This week on "Modern Family," the whole family organized a yard sale to raise money for Manny's UNICEF project. And while the Pritchett-Dunphy-Delgado-Tucker clan fell short of selling refreshments at their sale (think Hyde's "special brownies" on "That '70s Show's" garage sale episode), the hijinks on this episode were refreshing enough!
There was no sappy retrospective here as family patriarch Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill) traded plenty of barbs with perspective buyers. A typical Jay exchange -- this one with a guy who tried to haggle down the price of a 50 cent ashtray: "You're wearing a $10,000 watch, and you're haggling over 15 cents?"
Even better? The guy who asked an increasingly grumpy Jay for a piece of bread so he could test out a toaster that was for sale, only to find that the guy took the toaster out of the Pritchett's kitchen!
Speaking of grumpy, Gloria (Sofia Vergara) dug up her old Mr. Grumpy puppet from her old beauty pageant ventriloquist act, and he's a dead ringer for Jay. "She married her puppet," Claire (Julie Bowen) says.
Then there's the boyfriend situation. Claire is "90 percent sure" that Alex's new beau is "100 percent gay." She doesn't want her 14-year-old daughter's heart to get broken, so she pulls out the "big gay guns" to intervene: Cam and Mitchell (Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson). They agree that Alex's new guy doesn't seem particularly straight, but the girl's subsequent confrontation of her effeminate guy turns into their first lover's quarrel. (Don't worry, they made up, after he finished perusing Justin Timberlake's home collection in a magazine spread.)
In another excellent scene, Phil (Ty Burrell) is shamed into riding a motorcycle by Claire, who thinks his cardio-inducing Street Strider scooter is for nerds. (Claire is extra evil this week: She also makes fun of Phil's old pants that rip off into shorts. You know... shants.)
Phil: "I'm terrified of motorcycles, but sometimes you have to do things to show the world you're still a man. Same reason I got that henna tattoo."
And off he goes, until the next scene where we see him trapped under the motorcycle, going "Blair Witch Project" on us as he records his final thoughts on his smartphone.
"I gotta get my leg free," he says as he takes out a tiny pocket knife, before screaming, "Why didn't I wear my shannnnttttssss?!!!?"
If Phil was removed from most of the family scene this week, Haley (Sarah Hyland) was even more so. We're getting used to seeing Hyland's character -- who's away at college -- solely via her Skype calls, but it's starting to get creepy seeing her transported around on a laptop screen every week. (Even creepier? When she tells her little brother, "Move slow, I'm still drunk.")
This time Haley's arguing over her beloved old John Mayer poster that the family is selling, until Claire reminds her: "Even John Mayer doesn't have a John Mayer poster anymore."
So how much money did the family's yard sale make for UNICEF? We're not sure, but this episode was priceless.
"Modern Family" airs on Wednesday night at 9 PM ET on ABC.
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