Modern Family S4E9 Script

When a Tree Falls (2012)

Haley! Hurry up! You're gonna be late!

Alex, what are you doing? I need to document Haley's first day on the chain gang.

It's not a chain gang. It's community service.

And leave her alone. She feels bad enough as it is.

Okay, I'm torn. On one hand, I'm like, "Ugh, I have to pick up garbage all day."

And on the other hand, I'm like, "Look at me in orange."

[ Camera Shutter Clicks ]

Aw, that's cute. Send that to me.

Haley had a little run-in with the law in college.

She was arrested for assaulting a police officer.

Accidentally. I fell on him.

While evading arrest for underage drinking. That was on purpose.

They were very lenient with her. She only has to do community service.

Because I do not have any priors.

Taking a little too much pride in that, sweetheart.

Things can get pretty rough out there.

I couldn't get my hands on any cigarettes, but I did make you a shiv out of an old knife.

You don't make a shiv out of a knife.

Yeah, you make a shiv out of a rusty spoon or a shard of glass.

Or a human femur. Exactly. Be creative.

It's really sweet of you, Luke, but there's just gonna be a bunch of drunk drivers and vandalizers... who were stupid enough to get caught.

Or stupid enough to use the word "vandalizers." [ Chuckles ]

It's "vandals."

Oh. Oh.

I'm so alone.

[ Roars ] [ All Scream ]

They're gonna eat you alive, Suburbia.

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey♪ ♪

Mitchell, we're back. You are not going to believe this.

Cam, do you remember why I didn't want you to swap out the handles on Lily's dresser?

Because you lack a designer's eye and fear change?

No. Because I was afraid two weeks would go by, and we'd still be using a spatula to get at Lily's clothes.

Okay. Well, we have bigger issues.

Guess what they are cutting down at the park today.

A tree. Yes. How did you know that?

I played a hunch. Not just any tree-Treeona Elmsley.

Oh, no. That's terrible. That's our picnic tree.

It's a nightmare.

Well, someone's picked up her daddy's gift for hyperbole.

They are literally chainsawing paradise to put up a parking lot.

That's too bad. We have to do something.

Well, if we knew earlier, we could.

I blame myself. I've taken on too much.

What exactly have you taken on?

Are you kidding me? Teaching music?

This dresser handle project? My role in the musical?

Oh, that. You know what? I don't like your tone.

The understudy's the most challenging role in any production.

You have to be ready at a moment's notice to go on and face a disappointed audience... who was there to see Kenny van Heffington. Our insurance guy?

He's breathtaking. Really?

Yeah, I hate him. Anyway, what was I talking about?

Putting new handles on the dresser.

Right. The tree. I have to do something.

I can't live like this.

Manny, while we're young!

He doesn't want to go. That's why he's taking so long with the primping.

A boy his age should do exactly zero primping.

You ready? Not in the least.

That's the spirit.

This kid in my class, Doug Brooks, has a sports-themed birthday party every year.

All boys. All sports. All day.

He calls it the Doug-lympics, which might make sense if he did it every four years... or if his name was AI.

Let's just say nothing about it works.

Manny, it's a beautiful day outside.

Go on. Enjoy your Dougylympics.

You don't have to win a medal. Just have fun.

Doug finishes with the most medals no matter what.

Plus I think he only invites me because he likes to match skin color to nation.

I know that's why Alan Yang gets invited.

Okay, we get it. Sports isn't your thing.

But you gotta step out of your comfort zone sometime.

And for God's sake, change out of those wing tips.

You're a kid. You're not Nixon on the beach.

Fine. I'll put on my sporty shoes. Where are they?

They're still in the box.

Don't forget to take out the paper before you put them on, okay?

And they're called sneakers.

[ Knocking ]

[ Singsong ] Hello, hello!

Hey, Gloria. So, ready to go?

Where? Thought we were doing a Costco run.

Oh, I see what this is.

You called Claire to babysit the stupid pregnant lady!

You're the one who called her. I did?

I called Claire. Gloria needs watching.

She's got a serious case of pregnancy brain.

