Modern Family

Season 1 Episode 8

Great Expectations

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 18, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
412 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Claire has had a history of giving bad gifts. So, she decides to give Phil a surprising anniversary present, which is a private performance by Izzy LaFontaine, one of their favorite musicians. However, this unexpected gift is unexpected in more than one way. Cameron and Mitchell call their party-girl friend, Sal, for a night on the town. Meanwhile, the kids are off at a sleepover at Jay and Gloria's, which Haley hopes to ditch to go to a party with Dylan.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Everyone was funny in this episode.

    Especially Mitch and Cam I think that Gloria and Jay were good.Plus Phil and Clare.

    A good all rounder.
  • Fail Anniversery. ALWAYS FUNNY!!!

    It is hard to stop laughing in this episode!!! The gays meet an old friend, the grandkids go to Jay's, and Claire and Phil have a night together. What i love is Manny's crush on Haley and Gloria singing to Lily.
  • Jay and Claire's anniversary, Cameron and Mitchell go out, the kids come to Jay's for movie Night

    This was yet anther good funny episode. I liked that Clare is bad at giving gifts while Phil loves getting them but but loves giving them more. This is done is such a way that doesn't make Phil this perfect husband and Claire a bad one. Phil happens to give good gifts and Claire less than good. It's what makes part of their realtionship work. I also liked seeing all the kids at Jay's house. It's funny how Manny likes Hailey. While he is technically her uncle it's done in such a way that's not weird or awkward. A very funny part is at the end when Hailey is feeding Dylan popcorn and Manny is sipping his coffee. i also liked seeing how Jay really likes having the kids over. Up to this point he seemed to enjoy being with his wife and kind of kept to himself. Another good part was seeing Jay thwart Hailey's attempt to leave like he for Claire when she was younger. The third part of the story was good too. Seeing Cameron and Mitchell with out their kid in their environment is a sight to see. Their friend was funny to see in how she was acting like a kid with all the drinks she had. It was probably one of the best parts of the show. Another solid episode from the producers of Modern Family.moreless
  • Characters development less the "funny"

    I like the way the show gave the characters a background and gave them something to do and say. This installment (randomly) features Elizabeth Banks and Edward Norton. Though Elizabeth Banks was funny and did great, the guests aren't needed! The show can be funny on it's own. And the only thing I hate is there's no scene that made laugh so hard unlike the other episode- it's not a memorable episode. Gags are funny but thin. Phil and Claire's plot is entertaining but didn't reach the potential, hence the unfunny potrayal of Edward Norton. Jay's and the grandchildren plot is also entertaining but found myself sleepy watching in the end. Mitchell, Cameron, & Sal (Elizabeth Banks) is the only plot that made kinda laugh. I hoping next week will be a funny-funny one!moreless
  • So Elizabeth Banks' guest appearance was a pleasant surprise..

    I came into this episode excited to see how Edward Norton would mesh with this cast and was surprised to find Elizabeth Banks actually stealing scenes from him! She was perfect as Mitchell and Cameron's crazy friend who hasn't grown up yet, while Edward Norton was a big awkward, sporting a weird get-up and a clumsy British accent.

    As I mentioned earlier, Elizabeth Banks was spot-on in her role. She wasn't too over the top, as some guest-stars tend to be, but she did a great job of fitting in with the cast. In fact, the three characters seemed to have the best chemistry in this episode. Jay and Sophia's plot, having the kids over for Jay's night,was pretty good too. No matter how much people claim Modern Family is NOT like Arrested Development (and I certainly agree to an extent about this), but Manny's incestous relationship with Haley.. or lack of one, for that matter, reminds me of the George Michael Jr. and Maebe relationship in A.D. Jay spraying Manny with a water bottle was amazing.

    However, for just about the first time this season, I was disappointed with Phil's plot. He was hilarious, as usual, but this felt like a filler plot, and Edward Norton's appearance did nothing for me.

    At least we got a good performance out of Elizabeth Banks and some great lines by Jay. Hopefully she can make a repeat appearance sometime in the near future. And while some people may not agree with the guest appearances on the show, I believe that some shows can pull them off and some can't. Arrested Development and Scrubs can. The Office wouldn't be able to, and with good reason. However, Modern Family seems to be different. If they can pull off successful ones in the future, then I'll have absolute faith in them.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The episode begins with Phil running up and tripping on the staircase, vowing to "Fix that step." This is a running gag that has carried over from previous episodes ("The Bicycle Thief," "Run For Your Wife," etc).

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Claire: You're impossible to buy for! You never want anything.
      Phil: Um, things I want: robot dog, night vision goggles, bug vacuum, GPS watch, speakers that look like rocks... I love my wife, but she sucks at giving gifts. I'm sorry for the pay-channel language, but- oh! Yogurt maker! I can't not think of things I want.

    • (upon receiving Claire's gift)
      Phil: I am so excited. (Opens envelope) Coupons for...five free hugs.
      Claire: You don't like it?
      Phil: Are you kidding me? I love it. It's so creative--coupons for hugs, which are usually free, but this makes it official, which is so great.

    • Phil: It's not our song, Claire. Our song is "If You Leave" by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
      Izzy: (offended) Oh!
      Claire: Are you sure?
      Phil: Pretty sure. I sang it at our wedding.
      Claire: Oh, I'm an idiot!
      Izzy: Well, actually, he's the idiot. He fell in love to a breakup song.

    • Phil: Happy anniversary.
      Claire: And they said we wouldn't last.
      Phil: Who said that?

  • NOTES (3)

    • Featured Music:
      "True" by Spandau Ballet

    • This episode is dedicated to David Lloyd (1934-2009), and the dedication features the line "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants", which is from the famous "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which he wrote. He is also the father of Modern Family creator Christopher Lloyd.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: November 18, 2009 on Citytv
      United Kingdom: November 19, 2009 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Czech Republic: May 11, 2010 on HBO Comedy
      Sweden: June 4, 2010 on TV4
      Latin America: September 7, 2010 on FOX
      India: November 17, 2010 on Star World
      Finland: May 26, 2011 on MTV3
      Slovakia: February 3, 2013 on JOJ Plus


    • Sal: Show me the pictures of Yoko.

      This is a reference to Yoko Ono, the wife of John Lennon, who is largely believed to have been responsible for the breakup of the Beatles.

    • Jay: Nobody gets off the rock.

      The Rock is the nickname of Alcatraz Island, the former prison in the San Francisco Bay.