Any Modern Family fan would attest that Christmas isn’t complete without family. This beloved sitcom is a funny, warm, and altogether wacky portrayal of the various dynamics in an extended household. That’s why we’ve ranked the six Modern Family Christmas episodes from best to bestest; there’s simply not a bad episode in this award-winning series.
Season 3: Express Christmas
Every holiday feels like a race, but this year, the family scrambles to put together an early celebration when they realise they won’t be together on December 25. This episode features Gloria’s stun gun and a whole lot of bonding over hectic planning. This Reddit user said it best, “The whole family working together so they can celebrate Christmas before they all leave – not a big deal anyway but the fact they wanted to celebrate together even though they’re together every week [is].”
Season 7: White Christmas
The family heads to a cabin in the mountains to chase the picture-perfect, white Christmas that Gloria has always dreamt of. However, things get complicated when they discover there is already a guest in the cabin. Piling on the tension, Jay announces he’s retiring and passing the company on to a Chuck Finney, which sets Claire’s competitive streak ablaze. We see the best and worst of the family, but ultimately, it ends on a sweet note. Doesn’t that just capture the Christmas spirit perfectly?
Season 11: The Last Christmas
Cameron has a hard time with Christmas dinner seating when several members don’t want to confront each other. This of course means that they ultimately confront each other. The drama is plentiful; Luke “steals” Manny’s girlfriend, Alex is keeping Gloria’s secret from Phil, and Cameron drops a bomb that could change everything. We love this episode because as the final Christmas special, it places the changing dynamics of all relationships on full display, which allows us to appreciate the passage of time — and 11 wonderful years of Modern Family.
Season 1: Undeck the Halls
Who’s been smoking on the couch?! The fate of Christmas dangles on the answer to this question after Claire discovers a suspicious burn mark. As one Reddit user said, “[My favourite part was] Phil saying, ‘So I guess the couch came home from a stressful day and lit a cigarette’ — because that makes no sense.” In true Modern Family fashion, it’s hilarious yet heartwarming to see Jay, Gloria, and Manny let each other in on their Christmas traditions and learn to celebrate as a new family. Also — how cute were the kids back in Season 1?!
Season 5: The Old Man and The Tree
Resolutions, repercussions, and relationships — that’s what this unforgettable episode is about. With Christmas approaching, Phil feels pressured to reach his goal of “reaching” Canada on his elliptical machine. Luke gets dragged in because he doesn’t want the elliptical to be stashed away in the garage, where he has hidden weeks of recycling. Elsewhere, Cameron and Lily get mixed up in a homeless shelter, while Jay and Manny try to chop their own Christmas tree. Oh, did we mention Gloria’s mother visits? It’s true Modern Family chaos, and we can’t get enough. Bonus trivia: This Modern Family episode was directed by Bryan Cranston, who played Walter White in Breaking Bad.
Season 10: Stuck in a Moment
It’s the season of joy and changes for the family, but they don’t know that yet. Haley and Dylan try to hatch a plan to break the news about her pregnancy but get stuck in a tight situation. Jay and Manny also get into their own adventure fighting off a spider to get to “important” medication. Elsewhere, Phil sneakily borrows the family Christmas tree for a house showing, but Claire is on to him, which sets off a classic holiday feud. At the end of the day, the family irons out their differences with trademark candour, and we can’t help but fall in love with them all over again.