Modern Family on ABC

2009, TV Show

Modern Family Episode: "Manny Get Your Gun"

Season 2, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: A party at a restaurant for Manny's birthday makes the honored guest anxious about his age, gives Claire and Phil a reason to race each other and offers Cameron a chance to meet new people at the mall when he and Mitchell go shopping for a gift. Norman Lloyd ("St. Elsewhere") guest stars.
Original Air Date: Nov 17, 2010
Guest Cast Norma Michaels: Helen Norman Lloyd: Donald
Full Episode
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Season 2, Episode 8
Paid | iTunes
Length: 20:20
Aired: 11/17/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Modern Family Episode Recap: "Manny Get Your Gun" Season 2, Episode 8

Aaaaaand we're back! Last week the Country Music Awards displaced our Modern Family, but this week they've returned to their rightful Wednesday night home. This episode focuses on the lead up to Manny's birthday dinner that finds Claire and Phil in a road race, Cam and Mitchell in a race against the clock, Gloria and Jay searching for lost keys, and Manny searching for his lost childhood. Sounds like your typical sitcom summary but Modern Family always manages to outdo themselves with perfect pacing, hilarious performances, and laugh out loud moments.

We join the Prichett/Dunphy/Delgado/Tucker clan gathered around a restaurant table listening to Manny looking and talking like he is giving a speech at one of Phil's real estate conferences. Everyone looks pretty miserable as Manny explains that he almost didn't make the party when he realized he let his childhood slip away. Flash back to 30 minutes earlier and we're on our way to learning why everyone looks so downtrodden.

At the Dunphys', Claire is rushing her kids out to the door to get to Manny's birthday. Luke claims to be completely ready until Claire directs his attention to his shoeless feet. "Aww come on Luke!" he chides himself — is Luke becoming too stupid even for Luke? Think about it.

Mitchell is rushing Cam through a shopping mall, the nice outdoor kind they have in California, and Cam wants to stop and smell the free lotion. He tells Mitchell he is "such a Pritchett."

Now we see Jay doing the exact same thing, hustling everyone to get going but Gloria can't find her car keys. Jay admits he likes to be on time and that Gloria is always late. "You'd think growing up in a place full of death squads and drunken uncles she'd have learned to move a little bit faster," he says. Can Ed O'Neill please get an Emmy nomination this year?

Claire finds Phil filling out their application for family camp, which they go to every year. [Personal side note: I've worked at an awesome family camp for a few years and I'd be happy to provide the Dunphys with any info about it. Phil, call me!] In a testimonial, Phil unnecessarily explains what family camp is and then reveals that last year in a game of color wars, he was on Team White, whose slogan was, "If you ain't white, you ain't right." Then we see a hilarious cutaway of Phil trying to tip a visibly angered black cab driver while wearing a T-shirt bearing this accidentally racist credo.

Back to trying to get out the door to the party, Claire and Phil begin arguing over who knows the fastest route. Phil challenges her to a race so Phil takes Alex and Haley and Claire takes Luke, although it's clear Luke thinks his parents are actually splitting up in life, not just in transportation, and volunteers to go with his dad.

Claire grabs him and is off, Phil looks down and realizes he isn't wearing shoes, "Come on Phil." Tree, apple, you get it.

Gloria is still searching for the keys and Jay gives Manny his present, a BB gun. Manny in concerned that the box says "for ages 16 and up" and wonders if the gift is "appropriate," to which Jay replies, "Are you kidding me? You were born 16!" Gloria is convinced her keys are gone and the spare set was stolen. Manny is confused by the insinuation that he is an adult, and is clearly affected when Jay says, "Happy birthday, old man." In a rare testimonial, he reveals that he's forgotten to have a childhood.

Phil and Claire are racing to beat one another, making the kids nervous. Claire tries to make the excuse "40's the same as 35" to which Luke replies, "You say that a lot." Claire's face when she connects the dots is priceless. Meanwhile, Phil is appealing to the girls' own frustration with their know-it-all mother claiming that their victory will be a card they can play in perpetuity against her.

Luke finally asks Claire why she and Phil are splitting up. She explains that he misunderstood — I'm sure he does much more of that than actual understanding — but then Claire remembers how quickly he opted for Phil when separation presented itself. Phil has been stymied by a flat tire from swerving into a curb and the girls consider reporting Claire's car as stolen to slow her down. Phil rejects the plan due to call tracing but encourages the teamwork and calls it great practice for family camp. The girls are obviously not enthused by the idea of going back there. This much is clear in their testimonial where they look completely traumatized talking about it.

Cam and Mitch are continuing to look for a present for Manny with Cam taking his sweet time and Mitchell freaking out about time. They pass an old man trying to get the attention of an old woman who is a small distance away on a lower level of the mall and Cam volunteers to be her megaphone by screaming messages to her. The old man starts instructing Cam to yell out his declarations of love for the woman, and as she walks away, Cam sees an opportunity to play matchmaker, leaving Mitch with the old man while he chases the woman.

While Gloria is still on a mad hunt for her keys, Manny is searching for his childhood by trying to make a prank call. He doesn't have much of a talent for it and hangs up frustrated at his victim who's clearly turned the joke around on him. His next move is mixing sodas together to see how they taste as he attempts to "turn back the clock" while Jay discovers the keys in his own jacket pocket and plants them in Gloria's purse. Manny is not impressed with his beverage.

