Modern Family S4E23 Script

Games People Play (2013)

Family fun meeting by the front door, stat!

"Stat" means right now! [ Groans ] What is it?

Ignore her. She's been in a bad mood all day, and Luke isn't home yet.

I'm right here. Where were you?

This house still holds its secrets.

You're probably wondering why I called you all here.

Nope. Well, stop your wondering-

We're not wondering. ...and behold this wonder!

[ Haley ] Oh, my God! [ Claire ] Wow.

[ Phil Laughs ] [ Haley ] Seriously?

I sold a home to the one and only Pete Johnson.

There's only one Pete Johnson?

Only one who's California's top R.V. dealer.

There's 835 others. Nightmare of a deal to paper.

[ Claire ] Well, and this was his way of saying-

Thank you. Of course.

He paid a commission too, right?

Yes. And he told me I could take Jolene out anytime.

Yeah, I named her.

Let's take this dirty girl for a spin up the coast.

[ Alex Laughs ] [ Haley ] Yes!

[ Luke ] Awesome! Pretty sweet, huh?

[ Alex ] Yeah! Huh.

Oh, I can see where this is going.

This summer, you, me, the kids-

Yellowstone National Park. Mmm.

And that's just a Verona. He offered me an Amalfi.

An Amalfi, Claire.

That makes the Umbria look like a Portofino.

Well, they should've called it the Roman, 'cause that's what we're about to be doin'.

I'm really not following you.

Ten days on the road with those kids?


I hate it when Phil does this, and I have to be the bad guy... who comes in and squelches his brilliant idea.

I said no. Get it out of my house.


Come on, Jolene.

Fortunately, this time, I don't have to be the wet blanket, because even on just a short spin up the coast, Phil will see what I see every day- the transformation that happens... when our kids are locked in a moving metal box.

The kraken that is unleashed.

I love my kids very, very much.

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey♪ ♪

You're poking me. Yeah, well, I know, sweetie, but if I don't get these pins just right, your bun could fall out during your routine, and it could mess you up.

Okay, let's test it out. All right.

Jump. Good. Spin.

Now give me Beyoncé. [ Hums ]

Okay, I've done everything I can do. It's up to you now.

We have a gymnast in our family.

Yeah, Lily goes to gymnastics class.

In one short year, I've seen her blossom... from a little girl who couldn't do a somersault-

Into one who... kind of can.

Yeah, and by that standard, we also have a black belt, art prodigy and prima ballerina in our family.

You know what we don't have in our family is two loving, supportive fathers.

I'm just saying she's five, you know?

And you never let her forget it. [ Sighs ]

Excuse me. Is that your little girl out there? It is.

And you did her hair? I did.

Do you mind helping my Julie with hers?

Oh. Oh, do you guys own a convertible?

No. Oh, no judgment.

Yeah, I'll get to work right when Lily's done.

Not bad. That little leap at the end-that's new.

Wow. She's getting really good.

[ Softly ] You better bring your "A" game.

Oh, my God. Cam, look. Lily's in second place-9.2.

I told you she's a gymnast. With scores like that, she's gonna make pre-team.

Are you serious? Mm-hmm.

Pre-team? She could make pre- What's pre-team?






Gloria, we've been through the roster three times.

They're not home.

But their cars are here. Where could they be?

Who knows what these people do?

Well, my backpack is in there, Jay.

My poem for my poetry reading. Calm down.

Didn't you back it up on your computer?

What kind of man writes poetry on a computer?

You could've ended that sentence after "poetry."

[ Door Opens ]

Come in. And no questions.

[ Footsteps Descending ] [ Manny ] My backpack wasn't upstairs.

What's that? Postcard from a friend of Claire's-Rachel.

"Living it up in Club Med Cozumel."

Looks like that marriage went down the drain.

In other shocking news, Phil subscribes to a trampoline magazine.

Going through other people's mail. Keeping it classy, Jay.

Mom, my backpack isn't in Luke's room.

[ Singsongy ] I don't see it in here, either.

I don't think it would fit in there.

Ay, this was open when I came in.

