The cast and co-creator Christopher Lloyd has been teasing a death in the current season, and we now know who is gone. In the beginning of the episode, Claire (Julie Bowen) gets a call from her step-dad, who tells her that her and Mitchell's (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) mother, DeDe Pritchett (Shelley Long) died "peacefully in her sleep."
DeDe was known as the passive aggressive and moody ex-wife of Jay (Ed O'Neill), making various appearances over the last ten seasons. During the episode, each member reminisces about the good and bad moments they had with her.
News of a family member passing away this season came when Lloyd revealed in an interview with EW that the cast would be "handling some bigger life events."
Earlier this month, Ariel Winter opened up about how the Pritchett-Dunphy family would deal with the tragedy.
"It's a character that we'll all be sad to see go, but it's probably not an older character that you think is going to go," Winter teased to ET. "We haven't ever really had a death on the show. It definitely impacts the family, as I think it impacts any family. You know, some people have never dealt with death or if it's a person close to them, they're having to deal with them because it's a tragedy, and you follow people's stories on how they do that and I think some people obviously take it better than others."