Claire and Phil have mixed feelings regarding the first day of school for the kids. Jay and Gloria argue about an outfit for Manny, and a minor problem with Lily gets blown out of proportion by Mitchell and Cameron.
It's the first day of school for the families. The episode opens with mass chaos in the Dunphy household. Claire calls up to Alex and Luke as Haley is already downstairs. Luke comes down and says that he needs help, he kept a summer journal that's due today, but only wrote one entry. The entry reads: "June 21st, found a stick". Phil & Claire are the first to be "interviewed" Claire states that the first day of school is tough to get the kids out of the house, Phil and Claire then have a small conflict about when they get up to get the kids to school.
The next scene is at the Pritchett household with Jay & Gloria, Gloria can't believe that Manny is going into 5th grade. Jay calls up to his step son, Jay notices his poncho; Jay and Gloria have a disagreement over Manny's decision to wear a Colombian poncho on his first day of school. Manny wants to show his classmates that he is proud of his Colombian heritage, but Jay thinks he will get beat up because of it. Gloria tells Jay that he is overreacting and consequently undermining Manny's confidence.
The next scene is at the household of Mitchell and Cameron. Mitchell is frantically baby proofing the house so Lily won't get hurt. Mitchell notices that Cameron has Lily dressed up as 'Donna Summer'; Cameron corrects him on who she is saying she's 'Diana Ross' from the RCA years. Mitchell and Cam then get "interviewed" Cam then says that has completed a series of photoshoots of Lily as 'Olivia Newton-John', 'Madonna' and 'Stevie Wonder', Mitch then makes a comment saying 'there are days when Lily has more costume changes than Cher' Cameron then says that he forgot about Lily as Cher and then says 'that's embarassing' that he forgot, Mitchell then mocks him saying 'that's embarassing?!'.
[INTRO THEME SONG]
We're back at the Duphy household, and Alex is the next to come down with all her equipment, Claire notices that Alex is having trouble getting all of her stuff together to take to school and says that she suggest just a violin. Alex explains that a cello is in demand for University Ochestras, and Haley makes a snarky comment on what Alex says. Phil offers to help Alex carry her stuff to which Alex thanks him for. Claire stops him to tell him to put on pants before he helps her and Phil complains that it covers up more than his bathing suit, Claire then says 'don't remind me' under her breath. Claire walks over to Haley to tell her not to forget that her driving instructor is picking her up from school, to which Haley complains that she doesn't want him to in case her friends from school think she is dating a 40 year old man who is 'not even cute'. Phil and Claire get interviewed again, in which Claire says that 'Haley just got her learner's permit' and Phil says that they are taking turns driving with her. We cut to Phil helping Haley drive and then Claire helping Haley drive in which they both say what's she's doing wrong and seem very nervous.
We're back in the Pritchett household, Gloria tells Jay to stop 'undermelting' his confidence, Jay then corrects her to 'undermining' and Gloria exlaims that he is doing the same thing to her by correcting her. Jay apologises sarcastically and says that ponchos should only be worn at 'Niagra Falls' and log rides. Gloria tells him to stop thinking so much about what'll happen to Manny and he'll be OK, Gloria says she wears daring outfits all the time but people admire them because she wears them with 'the confidence', Jay then mocks her saying that he's 'sure it's the confidence they're admiring!'.
We're back at the household of Mitch and Cam, Mitch says that he thinks that Cam dressing Lily up as various pop stars to do photoshoots with her is a little over the top. Cam tells Mitch to losen up and have fun, Mitch argues with his statement saying he is all those things, giving him an example of when he swapped Dinner for Breakfast last week. Cam argues back saying that since Lily has arrived Mitch has been tense making an example of his baby-proofing the house and reading parenting books, Cam then makes Mitch hold Lily, Cam then puts music on to dance to whilst Mitch says he has to be at work. Cam then tires to make Mitchell dance with him and Lily, Mitch then gets really into it and tosses her up into the air and accidentally hits her head on the ceiling.
