After recent trips take the Dunphys to New York; Mitch, Cam and Lily to the Midwest; and Jay, Gloria, Manny and Joe to Juarez, Mexico; the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan reunites in its eighth season premiere with all of the families converging at home for Father’s Day.
Jay does not want to give the new family moving in across the street the wrong impression and goes out of his way to make sure they know he is the best kind of neighbor, while Manny decides that the best way to an attractive and radical-thinking teenage girl’s heart is through his actions. Meanwhile, at the Pritchett house, the entire family is using Alex’s recent bout of mono to their advantage. Finally, Cam and Mitchell have always felt they were the most open, non-judgmental and supportive parents. However, when they overhear Lily insulting her new friend, they have to take a quick look in the mirror before they teach her a lesson about acceptance.
The Dunphys and Pritchett’s are going head-to-head when Luke decides his best chance at getting into college is running for senior class president against Manny. The outcome of this election is even more important to Jay, Gloria and Claire, who prove to be dubious campaign managers. Now that Haley has started her own promotion business, Phil insists on introducing her to marketing guru Merv Schechter, who hasn’t seen a stress ball he can’t slap a logo on yet. Meanwhile, Cam finds out his star football player is moving away and makes a rash decision that is going to make home life a little cramped for Mitch and Cam.
Phil can’t cover up his excitement when he’s invited to appear in a real-estate news segment for the local news. The day gets even better after meeting his “weatherman” hero, Rainer Shine (played by Nathan Fillion). Phil made one little mistake; he introduced him to Hayley. Over at the Pritchett house, Jay decides to infuse a little grit into Manny’s video interview for his college application. In the Tucker-Pritchett home, Lily is over their new houseguest and decides to take matters into her own hands.
Luke’s Halloween party isn’t the monster bash he dreamed of and is at risk of having the worst party of the year. Sensing trouble, the rest of the Dunphy’s realize all his party needs is a visit from Rod Skyhook, a little promotion and some adult supervision to get it started. Meanwhile at the Tucker-Pritchett home, Cam faces off with his Halloween nemesis while Lily and Mitchell try to save the day and work to keep him from going to the darkside. Finally, when Jay finds out that Manny is going to a party at the home of an old enemy, he enlists him to deliver a trick he will never forget.
Jay’s favorite place in the world, and only refuge, may be losing some of its charm when Phil considers becoming a member. At the Dunphy house, Claire mistakes her influence on Alex’s life choices, and Hayley cares too much about what Alex thinks about hers. Meanwhile, when Cam doesn’t give Mitchell the full story on what his play is really about, it really puts Mitchell in the spotlight.
It’s going to be a Thanksgiving jamboree at the Pritchett-Tucker home this year and Cameron has spared no expense. While Phil tries to get used to Rainer Shine dating his daughter, Hayley has to break it to her dad that she would rather spend the rest of her holiday with her new boyfriend than stay for the traditional family football game. Meanwhile, Jay has to figure out a way to keep his blood pressure down on one of the most stressful days of the year as Gloria tries to show Joe that animals are our friends. Finally, Alex and Dwight get to know each other a little better than her Uncle Cam would like while Mitchell has to stop clowning around and tell Cam the truth.
Hayley’s plan for a fun-filled girl’s day with Rainer Shine’s teen daughter may be a little more angst-filled than expected. Meanwhile, Luke finds himself in a compromising position with a widow at the club (played by Joely Fisher) and unwittingly helps his grandpa, Jay, with his petition. At the Pritchett-Tucker home, Gloria, Phil and Cam have formed a secret alliance to ensure their respective “mistakes” are concealed from their spouses. However, their diabolical plan may be derailed when Mitchell starts suspecting something just isn’t right.
When Manny and Luke put on the school’s lavish winter dance and end up over their heads due to a texting error, it is up to them to fix it before the end of the night. Meanwhile, Gloria, Claire, Mitchell and Cam all volunteer at the dance while Jay’s thinly veiled guise to get out of it by pretending to want to spend time with Phil backfires. During the dance, Claire and Gloria attempt to set up Marjorie, an overbearing mom, with the school’s principal. Finally, Mitchell is unnerved to be back in high school and is shocked to see a lot of himself in the school bully and feels he needs a little guidance.
Trying to recover from his Thanksgiving debacle, Cam decides to treat the family to a New Year’s Day feast. After realizing that Cam’s recent attempt is also a complete fail and in order to salvage their meal, Mitch uses a “concierge gift card” that he received as a Christmas gift. Cam soon discovers that the concierge who is on his way to save the day is none other than his ex-boyfriend, Keifth (Kelsey Grammar), a former circus ringmaster who left him without saying goodbye. Meanwhile, Phil’s dad, Frank (Fred Willard) arrives with his new girlfriend, who happens to be Phil’s childhood babysitter, which sets him on a confusing tailspin. Finally, Gloria and Jay have to decide who should take care of little Joe if something should ever happen to them.
Cam is incensed that an anonymous and rude parent robbed him of a precious Lily moment during her recent dance recital. While he and Hayley visit Alex at her coffee shop the next day, he thinks he recognizes the culprit and goes to extremes to uncover her identity, and give her a piece of his mind. Meanwhile, Jay, Claire and Mitch attend a family wedding and unexpectedly run into Dede at the reception. Afraid their parents are going to once again make a scene, Mitch and Claire devise a plan to keep them apart. Finally, Phil and Gloria are on a college tour with Luke and Manny, and have very different ways of getting the boys ready to head out on this new adventure and also learning to let go.
Fearful that the romance between him and Claire is fizzling, Phil calls upon his altar ego, Clive Bixby, get Valentines day back on track. Meanwhile, much to Gloria’s chagrin, Jay shows a bit of child favoritism when he and Gloria must deal with Joe’s inappropriate Valentine gift-giving and Manny’s dating indecisiveness. When Cam and Mitch try to empower Lily, Haley and Sal to stand up to the men in their lives, things don’t turn out as planned and go overboard. Finally, Alex discovers she has a secret admirer who may be a little too involved with family.
Feeling empowered after his successful do-it-yourself project, Phil convinces Jay to co-invest in a property he has always wanted to develop. Meanwhile, Claire’s new obsession with a TV chef and her new love of cooking Sunday dinners hasn’t been as tasty as she thinks. Haley is the family’s only hope to add a little spice to the situation. At the Pritchett-Tucker house, Cam and Mitchell see that the family is too reliant on technology, so they attempt to teach Lily the importance of hard work, which ends disastrously. Back at the Pritchett’s, Jay feels replaced when he sees Gloria has hired Coach Gary to coach Joe and serve as a handy man.
Despite their lofty hopes, Phil and Jay’s property investment might turn out to be a bust, forcing Phil to rethink his original dream. Meanwhile, Cam lands in the hospital due to a head injury and refuses to have an MRI thanks to a traumatic incident with a well when he was a child. Determined to finally impress Claire and keep her from re-gifting her birthday present, Gloria surprises her with a day of luxury at the office. However, after Claire had to implement some rather harsh budget cuts at work, a massage at her desk may not be sending the right message.
Cam is enraged when he receives an online video showing someone has been desecrating his beloved Fizbo costume, which sets him on a quest to restore Fizbo’s good name. Meanwhile, Phil is in for quite the surprise when he finally meets his new soon-to-be step-brother at Frank’s bachelor party. Finally, Manny’s newest play hits a little too close to home for Gloria, Claire and Haley when he enlists them to do a read through before he submits it to a young playwright festival.
After choking at last year’s charity basketball game, Phil has been training all year to redeem himself. However, when NBA stars Charles Barkley and DeAndre Jordan attend the game and start making bets, Phil tries to not buckle under the pressure. Meanwhile, Gloria has to step-up at Manny’s school when her nemesis, Donna Duncan (Jane Krakowski), tries to shame her for her lack of support at the school. Finally, Claire does whatever it takes to keep a work mistake secret from Jay, while Jay’s concerned that Joe doesn’t have a healthy fear of him at all.
