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"Fears" is the sixteenth episode of Modern Family.

The episode was written by co-creator, Steven Levitan and directed by Reggie Hudlin. The episode aired March 3, 2010 and achieved a Nielsen Rating of 3.5/9 and 8.08 million viewers. The episode got positive reviews from critics.


This episode begins with the kids being interviewed as to their fears, a theme which runs through the three family plotlines.

After a cable guy tells Haley they have a great treasure under the house Phil and Luke decide to go under the house, but Phil gives up, because of his fear of the dark so they send Luke's car from Jay. Unfortunately, the car crashes and gets stuck making Luke furious and he decides to go under, but gets his belt loop stuck on something. So Phil breaks his fear of dark and saves Luke and gets the car. The two then go farther and finds bones so they call the police, but realize they are Halloween decorations.

Haley is trying to get her driver's license for the third time and if she fails she has to wait six months to try again. Claire tries to motivate her, but Haley becomes more nervous when she gets the same teacher from the last time. Claire also tries to motivate Alex to go to a dance, because Alex thinks no one will ask her, but Claire succeeds in motivating her to go where someone asks her to dance. Haley finally gets her license, but almost loses it when she forgets to put the brake on with the teacher still in the car.

Meanwhile, Mitchell and Cameron invite Lily's pediatrician (from "Run for Your Wife") to their house for brunch, to get on her good side. However, it goes badly when Lily says "Mommy"--the gay couple's worst nightmare--even though she has never heard the word before. Mitch and Cam doubt their worth as parents because they believe Lily wants a mother. However, it's revealed at the end that Lily's doll, when squeezed, says "Mommy" and that's how Lily learned the word.

At the Pritchett house, Manny is worried of a party that has a roller coaster, which happens to be his worst nightmare. So Gloria tells him and Jay they are going to go fishing, but actually takes them to go on a roller-coaster. Manny originally says he'll go, but changes his mind when Jay refuses. Gloria calls them little girls and gives them her hat and purse and goes to roller coaster. Later, Manny and Jay follow her on with Manny breaking his fear and Jay angry at being on the roller coaster.


The episode is written by Steven Levitan, who co-created the show making it his fourth written episode for the season and directed by Reggie Hudlin. It was originally supposed to air March 3, 2010, but was moved up a week. It was the sixteenth episode produced for the season.


In its original American broadcast, "Fears" was viewed by 8.08 million viewers getting a 18-49 Nielsen Rating of 3.5/9 15% percent down from the last original episode and also becoming the least viewed episode of the season after "Fizbo" and "Not in My House", but the most viewed program on ABC. The episode ranked 20th in the 18-49 weekly ratings with 4.523 million viewers from the rating. Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode an 8.7 saying it was "Great" and "Modern Family has always been adept at adding those touching moments to the laughs. Good to know the series hasn't missed a step during its Olympic down time." Jason Hughes of The TV Squad gave the episode a positive review saying "In 16 episodes, most of which were fantastic, this was the first one to choke out a genuine emotional response from me. Phil's closing monologue was touching, and touched on another fear that all parents face: the fear of your children growing up too fast. That, and the fear that they're going to kill someone in your car." Donna Bowman gave the episode a A- saying it was "The voiceover about fear being an essential part of parenting rang true, and was illustrated perfectly with Manny's (and Jay's) coaster ride, Alex being asked to dance ("but what if they don't?" she asks her mother hesitantly after putting on a brave face all day), and Haley driving off on her own. We have to be there to rescue our children, and then we have to stand back and try to act like we don't think they need rescuing." Lesley Savage of Entertainment Weekly gave the episode a positive review and said "I don’t know about you guys, but I really missed my Family these past two weeks, and this episode was the perfect welcome back. It kept things in the family, no cameos, no big stunts, just each member doing what they do best. And it started off with a bang — with everyone stating what his or her greatest fears were."

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Quick Tip by . January 04, 2011
posted in Modern Family Fans
Luke and Phil look for treasure inside the house, Hayley takes her driver's ed test and spazzes out, Lily says her first word, the last word that Mitchell and Cameron would want to hear and Manny is afraid of a roller coaster, and of dying alone. Great episode.
Quick Tip by . May 20, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
My favorite scene in the episode is when fears are being discussed & a close up of Manny's face is taken & he says, "Dying alone".
Modern Family: Fears
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