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"Two Monkeys and a Panda" is the seventh episode from Season 2 of Modern Family, it aired on March 2, 2011.

Plot Summary

While Claire runs herself ragged trying to play peacemaker with Haley and Alex, Phil sneaks off for a nice relaxing day at the spa. Meanwhile, Gloria is horrified by Jay's morbid plans to purchase two primo side-by-side crypts in preparation of the inevitable future, and Cameron decides he wants to write a book that celebrates the fact that Lily is adopted—however, during the process he unearths artifacts that are quite disturbing.

Episode Description

Phil is upset because he founds some spa certificates that expired the next day they got from a charity auction. If they don't use them, then they just gave money to charity. Of course, Claire has no time for it, since she has to drive Luke to practice, Alex to her recital, burn a bunch of DVDs of a concert, and mediate a fight between Haley and Alex over them wearing each other's clothes, which apparently Haley thinks Alex should be honored by. Claire thinks they need to learn to share, so Haley will go put on Alex's nerdy t-shirt with that guy from Back to the Future on it. ("That's Albert Einstein!") But Alex got her revenge, albeit by accident, when she got Haley's sweater caught in the door.

CLAIRE: More than anything, I want my girls to stop fighting and be close. I want them to share clothes and do each other's hair and gossip about I used to do with Mitchell.

Jay and Gloria head to the cemetery. Gloria doesn't want to do it, of course, but Jay found two great plots for sale and thought he should be prepared. (Yes, he went to a funeral recently.) But he's optimistic.Gloria thought he meant some place in the ground surrounded by trees out in the sun. Jay meant a crypt. Or as Gloria called it, a file cabinet.

Cameron has gotten into a recent kick about making sure Lily knew she was adopted and is even making a little book for her. The book is called Two Monkeys and a Panda since Lily is Asian and Cam can draw monkeys. Mitchell is all on board with it until Cameron panics over Lily's birth certificate, which makes her last name Pritchett and her middle name Tucker. (They forgot the hyphen.) Then Cameron remembered Mitchell filling out all the legal forms, and the fact Mitchell was a lawyer had nothing to do with it.

Phil couldn't get any of the ladies at work to use the spa certificate and he couldn't get an extension of the deadline. But "when you mess with Phil Dunphy, the claws come out." In this case, literally. He's getting a mani-pedi. Claire calls him all stressed out. She wants Phil to make dinner since she had to find a replacement sweater, but he tries to weasel out of it. That doesn't sit well with Claire...or the ladies in the spa. But they explain to him by Phil telling Claire to do this or do that to resolve the problem, what Claire is hearing is that he's smarter than her. ("Believe me; she doesn't think that.") The ladies tell him to offer her support instead of trying to solve her problem.

Jay and Gloria meet the Rutledges, who are selling the plot/drawer. They try to get to know everybody in the crypt/filing cabinet first while they still have the chance. And Mrs. Rutledge is concerned about Gloria being so much younger and remarrying after Jay kicks because she may end up selling the plot/drawer to the highest bidder. Jay wants her to reassure the Rutledges she's in. Gloria discovers the perfect excuse to tell her they can't do it. ("Good luck getting someone into your drawers.")

Cameron goes to apologize, saying he overreacted. However, it turns out Mitchell left out the hyphen on purpose. But he did have a reason. Cameron was freaking out right before they went to get Lily, and Mitchell was afraid Cameron would bolt, so he covered his tracks just in case. But after Cameron stuck it out, Mitchell was afraid to get his signature to make the change. Cameron couldn't believe it and walked out.

Manny and Jay talk at the bar at home...with Manny playing bartender...and Jay realized Gloria could remarry after he dies and it was bothering him. Jay always thought she'd try to skate by with some putz who could never replace him. But now, Jay is thinking he might be the putz. But Manny reassured him Gloria loved him. She had offers after her first divorce, good-looking guys, some had money, one was even a Kennedy. But Gloria fell in love with Jay during their first fight, since she finally met her match. Jay tells her to put his ashes in an old coffee can so he can stay with her after he's gone. And she loves it. (And so does he, because the putz will always have a reminder of him.)

Claire was successful in ripping the correct sweater off of a mannequin in the fifth store she tried...while some pervert filmed it and posted it in on the Internet. However, she forgot to get rid of the security tag and got security ink all over the sweater in the process of removing it. Alex freaks out, Haley freaks out when she sees it, and both of them were fighting again. Claire is almost in tears, but Phil wonders why they can't see how much Claire loves them, or that some lady needs so much help when she has a housekeeper and a nanny. And the salon advice is working! You know he's gonna screw it up, right? But he doesn't! He does get a little heartbroken when Claire can't tell how much better he looked after going to the spa.

Mitchell came in to apologize to Cam and read him his version of Two Monkeys and a Panda, where the scared monkey held the panda in his arms and became the brave monkey. Lily loved the story, and she clapped. And peace was restored to their house.

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

  • Tangie Ambrose as Noranne
  • Christen Sussin as Laurie
  • Mary Anne McGarry as Winnie
  • Jonathan McMurtry as Ed
  • Kaliko Kauahi as Pedicurist


  • It is revealed that Cameron's middle name is Scott.
  • Luke is absent in this episode. 
  • This episode has no recurring characters.


Cultural References

  • Manny mentions The Wiggles.