During a quick workout session in the garage, Mitchell accidentally knocks over an urn filled with the ashes of Cam’s beloved pet pig Lilly. He quickly attempts to cover up his blunder and devises an appropriate cover-up. Hoping to catch Mitchell in his lie, Cam makes up a tall tale to trap him, but his own lie soon becomes a little too big to manage.
So much can happen to the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan in five minutes! Mitch and Cam have five minutes to catch a new flight while fighting the effects of sleeping pills they took prematurely. Then at Rainer’s birthday dinner, Haley and Rainer are forced to reevaluate their entire relationship in the five minutes before the birthday cake arrives. Meanwhile, Phil and Claire pay a surprise visit to Alex and are given a five-minute surprise introduction to her new boyfriend. Finally, with only five minutes to catch a movie, Manny has to find the perfect parking space and endure Jay and Gloria’s backseat argument.
Frank Dunphy’s Roaring 20s-themed wedding day is finally here, and to get into the spirit, Phil gets the Dunphy clan to show up in costume. Once Claire and the kids realize they are the only ones dressed-up, they feel it’s time for a “funny” intervention with Phil. Meanwhile, Jay has mastered the art of saying no, but soon realizes that if you say no too many times, people stop asking; and Cam is in for a big surprise when he finally stops hiding behind Mitchell and stands up to his sister Pam.
Gloria, Claire, Haley, Alex, Lily, Luke and Manny are equally committed to showing their support for gender equality and the women’s movement in very different ways. Meanwhile, Jay and Phil are at odds on how their parking lot attendant, Joan (guest-star Niecy Nash), should be running their lot, and jealousy ensues when Pam prefers Mitchell’s help over Cam’s with her baby.
Everyone deserves a little alone time now and then, so when Mitch and Jay separately seek out a much-needed retreat from the family and end up at the same resort, it becomes clear just how “related” they really are. Meanwhile, Phil and Claire can’t seem to really enjoy the empty-nester life, and Cam, not knowing what to do with himself while Mitch is away, drops in on Gloria’s to lend a hand.
In the season finale, Manny’s father, Javier, shows up for his graduation and takes him out on a wild night of celebration, and then Jay steps in to pick-up the pieces. Meanwhile, the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan is getting ready for Luke and Manny’s big day and dealing with the emotions that come with seeing your kids grow up and leave the nest.
Haley’s attempt to stop Andy from proposing to Beth will end up with both Haley and Andy needing to cope with their emotions and both will have their own special ways of doing so, and Phil and Claire seem to only make matters worse. Jay and Gloria look at pre-schools for Joe and get a rude awakening after they realize the competitive wait list to get in. Meanwhile, Cam tries to remain supportive of Mitch’s midlife career crisis, but money is getting a little tight, so Cam comes up with a scheme to get Mitch’s old job back.
Phil and Claire are feeling a little snubbed by their kids when Alex intentionally gives them the wrong college move in date to avoid making it a big deal, and Luke seems less than eager to spend the day with Phil at his open house and would rather go hang out with some guys from school. Elsewhere, the rest of the family concoct an elaborate story to get out of going to Lily’s soccer game which only adds to the stress Mitch and Cam are feeling now that they’ve added landlords to their resume after deciding to rent out the top unit for temporary stays.
Being the cool dad that he is, Phil helps Haley convince Claire to allow Dylan to move in temporarily, but after seeing how intimate living together means, Phil is having major second thoughts. Mitch takes on a much needed consulting job that just so happens to be for Jay’s biggest rival – Closets, Closets, Closets, Closets! – which doesn’t go over well with Jay, and elsewhere, Gloria and Cameron disagree on how to handle Manny’s girl problem at school.
Phil is all in on project hatch-the-duck-eggs, even building a whole habitat for them — no one else is as enthused about this project and Lily is the only one suckered into helping him. Claire, meanwhile, is nervous about pitching her new closet ideas to Jay and his creative team, and for good reason it seems. And, Gloria and Manny help each other out with their respective “crushes,” while Cameron develops an unhealthy attachment to the frat guys renting their upstairs unit.
Claire is excited to give Haley and Alex a great experience for “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day” but the staff is not making it easy, and Phil takes Luke and Manny’s class out for community service day, which becomes a teachable moment in more ways than one. Elsewhere, Gloria is thrilled to be on jury duty leaving Jay to help out at Joe’s pre-school and he is not happy about it at all. Cam and Mitch disagree over which of their friends to invite to their party, so could Gloria help mediate?
Claire and Phil have their hands full when Luke gets arrested for driving without a license, then they catch Alex sneaking out of a liquor store, but that’s on top of Phil dealing with some personal insecurities. Elsewhere, Cam tries to convince Gloria to recreate and sell her family’s hot sauce while Mitch helps Jay shoot a video to accompany his Titans of Industry award. And Haley and Dylan have an awkward encounter with Andy and Beth at the movies.
Everyone is at Jay & Gloria’s for post-Thanksgiving leftovers brunch and after a conversation about the sexy and sleek house that Phil is helping Mitch and Cam’s friend sell, everyone gets the same bright idea to sneak in there and have a little “fun.” Unbeknownst to one another they all choose the same day to go, and then it quickly escalates into a game of hide and hopefully don’t get found. Meanwhile, back at Jay and Gloria’s, Gloria has successfully stolen copies of everyone’s drivers licenses during the brunch so Jay and her can buy them all a surprise family trip to Miami, but in actuality Jay has a surprise in store for Gloria, only to then get trumped by her surprise.
Gloria won a bid at the school auction for a family seminar with famed doctor and author Debra Radcliffe, whose self-help book ‘Clean Out Your Junk Drawer’ encourages people get out all their emotional junk to become healthier people and in turn better partners and spouses. Jay is resistant to the whole experience and can’t get away fast enough; Mitch and Cam decide to keep it very surface level so they can come off as super stable; and Phil and Claire also make it competitive and strive to be the best and strongest couple of the group. Things quickly escalate, though, as junk starts flying. Elsewhere, Haley and Alex meet up and counsel each other on their boy problems.
In hopes of the perfect white Christmas she never had in Columbia, Gloria rents a cabin in the mountains for the whole family, including Andy, to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately when they get there, it’s anything but; with unseasonably hot weather and a random unwelcomed guest, the family is in for an interesting holiday celebration!
Claire and Phil have dinner plans with this great couple they met on vacation; the only problem is they never pick up the bill, so Claire insists Phil be strong this time and make them pay. Gloria organizes a playdate with a couple that appears to have a lot in common with them – they also have a young son Joe’s age, but the husband is in his eighties and Jay takes it very personally. Elsewhere, Haley, Alex and Luke are surprised when Uncle Mitchell comes over to cash in on the birthday coupon they gave him for a belated celebration, so they scramble and end up on an impromptu tour of celebrity homes.
Sick of having the ducklings around the house, Claire and the kids seize an opportunity to help expedite the ducks leaving the nest while Phil is off visiting Alex at college. Meanwhile, Jay helps Mitch with Lily’s sleepover with her friends from her Vietnamese dance troupe; and Gloria and Cam are off on a hot pepper heist carefully orchestrated by Manny in order to meet a big hot sauce delivery deadline.
Before Claire officially takes over Jay’s closet business, she decides she must get the house in order and make the family clean out the clutter; unfortunately, Phil and Luke can’t bear to part with anything, and Alex digs up old feelings when she finds Sanjay’s sweatshirt. Newly into retirement, Jay decides to get a new hobby – piloting a plane – but the danger puts Cameron into a tailspin of worry. And elsewhere, Gloria wants to connect with Jay more and decides to pick up his favorite game of golf, and ropes Mitchell into teaching her.
Now that Claire has been running the closet business for a while, she and Phil have fallen into a new rhythm, with Claire assuming the role of the wheeling and dealing breadwinner and Phil as the invisible housewife, but Phil will not stand for being ignored and under-appreciated for long. Meanwhile, Jay lets his jealousy get the best of him when a life-size cutout of Gloria for her grocery store hot sauce display solicits all kinds of unsavory attention from men, so he enlists Manny as his accomplice in a poorly orchestrated heist. And, Cam and Mitch are being extra hospitable to get better reviews for their rental property, but when the new renters start acting undeniably suspicious, they can’t help but snoop.
