Modern Family S2E3 Script

Earthquake (2010)

Oh, my God! Mom, the party is around the block.

I'll be gone for two hours. That is two hours you could spend studying.

I have been studying all weekend.

No friends, no phone. Just me alone with books.

I feel like Alex.

You're never alone when you have books.

Really? Is that what you want me to turn into?

Sweetheart, listen to me. This is the S.A.T.'s, okay?

It is not some stupid science quiz.

Hey, if science quizzes are so stupid... why do you put mine up on the refrigerator?

Because we feel sorry for you, 'cause books are your friends.

Yeah, she wasn't studying last night... she was video chatting the whole time.

I knew it. I knew it. Shut up! You are such a tattle...

Girls, take it down a notch, because I... Whoa, whoa, whoa.

What's the hot topic on The View today, ladies?

Dad, can you just please tell Mom... that I can take a two-hour break and go to a party?

No, ma'am. I'm not stepping into that one. We're not playing good cop/Mom.

I got it.

Hello. You call for a plumber?

Uh, no, we did not. Oh, yes, we did. We did.

We did? Plumber, hi. Yeah.

Um, it's at the top of the stairs. Really, Claire?

Didn't I tell you I'd fix the tub?

Yes, you did. I think I was pregnant with Luke at the time.

That is not fair. I've done everything you've asked me to do around here.

I fixed the step, didn't I? Look how solid it is.

I'm like Shirley Temple and that black guy.

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson! I said it first.

So this is the problem. Uh, faucet just keeps leaking.

Yeah, it's a cracked washer, if I know my washers.

And it's, uh, been leaking a little water.

Yeah, could be a washer... a cracked valve, a stripped pipe.

Well, I guess I'm not a professional plumber... but I have spent a huge amount of time in that tub.

I can tell you from experience, or at least what it feels like in there.

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey ♪♪

Oh, good. You're back.

I need you to help settle a spat between our blacksmith and that chimney sweep.

Be nice. It took me 20 minutes to find my opera cloak.

I still can't believe you didn't have to rent any of that.

Oh, please. Do you know how many times this has paid for itself?

Has it?

Our friend Pepper loves to throw theme parties.

Yes, he does. And this weekend... is his first annual Oscar Wilde and Crazy brunch.

We're still recovering from his Studio 54th of July barbecue.

They were fun at first. Uh...

But they have become a lot of work.

You have to dress in costume. You have to assume a character.

I... I can't believe you ever dated him.

One date. It was the '90s. We'd just lost Princess Di.

I was at sea.

Uh, Cam, can we just... Can we please cancel?

I wish we could, but you know he's still mad at us for missing Passover.

Oh, right. Seder Day Night Fever.

Just go get dressed and powdered.

Oh. Pepper has done the impossible...

He's made two gay men hate brunch.

It might be easier just to pour the espresso right in the sugar.

Every morning.

Jay, what are you wearing? You can't go to church like that.

Well, that settles it then. I'm going golfing.

You're gonna miss church again?

Last Sunday, you said that you had to go to the office.

The week before, you had breakfast with a friend.

And before that, you thought you had a cold that turned out not to be a cold.

Because I babied it. You don't have to convince us.

You have to convince him. Who, God?

Me and God are good. How would you know?

Look, you feel God in church, which is great.

I feel God out in nature, amongst his works.

Are you gonna go to church next week? We'll see.

I know what "we'll see" means. If you're done with church, just say it.

I'm done with church. Don't say that!

Look, I'm not going to church anymore. It's not the end of the world.

Let's not make a big deal out...

Ah, ah... Earthquake!

¡Un terremoto! ¡Vamos, vamos, Manny!

¡Vamos, Jay! Come on, Jay!


Oh, God. Oh, God. Okay.

This is... This is stuck.

Oh, we're gonna die! We're gonna die!

We better not. If they find us in these outfits, it's gonna be very bad for the gays.

Claire? We're okay.

Dad! Luke.

Buddy. You okay?

That thing almost fell on me.

I was sitting there, and it came this close to my head.

It's all right. You're okay. You didn't get hurt.

Well, I'm not gonna wait around here until I do.


Wow. That is a doozy.

Hey, are you guys okay? Yeah, we're fine.

You? We're fine.

That was really... Oh, wait. Hold on. Hello?

Mitch, are you okay? We're okay. We're okay.

And Phil and Claire? I'm on the other line with them right now. One second.

Hello? Oh, shoot. We lost Phil.

We lost Phil? We lost Phil?


Great. Now Gloria's gone.

Gloria's gone too? Oh!

Hey, Gloria. ¡Ay, Dios mío! Phil, you're alive!

Yeah. Of course I'm alive.

For now.

