Modern Family Wiki


Modern Family Wiki
Modern Family Wiki

"When Good Kids Go Bad" is the second episode from Season 3 of Modern Family, it aired on September 21, 2011.

Plot Summary

Lily begins acting out against the idea of having another baby in the house and frightens Mitchell and Cameron, who were planning on telling the family their good news. Meanwhile, both Claire and Jay find themselves desperate to prove they're right.

Episode Description

If society ever went back to the days when only the women would grocery shop, Claire would be OK with that. Phil is annoying as hell in the grocery store, especially with his rap songs about sandwiches and giving her a flat tire on her shoe. Then shoving the cart into her accidentally while he looks at a hot woman in the store so she falls into a display of peach cans is not endearing in any way, shape, or form. Of course, Phil doesn't think he pushed her into the cans, and the kids take his side because they think Claire ALWAYS has to be right.

Mitchell and Cameron are planning to have the family over to make their announcement about adopting a boy, but Mitch wants things a little more low-key this time. Cam dancing with sparklers to Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It For The Boy" was not low-key enough for his taste. But Mitch would still take that over Lily's reaction, as she doesn't want to have a baby brother at all. Actually, she's emphatically anti-baby, even saying to "kill the baby" and punching a baby Cameron was just holding. She does not like sharing Daddy. That may be because Cameron coddles her way too much, even keeping her home from preschool. Cameron is in denial, of course, but the evidence suggests otherwise.

Gloria gets a call from Manny's principal that he stole a girl's locket. Gloria can't believe Manny would do it, but Jay knows better. He grills the squirrely Manny in the garage. (under a single light) He folds like a cheap card table, and Jay tells him to confess to Gloria and return it. And hopes he isn't wearing it. Gloria was ticked because she threatened the principal with the Colombian necktie. Gloria takes Manny in to face punishment, but Manny is already feeling awful about what he did. She decides to break into the locker of the girl who owned the locket and slip it inside.

Back at the Dunphys, Haley and Alex fight over who gets to move into the attic. Rather badly, it seems, but it's enough to convince Luke he should move into the "penthouse". But he's actually outsmarting them, because there's a line of ants eating away at some Halloween candy in his closet, and they're almost done.

Cameron is having a rough time separating himself from Lily, but he needs to do it before the new "thing" (baby) comes in. Mitchell offers to take Lily to school because he doesn't enjoy seeing Cam suffer. And Mitchell finds out some interesting information from Lily's teacher. Cam's coddling might not be the problem: it might be Lily not learning to share. Which is something many kids pick up from their parents. And now Mitchell is feeling guilty.

Claire asks Luke about moving into the attic, but Luke wants to do it. Claire tells the girls not to move their stuff because she's certain Luke will get too cold or too scared and be back down by tomorrow night. Phil (and the girls) think it's another of her "mom's always gotta be right" deals, and she goes off on Phil for pushing her at the supermarket.

At Mitchell and Cameron's, everybody is gathering for dinner. Lily dressed herself (and looked like she did), while Mitchell was impressed Luke wanted to live in the attic. Lily got mad at Luke when Cam hugged him, and Cameron was freaking out. Then Mitchell told him Lily might have sharing problems from him. And now Cam was freaking out for Mitch letting him feel guilty all day. They decide to postpone the announcement since Cameron wasn't feeling particularly joyous.

It's pile-on-Claire day, and even Lily got into the act when Claire tried to correct the number of fingers she was holding up. Phil was enjoying it, but Claire pulled out her trump card: security footage from the supermarket to prove Phil pushed her into the peaches. Phil DID push the cart into her. Of course, now the kids think Claire is a freak for going through all that trouble to get the footage and show it in front of everybody. Claire is going ballistic, Gloria is telling her to calm down with the language in front of the kids, which sets Mitchell off against Cameron, who lets slip out they're going to adopt another baby. The banner won't unfurl, the sparklers won't light, and Deniece Williams is just too damn loud for everybody. Cameron is in full freak-out mode and starts fighting with Mitchell.

Jay tells everyone to chill out. Kids do stupid things when they're kids, but they get through it. And he toasted Manny because Manny did something bad but acted like a man, admitted to it, and took the punishment standing up. Yup, it was a ploy to get Manny to cave in, and it worked. Manny threw Gloria under the bus, and Jay triumphed in being right. And now we know where Claire got that from. (But she was right about Luke hating the attic. He claimed there was a monster.).

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


  • Mitchell is afraid of tumbling, as Claire stuck him in a dryer when he was 2.
  • Laura is unnamed in the episode but her name is provided in the press release of the episode.
  • This is the most watched Modern Family episode of all time, with 14,540,000 US viewers. This is also the 50th episode of the show.
  • This episode has no recurring characters.


Cultural References

  • Phil doesn't know what really happened to the Titanic.
  • When Claire shows the family the security footage and Mitchell asks what are they watching, Jay says it ain't The Godfather.
  • To announce to the family that they're gonna adopt another baby, Cam dances with sparklers while Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It for the Boy" plays. Phil quickly realizes that the song is from Footloose.