Modern Family S10E9 Script

Putting Down Roots (2018)


Oh, my God, he brought Mom's old car?

JAY: You know, that thing was perfect for DeDe.

Loud, pulled way to the left, and constantly broke down in public.

My ex-wife DeDe died two months ago and her husband Jerry drove down with a bunch of junk she wanted us to have.

I always liked Jerry.

Then why did you always look at him funny?

'Cause I knew what he was in for.

Same way I look at the footage of those people boarding the Titanic.

Jay, this is for you. Oh, God, is that her?

No, apparently this is a jar of sand from your honeymoon in Miami Beach.

Oh, yeah, we stayed at the Fontainebleau.

CLAIRE: Hmm. Guess who we took an elevator with?

Jackie Gleason.

I told him we were the honeymooners and, as a joke, he threatened to punch DeDe to the moon. (LAUGHS)

Why is that funny? That's my point, it wasn't right.

Claire, your mom wanted you to have her old sports car.

CLAIRE: Oh, great.

And, Mitchell, you get to keep her jewelry.

Oh, so, Claire gets a car and I get a box of turquoise.

Wanna trade? No, no, it's fine.

I have a preteen girl at home and she likes to play dress-up.

And, you know, Lily might like it, too.

Mitchell and Claire, DeDe wanted you two to decide who gets to keep her.

Sorry, Jay, she left you out of this one.

No worries, Jer, I'm good with the sand.

Hang on. What do you mean, "gets to keep her?"

That's DeDe.

We had her ashes organically fused with the root ball.

That is so Mom.

I know. Setting up one last thing for us to fight over because neither of us want that tree. Because both of us want that tree.

That was easy.



Look, Nana left us our old toy box from her house.

Aw. Bless her hoarding heart.

Remember how I used to hide in here and pop out like a scary monster?

I had so much promise back then.


(STICK HORSE VIBRATING) A stick horse that vibrates?

I never got the point.

I don't know, but I remember spending hours riding on it.

Same. HALEY: Hmm.


Lookie here, Alex, the source of your greatest shame.

The puzzle that I solved, but you never did.

(SCOFFS) Who cares? We were just dumb kids.

Uh, no, we were dumb kids, and you were the genius.

That must eat away at you.

(SCOFFS) Please, I'm top of my class at a prestigious university, and I co-invented a technology that has applications to astrophysics and medicine and...

Give me that damn puzzle! (HALEY CHUCKLES)

(GASPS) Oh, my God, it's Lulu!

She was my favorite toy. (CHUCKLES)


(VOICE BREAKING) I guess I just really miss Nana.

Also, I'm pregnant.

Dylan and I haven't told anyone because I'm still trying to get my head around it.

But holding Lulu made it so real.

I'm gonna have an actual baby.

(EX CLAIMS) I'm so stressed.

I wish it was the '50s when it was still healthy to drink and smoke when you're pregnant.



I cannot wait to restore this baby. My high school bully had one.

You'd be surprised how fast this thing can go.

No problem catching up with a kid on a bike who left school ten minutes early.

I don't know if I want another half-finished project rusting away in the garage.

The only reason I stopped working on robot lawnmower was 'cause he started getting too smart.

Come on, honey, let's keep it.

It reminds me of how crazy my mom could be.

I mean, what mother has a car like this?

How's this? We take it for one drive.

If you're not smiling by the time we come back, we get rid of it.

One drive? One drive.

One drive. (GROANS) One drive.

She used to double-buckle me and Mitchell into the front seat.

Between that and the homemade electric blankets, it's a wonder we're still alive.

What's with the plumber?

Did Joe flush his Aquaman down the toilet again?

No. When my cousins left, they said that the hot water in the guest bedroom was not working.

The plumber just said that there's nothing wrong.

Someone turned it off.

Probably Joe. So, what are we thinking? No playdates for a week?

I know it was you. You wanted them gone, and you froze them out!

I'm admitting nothing.

But you said one cousin would be here for one day and there were three here for a week.

I never said that.

JAY: Why is Jerry still here?

I know. Something must be wrong.

He's sitting in the car like a sad, little man.

We have to go and invite him in.

No, no, no, he'll move off eventually.

Street sweeping is Thursday.

Jerry, is everything okay? Yeah, does your truck need a push?

It's the darnedest thing. I can't seem to drive away.

Dropping off DeDe's stuff was the last check on the old list.

Heck if I'm not feeling pretty lost.

Yeah, I get it. Listen, you just drive down this street, turn right, and you'll hit the freeway.

Jerry, just come inside. No, I couldn't.

Gotta love a man with pride.

That's the thing that'll serve you well on the freeway.

Just come inside, I'll make you something to eat and you can stay as long as you want.