We cut to Mitchell putting ice on her head and asks why Cam has chocolate on his face, he then says that the bag of ice was under a (chocolate) pie, Mitch mocks him saying 'you ate your way to it?' Cam then tells Mitchell not to judge him, because he wasn't there. Mitch and Cam then try to make Lily laugh to see if she's okay after it doesn't work; Cam then tells Mitch to call Claire for adivice and Mitch says he does not want to because she's going to be judgemental and condescending. Cam says that she's family and she's going to be, Mitch still doesn't want to cal her but then ends up calling Claire anyway. Claire tells Mitchell that Luke hit his head all the time when he was little and tells him to relax, Mitchell knows how Luke turned out and makes Cam who is not on the phone with him believe that she says to immediately decide to take Lily to the doctor; although this is actually his 'worried-parent' choice.
We're back at the Pritchett household, where Jay tells Gloria that they have the day to themselves for the first time in months and says that they should go somewhere, we cut to Jay and Gloria being 'interviewed' again; Gloria says that Jay is spontaneous and likes to surprise her, Jay then says he wasn't the greatest husband the first time and that he has it down now (being married to Gloria) and that he will definitely have it down the third time, Gloria looks at him with a disappointing look on her face as she doesn't find Jay's joke funny, Jay says that the joke will cost him.
We're back at the Dunphy household with Phil and Claire, Phil says that he doesn't have to sell a house this
morning because he re-scheduled to spend more time with his wife. We cut to Phil being interviewed alone, in which he says that, Claire and other women will tell you what they want by telling you the opposite of what they want, and gives example of it saying the other day Claire told him to move his car because there is no way both their cars can fit in the garage and Phil misunderstands her, thinking she's telling him to get a sports car. We cut back to Phil and Claire on the couch in their house, Claire tells Phil that she'd rather spend her day alone and says that she's going running alone later, Phil uses his method he mentioned earlier, and says that they'll run together, Claire tells him that he doesn't have to, trying to tell him not to come and he says 'I know' thinking she's saying 'I want you to come', we cut back to a short interview where Phil just says 'listening', Claire then tries to brush him
off again, but offends him by saying that she runs too fast for him Phil, being hurt by her statement asks her 'you don't think I can keep up with you?' Claire responds back saying 'I don't think you can keep up with this conversation' hinting that he's really misunderstanding the fact that she wants to spend her day alone. Phil then says that he 'power walks' in shoes designed by a doctor, Claire says she knows this but she runs whilst he walks, Phil then realises that he needs to compete with her to prove that he can run at the same speed/faster than her. Phil walks away upset and Claire, knowing she's offended him, bites her nail. Claire then gets 'interviewed' alone and says that she just wanted to read alone.
We're back with Jay and Gloria walking outside to get into their car, Gloria finds Manny's poncho and asks what it is, Jay then lies about it but Gloria already knows it's her sons' poncho, Jay lies again saying that Manny might have decided to take it off and just go to school, but knowing their earlier conflict Gloria tells Jay that Manny looks up to his stepfather (Jay) and respects his opinion, and that he shouldn't knock his confidence about what he does. Jay says that 'we dodged a bullet on this' Jay then compares his stepson, Manny, to his son, Mitchell.
Mitchell then gets "interviewed", in which he says that Jay has a perception that he was flamboyant as a kid but he dismisses his Dads' perception saying that he kept himself being gay under wraps; being a guys' guy and a jock (as he says this, pictures come up of him as a kid showing the way he dressed back then).
We go back to Gloria and Jay, Jay tells Gloria that if Manny gets bullied because he's wearing a poncho it would rip Glorias' heart out, Gloria tells Jay that "Batman doesn't get picked on and he wears a cape, a poncho is just a cape that goes all the way 'round" Jay tells Gloria she shouldn't compare Batman to her son, saying they're different because Batman is a "muscular genius" and Manny can't do what Batman does. Gloria refuses and tells Jay that they're going to his school to give it to him, to show some support.