Last week, I found a bar of soap in the fridge... and a stick of butter in the shower.

I walked around all day smelling like a bucket of popcorn.

Better than the toast I ate.

Yet you ate the second piece.

Jay, bye-bye! We're leaving!

Seriously? I'm right here.

[ Shouting, Laughing ]

[ Man 1 ] Duck! Duck! Come on and hit him, you little freak!

[ Man 2 ] Hands up!

Talk about a big left hook. God, I love you.

Phil in the Blank! Bill of Rights! Jerryatric!

Alan's dad!

Hey, guys. Luke, you getting in there?

Of course. [ Laughs ]

Look, I'm Mexico. Again.

Does anybody care that I'm not from Mexico?

You keep saying that, but we've never seen a birth certificate.

All right, look. I'll pick you up at 5:00. Knock yourself out.

Or better still, knock someone else out.

Jay, where you headed? Why don't you stick around and grab a beer with the dads?

I don't really know those guys. I think I'll just swing by the club, hit a few balls.

Well, come here. Let me introduce you around.

Hey, guys, this is Jay, my father-in-law. Manny's stepdad.

Hey, what's up, Jay-Io? Okay, guys, I'll see you later.

What's the matter, Jay? Afraid to step outside your comfort zone?

I will send you back to Mexico.

I didn't really call you, did I?

No, my dad did. But I thought you knew.

[ Groans ] I want to be so mad at him, but he's right.

I have two brains in my body, but I've never been so dumb. It happens. I get it.

You have another human being inside of you competing for resources.

Look, when I was pregnant with Alex, I could barely remember my name.

Same with Haley and Luke?

Mmm, not so much. They kind of just hung out in there, let me do my thing.

Thank you for understanding.

I'm glad that you came. Mmm.

It will help me not to forget stuff. I'm glad I can help out.

[ Door Alarm Chimes ] I-Whoa, whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Why didn't you stop first?

[ Men Chattering ] Where's Daddy?

I don't know, sweetie. He said to meet him by Treeona. [ Cameron ] Mitchell! Lily!

Where is he? Up here! Look up here!

[ Gasps ] Cam, what are you doing up there?

I came down to say good-bye to the tree, give it one final hug, and before I knew it, I was up here.

When you say one final hug-

If I'm occupying the tree, they can't cut it down. I googled it. It's a thing.

Okay, Lily. See, this is a nightmare.

Tell me about it.

You know what? You're a list-maker, a planner.

I'm a doer and an action-taker!

Sean Penn would play me in a movie about this, or Anne Hathaway, if they wanted a female-driven vehicle.

And who would play your long-suffering partner?

Julianne Moore, either way. I would totally see that. I would.

Hey! My supervisor wants to know if you have a history of mental illness.

No, sir, I do not. Well, uh-

All right, Cam, let's hear it. What's the plan?

I don't know. I'm sort of making it up as I go.

Are you sure you wanna do this?

Yes. I've never been more sure about anything in my life.

We need to teach our daughter the value of taking a stand, no matter the sacrifice!

[ Cell Phone Rings ]

[ Beeps ] Hello?

Done. I'll be right there.

[ Beeps ] Mitchell, you need to get up here. I have to go.

Excuse me? That was my theater troupe. An actor's sick.

I have to go and do the matinee.

What happened to showing Lily the value of taking a stand?

It's the lead.

It's also important to show her the value of honoring one's commitments.

And in this case, my commitment preceded my stand!

This is so you, Cam.

You start something, and then you expect me to finish it.

So you're not coming up here? No! No, I'm not. Come on.

Mitchell, where were we the first day Lily rolled over? Under this tree.

Where is home base when we play hide-and-go-seek? Under this tree.

And where did we take shelter during that dangerous lightning storm?

Wasn't a good idea, but it was under this tree.

Daddy, you've got to save the tree!

Yeah, Daddy, you have to save the tree! Okay, okay.

But you get back here the second you are done.

Well, I can't very well turn away fans that come backstage.

The second!

[ Vehicles Passing ]

Last summer, my sister took a totally humiliating photo of me.