A huge thunder storm brings wide power outages and the whole family congregates at Jay and Gloria’s to use their generator, but Jay has one foot out the door desperately trying to make it to a reunion with some old Navy buddies. Meanwhile, Phil tries to be the hero and redeem himself after a very embarrassing public panic attack earlier, but only causes more headaches for everyone. Mitch and Cam grasp at straws trying to salvage Lily’s birthday party where the most popular girl at school is in attendance, and Haley turns up the seduction efforts with Andy.
Claire has somehow turned into super mom, running Jay’s closet business and yet still has time for all the duties at home. The kids could not be happier, but Phil could not be more frustrated. Unbeknownst to him, Claire has a secret weapon called a personal assistant. Meanwhile, Joe is going through a fussy phase, and Jay and Gloria are beyond sleep deprived, so they both cut some corners that they know the other would not like and go to great lengths not to get caught. And Mitch and Cam are treated like second-class guests at their friends’ wedding, which Pepper has organized, and they spend the whole time figuring why and who they offended.
Phil has a new client who happens to be “his type,” and knowing that might get him in trouble with Claire, he tells some seemingly innocent lies, which then lead to more, and soon enough he’s in a full spiral. Meanwhile, Gloria suspects her yoga instructor has the hots for her and asks Claire to come with her to class, but the instructor ends up giving Claire a lot of inappropriate attention, and she likes it. Now that Jay is retired, he is filling up his time making a web show but becomes obsessed with tracking down a hateful troll who is leaving horrible comments. And Mitch and Cam try to teach a skittish Lily how to ride a bike by leading by example, but easier said than done.
Phil has the crazy idea of going on a spontaneous trip to Paris with Claire; the only problem is that they are both so ridiculously tired but try to push through it. Meanwhile, Jay has taken over their bathroom remodel, which proves to be pretty hazardous for Gloria, Manny and Joe. Cameron’s sister Pam is staying at the house after her husband has left her, but her emotional outbursts are driving Mitchell crazy, and he’s afraid it’s setting a bad example for Lily. And Haley and Andy go on a wild night bender.
Manny and Luke are in charge of babysitting Lily so that the adults can enjoy a day to themselves. Claire and Gloria have a lovely trip to the spa planned; Phil and Mitch nerd out at the movies; and Jay and Cam go to a sports bar to watch the big fight. Things start going awry though when the fire alarm goes off back at the house, and Claire is convinced the boys are secretly throwing a party.
Claire brings home a stray dog and gets the kids to help her hide it from Phil while she tries to find its owner. Unfortunately, her evasive behavior only makes Phil try even harder to shower her with more attention. Elsewhere, Gloria invites a new couple over even after Jay has made it clear he doesn’t want to make any new friends, but when the husband turns out to be a real guy’s guy, Jay might be eating crow. And Cameron rents out their upstairs apartment to a Christian rock band.
With Closet-Con right around the corner, Claire is on high alert and convinced there is a mole in the company. Meanwhile, Phil goes vigilante when he and Gloria confront Auntie Alice for stealing her hot sauce recipe. Jay tries to teach Joe how to do some manly handy work, and with prom coming up, Mitch helps Luke with his “promposal” while Cam helps with Manny’s but Cam goes a little too overboard revealing there maybe something deeper going on.
Dede is getting remarried and Manny convinces the family to take the train up to the wedding. Jay could not be more ecstatic that Dede has moved on for good but his overenthusiasm might come back and bite him later. Claire and Mitchell work on their toast while Phil and Cam geek out over their favorite author who is also on the train. Luke and Manny go a little girl crazy, Gloria gets stuck in coach and Alex gets caught up in the romance of the train herself.
Claire can’t seem to find the right time to fire one of her employees, while, back at home, Phil thinks he caught Luke with a girl in his bed, and no one seems to notice that Alex has moved back home for the summer. Jay refuses to accept that it might be harder to reenter the workforce than he thought, and Cameron and Mitch butt heads on how to share time with Lily now that Cameron took a summer job in Kansas City.
This summer has been exceptionally blissful in the Dunphy house, Alex is away on a humanitarian trip and the rest of the family is getting along swimmingly, but when Alex comes home, there is an immediate shift in mood. Elsewhere, Mitch and Cam have returned from their honeymoon and Mitch is acclimating to real life much quicker than the still lovey-dovey Cameron. And, Gloria has taken issue with how little effort Jay puts into his appearance and decides to give him a taste of his own medicine.
It’s Jay and Gloria’s anniversary and they can’t seem to get on the same page on what kind of gift to give – sentimental or expensive? And, the Dunphys head to Caltech for Alex’s college tour and while Claire is busy convincing her to choose this school and stay close to home, Phil, Luke and Haley branch off to participate in a psyche experiment.
Phil is putting together Mitch and Cam’s wedding video for a special family screening, but when the footage reveals that he is responsible for a horrible cold that has plagued the family, he must do some creative editing.
The Dunphys move into a cramped hotel room while their house is getting treated for mold and Phil sees this as an opportunity to spend some quality time together but Claire and the kids are less than enthused. Gloria becomes over protective when Manny starts dating an older, popular girl, and Cameron is under a lot of pressure to maintain his team’s winning streak but when he realizes Mitchell may be a jinx, emotions run high.
Phil is selling the house next door and he and Claire are excited by the prospect of having wonderful new neighbors, but that quickly turns into panic when a loud and obnoxious couple come to look at the house. Jay forbids Manny to see his new girlfriend when he realizes she’s the granddaughter of his biggest business rival, leading to a clash of the closet titans. Elsewhere, Mitch and Cam are determined to switch Lily out of Mrs. Plank’s class since she is known to rule with an iron fist – not to mention she scares them too.
Even though Halloween is Claire’s holiday, she allows Phil to take over this year so instead of her usual fright-fest theme, he decides to turn the house into AwesomeLand! Gloria picks out Princess Fiona and Shrek costumes for her and Jay but Jay decides he wants to be Prince Charming complete with a full head of gorgeous hair, and with the hair comes a new sense of confidence. Elsewhere, Cameron gets overwhelmed by the day’s activities and Mitchell has closing arguments for a huge case, and it doesn’t help that the stenographer is dressed like a spider.
Phil and Claire don’t know if they should be happy or concerned that Haley and Andy are spending a lot of time together, however, they soon find things are not what they appear. Gloria is pushing Manny to learn Spanish instead of French so she goes ahead and hires a Spanish tutor, Diego, who also happens to be very handsome, much to Manny and Jay’s chagrin. Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam meet a popular news reporter at a school function and one of them peaks her journalistic interest.
Phil is cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year with Luke as his sous chef, and Claire has no confidence in them and prepares a secret turkey of her own as backup. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria had plans to spend the holiday away but when the trip gets canceled last minute, they decide not to tell anyone which quickly becomes the worst idea ever since the family dinner gets suddenly moved to their house and it turns into a mad scramble to cover their tracks. And, Mitch is tired of always being the bad cop so when Lily refuses to wear a nice dress to dinner, he forces Cameron to deal with it who then comes up with a very unconventional approach.
When Alex tells Phil and Claire she has a boyfriend, they worry they’ve put too much pressure on her and has made up an imaginary boyfriend. Jay and Gloria both have parties that they are dragging the other to and Jay has a clever plan to get himself out of it, but Manny just might spoil everything. Mitch and Cam just got a beautiful white couch delivered but when Mitch is stuck helping out Brenda, a distressed co-worker, and allows her to stay – it is a mishap waiting to happen.
Haley is turning twenty-one and the whole family is taking her to a bar to celebrate! Claire really wants Haley to start seeing her as a friend rather than her uptight mom, Mitch and Cam make the sad realization that they may not be as cool as they thought, and Phil and Jay’s quick pit stop to pick up Haley’s gift, a new car, becomes a disaster. Back at home, Alex, Luke and Manny babysit Lily and she decides to drop the ‘where do babies come from?’ bomb.
