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Modern Family Wiki

"Chirp" is the seventh episode from Season 2 of Modern Family, it aired on November 3, 2010.

Plot Summary

Claire and Haley have a bit of quality girl time while they're stuck at home sick, and Phil is preoccupied by the taunts of a chirping smoke detector. Gloria and Manny's surprise visit at Jay's work leads to headaches for Jay, and Cameron gets swept up by all the lights and cameras when he goes behind Mitchell's back and takes Lily for a commercial.

Episode Description

Claire is sick today. Not sick of Phil, mind you, despite his obsessive search for the smoke alarm that's chirping because it needs a battery. She is actually sick. But like your standard mom, she pretends not to be sick since she has too much to do, but Phil does offer to do her things for her. He'll make the ladyfingers for the bake sale and get her phone back from the gym, because of all the things she does for him, including "going to the gym four times a week to keep me interested." And since Dylan arrived and let slip he had a dream about Mrs. Dunphy, now she's even more ill. But she has company, as Haley also catches the same bad cold. Claire and Haley shack up in bed together to prevent the rest of the family from catching cold, and Claire remembers how Haley used to lie in bed with her watching soap operas when she got sick as a little girl. Only now Haley gets right on the phone with Dylan, who has to stop imagining a world without her.

Mitchell and Cameron find out a talent agent wants Lily in a commercial. One of them approves, the other doesn't. And if you don't know which one approved and which didn't, you wouldn't be reading this synopsis in the first place.

On the good side, we finally find out where Jay works, since Gloria and Manny went to visit him for lunch. Jay has to work late, which means he'll miss celebrating the first fight he and Gloria had over their first date. (She celebrates EVERYTHING.) But we do learn that there's a lot of shipping done at Jay's place, since Manny got to see a forklift in action. And drove it, too. Right through a wall. Manny is actually upset at Jay for firing the guy who let Manny on the forklift in the first place, even if the guy should have been fired long before that. But Manny won't take this lying down, as he has representation: Mitchell. Manny sort of forgot the conflict of interest in an attorney representing the other side in a wrongful termination suit against his own father, to say nothing of the fact that every OSHA rule was broken by letting Manny drive that forklift.

Perhaps someone should have figured out if Phil was doing OK, as Claire seemed to be taking her soaps too seriously. Now Haley thinks Claire doesn't love (maybe never loved) Phil, and the ridiculously handsome guy who works out with Claire and returned her cell phone hurt Phil's ladyfingers and made things worse.

Jay and Manny aren't speaking, and Jay could have used Manny's help to figure out where he was meeting Gloria. Manny has a price, of course, which Jay is not willing to meet.

JAY: Get this through your head. You can give me the cold shoulder for the rest of your life if you want. But Jack's not coming back. I can overlook the goofing off, but you could have been seriously hurt today. Anybody who puts my kid in danger doesn't get a second chance. EVER.

Manny is touched that Jay thinks of him as his kid, and he tells Jay the correct restaurant.

Cameron is excited about the commercial, until Mitchell correctly points out that Lily is being used as a stereotype in a Godzilla-style commercial. Mitchell is furious, but after a few takes of hearing the hackneyed Japanese voice overs (by two white people), Cameron agrees and is so upset the director doesn't even care she's Vietnamese, he snatches Lily away. After he puts the other kid back where he found him.

Haley and Claire continue their argument about "Sonja," as Haley is still under the mistaken assumption it's a metaphor for her parents. Haley demands they talk about the truth, and Claire finally breaks down. She can't stand that he's a doofus. She can do better. Even the pizza delivery boy would be better. And Phil beating the hell out of the STILL-chirping smoke detectors with his old cheer-leading baton really isn't helping.

HALEY: Mom, like it or not, you made a commitment, and that may not mean anything to you anymore, but you owe it to this family to save your marriage and give it one more try! Look, Dad maybe a doofus, but he's ten times better than any pizza delivery boy!

Claire finally figures it out, and she stops the slowly disintegrating Phil, who had been losing sales for the past month and taking it out on innocent smoke detectors. The old smoke detectors Phil replaced last year and Luke put in the attic to make a robot.

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


  • Alex does not appear in this episode.
  • This is the first episode in which Claire and Haley are shown being sick.
  • Dylan's eleventh appearance.

Guest Starring

  • Reid Ewing as Dylan Marshall
  • Darren Dupree Washington as Director
  • Bryan Krasner as Jack
  • Jim Devoti as Ron
  • Mike Rock as Jim
  • Samantha Klein as Deb
  • Alisa Statman as Assistant Director
  • Stephen Shore as Sav-zilla

Cultural References

Greek adaptation

  • Faye (Claire) and Danai (Haley) are seen in bed and watching The Bold and the Beautiful.
  • Faye references having been really angry when Greece's former state public broadcaster ERT closed. She watched it until it closed down.