Phil, Claire, Cam, and company were unique characters in Modern Family who eschewed the stereotype of sitcoms. But the show stuck with its genre in other ways.
After airing for 11 seasons, Modern Family it can be considered a classic sitcom. The crazy everyday life of the main characters is always entertaining and provides tons of laughs and iconic moments. The show was praised for its unique but relatable storylines, making it an interesting exercise to compare with other sitcoms that use tropes that sometimes feel too far-fetched to be funny.
Featuring cold openings of varying quality, each episode of Modern Family gives fans the opportunity to spend quality time with the fun Pritchett / Dunphy / Delgado family. While some common tropes found in many sitcoms are used well here, the popular show skips others.
10 Uses: the precocious child
It is rare that there is an episode of Modern family that it doesn’t feature Lily saying a funny and wise quote.
Lily loves her parents, but thinks that sometimes they make wrong decisions or worry too much about something silly, so she is not afraid to tell them what she thinks. One of Lily’s best moments is when Sal says he’s sorry he didn’t invite her to the wedding, but she doesn’t have kids and Lily says, “Okay, I’ll go next time.” Lily can be seen as a typical sitcom character as she is adorable and witty and her quotes are always used to make people laugh. It’s a lot of fun to watch though, so this trope works well here.
9 Avoid: a sexist character who goes on a lot of dates
There are three happy couples in Modern Family And although they all have some flaws and problems, they stay together.
A common trope from sitcoms is a character with an active love life who can come off as a bit sexist. While fans of Friends I love Joey and his “How are you?” catchphrase, it’s definitely a trope to have this kind of character on a show. It is good that Modern Family Avoid this by featuring characters who are in love and in healthy relationships. They go crazy with each other regularly, but that’s realistic and also part of the humor.
8 Uses: The Teen Who Loves Dating and Complaining
Haley grows up to be a mother to twins, but for most of the show, she’s an annoying teenager who can’t believe how uncool her family is.
Haley is a common sitcom character, as she likes to break her family’s rules, stay out too late, throw parties, and go on a lot of dates. He loves children as much as complaining in equal measure, and although he spends time with his relatives, as a teenager, he preferred to go to a party.
7 Avoid: a couple who break up a lot and have a dramatic relationship
Many sitcoms have partners who are on shaky ground most of the time. Will they finally start dating? If they do, will they stay together or will they continue to separate? And in the case of Ross and Rachel in Friends, Were they really on a break?
Modern Family Avoid the common trope of a couple having a dramatic romance and are constantly breaking up and getting back together. Instead, Jay and Gloria are happy, Mitch and Cam are thrilled to be parents who can marry in season 5, and Claire and Phil are opposites who love each other.
6 Uses: A family that fights and goes crazy
The characters in Modern Family they often get into big trouble and don’t go through a single episode without bothering each other.
This is why they are so charming and adorable, and this is why the show has so many fans. While it’s definitely a common sitcom trope to feature a big family fighting and going crazy with each other, it’s a trope that works well here and is the point of the entire series.
5 Avoid: making fun of a character’s past
A defect of Friends it was the shame surrounding Monica’s character, and this is a common comedy trope of poking fun at a character’s past, often involving her weight.
Thankfully, Modern Family Avoid this, as the show takes a lighthearted look at each character’s present, leaving no room to poke fun at where they came from. Cam might have grown up on a farm and his life was different from what he lives today, but he loves and respects his family and their background.
4 Uses: Smart vs. Beautiful sister
Of all the common sitcom tropes Modern Family, this one stands out a lot: two sisters who are different from each other. On most shows, one is beautiful and the other cares more about being smart than looking good.
While Alex and Haley are wrong and upset, they always love each other. Haley is more vain and more involved in appearances than Alex, and Alex spends more time studying than Haley. However, this trope can be a bit harsh as it doesn’t allow characters to be nuanced. But over time, Haley proves that she is smart in her own way, and Alex, of course, remains beautiful even if she doesn’t like material things.
3 Avoid: Clueless Men
It’s hard to think of a sitcom, especially one about families, that doesn’t feature a husband and father character who seems clueless. They don’t know anything about what’s going on and often eat or drink beer while sitting on the couch and watching sports.
This trope does not exist here as Jay, Phil, Cam and Mitch are much more with him than those other characters. They are important and significant parts of their families and they like to make decisions together with everyone else.
two Uses: a sofa as the main location
Phil has a lot of good and bad advice and often doles out words of unique wisdom in confessionals while sitting on the couch.
The sofa is often an important place in sitcoms, as it is the focal point of the living room and the home in general. In Modern Family, the Dunphy sofa is a big deal as it is where the family sits to talk to the camera and make quirky and funny statements about the day’s situation.
1 Evita: a character who gets really weird in the end
Eric in Boy meet the world is a good example of a character who goes strange at the end of the series. While he’s a big older brother for most of the show, he starts wearing weird costumes and doesn’t make sense every time he talks.
That does not happen in Modern Familyas the characters have a happy ending in the ending and no one seems to have completely changed from their personality or core self. Anyone who is a little peculiar stays that way and vice versa.
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