While driving out to get breakfast, the Dunphys including Manny have a near death experience causing everyone to reevaluate their lives. Claire resolves to be more fun and less uptight, Haley and Alex agree not to fight anymore, Manny refuses to ever ride in a car again, Luke wants to check off his bucket list, Phil decides to be a take action type of guy and the rest of the family has to bear the brunt of all the new attitudes.
Claire is furious about neighbors Ronnie and Amber’s eye-sore of a boat on their front lawn and it soon becomes an all-out war when Phil calls in the “big guns” as back up -- his dad Frank and all his retired friends to give them a taste of their own medicine. Elsewhere, Jay is trying to potty train Joe but Gloria does not think he’s ready yet, and Cam secretly takes Lily to clown school behind Mitchell’s back.
Phil is starting to feel the teenage cold shoulder from Luke, and with Andy hanging around a lot recently as his apprentice, he easily steps in as his new right hand man. Meanwhile, Gloria and the doctors suspect that Joe might be allergic to Stella which leaves Jay in a very tough predicament, and Mitchell is doing some freelance legal work at Jay’s closet company and working with Claire becomes a very enlightening experience for the both of them.
Valentine’s Day is here again which means “Juliana” and “Clive” are back, however, things get worrisome when Claire starts sensing Phil may be more into Juliana than her! Elsewhere, Jay goes from feeling disappointed to scared when Gloria’s visiting sister, Sonia, becomes a larger deterrence for a romantic evening with Gloria than he thought. And, Mitchell and Cameron get themselves in a very precarious situation with their good friend Anders.
After a long reunion weekend with Phil’s old cheer buddies, Claire jumps at the chance to snag the only first class seat left on the return flight home leaving Phil in coach and both have completely opposite experiences. Meanwhile, Gloria forces Jay to teach Manny how to defend himself against a bully in his cooking class, but when things backfire it seems that the real bully might be someone else. Mitch, Cameron, Pepper and the whole gang throw Sal a belated baby shower and they are all blown away by how motherhood has changed her, or has it really?
Claire’s computer becomes the hub of all the family’s activities when she gets stuck at the airport and is desperate to reach Haley after a big fight. After FaceTiming with Phil and the rest of the family to help track her down, Claire quickly turns to online snooping which inevitably becomes disturbing real quick and everyone gets sucked into the online drama.
Jay and Claire scramble to shoot a Pritchett Closets commercial in response to their competitor’s new and catchy ad, but there might be some creative differences between father and daughter. A peeping-Tom in the neighborhood keeps using a drone to spy on Gloria sun-bathing so Phil, Luke and Manny make it their mission to take it down. Elsewhere, a tone deaf Lily prepares to perform in her school talent show and Cameron is more worried about it than she is, and Haley’s feelings for Andy become even more complicated when he gets rushed to the hospital with appendicitis.
Spring break has Claire doing some spring cleaning, while Phil struggles with not being a spring chicken when Luke starts outperforming him at seemingly everything. Haley takes Alex to a music festival to take her mind off of colleges, and Gloria and Jay challenge one another to give up Spanish soap operas and cigars respectively. However, when Gloria accompanies Cameron to his faculty talent show, she projects the soapy drama she craves onto Cam’s rivalry with Senor Kaplan, and Jay tags along with Mitchell to pick up Lily from camp so he can sneak a smoke.
Jay’s birthday brings everyone together and Phil is beside himself over the super cool gift he got Jay, a high-tech outdoor grill. Claire and Mitch decide they will “offer” to pay back the money Jay loaned them ages ago as their gift not really thinking he will take them up on it, and Gloria teaches Manny and Luke a lesson about drinking, while Andy gets real awkward with Haley when she brings over her new doctor boyfriend.
Jay agrees to sub in on Cam’s bowling team for the finals but Cam was not fully upfront about it being an all gay league, which puts Jay in a precarious position. Phil and Claire have a surprisingly good time with unlikely dinner companions, their neighbors Ronnie and Amber, and Gloria and Mitch agree to go clubbing with Haley to prove they’re still young and fun but they didn’t anticipate the pre-party portion of the night.
Alex’s worst nightmare is realized when she gets news that she has to share the Valedictorian title with her number one competitor, Sunjay! Both sets of parents get equally caught up in the rivalry and convince Principal Brown to let them break the tie via a gym grade they both have not completed – a one mile run. Elsewhere, Gloria is studying for her upcoming U.S. citizenship test and a visit from Javier throws her off her game, and Mitch and Cam blindly agree to join a protest against a local restaurant that they are actually secretly excited about.
The family is determined to make Alex celebrate her senior ditch day and Phil, Luke and Haley forcefully take her out but end up at an unexpected detour. Claire is torn when she gets a job offer from a big hotel chain but feeling torn quickly gets replaced with feelings of confusion when she can’t tell whether or not Jay really cares if she stays or goes. And with Manny groggy off of pain killers from his wisdom teeth procedure, Gloria seizes the moment to put a sabotage plan into effect to break Manny and his new girlfriend up.
The whole family is at Jay & Gloria's for Alex's graduation party, except for Phil, who ingeniously figured out a way to be there via skype and a robotic vessel after being unexpectedly detained in Seattle on a business trip. During the celebration, Jay frets about Gloria's cousin who has overstayed his welcome, Claire stresses out about giving Alex the perfect gift, Mitch hides news of being laid off from Cam and Andy's girlfriend, Beth, is in town stirring up a whole lot of tension with Haley which finally leads to a realization that may have come too late.
Mitch & Cam decide to get married. The kids are driving Phil & Claire crazy. They realize with a little rescheduling of Luke's camp, Alex's trip, and Haley's vacation, they can get all the kids out of the house and have one week all to themselves. Jay & Gloria are preparing for Manny's solo trip to Colombia to visit relatives. Jay is having to manage Gloria's emotions and Manny's nervousness about the trip. After a few pep talks, Jay manages to get Manny on the plane while avoiding a complete breakdown from Gloria, only to tear up himself when Manny leaves."
Claire arrives for her first day of work at Jays company and is worried that Jay doesn't have a real job for her. Cam, having lost his music teacher job due to budget cuts, is now substitute teaching at the high school. With the opportunity to become a full-time history teacher, Cam throws himself into the teaching with less-than-stellar results. But, Cam can coach football, so he's hired. Mitch has to bring Lily to work with him after she injures herself. He calls on Haley to come to the office to help watch her, but Haley spends her day with Charlie, Mitchell's boss. Luke and Manny have their first day of high school. They each brush off Phil and Gloria, respectively during their drop-off.
Phil seems to have found his wheelhouse in real estate - recently divorced women - but it's taking up a lot of his time. Meanwhile, Luke invites his buddies over for a high-stakes poker game in the basement; Gloria think baby Joe might be cursed; and Cam holds an elaborate pet funeral for Larry the cat's made-up wife -- all for Lily's sake.
Cameron's older, single sister Pam is coming for a visit, and Cam is in a panic to hide the engagement until he can delicately break the news to her, but it turns out she has news of her own. Phil and Claire make a joint, guilt-ridden decision to miss one of Luke's volleyball games -- that is -- until one of them goes behind the other's back, and Gloria is in denial that she might need reading glasses.
Jay pulled a lot of strings to get reservations at the hottest new restaurant for a family adult's night out. Unfortunately, in each household everyone is running late -- Gloria is taking forever to get ready per usual, Claire and Phil get in a tiff about letting Luke stay home alone, and Mitch and Cam end up putting on the same outfit.
When Gloria hires a too-good-to-be-true male nanny, Jay and Manny are pretty much dead set against it. Frank is in town and feeling a bit lonely recently, so Phil and Jay take him out to help get his groove back. And, Mitch and Cam commission Pepper to plan their dream wedding, but Pepper might be dreaming a little too big.
The family attends the annual school fair and Phil has a big 20th wedding anniversary surprise planned for Claire at the fairgrounds, but unfortunately, she simultaneously has a surprise for him back at home. Gloria signs Jay up to be a fair cop for the day and it gets worse when he's partnered up with his nemesis. Elsewhere, Mitch, Cam and Lily try to enjoy the fair but Cam is in a funk from the football team's recent losing streak, and Haley has an awkward first encounter with Andy.