For months, Claire has been after me and dogging me...

"Anchor the cabinet to the wall.

What if we have an earthquake? We've got kids in the house."

Blah, blah, blah. So... It finally reached the point... where I hand no choice but to just roll up my sleeves and tell her I did it.

Uh, Phil!

Dad, get up here. On my way.

Seriously! I just fixed that. Really?

What's wrong? Mom's stuck.

You okay in there?

We're fine. The door is jammed.

Oh, okay. Uh...

Well, uh, let's try this together, okay? Okay.

Um, I'm gonna push... you pull.

Okay. On three. One, two, three...

Nothing. Oh, dang it.

Okay, here's the thing. I wasn't pushing. In fact, I was pulling a little.

It dawned on me that as long as Claire was stuck in the bathroom...

I'd have time to anchor the cabinet to the wall.

It's like they say, sometimes when God closes a door... he closes it so hard that your wife can't get out.

So, don't panic. I'm gonna get you out. I'm just gonna go get some tools.

Get a crowbar, if you have one.

What is that supposed to mean? Like I'm some dandy who doesn't have a crowbar?

Well, you did just use the word "dandy."

"Dandy" is a term coined by miners in the 15th century.

Phil? Just get us out of here.

Dad, how long is it gonna take to get her out of there? Long time.

Oh, honey, don't worry. Mommy is gonna be out soon.

Don't panic.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You're not going to that party, young lady.

No, I'm not going to the party. I'm just going downstairs.

With your purse? Come on.

Just cover for me this one time and I...

I'll drive you wherever you want.

I wanna go to the Museum of Tolerance.

Fine. How far is Tolerance?

I can hear the two of you scheming out there. Don't you dare leave this house.

Oh, why do you have to be such a psycho control freak?

Okay. You know what? Just for that, you are grounded one week.

Oh, that's good parenting.

Okay. Two weeks. Wanna double it? Keep talking!

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

Fine! Four weeks! Four!

Double it again and make it 10 weeks!

Oh, my God! Do you not hear how much you need to study?

Mitchell, come on. We're gonna be late.

Oh, I can't believe we have to do this.

Come on. After the earthquake, it might be nice to be around similarly dressed people.

That makes no... The... The earthquake.

Okay. Okay. Yes. Yes, this... Okay. This is the perfect excuse.

Why? We're fine. Yeah, but Pepper doesn't know that.

You'll just tell him that we have some damage we have to deal with.

Why me? Because I'm the one that always cancels.

Do not hand me that. I will not talk to him. Hello?

I'm a bad liar. Do not hand me that. He's on. Pick up.

You're doing it. Do it. I think somebody's talking. Hello?

Hi, Pepper. Listen, hi. Hey, it's Cameron.

How are you doing over there? Great.

Well, the earthquake... Yeah, it was huge here.

So, obviously, we're not... we're not gonna be able to make it.

Why not? Well, some dishes broke.

You can sweep them up later. And, um... Well, yeah, I guess...

I guess we could sweep those up, um, later.

Our, uh... Our... Our hat rack...

Our hat rack fell through the window. Hat rack?

Well... Yeah, we do have a hat rack.

We thought it would force us to wear our hats more. And it did.

And there's water damage. There's water everywhere.

A bookshelf fell... on Mitchell's leg.

Mitchell's hurt, Pepper. Mitchell's hurt real bad.

I'm coming right over. No, you don't need to come over.

I'm coming. Pepper, no!

He's coming over. See? Kind of panicked.

You did panic, Cam. You panicked real bad.

You're still going golfing?

God sent you a sign, Jay.

What, the earthquake? You gotta be kidding me.

You say that you're never going to church again, and the ground shakes with a vengeance.

I'll prove it to you. God, if you have a problem with me golfing...

Shh. Send me a sign.

I mean, throw in a little lightning. Put on a show.

Don't talk to God like that! Now, trust me... if God had a problem with me, he would let me know without shaking the whole city.

He would be a little more specific.

I'm not gonna argue with you. I don't wanna get upset.

Vámonos, Manny.

I think I'm gonna skip it today. What?

I like what Jay said about God being in nature. No, no, no, no, no, no.

Don't listen to him. His days are numbered!

Think about it, Mom. It makes sense.

God made the trees and the grass. He didn't make that church.

But he made the people that makes the church, and you're making me angry!

Vámonos. Just one week.

Can I go golfing with you?

I'm probably gonna have a Latino kid carry my clubs anyway. Might as well be you.

Fine. See what I care. Go.

Manny, go change.

Sorry, Mom. Hope you understand.

Mmm. Probably good for us to spend a little time together.

You're gonna spend eternity together!

Damn it!

I suppose that was God too.

