"Bringing Up Baby" is the first episode from Season 4 premiere of Modern Family, it aired on September 26, 2012.

Plot Summary

Phil takes Jay on a very unconventional fishing trip with his buddies, and Gloria struggles with how to break the pregnancy news to him. Meanwhile, Dylan moves into the Dunphy household temporarily, and Mitchell and Cam decide to look into adopting a cat as they continue to cope with their failed attempt to adopt another child.

Episode Description

It's Jay's 65th birthday, and all he wants is a quiet day with no surprises. Gloria hasn't told him yet she is pregnant. Manny won't stop with all of the 'old man' jokes he learned YouTubing Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, and Phil has a plan to take Jay fishing...which may or may not involve kidnapping him against his will. Although they did dispense with Shorty's idea of locking him in the trunk.

In the meantime, Cameron and Mitchell had to talk about the elephant in the room. The stuffed one Pepper got them because they were supposed to have a second child now. They also had to deal with the 800-pound gorilla...stuffed too, yes...and convince themselves that not getting that second child will work out better in the long run. Of course, now they had to tell Lily. But Lily will settle for getting a kitten. And when the charity store wouldn't even take the elephant and the gorilla, Cam was starting to see the point of getting one.

Gloria did manage to tell Manny about being pregnant, who did not take it well. He didn't think Gloria could take care of a baby.

GLORIA: (offended) I took care of you!

MANNY: Please, I was an anomaly. I self-potty trained.

Both agreed Jay won't take it well because he is slow to accept change.

Oh, word of advice: never lead a struggling, blindfolded man down a dock, even if it's to get into a fishing boat. And if you do, don't have a son-in-law who calms you by punching you in the face. But they get him in the boat and make him realize he now gets to reap the rewards of all of his years of hard work. Such as Miles shagging 42 golf balls on the golf course. And then Phil, who takes Shorty's advice to grow a beard, starts the boat. BTW, Jay was sitting on the back of the boat. He's in the water again.

Claire had some cleaning up to do, since Haley and Dylan got a bit drunk at Alex's prom the prior night and Alex...didn't. While drinking Mom's hangover cure (according to Mom, anyway), she begged Claire to let Dylan stay at their house since he couldn't afford his apartment anymore. Claire vehemently said no and Haley went to throw up.

Getting ready for the birthday dinner at Jay and Gloria's, Gloria tells Claire she's pregnant. Claire congratulates her and said she was going to get fat...and not in that order. But given Jay's penchant for having no tact, Claire figured she had to run interference before he blurted out the wrong thing to Gloria and ended up in divorce court.

Cam and Mitchell's efforts to get a cat went about as well as getting rid of the gorilla and elephant, which were still on top of their car in a slightly-compromising position. And the fact that there are almost no positions you can put an elephant and a gorilla on top of a Prius without it looking dirty, they finally break down and admit not getting a second child is hurting them. They contemplate going to Europe (since Mitch shot down Branson, Missouri), but hugging it out seemed to help. Best of all, they got the elephant and the gorilla into a non-sexual position on top of the Prius. They drove away...and the elephant fell between the gorilla's legs.

Jay makes it back to his house and Claire intercepts him. She tells him someone has some big news to tell him and is very vulnerable, and Claire doesn't want him to react the way he normally does. Naturally, this is when Cam and Mitch come through the door and announce they're getting a cat. Sure enough, Jay goes overboard with supporting them. And he'll love the hell out of it so much, he'll make that little one over there jealous. (Of course, talking about Stella.)

MANNY: (who was standing next to Stella) Oh, this little one will be just fine now that he knows where he stands! In the shadow of your new baby!!

Oops. Now the cat's out of the it were. Gloria comes out and tells her the truth.

LUKE: Eww, gross. I didn't know Grandpa could still do it.

PHIL: Don't be disrespectful, Luke! Anyone could do it with Gloria.

But Gloria gave Jay both barrels before he could even react, saying she would raise the baby on her own if he was too set in his ways to be happy about it.

GLORIA: I come from a very long line of strong proud Latin women whose husbands are nowhere to be found!

JAY: Are you done?

GLORIA: (still mad) Yes!

JAY: Can I say something?

GLORIA: Go on!

JAY: That is the greatest news I've ever heard. I spent the day hearing what my future had in store for me and I didn't like one bit of it. I felt like my life was ending. And now you're telling me I get to have a new start with the woman of my dreams. I think I'm going to cry. It's going to be great!

GLORIA: I'm going to get so fat.

JAY: Mostly great!

And at the end of the summer, Luke is still grossed out Grandpa's doing it, Claire insists Dylan finally move out of the house and Phil shave his beard, Manny reads something he wrote at poetry camp, and Cam and Mitchell take two weeks in London, mostly so Mitch's scratches from Larry the cat heal.

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



  • Ed O'Neill submitted this episode for consideration due to his nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
  • Larry the cat appears for the first time.

Cultural References