Phil and Claire break from their traditional Valentine's Day dinner date and plan a little "role play" excursion. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria's ideas of romance clash when he takes her to see David Brenner, and Mitchell and Cameron play cupid for Manny.


It's never good when your daughter's boyfriend upstages you in the romance department. Phil, who is consistent if nothing else, had planned to take Claire to Fratelli's for Valentine's Day, just like he had for the last 17 years. But when Dylan converted a picture of him and Haley into a painting, he decided to up the ante by asking Claire if she wanted to stay at a hotel. She agreed, and she even wants him to do some role play. Perhaps his English polo player or Hong Kong businessman personae should stay home.

Gloria wants to go Salsa dancing but is disappointed when she hears Jay wants to take her to see David Brenner instead of salsa dancing.

Mitchell and Cameron are trying to prepare for Valentine's Day as well. At least Lily was dressed up, as she is for all holidays. But Mitch is too stressed out from a case he had to settle out of court. He had his big closing argument ready. Manny comes over and tells the guys that he had made a card for a girl in his school who loved it, except that some other kid took the credit for it. To cheer him (and Mitchell) up, Cameron decides to take both of them to the ice cream parlor and get Manny's girl back for him.

While David Brenner puts on a show that gets Gloria laughing, Phil (or should we say, Clive Bixby) is trying to pick up Claire (Julianna) in the bar.

Clive is very smooth, even in how he smokes. Except there was no smoking allowed in the bar, and Phil immediately drops out of character. And into a hole. He describes his "wife" as always being tired and giving him lists of things to do. Needless to say, Julianna did not like that one. Phil tries to apologize, saying he didn't mean it.

Gloria is glad to have gone to see David Brenner...until David spots her with Jay in the audience.

DAVID BRENNER: So glad to see you brought your father with you. Wow, it must have been something to be there when they actually wrote the Bible. What was it called then? Just "the Testament?"

Jay is no longer enjoying the show. A half-dozen old guy jokes later, and he's running for the hills.

At the Great Shakes ice cream parlor, Cameron runs block for Manny by getting Fiona's date away from the table. Manny is able to tell Fiona he really wrote the poem, but Durkas, her date, comes back and shoves Manny away. Suddenly, the closing argument Mitchell couldn't say earlier in the day comes in handy. He shames Durkas into admitting it, who also tells Fiona that he had those feelings but didn't know how to express them. She thinks it's sweet, and Manny and Mitch thinks she's a loon.

Clive and Julianna are heading to the hotel room after Julianna decides to wear only a raincoat and a smile. Unfortunately, it isn't her smile that gets caught in the escalator on the way up. One of Phil's partners at the firm has to insist on trying to get the coat unstuck, not knowing what Claire isn't wearing underneath, and the principal of their kids' school decides to have an impromptu teacher's conference with them. And then Jay and Gloria decide they have to walk by. Fortunately for all involved, Gloria, who was thrilled when Jay decided to ditch Brenner and take her salsa dancing, has had her coat stuck in escalators before and knew how to fix it. Now if only Gloria could fix Phil's mouth before talking dirty to Claire in the car...when she has him on speakerphone with the kids.

Guest Starring


David Brenner makes jokes about Jay Pritchett's age, whebut in reality Ed O'Neill is 10 years younger than David Brenner.

Cultural References

  • The title is a reference to the song My Funny Valentine.
  • Jay mentions David Brenner was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

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