"Snip" is the third episode from Season 4 of Modern Family, it aired on October 10, 2012.

Plot Summary

Phil and Claire set a five-year plan. Phil is going in for a vasectomy. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria disagree about whether or not to find out the sex of the baby. Gloria is in denial about needing maternity clothes. Now that Lily's in kindergarten, Mitchell tries to gently steer Cam towards a part-time job to occupy all his extra time.

Episode Description

Did you know you're supposed to get ice cream when you get a vasectomy? Well, Phil thinks that. Claire thought it was a good idea so there would be no 'surprises' like Jay and Gloria got, and Phil figures "it will allow for a little more free-styling in the boudoir without adding any more critters." It's part of their five-year plan to become more like John and Chrissy Ross, who never had kids, travel all the time, and are so youthful.

However, Claire would have to settle arguments with Alex and Haley, who is already Skyping from college wondering when her clothes will be sent and why Alex now looks like a goth dork instead of just a dork just to impress some kid at school. But Claire has to take Phil for his assectomy...according to Luke.

As Mitchell skates around the issue of Cameron going back to work now that Lily was in kindergarten, Claire couldn't drive Phil to get his vasectomy. She needed forever to mail Haley's clothes and Luke forgot his science project at home, so she arranged for alternative transportation for Phil: Jay. Claire goes to put the science project in his locker, not knowing Luke had rigged it because Durkas had been breaking into it. Now she was covered in yogurt...right as students let out into the halls. Including Luke, who accused her of embarrassing him.

Mitch and Cam head to Longines' clothing store, who was a little short-staffed. It was very hard to hire someone who had good taste in shirts and great people skills. Throw in a little reverse psychology from Mitch, and Longines had a new employee. That is until Jeoux (pronounced "Joe") spilled the beans about Mitch's and Longines' devious plan and walked out.

Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria got a healthy report from the obstetrician about their baby. She asked if they wanted to know the baby's gender. Jay did, Gloria didn't. Jay, you might suspect, didn't want any surprises. (JAY: I'm 65. If she wants a surprise, she should go buy Cracker Jacks.) The other problem is Gloria hadn't yet switched to maternity clothing, even though she was starting to show. This would prove problematic, as she thought she could flirt with Manny's new music teacher to get him the lead in Oliver! Of course, Manny didn't think that was a good idea but didn't have the heart to tell Gloria it was time to switch clothes. Finally, he does, and Gloria naturally freaks out. She's mad at him until her clothes start ripping. But Manny calms her and gets her to a nearby maternity store, promising that she's got two partners to help her instead of none like the last time she had a child.

As Jay now has to track down Phil, who got scared and ran when someone elses vasectomy didn't go so well, Claire catches Alex trying to get a buzz cut from Skylar, who was very into the goth look. Claire is out of her mind about it...and goes further out of her mind when she grabs the clippers and chases Alex with them. Only she manages to get Skylar with them and take out a significant portion of her hair. Although her freaking out still didn't compare to Cam freaking out about being set up. Cam thinks his life isn't empty. He even has a master project he's working on: a Lycra mermaid costume for the cat. And suddenly he realizes how pathetic that sounds. Cam understood Mitchell didn't think he was lazy like his dad did on the farm. Cam thinks he needs to find something, and Mitchell agrees he's a better person when he's challenged. Mitch promises to help him find something that he wants. It turns out that thing he wants is to teach music again. At Manny's school.

Jay finally tracks Phil down and convinces him he won't be less of a man for getting a vasectomy. Actually, Phil was more worried about the pain, but Jay tells him the fear is bigger than the reality. Phil doesn't believe him because he's never seen Jay afraid of anything. But Jay wanted to know the sex of his baby because he was afraid of having a girl. He had gone through it with Claire. Even though they were good now, Jay realized he wouldn't be around long enough to make things right if he had the same thing happen with another girl. He admitted he was not sensitive enough to take care of a girl.

PHIL: You're being sensitive right now. I was hysterical, and you calmed me down. I don't think you're the same guy you used to be.

JAY: So you're saying if I can calm you down, I can handle any other little girl.

Jay commemorates the moment with Phil on the bench. Behind which the bench said "not a real man."

Claire gets to the hospital before Phil has the procedure to tell him how her day ended. It turns out Claire did Alex a favor; Skylar was kind of horrible. Of course, Haley had been through this with a James Taylor concert and advised Alex not to let Claire know she helped her or she wouldn't hear the end of it. Claire overheard all of this, as well as received an apology rose from Luke. They decide to wait at least five years before starting the five-year plan.

JAY: I've always seen life like a series of doors. Sometimes you get to choose the door you go through, and sometimes you don't get that choice. But you still have to walk through it. So either you can go through kicking and screaming or walk through with your head held high. And since I don't get to choose the door I'm about to go through, I just pray it's a healthy, happy kid. And a boy.

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


  • Haley appears only via Skype in this episode.
  • This episode has the joint shortest title of any Modern Family episode, with just four letters, equal to Season 5's "iSpy."

Guest Starring


  • Cam previously mentioned that he used to be a music teacher and gave that up when Lily came along in "Travels with Scout".

Cultural References

  • Alex is becoming a Goth.
  • Manny wants the lead in the musical Oliver!
  • Claire and Haley went to a James Taylor concert at some point.
  • Alex is called Morticia by Claire, a reference to the Morticia Addams from the Addams Family.