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Modern Family recap: Mamma Mia!

In an episode about Mother’s Day, Gloria and Claire take their kids on a hiking trip, while Jay sheds a few tears (and not just from the onions).

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Modern Family
Jordin Althaus/ABC

Modern Family

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
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I have a theory I want to test out on you, my fellow Modern Family fans, before we get to the recap of last night’s episode. I believe that Luke (the comedic gem that is Nolan Gould) is actually, somehow, the past version of Andy from Parks and Recreation (Chris Pratt) living in the present day. And while their paths may never cross (curse you, different networks!), they are still one adorable, sweet entity living in the same universe sharing their unique views on the world around them. Thoughts?

Okay, now that I’ve run that by you, let’s talk about last night’s funny and touching (really, is there any show that does it better?) episode of Modern Family. It was Mother’s Day, and the Pritchett and Dunphy clans had their fair share of hugs, fights, and tears.

Claire was in full-on Mother’s Day mode when she proudly displayed all of her Mom trinkets from her kids, including a pencil holder–turned–coffee cup. Isn’t it amazing what kinds of gifts you can get away with giving as a kid? If I gave my wonderful mother a paperweight this year, I sincerely doubt she’d appreciate it. But at 7 years old, it was somehow endearing and thoughtful. Ah, youth. (Hi, Mom! Happy early Mother’s Day!)

Speaking of kid-gift grade inflation, Manny gave an excited Gloria a knockoff Froot Loop necklace. Later, Gloria and Claire, as well as their offspring, joined up to spend Mother’s Day together by going on a hike. The only problem (as every kid can attest): Hiking sucks. Manny carried a big stick and clashed with Luke again (though he was too busy warding off coyotes to really care or notice), while Alex and Haley complained, sending Claire and Gloria over the edge and out into the wilderness alone. When they were a safe distance (or so they thought), the women finally bonded over the fact that their kids can drive them up the wall.

But when Gloria finally let loose about Manny — he’s persnickety and writes bad poetry — he heard every word of it. She tried to blame the slipup on Claire, but Haley, Alex, and a reluctant Luke wouldn’t back down and apologize for their behavior.

Back at the Pritchett-Delgado residence, Jay and Phil whipped up a Mother’s Day meal for the entire brood. I always love watching Ty Burrell’s overly enthusiastic Phil interact with Ed O’Neill’s stoic Jay. It’s a recipe for great television. And speaking of recipes, in the midst of their cooking session — complete with Phil’s onion goggles, his Julia Child impression, and his rom-com-esque sing-along to the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” — he stumbled upon a recipe Jay had written for his mother when he was 9.

What do you get when you mix one tablespoon of love, one cup of warmth, and 175 pounds of tenderness that serves one small boy? Tears. And not just from viewers. The childhood memento cracked the usually unflappable Jay, who began to tear up. Those onion goggles didn’t look so stupid then!

This, of course, brought great joy to Phil, who saw it as an opportunity to get Jay to open up. Unfortunately, his awkward hug didn’t quite tame the proud lion.

NEXT: Mitchell wishes Cameron an unwelcome Happy Mother’s Day