If there’s an award for best TV dad, Modern Family‘s Phil Dunphy should win it. Phil is one of the funniest and coolest (or tries to be) dads to ever grace a sitcom. But like your go-to chiropractor or dentist, he knows how and when to be serious. He dished out some of the best advice and shared great moments with each of his kids.
With Father’s Day coming up, let’s relive the best dad moments of Phil with Haley, Alex, and Luke.
Haley’s college move-in day
When Haley went off to college, Phil proudly wore a t-shirt bearing a picture of little Haley, Phil, and Claire (Phil’s wife) with a text saying, “Haley Dunphy Moving Co.” Haley felt embarrassed by her dad’s overly enthusiastic attitude. It also didn’t help that Phil made a horrible mistake that led to an awkward moment with Haley’s roommate. To end the embarrassment, Haley asked her parents to leave her college dorm.
But before Phil and Claire left, Phil handed a present to Haley: the book of Phil’s-osophy. The book contains the lessons Phil has learned in his life, but these lessons come with a hilarious twist. For instance, Phil wrote, “When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like, ‘What?!'”
Reading her dad’s hardcover book made Haley’s first night away from home a bit easier. Phil proved he could guide his kids (and still made them laugh) even if they have grown up.
Trivia game with Alex
Phil admitted that among his children, he had the least close relationship with Alex. He’s proud of his daughter’s intellectual pursuits, but these were the same reasons he couldn’t connect with her.
When he surprised Alex at university in season 10, he found out she’s on her way to a gathering with fellow nominees for a prestigious award. Phil insisted on coming, but Alex feared he might embarrass her in front of the academics, so she tried to get rid of him. Eventually, Phil took Alex’s hints and left the gathering.
Later on, Alex felt bad and showed up at a college bar where Phil was hanging out alone. She apologized and told her dad that she spent her entire time at college studying, not enjoying it. Phil showed her it’s never too late to have fun; he signed them up for a trivia game complete with funny hats and made-up accents. At that moment, Phil had finally shared a great moment with Alex and taught her one of the best lessons in life: Don’t take life too seriously, and it’s OK to let loose every once in a while.
Luke’s buried treasure adventure
In season one, Phil and Luke went looking under their house for buried treasure. Phil was subtly scared about crawling into the dark spaces. So instead of going in, Phil attached a video camera to Luke’s remote-controlled truck to see what’s inside the crawlspace. It all went wrong when Luke’s truck got stuck. Without any hesitation, Luke went to retrieve it, but his belt also got held on a pipe. After panicking and telling himself he should be brave over and over again, Phil finally rescued his son.
This hilarious moment showed what a great father Phil is. He set aside his fears not only to show his kid the value of courage but also to prove he would always be there to protect Luke, in darkness and light.
Modern Family may have aired its last episode in April 2020, but one of the most passionate dads on television will always live in our hearts-reminding us that 90% of being a dad is showing up.