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Modern Family Wiki

Can't Elope will be the twentieth episode from Season 10 of Modern Family, it aired on April 10, 2019.

Plot Summary

Haley and Dylan's plan to quietly elope before the babies are born doesn't go as smoothly as they had hoped. Meanwhile, Jay continues to try and get his new business off the ground by courting an Instagram celebrity.[1]

Episode Description

After a doctor mistakes Haley and Dylan for a couple newly married at the hospital, Haley decides to propose to Dylan, which he excitedly accepts. Back home, they approach Alex to be their witness, who is overjoyed. As the couple is about to elope, with Alex in tow, they meet Claire, who has just come back from her jogging, Phil, who comes outside, and Luke – all of whom Haley decides reluctantly to invite.

While Haley and Dylan head to city hall to obtain their marriage license, Claire and Phil decide the best thing for Haley would be an express wedding in their home. They begin extending invites to other family members.

Meanwhile, Jay hosts an Instagram celebrity named Orson, whose dog, Arthur Goodboy, is famous on the web. He intends to leverage on this relationship to market his dog beds, much to Gloria's chagrin. Upon receiving the invitation to Haley's wedding, she, Manny, and Joe jump at the chance to remove themselves from the party.

Mitch and Cam, who are enthusiastically preparing to attend a sold-out musical, have to decide whether they should attend their niece's last-minute wedding or head to the theatre anyway.

The wedding approaches and everything goes wrong. Dylan's mother and paraplegic alcoholic grandfather show up, Bill plays the bagpipes, dressed like a Scotsman, and Frank, via a telerobot, mistakenly calls Dylan "Andy". Farrah and Phil argue over who's officiating. Mitch and Cam, who want to speed the wedding along so they'd make it to the musical, cuts off Luke's new girlfriend's speech about marriage. As Haley is about to walk down the aisle, Arthur Goodboy begins humping Stella, and Frank loses control of his telepresence robot, which destroys the wedding decorations.

Seeing Haley's exasperation, Claire privately tells the couple to elope after all the trouble to pull this wadding together and after the entire family has dropped everything to attend on such short notice. Because they're not gonna make it, Mitch and Cam are forced by Gloria to give their tickets away to Orson and Arthur Goodboy to appease Orson after he's had a falling out with Jay when Jay borrowed Arthur Goodboy and fed him with cold cuts without Orson's knowledge.

Haley returns home that night, finding Claire in bed and telling her that she and Dylan were almost married in a wedding chapel but it didn't feel right marrying without her family's presence. She and Dylan marry in the middle of the night in the Dunphy home kitchen, officiated by Phil and Farrah and in the presence of the pyjama-clad Claire, Luke, Alex, and Frank still in his telerobot form. Haley's desire to marry with her family by her side proves that they should have married in the presence of the others earlier anyway, since they think highly enough of her to alter their plans for the day to be with her on her special day.

Main Cast

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

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

Guest Starring

  • Thomas Lennon as Orson
  • Fred Willard as Frank
  • Reid Ewing as Dylan
  • Rachel Bay Jones as Farrah
  • Jimmy Tatro as Bill
  • Christian Barrillas as Ronaldo
  • Greg Rikkart as Dr. William
  • Ramiz Monsef ad Doctor
  • Greg Rikaart as Doctor
  • Eden Rose as Annabelle
  • October Gonzalez as TV Nurse
  • Jack Axelrod as Bert


  • Haley Dunphy becomes Haley Marshall in this episode.
  • Dylan's middle name is "Stardust".
  • Haley has Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Bill plays the bagpipes and his mother married twice.
  • Bill and Frank only make cameo appearances. Frank mistakenly calls Dylan "Andy" although he's never actually met Andy physically.
  • Dylan is English-American and Haley is of Irish-Scottish-American ancestry.
  • This marks the first time that Ronaldo and Phil interact.
  • Bill and Joe only have one line of dialogue each.
  • Although it's uncommon, there are a few others shows where a woman proposes to a man:
    • Frasier, season 9 episode 24 (Daphne to Niles, although she says she wants him to marry her but he proposed to her first in episode 15)
    • The Big Bang Theory, season 12 episode 3 (Ranu to Raj)
    • Young and Hungry, season 5 episode 20 (Amy to Josh)
    • Boy Meets World, season 5 episode 24 (Topanga to Corey, though the latter proposes to the former in season 6 episode 2)
    • Who's The Boss, season 8 episode 8 (Angela to Tony)
    • Parenthood, season 3 episode 17 (Jasmine to Crosby though again the latter proposes to the former in season 2)
    • Gilmore Girls, season 5 episode 22 (Lorelei to Luke)
    • Friends, season 6 episode 25 (Monica to Chandler)


Cultural References

  • The title is a pun on the cantaloupe fruit (also called muskmelon, mushmelon, rockmelon, sweet melon or spanspek).
  • Luke has a Tinder account.
  • Cam and Mitch want to see the musical of Sophie's Choice.
  • Cam mentions fashion designer and costumer, Bob Mackie.
  • Manny's poem is Beowulf-meets-You've Got Mail.


  • The A.V. Club gave it a "B".