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"Mistery Date" is the eighth episode from Season 4 of Modern Family, it aired on November 14, 2012.

Plot Summary

When Claire takes Manny and Luke along to Alex's academic decathlon for the weekend, Phil attempts to throw together a boys' night at the house, inviting a fellow Bulldog alum he just met—but their wires are definitely crossed. Meanwhile, the pressure is on for Alex at the decathlon, Manny and Luke bar mitzvah hop at the hotel trying to find a cute girl, and Cam and Mitch arrange for quite the surprise baby gift for Jay and Gloria.

Episode Description

Phil has two whole days to himself, and he's already wired the house to his iPad. But Claire really wants him to go see some friends, and not just his real estate customers. Meanwhile, Claire took Alex to her Academic Decathlon, where she is a returning champion, and brought Luke and Manny with her. Truthfully, Claire would rather have Alex not win because she puts so much pressure on herself. That, and there's an excellent waterslide nearby. Luke and Manny spotted some well-dressed ladies heading to a bar mitzvah, and Manny is crazy that one of the girls smiled at him. Manny needed Luke as a wingman, but Luke figured breaking into a party was no challenge for him. Except now there were three bar mitzvahs, so Luke thought it was more of a challenge.

Cameron had a wonderful idea for a baby shower present for Jay and Gloria, only he needed to get them out of their house for four hours. But he figured that was better than taking Mitchell's advice to stick to the registry, that is the list of items they ACTUALLY want. But the baby wasn't helping with kicking Gloria all night, which meant the baby would be a football player or a chorus girl. (CAMERON: It could be both). But Cameron couldn't be swayed, so he took Gloria for a quiet lunch and Jay would take Mitchell to shop for a crib. Or be stuck with Mitchell, going by his mood.

Claire casually walked into the contest and started talking smack to another parent, even giving a Woo! to Alex when she answered her question. Just one tiny problem: Alex got the question wrong and was out. Claire tried to appeal to the judges, but Alex was livid because she thought Claire just wanted to parade her around like a show pony. Meanwhile, Phil actually did find a friend, albeit a new one. Dave went to the same college as Phil, so Phil invited him back to the house to watch their school play football. Dave hemmed and hawed about it and then called Cameron, who recommended the gym. Dave told Cam he just met the cutest guy, and Dave had a date. Phil even passed by and gave Dave a woof.

As Manny and Luke tried to track down the correct bar mitzvah (and Luke angrily put back a nice plate of prime rib), Mitchell was helping out quite well at the baby store, only Jay was a million miles away. Mitch didn't want to get up in his grill about it, mainly because Jay had a problem anytime Mitchell wanted to talk to him about his problems. Although Jay would talk to a psychiatrist, or at least that's what Mitchell assumed when Jay talked to a doctor in the store.

At Phil's house, Dave arrives and notices the pictures of Claire and the kids. But Phil reassures them they won't be there; just his brother-in-law and his partner. Phil thought it was high time for him to have a boys' night, and Claire even suggested it. Yes, Dave is misinterpreting every last thing Phil was saying. (PHIL: As long as I clean up afterwards, she's fine.) Dave even called Cameron about it, who was still trying to keep Gloria out of the house despite her desperate need to sleep. Naturally, Dave never mentions who it is, only that he's married and his wife is OK with it. Which meant Cam was OK with it. Dave even told him about the "mysterious guests" that were coming (Mitch & Cam), but Cam assured him those guests will disappear and Dave would have a great night. With Phil. Who beeped in on Cam's call to find out Cameron and Mitchell were cancelling. Phil told Dave it would just be those two, and Dave was ready to finally get over his relationship with Simon.

PHIL: Looks like this kennel is for bulldogs only!

In spite of all of the well-timed miscues, Dave still thought it was going too perfectly...until Phil activated the fireplace and killed the lights with the iPad.

