Sarah Hyland learned a lesson from the last death in Modern Family: read the scripts.
Hyland went to her Instagram after “Legacy,” the Modern Family episode of Wednesday, January 15 that was broadcast to tell viewers that she was just as surprised as they were about the latest twist of the ABC sitcom. Warning, spoilers will follow!
In “Legacy,” Phil (Ty Burrell) goes to visit his father Frank (Fred Willard) after he had been found for hours by a supermarket. Phil thought Frank was suffering from dementia. He wasn’t, and the two spent a nice day with Phil, eventually revealing that it was their last. Frank died camera and viewers heard Phil give his family praise.
“My father was fine, and my takeaway food from our day, don’t miss the opportunity to let the people you appreciate know,” Phil said.
Well, he praised almost the entire family.
“So I don’t read scripts from episodes of Modern Family that I’m not in, so I just found out that my grandfather is dead with you all,” Hyland said on her Instagram stories. “I still feel special.”
Hyland’s Instagram posts spoiled some viewers, and she immediately recognized her faux pas.
“I think I should have set a spoiler alert for Grandpa Frank who died, but I was just taken by surprise. Like, like his granddaughter, you think I would be invited to his funeral,” Hyland told her followers. “If it is any consolation for those angry with the spoiler warning, karma struck very quickly and Boo farted in my face and the smell was so bad that she had to get off the bed because she can’t handle the heat.”
The death of Grandfather Frank was only the last loss for the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan. In season 10, the family and viewers said goodbye to DeDe Pritchett (Shelley Long), Claire’s mother (Julie Bowen) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and ex-wife of Jay (Ed O’Neill). That death was bullied for some time before he actually took off – and Hyland was aware of that plot turn.
The last season of Modern Family is broadcast on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ABC.