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'Modern Family' fall finale recap: Haley parties with her mom

Season 6 | Episode 10 | “Haley’s 21st Birthday” | Aired Dec 10, 2014

Haley turns 21 years old on this week’s Modern Family. It almost seems like she has been this age for a while (not intellectually, of course). Then again, as evidenced by her first legal (overly smooth) shot, she has the whole drinking thing down already. The family elects to celebrate the occasion together at a local bar, leaving Alex, Manny and Luke to watch Lily at the Dunphy home. Meanwhile, Phil and Jay make a pit stop to pick up Haley’s brand-new birthday car.

After my initial watch I was not too fond of this episode of Modern Family. It presents several great ideas mixed with some average, filler-worthy themes as well. Some wasted story time belongs to the kids at home. While Lily’s “Where do babies come from?” question is funny due to her hilarious delivery, it was not really needed in this episode. Though I will admit that Manny and Luke’s stuffed animal reenactment could have been the most horrifying sex talk ever if Alex hadn’t broken it up.

Phil and Jay are picking up Haley’s new car on their way to the bar. Phil has a perfect deal all set up and just needs to sign the papers. Jay has another plan, though. He believes that he can haggle with the diabolical salesman (who appears to be a very honest young man) to get the price down. When the salesman claims that there is nothing more he can do and that the dealership is already losing on the deal, Jay forces Phil to leave. Jay is confident that they will come after them with a better offer. They are chased down but only to have a pair of sunglasses (which don’t belong to them) returned. Phil is furious.

Over at the next dealer, they learn that they cannot match their first deal because it was such a steal. The new salesperson even tells them that they should go back and sign for it. The look on Phil’s face is priceless as he slips further into his frustration. Jay’s haggling “skills” do not stop there though—he’s sure that they can find a better deal (at this point he’s already gotten a pair of sunglasses and three hot dogs, after all).

Phil makes a desperation call to the first dealer and learns that the car has already sold. Then, Jay tells him that he finally got a better deal. While a battle-tested Phil sits in his daughter’s new car dismayed that Jay is right again, the salesman reveals that Jay secretly paid the difference himself. The entire conversation takes place as they blow the horn so that Jay does not hear them. Phil is thrilled that Jay did not want to disappoint him and accepts the scenario as a victory.

Obviously, the overall story follows Haley’s coming of age (drinking age anyway). So many great things come out of this night, starting at the club entrance with Haley accidentally presenting her fake ID before her legal ID. Priceless. As hinted at above, Haley also takes a shot that doesn’t affect her at all, so she stages it being rough after catching on that the others are watching.

My least favorite part of the episode revolves around Haley’s guncles (this means gay uncles and is hilariously coined by Cam). Cam and Mitch think that they are the coolest guys there. This euphoria plummets rather quickly starting with Haley’s unenthusiastic reaction to their gift. This starts a chain reaction of disappointments for the unambiguously gay duo.

Throughout the night they start to feel “gancient” (this means gay + ancient). They feel like they should be able to command the room, yet they cannot even command their family members. They jump at an opportunity to shine as a group of celebrating girls dance with another gay couple. When they burst in though, the group dissipates and leaves Mitch and Cam foolishly on the floor alone.

Claire wants to play cool so badly for Haley. She is good for the majority of the night. She reluctantly agrees to Haley getting a tattoo as a present. Gloria creates the situation and only makes it worse, which is driving Claire crazy. It escalates so much as the night goes on that Haley throws out the idea of her and Claire getting matching tattoos so that they never forget this amazing night. Letting her emotions get the better of her, Claire agrees. Cam and Mitch once again leap for some attention, stating that they will also get matching tattoos.

This does not end well for Claire. She gets the tattoo first, but then Haley has a change of heart and doesn’t want to get it anymore. The allure of tattoos also fades for Mitch and Cam as they decide that they are who they are. Phil and Jay finally show up with Haley’s new ride, ending the tattoo discussion and meaning Claire will never forget their great night … alone. Sucker.

The end tag is my favorite part of the episode as it deals with the aftermath of Claire’s tattoo. Phil is now excited because he wants to get one of his own. He has clearly put a lot of thought into this and chooses the lower back for a motivational phrase tattoo. The initial ideas include: “Go deep,” “Do it,” and “All in.” Think on those for a minute. I give the episode 3.5 fake IDs out of 5.

Modern Familyairs Wednesdays at 9/8C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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