- Some of the funniest Modern Family episodes feature interconnecting storylines and family support through relatable struggles, making them rewatchable.
- Episodes like “Up All Night” and “The Bicycle Thief” showcase Phil’s hilarious reactions and bold parenting tactics that often lead to comedic chaos.
- Cam’s rivalries and feuds, such as in “Spring-A-Ding-Fling,” provide plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, while the show also excels in mixing humor with relatable domestic mishaps, as seen in “Great Expectations.”
It’s no easy task picking the funniest Modern Family episodes out of all 250 in existence. Throughout the show’s entire run from 2009 to 2020, Modern Family was the definitive American sitcom. With 85 Emmy nominations and 22 wins under its belt as well as strong ratings for ABC, it still remains a popular streaming option for people looking to laugh out loud. The lovable cast of characters and clever situations brought those big laughs to the tale of this extended family, with a few standout episodes really highlighting the show’s humor.
Up until the end of Modern Family in 2020, the best episodes made great use of the ensemble and their funny, relatable struggles with one another. But no matter how hard some conversations or situations were, the three families supported each other and talked through their misgivings and secrets. From the episodes that wonderfully interconnect three different stories to the big ensemble episodes with the whole family on vacation to the memorable holiday celebrations, the funniest Modern Family episodes are among the most rewatchable of any sitcom.
Modern Family is available to stream on Hulu.
35 Up All Night
Season 1, Episode 11
One of the earliest and best examples of the show’s ability to weave storylines together, “Up All Night” follows the three separate families as they deal with late-night mishaps. This includes the first appearance by Manny’s often-absent father, Javier, as well as Cam and Mitch dealing with sleep training Lily. However, the funniest storyline is dedicated to the Dunphys as Phil experiences a severe stomach pain and has to go to the hospital. Phil’s pained and dramatic reactions are mixed with the subplot of his feeling jealous over Claire’s reaction to the local firefighters is paid off in a hilarious reveal that makes for a classic Phil moment.
34 Express Christmas
Season 3, Episode 10
Modern Family‘s Christmas episodes are always a highlight, rewatching them makes for great holiday season viewing. This includes one of the best Christmas episodes, season 3’s fast-paced and exciting “Express Christmas.” Realizing that none of them are going to be together over the actual holidays, the three families decide to stage an impromptu celebration as they all rush to make it happen. There are some great pairings in the episode as the family splits up, with the highlight being Cam’s attempts to give a special Christmas gift to Jay only to become self-conscious about their relationship.
33 Coal Digger
Season 1, Episode 5
The relationship between Jay and Gloria has been the subject of some hilarious moments on the show as well as some controversy among the characters. This is revealed most directly in the season 1 episode “Coal Digger”, in which the family is forced to deal with some of their tension when Manny and Luke fight at school. The sometimes combative relationships within the family make for the most compelling episodes, and the truth behind the boys’ fight is a hilarious reveal. It sets the stage for a charged family gathering that builds to a sweet family moment in the end.
Season 4, Episode 7
While Haley Dunphy goes through a lot of growth over the course of the series, she was still a little immature by the time she got to college. This resulted in Haley finding herself in more trouble than ever in the episode “Arrested” as she faces getting kicked out of school for a night of wild partying. This leads to Phil and Claire bringing the only lawyer they know to defend her, and Mitch is not exactly up to the task. The side storyline involving Cam babysitting Luke and Alex also goes horribly wrong with some classic scenes of Cam panicking, which always makes for big laughs.
31 Moon Landing
Season 1, Episode 14
Jay is not great at getting along with people and that includes those in his family. While he and Cam find some common ground when they begin going to the gym together, an awkward encounter hilariously shakes Jay, showing how immature the patriarch of the family can be. The title of the episode is given hilarious context with Jay and Cam’s run-in which makes for a great joke to end the episode. There is also a great B-plot with Claire meeting up with an old friend and becoming insecure about her mundane life. Her attempt to show off her happy family in the end makes for a brilliant reveal that highlights the Dunphys’ chaotic household.