Cameron finally gets a hold of Helen, the old lady, and puts her on the phone with Donald, the old man. As soon as she says hello, we see an iPhone splatter on the ground as Donald drops Mitchell's phone from the upper level. Mitchell heads down an escalator with Donald while Cam heads up on one with Helen. When they notice their opposing trajectories, Cam picks little old Helen up and runs down the escalator with her in his arms like a toddler. It's pointless to describe in writing, you really have to see it. He gingerly places her in front of her soul mate and encourages their reunion until Helen asks, "What about his wife?" and its clear that Cam has been facilitating octogenarian adultery. Cam and Mitch quickly remove themselves from the situation.

Claire confronts Luke about considering Phil to be the fun parent and that's why he'd want to go with him. At the same time the girls finally break it to Phil that they don't want to go back to family camp. Phil immediately starts crying, which unleashes a chain reaction and soon he and his daughters are all a bawling mess. Claire is not crying as she explains to Luke that two fun parents is an equation that doesn't work. "You know that kid Liam, who wears pajama pants to school and pays for things with a $100 bill? Two fun parents. Mark my words." I think we've all known a Liam, I'm with Claire.

Jay encourages Gloria to check her purse for the keys, she obviously finds them but lies and says they aren't in there. Jay goes to find Manny who is floating on a huge blow-up island raft in the pool. He'd never even opened it because he'd found it childish. He's lamenting his lost childhood once again and talking about cancelling his party when Gloria arrives accusing Jay of planting the keys. When she hears Manny wants to cancel the party she goes a little loco and disappears screaming her frustrations in Spanish. She returns armed with the BB gun and promptly shoots a hole in the float. Manny is incredulous, "You could have shot me!" Gloria replies, "C'mon Manny I could've unbuttoned your shirt if I wanted to." Gun skills: brought to you by Colombia.

Back at the mall, Cam and Mitchell are arguing over spontaneity and Mitchell's lack of it when suddenly, the familiar sounds of En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" fill the mall courtyard and people begin to dance. It's obviously a flash mob, which I'm a little obsessed with, but Cam and Mitchell are confused. Cam asks a mall cop whom he addresses as "Constable," but before he can get an answer, the man has joined the mob. Cam finally gets that it's a flash mob and is super excited about it while Mitch wants to leave. As soon as Cam gets back into his rant about spontaneous joy, Mitchell jumps into the flash mob and knows all the moves by heart. Cam is shocked and speechless.

Turns out Mitchell has been working on the En Vogue routine for a few weeks with a co-worker as a present for Cam, to show that he's not so uptight. I may be a little too "Free To Be You and Me," but I always think flash mobs are awesome, something about regular people all coming together to perform just for the fun of it; it just warms my little heart. Anyway, Cameron clearly shares my love of flash mobs but for some reason is not happy about Mitchell's participation.

All four cars are finally in motion heading towards the party. Luke has convinced Claire she can win. Gloria has coaxed Jay into admitting he planted the keys and she flips out. Cam is explaining his feelings to Mitch, "You cheated on me with choreography and that is the worst kind." HA! And Phil is lamenting not going for the lead in Pippin last summer at family camp, not having known it would be his last. The girls see Claire's car up ahead and encourage him to beat her. All four cars come screeching to a stop in a star formation of fighting, tears, and competitive spirit. I love when Jay gets out and asks if anyone is hurt and Cam just calmly throws a dig at Mitchell, "I am."

Now we've caught up to Manny's birthday speech. He's had a revelation: After watching all of his adult family members act like kids, he knows he's got plenty of time left. His words seem to put everything in perspective for the adults. Cam apologizes to Mitch, Gloria and Jay apologize to each other, and Phil and Claire challenge one another to another race. Everyone is happy! Oh, sitcoms, how do you always use those magical last two minutes to turn a miserable family of 10 into happy campers? Well, not family campers, I guess, but their family camp sounds lame.

But it's not over. The next day, Manny is claiming his knee pain coincides with the rainy forecast while Jay finds Gloria's keys on the floor. He's about to hide them again in an ice bucket but no sooner does he lift the lid than a BB has shot the lid out of his hand. Gloria is standing by with the gun in her hand like an assassin.

The episode post-script is just a continuation of the flash mob scene, with Mitchell really giving it his all with respect to the moves and Cam on the sidelines looking desperate to know the choreography, the other man.

I thought this was another great episode! What did you guys think? Leave a comment below!

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Aaaaaand we're back! Last week the Country Music Awards displaced our Modern Family, but this week they've returned to their rightful Wednesday night home. This episode focuses on the lead up to Manny's birthday dinner that finds Claire and Phil in a road race, Cam and Mitchell in a race against the clock, Gloria and Jay searching for lost keys, and Manny searching for his lost childhood. Sounds like your typical sitcom summary but Modern Family always manages to outdo themselves with perfect pacing, hilarious performances, and laugh out loud moments.

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Premiered: September 23, 2009, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,740 ratings)
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Premise: A mockumentary-style sitcom chronicling the unusual kinship of the extended Pritchett clan, a brood that includes patriarch Jay; his younger Latina wife, Gloria, and her son; Jay's daughter, Claire, and her family; and Jay's son, Mitchell, who lives with his partner, Cameron.



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