We are back at the Dunphys' household and Phil is still in confilict with Claire about hurting his feelings, Claire doesn't realise that he is still mad at her and is serious about the running competition between them: she tells him that he should let it go, she told him the truth and she ran a marathon last year, but, she sees that Phil is serious about it and decides to finally compete with him.
We are at the doctors office in a hospital with Cam and Mitch and Doctor Miura. Mitch tells Doctor Muira that Lily hit her head a couple of hours ago on a door jam. Cam and Mitch are interviewed and Mitch says that they used to do an Egg Drop competition in school and says it was hard, Cam says they did the same thing but he got through a dozen eggs, Mitch assumes wrong, he thinks that Cam ate them instead of taking care of them, Cam gets what he assumes and corrects him saying he broke a dozen eggs and gets offended after he says this knowing Mitch assumed eating first out of anything, although he is a nervous eater. We are back at with Cam, Mitch, Lily and Miura, Miura states that she can't see a mark, and Cam says that her head was somewhat protected. Miura asks if a hat was protecting her head, Mitch in embarassment of the truth says she was wearing a hat and Cam sees his embarassment and states that it was a wig, a 'ghetto fabulous afro thing' Cam sees Mitchs' face and says that he thought it might be medically relevant, Mitch mocks him asking if 'ghetto fabulous' was medicallly relevant. Miura sees the awkward tension and asks to finish the exam on Lily, Cam states that he and Mitch intend on raising Lily within her asian heritage, Miura states that it is fantastic in way that also says that she doesn't know why she needs to know that information. Mitch gives Cam a 'why did you say that' look for a long time. Cam still gets deep into the information he gave her earlier ,although, both Miura and Mitch have put it off, and says that there is a asian restaurant they'll take her to when she's ready for solid food.
When saying the restaurant name Cam asks if he's saying it right, thinking that she is the same heritage as Lily, she then picks up on what he's thinking and brushes it off; she is not. Miura then escapes the awkward moment, by asking Mitch to show her how hard Lily was hit by using his head. Mitch demonstrates awkwardly leaving room for humor from the audience when Dr. Miura asks him to repeat his demonstration. Miura asks Mitch how he is feeling once he finishes to which he says, 'fine', she then says however Mitch feels after hitting his head, Lily will feel the same way. Dr. Miura says that babies are designed to survive new parents and tells them to relax. Cam then tells her 'thank you' as she walks out of the room, Miura looks back at Cam and tells him 'Denver' as she told him when he asked how to pronounce the restaurant name, hinting she isn't of Lilys' culture.
We are at Walgrove Elementary School with Jay and Gloria who want to give Manny back his poncho, Jay makes a comment: "I don't see any poncho's which means either kids aren't wearing them or the ones who do wear them disappear". Jay and Gloria are "interviewed" (at home), where Gloria says she supports Manny no matter what and that your kids need support no matter what they think, Jay then says that supporting them no matter what doesn't always end well, giving an example of how a friend of his died believing he could fly (out of windows). We cut back to Jay and Gloria talking to Manny, he asks who has died and Gloria tells him nothing bad has happened, but Jay jumps in asking why he would think that, so Gloria tells him that in Columbia, if you were pulled out of class it was to identify a body, Jay gives back his poncho and Manny says infront of his Mom what Jay said: "I thought you said it made me look like my neck was wearing a dress" to which Gloria gives him a look, Jay then says it was a joke, (although when he said it it wasn't). Manny pulls out his panflute and tells them he will play Columbian music, in an interview with Jay and Gloria, Gloria states that the poncho was fine, but the poncho plus the flute, plus the ('stupid') dance will make her 'son die a virgin' and Jay agrees. Before they go into the interview Gloria asks Jay to destroy his flute, which after the interview he does.
