'Modern Family's' cursing controversy: So how was the show?
January 19th, 2012
12:33 PM ET

'Modern Family's' cursing controversy: So how was the show?

Let's get this out of the way, first and foremost, about Wednesday night's episode of "Modern Family": Yes, it involved Cam and Mitchell's adopted daughter Lily saying the "F" word, not once, but several times. Before the episode aired, this upset some people.

As executive producer Steve Levitan explained, "For the record, when shooting, the actress who plays Lily never actually dropped the F-Bomb. After, who knows? She gets cranky when tired."

The young actress, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (though, we're guessing it is not really her) tweeted, "Fudge IS the f-word. Right?"

So how was the episode? I will say that it was not one of the better Cam and Mitchell plotlines we've seen. As they got Lily ready for her role as flower girl (in the tackiest wedding ever), and discussed how to teach her new words, she let loose with a new word of her own.

Mitchell was shocked, while Cam tried to stifle laughter. Mitchell told her not to say it, or he would take away her toys, but Cam's case of the giggles didn't help matters: "You know I have two weakness: children cursing and old people rapping!"

Then, sure enough, after remaining silent throughout the wedding, Lily let loose with a torrent of "F" words during the ceremony, sending her extended family into fits of nervous laughter as the bride and groom looked shocked, and she was carried away.

Maybe it was all of the advance publicity about this episode, but I would say this plotline was more amusing than funny (and would Claire really laugh that much?). I pretty much knew where it was headed, so it didn't elicit the usual surprised laughter that accompanies many "Modern Family" episodes.

The real standout plotline here was Claire's debate with Duane Bailey (and once again, David Cross is excellent in the role of her political rival). She was definitely the MVP of the episode, as her family critiqued her prior to the debate using buzzers to point out her many, many unelectable traits.

This being politics, Duane pointed out Phil's Valentine's Day incident in the wrong hotel room, and Phil, of course, had to get up and defend himself. Claire broke the biggest political rule that her family said she should follow: Don't go viral! (Check out the video below.)

I also enjoyed both Jay and Gloria jumping into the pool fully clothed to save the family dog. Gloria rightfully pointed out that Jay often treats the dog better than her, and it turned out the dog was not suicidal, just looking for a chew toy.

What did you think of the big "F" word controversy, and the episode as a whole? Share your view on iReport or comment below.


soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Shalabi

    I can't believe there are people "offended" by this in any way. In what up-tight fantasy world does one have to live in to have a problem with a little girl says "fudge"?

    Are these the same people that had a problem with Kelsey Grammer pantomiming shooting a woman because "it looked like his ex." during a recent 30-Rock episode? This, by the way, only indicates some people think every silhouetted blond woman in in a dress is Grammer's wife.

    Shame on you, America. You're myopic drivel is indefensible.

    January 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mamaw Robbie

    Aired, my 2 year old grandson ended our phone call witn "Bye Mamaw,meet you in hell". (The scene where their son was playing video games with the neighbor).

    January 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mamaw Robbie

    How real life! Especially the morning after the previous episode aide

    January 23, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lindad

    I loved the show. I have students who are 13 and 14 years old and can swear in 10 different languages. This is the best show on t.v. and I look forward to each and every one. If you don't like this one, you should watch Whitney! That's a gem.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MF Fan

    This show is one of the best. Hilarious and well written! The delivery and execution of the cast is always spot on. Those of you that don't like this show, you have every right to your opinon...so here's mine to you....go F&CK yourself!! Cheers =)

    January 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joy Stevens

    Hilarious as usual. I did not know the plot ahead of time so it was great to me. If you are a parent you must know how this happens and why it is so funny. We are still editing our speech as our little one is now talking and copying everything we say! The real controversy was the wedding attire. Really? Horrible!

    January 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lovejoy

    I thought the show was really funny.. I for one love to see Lilly and her two Dad's the concept is great. These guys really want to love her and have a happy home but kids have a mind of their own and sometimes they make a mess of a situation. I thought it was funny, my own child paraded the F bomb for a while and I had to correct his actions but I'm not mad it could have been worse.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andjamall

    This episode was hilarious! Who ever doesn't like Modern Family clearly doesn't have a sense of humor. Also Lily dropping the F bomb was hilarious! People who find it offensive should just go eat dirt or something. I believe the F word is bad though and would never say it in my life, but watching a little girl say it during a wedding ceremony was hilarious. This is a really great show!

