'Modern Family' recap: Put me in, coach

Modern-Family-BenchedImage Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCKids grow up so fast, don’t they? It was just yesterday that Alex and Manny wanted their mothers’ constant love and affection — but now? They want to strike out on their own, free from the incessant embarrassment that is having a parent. Last night’s Modern Family found Jay and Phil butting heads as usual, Cam and Mitchell afraid to tell each other the truth, and Claire and Gloria bonding over babylust. All that plus a guest appearance from Justin Kirk! These were the best lines of the night:

“[Layups] are deceptively hard — a curious mix of dance and strength.” “You’re making it lame again.” — Manny and Luke

“I’m gonna introduce him to the Captain… and Tenille.” — Phil, introducing his fists

“Plus with my discount, we’re saving a fortune!” — Cameron, faux-gushing about his greeting-card discount

“I have cargo pants; I don’t work at the docks.” — Cameron

“[blubbering] Grilled-cheese sandwiches!” — Cameron

“It’s like walking a tightrope, which by the way I can do, because I went to trapeze school.” — Phil

“Business partners, mergers and aquisitions. Just kidding, we’re gay!” — Cameron

“I’m going to have to go talk it over with my bull in a china shop.” — Mitchell

“Alex, honey, when you’re out shopping, you might want to pick yourself up a training bra. I know you don’t need one now but your little boobies are going to come in soon. Mommy loves you, kitten!” — Claire

As much as I loved the Cam/Mitchell story of who wants to work and who wants to stay home, the cringe-factor of the party was a little too much for me — when I want that kind of emotional distress, I watch The Office.

What was your favorite line, PopWatchers? And where was Haley? Would you include any of “Benched” on an Emmy reel?

Comments (139 total) Add your comment
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  • Andrea

    I agree about the Cam-Mitchell party being a little too awkward, and Mitchell was almost mean! Mitchell can’t be mean, lol. My favorite scenes were with Gloria and Claire, when Gloria said “Get pregnant?” to Claire’s suggesting how to cheer themselves up…

    • Ceballos

      “Mitchell can’t be mean”

      I think Dora the Explorer would disagree.

      • Wills

        As someone who regularly babysits her 3 year old niece…I can honestly say I want to kill Dora as well!

      • jmo

        now THAT’s funny.

      • Madd

        Exactly- my sister-in-law works at home, and when I asked her about my niece the other day, she said, like Mitchell “Look, I love Taylor more than anything. But sometimes watching Dora the Explorer makes me want to want to kill Dora.”

      • Wiseguy

        Count me in as a member of the “I Hate Dora Club.”

        The funniest parody of it (that I saw) was on Saturday Night Live a couple of years back.

      • Marri

        I know exactly how he feels about dora. I spent two weeks with my BF’s 3 yr old niece and never thought I could hate a cartoon character so much.

    • Ambient Lite

      Yeah, Dora better check that backpack for weapons! Steel yourself, girl – it’s time for war! :)
      I agree that the Cam-Mitchell situation at the party was cringe worthy. Mitchell WAS mean, Cam WAS too awkward – marked the first time I felt like they took it too far, nearly slapstick. And as someone who stayed home with their young children, I ALWAYS resent a “I talk baby talk all day and lack adult interaction, so I’m going crazy” storyline.
      But I DO still love the show, and thanks to Manny and Phil as always for the solid laughs.

      • Gale

        I didn’t get the vibe that he went a little crazy at the party because he was a stay at home Dad. It seemed to me that he was nervous because it was important to Mitchell to make a good impression. It was uncomfortable to watch though. At least he still got the job. :-)

    • Nick B

      I agree, Andrea. The party was a bit too awkward.
      Loved Gloria’s suggestion to get pregnant! And then when Claire said she was thinking of just getting ice cream and Gloria replied with “Okay, we’ll do yours first,” I was laughing so hard!
      And Claire’s burn on Alex at the end of the episode was absolutely perfect. The way she delivered that line was hilarious!
      And in one of the basketball scenes with Jay and Phil arguing over coaching, Phil threw in a hushed “I’m sleeping with your daughter” that had me howling!

      • Cris

        I don’t think the party was “awkward” as much as it was slapstick … and that’s not the kind of comedy Modern Family usually uses. I was a little put off by it. Still a great episode, though.

      • 6nnnnnns

        My husband and I rewound to watch the “I sleep with your daughter” part 3-4 times. Love this show!

      • Moms United

        My favorite was Claire’s line about the training bra. As the mother of 2 teen girls, I’ve BEEN there! Just wish I’d thought of doing it myself…

    • jared

      I so disagree about the Cam/Mitchell awkwardness. Cam explained that he’s a loose canon in public sometimes; I thought he was lingering because he wanted to be sure Mitchell got the job. I just laffed and laffed and laffed.

