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"Our Children, Ourselves" is the twelfth episode from Season 2 of Modern Family, it aired on January 12, 2011.

Plot Summary

Claire and Phil want Alex to relax a little about her studies, but then they start questioning their own intellectual drives. Meanwhile, Gloria tries to befriend another nice couple, much to Jay's chagrin, and Mitchell and Cameron run into an old female flame of Mitchell's, only to make a disturbing discovery.

Episode Description

Phil and Claire are worried about the study-obsessed Alex, who does this weird thing with her jaw when she studies. Although Luke can time it to throw a cherry in her mouth without her knowing it. But being study-obsessed isn't as bad as Lily, who appears to be taking things from the stores as she passes by with Mitchell and Cameron. They run into Tracy, who dated Mitch in high school and had a drunken night together at their ten-year reunion. Apparently, Mitch played for both teams in high school, although Cam defends his own honor by claiming he took many a lady to the hen house (literally, he lived on a farm). Ladies like Nellie Forbush, Betty Rizzo, Eliza Dolittle, Kim McAfee (all girls from musicals). Cam and Mitch suggested hanging out, and Tracy shoots that down in a hurry.

CAMERON: (to Lily, who stole sunglasses) You naughty little girl.

MITCHELL: Well, that's what happens to me when you give me Kahlua.

Cam tells him not to worry about it, and Mitch is OK...until he sees Tracy taking care of a boy with seriously red hair, who was about eight years old. Which was about the time of his ten-year reunion. He tries to tell Cam, who naturally goes dramatic on him

Jay doesn't want to meet the Hoffmans, a couple Gloria and he met on a vacation. But Gloria has to invite them to dinner because they were already there. Jay tries to play it honest, saying they're very nice people but they shouldn't pressure themselves into meeting all the time. Only the Hoffmans were staying at their place that night. Gloria is upset with Jay for throwing her under the bus, and she has to go and apologize to them as they leave. Of course, they brought her a gift that she didn't know about until now (a signed copy of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book), and Gloria is overloaded with guilt. She begs them to stay and claims Jay's mind is going in his old age.

Phil and Claire go for a study intervention, since Alex is obsessed with getting the best score in the class. They pull her away from her books against her will and put her on a trampoline. And she came in second. But the boy who beat her score has a doctor and a professor for parents, so Alex figures she can't compete with that. But to be fair, her parents like Croctopus in 3-D. Claire finally figures out Alex thinks they're stupid.

In the morning, Jay decides to apologize to the Hoffmans. But Gloria realizes what she told the Hoffmans last night about Jay not being all there, so she has to stop him. However, she didn't think to stop Manny, who was getting asked sympathetic questions by the Hoffmans about Jay's deteriorating state. The Hoffmans think Manny's comments about Jay's golf game were about his mental state. And Jay drinking orange juice from Manny's dribble glass didn't help matters. It scares the Hoffmans right out of the house.

Claire and Phil make it to the theater, only to run into Sanjay Patel's parents, who was the kid that out-dueled Alex on the test. Mr. Patel took some time off from selling Fiber One cereal to see what movie the Dunphys were going to see. Coincidentally (yeah right), they're seeing the same French film the Patels are. Claire figures they need to do this so they can encourage the kids intellectually.

CLAIRE: It's two hours. It's for the kids.

PHIL: Sometimes I hate our kids.

Phil bails on the French film, but Claire insists on sticking it out. Phil tells Claire not to worry, since Alex still had one of the highest grades in the class, and dumb parents don't have kids that smart. And helping Mr. Patel work the parking validation machine helped, too.

Cam and Mitchell go to Tracy to ask her about the person she was with at the mall. Mitchell wants to meet him, but Tracy thinks it's a horrible idea because he didn't call her 8 years ago and just left her. Mitchell was sorry but insisted on meeting Bobby. Tracy relented and called Bobby in. Bobby isn't her child, but actually her red-haired dwarf husband. And the "Little Slugger" baseball mitt Mitchell brought didn't go over so well.

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

Guest Starring


  • Haley is absent in this episode. This is the first episode to feature Vish and Nina Patel.
  • In the Greek adaptation of Modern Family, there are some parts of the episode that change:
    • In the original version, when Phil and Claire drag Alex away from her studies, they make her jump on a trampoline. In the Greek version, when Philippos (Phil) and Faye (Claire) drag Alexandra (Alex) away from her studies, they take her to the couch and together they watch a movie and Alexandra is seen making one unsuccessful attempt to escape.

Cultural References

  • Mitchell and Cameron falsely named characters from musicals as their girlfriends:
    • Nellie Forbush - South Pacific
    • Betty Rizzo - Grease
    • Eliza Doolittle - My Fair Lady
    • Kim McAfee - Bye Bye Birdie
    • Liesel and Gretl Von Trapp - The Sound of Music