While Jay and Claire become hyper-competitive while working on their boys' science project, Gloria tries to help Phil with his real estate seminar. Meanwhile, Cam and Mitchell interview a potential birth mother.
Luke has a project for school: to design an egg carton to protect eggs from a one-story drop. Naturally, his first instinct is to try a regular egg carton to see if it works. In the house. Just as Claire walks by. He wants to borrow Alex's project from a few years back, but she feels it could have implications for unmanned spaceflight. Claire insists he does the project alone. Which inspires Luke to BE the container.
Since Luke was in the same class with Manny, he was trying as well. Of course, Gloria screaming into the phone didn't help. But Gloria said the true sign of loving someone was that they can scream at you. (JAY: Then I owe my ex-wife an apology. Apparently, she was nuts about me.) Manny is despondent because he assumed Claire would help Luke with his, just like she did his self-portrait for art class. Jay calls Claire to verify parents weren't supposed to be helping, which she naturally translates to mean he's doing Manny's project. Apparently, Claire and Jay are very competitive. (MITCHELL: Claire is like the son my dad never had.) Phil isn't happy because he needed Claire to help him with his presentation at his new real estate firm. So, Phil calls Gloria for help, which Jay interpreted at Claire helping Luke with his project because if he didn't want to know he was helping someone with a project, that's what he'd say to himself. (Confused?)
Mitchell and Cameron are looking to adopt another baby, so they've been interviewing prospective moms about adopting their kids. It would help if Mitch didn't annoy these prospective mothers by correcting every last thing they say, no matter how much it needed to be corrected. But the mom they were interviewing was into feng shui with furniture...if she was Stevie Wonder. She found Cam's keyboard and Cam couldn't resist bragging they sang in a few choirs. The mom wanted to hear them sing because the father was a musician and she thought it would be good for the baby. They break out the Elton John, and it sounds like really bad karaoke, particularly to the mom. Although she thought Mitchell was great. Cam? A little pitchy.
While Phil practiced for his speech...and Haley readied the confetti cannons...Jay tried to psych out Claire by going to her house and talking about how great Manny was doing. Claire didn't take the bait.
Meanwhile, Gloria and Haley went to get their hair done for the speech, only Gloria parked the car in a tow zone with the usual results. Without them, Phil had to go out on his own (and acted as his own Ray Clay for the introductions). And have every person search under the seats for the free coupon for a mouse pad Haley forgot to put under there. And has to prompt a stranger to ask Gloria's question about the mysterious 'sixth key' and fire off the confetti cannons, which naturally go off in his face when he doesn't expect it.
Claire tries to kiss up to Alex to borrow her design, then tries bribery. Alex finally caves.
ALEX: Here's what you need. First, get a mirror...then you're gonna look in it and you're gonna see a crazy woman. She needs your help.
CLAIRE: (ticked) You know, I made the egg that made you that made that project, so in a lot of ways that project is mine!! (looks in the mirror) Nah, you're good.
The mom decides Cam and Mitch will be getting good news. Everybody celebrates, Mitchell goes to get some sparkling cider, and Cam insists on singing the mother another song: Chicago's If You Leave Me Now. And of course, that's the worst song you can sing to a mother about to give up her baby. (Yes, he was trying to prove he wasn't pitchy).
At Phil's presentation, Phil is not happy with Gloria and Haley for what they did. Haley went out to the car, and Phil refused to get mad at Gloria. And that made her mad, so she started yelling at him. Suddenly he's wondering why she's doing that, but he keeps putting her on a pedestal (in this case, literally, since he was trying to sweep up the stage). He finally gets mad and she hugs him.
At the school, both Manny's and Luke's inventions protect the egg from a one-story drop, but naturally, Claire and Jay won't settle for a tie. They go up higher and higher before realizing they were being idiotic. They go to apologize to Manny and Luke, only they caved and apologized for tricking Claire and Jay into doing their projects for them. Jay sends them off to do their own projects, but Claire blames him for causing all of this. She wished Jay stopped her competitive streak when she was a little girl, but Jay said the thing he loved the most about Claire was that she WAS a fighter, that she wouldn't give up. They decide to try their little competition again...until Alex demonstrates her little egg project. (ALEX: Give it up. You're all just playing for the second).
(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
- Zoé Jarman as Lindsay
- Jonathan Kehoe as Audience Member
- Lily does not appear in the episode, but she's mentioned.
- When Haley mentions Corey's foot fetish, Sofia Vergara's character says "be careful, that can get weird, real quick". This could very well be a nod to a previous movie Vergara starred in, (Big Trouble), where her character is a maid to a rich man with a foot fetish..
- Also, No Small Feet features a story about feet fetishes, though Gloria isn't related to it, and Haley does not appear in this future episode.
- This episode has no recurring characters.
- This episode aired exactly five years before Sarge & Pea
- The title of the episode references the experiment of the same name usually performed by college or primary school students.
- Mitchell and Cameron sing "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee when Lindsay asks them to sing something for the baby she is going to give them.
- Cameron feels offended that Lindsay said Mitch is a better singer than him so when Mitch gets out of the room he sings to her "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago to prove her he is a good singer.