With some urging from Claire, Jay begrudgingly agrees to return to ClosetCon this year, and things get interesting when Jay is reunited with some old colleagues. Cam takes Mitch and Lily to the Tucker family farm for the first time and is excited to fold them into country life, that is until Grams pays an unexpected visit. And back at home, Phil, Gloria and the kids get into some mischief involving Jay's very delicate Apollo 13 spacecraft model.
With a big football game coming up and a record to break, Coach Cam is intensely focused and showing no mercy even when the opposing team is playing with an unexpected disadvantage. Elsewhere, Claire is determined to prove to the staff that she is more than just the boss's daughter, and Phil tries to teach his kids a lesson about optimism, but the universe just isn't cooperating.
Jay takes Manny out to cut down their own Christmas tree, and Gloria is on edge with mom in town, but changes her tune when she sees her bonding with Claire. Elsewhere, Mitchell is forced to do last minute shopping when they didn't get Lily the right gift, and Cameron takes Lily to a charity event where they experience the true meaning of Christmas.
Phil tricks Luke into taking a dance class, but the jokes on him when the white lie indirectly lands him in the slammer. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria are throwing birthday parties for both Manny and Joe and are concerned Manny might be going for girls out of his league, and Mitch and Cam get a rude awakening in the cutthroat world of booking a wedding venue.
The high school open house puts the parents in a bit of a time warp when Claire finds herself stressed out by all the pressure, Gloria encounters a "mean girl" mom and Jay teaches Phil how to play a little hookie. Elsewhere, Mitchell gets defensive when he encounters his judgmental, environmentalist neighbor and Alex goes to see a therapist.
Phil and Claire take Haley out to dinner to discuss her future, but Haley manages to turn the tables. Elsewhere, Jay's friend Shorty and wife Darlene are back visiting, and they have some news that doesn't sit well with Jay. And, Mitch and Cam decide to have a nice, romantic dinner date where they don't talk about the wedding or about Lily, which then leads to a lot of awkward silences.
Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they're hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman, but Jay misinterprets her anger for another offense he committed. And, Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.
Phil is upset to have lost his elected office of social chair to his nemesis Gil Thorpe, and when he finds out Luke is competing against Gil's kid in a wrestling match, it becomes his own personal battle. Claire is nervous for a big client meeting but things get extra hairy when Mitch and Cam ask her to pick up Lily from school and conveniently leave out the fact that her class just had a lice scare. Elsewhere, Gloria chaperones Manny's school field trip to the museum.
Cameron is in charge of the school's big spring dance, but when a popular teacher returns from sabbatical, a bit of not-so-friendly competition blooms. And with Claire on chaperone duty at the dance, Phil gets Haley to accompany him to his annual realtor's banquet and is looking forward to impressing his little girl. Elsewhere, Mitch starts a new job and can't seem to get a good read on the new boss or the work environment. Jay and Gloria babysit Lily and an accident with Gloria's purse ignites a case of whodunit and it's Lily's word against baby Joe's.
ItÍs male-bonding day when Jay takes Luke into the garage to show him the way around tools and impart some manly wisdom, and Gloria goes with Claire and Lily to shop for LilyÍs flower girl dress. Elsewhere, Mitch, Cam, Alex and Manny go for a cultured day at the museum but it eventually becomes survival of the smartest. And Phil enthusiastically offers to help Andy with his anniversary gift to his girlfriend, which is an elaborate video expression of his love.
The adults are Vegas-bound when Jay hooks them up with Excelsior Level hotel accommodations courtesy of one of his big clients, but after learning there's an even higher level, Jay becomes obsessed with upgrading. Meanwhile, everyone's sneaking around when Claire secretly hits the tables to win back money she lost years ago, Phil goes underground auditioning for a secret society of magicians, Cam ducks out of a spa day with Mitch to join their friend's bachelor party shenanigans, and Gloria is determined to hide a female version of dog butler Barkley from Jay.
Mitch struggles to hide his true feelings about the unflattering wedding topper Cam's father whittled out of soap for them, Phil tries to help Gloria sell her pre-Jay apartment but they get sidetracked at the neighborhood salon, and Claire and the kids head over to Jay's early to help him prep for the special night with the family he's hosting but they end up just butting heads.
The entire family tags along as Phil fulfills his mom's wish for him to return to his roots and visit the country where he was conceived, Australia. Unfortunately, Phil's attempts to embrace his native land are met by a lot of rejection, while Jay and Claire let work eat into vacation time, and Mitch and Cam get reacquainted with an old friend they can't stand but is now a big-time celebrity in Australia
Phil fails at his one task to stay home and wait for the repairman, forcing him to tell an elaborate lie to hide the truth from Claire, but the stress is more than he can physically handle. Meanwhile, Gloria is obsessing over the family portrait she is responsible for organizing this year. Claire accuses Cam of being too snobby to use her girls' hand-me-downs and Jay secretly enters Stella in a dog show.
Jay, Gloria and Manny challenge each other to step outside their comfort zone and try something new. Mitch and Cam's wedding is getting too big and costly so they resort to selling a couple of their prized possessions, and the kids play a joke on Phil and Claire.
Mitch and Cam's big day is finally here and nothing can ruin it, until nothing turns into a whole lot of somethings and puts wedding planner extraordinaire Pepper Saltzman to the test. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria host the Tuckers, Phil squeezes in an eye procedure before the festivities and Claire embraces her role as "best woman."
The wedding day chaos continues as the entire party shifts from one contingency plan to another. Guests start to get testy, Mitchell and Cameron are feeling discouraged and poor Claire shows physical wear and tear, but an unexpected turn of events leads to the ceremony we've all been waiting for.
Jay's birthday is upon us again and, as before, he makes it well-known that he wishes to keep it as low key as possible, with no grand gestures or surprises. But leave it to the family to miss the mark yet again! Phil takes Jay on a very unconventional fishing trip with his buddies, and Gloria struggles with how to break the pregnancy news to him. Meanwhile, Dylan moves into the Dunphy household temporarily, and Mitch and Cam decide to look into adopting a cat as they continue to cope with their failed attempt to adopt another child.
The day has arrived for Phil and Claire to drop Haley off at college, which is a difficult moment for any parent, but it's made worse when they manage to really embarrass Haley. Meanwhile, Manny forces Jay and Gloria to take a baby class... they humor him and go, but end up being a bit of a disruption; and Mitch and Cam drop Lily off for the first day of kindergarten, but when she gets into a tussle with another little boy, they end up having a meeting with the boy's confrontational lesbian parents.
Phil and Claire have a five-year plan, and that's to vacation and enjoy life once Luke leaves for college. In order to keep all that on track, Phil is going in for a vasectomy. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria disagree about whether or not to find out the sex of the baby; Gloria is in denial about needing maternity clothes; and now that Lily's in kindergarten, Mitchell tries to gently steer Cameron towards a part-time job to occupy all his extra time.
Luke wants to quit magic and Phil just can't seem to accept it. Meanwhile, one of Gloria's new pregnancy symptoms is snoring and she's keeping the whole house awake, forcing Jay to take desperate measures; and Mitch and Cam's household dynamic is put to the test when they decide to swap duties -- Mitch staying at home with Lily while Cam goes off to work at his new job as the music teacher at Luke and Manny's school.
Claire has overdone it in Halloweens past and the neighbors definitely don't share her enthusiasm, so this year she's being forced to tone it down and keep it "kid-friendly," and Phil has an idea to hold an open house on Halloween night. Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam host a costume party while contending with Lily wondering who her real mom is, and Gloria's pregnancy hormones are on overdrive, making her even more hotheaded than usual.
At a Pritchett family yard sale held by Jay and Gloria to help a fund-raiser at Luke and Manny's school, Phil can't decide what to buy or sell, and Mitchell and Cameron assess Alex's new male friend, but Gloria would rather the contents of an old trunk not be revealed.
