10. Phil Helps Luke Get a Date
In " Best Men," Phil takes over Luke's computer to help his son chat up a girl. Phil reassures Luke, "You're in the hands of the master. I think I know how to pick up a 14-year-old girl... for you." Phil is a charmer, and he manages to help Luke get the girl with the smooth opener, "What's the haps tonight?"
9. Phil Is Left Hanging at the Golf Course
Since most business deals are closed over games of golf and not at the trampoline park, Phil practices his swing with Jay, Mitch and Pepper (guest star Nathan Lane) in the episode, " A Slight at the Opera." Phil endures a lot of tension with his father-in-law on the green, including this exchange:
Phil: “Thanks so much for the quick lesson, Jay. Just think of me as a blob of clay waiting for your experienced hands to caress and coax me...”
Jay: “First rule of golf: shhh.”
The golf game is a key moment in Phil's relationship with Jay, because they do end up bonding and finding some common ground. However, the day on the links isn't without its awkward moments, including the unreciprocated high-five above.
8. Let's Get Phil-sical!
After enduring a barrage of humiliation from Jay at a children's birthday party in " When a Tree Falls," Phil decides to take off the kid gloves and put on the really, really oversized ones when he settles things in the children's boxing ring. It's the first time you really see Phil totally lose control with Jay. It's also the first time you get to hear the Dunphy battle cry, "Let's get Phil-sical."
7. Phil vs. Gil
6. Not a Real Man?
5. Trapped Under a Motorcycle for 127 Minutes
It's not quite the harrowing experience James Franco endured in the movie, 127 Hours, but Phil getting trapped under a motorcycle for 127 minutes is the Dunphy version of a life-or-death ordeal. Phil takes Jay's motorcycle for a ride during the family " Yard Sale," and he ends up taking a tumble and getting his pants stuck under the hog. If only he had worn his shants.
4. Phil Is the Godfather
With the christening of Jay and Gloria's new son, Phil assumes the role of the baby's godfather. It's an offer he can't refuse, and soon Phil's life is spoofing The Godfather movie. What family problems Phil couldn't solve by "killing them with kindness" are easily solved through more devious means. By the end of the episode, " Fulgencio," Phil has settled all the family business by orchestrating his revenge with Luke as the hitman. It's a brilliant homage and parody and truly one of the best twists of the season.
3. Kissing Matthew Broderick
Phil is at his best when he's clueless, and there's no better example of him being totally unaware than his accidental " Mistery Date" with lonely gay guy, Dave (guest star Matthew Broderick). Phil invites Dave over for a boys' night of watching the game, but every move that Phil makes comes off like a come-on. Clueless Phil is such a great host, though, that Dave never suspects that Phil isn't interested, and Dave sweetly ends boys' night by kissing a confused Phil. Shortly thereafter, it all clicks for Phil when he says to himself, "Ohhhhh."
2. Phil Wins Back Haley from Kenny the Jeans Designer
When Haley feels like a disappointment to her father because she got kicked out of college, she starts dating Kenny, a much-too-old jeans designer (he's "denimite!") in the episode, " Party Crasher." Claire knows it's a ploy that Haley's using to get a rise out of her parents, so Claire insists the best way to deal with things is to pretend it's all OK. Phil struggles with idly standing by, and things come to a head in the lobby of the hospital where Gloria is in labor. In what is the season's most tender and emotionally powerful moment, Phil tells Claire that no guy on earth is good enough for his little girl, unaware that Haley is behind him. It's Phil's neverending love for his daughter that reassures Haley she was never a disappointment.
What makes Phil so fun to watch is his unique point of view, and his "Phil's-osophy" book (from the episode, " Schooled") captures all his off-kilter mantras, maxims and words of wisdom. They're words to live by. Or at least words to laugh at. We know we're still laughing at them, and that's what makes this Phil's finest of Season 4.
Do you agree with our top 10 list? Which Phil moments of Season 4 are your favorite? Post a comment and share your picks below!