I was just looking for an aspirin.

I thought that I heard some noises.

So you were snooping. Oh, so now it's snooping- wanting to know more about your family... by looking through their personal things?

Not just now. Since the invention of things.

Is that one of Claire's brownies?

No. They're delicious. Must be Cam's.

Oh, no. Don't worry. There's more.

No! That's where my backpack is.

Cam drove me and Luke home. I must've left it in his car.

Why are you so scattered lately?

Aw, he's just nervous because of his poetry reading tonight.

But don't worry, papi.

I am going to be there to support you.

I don't want my mom there.

I'm exploring some darker themes I'm not sure she's ready for.

Poems like "The Umbilical Noose,"

"A Jail Called Mom,"

"Smother Nature."

She'll just find some way to make it all about her.

[ Seagull Squawking ]

And a toasty 75 degrees for daughter Haley.

♪ ♪ [ Speakers: "Clair de lune "]

You see, the Verona boasts individualized climate zones, Claire.

Mmm. - I could literally transport a polar bear and an orchid... and not make two trips. [ Claire ] Mmm!

Dad, I'm freezing. It's like one degree back here.

Six minutes in and it begins.

Here. Take the blanket from the bed.

Thanks, kitten. Dad, can you change the music?

Can I? ♪♪ [Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21]

Oh, no. Oh, no, that's just getting louder.

This isn't good. It's not good at all.

[ Alex ] Actually, it's kind of perfect.

Right? The big windows, the classical music.

It's like we're in a movie.

Turn it up, handsome. You got it.

♪ ♪ [ Volume increases ]

Obviously, the novelty of the situation was delaying the inevitable.

But I didn't want to get halfway into a trip to Yellowstone... before Phil discovered what malevolent hell spawn we have for children- whom I love very much.

♪ ♪ [ Continues ]

Alex, honey, that's a cute sweater.

Doesn't Haley have one like that? Oh, it actually is hers.

I took it from her closet before we left. Really?

Oh. Sorry, girls. Didn't mean to start a whole thing.

I am so sick of you always looking better in my clothes.

When did that happen? You're okay with this?

Oh, yeah. She can wear whatever she wants after I've had it for six months.

Oh. Or I get it automatically... if you buy anything that looks like it.

This just feels right. Huh, team?

Matter of fact, I was thinking... we could all drive up to Yellowstone this summer, but I say let's take this beeyotch ocean to ocean.

That'd be cool. Awesome.

We're doing it. [ Girls Laugh ]

Phil, the road! [ Yells ]

[ Tires Screeching ] [ Yelps ]

I don't know what button I just pressed, but that was amazing.

My backpack's definitely not in there.

Well, they're not picking up their phone.

He must've brought it inside.

Sorry, kid. Looks like you're out of luck.

Come. Don't they have a burglar alarm?

Ay, please.

Okay, everybody, split up and search.

Jay, you look in the bedroom. I'm not looking in their bedroom.

Fine. Mom, I don't think my backpack is in Cam's bag.

I was just closing it for him. I heard a noise.

Looks like the guys threw a little party.

I noticed. They brought out the guest soaps.

How long have you been in here?

Hey. This is that bottle of wine I bought Phil... when he started his company.

And Claire's lipstick is on many of these wine glasses.

Pictionary. They had game night?

But we always go to game night.

Son of a bitch. They snubbed us.

Found it!

There must've been a dozen players.

Pepper was here.

But Pepper loves me.

Okay, she's all set.

I defy you to find a tighter bun in this gymnasium. [ Chuckles ]

Lot of different ways you could've said that.

Oh, and good luck on your floor routine, sweetie. Not that you need it.

That's Abby. She's the best in class.

Oh. She's our competition.

I've never wanted to beat a kid so badly.

Are you not hearing these? No. Okay. [ Clears Throat ]

Oh, Lily's on the beam.

I'm nervous about her dismount. You said that she could stick the landing, right?

Yeah, as long as she breathes, relies on her training and stays in the zone.

We are talking about her stepping off a six-inch beam.

And not falling. Right.

I have to admit seeing Lily do so well brought out something in me.

