"Three Turkeys" is the eighth episode from Season 6 of Modern Family, it aired on November 19, 2014.

Plot Summary

Phil is cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year with Luke as his sous chef. Claire has no confidence in them and prepares a secret turkey of her own as backup. Manny and Haley drive to get ingredients for Phil's turkey, and Haley begins to think Manny likes her. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria had plans to spend the holiday away but when the trip gets canceled last minute, they decide not to tell anyone. This quickly becomes the worst idea when the family dinner gets suddenly moved to their house and they try to cover up their tracks. Mitch is tired of always being the bad cop so when Lily refuses to wear a nice dress to dinner, he forces Cameron to deal with it who as a result comes up with a very unconventional approach.

Episode Description

Claire (Julie Bowen) decided to allow Phil (Ty Burrell) to be in charge for the Thanksgiving dinner this year, so Phil tries to cook while Luke (Nolan Gould) helps him. Phil also downloaded an app of Nigella Lawson to his phone, who talks to him and guides him on how to cook a turkey. Claire, even though she expressly left Phil in change, does not trust him and secretly cooks her own turkey, keeping it in the garage in case Phil's cooking ends up being a disaster. Alex (Ariel Winter) finds out about it but agrees to cover Claire and not say anything to Phil. While in the garage playing with Phil's inventions, they accidentally blow up the fuse box and cuts power to the house, so they decide to move the dinner to Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria's (Sofía Vergara) house, since they are supposed to be abroad in Mexico.

In the meantime, Gloria and Jay are hiding in their house, letting everyone believe that they are in Mexico. Their trip was canceled at the last minute, but they did not say anything about it because they wanted to spend some time alone, away from the whole family. When the Dunphys get to the house, they try to stay hidden in the bedroom so the rest of the family will not find out about their lie.

Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) have some trouble making Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) understand that she cannot always do or have what she wants. Since Mitch is usually the one not allowing her to do things she likes, Lily sees him as the mean one. Mitch demands that Cameron do it for a change. When Lily gets ready for the dinner but does not wear the dress they picked for her, Cameron tries to explain to her that she has to put it on. Lily agrees, but she puts it on top of the clothes she is already wearing. When they get to Jay and Gloria's, to show her that this is not right, they decide to wear some of Gloria's dresses over their own clothes. As they enter the bedroom, they force Jay and Gloria to hide once again. After Mitch and Cameron leave, Jay and Gloria decide that they cannot keep hiding and plan to tell everyone that they just came back early to surprise them.

Jay gets their suitcases and they get out of the house when they realize they left Joe in their bedroom and Jay forgot the turkey he had in the oven. He tells Gloria to retrieve it, but she unknowingly takes Phil's turkey instead of theirs and places it in one of their suitcases. When Phil comes back to check on his turkey, he finds Jay's, which is poorly cooked. Believing it to be his, Phil begins panicking on how his turkey got so small. Jay and Gloria enter the house, pretending they had just arrived; Jay rushes upstairs with a pumpkin swaddled in a blanket, pretending it is a sleeping Joe. Phil worriedly begins offering the poorly cooked turkey, but Claire interferes by presenting her turkey, making Phil feel betrayed for not trusting him. When Luke opens the suitcase to find his birthday present from Mexico, he finds Phil's turkey instead. Phil recognizes the turkey and things get messed up since no one knows how they end up having three turkeys. The mess-up makes Gloria and Jay admit that they were never in Mexico and they explain that the third turkey was theirs. When they decide to skip Thanksgiving due to everything that happened, Haley (Sarah Hyland) convinces them to not do that because they are family and if they have to skip a holiday, then they should skip Christmas. Haley later privately reveals that she already has plans to spend Christmas in Cabo.

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


  • This is the second Thanksgiving episode, after "Punkin Chunkin".
  • This the third episode in which Phil's helmet is seen after Punkin Chunkin and The Feud.
  • This is the second episode in which it's been said that Claire sometimes takes Lily which could explain her bad behavior after Fulgencio.
  • This is the second episode in which Phil takes over Claire's tasks for a fest after Halloween 3: AwesomeLand.


  • This is the first episode not to feature any guest star, except an app which Phil programmed with Nigela Lawson's voice.
  • Mitchell hates raisins. Luke also celebrates his birthday in this episode.

Cultural References