EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Modern Family' fan recap: Anything you can do, I can do better

Season 6 | Episode 18 | “Spring Break” | Aired Mar 25, 2015

It’s spring break for the Modern Family clan, and Alex, in typical Alex fashion, is compulsively checking the college admissions websites, anxiously waiting for a response. Claire says that she has to get out of the house and tells her to go to a music festival with Haley. But her older sister is going to research fashion and fears that everyone will think that Alex is a cop. Realizing that she can either stay at home and ruin her own day or go and ruin Haley’s, Alex chooses the latter.

Over at the Pritchett house, Cam reveals that he will be singing “Memory” in a Faculty Follies talent show at the school, while decked out in a cat suit. Then Mitch receives an email with photos from Lily’s sleepaway camp with her sending them her “signal.” The three had come up with a signal for Lily to use if she was upset—raising two fingers in a photo—and Mitch says that they have to get to camp and bring her home immediately.

Gloria accompanies Cam to the school and Jay offers to drive with Mitch to camp so that he can have a cigar—a guilty pleasure he’s given up, while Gloria agrees to stop watching soap operas. At the school, another teacher informs Cam that he is singing the same song that Cam had planned to perform, complete with his own cat suit. But Cam decides to be a bigger person and lets him do it instead. Gloria is automatically suspicious and turns the situation into something that would happen on one of her soap operas.

At the Dunphy house, Claire is doing spring cleaning and wants to toss Phil’s banjo that he absolutely loves (he calls himself Ban Jovi), even though he cannot play it and it is the bane of Claire’s existence. When Luke quickly learns to play the banjo, really well, Phil decides that it is time to take drastic measures: He is going to teach Luke the “Dunphy Tuck,” an elaborate trampoline trick that he feels is too hard and dangerous for Luke to do. He hopes to prove that he can do something his son can’t, but it all backfires on him when Luke turns out to be amazing at acrobatics on the trampoline. Phil moves on to rearranging the furniture at the house, but he feels as though the lucid sounds of Luke’s banjo playing are mocking him. He goes upstairs to confront him and nearly blinds his son.

At the pediatrician’s office, Phil reveals to an eye-bandaged Luke that he could not finish the marathon that he ran the day before, and that Luke has done everything better than him all day, and that he is getting old, and that’s why he’s been acting up all day. (But that only explains today, not every other day in Phil Dunphy’s life.)

Claire, meanwhile, calls Haley at the concert because she hasn’t heard from Alex in a while. Haley tried to get Alex loosened up, but got her drunk and lost her. So Claire hacks into Alex’s computer and finds out that Alex didn’t get into Harvard, and that is why she is acting so funny. Haley tells her that she knows the truth. Alex has a minor panic attack about her future and all of her hard work for nothing, but Haley comforts her and says that she knows her sister will be fine no matter where she winds up.

Back at the school, Cam’s colleague is injured when a rope Cam is holding pulls a large sandbag down from the rafters nearly striking him down, à la Phantom of the Opera. Then he trips over one of Cam’s cans of spray paint. Everyone backstage is appalled; and they blame Cam. He runs off the stage dramatically, too upset for the show to go on.

But backstage, Gloria has turned Cam’s enemy’s microphone on so that all of the other teachers in the audience, including the Grease Chorus, hear him confess that he wanted to sabotage Cam. Cam comes running out from the wings and the two literally have a catfight.

At the campgrounds, Jay arrives and puts on an orange jumpsuit so that he can have a cigar and not get the scent of smoke on to his clothes. Mitch says that he wants to break Lily out of camp because he had a traumatic incident at a theater sleepaway camp when the other children were mean to him and they told a ghost story that terrified him. And when he called begging to come home, Jay would not come get him.

Jay justifies his response, saying that it made Mitch a better and a stronger man. Mitch locates Lily, who is far from depressed; she is loving camp! He tries to retreat but the kids discover him, so he decides to tell them the scary ghost story that frightened him as a camper. They are all bored and mock Mitch for his lame story … until they see Jay in the woods in his bright orange suit, mistake him for a possessed ghost, and scatter in fear. Jay finally rescued Mitch from torment at camp.

As for the Dunphy clan, Luke’s eye will eventually heal and Claire has sewn “sucks” underneath Harvard on Alex’s teddy bear’s sweater. But when Haley and Alex come back home, Alex tells her parents that she’ll get over it and that Haley has helped her start to already.

Claire realizes that their kids don’t need them anymore. The Dunphy kids are growing up. Now if only Claire can figure out how to help poor Phil do the same …

Modern Family airs 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

You May Like