This contemporary comedy has, in our opinion, reshaped what it means to create a sitcom. What were once stuffy old TV shows full of canned laughter and repeated jokes has been turned into an art-form that serves to break down conventions and societal expectations, and twists them into something funny and new. Elaborate plot lines, creative character choices, and even a variety of modern jokes makes Modern Family the sitcom that’s launched us into 21st century TV writing.
But is everything as wonderful as it seems? Sure, the stuff the camera picks up is gold. But there’s been more and more stories coming out about what went on behind the scenes. Trust us: it’s not all as wonderful as it seems. Believe it or not, all of these stories really happened behind the camera on the set of Modern Family.
20 They Recast Babies
Lily was an integral part of the plot of Modern Family, but when she first came onto the show she was nothing more than a wee babe. According to Factinate, the babies that they got to play Lily originally were quickly recast. Why? According to the parents, they didn’t like being on camera.
19 At One Point The Cast Boycotted The Show
People call for a boycott of fast food or a corporation all the time, but who’s ever heard of boycotts over work? Especially when that work is the wonderful world of filming? The cast banded together in order to get a pay raise, which required them to boycott a table read or two.
18 Sarah Hyland Had A Hard Time Off-Camera
Sweet and sassy Sarah Hyland actually faced more stress and discomfort behind the scenes rather than on film; her health issues back when the show was first starting out. According to Nicki Swift, this was due to a condition called kidney dysplasia, which was fortunately helped when she got her kidney transplant.
17 And An Even Harder Time With Certain Fans
A person that just couldn’t keep their hands off of Sarah Hyland is the person who inspired this story, which comes to us thanks to Factinate. The story goes that this fan apparently got a little too grabby and demanding when it came to Hyland, and she eventually had to take action against him.
16 Fizbo Is A Thing On Set As Well
Fizbo the clown isn’t just a plot device or a character quirk that they built into the show for giggles. Apparently the actor actually is Fizbo in real life. Factinate mentions that Stonestreet “began dressing up as Fizbo when he was just nine years old.” And, yes, he did indeed do children’s birthday parties.
15 The Pilot Episode Was Kind Of Hide-And-Seek
Like so many other shows, Modern Family also had to deal with hiding a poorly-timed pregnancy. Julie Bowen was actually very pregnant when they filmed the pilot episode, which required a lot of creativity when it came to the shots they used. Re-watching the episode turns it into baby bump hide and seek!
14 Sofia Couldn’t Handle The Dog
Sofia is a sweetheart, which would lead us to assume that she and the sweet dog Stella would get along. Surprise, surprise, but she’s not a dog person. In fact, according to Eternal Lifestyle, “she was so visibly uncomfortable in each scene she had with the canine that the writers had to write her dislike of the animal into the show’s script.”
13 Stonestreet Has A Penchant For Memes
Believe it or not, there is a story that most of us haven’t heard. According to The Wrap, Stonestreet is such a prolific meme hunter that he’ll often try and startle people with the sheer content of them. Or, maybe it’s the sheer number of them? Either way, Stonestreet is the one to turn to when you need a fresh meme.
12 The Cast Made A Very Important Pact
Eternal Lifestyle gives us another fun fact, which is repeated in a few different places. Apparently, due to the ensemble nature of the show, the cast made a pact that says none of them can be put up for lead actor or actress awards. Everyone can only ever win supporting actor statues.
11 That Dunphy Family Home Is Actually Empty
Believe it or not, the exterior shot of the Dunphy family home that we see in the majority of the episodes is a big fake. It’s a real house, yes, but the inside isn’t as cozy as the interior shots make it out to be. Factinate explains that the interior scenes are all shot using sound stages and sets, while the house on film sits empty.
10 Ty Burrell LOVES Photobombing
It doesn’t matter if people are sleeping, standing, or posing, Ty Burrell is going to be there to help make the photo just a little bit more crowded. His penchant for photobombing is one that’s been well documented, like this photo gifted to the internet. Sofia is not having it, but Burrell still won’t leave well enough alone.
9 Surprisingly, Phil And Jay Are Great Friends
There are a few behind-the-scenes photos that tell this story, which is how we’re able to extrapolate this fact. No matter what the relationship of their characters is on screen, it goes without saying that these two actors are good friends. After all, just look at how close the rest of the cast is.
8 Julie Bowen Broke Her Emmy
Or, rather, her child broke the Emmy. Factinate discusses how Julie Bowen’s son Oliver was the reason that her first Emmy broke. While we don’t know exactly what happened, word on the street is that she keeps her Emmys up on the top shelf; we’re guessing this means it was probably some grabby hands knocking the award off.
7 Britney Spears Was Almost On Set With Them
Yes, it’s a little weird to think about, especially when we consider how close the dynamic of the cast is now. Would Britney ever have really fit in? It’s a tough call. Luckily (or unluckily), Britney Spears actually never got the opportunity. The part they were thinking about wasn’t followed through on in the story.
6 Hyland Relied On Bowen For Real Life Mom Help
According to Bowen it was nothing out of the ordinary; just a friend going to a friend for help. However, we see what’s really happening here. Hyland and Bowen had an interesting pseudo-mother-daughter moment, when Bowen helped support Hyland through leaving her bad ex. No doubt Bowen was the best relationship to pick out of those two.
5 And Vergara Had Some Ex Issues, Too
Nicki Swift dives deep into this, but we’ll do a bit of a TLDR here. Apparently Sofia Vergara had quite a few issues with her ex, most of which involved the potential for babies. She got stuck in a legal battle for control when it came to her own reproductive rights, which is all sorts of sad. Thankfully she came out more or less on top.
4 She Also Thought Ed O’Neill Spoke Spanish
Mental Floss gives us this fun fact, which is more of a misunderstanding than anything. Growing up Vergara watched O’Neill on TV, but in Columbia, where his voice was dubbed over with Spanish. Vergara grew up assuming that it was O’Neill’s voice, and assumed that meant that he spoke Spanish too when they first got on set!
3 O’Neill Learned Jiu Jitsu For Real
Remember how it’s written into the show that O’Neill’s character knows Jiu Jitsu? Apparently that means the actor actually had to learn Jiu Jitsu. Luckily for him he had great teachers, and he’s even gotten his black belt. While the jury’s out on if he still practices or not, we know that those black belt skills are still in there.
2 Lin-Manuel Miranda Has A Soft Spot For Modern Family
A soft spot to the tune of Hamilton tickets whenever they want (within reason). Apparently the casting directors gave Miranda a small part on the series as well, which just aided in his fandom and support of the show. Honestly, we’re here for it. When two good things like Modern Family and Lin-Manuel Miranda come together, everyone is happy.
1 The Dog Isn’t The Same Dog
Eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed this switch, but many of us didn’t quite clock it when it happened. Mental Floss tells us that, between the third season and the fourth season, the casting directors had to switch the French bulldogs. Why? Just like it happens with human actors sometimes, the agent dropped the pup.
Sources: mentalfloss.com, thewrap.com, admin.eternallifestyle.com, factinate.com, nickiswift.com, celebuzz.com