"Modern Family" Pilot (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)



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  • Jay must adapt to his young new wife, Gloria and her son. Meanwhile, Claire deals with her own family. Mitchell and Cam decide to adopt a baby.

  • Jay recently married Gloria. Now Jay is trying hard to keep up with his much younger and hotter Colombian wife, along with her passionate pre-teen son, Manny. Claire is having a hard time raising her own family. Her husband Phil is great, except that he thinks he's "down" with their three kids, much to all their embarrassment. And, Mitchell and his enthusiastic partner Cameron have just made a major life change by adopting a Vietnamese baby named Lily.

  • Told from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, the series offers an honest, often-hilarious perspective of family life. Parents Phil and Claire yearn for an honest, open relationship with their three kids, but a daughter who is trying to grow up too fast, another who is too smart for her own good, and a rambunctious young son make it challenging. Claire's dad Jay and his Latina wife Gloria are raising two sons together, but people sometimes believe Jay to be Gloria's father. Jay's gay son Mitchell and his partner Cameron have adopted a little Asian girl, completing one big -- straight, gay, multicultural, traditional -- happy family. Right Now, There's 4 Families of this program having the newlyweds from 2 separate families are Haley and Dylan (Then-Boyfriend-became Husband) are the new parents of twin children are Paula "Poppy" and George Marshall and it changed everything.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Let's meet the Pritchett family.

    CLAIRE & PHIL DUNPHY (Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell)

    They've been married 16 years and have three kids: Haley, Luke, and Alex. It's time to head to school and Claire needs Phil to bring them down, which he does...by yelling. Haley, who is 15, wonders why they can't just text them. Claire wonders if Haley needs to wear a skirt to school that short. "People know you're a girl, you don't need to prove it." Phil, unfortunately, forgot the cardinal rule of backing what mom says by complimenting her on the skirt. Luke is stuck in the banister, and Phil finally decides to help. He doesn't know where the baby oil is, and Claire probably shouldn't have told him it was next to their bed.

    CLAIRE: If Haley never wakes up on a beach in Florida half-naked, then I've done my job.

    JAY & GLORIA DELGADO-PRITCHETT (Ed O'Neill and Sofia Vergara)

    Jay is the patriarch of the family. He was divorced and has been married to the much younger Gloria for six months, who has an 11 year old son, Manny. Unfortunately, she takes Manny's soccer games far more seriously than he does. (I used to referee football; too many people in the stands like that.) Jay thinks she should take it down a notch, given that Manny's team is 0-6. She is originally from Colombia, from a small town that had the most murders. Manny was the son of her first husband, who only did two things with her: fighting and sex. They even fell out of a window once, and Jay is very interested to know which activity they were doing at the time. Manny doesn't have good soccer skills, but he apparently has a good eye for the 16 year old girl that passes by on a bicycle. He is in love. Of course, Gloria is more content to fight with the other moms, until a (hopefully) single dad tries to calm her down, since her father (Jay) doesn't seem to want to do that. Jay will be more than willing to correct his miscalculation...as soon as he gets out of the chair.

    MITCHELL & CAMERON (Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet)

    They are on their way back home after a trip to Vietnam. They adopted a little girl, Lily, from an orphanage there. They couldn't be happier. Even the passengers on the plane are smitten with Lily and think Mitchell is a lucky father. They would love to meet the mother, and they do...as soon as Cameron gets his on-board snacks and sits down. The homophobia shuts up the doting passengers, except for one who talks about the baby with the creampuffs. Mitchell has had enough of that, and despite Cameron begging him not to do it, launches into his rehearsed "speech" about how the two of them will provide a much better life for Lily than that orphanage would, and everybody should be ashamed that they think two men can't do that. However, it turns out the "creampuffs" are ACTUAL creampuffs that Lily somehow got her hands on from Cameron. That quiets Mitchell down a bit.


    The extraction of Luke's head from the stairwell was a success. Unfortunately, Crisis #2 would be on its way over after school. Haley has invited a boy, Dylan, over to the house after school. At first Claire thinks that Haley is responsible and will act just like she did when she was 15. And then she remembered how she acted at 15. Once again, Phil is no help, as he tries to "hit that" trying to get some "street cred" by talking the way kids do, or at least how he thinks they do. He also slips on the stairs when meeting Dylan, throwing out his back and forcing Dylan to carry him to the couch. For whatever reason, he just can't get a gun permit like most dads with teenage daughters do. After a too-close-to-home chat with Alex about Haley theoretically getting pregnant, Claire opts for the classic mom strategy of folding the laundry and is therefore absolutely obligated to put it away right then and there, forcing her to enter Haley's room. Nothing is actually happening, but Claire insists the door stay open anyway.

    Meanwhile, Phil is attempting to bond with Luke by buying him a toy gun that shoots plastic BB's. Unfortunately, Luke shot Alex, and she wants to kill him. By rule (Claire's rule), Luke must now get shot with the gun by Phil. He tries his best, but he thinks Luke is too scared to mess up again. He relents, and then accidentally shoots Luke. And Dylan. And himself.


    Manny is determined to meet Brenda Feldman, the 16 year old he sees at the mall, even making Jay stop the car so he can pick flowers and begging to go home to get his silk shirt. (at least it isn't puffy) Jay thinks it's ridiculous, but Gloria insists that he be the wind at Manny's back instead of the spit in his face. (Apparently, that sounds much prettier when you say it in Spanish, which it does actually.) He is all set and professes his love to Brenda at the mall with flowers and a love poem, despite Jay's $50 bribe not to do it. Sadly, Manny gets harsh dose of reality and only ends up with a picture of himself...as an Old West sheriff. Jay, however, will get a larger dose of reality. After a dressing down by Gloria about how he dresses down by wearing only a jogging suit, he gets harangued by a security officer about "mall walkers" staying in the designated path, such as the geriatric clan that just passed by. Jay goes to find some dope threads. (Sorry, too much Phil there.)


    They bring Lily home to their house. It would appear that the year-long wait for adoption really did a number on Cameron. To be fair, you don't see a lot of obese gay men on TV. Fortunately, Mitchell is very forgiving...until they see what their friend Andre did to the baby's room. The colors are nice, but the painting of Mitchell and Cameron as two angels floating above Lily's crib was a tinge on the "over the top" side. Cameron likes it, as do their friends Andre and Pepper. However, Mitchell thinks it's too much too soon. So is not telling his father, Jay, that they were adopting. Cameron has the perfect solution for that: he invited Mitchell's entire family over for dinner behind his back. Jay is the type of father who isn't 100% comfortable with Mitchell being gay, but he's not the disowning type, either. Cameron hopes this dinner will straighten that out.

    Everybody arrives at the house. Claire and Phil bring the kids, and Jay comes in looking something like Slim Shady's old man. Fortunately, he yells all the time that he's about to enter the room in case Mitchell and Cameron are making out or having sex, so that is something they have had to tolerate. Phil seems to have a bit of a thing for Gloria, or at least her dress, and Mitchell is ready to make the big announcement about Lily. Jay was never much for Cameron because he always considered him a bit too dramatic. I don't bringing Lily out in a re-enactment of "The Lion King," complete with music and spotlights, had anything to do with that. Everybody is hesitant. Jay thinks kids need a mother, and Claire thinks Mitchell is too uptight to handle the chaos of raising a child. But cute Lily brings everybody around.

    JAY: What do I know? It's not like I wrote the book on fatherhood. Been trying all my life to get it right, and I'm still screwing up. Right, Manny?

    MANNY: I wrote a song about it in the car.

    JAY: (about Lily) Let's see the little potsticker!

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