    January 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Docmom

    I am stunned by the haters on this thread! The show is hilarious, true, honest and forward-thinking. It portrays a loving extended family. WHY WHY OH WHY is this show so "bad?" As for this particular episode, I laughed pretty hard. Cam and Mitchell were priceless. Julie Bowen was in rare form. Ty Burell and Sofia Vergara make me laugh every episode. I LOVE MODERN FAMILY!

    January 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tina

    First let me say I've heard the f word plenty of times and even said it plenty of times, but really, can't TV shows and movies get their point across without every other word being that one? I am not a prude by anyone's standards, but the few times I've watched some of the cable network "adult" shows, starting with The Sopranos, use of profanity is terribly excessive.

    January 20, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Spacetime

      I agree that a lot of shows take the profanity thing too far. I have seen shows and movies where I am actually removed from the story because of all of the profanity. Mainly, this is because I don't think people really talk like that as much as these shows and movies portray. However, this is not an example of that. This was just protraying a common thing that happens in a lot of families. A child picks up a bad word and repeats it at a bad time. I don't have a problem with this plot line. It was funny, especially the way that both parents reacted.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Maria

    Ha Ha this "family "show has everything but values and now this kid filthy mouth is the ice on the cake .I never watch this show never will ...I just saw the news here in thsi site.....realy what a waste of time.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. nighthaaawk

    I agree – the Jay and Sofia duo always provide the biggest laughs.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. jasper

    the best part of this episode was Jay and Sofia dealing with their "suicidal" adorable french bulldog...

    January 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bob

    Not a good episode. Cam and Mitchel's PDAs have become uncomfortable to watch, and their adopted daughter's lip-synced lines are clearly not spoken by her. Finally, the show has replaced humorous plot lines with rapid fire, snappy dialogue that comes across too scripted and unrealistic.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. obalice

    Sounds like the writer is trying to start something with the show. I didn't even know there was an "issue" about it. Modern Family is about the modern times we live in, and these things happen. When I was 4, my family was at the beach, and I looked to my dad and said, "daddy, your penis is showing". I didn't know the volume of my voice, and as it turns out... the entire beach heard me. It's life. Get over it.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • theLib

      Ewwwwww!!!! was he abusing you? that is so gross.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • tina

      "Penis" is the correct word. There are a lot of other words that are used to describe male and female anatomy that a child doesn't need to say.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  16. mavschick

    wow...i'm truly astounded at the lack of senses of humor and the utter rudeness of people...just because you don't think the show is funny doesn't mean the people that do are moronic, imbeciles, or anything of the kind. Calm down and grow a sense of humor.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Sierramoon

    In what universe is Lily two years old? I just watched the episode. It was funny, like all Modern family episodes are. No news here, people.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Snorlax

    Liberal garbage. This show is part of why the family is in such decline in thie nation.

    January 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Your mom

      So you're saying family life was better 20, 30, 40 years ago? When domestic violence was common. When alcoholism was the norm? When the woman stayed at home and were subserviant to the husband?
      That ship has sailed.
      The shows today come from more realistic families of today. If you don't like it, they make this channel called TVLand, that channel shows reruns of Leave it to Beaver and All in the Family. Enjoy your past while I enjoy the future!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  19. LoJenk

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5fjSS9B2Ow&w=640&h=390]

    January 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  20. patNY

    Lighten up people for pete's sake! If you don't like the show don't watch it...there's no need for all the hate against those who like it. As for the f word, n--a please!

    January 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Amen I am always saying this to people, however I wish people would watch something at least once before they stat an opinion and keep in mind this is supposed to be entertainment not anything else. I have a brother like this and we go round and round all the time.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  21. es

    What happened to my comment? It didn't show up. I said there was no reason for to show the girl saying the word, or even to identify the word. They could have just bleeped without showing her saying it if they wanted this story line. It didn't have to be any particular swear word, either, but that one is a s-xual word, so they should not have used it or at least identified it.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  22. baba

    THIS SHOW IS SICK. I WATCHED A COUPLE TIMES AND SAID NO WAY. IT'S BAD ENOUGH THAT 5 & 6 YEAR OLDS USE THIS WORD IN CONVERSATION BUT A TWO YEAR OLD? THEY ARE JUST LEARNING TO SPEAK AND PUT THEIR LANGUAGE TOGETHER. USE OF THIS TYPE OF WORD IS THE PERSON USING IT HAS NO COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND HAS A VERY LIMITED MENTAL CAPACITY OF HOW TO SPEAK PROPERLY AND RESPECTFULLY.. I USUALLY WILL NOT CARRY ON A CONVERSATION WITH A PERSON TELLING THEM TO TALK TO ME LATER USING CORRECT ENGLISH AND TO QUIT BEING A TRASH MOUTH.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ericbrett73

      OMG!!!!! Please lighten up...you just can't go around being the moral police to everyone you encounter. Pretty soon there will be noone left to interact with. This sort of thing happens in families everyday..."can you believe what little Johnny said...I wonder where he picked that up from". Although serious in nature...its actually kind of humorous. We correct the mishap and move on, no harm no foul. Hence, this episode of Modern Family.

