An old car, a 'princess castle,' and Angela Lansbury inspired some of last night's funniest zingers
Modern Family, Julie Bowen, ...
Credit: Karen Neal/ABC
Mitch and Cam, Modern Family
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Oh, how I’ve missed my favorite TV family. And what a perfect welcome home episode we received to kick off the second season: Mitchell got trapped in a princess castle, Luke threw up, Phil jumped on the hood of a moving vehicle, and Gloria almost drop-kicked Manny’s love interest.

In addition to all this action, we learned a lot about the family tonight. First, we discovered that Phil is a surprisingly good salesman, as he managed to find a buyer for the Dunphy garage ornament/ancient station wagon, a Griswold-esque number that brought out the softer side of Claire (never underestimate sentimental value). I said “buyer,” by the way, but that doesn’t actually mean a sale went down.

Second, we learned (not surprisingly) that Mitchell isn’t terribly handy when it comes to building, well, anything. As Cameron put it: “Every home-improvement project we’ve undertaken has been a near-death experience.” In this case, he was trying to execute “every father’s dream” by building a princess castle for Lily. In the process, he almost shot Cameron and Jay with a nail gun, violently pruned the roses, and best of all, turned said castle into a prison for himself (on more than one occasion). And don’t even get me started on the bird… Combine tonight’s proceedings with last season’s pigeon fiasco, and it’s pretty clear Mitchell has himself a case of ornithophobia. Here’s hoping Jay doesn’t fire up The Birds on some future movie night.

Lastly, and possible best of all, we saw that Gloria has a little problem with letting go of her Manny. When the smooth grade-schooler’s love interest of the moment, Kelly, tried to stake her claim — refusing empanadas! challenging Gloria’s chocolate milk-making skills! — we saw the jealous fire in his mother’s eyes, and heard her Columbian accent grow thicker with rage. How amazing was the binder exchange?

Manny: “Kelly’s moving her stuff into my notebook.”

Kelly: “It just felt right.”

It’s these subtly clever moments that won Modern Family its Emmy as Best Comedy Series. Ditto for Cameron reading trashy tabloid magazines to Lily. “If I have to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar one more time, I will snap!” he hissed. Did anyone catch the Lindsay Lohan reference?

Now onto what you’ve all been waiting for, the best lines of the evening:

NEXT: The leading cause of death among Colombian women — now in punch line form!

Best line of the night (drum roll please)…

“If an accident does happen, I hope he kills me, because I don’t think I would be a very inspiring disabled person.” –Cameron, dreading Mitchell’s latest foray into home improvement

Other great zingers…

“You can insult a lot of things about me — my hair, my voice, my balance-board exercises — but don’t insult my selling. That crosses a line. What line? Oh, you don’t see it? That’s because I just sold it!” –Phil, after Claire challenged him to sell their old clunker of a station wagon

Mitchell (getting ready to build Lily’s princess castle): “Aren’t you going to change into a working man’s outfit?”

Cameron: “I don’t think workmen really call them outfits.”

“In my culture, mothers are very clingy to their sons. In fact, the leading cause of death among Colombian women is when their sons get married. But I’m not like that.” –Gloria (who is so like that)

“Angela Lansbury was the grand marshal. Good times she wrote.” –Phil, reminiscing about a parade at a college football game

“I’m just letting you guys know, I’m not taking care of him when you guys die. ” –The fantastically sarcastic Alex about brother Luke, who thought he’d trapped actual sunshine in a jar

“In your face, girl with a negative tattoo!”– Phil to Claire after he managed to find a buyer for the station wagon

“Look at them: A minute ago they were babies, and now they’re driving, and soon we’ll all be dead.” –Girl with a Negative Tattoo (Claire) about her kids growing up too quickly

“I love you when you’re human.” -Phil to Claire

“That was my Vietnam — and I was in Vietnam” –Jay about building a bookshelf with Mitchell.

“I know I’m not the handiest guy, but I’m still a man and I want to be able to look out into my yard and say, ‘There’s a little bit of me in that princess castle.'” -Mitchell

Phil: “Wow, this place has really changed. Time marches on, huh? See that Starbucks down there, you know what that used to be?”

Luke: “An orange grove?”

Phil: “No, a Burger King. You can still see some of the architecture.”

“Don’t carry me out this time, I think it sends the wrong message to Lily.” –Mitchell to Cam after he gets stuck in the castle again

What zingers did I miss? Which cast member did you miss the most over the summer? Sound off with your favorite quotes below,

And as a special, welcome-back treat, check out this hilarious outtake video from our Modern Family cover shoot (on stands Friday!) and see the cast goofing around and interviewing each other in their jammies! [Related: 20 great zingers from Modern Family’s first season!]

Episode Recaps

Mitch and Cam, Modern Family
Modern Family

Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy

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