The pride of being a parent of a child... who wasn't just participating but thriving.

[ Grabs Bleacher ]

Okay, here comes her dismount. Stick it, Lily. Stick it!

[ Applause ] [ Mitchell ] She stuck it!

Mmm! She stuck it.



If no one beat my daughter's score on the beam, she would make pre-team.

She'd be one of the elites.

[ Sighs ] Funny thing, pride.

They say it goeth before the-

[ Softly ] Fall. Fall. Fall.

Mitchell, I can hear you rooting for a little girl to fall.

If I can hear you, other people can hear you.

[ People Gasping ] Yes!

I don't know why I said that. I'm sorry.

Yeah. He didn't mean it.

I didn't mean it. No, um, he just got caught up.

And, uh, you know-We all know competition makes people do crazy things, so-

Look at this! Her bun fell apart during the floor exercise.

Her hair got in her eyes, and she couldn't even finish.

You did it on purpose!

No! Daddies!

I'm in first place.

Yay. That's great.

Did you offend them? Me? They love me.

Can we go now? I have a poetry reading tonight.

And speaking of that, are you sure you guys really want-

It makes no sense. We're always the life of every party.

Maybe they didn't invite you because you're a couple of snoops?

Okay, Mr. Goody Two-shoes.

A trait normal parents would value.

Jay, I think you're right about him.

He's been too good lately for a teenager.

It's not normal.

I am afraid that the world is going to-

Oh, hell, no. This is too far. Ay.

Look at this.

Is that supposed to be- That's us.

Not only do we get blown off, now they're making fun of us.

Well, I'm just gonna leave them a little message.

As far as I'm concerned, they can all-


Horse mouth! That's a good one!

Horse mouth is not an expression.

You can't get this? Look. Donkey.

That's not a donkey. Look at the ears.

Okay. Donkey mouth.

That's a terrible guess.

That's a terrible drawing!

Hello? We weren't invited because you stink at this game.

At least I can draw.

Excuse me. Just need a signature.

Yeah, sure.


Here we go.

There. Thank you. Yep.

That's not a signature. You drew a cat.

Thank you.

♪ ♪ [ Grieg: "Morning Mood"]

[ Sighs ]

[ Claire ] Perfect freaking harmony.

That's when it hit me.

Maybe it's not the cold confines of a moving vehicle... that brings out the worst in my kids.

Maybe I bring out the worst in them... when there's no fun-lovin' Phil around to neutralize my toxins.

I was in a full shame spiral.

[ Buzzing ] Oh! A bee!

And then something wonderful happened.

I got it! Ow! You idiot!

Kill it! No, don't!

Haven't you heard of colony collapse? Bees are endangered.

Okay, guys, stand still. It can't see you if you're not moving.

It's coming near me! ♪♪ [ "In The Hall Of The Mountain King"]

[ Screams ] Do I look like a bee? No! It was an accident!

Well, so is this!

[ Girls Screaming ]

Everyone remain calm. I'll just open up the double-tilt Swiss skylight, and the airflow will pull the bee out of-Aaah! There's another bee now!

We must be near its cave! Oh, my God! There's so much stupid in here!

All right, I'm pulling this thing over.

[ Lever Clicks ] Those are the wipers.

Claire, say something.

[ Screaming, Grunting ] [ Monotone ] Kids, stop, please.

Hey, there are daily flights to Yellowstone.

[ Screams ] [ Fabric Tears ]

You ripped my sweater! My sweater, which you shouldn't even be wearing.

Get off of my sweater! Short layover in Salt Lake.

Are you really not gonna do anything?

Oh, Phil, you must have known this was gonna happen.

I know that tone. You're making a point.

It's better that you find out who they are now... than when you're halfway across the country.

[ Tires Squeal ] [ Screaming ]

I guess I'm just a naive boob who thought we liked each other.

Obviously, it was too much to ask-[ Buzzing Continues ]

To think that we could take one magnificent trip... in a tricked-out, state-of-the-art R.V... to see the sun dancing off the Pacific.