30 Undeck The Halls
Season 1, Episode 10
The very first Christmas episode of the series remains the best of them all, while highlighting Phil as one of the funniest and most relatable television dads. After finding a cigarette burn on the couch that none of the kids confess to, Phil puts his foot down by canceling Christmas. The wonderful way Phil and Claire struggle with not caving into their over-the-top punishment will ring true for most parents. There is also a great storyline of Cam and Mitch accidentally getting a mall Santa fired and attempting to make up for it, capped off with Cam’s entertaining feud with a group of local carolers.
Season 5, Episode 16
Cam and his many rivalries and feuds make for some of the funniest Modern Family episodes, including this one in which he finds someone who is perhaps more theatrical and charming than him. Cam finds himself jealous when a returning teacher at his school steals his thunder as he organizes the Spring Fling. However, Mitch also gets plenty of opportunity for hilarious overreactions as he starts a new job only to suspect that his new boss might be an abusive tyrant. The end reveal is a clever bit of writing that proves, despite Mitch often thinking he is one of the more rational people in the family, he can often be far from it.
28 Great Expectations
Season 1, Episode 8
Though still in its first season, “Great Expectations” pulled off some of the best Modern Family guest stars in the show’s run. The main story revolves around Mitch and Cam reconnecting with their wild friend Sal (Elizabeth Banks) only to realize that she has a dark jealousy of Lily. Also, when Claire attempts to outdo Phil with an anniversary gift, Edward Norton appears as the signer from Phil’s favorite band only for Phil to admit he has no idea who the man is. Both guest stars make great additions to the show as it mixes those elements of madcap humor and relatable domestic mishaps.
27 Dude Ranch
Season 3, Episode 1
The Modern Family season finales often took the ensemble to a new location for a bigger story, but one of the best vacation episodes was the season 3 premiere. This getaway has the family visiting a dude ranch and getting in touch with the great outdoors. There is a lot of young romance with Alex sharing her first kiss and Hayley getting an unexpected proposal. However, the adults’ antics steal the show, with Phil actually proving himself to be a great cowboy to impress Jay, only for Jay to be too preoccupied with the real cowboy making moves on Gloria. The great reversal of positions adds something special to the Jay and Phil dynamic, which is often the best in the series.
26 The Bicycle Thief
Season 1, Episode 2
With only the second episode of the series, Modern Family was establishing some of the hilarious character traits and family quirks that would define the show. Like “Express Christmas,” “The Bicycle Thief” takes a look at Phil’s bold parenting tactics that often end up making him look foolish. When Luke seems to have been careless with his new bike, Phil attempts to teach him a lesson, only to find himself in more trouble. Phil often steals the show and this is one of his best episodes. Cam also cements himself as a standout character in the show when Mitch recommends he downplay his theatricality at Lily’s new daycare.
25 Phil’s Sexy House
Season 7, Episode 7
In season 7, Phil was selling a high-tech home that he referred to as the “Sexy House.” The entire family heard about how cool the home was and planned on sneaking in to experience it themselves. However, none of them expected the others to be there, creating the kind of fun hijinks seen in many of the funniest Modern Family episodes.
Phil went to the house to play a virtual video game, Claire showed how perfect her relationship was by surprising Phil in a roleplay costume, Haley and Andy spent some time alone, and Alex and Reuben were secretly hooking up. Hilariously, everyone ended up awkwardly running into each other, and the episode is a textbook example of how Modern Family masterfully plays with big silly concepts with hilarious payoffs.
24 Aunt Mommy
Season 3, Episode 15
“Aunt Mommy” shows the awkwardness that can come between families when a big promise is made during a night of drinking. After one too many glasses of wine, Claire decided to donate her eggs to Cam and Mitch, so they could have a baby that was part of both of them. The next morning, both couples realized the idea wasn’t for them, but they didn’t know how to tell the other. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria fought over Manny’s participation in football. Everyone’s truth eventually came out the next day at brunch, with the funny awkwardness capped by the hilarious Modern Family episode’s cathartic final act.
23 Run For Your Wife
Season 1, Episode 6
In the Dunphy household, Phil bothers Claire by telling her that he’s a faster runner than her. Considering Claire ran miles every day, she knew he could never outrun her, and the two finally racing is as hilarious as expected. Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam are worried about Lily after she hit her head in their home, and they also accidentally lock their new baby in the car. “Run For Your Wife” excels at balancing out Phil’s self-destruction with poignant — and hilarious — moments of Mitch and Cam’s early days as dads.