[ Air Horn Blasts ] [ Muffled Scream ]

[ Chuckles ]

[ Muffled ] Haley, that's not funny!

Then she posted it to Facebook and refused to take it down.

It got 873 likes.

Meanwhile, there's not one embarrassing photo of Haley.

Even her mug shots were cute.

[ Camera Shutter Clicks ]

Today, I get my revenge.

One photo of Haley dirty, sweaty, picking up trash like a criminal.

It'll be my finest moment.

In a few years, I hope to have some more friends... and not have time for this kind of stuff.

Okay. Hey.

Where did you go? To get a sweatshirt.

We've been standing in the frozen food aisle for half an hour.

I need something frozen. Right. What?

I don't know. I just wrote the word "frozen."

Okay. Uh, let's think. Peas. Ice cream. Pizza?

Waffles. Wait a minute.

It says "dozens." I need the eggs!

Ah, the eggs. Okay.

Ay, no, on the other side.

Oh. Oh. I-I'll get the cart. So that's-Oh, sorry.

That's-That's me. That's me. I got it.

[ Shouting ] [ Grunting ]

Come on, guys! They're killing us!

Where the heck is Mexico?

Good news, gentlemen! I found another rope.

If we double Dutch, everyone wins.

[ Groans ]

Okay. Hold still. [ Shutter Clicks ]

And wait for it. This is what you'd look like fat and bald.

[ All Laughing ]

On my phone, that app's called a camera.

Bill, don't do that to yourself.

Let me tell you something. Ellen is one lucky woman.

[ Laughing ] Why is that funny?

Because she's married to Jerry. [ Chuckles ]

Jay, you got any good apps?

I don't know. I got call waiting. Is that an app?

[ All Laughing ] You guys laugh a lot, huh?

Jay's a little technologically challenged.

From a guy who can't drive a stick.

[ Jerry] What? You can't?

Well- He called me to rescue him one time.

He got stuck on a hill. He was afraid to let go of the clutch.

Well, I- By the time I got there, traffic's backed up half a mile, everybody's yelling at him, he's in tears.

Not tears. Maybe sweat.

Yeah, sweatin' out your eyes. [ All Laughing ]

[ Camera Shutter Clicking ]

I had about 10 pretty bad pictures of Haley.

I could have quit right there, but I'm a perfectionist.

I thought, "I could do better. She could look worse."

[ Horn Honks ] Whoa!

Oh, my God.

All right, pal. Come down from the tree.

Sorry. Can't do that.

Come down before we pull you down.

Well, hey. Ease up. What's the problem?

Look, I don't want to be up here, you know?

But this is my daughter's favorite tree.

And my partner, he's all up in arms about them cutting it down, so-

If your partner's so worked up, why isn't he here?

Oh, well, that's a very good question.

It's because he starts things and he doesn't finish them, so then I have to.

Just like my wife. You know, my therapist would say we're enabling them.

You and your therapist. Well, I wouldn't have to see him if you hadn't shot that guy.

Ah, that again? Look, let's just spray him with the fire hose.

You're not helping, Terry.

It's not your fight. So why don't you do us a favor and come on down?

Because he's right, all right?

That's the frustrating part. I-I've been sitting up here these past few hours, and... this tree is beautiful, okay?

And I-I can hear the squirrels dancing through the branches, you know, chasing each other.

No idea what's about to happen.

You know, this isn't just a tree. This is a home.

Yeah. To, like, a hundred rats. They're all over this thing.

Well, that changes nothing. I will wait you guys out all night if I have to.

Cam, you got 20 minutes, and I'm out of this tree.

[ Rustling ] [ Squeaking ]

Terry, you wanna get ready with that hose?

So Alex comes home from school the other day, and she says the teacher didn't know what she was talking about, when in reality, I don't think that-

Whoa, whoa, whoa! ¡Ay!

Hey! You almost just cut my head off. You gotta focus.

I am sorry. After all that, I forgot the eggs!

Excuse me. Yeah, hang on one second.

Listen, this is not just your pregnancy. You are purposely turning your brain off.

You have to at least try to pay attention.