We are with Mitch and Cam at a parking lot outside the hospital, Mitch goes to open the door but is worried he'll bump her head again on the door or hurt her with the seatbelt, Cam tells him to stop beating himself up over one mistake, Mitch tells Cam he thinks that he sucks at being a Dad, Cam tells him not to worry and they're both new at parenting, However Mitch tells him that even though they're now, Cam is the natural and he's just the one who is jealous of Cams' parenting skills. Cam then lists things that Mitch can do parenting wise that he can't to make him feel better. Cam tells Mitch they are a great team because what Cam is bad at Mitch is good at and what Mitch is good Cam is bad at, they have their own strengths with parenting; they then have a moment where Cam cheers Mitch on but it unfortunately ends when Cam realises that Mitch has accidentally locked Lily in the car, with the keys. Mitch tells Cam not to freak out and Cam tells Lily the same thing, Mitch begins singing the alphabet to her to help her calm down and Cam can't resist freaking out.
We are back with Phil and Claire, who are stretching just before they both compete to run faster, Alex and Luke arrive out of a black car and Phil asks how their day went. The kids reply with fine but then ask them what they are doing, Phil says that they are racing each other, the kids ask why, Claire says she doesn't know why, Phil says she does know. Phil asks if Luke is up for games when they finish running, but Luke declines; he has to write in his journal, he moves on to ask Alex if she wants to do something, she also declines saying she has a history paper. After a little moment Phil has about the kids declining, Phil and Claire then have a moment shortly before Claire stops it from going any further by saying 'go' startling Phil into running.
We're back with Mitch and Cam, with them still freaking out, Mitch is on the phone to ONSTAR: Emergency Assistance while Cam is in the background holding up a bin to smash into the car window with, he then drops it but gets up and carries on running towards the car to break the window. Emergency Assistance tells Mitch to tell his wife to relax, as Cam sounds like a woman as he panics shouting in the street, Emergency Assistance tells them to open the car door, at first it's not unlocked and then it is. Cam asks how they did it and asks 'did that come from space?'.
We are back with the Dunphys' Claire and Phil, who are running, there is a voice over of Claire in her interview in which she says that there is no way she's going to lose a 2 mile race to her husband, she compares Phil to what he runs with: a Johnny Ski Pole. Phil says that he's saving his energy because he's running so slow, Phil aks Claire if she's feeling cocky to which she replies yes, he then takes off his shirt he's sweating through. Claire sees the t-shirt and in an interview she says that she has just realised that the first day in school for their kids was tougher for Phil more than anyone. Claire then lets Phil win (as she says in an interview) as she feels sorry for him, Phil gets cocky about winning, and accidentally gets knocked over by hid daughters driving eds' car, with her driving, Phil brushes it off and tells her she's getting better. Claire's voiceover says "We do strange things for the people we love. We lie to them; we lie for them. There may be some bumps along the way, but we never stop wanting the best for them. That's what makes it such a tough job, but kind of the best job in the world." whilst they show clips of everyone in their family with their children and having a tough time. Later we see Haley driving Phil (in the backseat), Claire (in the passenger seat) and her siblings in the middle seats of the car whilst still learning from all of them.
There's a short ending scene with all the credits where, cops start to follow Haley and Claire tells Haley to pull over, Haley says she doesn't like cops and just keeps driving, leaving Claire to panic when Phil tells Haley to not pull over and keep driving, he says it's because he never paid the parking ticket from the mall.
(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
- On the DVD release in the US and the UK, this episode is restored to its production order as the second episode of the series.
- The race was referenced again in the season 9 episode "CHiPs and Salsa"
- Lily is seen dressed as Diana Ross (from her RCA years) Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, and Stevie Wonder. Cameron also plans to dress her as Cher. While Lily is dressed as Diana Ross, Mitchell asks why she is dressed as Donna Summer.
- Gloria comments that Batman does not get picked on for wearing a cape, citing this as evidence that Manny could wear safely a poncho to school.
- Jay mentions a friend of his was at the Woodstock.
- When the kids get home from school, Phil asks Luke if he wants to play the game: Super Mario Kart, with him.
- (Non-Cultural Reference) Mitchell is on the phone to ONSTAR: Emergency Assistance, when he needs help as he and Cam have accidentally locked Lily in the car.