22 Do You Believe In Magic
Season 8, Episode 12
In “Do You Believe In Magic,” it was Valentine’s Day for everyone, including little Joe, who gifted his teacher with a piece of Gloria’s lingerie. However, what truly makes this one of the funniest Modern Family episodes is Claire and Phil. After lying about not caring about Valentine’s Day, Claire — through a series of classic magic tricks — eventually revealed to Phil that she learned magic for him. There’s nothing quite as touching or hilarious as Phil softly and very intensely telling Claire after the big reveal “I don’t deserve you.” Claire and Phil’s Valentine’s Day adventures have always been a highlight and this one continued the hilarity with a wonderful buildup.
Season 1, Episode 23
In “Hawaii,” Gloria surprises Jay for his birthday by going on a family vacation to Hawaii. On the trip, each family had their own dreams for their vacation. Hilariously, Claire treated her vacation as a business trip because trying to keep an eye on her kids was too stressful. Meanwhile, Jay wanted a relaxing vacation but kept thinking about how old he was getting and that he needed to take better care of himself. Seeing the entire family get away to an exciting destination is always a fun change of pace for the show and this episode started that tradition by showing the hilarious misadventures they can get up to even on a relaxing getaway.
20 Three Turkeys
Season 6, Episode 8
In “Three Turkeys”, chaos descends on Thanksgiving when Phil decides to take control of the cooking duties, and Gloria and Jay lie about where they will be eating for the holiday. Phil believes that he accidentally shrunk his turkey (when it’s just been swapped), and Gloria and Jay come up with all sorts of excuses as to why they were at home. Another hilarious Modern Family holiday season episode, “Three Turkeys” perfectly displays the stress that can go into cooking and gathering for Thanksgiving, with Phil stealing the show with his manic reaction to things not going as planned.
19 Little Bo Bleep
Season 3, Episode 13
While the Dunphys were usually the stars of the episodes, season 3 began to give Cam, Lily, and Mitchell some hilarious storylines. In “Little Bo Bleep,” Cam and Mitchell find that Lily won’t stop saying curse words at the most random of moments. This is a perfect example of how Modern Family got away with edgy, sophomoric comedy through consistently wholesome storylines. It all builds to a hilarious moment on Lily’s big day with a joke that is perhaps predictable yet still lands the biggest laugh.
18 Family Portrait
Season 1, Episode 24
From a mud fight to Phil and Gloria’s kiss cam, there were plenty of highlights in Modern Family’s season 1 finale. Not only was it full of fast-paced action, but all the characters got their moments to shine. New pairings (such as Alex and Manny, and Jay and Luke) allowed fans to see more depth to their family dynamic. However, Mitch inadvertently destroying their apartment while chasing a pigeon, lovingly scored with Cam’s rendition of “Ave Maria,” is one of the funniest set pieces in the series. The comedy is balanced out with the tear-jerking reveal of the actual family portrait, a contemplation of how far the three families have come.
Season 1, Episode 1
While many sitcoms can struggle to find their footing early on, Modern Family‘s first episode was a terrific introduction. After Luke shoots Alex with a BB gun, Claire insists that Phil has to shoot Luke in return — as they all agreed upon when Phil got the gun for Luke. Claire, Phil, Alex, and Luke then plan the shooting and put it on the family calendar. Phil is undoubtedly the star of the pilot, including his rendition of “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical. It caps off with a clever reveal and the unforgettable moment of Cam introducing the family to Lily.
16 Las Vegas
Season 5, Episode 18
In season 5’s “Las Vegas,” the whole clan got together for a weekend in the city of sin. Jay trying and consistently failing to flex his connections is one of the great moments of the patriarch of the family showing vulnerability. The episode also included Cam doing one of the worst things to Mitchell (in a hilarious way), Claire trying to make back the money she lost years before, and Phil attempting to join a very exclusive magic club. It might not have ended up being the traditional trip they dreamed of, but it was chaotic fun. Once again, switching up the usual household setting provides an energy and spark to the comedy of this episode.