Modern Family Wiki
Modern Family Wiki

Good Grief is the fifth episode from Season 10 of Modern Family, it aired on October 24, 2018.

Plot Summary

It's another epic Halloween full of costumes, tricks and treats for the Dunphy-Pritchett-Tucker clan as they deal with huge, unexpected news.[1]

Episode Description

Claire and Phil are busy, preparing their house for Halloween. By phone, Jerry, Claire's stepfather informs her, then Jay, then Mitch that Dede passed away.

The whole family gathers at Phil's and each have their own ways to cope with the loss. Claire and Mitch go trick or treat while Phil and Cam eat ice-cream while reminiscing about Dede.

Jay hides a sandwich in the fridge, but someone ate it. He admits the sandwich was made with a french bread Dede used to make when they were happy and Gloria, on the other side is afraid of Dede's doll.

Also, the problem affects the kids. Luke can't stop cracking jokes, Haley eats and swallows too many candies and Alex and Bill make out.

It's later revealed that Lilly was the one who terrorized Gloria and ate the sandwich while Dede died in her sleep.

Main Cast

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

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Joe Pritchett
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring

  • Shelley Long as DeDe Pritchett (voice only)
  • Jimmy Tatro as Bill
  • Tom Burkland as Cop
  • Armand Vasquez as Neighbor
  • Gable Swanlund as Pajama Girl
  • Uma Incrocci as Pajama Girl's Mom


  • Manny and Joe do not appear in this episode, though Gloria mentions them. This is the second Halloween episode that does not feature Manny, after "It's the Great Pumpkin, Phil Dunphy".
  • This is also the second episode, after the previous, in which Alex has a boyfriend during Halloween.
  • DeDe is revealed to be the character whose death had been planned in this episode.
  • This episode aired six years after Open House of Horrors.
  • This is the first time we see all the grandchildren together.
  • This is the first time we hear Lily call DeDe “Nana”.
  • Since DeDe dies in this episode; it can be confirmed that she has never spoken to or interacted with any of her grandchildren on-screen (with the exception of Haley who she spoke to in The Incident only).



  • Claire: A Spider
  • Phil: A Fly
  • Luke: None, but he wears a shirt with intestines on it.
  • Mitchell: Prince Harry
  • Cam: Meghan Markle
  • Haley: A chimp
  • Alex: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Lily: A Guard.

Cultural References

  • Mitch dresses as Prince Harry, while Cam is Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Mitch wears Harry's Blues and Royals dress uniform, while Cam wears a version of Meghan's pink Carolina Herrera two-piece with Philip Treacy hat.
  • DeDe disliked Laverne & Shirley's move to California, which they did in the sixth season.
  • Gloria is Marilyn Monroe while Jay is Joe DiMaggio.
  • Alex is dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • Gay icecream stores:
    • Anderson Scooper (a reference to Anderson Cooper)
    • Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert)
    • Sherbert and Ernie (Bert and Ernie)
  • This episode shares a title name with a Frasier Story (6.01) another 11th season show created by Steve Levitan.


  • The AV Club gave it an "A": Once the news hits, the show makes another smart choice by having everyone cope with it in different ways. The varying reactions allows not only for a fair amount of comedy, but it also creates conflict that feels related to each character. It’d be easy enough for the show to simplify Didi’s death and deliver familiar, predictable reactions rooted in easy jokes, but this is something different. What results is a complicated and genuinely moving portrait of grief, even if it is wrapped up in sitcom tropes.
  • TV Fanatic gave it 4.0 / 5.0.