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"Haley's 21st Birthday" is the tenth episode and mid-season finale from Season 6 of Modern Family, it aired on December 10, 2014.

Plot Summary

It's Haley's 21st birthday and the adults take her to a bar to celebrate. Claire wants Haley to start seeing her as a friend rather than her uptight mom, Mitch and Cam make the sad realization that they may not be as cool as they thought, and Jay and Phil's quick pit stop to pick up Haley's gift, a new car, becomes a disaster. Meanwhile, back at home, Alex, Luke, and Manny babysit Lily, who wants to know where babies come from.

Episode Description

Haley (Sarah Hyland) is celebrating her 21st birthday with her family. Haley, Claire (Julie Bowen), Gloria (Sofía Vergara), Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) go to a bar where Haley can have her first (legal) drink. Claire tries all night to convince Haley to see her as a best friend who shares everything with her and not as her mom, while Mitchell and Cameron try to convince a group of bachelorettes that they are the cool gay guys.

Elsewhere, Phil (Ty Burrell) plans to buy a car as a gift for Haley and has spent months working out a deal with the salesman. Jay (Ed O'Neill) tags along when Phil goes to the dealership and interferes right before the paperwork is signed, telling him that they can get a better deal and forcing Phil to leave. Jay is determined to play hardball, taking Phil to another dealership and tries to strike the best bargain possible but he only manages to get kicked out. Phil is furious with Jay for ruining the deal he'd already prepared just to try and teach him a lesson. Jay goes back into the second dealership and comes out telling him that he managed to buy the first car Phil had in mind, but in a better deal. Phil is left even more upset, believing that Jay has proven what a pushover he is. The salesman feels sorry for Phil (has he also has a difficult father-in-law) and confides that Jay didn't get a better deal but begged him to say he did while he paid the difference (of $1000).

Back in the bar, Haley wants to get a tattoo and Claire disagrees with the decision but she decides not to tell her no since all night she was saying that she would be supportive in everything that Haley wants to do. Gloria is excited with the idea and convinces Claire to also get a matching tattoo. Claire gets the tattoo, but Haley changes her mind and decides not to get one. Claire tries to convince her that she has to get one too, otherwise it will look like her tattoo is dedicated to her mother DeDe, but Phil arrives with the new car and Haley leaves.

Meanwhile, Alex (Ariel Winter), Luke (Nolan Gould) and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) stay home and babysit Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons), who puts them in an awkward position when she starts asking them if they know how babies are made.

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

  • Raymond McAnally as Tony
  • Sunkrish Bala as Daryl
  • LaMonica Garrett as Bouncer
  • Amanda Perez as Holly aka Bride
  • Molly McCook as Bridesmaid
  • Brett Ryback as Frankie
  • Sterling Sulieman as Peter
  • Marisa Chen Moller as Salesperson



  • Haley turns 21 in this episode.
  • Claire acquires a tattoo reading अम्बा (aṃbā), Sanskrit for mother, but it is misspelled, reading अप्ब instead.
  • This is the last episode to air in 2014.
  • In the first scene with Manny, Luke and Lily Manny is wearing glasses, as he does off-set. But in the rest of the episode the glasses are off, so he probably forgot to take them off before shooting.
  • This is The 1st of 2 Episodes Whom Ended Peacefully after Haley Misbehave Badly and Selfishly Bad for Being A Liar to The Family over A Wrong Thing due To Mother Claire's Sharing the past with her addiction of bad choices and violations since 1989 and No Birthday Party or Surprising Celebratlions due to the original network's episode length and the character's incident moment.

Cultural References