Modern Family recap: Bottomless Pits of Need

Lily's new favorite word and Claire's harsh public demeanor wreak havoc on a big day
Ep. 13 | Aired Jan 18, 2012

LIPPY LILY Cam and Mitchell's precocious daughter looks to move the attention away from her ugly outfit with the help of her serious potty mouth.   

Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC

Truck, duck, luck, f---. Our baby Lily is really growing up. With loquacious parents like Cam and Mitchell, the girl was bound to pick up a few choice words from their extensive vocabularies. Yet sadly for Dad and Dad, she has not quite committed legal jargon or Meryl Streep monologues to memory. The learned behavior of humans and the pets they love drew a series of steady laughs in last night's episode. (I, too, get the giggles from cursing children. And public access television.) But there were also the habits Claire's had her whole life that her family suddenly wanted her to change, in fear that they would embarrass her forever. Only until then? Honk, sarcasm! Let's get to the good stuff.

To maintain continuity and please Arrested Development fans, we revisited Claire's bid for City Council, which had the entire family readying for their own personal version of D-Day (Debate Day). Claire was stressed as she prepared to go against the incumbent Duane Bailey (David Cross), no thanks to unfavorable findings in The Weekly Saver's totally unscientific voters poll. To help prove those 22,000 and readers and potential clients of Phil's wrong, the Dunphy clan held a mock debate at their modest compound. There may have been hair brushes and loofahs for sound equipment, but the ruthless audience set to point out her every little flaw was much worse than anything at City Hall. Shouts to Luke and Phil for making sure she'd be prepared for a cacophony of heckling methods: boos, helicopters, microphone feedback, and the Operation buzzer. Haters come in all shapes and sizes.

While Claire barely managed to answer one practice question in full, she did walk away newly informed that she rolls her eyes, touches her face, and points her finger way too much. Julie Bowen continues to prove that Claire's Type A leanings are not just shrill and annoying, but exceedingly hilarious. Each of these ticks have high disaster potential at the polls, where constituents like their officials to look like Tobias Fünke and have the patience to breed a gaggle of puggles year after year. All she had to do was keep her hands at her waist and not show voters the wrong side of her face, and she'd have it in the bag.

NEXT: Lily races ahead of her peers and Gloria yells something in Spanish

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