Below is a scene from Modern Family, and Phil is Jay's son-in-law. Phil tries so hard but Jay never seems to accept him as a "manly" man, and this time Phil, after all sorts of shooting practices to prove that he can do what Jay might want him to do, actually shot a bird with a gun in front of Jay,

Phil: (proud, looking for approval) That oughta fix it, eh, Jay?

Jay: (looking unimpressed) You got a piece of it.

(And Phil is dissatisfied. He looks dejected.)

Is the phrase connoting derision? Like is it underestimating the achievement or something? How should I interpret it in this context? Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


The phrase "got a piece of it" is often used in a baseball context where the batter swings and hits a foul ball. Someone watching might say, "he swung and got of piece of the pitch" or something similar.

So generally it indicates that it was an effort but not a successful one since in baseball a foul ball either counts as a strike against the batter or counts for nothing if the batter already has two strikes.

In the context of your example, which is supposed to be comedy, it seems to be meant to discourage Phil's pride in accomplishing something by minimizing the effectiveness of the shot.

Yes, your interpretation of this as "derision" or insulting is accurate.

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