    • Alan

      I don’t understand how things can be “too awkward”. Hey, people, news flash: Life is awkward. Life is full of awkward scenes, uncomfortable moments, saying the wrong thing, a family member acting strange, etc etc. When people criticize the Office or Modern Family for having scenes that are “too awkward” I don’t get. I loved last night’s episode!

    • BJohnson

      In my opinion, I thought that the reason Mitchell was so mean and Cam was so on edge than usual was because they were both lying to each other about loving their new status as parents. The show just shows how they are a couple that can’t take extreme changes like that. I loved the scenes in the house and when mom busted Alex and her fake “I’ll always be your little girl” speech. Ohh I knew Claire wasn’t gonna take that.

  • scary

    one day I will be a grandfather and then everybody better hide their meat

    • amanda

      And don’t forget Cam’s side eye at that comment! He can crack me up with just a look!

    • bex

      loved that one, totally cracked me up

    • drea

      That one killed me-especially Cam’s reaction.

    • dee

      This was my favourite line of the night, phil is awesome

    • Michael Scott

      That’s what she said.

  • Gangy Bluth

    Loved this one:

    Phil: I think I can help. You’re not your mother.


    Phil: THERE’s your mother…

    • Gangy Bluth

      it was supposed to say that Claire gives Phil an icy stare…

      • josh

        speaking of her mother. I am looking forward to the inevitable celebrity guest spot for Claire and Mitchell’s mom. i’m hoping it will be Katey Segal. Nice to see her and Al Bun..ehh i mean Ed O’Neil dust off their act.

      • val

        Michael: Your grandmother had a little accident here.

        George Michael: Does that mean she’s going to have to come live with us?

        Oh, wait. Wrong show.

      • Ceballos


        Sorry to kill your Katey Segal dream, but we already met Claire and Mitchell’s mom, and it was Shelley Long (and she was great!)

      • jillyro

        Their mother already apppeared…she was a kooky, new-age type, played by Shelley Long.

      • KJ

        They already introduced their mom, it was Shelley Long and she was fantastic!

      • Madd

        Micheal: GOB, get rid of the Seaward!
        Lucille: I’ll leave when I’m good and ready.

        Whoops, wrong show.

      • Tom

        Ha I love this user name just as much of the comments

      • Mikey

        Michael (calling from lockup): Tell Gob there’s a hard cot down here waiting for him.
        Lucille: You’d do that to your own brother?
        Michael: I said “cot”, mother.

        I love Modern Family, but I will always desperately miss Arrested Development.

      • Dan

        Katy Segal could be perfect as Phil’s mom, just a smothering loving mom exactly the opposite of Peg Bundy (rumor is that Delta Burke will be cast as Cam’s mom for an appearance next season).

  • kim in kentucky

    Peaches and Herb — Captain and Tenille

  • Tanya

    Phil cracked me up with his little line to Jay “I’m sleeping with your daughter”

    • Lynn

      That was the best line of the episode!

    • Gina

      Luhved that line!

    • Marri

      Claie: I’ll make it up to you tonight.
      Phil: I’ll be thinking of your father
      Clare: That’s disturbing

  • Tom

    Phil to Jay: What I see you have is … 4 points!

  • Susan

    “I just want to be a stay-at-home dad slash trophy wife!” -Cameron #ModernFamily
    While I get to stay at home and plot the death of Dora the Explorer” LOL!!!!!! Love #modernfamily. :)
    Fill her backpack with bricks and throw her into candy cane river.” #ModernFamily
    “One day I’m going to be a grandfather, then everyone better hide their meat” ! LMAO #modernfamily
    i’m sleeping with your daughter! – What?… Nothing !#Modernfamily ! :):) haha #PhilDunphy
    “everybody dies boys, let’s focus on what’s important” -Phil to his son’s basketball team #ModernFamily
    U know what we should do? Get pregnant! I was gonna say get ice cream. #modernfamily LMAO
    Jay: “I saw how you broke out Peaches (raises right fist) and Herb (raises left fist).” #ModernFamily
    Basketball Coach: “You’re doing great, Luke, if your goal is to suck!” #ModernFamily
    Its like walking a tightrope, which, by the way, I can do because I went to trapeze school. Can Jay? I don’t think so.
    “You have a car turntable and you’re dressed in all rubber, you’re like Batman.” “…yeah, I kinda am.” #ModernFamily
    “do u guys surf? Only for bargins on the web.” great show!
    I’m counting my greeting card f–k you money. –#ModernFamily

    • crispy

      Wow, that wasn’t annoying at all.

      • Nick B

        You read my mind, crispy.

