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Modern Family Wiki

"Truth Be Told" is the seventeenth episode from Season 1 of Modern Family, it aired on March 10, 2010.

Plot Summary

Jay accidentally kills Manny's pet turtle and lies about it. Claire becomes jealous when Phil's ex-girlfriend pays a visit. Mitchell makes a bold decision after he misses a family day because he's called in to work.

Episode Description

The Dunphy's are trying to arrange their schedules, but Alex has cello practice, Junior Congress, and "no boys," according to Haley. Phil has to meet an old girlfriend for drinks. Everybody wants a slice of Phil: he has 447 Facebook friends. Denise is recently divorced and is a door-to-door cosmetics salesperson.

Manny loses a part in a play, but Jay has a "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" picture for Manny's room. However, a friend's grandfather disproves that theory by having a heart attack and needing a machine to breathe. Jay might need that breathing machine for Manny's turtle, Shell Turtlestein. When Jay was hanging the poster over the turtle's glass house, it fell and crushed the poor thing. Jay acted like a man...and said a raccoon did it, complete with claw marks and acorn shells.

Cam and Mitch are taking Lily to see animals. Cam is, anyway. He grew up on a farm and wanted animals to be a big part of her life. Mitchell has his own animal to deal with: his domineering boss. Mitch agrees that his boss is a real SOB...and accidentally tells him so in the next car over in traffic. Naturally, Mitchell and Cam have to recreate the scene in the middle of the street, but at least we know Cam is a big Isley Brothers fan.

Claire can't believe Phil doesn't think Denise doesn't have ulterior motives, but Phil insists it's on the up-and-up by arranging the meet at the house. Meanwhile Luke is terrified, because Alex teases him into thinking he's been adopted, and Denise plans to take him back home after her visit. Claire immediately apologizes because Denise is very friendly and kind. She excuses herself to go to the bathroom, and Phil shows her how to get there. She decides she wants to show Phil how to get into her pants. Phil is, to say the least, confused.

Mitchell is at work (on a Saturday), when his boss decides to pull a Bill Lumbergh and tells him to come in on Sunday. After seeing a picture on the phone of Lily standing for the first time (which his boss couldn't care less about), Mitchell decides he won't blow a chance to be with his family on a Sunday. His boss threatens to fire him if he doesn't, and Mitchell walks, taking his ID with him (so he can take the elevator down to freedom) and his coffee mug. Mitchell and Cameron celebrate...until they realize they don't have any money coming in. Mitchell starts to panic, but Cameron insures him that everything will be OK.

Manny has a memorial service for Shell Turtlestein at Jay's request, but Manny can't finish the speech. Manny is about to take the blame for Shell because he left a bag of potato chips open for the raccoon, but Jay says...Shell forgives him. Sure enough, Gloria and Manny guilt him into the truth. Jay confesses that he was afraid he was making the same mistakes as a father to Mitchell. Manny is touched and is about to confess about the scratch on Jay's car, but Jay insists a raccoon did that. But the poster found a new home at Mitchell's house, although it was there when his snake, Zsa Zsa Gaboa, died.

Claire loves going through the pictures of Denise, although she didn't see the one Denise snapped just for Phil. He talks to Claire in the kitchen about it, but she feels so bad for being suspicious before, she can't believe Denise would do such a thing, even though Denise does grab Phil's derrière and offers to get naked right then and there. Phil tells her no, but she can't believe he talked to her on Facebook for a year and didn't want anything. However, it appears Phil wanted something back then. He was still dating Denise when he dated Claire. Denise thinks he should spend a lonely night in a hotel. Like the Radisson. Near the airport.

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


  • There is no recurring characters in this episode.
  • This is the first episode in which Mitchell loses his job.