Haley gets arrested for underage drinking, prompting a frantic trip to the police station for Claire, Phil and the family lawyer, Mitchell, leaving Alex and Luke under Cameron's shaky supervision. Meanwhile, Jay is surprised by a visit from his ex-wife, Dede, but he tries to get rid of her before she finds out that Gloria is pregnant.
When Claire takes Manny and Luke along to Alex's academic decathlon for the weekend, Phil attempts to throw together a boys' night at the house, inviting a fellow Bulldog alum (guest star Matthew Broderick) he just met -- but their wires are definitely crossed. Meanwhile, the pressure is on for Alex at the decathlon, Manny and Luke bar mitzvah hop at the hotel trying to find a cute girl, and Cam and Mitch arrange for quite the surprise baby gift for Jay and Gloria.
With some urging, Mitch joins in on Cam's efforts to save an old tree in the park, but just how far will they go? Jay and Manny are each pushed beyond their comfort zones when they attend a kid's Olympics-themed birthday party, and Claire brings Gloria along on a Costco run -- but add in a "pregnancy brain" and it makes for quite an eventful trip.
Manny and Luke's little league team unexpectedly makes it into a playoff game, so Claire and Cameron scramble to find a location and decide to do a makeover on a rundown field. Inspired, Claire and Cam want to try their hand at flipping a house while they're at it, and Phil and Mitchell fight over who will be the bad guy to tell them no. Meanwhile, Gloria tries a bonding technique by using a microphone to sing to the baby in utero, which definitely incites a reaction from Jay.
Jay is so excited, having planned for the whole family to celebrate New Year's together at this great hotel in Palm Springs. However, when the hotel turns out to be less than stellar, everyone starts to branch off to do their own thing, leaving Jay dejected -- that is until he runs into the one and only Billy Dee Williams! Meanwhile back at home, Haley and Alex watch over the kids, which proves to be quite a challenge.
With the baby coming soon, Jay and Gloria go to great lengths to throw Manny an extra special surprise party for his 14th birthday -- and there are plenty of surprises to go around! Meanwhile, Phil and Claire deal with a new much older guy that Haley has started hanging out with, and Cam becomes jealous of the special bond Lily seems to have with Mitch.
Gloria's mom, Pilar, and sister Sonia have made the voyage from Colombia, and they come bearing traditions, baby names and a whole lot of family baggage. Meanwhile, no one seems to have confidence that Phil will be able to help with the kids' problems, but there just might be a method to his madness. And Lily has picked up some bad habits, so Mitchell and Cameron try their hardest to mind their Ps and Qs to set a good example for her.
Cameron is putting on the school production of "Phantom of the Opera," but when their star falls ill, Manny pulls all the stops to land the lead -- even if that means going against Luke. Meanwhile, Jay teaches Phil to golf and they wind up in a golf-off with Pepper and Mitch; Gloria takes Alex along on errands which include a visit to a psychic; and Claire's adventures in babysitting Joe and Lily become a comedy of errors.
A fun Valentine's Day romp between Phil and Claire's alter egos, Clive Bixby and Juliana, takes an unexpected turn that lands Claire in the hospital and with a diagnosis that she doesn't take lying down. Meanwhile, Gloria and Jay's attempts to be romantic keep getting interrupted by the kids, which drives Gloria crazy, and Cam and Mitch host a wild Valentine's Day Lonely Hearts Party that leaves them hung over the next morning, trying to piece together what happened and, more importantly, why Dylan is now living with them.
Claire flies solo to her college reunion and runs into a professor she once dated, but when Phil shows up things get really awkward. Back at home, Jay is obsessed with winning his big bowling tournament, and Gloria is running ragged with the baby but won't admit it. Mitchell offers to take baby Joe for a while, and Cameron seizes the opportunity to use him in one of his elaborate photo shoots. However, a wig malfunction leads to unfortunate results and no one wants to be the one to face Gloria.
Mitch and Cam's best gal pal, Sal, makes one of her notorious surprise drop-ins, but this time with big news - she's getting married... tomorrow! Cam and Mitch are the best men, but they can't help but question whether this party girl can really settle down, and they consider an intervention. Meanwhile, Gloria has trust issues with their new nanny, Claire has a rare bonding moment with Haley, and Phil helps Luke with a girl he likes.
Claire and Cam are entrenched in the house flip, but when they hit an impasse on a big landscaping decision, a "neutral" third party is brought in - Pam (guest star Wendi McLendon-Covey), the lesbian mom from Lily's school. Meanwhile, Phil decides to teach the kids basic fix-it skills around the house; Gloria spends some quality one-on-one time with Manny, leaving Jay alone with baby Joe; and Mitch helps Lily deal with a schoolyard bully.
When Phil takes Claire to the hospital for her angiogram, they encounter a family that is basically their future selves, and they're not sure they like what they see. Manny drags Jay on a visit to a prospective private school, and Mitch and Cam organize a fun "girls day" for Gloria and Lily -- but it becomes a spontaneous "cultural day" instead.
Phil is pretty confident in his ability to sell Claire and Cam's flipped house, but when it proves to be a little harder than he thought, he recruits the whole family into taking some desperate, borderline crazy measures. Meanwhile, Javier (guest star Benjamin Bratt) is visiting Manny and brings along his new girlfriend (guest star Paget Brewster), which doesn't sit very well with Gloria.
Phil is jazzed to share the wonders of residential real estate with Luke and Manny's classmates for career day, but unfortunately for Phil, his nemesis, Gil Thorpe, shows up and things get ugly. Meanwhile, Gloria challenges Jay's claims of always wanting to become a novelist, forcing Jay to take some shameful measures, and Mitch and Cam make a costly mistake while executing tooth fairy duties.
Mitch's ex-boyfriend, Teddy, a very personable and successful doctor, invites the whole family to a fundraising event at the local roller rink, and they all run circles around each other as Cam tries to play it cool around Teddy, Claire avoids talking to Jay about inheriting his closet business, Phil teaches Gloria how to skate in spectacular fashion, Haley helps Alex talk to some cute boys, and amidst all the chaos Manny and Luke try to figure out whom they'll pick in their family for their "My Hero" essay assignment.
Phil gets a brand new RV with high hopes of going on a fun family road trip, and Claire decides to let him learn the hard way why this will likely be a terrible idea. Meanwhile, Manny has misplaced his backpack and Jay and Gloria go with him on a hunt for it, breaking into Claire's house and then into Mitchell's house -- where they do some over-the-top snooping; and Lily's gymnastics meet brings out an unrivaled competitive spirit in Mitch and Cam.
Everyone flies down to Florida to be with Phil after his mom's passing. Claire helps Phil with Gracie's last wish for Frank, and the kids reflect on the gifts grandma left for them. Gloria has to contend with an outstanding arrest warrant in Florida, Cam finds himself fitting right into an elderly women's group at Frank's retirement community, and Jay runs into a pivotal person from his past.
Our favorite family decide to don their cowboy boots and hats and head to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for some fun and adventure in the great outdoors. While vacationing on Lost Creek Ranch, they try their hands at a little cattle herding, skeet shooting and horseback riding; there are also some big firsts, a huge surprise and an actual face off between Jay and a foe - a cowboy named Hank!
Mitch and Cam plan a nice evening with the whole family to break the happy news that they're looking to adopt another child. However their parade is rained on when they realize Lily may not take well to another baby in the house. Meanwhile, Claire and Jay are each consumed with proving a certain point.
The growing bond between man, Jay, and dog, Stella, is grating on Gloria's nerves; Phil and Luke embark on a new adventure involving a tightrope, but it's Claire with the missteps, as she tries to teach the girls a life lesson; and Cameron chooses the most inopportune time to start a juice fast.
Everyone sets their eyes on a goal: Jay is determined to help Manny sell wrapping paper for a school fundraiser; Claire petitions the city for a stop sign to be installed at a high-traffic intersection; Mitchell is hell bent on proving a point with Cameron, and neither one of them will back down; Phil and Luke will stop at nothing to create a viral video sensation; and Gloria is desperate to find Stella after losing him. Guest starring David Cross.