      January 20, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Spacetime

      The whole point of the show is that it deals with things that the average family might go through. Having a kid pick up a bad word and say it at an inapperoperte time is something that countless people have experienced. The little girl never actually said the work. They can do this thing with TV where they can make it look like something happened when it actually didn't.
      The word itself is just a word. You can use this word and have a decient grasp of the English language. You really should proof read before posting a comment about how other people do not speak properly. Modern Family is a good show. It is not trashy or risque in any way. In fact, it's one of the more tame shows on TV.
      Don't be such a prude and be careful because it will really hurt when you fall off of that high horse you are sitting on.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  23. scott the mormon

    A traashy show for traashy people.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitch the Episcopalian

      well Scott the Mormon, which comedy shows do you find to be witty and satirical, while still being totally "wholesome" and "not trashy"?

      January 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  24. scientist

    The time portal they showed was way off. No way it would ever work. Anyone who engoyed this show is an embicile. Maybe a gay one.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  25. jimmy

    I agree with those who say this is the worst show ever. Family Guy is just dumb. A talking cartoon dog. Plus that Stewy kid. Its just too lame.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      This article is about "Modern Family." You are referring to "Family Guy." Totally different show in a different network.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      get the show right it is MODERN FAMILY and it is funny and a pretty clean show.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jennifer

    Best show on TV.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  27. dereee

    and you spelled imbecile wrong

    January 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Susan

    didnt bother me, after all - its every parents nightmare that thier little one will say something totally rotten and cause an uproar, dropping the f-bomb? obviously you have not realized little kids have a hard time pronouncing the word TRUCK and therefore in a moment of excitement when a fire engine goes by your little angel will scream FRUCK! FRUCK! very loud and very much in oublic where you might cringe, LOL. Personally I am not easily offened and thought it touched on a point all parents deal with at some point.. laugh, correct the child nicely with the correct word T-r-u-c-k and get over it! and stop trying to edit, change and politically correct ever word people say or hear. or maybe dont say the Fbo,b or any other bomb word at home, kids that little are parrots they repeat every damn thing.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • SashaSteveBlack

      Aunt Sue?
      Is this you?
      If it's not, i'm sorry. My husband's aunt Susan told us a story of her son screaming where's my FrUCK!.. when he meant to say TRUCK... so, I thought it had to be our aunt Sue!!!!

      Sasha, Steve, Dylan, & Shyane

      January 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Jaxxy21

    the show was, as usual, funny and well-written. Who ever is making a big deal out of it is a loser. Claire's scenes were terrific! Best show on tv.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • soundsgood

      Claire SUX! Her lines were the most annoying on this show. Being annoyingly head jerking, does not a comedian make. She's awful and needs to be replaced.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MF Fan

      Funny, it was. And clever, as always. Wish we'd seen more of Sofia dripping wet, tho.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Observer

    Cute kid.
    Stupid Show.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  31. daniel

    the show was hur-larry-us!! it happens all the time...maybe not to everyone...but it happens. to try to say that it could never happen to anyone...well that person and their family must sure live a sheltered life...

    January 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  32. dan

    I agree with you post-it. Only imbiciles watch family guy. Imbiciles and drooling mongoloids.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  33. post-it note

    I didnt watch the show. Never do. From this I can tell you it was the absolute dumbest and most boring episode ever. It was just lame. Truly an embicillic show for morons.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Autocorrect

      I believe the word you were looking for was"imbecilic"

      January 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • This guy is an idiot

      So you've NEVER seen the show but from reading a page and half you KNOW its the WORST episode ever. Miss, you might be an embacillic moron. Can we get a spelling on embacillic? I'm on the internet but the whole finding a dictionary is thing is way to herd!

      January 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Cletis

    F word is not necessary. Just a bad word.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Evel Knievel

    I think the only f-word that goes with this TV show is "f@g"

    January 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |

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