"Career Day" is the twenty-first episode from Season 4 of Modern Family, it aired on May 1, 2013.

Plot Summary

Phil's attempts to woo Luke and Manny's class on Career Day get interesting with the arrival of rival real estate mogul Gil Thorpe, who soon sets his sights on helping out Claire. Cam and Mitch enlist the help of Haley to teach Lily a lesson about the tooth fairy. Jay sits down to tackle a lifelong dream.

Episode Description

Lily lost her first tooth, so it was time for Mitchell and Cameron to play Tooth Fairy. Of course, it would help if Lily would actually sleep. But she even had a butterfly net at the ready. (LILY: I've got nowhere to be.) But the Tooth Fairy did arrive complete with a glitter-filled envelope (much to Mitchell's consternation) and a hundred-dollar bill. Which Cam accidentally put in there. Cam says he honestly made a mistake in the dark of the night. So now they have to convince Lily to give back the money. They even go so far as having the Tooth Fairy pay a visit...played by Haley in a pink costume and wings. (spilling more glitter to Mitchell's annoyance) Lily isn't fooled, but Haley tells her she played her cards right. She may never get another visit from Santa, but she stuck to her guns about the money. Lily didn't need presents under the tree, she could buy a scooter with her $100. It worked like a charm, and Haley merely asked if she could borrow the pink fairy costume. (HALEY: I'd rather not say.)

It was Career Day at Luke and Manny's school. Naturally, Phil was ecstatic. He even had a cutout sign where the kids could take pictures. (PHIL: I just thought I'd give the kids a chance to put their face on my body...eww, I just heard it too.) Haley and Alex somehow managed to avoid Phil at their Career Day. (HALEY: Cutbacks. ALEX: Nor'Easter.) But Phil still wanted to do it the way his dad talked about running a grocery store and wearing two pricing guns like six-shooters. He even had a video where he interacted with a hip kid (played by him, of course) and taught "him" about real estate. That is, until Gil Thorpe interrupted him and threw off the timing of the video. Long story short, it was a disaster. Although Claire did admit it went better in school than when they rehearsed it. She even got to spend two minutes talking about being a stay-at-home mom and deflecting some girls snide questions about it. But Gil supported her, saying a job like that would make him drink himself to death. And then he offered Claire a job being a liasion between the city and a developer he was working with. And no matter how much Phil warned her that Thorpe was doing that to get his goat, Claire took the job.

Meanwhile, Jay decided to skip the Career Day because stories about building closets weren't all that exciting. He claimed he did it to pay the bills and never pursued his real passion: writing. Well, Gloria could let that sit still, particularly when Jay said "life getting in the way" (i.e. Gloria) was the reason he didn't pursue it. But since Jay had plenty of time these days and didn't need to take three-hour naps on the weekends, he should try it. He even had a character in mind: Secret Agent Chuck Stone. As you no doubt already guessed, he got some major writers' block. Fortunately, Manny was able to help him with a line or two, and before you know it, Manny was writing his spy story for him. This worked out fine...until Gloria started criticizing the work. Manny eventually got offended enough to the point where he took credit for the work.

Given Thorpe's constant texting and phoning to make Phil feel low about Claire going to work for him, Claire was in orbit because she had been out of the job market for over fifteen years and someone recognized her talent, even a sleazebag like Gil Thorpe. Phil relented and said she could take the job. (PHIL: If it makes your Mom happy, I can handle a few phone calls.)

MANNY: We all weave a web of lies. Some we tell to try and help the ones we love, some we tell to try and fool ourselves. And some we tell because when you're out of bullets and staring down the barrel of a Kalashnikov, the only weapon you've got left is guile.

JAY: She's nuts. That's FANTASTIC!

Oh, and Claire lasted all of one day on the job. Thorpe gave her no respect at all.

PHIL: You deserve so much better than that. So...what's for dinner?

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


Cultural References