Mitchell gets the crib, insisting Jay will be all manly, carry it to the car and assemble it himself, while Jay gets a hug from the store's bunny mascot. Finally, Mitchell thinks enough is enough and confronts Jay about whatever is bothering him. Jay gave him the usual girly-insulting brush off he usually did. However, when they got home, Jay explained it. The shrink at the store was actually a shrink he sometimes saw with his mother. Jay went back from time to time for a "tune-up" and the fact that his office was becoming the new nursery was getting to him. Mitch couldn't believe it, but Jay admitted that was the only room in the house where he could close the door, read a book, or have a drink in peace. But Mitchell finally understood, given he had to do the same thing when Cameron and he brought Lily home. It wasn't about the room; it was about the fact that Lily would change everything. But Mitchell wouldn't take it back. And Jay admitted he was just nervous about it. Jay thanked him for the talk...and moved on to being depressed about giving up his MG.

Alex stayed away from Claire because of what happened. Claire tried to deny it, but she finally broke down and admitted she liked to see Alex succeed so she could lord it over the other moms. That, and Alex was the only one of the three she could be proud of for good reasons, unlike Haley emailing her pictures of her nails and Luke thinking he was part-owl. But Alex admitted Claire wasn't as bad as she was about trying to succeed. They decided to get out of there and try out Claire's two-day cushion on the waterslide.

Manny was ready to give up, and Luke thought that was wrong, since the ancient Jews didn't give up when the Egyptians chased them to the Red Sea. (He actually listened to Uncle Menacham's toast). But the third bar mitzvah was the charm. Manny found the girl who smiled at him. Except a security guard knew they were crashing the parties and told them to get out. But Manny had fifty seconds and that was all he needed.

MANNY: I've been searching for you since you smiled at me in the lobby today. Maybe even my whole life. It's too late for us to have the magical night I was hoping for, but maybe it's not too late to have a memento of what might have been. I'll be waiting.

He walked into the photo booth...and the girl followed him in. Except Manny went a lot further than she wanted (hand on the shoulder) and bolted.

Gloria finally got past Cam and headed into the house. Cam tried to slow her down again, but Gloria read him the riot act about Cameron overdoing everything and trying to control people's lives. And Cam figured she would hate the artistic painting of Jay, Gloria, and Manny as angels watching over the baby (like the one of Mitch and him in their house). But Gloria loved it. (GLORIA: It's just like you. Full of color...and life...and love!) Jay comes in, and Mitchell instantly throws Cameron under the bus. But Jay actually likes it. (JAY: Makes it easier to give up the room.)

Back at Phil's, Dave was feeling no pain with the margaritas but trying to figure out if Phil wanted to get closer was nerve-wracking. They toast and get their shirts soaked. Phil instantly takes his shirt off, tells Dave to do the same, and he would throw them in the dryer. But then their team scores and they share a hug. Without their shirts. And Dave enjoys it...and wants to keep enjoying it. Only the TV went off, so Phil suggested they take it upstairs. Dave decides to take off, admitting he just got out of a long-term relationship. Phil is sympathetic, and tells him he'll help in any way he can.

DAVE: You've already done more than you can know.

And kisses Phil. Click!

PHIL: Ohhhhhhh.

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

  • Matthew Broderick as Dave
  • Josh Jones as Clerk
  • Kevin Cotteleer as Dr. Jensen
  • Chris Prinzo as Hug-a-Bunny
  • Gina Garcia Sharp as Cushion Stealer
  • Theo Wilson as Security Guard
  • Cynthia Frost as Jeremy's Grandma
  • Sophia O'Neill as Girl #1
  • Rebecca Mazouz as Girl #2
  • Logan Riley Hassel as Manny's Crush
  • Tom Costello as Moderator
  • Jacob Timothy Manown as Contestant


  • Phil meets an old "Bulldog" from college. ("Go Bullfrogs!").
  • Cameron's baby gift for Jay and Gloria is a painting in the baby's room that consists of Jay, Gloria, and Manny looking like angels and standing on a cloud, which is very similar to the one of Lily's room (introduced in the "Pilot").
  • Claire mentions Haley and says that she is still in college, even if she was expelled in the previous episode.


  • The episode title refers to Phil and Dave's awkward date.
  • Ty Burrell submitted this episode for consideration due to his nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.
  • Although "mystery" is actually spelled "mystery", the writers and producers have elected to go with the "i" instead of the "y".
  • Haley and Lily are absent in this episode, but Haley is mentioned by Claire and Lily is mentioned by Mitchell and Cameron, respectively.
  • No recurring character appear in this episode.

Cultural References