Modern Family on ABC

2009, TV Show

Modern Family Episode: "Princess Party"

Season 2, Episode 15
Episode Synopsis: Cameron is upset when Fizbo the clown is nixed from the guest list for Lily's princess-theme birthday party, but the invitees do include Mitchell's mom (Shelley Long), who shows up with Claire's high-school boyfriend (Matt Dillon).
Original Air Date: Feb 16, 2011
Guest Cast Shelley Long: Dede Pritchett Kate Reinders: Princess Matt Dillon: Robbie
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Season 2, Episode 15
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Length: 18:22:56
Aired: 2/16/2011
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Modern Family Episode Recap: "Princess Party" Season 2, Episode 15

This week, a visit from Claire's mom, DeDe (Shelley Long) puts stress on the entire family. It all comes to a head at Lily's princess-themed birthday party where Claire's high school boyfriend (Matt Dillon) is an unwelcome guest.

The white wine is pumping and the Dunphys are on high alert as an impending visit from Grandma DeDe has Claire wound up tighter than usual. Phil cautions the kids to keep to themselves and to avoid irritating Claire under these circumstances. Later, Alex's cello practice ends up providing the theme from Jaws as a soundtrack from DeDe's attack/arrival. After her mother's insults her within 20 seconds, we recognize that Claire's anxiety is warranted.

While preparing for Lily's birthday party, Mitchell has to break the news to Cam that Fizbo the clown, who we met in Season 1, is not welcome to make a return appearance. Despite Cam's protest, Mitch explains that the party should be about Lily and that a clown doesn't even fit in with the princess theme.

Gloria has picked out a recordable storybook to give Lily as a gift, despite Manny's repeated gift suggestion of a cashmere throw — what 1-year old doesn't appreciate being swaddled in cashmere? Jay insists the gift is a bad idea and they flashback to he and Gloria recording their answering machine, when Gloria had a difficult time differentiating from the word beep and an actual beep.

At the Dunphys', DeDe tells Claire how she ran into her high school boyfriend, Robbie Sullivan, then goes on about how touchy feely they used to be. This piques Haley's interest as an opportunity to call her mom out on being a hypocrite. Claire denies it, DeDe cites her diary as a source, which she read to be a good parent and check for drug use, and this incenses. Phil sends Luke out to be cute and soften Claire's mood but even his requests for "pasketti" in a baby voice cannot penetrate Claire's irritated wall. The doorbell rings and Robbie Sullivan arrives, kissing and twirling Claire around like it's a joyous prom night reunion. Of course Robbie has been invited to dinner by DeDe, who has failed to mention that Claire has a husband and three kids. Robbie immediately begins trying to best Phil, after mentioning his abs and hair he goes right for the old back-to-back height contest.

At the Pritchetts', Jay, Gloria, and Manny are recording the storybook for Lily. Jay's not paying attention and focusing on plot holes, Gloria is doing a demon-like bear impression, and Manny wants to do the whole thing over when he realizes his character is a girl. After they are done, Gloria tells Jay that she isn't going to go to Lily's party. Jay, seeing the potential for an ex-wife and new wife trainwreck at the intersection of crazy and granddaughter's birthday party, feigns disappointment but is actually thrilled by her decision.

At the Dunphys', Robbie is entertaining at the dinner table with tales of fat chicks and his old exploits with Claire. She's on the phone with Mitch explaining the scene to him, but he has to hang up when Cam enters as Fizbo 2.0: The Court Jester.  More in line with the princess theme but way over the top, Mitch rejects the cockney accented jester and explains to Cam that he's already hired a princess.

Jay's luck has run out as Gloria decides that it's not right to yield to intimidation and let nerves make her miss important family events. So she's decided to come to the party despite DeDe being there. Now Jay has to endure this party and a first communion of one of Gloria's relatives.

At the Dunphy dinner, DeDe is regaling the family with stories of Claire's wild curfew-breaking youth. Claire is pulverizing Phil's hand under the table in an attempt to stay calm as Robbie alludes to their youthful sexual encounters. When dinner is over, DeDe walks Robbie out and Claire is patting herself on the back for never blowing up. She realizes that Robbie left his phone, runs out to return it, and runs right into Robbie and DeDe about to get to second base near the mailbox.

At the birthday party, Cam is expressing his disappointment by judging the princess Mitch hired.  He chastises her for throwing glitter and repeatedly asks her what method of payment she prefers. She finally answers him and he scolds her for breaking character.

DeDe arrives with her date, Robbie, and everyone is up in arms about it, except for Gloria who has taken a Xanax and is on another planet.  Claire finally blows up after Robbie suggests she still has feelings him and DeDe accuses her of being selfish. Everyone is watching her meltdown, Phil pulls her away, and Jay decides it's time for Robbie to head out. Mitch agrees to let Fizbo come out to try to cheer up the traumatized party guests.

Jay has a heart-to-heart with DeDe who admits that she feels she has something to prove whenever she comes back into town, since she's the one who ended her marriage. They're having a perfectly lovely and adult conversation when DeDe reveals that her real problem... is Gloria. DeDe then attacks Gloria who is toddling by in a daze.

Overall, a funny episode with some good guest stars spicing things up.  The Jaws bit with the cello really made me laugh. What did you think? Leave a comment below!

My picks for this episode's best lines:
MITCHELL: Cam, Monica can't come to Lily's birthday party this weekend, she's gonna be in Chicago.
CAM: Oh that's fantastic! What part is she playing?

ROBBIE: Well maybe a fuzzy navel wine cooler will loosen ya up. Sure used to.

CLAIRE: Mom, I could use some help in the kitchen.
DEDE: Your words, not mine.

GLORIA: What? I'm going to miss Alex's graduation, all of Haley's weddings, just because of DeDe?

PHIL: All those Mother's Day cards I sent her? All those joke e-mails she forwarded to me months after I'd already seen them? Well no more polite LOLs for you, DeDe.
MITCH: Cue the gasp.

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This week, a visit from Claire's mom, DeDe (Shelley Long) puts stress on the entire family. It all comes to a head at Lily's princess-themed birthday party where Claire's high school boyfriend (Matt Dillon) is an unwelcome guest.

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Premiered: September 23, 2009, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,742 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 preteen son; Jay's daughter, Claire, and her family; and Jay's son, Mitchell, who lives with his partner, Cameron.



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