I don't know who did it, but it makes me happy.


What are you doing? Hey, buddy.

Oh, just double-checking these straps. This is an extra.

These babies saved your life. That's why this cabinet barely moved.

It fell all the way to the couch. Mm-mmm.

It almost killed me. No, it didn't.

This cabinet barely moved. That's just perspective playing tricks on your mind.

Like, if I hold up my thumb, it looks bigger than your head.

No, it doesn't. It looks tiny. You have to look at it from over here.

How can I look at my head from over there?

Phil? Why don't you just lie down.

I gotta make sure your mom's still stuck.

So she... I can get her out.

Don't fall asleep.

Sorry I took...

You filthy...

Sorry I took so long.

I'm gonna go ahead and just take off the doorknob, okay?

Okay. Here we go.

Oh, it's... Oh, damn.

What? What happened? I, uh, brought the wrong screwdriver.

So I'll be right back. All right. But hurry up, Phil.

Doing my best, Claire.

Oh, don't talk back, Dad. She'll just ground you!

That's 32 weeks, young lady!

I was at 16 before, right?

What? Nothin'.

Don't judge me until you've had a teenage girl.

I've had four of 'em. God.

How did you survive that?

Girls were a piece of cake. It was the boy.

Every look on his face... every stupid decision he made... Mmm.

The way he sat there chewing his food like an idiot.

Then it hit me why this kid drove me so crazy...

He's me.

Well, all the more reason she should listen to me.

I can stop her from making the same mistakes.

Did you listen to your mother? No. God, no.

But, you know, I had a reason. That woman was a psycho control... freak.

Hey, Mom, I brought you some soda.

I couldn't find any straws, so you'll have to drink it like cats.

Oh, thank you, Luke.

That's my sweetie.

I was going to bring you wine, but you finished the big bottle last night.

Okay. Off you go.

Hold this, will you, kid?

You know, Mitchell used to caddie for me.

Of course, he spent most of his time chasing butterflies.

You won't catch me doing that. Good for you.

I'm terrified of them. Huh.

Look at that. That's a perfect shot.

And I hit that with a bent club.

So you're not worried about getting in trouble? You know, with God?

Oh, I think he's got bigger things on his plate.

So you're not worried about hell?

Let me let you in on a little secret, kid. There is no hell.

Seriously? No hell?

That's fantastic.

So everyone just goes to heaven? Yep. End of story.

Even bad people? Yeah, they're... they're... They're in another section.

See, they got this thing figured out.

Can I hit this?

Damn it. You distracted me.

I didn't say anything. I could hear you thinking.

I'm thinking about this heaven of yours that's full of bad people.

Not full. The tiniest fraction.

They're walled in. What if they break out?

They're surrounded by a lake of fire.

There are fiery lakes in heaven?

This is turning into hell.

Tell me about it.

What are you doing?

Well, you promised Pepper broken dishes, so... I'm breaking dishes.

No, not my frog. I know you think it's tacky... but I happen to have won this at my first 4-H summer camp in a hollerin' contest.

Well, we wouldn't have to break anything if you were a better liar.

If you're trying to make me feel bad about not being as good a liar as you...

What are you doing? A hat rack fell through the window. Remember?

One, two, three...

Mitchell, wait.

L-I... I can't do this. I quit.

You might be comfortable with all this lying, but I'm not.

Oh, please. Where was all this conscience... when I got us into the first-class lounge at the airport... and you chewed Angela Lansbury's ear off?

You know what you are? You're like a mob wife.

You look down at me and my ways... but you're happy to wear the mink coat that fell off the back of the truck.

How dare you.


I know. I know.

It really hit us bad.

No. I'm just always surprised how small this place is.

Pepper, you didn't have to leave your party to come check on us.

Great costume, by the way.

This isn't my costume. I just threw this on to help you clean up.

Well, about your party...

Oh, don't worry about canceling.

At least you have an excuse, unlike Steven and Stefan.

They said they had the flu.

Meantime, I just saw them out riding their bicycle.

Oh, Pepper, that is horrible.

I-I'm gonna make you a cocktail.

Oh, honey, don't go to any trouble. I'll just have a Kir Royale.

I mean, my God. If they didn't want to come to my party, just say it.

I'm a big boy. I can take it.

Well, since you brought it up, Pepper... we didn't want to come to your party either.

What? Oh, you know we love you.

But they've just gotten to be so much work over the years, and...

We're all out of cassis.

I can't bear it. I will make you a Bellini.

Everybody canceled on me.

And now you two.

For 15 years, I have killed myself setting a community standard... with my fanciful themed brunches... mounted at great personal expense.

Well, clearly I've been a fool.

No one likes your brunches, Pepper.

No one likes you.