Right, Jay? One of these days, Gloria.

One of these days, what?

Nothing. Just one of these days.

All right, where should we put Mom?

Uh, not too close to the window.

Don't want to spend the next 20 years whispering.

Okay. So, your mom can be a tree, but when I told you my Uncle Honus fell into a thresher and the next spring an owl appeared with his exact face and pocket watch, you pooh-poohed it.

Why are you being so difficult?

Because when we first got together, you promised that someday we would move back to my family farm.

And every year, the someday gets kicked further down the road like a nosy census taker.

And once you plant your mom here, we're never gonna leave.

That's crazy.

And I don't think you want to talk about promises we made back then.

What are you suggesting? I've kept every promise I've made.

Really? You promised me a rose a month for the rest of my life.

So, I guess I dropped dead 15 years ago.

I read an article that said it was environmentally...

I've never seen you read an article.

Also, you said you'd finally watch E. T., my all-time favorite movie.

It just seems so stupid.

What am I caring about?

A wrinkly puppet with a Christmas light at the end of his creepy finger?

And really, me saying I would watch some pandering sap-fest is the same as you saying I would someday be reunited with my family?

A promise is a promise. I couldn't agree more.

I couldn't agree more.

So, anyway, you haven't missed much around here.


JERRY: I'm sorry to be such a burden.

It's just, I don't know how to move on.

I've been going through incense like crazy.

Aw. Poor man. Here, eat something.

I know you're a vegetarian so I made you tomato soup.

Hey, that looks pretty good. You have any left over for me?

I threw it out. I know that you don't like things staying around too long.


She's mad at me.

Her family overstayed their welcome and I turned off the hot water, took a few bulbs out of their room.

You know how it is when you're married.

DeDe and I never had a cross word.

What? That is not possible.

Yep, if things ever got heated, I'd come up behind her, put my hands on her neck...

I'm with you so far.

Then massage her and tell her she was right.

But what if she wasn't right?

(CHUCKLES) That's ego talking.

In Buddhism, we believe it's better to conquer yourself than win a thousand battles.

That's why Nepal is always crushing it at the Olympics.

Jay, an enlightened man would go over there and say, "Gloria, I love and respect you, "so, of course, I love and respect your family. I am sorry."

But it was all her fault.

She wouldn't admit it, but she told me.

One person was staying with us for one day.

That's her text, but what was her subtext?

Jerry, you're a genius. She sent me a text. I have the proof.

Gloria! GLORIA: What?

Right here.

You don't have to walk over here, I can read your giant font from across the room.

"Jay, don't call the police when you come home. It's my cousin.

"He's staying with us for one day."

Let me see.



Walk me through that Buddhist nonsense again.


Fun, huh? Feel that wind. Smell that air.

Yeah. It's so bumpy.

Sport suspension.

Nothing between me and the road except my knuckle-less gloves.

Why did you even have those?

Oh, quirk of the Dunphys. My fingers get cold but my knuckles get hot.

Huh. Check it out!

There's an eight-track player. I love it. Let's crank something.

Never heard of this band, Head Cleaner.

Yeah, why don't we just listen to whatever's in there?


Oh, my God.

Oh, this takes me back. Yeah, I love it.

(SINGING) Get your motor goin'

Headin'for the doorway Cooking an adventure And then we make that doorway So fun!

You're smiling! You love the car!

I just remembered something. What? Tell me.

It's a thing from high school.

Come on, there are no secrets on the open road.

I just remembered that I lost my virginity in this car.

(CAR STEREO TURNS OFF) What's that now?

Yeah, my boyfriend snuck the car out at night, and then, you know, he found the doorway.


Oh, my knuckles are overheating.

This isn't bothering you, is it, Phil?

I mean, you told me about your first time.

I only told you about that to explain why I hate bees so much.

Let's just not talk about this anymore.


Born to be wild This is the song that was playing, isn't it?

It's one of them. (CAR STEREO TURNS OFF)


HALEY: I'm gonna fix lunch. You want some?

You're eating lunch? Is there some new internet challenge I'm not aware of?

And why is your doll in bandages?

You know me. I always loved playing doctor.

The truth is I accidentally ran her over and ripped her arm off.

Which might've been fine if that was the only baby-mangling issue I had today.


Oh, my God. Oh, uh... Oh, my God.

HALEY: I'm not cut out to be a mother.

Then again, a real baby is easier than a doll, right?

(CHUCKLES) Like, a real baby would let you know if it was on fire.


Why are you crying? Did you just win the weirdest beauty pageant ever?

(CRYING) Promises kept, Mitchell. A hundred and eighty months of roses and I just watched the most beautiful love story between boy and alien.

