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Modern Family Wiki

"Dude Ranch" is the first episode from Season 3 premiere of Modern Family, it aired on September 21, 2011.

Plot Summary

All three families - and Dylan - visit Lost Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Episode Description

The episode begins with the family landing in Wyoming and earlier shots of Haley - and Phil - trying to convince Claire to let Dylan tag along. In an interview, Mitch and Cam talks about adopting a baby boy but from America this time.

The first scene on the ranch the family meets their tour guide cowboy, Hank. He then proceeds to give them nicknames. He first gives Manny the nickname of "Hollywood". After taking one look at Gloria, he instantly flirts with her and gives her the nickname "Cactus Flower" and gives Jay the nickname "Old Timer".

In an interview, Phil says that he has been working on all his cowboy skills such as shooting, roping and pancake eating to impress Jay and hopefully gain his respect. Meanwhile, Jay is distracted at Hank flirting with Gloria and Mitchell confesses to the camera that he has no idea how to raise a boy. Another boy, Jimmy, flirts with Alex, which makes her to feel annoyed.

While horseback riding, Jay can't get control of his horse, while Hank continues to flirt with Gloria. Mitchell is afraid of the horses and Claire's nickname is "Bossy". Phil tells Claire that she should ease up on Dylan because he knows how it feels no to be liked by have his girlfriend's father.

Alex and Lily are playing on the swings when they are met by Jimmy. Jimmy argues with Alex that she shouldn't be fighting what they had together and Alex states that she just wants to be left alone. Jimmy kisses her and obliges to Alex wishes and leaves. Lily taunts Alex because she kissed a boy.

Claire meets up with Dylan and tries to let him know that she wants him to feel welcomed but Dylan misreads her and thinks that Claire is coming on to him. He backs off stating that it would be weird and Claire rectifies the situation. Dylan says that if he wasn't dating Haley and if Phil was out of the picture, he would be happy to share a bed with Claire and raise Haley, Alex and Luke as his own. Claire promptly leaves.

Around the campfire, Gloria has a horrendous rendition of "She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain" and Mitchell expresses doubt to Cam about having another baby. But the scene is taken by Dylan who prepares to propose to Haley. The proposal is brutally interrupted by Claire who states that this a horrible idea. Dylan runs off crying and Haley storms of telling Claire that she hates her.

Mitchell and Cameron talk about why Mitchell doesn't want to have another baby and Mitchell says that he doesn't know how to do the father/son moments. Cameron says that Mitch is more masculine then he gives him self credit for. Mitchell is then terribly frightened by a bird.

Gloria tries to get Claire to consider Dylan's feelings and that Haley is going to be an adult soon. During this discussion, Jay says that Claire is making the right decision and that the last thing she wants is to end up with a "boob for a son-in-law." This comment hurts Phil. Haley rushes in and informs them that Dylan is missing.

Alex confronts Jimmy and tells him that he 'stole' her first kiss. He says that he doesn't want it and he precedes to give it back by kissing her again. She says that she doesn't want it now and "gives it back to him" by kissing him passionately before she leaves confused at what she has done.

Hank splits up the adults to look for Dylan. He finally gives Phil a nickname, "Buffalo Phil". Phil says it was worth the wait. Haley and Bossy is matched together as is Buffalo Phil and Old Timer leaving Hank and Cactus Flower together. Jay is worried about leaving Gloria with Hank alone.

Luke, sent by Cam, finds Mitchell sitting alone and he tells Mitch how fun he is as an uncle. Mitch knows that Cam sent him over and Luke drops the act. Luke shows Mitch the firecracker that he brought and wants to blow something up with it. Mitchell confiscates it and Luke says he takes back calling him a fun uncle. Mitchell gives in and says they'll blow something up together.

Phil brings up the son-in-law comment Jay made earlier and Jay asks Phil about what he thinks on Hank and Gloria. Phil says that Hank is flirting with her and Jay tries to quickly turn around but he has absolutely no control over his horse.

Mitchell and Luke find a birdhouse to destroy and they blow it up, much to Mitchell's delight. He then realizes he can raise a boy.

Haley explains to Claire that she is not a baby anymore and that is was her proposal to turn down. She said that she wasn't going to say yes anyway. They then proceed to find Dylan who has been hired by the ranch.

While still looking for Dylan, even though he's been found, Hank makes a pass at Gloria by placing his hand on her butt. She asks him does she look like the kind of woman that would cheat on her husband. He replies yes. Phil and Jay ride up (on the same horse) and tells Hank to back off. Hank tells them that the pass was part of the cowboy experience. Phil tells Hank that he will only be checking "Somewhat Satisfied" on the comment card.

The episode ends with Haley saying bye to Dylan and Alex saying bye to Jimmy and hinting to keeping a long distance relationship.

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


  • This is the first episode for Aubrey Anderson-Emmons to play Lily.
  • The episode features the addition of two new writers, Ben Karlin as a consulting producer and Cindy Chupack as co-executive producer.
  • This episode won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.
  • We learn that Haley's middle name is Gwendolyn.
  • Mitchell's fear of birds reappears after Family Portrait.
  • Alex shares her first kiss in this episode with a boy called Jimmy.
  • Mitchell and Cameron's shot in the opening credits is updated to include an older Lily, who is now played by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. The other two family shots remain the same.
  • Dylan's fifteenth appearance.


  • Luke wouldn't have been able to take the firecracker on the plane.


Cultural References