Ma'am? Yeah.

Do you have a receipt for that sweatshirt? Oh, shoot.

I'm gonna need you to come back into the store.

Oh, no. I forgot I was wearing it. It's no big deal. Here.

Ma'am, the store.

Are you kidding me? I didn't try to steal a sweatshirt.

Sir, I'm a mom. Uh-huh.

Gloria, help me out. Listen, Mr. Policeman.

If we wanted to steal it, you wouldn't even know that it was gone!

Yeah, okay. That's not helping.

[ Haley Laughing ]

[ Stick Snaps ]

[ Grunts ] Ooh! Oop! Ooh!


Oh, my God! A gold bracelet!

Hey, can we keep what we find?


[ Junk Clatters ]


Gentlemen, you wanna know about the real ultimate Frisbee?

Walk with one balanced on your head for 50 meters.

It is a measure of poise, balance and posture.

Let's just whip the Frisbees at each other as hard as we can and see who quits first.

Frisbee smash. Awesome! Let's go!

Oh, my God, I'm Sisyphus.

[ Luke ] A big one! Ha, ha!

So he's out in our yard and he's got a boom box-

What's the name of that movie with the boom box?

Oh, Say Anything. With John Mahoney.

So anyway, he's out there, and he's begging Claire for forgiveness.

She's still mad at him. She won't have any of it.

So he turns it up full blast, and it's Olivia Newton-John.

[ All Laughing ]

And he starts singing, "Let's get Philsical."

It was an inside joke. Oh, not anymore.

Okay, enough with the funny Phil stories.

But I haven't even gotten to the best part yet.

So he's doing his little dance, and I can't take any more, so I nail him with the sprinklers.

Yep, and you also shorted out my boom box, which you said you'd replace and you never did. I never said that!

Yes, you did. You still owe me one boom box, 12 "D" batteries... and an Olivia Newton-John cassingle.

Huh. Okay, uh-

Why don't we settle it in the ring?

We get in there, and if you beat me, I'll buy you any boom box you want.

If I beat you, then you've gotta do your little dance for everyone.

[ All ] Yeah!

I'm in.

Let's get Philsical.

I wasn't worried. I'd boxed in the navy.

And it was Phil.

And here's something I thought I'd never say-

I'd rather box my daughter's husband than my son's.

[ Dings ]

Whoo! Yeah!

Yeah, come on! Ohh!

Ohh! Ohh!

Yeah! Yeah!

I may have been holding on to a tiny bit of anger towards Jay.

I scooped ice cream all summer for that boom box!

[ Grunting ]


Excuse me. Pardon me. We're here! We're here!

We came as fast as we could! You couldn't change?

You said come right away!

Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen.

Oakwood Rep's production of Cats-Make sure you catch it this week.

Word on the street is the understudy steals the show!

Mitchell, I get two more shows. Kenny van Heffington's toenail is infected!

Just get up here, all right?

The crew has to leave at dark, so you have until then.

Easy peasy.

Sweetie, tell Daddy what you thought of my performance.


Ah, geez.

Is this sap?

Why would I buy hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise... and then steal a $20 sweatshirt?

I don't know. Maybe you do it for the thrill.

I know your type. You're a bored housewife, drives a minivan, husband spends a little too much time online.

Got a couple of kids, a college degree you don't use.

You could not be more wrong.

Yes. She has three kids.

Okay, no. No, no. No, no. No. That's not helping.

Look, as I said before, it was an accident.

Heard it a thousand times.

Grandmothers, businessmen, honor students. They all say the same thing.

"It was an accident. I don't know how that clock radio got in my pants."

Oh, for God's sake! I don't feel well. Let us go.

Yeah, right. Is that even a baby?

'Cause from here, it looks like a turkey.

[ Sighs ] I need you to sign this, admitting your guilt... and promising you'll never return to this store.

I'm not signing that. Okay, great.

Then I'm gonna call the police and I'll be forced to-Aah!

[ Liquid Splatters ] What was that?

My water broke! I'm having the baby!

[ Chattering ]


Sorry about that. I went a little nuts there.