Why can't the world have the hearts of children?


You know, the thing that touched me the most was how we were really rooting for E.T. To find his way home.

I bet you were pretty thrilled to stumble upon that coincidence.

I didn't hate it. Anyway, I'm all caught up in the promises department. Your serve.

Cam, I just started at the DA's office, I can't move anytime soon.

Plus, what about Lily's school?

They have schools in Grasshopper.

Do they? And plus, Lily has so many friends here.

Does she?

LILY: Did I hear my name? What are you two yentas gabbing about?

We were just talking about moving to Grandma and Grandpa's farm, in the heart of Tornado Alley. Oh, God. Cam, look, she's clearly terrified.

Yeah, well, don't worry, sweetie, because it's already been determined we're staying here forever because other Daddy is planting dead Nana in the backyard.

I'm out.

Okay, it was my mother's last wish that one of us take her and Claire doesn't want her. What do you want me to do?

Well, what do you want me to do?

The farm has been in my family for a hundred years.

Yeah, I'm next in the line and you know Daddy, he's slowing down.

Your mother just sent us a video of him winning a log-rolling contest.

Only in his age group, and he was so spent the next day he slept through his first rooster crow and his snooze rooster crow.

Just admit it, you have no intention of keeping your promise of moving to Missouri.

You know what? You're right.

I can't ever imagine myself living on that farm. I'm sorry.

Well, there it is.

I'm just glad E.T. Didn't land at your house.

Okay. Don't give me that look. You'll get to go back to Missouri when your mom gets released from... Princess camp.

You're really hitting the gum pretty hard, aren't ya?

How do I do this? Do I just push down?

I don't know.

Nope. (THUDS)


I got off to a slow start, but eventually I found my rhythm.

And once I broke that sprinkler line, the water did most of the digging for me.

(STRAINING) All right, let's go. Just one last pull.


Okay, that's my ankle. I'm stuck. (GIGGLING)

Cal, so what I'm gonna need you to do is go into... Cal. Cal!

(MUMBLING) Grandpa just stepped in a hole.

What? What is it, boy?


Mitchell? He's in trouble? Trapped in a hole? Show me.

Oh, my God, you're cheating. No.

You're looking up ways to solve the puzzle.

How did you do it, you pea brain?



What is wrong with me? Maybe Dr. Johnson is right.

Maybe I don't have what it takes to live on Mars.


Stop. Stop. It's not you.

After I solved the puzzle, I wanted to make sure you couldn't, so I broke a few pieces, glued some others together.

It can't be solved.

I've had nightmares over that puzzle. I cried about it in therapy!

Stop! Not the hair. You're gonna frizz it.

Hey, what the hell? Break it up.

Luke's not playing fair.

Yeah, well, you make him feel dumb and he acts like it doesn't bother him but it does.

And, Luke, you know better than to mess with someone so uptight.

What do we always say?

Don't break Alex, she's our safety net.

Now, you both need to calm down. Luke, walk it off.

Oh, no. Where's Lulu?

The doll? Who cares?


Haley, what's going on with you today? Are you okay?

Okay. Um... So, no one else knows, especially Mom and Dad. So you can't tell anybody but...

I'm pregnant.

You're pregnant? Damn it, Luke.


Guys, don't look at me like that.

Okay, you guys think I'm some irresponsible idiot, don't you?

Um... Uh...

It's a... Wow, that's... You got... That's a lot to process.

Did you know who's the... It's Dylan's.


What a joyous... Oh, save it.

He's been great, actually.

I'm the disaster. I mean, look at Lulu.

(CRYING) I'm gonna be a horrible mother.

Okay, first. It's just a doll.

And you've been taking care of us our whole lives.

Yeah. Remember how you used to pick out my first day of school outfit so I wouldn't get beat up?

Or how you'd hold the book while I read myself a bedtime story?

And you're still doing it.

You just swooped in and handled our fight like a pro.

And you're understanding and loving and a total badass.

She's right.

You're the kind of person that could patch things up if, say, Alex never found out that I rearranged the stickers on her Rubik's Cube.

You son of a... (LUKE GROANS)

LUKE: Hair! Hair! Haley, help!


I'm smiling.

So I guess we're keeping the car.

No, you know what? You're right.

It's not safe and it's just gonna take up space.

Honey, did I say something wrong or are you feeling bad?

Well, I guess if I'm being honest, I'm a little worried that every time I get in the car, I'll picture you and, uh...

Todd. Todd?

Todd. Todd was the name of my bully.

It's getting real-er.

I mean, how would you feel about driving around in the sweet ride I lost my virginity in?

Do you really think you can track down the ox cart from the Renaissance fair?

