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 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.
At one point, the creators discussed having the show animated because they were concerned it wasn't going to appeal to children.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Became the first show in history to have a gay couple propose, and have a main gay couple marry.
Ed would often help Sofia understand her lines and jokes that are difficult to translate due to language differences.
Lily goes to Watson Elementary, a play on the often misquoted Sherlock Holmes phrase, ''Elementary, my dear Watson''.
Full name of Manny's character is Manuel Alberto Javier Alejandro Delgado. This is mentioned in season 6 episode 7.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Contrary to many sitcoms, the show films its car scenes completely genuine on a camera rig, compared to a typical green screen.
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.
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.
The former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady, Michelle Obama, stated that Modern Family is one of their favorite shows.
The cast is so talented at physical comedy that the writers try to incorporate it as much as possible, especially for Ty Burrell.
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.
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.
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!"
The writers purposely chose to have Andy without a Dad, so that he would naturally bond with Phil more.
The concept of the series was influenced by the French mockumentary serie "Fais pas ci, fais pas ça" created in 2007.
A running gag is members of the family blaming their problems on an unseen raccoon.
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.
When Jesse 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 its been a staple of his character ever since.
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.
Ty 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.
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 producers were hesitant to see Sarah for the part of Haley because she was 18, and they were looking for 15 year olds. However, when they saw how young she looked, she was hired for the role.
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 whole cast are huge fans of Haley and Andy's relationship, and said that whenever Adam showed up on set, they would all get so excited to see how their relationship would progress.
Prior to getting the role of Phil, Ty was previously typecast in unsympathetic roles. He was then very glad in securing a role that allowed the audience to like him.
In 2011 the Dunphys featured in a "got milk?" milk mustache campaign print ad from America's Milk Processors.
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.
Despite the authentic look of the families' houses, all three are sets, and stand meters apart from each other on the Fox lot.
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.
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.
Sarah 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.
Although it is stated that Andy and Beth are the same age, Adam Devine is older than Laura Ashley Samuels by 7 years.
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.
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.
Three main cast members from the show Workaholics (2011) have starred on the show: Anders Holm, Maribeth Monroe and Adam Devine.
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.
Haley and Dylan have got together and broken up multiple times in season 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7.
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.
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.
Like his character, Eric is also from the Midwest. However, he chose to have Cam from Missouri to not make jokes about his hometown Kansas.
Sarah was an avid dancer when she was little, doing tap and ballet. The writers occasionally allow her to dance to show off her skills.
The prop newspaper Ed was reading in one episode was also used by him in his previous sitcom Married with Children (1986).
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).
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.
Julie is extremely close to Sarah and Ariel, and considers them to be her daughters.
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.
Every time the show goes to a specific location, it is actually filmed there, instead of being recreated in a studio.
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.
There have been many scenes/episodes that were inspired by a single line in a previous episode.
The creators conceived the idea of the show during discussions with each other about the crazy things their families had done that week.
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.
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.
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.
In many episodes, Mitch is compared to looking like legendary painter Vincent Van Gogh. Jesse also gets this quite a lot in real life.
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.
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.
The names of the Dunphy daughters are a possible play on the name of "Roots" author, Alex Haley.
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.
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.
The character of Ben is in his mid-twenties, yet Joe Mande was in his 30s when he took the role. Coincidently, he was born in 1983, the same year as Adam DeVine.
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, 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.
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.
Out of the parents on the show, only Ed, Sofia, Julie and Ty are parents in real life too.
Sal, who is played by Elizabeth Banks, has a son named Sammy. Banks played Kim on the tv-show Scrubs who had a son with J.D. (Zach Braff), that son was also named Sammy.
Each season features at least two holiday episodes- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, Valentine's Day or a vacation episode.
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.
Sarah considers Adam DeVine and Mira Sorvino to be her favourite guest-stars on the show.
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.
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.
Cameron and Mitchell, the first names of the Tucker-Pritchett couple, may be a reference to legendary B-Movie actor Cameron Mitchell.
Ty Burrell and Philip Baker Hall had previously worked again in 'In Good Company (2004)'.
Three members from SCTV (1976) have guest-starred: Catherine O'Hara, Andrea Martin, and Martin Short.
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.