I don't know what happened. [ Spits ]

I do.

I was ragging on you in front of your friends.

Oh, yeah. Sorry about that.

I couldn't think of anything else to say. Why not?

I got 20, 25 years on those guys. We got nothing in common.

It's only gonna get worse.

I mean, what's it gonna be like with the new kid in 10 years?

Oh, my goodness.

You're insecure and vulnerable. This is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Shut up. Who's a shy bunny?

You wanna go one more round, without the gloves?

I'm just playing around, Jay.

I don't care how old you are. I could sit and talk to you all day.

Those guys really liked you too. I don't care about that.

Did they?

Even Jerry? Yes.

Well, maybe you're right. I mean, Manny didn't want to come and look at him.

Looks like he's having a great time.

So then Luke's dad grabs the Taser from me, and he was like, "Uhh! Uhh!"

No. No! That's not how it happened. [ Laughing ]

[ Groans ] ¡Ay, ay! It hurts!

Hang in there! Hang in there! I'll get you to the hospital as soon as I can.

I just want to apologize one more time on behalf of the store... for any stress that I might have caused you.

Here, you can keep the sweatshirt as a gift. [ Whimpers ]

And congratulations on this baby, which is clearly not a turkey. That was-

Go away now! Yeah.

¡Ay! ¡Ay! Okay. Go on. Go on. Get in. You good?

What hospital are we going to? No! No hospital!

No hospital. Wow. Oh, you're one of those, huh?

Okay, please don't have it in the pool, though, 'cause we swim in there.

I'm not having the baby, Claire. I was just faking it.

What? [ Bottle Crinkles ]

Not bad for someone with pregnancy brain, huh?

Okay, that's good. That was very good. Good thinking, Gloria.

I'm sorry. I just couldn't sit there and watch you suffer... just because you had turned your brain off.

Okay, I deserve that. [ Siren Wailing ]

Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no.

I just blew through a red light. Damn.

You think you can keep the pregnancy thing up for a little while longer?

[ Screams ]

¡Ay! I feel the head! Feel it! Feel it!

Save it! Save it for the cop! [ Screaming ]

Save it.

[ Cell Phone Rings ] [ Chattering ]

[ Sighs ] All right, guys, that's it. Pack it up!

You win for today. See you on Monday.

That's it? That's it.

So I'll go to city hall on Monday and see what I can do, but... you did it, Cam.

No, we did it. I had to run away, and you stepped in, and like an understudy, you gave a brilliant performance.

Yeah, but you're the star.

[ Chuckles ] Oh, well.

Can we stop doing this and go home?

Yes, Lily, but I want you to remember this moment.

The day your daddies made you proud. [ Branch Cracks ]

[ Yelping ] [ People Gasp ]

[ Both Gasp ]

[ Shrieking ] Turn her away, Mitchell!

Turn her away! [ Both Laughing ]


[ Sighs ]

[ Horn Honks ] [ Gasps ]

[ Crunches ] Alex, what are you doing here?

Learning a valuable lesson about karma... and how wrong it is to take pleasure in people's embarrassment.

Wow. I don't know what any of that means, but you look like hell.

Say "geek."

[ Shutter Clicks ] No!

[ Whispering ] He's a vandalizer!

593 likes and counting.

Who does he belong to?

He's mine.

It was a great ending to an amazing day.

Look. I even made the paper. [ Laughs ]

"Bizarre Protest Saves Park Tree."

Oh. Look. What's this?

"This production of Cats should be put to sleep"? Don't read that.


[ Doorbell Rings ]

Oh, hey, Gloria.

Listen, I called Jay about borrowing a drill for my dresser handles.

I got it right here, Cam! Oh, geez. What's with the getup?

Ay, good. You see that too?

[ Barking, Growling ] Stella, stop.

Ay. Shh, shh. Sorry, Cam.

Oh, no, don't be. I take it as a compliment. [ Hisses ]

[ Whimpers ]

Cats-now and forever.

Well, actually, just till next Thursday.

It's been described as transcendent.

[ Chuckles ]

[ Camera Shutter Clicking ]