Modern Family Recap – Punkin Chuckin

Season 3, Episode 9
Punkin Chuckin

Modern Family prepared for another holiday together, and of course the group was sidetracked by arguments and manipulations. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Once again, the Dunphy crew seems to be the MVP for laughs this season. They really bring their A-game every week, from their individual neuroses to their little personality quirks. In fact, the episode started a little sluggish for the other two family units until the entire clan came together for Thanksgiving dinner and realized they fall into two camps: the Pritchetts/Realists vs. the Outsiders/Dreamers.

Each couple has a dreamer and a ‘dream squasher.’ And as we all know, Jay and his offspring are the practical ‘tell it like it is’ group, whereas their spouses are the wide-eyed optimists and believers. We have seen this concept play out several times over the years, especially between Claire and Phil. So, when a former neighbor visits the Dunphys as a now-successful entrepreneur and credits Phil’s wisdom as key to his riches, it is only natural that Phil questions whether Claire killed one too many of his ideas. Meanwhile, Jay wants to tell Manny the truth about his fugly Thanksgiving centerpiece rather than always build up the kid, as Gloria does. And Mitch grows irritated at Cam’s richly exaggerated tales, such as being able to chuck a pumpkin across a football field to land in the sunroof of a car.

One couple I never grow tired of is the sisterly duo of Hayley and Alex. I could watch an entire episode just about them. Tonight brought us an incident in which Hayley dents the car thanks to being distracted by Alex. I really enjoy when the two girls are forced to work together (in this case to lie) for their own greater good (i.e. manipulate the situation so they are not punished). Of course Hayley is practically a career criminal—but shhh don’t stress her out about future career options—while Alex is a nervous wreck trying to hide the truth.

In the end both the dreamers and the realists come together—in a battle to establish superiority once and for all—and to learn a valuable lesson. They decide to head out to a football field to see if the ‘punkin’ really can be ‘chucked’ across a football field. The dreamers fail in their little experiment, but then everyone wants to get in on the action and make it happen. And then Claire’s car is hit with a pumpkin three seconds after Alex confesses their accident.

All in all, not the best Thanksgiving episode I’ve seen, but I still got enough laughs to satisfy my belly.

  • Preparing the turkey for the oven…“At least buy me dinner first” (Phil); “Tell my wife and kids I love them” (Claire); “That’s kind of dark” (Phil)
  • Manshake…which lasts almost as long as cooking a turkey
  • WWPDD? What Would Phil Dunphy Do?
  • I actually really liked Phil’s bistro-style table seating for Thanksgiving! As he notes, this might be how the French set their Thanksgiving tables, ha!
  • Luke has a special way of being both incredibly dimwitted and incredibly wise at the same time, especially when he questions why his own dad is not as successful as Kenneth, who simply followed Phil’s nuggets of knowledge.
  • Apparently Manny made a Hurricane Katrina collage.
  • The aspirin gun? The adult tri-cylce? A real head-scratcherTM …these are pretty decent ideas!
  • “I love your ‘I love you’ but I’m getting awfully tired of your but” (Phil, who else).
  • “You disgust me” (Hayley to Alex, who can’t handle the lies)
  • “Is that turkey? Because something smells like chicken”…game on!
  • “No we only had one punkin, and we just chunked it” (Gloria in her awesome accent).

How did you like your chucked punkin?

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