Modern Family Series Finale Review: Leaving The Porch Light On

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It's the end of an era.

After eleven years, Modern Family has come to a close.

The Dunphy/Pritchett/Tucker/Delgado family has said their goodbyes for the last time.

Moving Out - Modern Family

In typical series finale fashion, Modern Family ended with characters parting ways.

On Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17, Cam gets a call from The University of Missouri. He got the coaching job he wanted, close to his family back home.

Unfortunately, his dream job is interfering with Mitch's dream home.

Cam and Mitch just moved into a new house with a newborn baby that they just adopted. They loved their new home so much they named their baby after the street on which it resides.

By the way, welcome Rexford to the family!

Cam and Lily - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

However, that name might not last, seeing as they decide to pack it up and move to Missouri, after all. 

Mitch loves Cam and wants him to be happy. Besides, Cam was never going to be able to pass this up. He only knew about it for a couple of hours, and already had an embarrassing outburst in the middle of a party.

Cam wants to be closer to his family, so Mitch decides to leave his behind. Everyone's moving onto a new chapter.

Lily is not fazed by the sudden move and is excited about the possibility of reinventing herself. They'll be back for Thanksgiving soon enough, anyway.

Frantic Claire - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

But before leaving, Mitch needs to go on one last adventure with his sister, Claire. 

On Modern Family Season 11 Episode 18, the two siblings get together to steal back the ice skating trophy they won as kids.

The two have always had a very close relationship, but they've never been closer than they were during their ice skating routine.

That trophy might be a bit tainted for them now. 

Proud Cameron - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

But, at least they were able to get it back successfully! Claire's right, the two of them do make a great team.

Sadly, Cam and Mitch aren't the only ones leaving.

Cam: Don't hate me for your son leaving.
Jay: You're both my sons.

All three Dunphy children are moving out of the house. Claire and Phil have an empty nest for the first time in twenty-five years.

It's well overdue, considering how cramped their house was getting.

Claire and Phil had to move to an RV in their driveway just to get away from their kids. Luke, Alex, Haley, Dylan, and the twins took up way too much space. 

Confused Dylan - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

Dylan and Haley made the right decision moving into their own place.

They're a family now.

They need their own space to be independent. 

And besides, they have money now. Now that companies are trying not to test on animals, Dylan can make a good buck being a test subject.

Smiling Mitchell - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

Uncle Mitch helps them find the perfect place to live: his old house!

Cam and Mitch's place is full of memories for their family, and it'll be a great place for Haley and Dylan to raise their twins. 

Haley was noticeably absent in most of the final season of the show, and star Sarah Hyland has spoken out against her character's ending

It makes sense that she would want more for her character, but in the midst of all the different storylines wrapping up, this one fits perfectly. 

Haley in Kitchen - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

Alex is moving out of the house for a new job in Switzerland.

Arvin is her boss, and it seems the two of them will end up being more than just co-workers.

As Haley put it, Alex is a babe now. 

Alex and Arvin are both equally dorky, and it's clear Alex is the Dunphy sister he was meant to be with all along.

Alex in Kitchen - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

And finally, the baby of the Dunphy family, Luke, is leaving, too. He got into college!

Luke's intelligence, or lack thereof, has been a running gag throughout the series, but he proved us all wrong. Congratulations, Luke!

One of the highlights of the finale were the scenes between Haley, Alex, and Luke. These three siblings haven't always gotten along perfectly, but they care for each other. 

Haley and Alex tricked Luke into recreating an old home video, where he plays a dog, on their final day together. But when the pranking dies down, the siblings share a sweet moment.

You guys know you can call me anytime, right?


They're all going to miss each other. 

They promise to stay in touch, and we know they will. 

Harder Than Expected

Manny's leaving, too. He's going to travel the world, and Gloria's not taking it well. He's been her only constant throughout the past twenty years of her life, and she's scared of losing him. But, of course, she never could.

There has never been a closer mother and son duo than Gloria and Manny Delgado. She has nothing to worry about.

Mom, I'm the lucky one.


She writes him a sweet poem about how much she loves him before he leaves. She gets this idea from Cam, who wrote one for her. 

His turned out to be nothing more than an acrostic poem spelling out her name, but I'm sure both poems were equally heartfelt. 

Gloria in Finale - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

Cam and Gloria may have only been alone together about eight times, but their bond's still strong. The entire family's bonds are strong.

Luke and Manny got off to a rough start as kids, since they were so different, but they've grown to care for one another greatly. 

Luke: How come you never wrote a poem for me?
Manny: Don't you get it? They were all for you.

Even Phil and Jay, who arguably have the most tumultuous relationship of the group (which still isn't very tumultuous at all), got to share a sweet moment in the finale. 

Gloria's worried about Jay, since she's noticed he hasn't been listening to what's going on around him lately, and sends Phil to check on him. 

Manny and Joe - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

A miscommunication ensues, and Phil ends up spooning Jay.

Jay pushes him off, and reveals that he's been learning Spanish for Gloria. 

What could've just been left as an awkward moment used for comic relief in an emotional episode turns into a heartfelt scene in which Jay encourages Phil to figure out what his next chapter in life will be.

It turns out his next chapter is an RV trip with his wife.

Claire and Phil Lecturing - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

They had planned to go on one before the kids were born, but it kept getting pushed back. Now, it's the perfect time.

The kids are gone, Mitch and Cam are moving, and Jay is accompanying Gloria and Joe to Colombia for the summer. The new chapter can begin.

Claire: They're really leaving. What do we do?
Phil: What we always do. Leave the porch light on, they'll come back.

It's sad, watching it all come to an end. 

Modern Family has had a huge impact on television.

Jay in Finale - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

It was one of the first show's known for its attempt to be more diverse. 

It helped popularize the mockumentary style of sitcoms we see nowadays. 

It launched the careers of several household names. 

And most importantly, it showed us what it means to be a family. 

Claire and Phil hugging - Modern Family Season 11 Episode 17

Modern Family encourages us to love one another, and celebrate our differences. 

It was a great show, and it will be missed.

Life is full of changes. Some big, some small. I learned a long time ago you can fight it or try to make the best of it. And that's all a lot easier if you've got people who love you to help you face whatever life throws at you.


What do you think of the way the series ended?

What will you miss most about the show? 

Let us know in the comments!

Remember you can watch Modern Family online here at TV Fanatic, if you're feeling nostalgic.

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Jillian Pugliese is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Modern Family Season 11 Episode 18 Quotes

Cam: Don't hate me for your son leaving.
Jay: You're both my sons.

Cam: I want you to read this, but not until after I leave.
Gloria: It's going to make me cry isn't it, you beautiful cornfed son-of-a-bitch.