Jay is frustrated at work, Manny is stressed out about school work, Gloria would like to help but no one seems to want it. Phil and Claire run into Councilman Duane Bailey (guest star David Cross) again, who is out campaigning for his second run, and he's just as irritating as they remembered -- so much so that Claire may give him a run for his money. Mitch and Cam get into a fender bender and the other car flees, which becomes the tipping point for all the men in the family who decides to take out their frustrations on the kid giving Haley problems.
It's father-daughter time, as Phil takes Haley on a college tour of his old alma mater, and Claire, having a rare night alone, forces Mitchell and Cameron to take her for a fun night out with the boys -- but ends up alone with one particular man candy who is anything but gay. Meanwhile, Gloria and Jay deal with a potential situation at home that may require having "the talk" with Manny. Guest starring Gilles Marini.
Hanging out with Shorty (guest star Chazz Palminteri) and his girlfriend, Darlene (guest star Jennifer Tilly), makes Gloria envious of how much those two do as a couple, so she gives Jay an ultimatum to step it up for a night of salsa dancing or else. Meanwhile, Cameron takes a bet a little too far when Mitchell and Crispin challenge him to get a hot girl's (guest star Leslie Mann) number at the bar, and Phil builds a tree house for Luke, but ends up being the one to make a new friend (guest star Kevin Hart).
After a neighbor's home burns down, the whole family rallies and organizes a community drive to help do some good - though it's not all good, as Jay throws out his back, Cameron does some posturing with a huge moving truck, Claire discovers that Mitchell and Gloria have been spending a lot of time together, and Luke and Manny get their hands on some of the donated toys.
When an old neighborhood kid returns to town as a hugely successful internet billionaire, it gets Phil thinking of what could have been. Jay feels Manny could use a little dose of constructive criticism, and Cameron is offended when Mitchell questions the authenticity of his colorful childhood stories. It all comes to a head at Thanksgiving with the family divided between the "Dreamers" and the "Pritchetts" -- and nothing settles the score like a punkin chunkin challenge.
The family is gathered at Jay and Gloria's pool on a sunny December day, and that's where they realize that everyone will be scattered this coming Christmas, so if they want to celebrate together, then it will have to be today! Everyone sets off with their respective duties for Express Christmas - Mitchell, Alex and Lily get the tree, Jay and Cameron are in charge of gift wrapping, Phil and Manny get the groceries, Gloria and Luke go retrieve the ornaments, and Claire and Haley shop for all the gifts. When they all return in the evening, it's quite a sight.
After having a doctor's visit but then missing the call with the test results, Phil automatically jumps to conclusions and starts saying his goodbyes. Meanwhile Javier pops up unannounced again and takes Manny to the horse races for a belated birthday celebration, and a subtle competition ensues when Mitchell brings home an environmental law award and it becomes a game of who has the bigger trophy.
Luke and Manny have a big school project to design the best capsule that would protect an egg in a two-story drop, but when Claire and Jay catch wind of it, their own competitive drives kick in... and eventually take over. Meanwhile, Phil solicits the help of Haley and Gloria to sit as plants in the audience during a huge real estate presentation he has put together, and Mitch and Cam meet with prospective birth mothers and must try their very best to be charming and likeable.
The family helps Claire prepare for her upcoming televised debate with Duane Bailey for the town council seat, but will they do more harm than good? Lily is going to be a precious flower girl for the first time, but the problem is she's just discovered her first expletive and Mitch and Cam don't know how best to deal with this new parenting test. And Jay is very concerned with Stella's recent strange behavior and puts the blame on Gloria.
Phil is so preoccupied with impressing his new business partner, Tad (Greg Kinnear), that he doesn't notice what Claire believes is Tad being overtly inappropriate with her. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria let Mitchell and Cameron stay over while their house is fumigated, and it turns out four is a crowd.
After closing on the sale of a house to Mitch and Cam's friends, Phil and Claire take the two of them out for a celebratory dinner where they proceed to over-indulge in drinks, which leads to some over-sharing, and finally results in waking up the next morning hung over and begging the question - if you'll do anything for family, shouldn't there still be a line drawn somewhere?
It's a day of disturbing realizations when Mitchell manages to ruin one of Jay's proudest golf moments, Phil overhears something that may forever change how he sees his little girl, and Gloria stumbles upon Claire's dangerous little secret.
Cameron's birthday falls on Leap Day, and with opportunities to celebrate so few and far between, the pressure for Mitchell to get it right is exceptional. Meanwhile, Jay's machismo is in question, and Phil's plans to observe the Leap Day holiday with the boys is thwarted by the girls.
The funeral service for a beloved clown mentor reunites Cameron with his estranged ex-clown partner, Lewis (guest star Bobby Cannavale); Phil is serious about landing a very important listing, only to get trumped by a notorious bulldozer of an agent, Verna Roth (guest star Ellen Barkin); and Manny has a cool new friend, which makes both Jay and Gloria suspicious.
The all important election day has arrived and the whole family rallies for some last minute campaigning - Mitch and Cam ride around in a 'Vote for Claire' mobile, the Dunphy house is campaign central with everyone manning phones and soliciting votes, and Claire does some last minute interviews -- with a few technical difficulties.
Claire delicately helps Luke cope with the fact that his friend and their old neighbor, Walt, has passed. Phil takes Alex for some father-daughter bonding time, and Haley throws an unauthorized party. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria go over to Mitch and Cam's to have dinner with Cam's father, Merle, who is in town visiting -- and awkwardness and tension seem to be the rule of the night.
The Dunphys are in the market for a new car and Phil makes a spontaneous purchase without Claire. Will he have buyer's remorse? Meanwhile, Jay is determined to get to his high school reunion with Gloria and Manny in tow, and Lily loses her favorite stuffed animal on a public metro train, leaving Mitch and Cam with an inconsolable toddler.
Nothing is more quintessential to good ol' family fun than a trip to Disneyland -- but not without a side of motion sickness, achy feet and a wayward toddler -- when the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan hits the park! Phil tries to keep up with Luke, Claire's shocked when they run into Dylan, Jay and Gloria disagree about what are sensible shoes for the day, and Mitch and Cam must contain Lily's new affinity for running.
It seems everyone has a bone to pick: Jay and Gloria get on each other's nerves while trying to simply order lunch at their local diner; Phil is put in the position of having to fire Mitchell; Cam and Claire have opposing theories on how to discipline children; and Manny is upset with Luke for accepting an award under false pretenses - all of which spells trouble for Alex who is counting on them to all work together for a "living art" school project display.
It's been an up-and-down emotional roller coaster for Mitch and Cam in their quest to adopt another child. Their latest ride has them bringing Gloria in tow as a translator, leaving Jay and Manny to look after Lily, who has a big dance recital coming up. Meanwhile Claire and Phil have a proud parenting moment when they send Alex off to her first prom, but then that is quickly marred with Haley's shocking news of her future plans.
As ABC's Emmy® Award-winning series "Modern Family" returns for its second season, Claire finally gets Phil to agree to sell their old station wagon, but not before everyone has to take it on one last ride down memory lane. Meanwhile, when a haphazard hammer-wielding Mitchell decides to build a life-size princess castle for Lily, Cameron calls Jay in for reinforcement, and Manny invites a cute girl over for a study date -- which makes Gloria a little uncomfortable.
In honor of her late grandmother, Gloria decides to cook more traditional Colombian meals, which is met with some ribbing from Jay -- but see who gets the last laugh. Meanwhile Claire finds herself becoming the overbearing mom when she finds out Alex likes a boy, and Haley's idea of sisterly advice is not helping matters; and Mitchell and Cameron have a tiff over Mitchell's freakish aversion to PDA.
An earthquake hits, leaving Claire stuck in the bathroom with the plumber, Manny experiencing an existential crisis while out with Jay, and Mitchell and Cameron digging themselves deeper into a lie when they use the quake to get out of a themed brunch party thrown by their friend, Pepper.
Claire and Mitchell enlist each other's help in trying to spare their significant others from embarrassment - Cameron from his unfortunate wardrobe choices, and Phil from his joke-ridden speech for the realtors' banquet. Meanwhile Jay tries to prove a point to Gloria by attending a quincea--era thrown by one of his employees, and Haley gives Alex sisterly advice on how to be cool.
