Family trips are full of drama, love, a handful of unpredictable scenarios and most of all, comedy. Make that family the Pritchett-Dunfy-Tuckers, and that entertainment factor grows exponentially. Before the season finale kicks off this evening, take a look back through Modern Family’s best family vacation moments.
1. Episode 1.23, “Hawaii”
If you want to see all the Modern Family kids look tiny, look no further than the Hawaii episode. Back when Phil and Claire got married, they never went on their dream honeymoon to Hawaii. Now, they have a chance to go with the entire family to celebrate Jay’s birthday. Phil takes this opportunity to relive the honeymoon he and Claire never had. Mitch plans tons of adventurous islands excursions for him and Cam, but Cam ditches Mitch because he wants to be lazy by the pool. In their lazy calm they lose Lily. Phil finally manages to get Claire to relax and take a break from the kids, and surprises her with a vow renewal ceremony, Hawaiian style.
Best Line: “I just ordered an extra long straw to avoid the chance of doing a sit-up.”
2. Episode 3.01, “Dude Ranch
The family takes a trip to a dude ranch, where the men in the family test their masculinity. Phil feels emasculated by Jay. Jay, in turn, feels that he has to protect his lady from the cowboy on the ranch hitting on her. And Dylan decides, much to Claire’s pleasure, to remain on the Dude Ranch even after the Dunfys leave.
Best dialogue: When Cam and Mitch discuss adopting a new baby in America. Cam: “You might say we’re buying domestic.” Mitch: “You might say that in private.”
3. Episode 3.22, “Disneyland”
In Disneyland, Gloria spends the entire episode complaining about her feet hurting and slows down the group to walk at her pace. Lily’s pace, on the other hand, is too fast, and her parents keep losing her. Jay finds the perfect solution to slow Lily down and speed Gloria up: put Lily in heels, and Gloria in Minnie Mouse shoes. Ty Burell gives a great performance, as Phil’s aged stomach can no longer handle the intensity of the rides.
Best dialogue: Cam, discussing the importance of keeping Lily safe for her own good: “We had no choice but to put her on a child safety tether.” Mitch: “It’s a leash.”
4. Episode 4.24, “Goodnight Gracie”
In one of the most touching episodes of the series, the family travels to Florida for Phil’s mother’s funeral. They stay in Phil’s parents’ home within the retirement community. Phil’s mother left a letter behind, asking Phil to set his father up with a really sweet lady that also lives in the community. Phil is deeply uncomfortable and internally battles with this final wish, but realizes it’s best for his father and executes it with exemplary hilarity. To make the episode even better, Cam spends his time entrenching himself in the senior citizen drama, stirring the pot as only Cam can do.
Best line: Phil, discussing the upsides to being a widower: “When my dad is ready, he gets to pick his own girlfriend. That’s the big upside to your wife dying.” Claire glares at him. “Also, not having to think before you speak.”
5. Episode 5.18, “Las Vegas”
While this season’s trip to Australia was a bust, the bright lights of Sin City totally delivered. In the aptly titled “Las Vegas,” the adults travel to Vegas—and let’s just say what happened in Vegas should definitely stay in Vegas. Paying homage to A Comedy of Errors, this farcical episode is full of hilarious misunderstandings and miscommunications.
Best dialogue: The hotel butler is watching the Kilty Pleasures Scottish strippers with fondness. To Phil: “This reminds me of my late grandfather.” Phil: “He was Scottish?”
Butler: “He was a stripper.”
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter.