'Modern Family' recap: Brought to you by the iPad

Modern-Family-GameImage Credit: Eric McCandless/ABCOf course Phil loves his birthday, and of course Phil wants the iPad, and of course Phil has an online friend names SAT800. But unfortunately for Phil, his big day was a bust. He (almost) didn’t get his iPad on time, he didn’t get his surprise batting-cage party, and he needed a shovel for his cake. But fortunately for us, defeated, dead-inside Phil is almost funnier than dorky, excited Phil — “Honey, it’s okay, I don’t feel things anymore.” Though Apple (and a little lying Luke) saved the day and brought Big Phil back to life with the iPad, so he could taste food and love again. (P.S. How much did Apple have to pay to sponsor this entire episode?)

Aside from Phil’s birthday blunders, my other favorite moments of the night were Cameron yelling, “It’s go time,” while in attack mode to protect Lily, Claire drooling on the couch, Jay and Manny’s intense chess feud, and little Phil’s birthday party at the batting cages. It’s the little things that make this show so clever.

Oh wait, and how could I forget Mitchell’s baby monitor soap opera? I nearly died over his interaction with the mailman. I think we all need a Cameron in our lives to create a little drama and then clean up the mess.

And now onto the best quotes and quibbles of the evening.

“Not just that, the iPad comes out on my actual birthday. It’s like Steve Jobs and God got together and said, ‘We love you, Phil.'”  — Phil

“I’m going to teach him the real version, not the Colombian version. We actually use the pieces to play the game, not smuggle stuff out of the country.” — Jay on teaching Manny to play chess

“It comes to me naturally, I spent a year as a crossing guard.” — Cam on why he sprang to action so easily when he thought Lily was in danger

“Don’t wash this until we can see if we can get my skin back, okay?” — Phil after burning his hands on the Frenchwafflecake pan

“I don’t understand! My online buddies got it. SAT800 and Brobot got it and they weren’t there until 8.” — Phil, when Claire failed to get him the iPad

“Next week! That’s like the worst thing you can say to an early adopter.” — Phil, on not getting his iPad the day it was released

“When you said that everything you needed to learn you’d learn from Westside Story.” — Jay to Mitchell about his early refusal to learn how to fight

“Alex, stop trying to kill your brother.” — Claire to Alex

“Remember that Halloween when I wouldn’t let you dress up as Olivia Newton John?” — Jay trying to incite some anger in Mitchell

“Go to sleep, go to sleep.” — Mitchell to the guy in line

“Guess when it comes down to it, we’re all just Jeff Sweeney taking a fastball to the plums.” — Phil on his disappointing birthday

“If I lose, I burn this house down!” — Gloria being a sore loser at chess

“Touch it, but don’t touch it.” — Phil protecting his iPad

What did I miss? What were your favorite moments? Do you want Frenchwafflecakes for your next birthday? An what did you think of all the iPad talk: Are you as excited for it as Phil?

Comments (257 total) Add your comment
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  • KJ

    Love Cameron!

    • Gayle

      So do I!

      • Cat


      • Cameron

        Why the face?

    • cf

      I loooooooooooove Cameron!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Safety

    The way Alex enthusiastically and sincerely hugged her dad seemed odd to me. It was definately a sweet sight given how sardonic and jades she usually is, but odd nonetheless. Odd enough for it to stick out to me at least.

    • DTF

      Especially compared to Hailey reaching in with just her hand while still texting, completely in line with her character

      • G$

        Complelete in line with any normal teenage girl. Trust me.

    • G$

      I take it you’re not a parent. Regardless of how a child acts, or portrays themselves, they still are children after-all and the hug the kids gave him was genuine and really isn’t a point that needed to be discussed.

      • Luvsit

        That was my favorite too! I about died when he said that.

      • Safety

        Never implied that it was wrong or noteworthy, genius. Just something I found interesting. Save your sanctimony for the PTA.

      • Chris

        ditto safety. Its a show G$, not real life…

    • fci

      You definitely are not a parent. I get genuine hugs like that from my daughter and there is nothing wrong with them and I feel the love from her deeply.

      • Safety

        See above

  • Dave

    “What were you building?”
    “A gift wrapping station”
    “aaaaaaand we’re back”

    haha Loved this episode!!

    • Andrea

      That was my favorite line too! It’s like every time Jay thinks Mitchell will do something “manly” Mitchell just pulls the rug out from under him again…lol.

      • DTF

        Also funny how he called it a belt of tools

    • Ceballos

      …not to mention the fact that Mitchell was returning Jay’s “belt of tools.”

      • llevinso

        Haha, belt of tools…only Mitchell…

        And Jay assuming he only had cause to borrow it for a costume party. It was a good little scene.

    • Luvsit

      Actually that belonged here lmao!

    • kitty

      The best!!

    • michele

      i agree funniest line of the night!

  • twinmom

    Manny….”Do I have time for a steam?”

    • AA

      Oh, Manny. :)

    • kp

      Best reply of the night! The ‘problem’ is you laugh so hard at these fast little one-liners you miss out on the next scene. Of course this isn’t really considered a problem.

      • Cam Cam

        That’s what DVRs are for!

    • Chuck

      Yeah, best line in a show full of ‘em.
      Love it…

  • yolanda

    I don ‘ t see what ‘ s funny . It ‘s a very predictable formulaic piece of crap .It ‘s a bunch of stereotypes .
    Cougar Town is about extended family ,it’s name is unfortunate .

    • Vivi

      I really have to start watching this “Cougar Town”. It seems every week the stans just come out to hype the show why simultaneously putting down “Modern Family”. Weird. Who has watched CT? Is it worth it?

      • Matthew Thomas

        Cougar Town is also pretty good. It doesn’t rank as well as Modern Family imo but the characters are likable and have an easy going chemistry. And its got a very Scrubs (before it got sucky) type of humor (understandable since Bill Lawrence is the creator)

      • Hellen

        I love Cougar Town and Modern Family– they are back to back funny. If I had to pick between the two it’d be Modern Family. Their writing is non-stop excellence. Says me.

      • Mark

        You should give Cougar Town a try, Vivi, but don’t go in expecting the brilliance of Modern Family or you’ll be disappointed. Personally, I find Cougar Town a true mixed bag – it isn’t bad enough to give up on completely, but it always ends up feeling less the sum of it’s parts (it reminds me of “Just Shoot Me” in that way). We should remember it’s just in its first season – some shows take time to find their groove.

      • CeCe

        I agree with Mark. Cougar Town is okay but I always feel something is missing. I find myself channel surfing during commericals and then realize what I didn’t go back to it when there is only about 2 mins left.

      • Carmen

        I agree with you Mark. Cougar Town, while certainly not as good as Modern Family, is good enough so that I don’t consider trying to find something better.
        You are also correct that it is less than its parts. By that I mean that every main character is likeable but at the end you think it could have been better somehow. I also think that the name “Cougar Town” is misleading. It may have been the original premise but (as stated elsewhere) the show has evolved into an ensemable, non related, extended family type item.

      • murphy

        Cougar Town is ok, to me it’s Courteney Cox that makes it semi bad. I really like her, but her acting kinda sucks.

      • MikerMan

        Cougar Town has that perfect balance of chemistry between all the characters. It gets a bit silly ahd ‘wacky’ sometimes like Scrubs of old days, but I love that sort of humour. Modern Family appeals to wider audience, in my opinion. Both shows are great though!

      • sluggo

        Cougar Town is very funny, although the lines tend to be a little too “smart” and over-written at times. Sort of like Gilmore Girls. Both shows are funny, and they are on after each other, so you can watch one or both or neither. There’s no need to bad mouth one over the other since they’re not competing for the same viewers.

      • D!

        I agree with Mark. Although Cougar Town is very funny at times, it always leaves you wanting for more! Courtney Cox also seems to over-act at times.

      • J’s Grandma

        It is a weird sitcom, in a nut shell, it’s about a group of horny almost middle aged women trying to score anyway they can. Not even the men are watchable. Sorry, my humble opinion. And I’m sticking to it.

      • Blame Leno

        @ J’s Grandma. You must have only watched the first episode or just read the shows title and made an assumption. That is not at all what the show is about. I agree with those who say it’s not a mainstream comedy. It definitely appeals to a specific sense of humor. If you liked Scrubs then you should like CT. I wouldn’t even compare it to MF cause they are completely different types of comedy but both are very funny to me.

      • dan

        I like everyone on Cougar Town except for Courtney Cox. She’s insufferable.

      • jason.

        Cougartown is totally worth it. It makes a great one-two punch of funny with Modern Family.

        Both brilliant; no reason to insult one in favour of the other.

        And MF isn’t terribly formulaic, thank you very much…

      • Mark

        I agree with everyone about Courtney Cox. That’s one reason it reminds me of “Just Shoot Me”: you want to like the central character, you’ve admired her previous work, but (sadly) you finally have to admit that she’s the weakest link on the show.

    • kim in kentucky

      so don’t watch it!

    • Johnification

      To me, Modern Family is a classic example of concept vs. execution. Everything about it ON PAPER seems cliche, but add great actors, incredible writing and sharp direction and, yes folks, you too can have a great show without gimmicks.

      • Kate

        Perfect description. That’s why I feel like people who use that argument don’t actually watch, but just hear/read about it and assume. I find nothing cliched about it, even though the material could easier present that way.

    • Strepsi

      I desagree about the stereotypes on Modern Family (and I also like CT). What;s brilliant is they are *almost* stereotypes. I have seen a lot of dumb dads on shows, but never on TV an immature dad like Phil who wants to be “buddies” with his kids — tho the type is common in real life (my sister brags she can wear her daughter’s clothes – WTF?) And Cameron and Mitchell may be stereotypically gay, but name another show with a lead-character, loving gay couple raising a kid. I love MF.

      • Jen

        And you actually see the kid in almost all their interactions- not like on most shows where the baby magically disappears most of the time!

      • dan

        I don’t find them stereotypical at all. The conservative one also likes to figure skate and the flamboyant one can also kick some serious ass.

      • Johnification

        Modern Family should be a textbook example of how to have a baby on a sitcom – give a character a comedic relationship with it. Cameron and Lily have one of my favorite dynamics – the outfits, the little “co-conspirator” looks he gives her when they’re evesdropping, it’s great!

    • Alan

      What a ridiculous comment. Why do you have to put down Modern Family becasue you like Cougar Town? I for one, love them both, but they are very different types of humor and not everyone is going to love them both. I think Modern Family has more mass appeal (hence its higher ratings) while Cougar Town is a bit more “niche”. But how immature to slam Modern Family IN THE MODERN FAMILY recap no less.

    • fci

      Boy are you missing the point. This comedy is so fresh and far from the “formula” dribble that most sitcoms are. The characters are fun and the writing is so crisp.

  • Vivi

    Even though I knew the setup was coming, him going to his “party” to see that it was an all black crowd just KILLED ME! I laughed so hard for 5 mins, completely missing the next scene (Phil teaching Mitchell to fight), that I had to pause and compose myself. I watched that scene 3 times! The moment that got me was he realized that it wasn’t his birthday (Lil’ Phil ruined that moment). Big Phil was SO devastated that he had to take a seat to let it sink in. OMWord, I was done after that. Done!
    I effin’ LOVE this show!

    • Vivi

      *JAY teaching Mitchell it fight. I mistakenly put PHIL.

    • Ames

      When little Phil gave big Phil a second piece of cake… Just those little sweet moments make this show.

    • DTF

      Phil’s lines at the batting cages are great, especially when he cant figure out the end to the last one about the doctor and the kid makes fun of him. The kid goes on to blast him for not getting the iPad and Phil’s response: “Don’t make me regret telling yout that”


    I haven ‘ t seen anything here to laugh about . Dopey parents , hysterical gays , fiery Latins . It ‘s been done.

    • Vivi

      Aaah! But have all those stereotypes been encompassed into ONE show? I don’t think so brotha. (And please do not say some “Will & Grace”).

    • davey

      Just go back to watching your TWO & A HALF MEN marathon then Harry O. Leave the funny for the rest of us :)

    • Rich

      There are stereotypes for a reason. Yes, they all fit those stereotypes, but that’s not the end of their characters. That’s what makes the show special. Oh, and you forgot the rye sarcastic daughter that’s been done to death, but this one also happens to be one who’s still a kid and, when it comes down to it, she loves her daddy.

    • ahs33

      Oh goody, Harry O has spoken–he deems “Modern Family” not funny enough to actually go on a recap post and express his disinterest in the show. Let us all listen now to his words of wisdom.

      • llevinso

        I was waiting for him to deem this show crap. I will now remove it from my DVR series recording list and life will be good again. Thanks Harry O!

    • kevin

      you’re dead inside.

  • Wriggle

    RE: “It comes to me naturally, I spent a year as a crossing guard.” — Cam on why he sprang to action so easily when he thought Lily was in danger.
    Actually, I think he meant that in reference to saying “It’s GO time.”

    • Dan

      You’re right Wriggle.. nice catch.

      • Holly

        I actually think the article is right on this one.

      • frenchy

        Definitely right – it was said in response to “it’s go time”.

    • Anona Muss

      I thought it came from his years working as Fizbo the clown, birthday party fun enforcer!

  • Mark

    Great episode! Yesterday was my birthday too, so I was identifying with Phil.

    • Anona Muss

      Did you get an iPad? Are they even out yet? I’m like Claire. Happy belated birthday.

    • Olivia

      Happy Birthday

  • joey

    Jay: Was Cameron the Indian?

  • Lorie

    Phil to Claire: Doohickey, Ellie Mae?

    • Dan


    • Karen

      that was one of the best lines!

    • Mike

      That whole exchange at the beginning when Claire kept downplaying the significance of what the iPad means to Phil, was hilarious.

  • who cares

    …then I yelled ‘BALL 2!’…and everyone laughed. That’s when I knew I was funny.

    • Vivi

      Don’t feel bad Big Phil! I laughed, too. Your family just does not get your sense of humor like I do.

    • Chris

      THAT’S the best line of the night!

  • gina

    Great show last nite..The Middle is soooooooo good too.

    • Ellie May

      I agree the Middle is great also but it doesn’t seem to get any love.

      • Anona Muss

        The Middle is great also, Ellie May? I’m imitating Phil. It sounds like Phil in my head. I agree on The Middle. I didn’t care for it at first but it really did grow on me.

      • Karen

        So true! I LOVE the youngest son and his whispering.

    • Strepsi

      The Middle is so candy-colored and cheesy, it’s initially a turn off, but its odd grew on me and now it’s also a “must-see” for Wednesdays. The over the top daughter is hilarious!

      • Jack

        I agree, The Middle has grown on me too, as has Cougar Town (they should change the name of that show to something like Women Acting Like Catty Gay Guys — funny stuff).

      • Blame Leno

        @Jack hahaha You nailed it!! I love that description. :-) I think the Wed. night line up as a whole is pretty fantastic.

    • cf

      Have to add my love for The Middle – great cast!

  • Red

    Haley to Claire – “Dad’s acting weird…er.”

    And I did feel like I was watching a commercial for the iPad at times, but I still love this show. The chess battles cracked me up (also Manny showing off the watch and telling everyone what time it was).

    • Dave

      “What brings you here at…4:17 in the afternoon on a Saturday?”

      • Vivi

        While nicely showcasing the way over-sized watch on his wrist. I love me some Manny.

      • Gina

        I loved that out of anything he could have asked for, he wanted that watch. Haha!

    • Rich

      Have you ever talked to a true apple enthusiast? I feel like I’m watching an iPad commercial then, too.

    • llevinso

      I would’ve minded the iPad product placement if it felt out of place, but it was totally in character for Phil because he’s a huge electronics dork as we already know. Plus the episode was way funny. So it just worked. Still not buying an iPad though ;)

      • sheri

        Just for the record, Apple did not sponsor that episode, in fact ABC had to contact Apple to get permission to air the show. The episode had already been written.

    • jennifer

      I thought it was great but would Claire have been able to figure out even how to use the ipad, she had the good setup with the candles and everything at the end? Isn’t she supposed to not know how to use anything techy?

      • Ames

        I noticed that too, but tried not to let it bother me.

      • Anona Muss

        I just figured one of the kids did it for her. Alex or Luke. Not Hayley.

      • kim in kentucky

        yeah, thought the same thing (esp after she destroyed the remote)

  • Brian

    Go to sleep … go to sleep … Shut up, you’re supposed to be asleep.

    • llevinso

      And I loved that the other guy wasn’t even trying to fight him off. He just seemed mildly annoyed with it all. Like he was thinking “Could you please just let go of my neck? This is irritating.”

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