Noticing that everyone is too busy on their electronic devices to actually interact with one another, Claire and Phil declare a family challenge to see who can stay unplugged the longest. Meanwhile, it's a race against the clock as Mitchell and Cameron frantically try to get Lily into the best pre-schools, and Jay and Manny are concerned about how far Gloria will go to alleviate their problem with the neighbor's barking dog.
Claire loves Halloween and is gearing up to spookify the Dunphy house for the trick or treaters. She gives each family member a role to play, but none of it goes quite right... Cameron can't shake a traumatic childhood experience and hates the holiday, Mitchell has had a terrible day at work, and Gloria is acting weird after Jay and Manny teased her about her accent.
Claire and Haley have a bit of quality girl time while they're stuck at home sick, and Phil is preoccupied by the taunts of a chirping smoke detector. Gloria and Manny's surprise visit at Jay's work leads to headaches for Jay, and Cameron gets swept up by all the lights and cameras when he goes behind Mitchell's back and takes Lily for a commercial.
Everyone is gathering at a restaurant to celebrate Manny's birthday, though Manny himself is experiencing a mini-life crisis about getting older. Meanwhile, on the way to the restaurant, Phil and Claire decide to engage in a not-so-friendly car race there, and Mitch and Cam get sidetracked when they stop at the mall to pick up a gift.
Cameron loves his mom, so Mitchell isn't quite sure how to tell Cam that she makes him a little uncomfortable. Meanwhile, when Haley finally breaks up with Dylan, Phil takes it harder than anyone else, and Jay's little stomach ache gets exacerbated when he and Manny start looking things up on a medical website.
It's Luke & Manny's first school dance and everyone gets in on the "fun" -- Jay and Phil have to take the boys on a mall run which becomes quite stressful; and Claire revels in the school dance committee duties, but gets a little jealous when Gloria shows up to help. Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam are horrified to learn that Lily is biting other kids on the playground.
Claire becomes a determined neighborhood vigilante hoping to catch and stop a menacing car that speeds though their streets. Meanwhile, Phil is busy trying to land an important listing with a difficult client, Jay teaches Manny how to ride a bike -- only to learn Gloria needs lessons too -- and Mitchell and Cameron stumble upon a mysterious neighbor who is quite the charmer.
Claire and Phil want Alex to relax a little about her studies, but then they start questioning their own intellectual drives. Meanwhile, Gloria tries to befriend another nice couple, much to Jay's chagrin, and Mitch and Cam run into and old female flame of Mitchell's, only to make a disturbing discovery.
Plans backfire when the kids go to surprise their parents with breakfast in bed on their anniversary, only to catch Phil and Claire in a compromising position. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria's Vegas getaway is thwarted by a brutally honest email that was accidentally sent to Claire, and Mitch and Cam desperately try to get an "in" at the hot new neighborhood restaurant whose owner happens to be a mom (played by Rachael Harris) at Lily's preschool.
In an attempt to avoid turning into that old boring couple, Phil and Claire decide to revisit their Clive and Juliana role-playing rendezvous from last Valentine's Day. Meanwhile Jay has planned an elaborate surprise evening for Gloria, but his plans keep getting thwarted, and an admirer comes between Cameron and Mitchell on V-day, but they can't agree whom the admiration is directed towards.
The guest list for Lily's princess-themed birthday party gets a little out of hand when Mitchell decides to invite mom, much to Claire's dismay, and disinvite Fizbo, much to Cameron's dismay. Things get even more strange when Dede (guest star Shelley Long) shows up with Claire's old high school boyfriend (guest star Matt Dillon) in tow, and Jay and Gloria each turn to their own unique methods of dealing with this gathering of misfits.
Phil and Claire had a huge fight and Phil hasn't a clue as to what it was over, so Gloria steps in to counsel Phil and Jay takes Claire. Meanwhile, Jay may have some regret in buying Gloria a karaoke machine, and Cameron is in full prep mode for a huge fundraising event and enlists help from Mitchell and Luke -- which might not be the best choices.
While Claire runs herself ragged trying to play peacemaker with Haley and Alex, Phil sneaks off for a nice relaxing day at the spa. Meanwhile, Gloria is horrified by Jay's morbid plans to purchase two primo side-by-side crypts in preparation of the inevitable future, and Cameron decides he wants to write a book that celebrates the fact that Lily is adopted -- however, during the process he unearths artifacts that are quite disturbing.
Phil and Claire have some trepidation when they find out that Luke has befriended their crotchety old neighbor, Mr. Kleezak; Jay's attempt to avoid sitting through a symphony concert with Gloria and Manny lands him in the middle of Mitchell and Cameron's "boys' night out"; and Haley has her own adventures in babysitting with Lily.
Cameron is relishing his role as interim music director at Luke and Manny's school, and he's taking on the upcoming spring musical performance with a little too much zest and fervor. Meanwhile, Jay's brother, Tommy (guest star Jonathan Banks), is in town for a visit, and their relentless brotherly ribbing goes a little too far; and Phil convinces the family to be in his new realty ad, but when he goes as far as to wrap the family minivan in the ad, the results are unexpected.
Mitchell and Cameron are looking to assign legal guardians for Lily in case anything were to happen to them, and are secretly assessing their family members. But no one is blowing their socks off, as they witness Jay giving Manny a dose of tough love, Claire secretly taking Luke to a child psychologist to assess his development, and Haley and Alex getting into some delinquent activities at school.
Claire and Gloria want to spend a nice Mother's Day outdoors hiking with the kids, but their nonstop bickering and complaining drives Claire to the edge, and she brings Gloria down with her. Meanwhile, Phil and Jay stay home to cook everyone a nice dinner, but things get really awkward when Phil witnesses an unexpected moment of weakness from Jay, and Cameron gets very self-conscious about being seen as the "mother" in the relationship.
Phil and Claire swap parenting roles for the day - Claire will be the fun loving good cop and Phil the disciplinarian bad cop - and it's literally a shock to each kid's system. Meanwhile Gloria is at it again, taking in every sob story and stray she comes across, Jay finds himself dispensing business advice to an overzealous entrepreneur (guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda) about his dog training business scheme, and Cameron is bedridden with the flu -- leaving Mitchell torn about the Lady Gaga concert tickets they have for later that night.
The whole family is gathering at Jay's before heading out to Alex's graduation ceremony from middle school, but while at the house, Jay is preoccupied hiding a botox mishap from everyone, Cameron is upset about Mitchell's habit of laughing at his expense, and Phil tries to sympathize with, yet also antagonize Claire on her impending breakdown over the kids growing up too fast. All of this, plus a faulty gate, could mean their missing Alex's big moment.
Jay wants nothing more than to have a quiet birthday out fishing on the lake, but the family take that as him wanting a big celebration, and in their frantic scramble to put everything together, Claire and Mitchell wind up trapped in the yard of their childhood home; Phil runs into his old college nemesis while at the mall with Gloria and Lily; Cameron gets himself into some hot water at the bakery, and the kids frantically do some creative editing on grandpa's birthday video, all of which leaves Jay with a headache.
Phil is determined to help Luke prove to mom that he is responsible enough to have the brand new bike they just got him. However Phil ends up being the irresponsible one when a hot neighbor clouds his judgment. Meanwhile Mitchell and Cameron take Lily to their first Mommy & Me class, and Jay and Manny have some awkward father and son time.
After some nudging, Jay begrudgingly takes Phil out to fly his new model airplane -- that is until a maneuver goes awry. Meanwhile, when Gloria drops Manny off to play with Luke, she ends up volunteering to take Alex dress shopping, and Claire finds herself sitting down for an unexpected brother and sister heart-to-heart with Manny.
Claire and Mitchell's mother, Dede, drops in for a surprise visit and is determined to make amends with everyone she offended during what has been deemed "the incident" at Jay and Gloria's wedding. Needless to say, no one is thrilled to see her and everything comes to a head when the whole family shows up to dinner at Claire's house.