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Modern Family Wiki

Dead On A Rival is the twelfth episode from Season 11 of Modern Family, it aired on January 22, 2020.

Plot Summary

Mitchell learns a valuable life lesson when Murray, a former resident of the house, shows up unexpectedly. Meanwhile, the Dunphy's old neighbor-turned-tech-titan, Kenneth, comes to visit with a big surprise for Phil. Then, Manny's dad, Javier, shows up with a big opportunity for his son. [1]

Episode Description

Phil nervously waits for Kenneth's return. It turns out that his former neighbor has a surprise for him as he actually offers to him a travel in space with him. Phil admits that he loves the idea but confesses to Claire that he is scared actually.

Haley tries to give him advice and finally Kenneth finds an another project to do with Phil, although he is scared at his new idea to.

Meanwhile, Javier won a cruise and offers to take Manny with him. As Gloria is against this idea, she changes her mind when she , Javier and Joe attend Manny's one man show.

As for Mitchell and Cameron, they meet an elderly neighbor who grew up in their apartment and now wishes to die here. To cheer him up, they try to reunite him with an old friend who turns out to be actually an old nemesis.

Alex needs an assistant and she wants to hire a hot guy but Jay tells her to hire Margaret instead. Alex fires Margaret because she does not like her but learns that actually Margaret was happy to leave as Jay could take her back to his personal project.

Main Cast

(The characters struck out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Joe Pritchett
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy (Haley Marshall)
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lilly-Tucker Pritchett
  • Dylan Marshall

Guest Starring


The only fan of Manny's play.

  • Margaret had three husbands.
  • Luke, Lily and Dylan don't appear in this episode.
  • Manny had one fan of his one-man show.
  • This was Marsha Kramer's last episode. She died on January 23, 2020, the day after this episode aired.
  • Also, Kenneth and Javier's last episode.
  • The title is a reference to the Fall Out Boy song, Dead on Arrival.


Cultural references

  • Alex says "please don't say Hot Lives Matter," a reference to Black Lives Matter.
  • Margaret is a year younger than Christie Brinkley (born 1954)
  • Cam wants to rename the street Mary Kay Place after the actress Mary Kay Place.
  • Phil and Kenneth were fans of Felicity (1998-2002); Phil wanted to tell her not to cut her hair - a change of Felicity's hairstyle is sometimes blamed for the show's dip in ratings.
  • Jay used to eat Steak Diane
  • Phil and Claire quote Star Wars
  • Kenneth mentions Bezos, Elon and Zuck-Zuck (Mark Zuckerberg)


  • The A.V. Club gave it "B-"