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Modern Family Theory Suggests Jay Was Involved In Some Shady Business

"Modern Family" ticked all the boxes for a successful sitcom when it premiered in 2009. With a likable cast of characters played by charismatic performers and no shortage of drama to mine from across its three central family units, the ABC series was able to stick around for 11 seasons, with an impressive episode count of 250.

Of course, due to the faux-documentary style of "Modern Family," the series was able to sneak in plenty of background gags and references that could easily fly past viewers who aren't watching closely. Naturally, this aspect of the show has led to many fan theories popping up about what the characters might be up to outside of what we see.

While "Modern Family" fans will likely recall that Jay earned his money by installing closets and blinds, one fan thinks he may have had some help. On the r/FanTheories subreddit, u/madmendrinkwhiskey suggested that family patriarch Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill) might have been working with organized crime to get ahead in life. "Look at his house. Look at his cars. All he has," the user observed. "He's almost never working. In a few episodes, when someone said they would call the cops, he preferred they didn't and told them not to do it."

Some fans suspect that Jay may have been involved in criminal activity

From here, the user added more reasoning to their "Modern Family" theory, citing Jay Pritchett's connection to a character named "Shorty," alleging how the two tend to meet up at locations that can't be wiretapped, such as a golf course.

Overall, while this theory definitely comes out of left field, other fans such as u/dhia_1997 and u/Losttheghost quickly agreed with the outlandish assertions. What doesn't help things is that "Shorty" is played by none other than Chazz Palminteri, who has a history of playing men connected to organized crime in film and television. Movie buffs need look no further than Palminteri's widely praised roles in "A Bronx Tale" and "Bullets Over Broadway."

Meanwhile, the OP went on to compare Shorty's characterization in "Modern Family" to Richie Aprile (David Proval) from HBO's crime drama "The Sopranos." "Shorty is just like Richie Aprile from 'The Sopranos,'" they said. "Literally. The way of acting, the interest in clothes, the appearance." On the other hand, u/caliboundwtheweight was more skeptical when the theory was presented on the main "Modern Family" subreddit, despite finding the idea entertaining. "I think it's highly unlikely, but I like the theory and would love a spin-off based on it," they wrote. While Jay's possible connection to the mob is highly improbable, it could still put his enormous wealth in a new, and rather outrageous, perspective for fans.