What a huge ask! [ Buzzing Stops ]

[ Door Slams ] [ Phil ] Ow!

I can't stand the way everyone's staring at us.

Yeah, I know. It's the way we look at people who walk with their pet birds.

There she is!

Hey, good luck on your balance beam routine, sweetie.

You're gonna do great. I'll never beat Lily.

Of course you will, because you're a superstar.

And your daughter's a genius. I am such a fan.

Now you're overcompensating. I have to.

You saw what a monster I was out there.

This-This is the exact thing I always hated in my dad- that ugly, macho, testosterone drive to win.

And today it has flowered in me.

Well- No. This ends today, Cam.

I am not passing this on to Lily.

It's not all on you. You know, I'm beginning to think... maybe I did sabotage Abby's hair.

I didn't spray. I didn't Beyoncé.

I basically built a ticking time bun.


♪ ♪ [ Classical]

[ Audience Gasps ] Are you okay?



My hair hurts. I'll fix it.


[ Mitchell ] We should find Lily.

Did you see what your daughter just did?

Uh, Lily, did you pull the pins out of Julie's hair?

Yeah. She fell.

Oh. Okay, um-

I- Could I get everyone's attention for just a moment?

We consider what our daughter just did... to be an embarrassment to the sport of gymnastics.

[ Cameron ] I assure you, she did not learn this from us.

And as far as we are concerned, that is a sign of weakness.

Not the way a winner behaves, but the way-

A loser behaves. ...a loser behaves.

Come on, Lily. Let's get your grips and tiger paws.

You're going to a time-out. Yeah. A nice long one.

I made pre-team, and my daddies get to watch from outside.

[ Softly ] No closer than 100 feet. But we're appealing.

Yay! Yay, Lily! [ Laughs ]

Kill the chicken! Chicken fingers!

Pigeon man! Pigeon man. Pigeon man.

You see, Tony, it's not me.

Would you invite her to game night? I'm gonna go now.

They're kinda sticklers about the next-day delivery thing.

Bird in the hand! There you go.

Any slower, she'd be the U.S. mail. Am I right?

That's gonna kill at the warehouse.

You see? You are the problem.

Except you cheated. I saw you look at the paper.

I knew it. You're no better.

All the screaming and bullying.

The question isn't why you two weren't invited.

It's why you're ever invited.

And by the way, this isn't even about you.

Treasure chest.

Now can we clean this place up and go?

[ Sighs ]

Funny story.

My mom and Jay were invited.

Cam gave me the invitation at school, and I forgot about it.

But how could I tell them right after I'd shamed them?

I had to cover my tracks.

It's true, Jay. I cheated.

I cheat a little bit every time that we come to the game night.

I think Mitch saw me the last time, and that's why they don't want to play with us anymore.

But why would you do that? I don't know.

Maybe because I don't want you to think that I am not smart.

I would never think that.

Besides, it's my fault anyway.

The kid is right. I'm too competitive.

Lost a game of Yahtzee once. The dice are still in the wall.

Yeah, but at least you're not a cheater.

I feel like such a donkey mouth.

Guys, there's something you should know.

It's Trivial Pursuit night at Mom's church.

I hate for you to miss my poetry reading, but maybe you could head down there, work on your sportsmanship, and you will feel better about yourselves.

Are you sure you're going to be okay without me there?

Yes, Smother. Mother. I'll be in the car.

[ Door Opens, Closes ] I get this damn competitive streak from my old man.

It's a miracle I didn't pass it down to Mitchell.

I love that we can blame our parents.

My mother was the biggest cheater I've ever known, and she used to snoop on everything that we did.

Ay. Jay, look at this.

Our invitation.

They must have forgot to give it to us.

No. I checked this bag when we got here, and it wasn't there.

Why do you always- Because you know I have a problem.

This was Manny. He forgot to give it to us, and then he came and tried to sneak it in there.

Why wouldn't he just tell us?

Maybe because he doesn't want us to go to the reading.

That's why he was talking about the church and the game.

He was working us.

Guess he's not too much of a Goody Two-shoes.

No. He's a lying, scheming little sneak.

That's my son.

