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"Baby on Board" is the twenty-fourth and last episode from Season 3 of Modern Family, it aired on May 23, 2012.

Plot Summary

It's been an up-and-down emotional roller coaster for Mitch and Cam in their quest to adopt another child. Their latest ride has them bringing Gloria in tow as a translator, leaving Jay and Manny to look after Lily, who has a big dance recital coming up. Meanwhile Claire and Phil have a proud parenting moment when they send Alex off to her first prom, but then that is quickly marred with Haley's shocking news of her future plans.

Episode Description

Mitchell and Cameron receive some wonderful news: a woman in Calexico was going into early labor and told the adoption agency she wanted to give her baby to them. Mitch and Cam were, to say the least, beyond thrilled. However, it would require them to drive down to the hospital on the California-Mexico border and meet them. They had to bring Lily over to be babysat by Jay, Gloria, and Manny, who would take her to her dance recital. Jay and Manny weren't thrilled, but Gloria was there. But then Mitch and Cam had trouble talking to the woman's family because they only spoke Spanish. Despite Cam's 'expertise' at Spanish by watching soap operas, Gloria has to accompany them while Jay and Manny have to take Lily to her recital.

Alex was heading to her school prom and she was worried about the dress she had. She didn't like that Claire thought she was adorable in it, and Phil thought she looked "super sexy". None of them were worried about Alex getting out of control, and she was quite offended by it. So she tried to hide her date on purpose to make it seem like he was a bad boy. He was gay. Meanwhile, Haley was planning to take a "gap year" like her school counselor recommended. She would take community classes, get out in the world, and work at The Gap. She got the job and offered to cook dinner for her parents and invite Dylan over. She decided she was going to move in with Dylan, who was starting up his own t-shirt business. Haley wanted to spring it on them gradually. Which of course meant Dylan accidentally let it slip.

As Phil and Claire painted quite a vivid picture of how Haley's and Dylan's lives would be (and somehow Phil's version included nuclear launch codes), Gloria was getting carsick from Cam's driving. However, it wouldn't get better. The family priest told them the grandmother feared a curse over the entire family. And then Juanita, the mom's sister, gets mad at the nurse for telling the grandmother about the baby and the nurse is mad at Juanita for stealing her lover. Yes, Gloria, Cameron, and Mitchell were stuck in the middle of a Spanish soap opera. By the time the long-lost lover, Eduardo, confessed to telling the grandmother about the baby because he swore to his lover, their mother, he'd protect the family, Cam, Mitch, and Gloria pretty much gave up. Cameron lost it a bit, and then Mitchell REALLY lost it. He couldn't handle being so close so many times only to have the rug pulled out from under him and missing Lily growing up at the same time. Cam and Mitch decide to put adopting another baby on hold.

Lily refused to go on stage, and Jay found out she wasn't happy about having a little brother. Jay told her Mitch and Cam would love her just as much as her new brother. Lily still refused to do her recital, but Jay dancing with her on stage was just the trick.

Haley was tired of being ganged up on by her parents about moving in with Dylan. But it turns out Luke had their back. He had been hiding some of the mail, like jury duty the day they went to Disneyland, the bill for the birdhouse he broke at the dude ranch, the ticket they got when he drove their car and a bill for 25 dollars a day since building the tree house. But he was also hiding Haley's acceptance letter into college because he didn't want to see her go. He showed that letter to Dylan, who brought it down to Haley and said going to college was the best plan of all. Phil and Claire were ecstatic, to say the least. And all Dylan wants in return is to go to prom. Claire will let her borrow the red dress she said Claire was too old for, and Phil had a tuxedo Dylan could wear. Double-breasted.

GLORIA: There's certain moments in life you never forget. Like when I held Manny in my arms for the very first time. I was nervous. I didn't know what I was doing. I was so excited to see him grow up, and the more he becomes the little man I know today, the more I know I'd do it all over again.

And Gloria will. She wasn't carsick; she was pregnant.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring


  • Finally, Mitch and Cam don't adopt the other baby they decided to adopt in "The One That Got Away".
  • Jay still watches the telenovela Fire and Ice, featured prominently in "Go Bullfrogs!".
  • Luke mentions several past misdeeds:
    • Blowing up a birdhouse ("Dude Ranch").
    • Notice to take down the treehouse ("Treehouse").
    • Hiding a jury duty letter so they could go to Disneyland ("Disneyland").
    • Dylan's seventeeth appearance.


  • Gloria is revealed to be pregnant.
  • Haley was accepted into college.
  • This is the first time that Dylan appears in an interview scene.

Cultural References

  • The episode title is a reference to the sign of the same name intended to be placed on a vehicle to encourage safe driving.
  • Manny mentions the Mexico–U.S. border fence.
  • When Jay talks to Lily, the pizzicati from Sylvia plays in the background.
  • Phil mentions bookcases called Sklerg and Nyerk, a parody of IKEA, who use Scandinavian names for their products.