      • Alan

        Why is that annoying? She’s adding more funny quotes that Margaret missed. It’s not Susan’s fault that this message board system is simple and arhaic. Thanks Susan!

      • morninggrace

        It was annoying.

    • Johnification

      Blatant Twitter copy/pasting notwithstanding, I love that someone finally gave props to the Batman line!

  • Hillary

    Favorite moment– easily Claire at the end, totally seeing through her daughter’s b.s. and embarrassing her just enough to teach her a lesson.

    • Teach Her To Scr*w With Me!

      It might not belong on Claire’s Emmy real, but the best LOL line she’s ever delivered. Claire often plays the straight man to Phil, or does great reaction shots, so I love it when she gets zingers like this.

      • llevinso

        Yeah I loved that line. Love it when Claire shows her backbone. Like when she trashed her cupcakes in front of Haley the other week. Same thing here. That line was hilarious!

      • Marri

        Totally something my mom would do…which was what was so funny about it. I hate it when the women on sitcoms are mean all the time but that line was briliant.

      • J’s Grandma

        This was sooo funny! Go, Claire, go! Keep her zingers coming… (we’ve all been there…)

    • Cyndi

      Agree! I laughed so hard at that! “Teach you to mess with me!”

    • Babs

      I laughed and clapped like an idiot at that. The cat was alarmed.

      • diane

        LOL @Babs… my kitty is also alarmed at times when I’m watching TV :)

  • Jen

    I thought this episode was not one of the best–but it was still better than the majority of what is on TV. I did love when Claire embarrassed Alex after she tried to emotionally play her!

  • Murtada

    the way Gloria said ” ,,,she did not say yes” to Claire which she wanted to buy Lily a dress

    • Emily

      That was my favorite!

    • Dave

      I think it was actually “She did not say JES” lol

  • CH

    Alex: Why do I have to come to these games?
    Claire: Because you love your brother.
    Alex: Why doesn’t he have to come to my orchestra concerts?
    Phil: Because we love your brother.

    • Damon

      I completely lost it when he said that!

      My other fave was Cameron:

      I want to be a stay at home dad..and a trophy wife!

      • Nicole

        The trophy wife line was definitely the one that had me laughing the hardest!

  • Belle

    Episode had me giggling as always. How about the line when Phil was describing the basketball coach and he said “This guy is a real motherscratcher” Or when Jay called Cam’s salary as
    Greeting card screw you money” And Cam wanting Mitchell to go back to work so he can go back to being a stay at home dad/trophy wife…LOL!
    One thing I did notice last night, the referee was Stoney Jackson, he was in Michael Jackson’s Beat It video.

    • Ana

      I noticed him too. I can scratch him off my “whatever happened to…” list.

      • Tom

        He also played the character of Radzinsky in Season 5 of Lost

      • Gretchen

        Tom, the ref wasnt Radzinsky – Radzinsky was the coach before he quit

    • cf

      radzinsky was the coach, not the ref

  • Ceballos

    Happy barbecue everyone!

    I liked this episode, though I agree the awkwardness at the party was a bit too stressful to be fun. That being said, how awesome (and awesomely unnecessary) was that turntable?! Also, maybe it’s just me watching too much TV and always expecting a twist, but when Justin Kirk asked Mitchell about his beard, I thought (for an instant) he was going to ask him to pretend to be straight in order to get the job. VERY happy that didn’t happen, and it’s great that Mitchell took the job because we might get some more occasioinal Justin Kirk down the line.

    I also enjoyed Claire’s dressing down of Alex, even if I thought the twist was going to be that Alex was embarrassed about acting like an airhead around her friends in front of her mom.

    • Gina

      “That’ll teach her to screw with me!”

      • Dave

        I can’t get that scene out of my mind! With three teenage daughters, it hit sooo close to home…

    • Mark

      The twist that I liked last night was during the game: Manny gets the ball (cue the stereotypical sports cliches: slow motion photography, “Chariots of Fire” music), shoots…and misses. And what makes this show great is that I felt as triumphant for him just coming so close as I would have had he made the shot.

      • Dan

        What was truly classic about that scene is that Manny was genuinely excited to have “almost” made the shot as if he had made it.

  • Mia

    Jay: I saw how you broke out the Peaches & Herb
    Phil: You mean The Captain & Tennile

    Claire trying to comfort Phil about not coaching.
    Claire: I’ll make it up to you tonight.
    Phil: And I’ll be thinking about your dad.

    • Jai

      Yes that made me laugh and throw up in my mouf a lil…

  • peh

    For all the apparent cluelessness, Claire manages to stick it to the kids in her own way. The line to Alex at the end was comparable to her tossing Haley’s homebaked cookies a couple of episodes back. Claire KNOWS!

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