Our son.

[ Chuckles ]

I've never seen Dad freak out like that before.

I feel terrible.

Oh, it's partly my fault.

I goaded you guys into a fight to prove a point.

Why do I always have to win?

How did I get this way?

[ Footsteps Approaching ] [ Seagulls Squawking ]

That you?

Yeah. [ Exhales ]

You? Yep.

How many kids in yours? Felt like 30.

I got four.

But I'm thinking of emancipating two of them early.

Tell me one of you has cigarettes or a flask.

Sorry, buddy.

[ Clicks Tongue ] I've been through every state- depressed, catatonic, Arkansas.

I considered faking my own death in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Have you been? Not to be missed.

I'm gonna miss it. I'm missing every bit of it.

Not spending another second in that rolling asylum.

Poor guy. How long you been on the road? Couple weeks?

Couple days?

[ Sighs ] Dad's in the middle of a super-sad dude hug.

We really disappointed him.

Yeah, maybe we should just suck it up and go to Jellystone this summer.

Wait. That's why Dad got this thing?

I-I can't go on a trip this summer.

Why? I've... [ Sighs ]

I've got stuff. Huh? No. What stuff?

I don't want to talk about it. Luke.

Summer school. I'm failing pre-algebra.

Why didn't you say something? I don't know. I feel stupid.

You know what it's like to follow her?

All the teachers look at me... and think that I'm some kind of irrational remainder.

Did I use that right? No.

Dang it.

[ Alex ] Why didn't you ask me? I would've tutored you.

I tried, but you were always off in your room... or some corner of the house on the phone.

Yeah, who have you been talking to so much lately? Aaron?

Who's Aaron? Actually, it's two boys-Aaron and Alex.

Oh, two boys. A boy named Alex likes you?

Yeah, I know. It's weird. But my friend Andi with an "I"- she's a girl-also liked Alex. The boy?

Yes, the boy. I don't refer to myself in the third person.

I thought Aaron was the third person. No.

Anyway, I thought I was cool juggling two boys at once, but-

[ Sighs ] they both ended up dumping me on the same day.

[ Gasps ] Sweetie, that's awful.

How did I not know this was happening?

You've been really busy lately.

Like with flipping that house.

And plus I didn't really want to talk about it, because it's kind of embarrassing. Oh.

Not as embarrassing as failing a class that starts with "pre."

Baby. You guys wanna feel better?

I auditioned to be a Laker Girl this morning.

[ Gasps ] What? You did? No way.

I took all those dance classes when I was younger, and I don't know.

I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.

So I saw online that there were open tryouts, so I went down there. And?

I'm the new head Laker Girl, Mom.

It was a disaster. I was the worst one there.

I couldn't even get through my routine.

Oh. You have a routine?

Pat, Heath, you guys have given me... the courage to go back in there, stand up to my wife and tell her she was right all along.

Happy trails, Phil.


I might just stay here a while.

Phil? Phil, I have to show you something.

Don't gloat. I get it. I keep trying to push this family closer together, but they need their space. No, no, no. We have too much space.

Being trapped in one room has forced us to actually talk to one another, and I have found out some incredible things about our kids.

Wait. Incredible good?

You tell me.

♪ ♪ [ Speakers: Dance ]

Oh, my God.

Dream come true. I don't even need context. Yeah!

[ High-pitched Voice ] What is this?

So our trip's back on? [ Claire ] We're in if Jolene's in.

Come on. Do it! Yeah!

[ Laughs ]

Oh! Why can't I get this?

You just gotta focus. Clear your mind.

Loosen up. Get in the zone. You know this.

Okay, we're gonna walk through this together, step-by-step.

Five, six, seven, eight.

One, two, three, four, five and six, seven and eight. 56.1 plus or minus 8.25.

That's the first one. One, two, three, four, five, six-

Number two. "X" plus two over four equals three plus three-

Two, five minus- Damn it, Alex, do you mind?

We're doing something important here.

Okay, once more from the tippy, like nobody's watching.

The quantity of "X" plus two, uh, plus six.

Five, six, seven, eight. One, two-