You're gonna die alone... in a quaint Spanish revival outside of Palm Springs.

Or La Quinta.

I told him. Yeah.

Yeah, I puzzled that out.

I just don't understand this bad section of heaven.

I just don't understand this bad section of heaven.

What if they send you to the wrong place?

They make mistakes with paperwork sometimes.

I was put in a girl's health class last year... and had to watch a very disturbing movie. Calm down.

Instead of thinking all morning about what heaven's gonna look like... what it's not gonna look like, who's where... if there even is a heaven... why don't we just concentrate on this beautiful, carefree day that's in front of us?

I'd rather concentrate on something you just said.

There might not even be a heaven? I don't know.

You seemed pretty sure of yourself this morning.

So what happens after you die? There's just nothing?

Look. You're focusing too much on one little thing that I said.

It was just a hunch, okay?

A hunch? I'm skipping church based on a hunch?

All right, all right. Don't freak out on me, kid.

You're playing pretty fast and loose with my soul.

Listen. I want you to forget everything that I said, okay?

Some things can't be forgotten, Jay.

Do you know what menstruation is? Because I do.


Hey... What-What are you doing?

Aren't you supposed to be getting Mom out of the bathroom? That is what I was doing.

That is what I was doing. This ca... This cabinet was the problem.

How? Yeah, it's very heavy.

And because it was properly anchored to the wall, it was sort of a ripple effect.

It was pulling part of the floor down... and then pushing part of the floor up, causing the bathroom door...

Please don't tell on me.

I don't know who I am anymore.

Who am I?

I'm a joke, that's who.

No. No.

You're not a joke.

You're Pepper Saltzman.

I think I'd better just go.

If anything terrible should happen... don't feel an obligation to attend my memorial...

New York or L.A.

Pepper. Pepper, you... you didn't let me finish.

The reason we didn't want to come to your party is...



Who's a mob wife? I'm a mob wife.

I'm sorry. I couldn't hear you.

I'm a mob wife.

Okay, um, Pepper, this is a little embarrassing. I don't even want to hear it.

Cameron still has feelings for you.

Go on. Yeah, and it's just... it's very hard for him... to be around you... especially at your magical brunches... where you're just... you're... you're so magnetic.

And then I see the way that he looks at you, and...

Damn it, Pep... It just makes me so mad that I could just...

Oh! Really?

Oh, you don't know the pain, Cam.

Oh, boys... Boys, I can't stand that I'm coming between you.

Not that I'm surprised.

I admit I have noticed the stolen glances and the yearning in your eyes.

Okay. Well, you'll... you'll forgive us, Pepper... if we sit out your next few brunches?


I would hate to lose you two.

I've always thought of you as being like my...

Sons? Sons?


I was gonna say brothers.

It's like a house of pain.

All right, Claire. You ready? Okay, ready?

I'm ready. Okay, go. All right, I'm going.

All right. Go! Okay, go. Go! Go!

Oh, got it! Got it! Oh!

It's moving! It did! All right. All right. We got it.

Thank God. Oh, thank God. Thank God. Thank God. Go.

Phil? Phil?

Honey... Phil, where are you? Phil...

Are you kidding me? Not the...


Phil! Hey.

What happened to you? You disappeared for 20 minutes.

We just had to break ourselves out of that bathroom.

I am so happy to see you. Get in here. Oh, no. No, no. Seriously.

What happened?

Dad was incredible.

He was running around here, turning off the gas line... cleaning up broken glass and taking care of Luke after he ran into a wall.

I got scared because the cabinet didn't fall down.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Um... I'm sorry.

Well, don't worry about it. Um, I'm sorry.

Don't. I was so nervous. I freaked out.

It's all right. It's all right.

I think it was a little bit of a rough morning. Yes.

Wasn't it? Yes, it was.

I don't know about you guys, but I just wanna relax and put my feet up.

At the Museum of Tolerance. Who's in?

I am! You are. Okay. Let's do it.

There's nothing mystical about an earthquake.

Pressure builds, and it's released.

And you just hope there's not too much damage.

But it makes you realize what matters. And for me, that's my family.

I'll put in a good word for you. You're the best, kid.

My family and golf.

Well, if heaven's in the sky, what do you walk on?

Well, if heaven's in the sky, what do you walk on?

Manny, don't be ridiculous. The clouds.

That makes no sense. Clouds are air. You'd fall right through them.

The clouds in heaven... they're like trampolines.

I don't like trampolines. They make me seasick.

Manny, stop worrying. Heaven is a beautiful place... with sunshine and rainbows and butterflies.

Butterflies? Ay. No, no, no, no, no.

Ah! I didn't say butterflies.

Manny, there's no butterflies!