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Phil Dunphy

A character on the TV show Modern Family.

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An Ode to Phil Dunphy

  • Apr 26, 2010
1/2 Michael Bluth from Arrested Development, and 1/2 everybody's real life (embarrassing) dad, Phil Dunphy (played by Ty Burrell) is quickly becoming my absolute favorite TV character. And the reason why Burrell's character is so great is that he seems totally believable. His character epitomizes the out-of-touch father, trying to prove to his children that he is still (if he ever was) cool. Dunphy has supplied us with enough awkward quotes and sayings that it would be a disservice not to share them here:

While in the hospital (doped up):

Phil: Don't talk black to me!

On being a cool dad:

Phil: I'm cool dad, that's my thang. I'm hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face

On his expectations:

Phil: Haley is so pretty. So she can meet someone who's the best at something

On new ways of looking at things:

Phil: Claire likes to say "You can be part of the problem, or part of the solution." But I happen to believe you can be both

On strained relationships:

Phil: Jay and I are buds, for sure, but with kind of um, an invisible, asterisk. Um, he's not the, he's not a talker, or, or hugger. Once he ran over my foot with his car. But in his defense, he had just given up smoking, but basically we're buds

On nonsense:

Phil: I never liked Spandau Ballet. Our entire marriage, I never once mentioned Spandau Ballet. Am I even pronouncing that right?

On proving oneself:

Phil: A relationship with your father-in-law is tough. You need to prove you can stand up to him, while being respectful. It's like walking a tightrope, which by the way I can do, because I went to trapeze school.

On force:

Phil [on his fists]: I'm gonna introduce him to the Captain... and Tenille.

On the future:

Phil: One day I'm gonna be a grandfather and then everybody better hide their meat.

On the past:

Phil: I was 11 years old. I hit ten straight fastballs in the batting cage, then my friend Jeff Sweeney took one in the groin. I yelled "ball two!" Everybody laughed. That's when I knew I was funny.

On his importance in the Universe:

Phil: The iPad comes out on my actual birthday. It's like Steve Jobs and God got together to say, "we love you, Phil."

On settling down:

Phil: Trust me, I had plenty of fun in my time. Then, I met your mom.

On being a man:

Phil: My boy was in trouble. So I put my fears aside and came to his rescue? Does that make me a hero? Yes it does.

On being a man II:

Phil: You never want your kids to see you scared. You want to be that rock that they grab a hold of in a stormy sea. Actually, a rock would sink. So a floating rock.

On friendly competition:

Phil: Did he trump me? You tell me. He made a painting out of a photograph one time. I have hand picked a card, drawn a heart in the steam on the medicine cabinet, and taken Claire to Fritelli's, a family style Italian restaurant, for 17 years in a row...yeah, he got me. He got me.

On being a concerned father:

Phil: You know how in a fairy tale there's always a potion that makes the princess fall asleep and then the guys start kissing her? Well, this is like that except you don't wake up in a castle — you wake up in a frat house with a bad reputation

On reputation management:

Phil: Some people call me a salesman, I call myself a salesfriend, so obviously I need strangers to trust me. I don't take it kindly when someone Tom Sellecks my bus bench.

On what's important:

Phil: Cheerleading in my college was cool. The football players were so jealous they wouldn't even let me and my buddies, Trevor, Scotty and Ling go to their parties.

On patronizing one's wife:

Phil: The little snowflake makes it cold, cold, cold. Set Temperature makes it hold, hold, hold...

On decency:

Phil: That was hardly porn. It was a topless woman on a tractor. You know what they call that in Europe? A cereal commercial.

And the man behind the genius, Ty Burrell:

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November 17, 2010
Phil is easily one of my favorite characters. His general cluelessness played with such great charm by Ty Burrell MAKES the show work better on so many levels. Thanks for the brilliant observation!
July 10, 2010
These are all great. I especially love the one above...

"You know how in a fairy tale there's always a potion that makes the princess fall asleep and then the guys start kissing her? Well, this is like that except you don't wake up in a castle — you wake up in a frat house with a bad reputation."

Another of my favorites (not above) are:

"I always felt bad for people with emotionally distant fathers, it turns out I'm one of them. It's a miracle I didn't end up a stripper."

"Yes, I should have told Claire about the dog. And I was going to. But I was just waiting for her to be in the right mood. Actually, I did get one right mood a couple nights ago, but I cashed that in for something else."

My wife and I love this show (and especially Phil) so much that we named our dog "Dunphy".

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April 27, 2010
i can't even pick which one is my favorite... these are all so good. This is such a great character... and the actor plays him so well. I"m really surprised i've never seen this guy anywhere before. Where has he been hiding??
April 26, 2010
I so rarely get to use the "ROTFL" term... but I seriously am! Hilarious.
More Phil Dunphy reviews
review by . March 26, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
So Much Better Than Cheesy Garlic Bread.
Take the rationality of Michael Scott from The Office, with the dryness of Ben Stein, throw in a heavy dose of loveable immaturity and hilarious obnoxiousness, and you've got Phil Dunphy.  He's the seemingly over-confident real estate agent husband of Claire.  He's so confident, in fact, that he claims that he could "sell a fur coat to an Eskimo".  He was even a cheerleader in college.  Hey, it takes a real man to for real cheer with pom poms.   …
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2011
posted in Modern Family Fans
Clueless ever ready "bonding" fathers just met they're zenith. As great as Jay in his own way.
Quick Tip by . May 06, 2010
Phil Dunphy may have taken over as my favorite Modern Family character. Tough competition beytween Phil, Cam and Manny for me.
Quick Tip by . April 09, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
Seriously? At what point do I start getting royalty checks from ABC for them using my likeness for Phil Dunphy??
Quick Tip by . March 18, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
Phil is really growing as a character. At first he was dorky, funny, & kind of annoying. Now, he's stealing the show
Quick Tip by . March 04, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
this guy is so funny. i need to do a little research to see what he's done before this. i've NEVER seen him in anything before, weird.
About the reviewer
Aria Juliet Castillo ()
Ranked #5
I'm a graphic designer, originally from Hawaii and now I'm living it up in L.A.   I've been a vegetarian my entire life, but I am still obsessed with fast food, and I love eating … more
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Role played by Ty Burrell.

Phil Dunphy is Claire's husband of 16 years who sees himself as the "cool dad." He dotes on his wife Claire and constantly tries to find ways to bond with his three kids. He is seen as very competitive, one example being his nature of always beating his son at basketball. He has a very child-like attitude, and is referred to by Claire as the "kid [she's] married to." He uses a parenting method that he calls "peerenting", which is a combination of talking like a peer but acting like a parent. He is a real estate agent who is very confident in his work, once saying "I could sell a fur coat to an Eskimo." Phil has a severe case of Coulrophobia, which is first revealed when despite his objection, Cameron comes to Luke's party dressed as a clown. He at times shows a sort of crush-like affection for Gloria, however he says "[He] would never stray from Claire." In college he was a cheerleader.
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