I only got to second base in the ox cart.

If it makes you uncomfortable, we can sell the car.

Really? Yeah.

Thank you.

But for what it's worth, I don't wanna keep it because I had so much great sex in it.

"So much?"

No, it's because of what happened the next day.

My mom... (SIGHS)

She found the condom wrapper under the seat, and it must have freaked her out.

But instead of shaming me, or embarrassing me with some long, awful lecture, she was cool.

And she wanted to make sure that I was okay with everything and that it had all been a good experience, but... (SIGHS)


That must be why she wanted me to have the car.

That talk meant as much to my mom as it did to me.

That's incredibly sweet, and if it means that much to you, you should keep it.

But I doubt I'll ever feel comfortable in it.

We can fix that. (REMOTE BUTTON CLICKS)


I like where this is going.

I'm gonna make you the best sex I ever had in this car.

That's a lot of pressure.

Let's aim for top three. Huh.

Gloria, I have something to say.

My approach cost me a phone and a second visit from the plumber.

So I decided to try Jerry's advice and give Gloria a heartfelt, sincere apology.

How hard could that be to fake?

I was wrong to chase off your cousins.

I'm sorry that I didn't... take your feelings into consideration.

You deserve to be respected.

What I should have said was, "I love you, "so I love your family."

Please forgive me for my rude behavior.

Jay, this is all I ever wanted.

For you to come to me like this, it means the world to me.

I'm sorry, I should have been more forward about my cousins' visit.

And I was wrong for crushing your cell phone.

Can you ever forgive me?

Well, it may take a little while, but sure, I guess I can.

You know what I'm going to do?

I'm gonna go to that butcher shop that you like, and if Jerry doesn't mind, I'm gonna buy you a beautiful steak for dinner.

It's your house. You do what's best for you.

You come to my house, I'm going to be nude.

We're never going to go to your house, Jerry.

JAY: Did you hear that, Stella?

We're going to have a steak.

Jerry, you're a genius. This is life-changing.

What did I tell you? I wish I had tried this years ago.

This would have made my life with DeDe downright tolerable.

Who knows? Maybe we even could have been happy.

I'm glad you think so. But I'm not the one you need to tell.

Hey, DeDe, it's me, Jay. Just wondering how you're doing.

Dad? Uh, it's Saturday here...

You're not leaving a voicemail.

From the heart. Yeah. I wanted to say, is I could have handled a lot of things better in our relationship.

I guess I wasn't a very good partner, I dug in a lot.

I never thought of things from your point of view.

I guess I always needed to get my own way.

Anyway, you were a good woman.

And we had some fun times.

Especially in the sack.

Never had a problem there!

Careful, that's my wife you're talking to.

JAY: Oh. Sorry, Jerry. Yeah. Okay.

I hope you grow up into a nice, big tree and I hope you don't get any of those beetles that are killing everything.

And when you settle in, in a little while, maybe I'll bring Joe over and he can climb you.


You done? Yeah, I think so.

Mind if I say a word? She's all yours.

Jay was a big man.

He apologized to his wife.

And do you know what she did?

She apologized back!

Did you ever do that even once?

I apologize to you a thousand times and you let me just eat it!

Well, I'm tired of telling you you're always right, 'cause guess what?

That dolphin did not recognize you.

Your haikus had too many syllables!

And trust me, vegans do need deodorant!

All right. Come on.

Come on, kid, let me buy you a nice steak.


CAM: Hey. Here.

I want you to eat something. Be careful.

Thank you for taking such good care of me.

Even when you're mad. No. My gosh, I am not mad.

And I shouldn't have pushed. I'm sorry.

But if we learned one thing today, it's that you couldn't survive on a farm.

I'll be fine. Because I'll be with you.


I guess when I look at things from your point of view, I made a promise.

When your dad needs you to take over the farm, I'm in.

Mitchell, that means so much to me and you're gonna love it.

The fresh air and there's no traffic, oh, and with a second lawyer in town, we could reopen the courthouse.

Have you ever milked a goat?

Have you ever had fresh milk right from the spigot? Oh.


You do have to be careful of the snakes and mice and rats.

There's a ton of field mice.

They scare me. One ran up my sleeve one time when I was a kid.

This car is smaller than I remember.

I think I'm just not as flexible?

I think I threw out my lap.


We were, um, just cleaning out the garage.

Nice try. We heard everything.

Yeah. Although, around the finish line, we kinda lost track of who was who.

I can't believe Mom caught you having sex in our car again.

You're calling the tree "Mom"? Okay.

So listen, after some reflection, we decided that she might be better off here.

Now before you say no... I'd actually really like that.


What was all that screeching in the garage?

Are the raccoons back? Damn it!