplishment of being a main character in two sitcoms than have been on the air for 11 years each- Married with Children (1986) and Modern Family.
Although Haley is older than Alex by 3 years, and Luke and Manny by 5 years, Sarah Hyland is actually 8 years older than Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez.
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.
In Modern Family, Julie Bowen is technically the step-daughter of Gloria, played by Sofía Vergara. In both real life and the show, Julie is older than Sofía.
Due to its immense popularity and universal acclaim, Modern Family is credited with reviving the sitcom for the 21st century.
Phil describes himself as a "stress blinker", in which he excessively blinks when under pressure. Ty Burrell does this in real life too; Jesse Tyler Ferguson first realized it when they were coordinating their entrance to the Emmys.
Sarah Hyland considers Adam Devine and Mira Sorvino to be her favorite guest-stars on the show.
The writers were very aware that families and children were watching, and made a conscious decision to avoid anything too racy or inappropriate, as was the norm for sitcoms.
ABC loved the pitch and the pilot episode so much that the network took the unprecedented step of showing the entire pilot at the upfront meetings for advertisers. It was so well-received that ABC then renewed the show for a second season without even waiting for the Nielsen ratings for the pilot.
In 2011 the Dunphys featured in a "got milk?" milk mustache campaign print ad from America's Milk Processors.
Haley and Dylan have got together and broken up multiple times in season 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7.
Adam Devine 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.
Nolan Gould has an IQ of 150 (revealed on Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003) ) and part of Mensa.
Adam Devine was 30 when he first started playing the role of Andy, who is meant to be in his early 20s, making the actor nearly 10 years older than his character.
Ed O'Neill (Jay) has two daughters- Claire and Sophia. Claire is the name of Jay's daughter, while Sofia is the fist name of the actress that plays Gloria, Jay's wife, Sofía Vergara.
The prop newspaper Ed O'Neill was reading in one episode was also used by him in his previous sitcom Married with Children (1986).
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Ed O'Neill and Sarah Hyland have all previously performed on Broadway.
Three main cast members from the show Workaholics (2011) have starred on the show: Anders Holm, Maribeth Monroe and Adam Devine.
Reid Ewing was cast for the role of Dylan for the pilot episode, and remarkably didn't need to be re-cast, due to how perfectly Reid portrayed him.
Many references are made to the movie Annie. Sarah Hyland actually starred in the 1999 Disney movie The Wonderful World of Disney: Annie (1999) as Molly.
Each season features at least two holiday episodes- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, Valentine's Day or a vacation episode.
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.
In the 2011 and 2012 Emmy Awards, all 6 adult cast members-- Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet-- were nominated in the supporting actor/actress category, with Burrell, Stonestreet and Bowen twice, winning.
A show featuring a gay couple raising a child was very controversial, and was met with skepticism over whether it would survive its first season. The creators especially were worried that people wouldn't even give the show a chance, but remained determined to depict Mitch and Cam just like any other family. Modern Family has since emerged as one of the most successful and popular shows of all time, and the creators have heaped all praise on Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet for their ability to make the audience fall in love with them.
Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould and Ariel Winter are extremely close to one another. Their closeness in age, as well as spending a lot of time together in the studio school, strongly cemented their bond.
Although it is stated that Andy and Beth are the same age, Adam Devine is older than Laura Ashley Samuels by 7 years.
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.
When figuring out the idea of how the families were related, the creators once pictured that there were three adult siblings living in a cul-de-sac. Christopher Lloyd, however, had previously worked on Frasier (1993), and adored the dynamics between the father Martin and his adult children Frasier and Niles. He suggested a father, with two adult children, living close to one another in Los Angeles as the pitch for the show.
Out of the parents on the show, only Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell are parents in real life too.
Nicole by O.P.I. has a line of nail polishes that are marketed and advertised in print as "inspired by TV's Modern Family". Their print ads feature Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould in a family portrait group image.
Luke's birthday is November 28, 1998 and almost usually falls on Thanksgiving. Haley's birthday is in 1994 and Alex's birthday is in late 1997.
Like his character, Eric Stonestreet is also from the Midwest. However, he chose to have Cam from Missouri to not make jokes about his hometown Kansas.
In 2013, when Proposition 8 and the legislation of same-sex marriage in America became prominent, the writers began breaking stories about Mitch and Cam's engagement and wedding, despite the issue still being up in the air. On June 26, when same-sex marriage was legalized in California, Jeffrey Richman was more relieved as a writer than the fact that he could get married now, as it would have been an enormous task to rewrite the arc and several episodes.
Two of the most recurring characters- Andy and Sal- are played respectively by Adam Devine and Elizabeth Banks, who also co-starred in Pitch Perfect (2012) and its sequel Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) together. Like the franchise, their characters do not interact on screen.
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.
Nathan Lane plays a selfish, self-absorbed, eccentric character, much like his roles as Timon in The Lion King (1994) and Snowball in Stuart Little (1999).
With the exception of Easter and Memorial Day, 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.
Only a very small fraction of the recurring characters feature in the interview segments: Andre, Dylan, Pam, Andy and Ben. Andy is the only character to feature by himself, and in multiple interviews.
The names of the Dunphy daughters are a possible play on the name of "Roots" author, Alex Haley.
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.
In season 7 Sarah Hyland's hair in one scene was long then in another scene it was short. During that time she was wearing a weave.
Sal, who is played by Elizabeth Banks, has a son named Sammy. Banks played Kim on the TV-show Scrubs (2001) who had a son with J.D. (Zach Braff ), that son was also named Sammy.
Jeff Greenberg, the casting director, has won several awards for his casting of the show, even more impressive given the 12-person ensemble cast. After casting other iconic shows like Cheers (1982) and Frasier (1993), he was well aware of an actor's potential and lobbied hard for Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell to be cast, in spite of the network's reservations.
Three members from SCTV (1976) have guest-starred: Catherine O'Hara, Andrea Martin, and Martin Short.
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.
Haley has a lot of parking issues throughout the show that get her into trouble in one episode Phil is arrested because of Haley's unpaid parking tickets.
Cameron and Mitchell, the first names of the Tucker-Pritchett couple, may be a reference to legendary B-Movie actor Cameron Mitchell.
There have been several references to films that feature various cast members. The Muppets (2011) in which Rico Rodriguez cameos, Finding Nemo (2003), whose sequel Finding Dory (2016) features both Ed O'Neill and Ty Burrell, and Ice Age: Collision Course (2016), which stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Adam Devine, have all been mentioned in episodes.
Ty Burrell and Philip Baker Hall had previously worked again in 'In Good Company (2004)'.
Gloria Delgado-Pritchett's (Sofía Vergara) maiden name is Ramirez (revealed in Season 9 Episode 11)
Gloria is considered to be an older mom after having Joe in her early 40s. In reality, Sofía Vergara was just a teenager when she had her son Manolo.
Such is the enormous success of the show, that network executives have noted that during a pitch for a new show, it is extremely rare for Modern Family not to be mentioned as an example for the show to reach.
Perhaps an intentionally whimsical contradiction, Manny Delgado's last name is also the Spanish word for "thin."
Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, and Keegan-Michael Key have also appeared in The Lion King franchise on separate occasions Broderick and Lane were in the original The Lion King (1994) animated film as Simba and Timon while Key was in the live action reboot as Banzai/Kamari the Hyena.
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney both auditioned for the roles of Claire and Phil Dunphy. They ended up working together in Catastrophe (2015), also playing a married couple.