Modern Family (2009–…): Season 3, Episode 9 - Punkin Chunkin - full transcript

When an old neighborhood kid returns to town as a hugely successful internet billionaire, it gets Phil thinking of what could have been. Jay feels Manny could use a little dose of constructive criticism, and Cameron is offended when Mitchell questions the authenticity of his colorful childhood stories. It all comes to a head at Thanksgiving with the family divided between the "Dreamers" and the "Pritchetts" -- and nothing settles the score like a punkin chunkin challenge.

"Oh, my goodness, those
hands are cold." Mm-hmm.

"At least buy me dinner
first." Boom.

"Tell my wife and kids
I love them."

Oh, my God. Ooh. That's
kind of dark, Morn.


Quick. What's my favorite
hospital food? Um-


Hey, buddy.
No, today's still good.

Good for what?
Who's "buddy"?

Yeah, just head
on over to the house.

Whose house? Who's "buddy"? Okay.
See you in a couple.

Couple of what?
Who's "buddy"?

- Kenneth.
- Kenneth?


If I had a son, I'd want him to be like
Kenneth Ploufe. You do have a son.

When we first moved in here, he was
the sweet kid who lived next door.

Mmm, the weird kid
who lived next door.

But Phil always had
a soft spot for him...

because Kenneth sort of
looked up to him.

I wouldn't say hero.
And yet, you did.

Well, you weren't going to.

Claire's always had
some issues with Kenneth.

He would stare at me
a little too long.

Can you blame him?

You used to dress
sexy back then.

- Hey!
- Yeah!


Oh, wow.

Oh, 10 years.
Can you believe it?

Mm-mmm. God.

Ohh! I feel like we ended
that last hug too soon.

Come back here.

Oh, wow!
That's a lot of hugging.

She's right.
Why hug, when you can-

- Man shake.
- Oh, no.

I'm gonna get the coffee.

Man shake.
Are we sure?

Mmm! Mmm.

Roll up the curtain!


# Hey, hey #

# Hey, hey #

# Hey, hey #

# Hey, hey #

# Hey ##

I don't know what's worse,

that he competes every Thanksgiving
in a pie-eating contest...

or that he's nine-time runner-up.

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving
without the contest.

Yes, it would.

I think I have to tell
my punkin chunkin' story.

Oh, no. No, you don't have to.

No, I kind of think I have to.

Once, Cam and his friends...

tried to slingshot a pumpkin...

across a football field.

Three seconds.
That's all he needs to tell that story.

So the fog was rolling in over the
mountains like an ominous blanket...

as we readied
the giant slingshot.

You know, Lorna, the pastor's daughter,
she was nervous,

because like I said,
it was after curfew.

She was a goodie-two-shoe.
Only pastor's daughter I ever met that was.

So we finally launch the pumpkin, and it
sails through the air, goalpost to goalpost,

past the end zone,
into the parking lot,

through the open roof
of Lorna's dad's car.

I turn to Cody and I say, "Now what are
the chances of that landing there?"

He says, "Where?",
and I say,

"The sunroof
of a preacher man."


Okay, come on in!

- Voil?!
- Okay, what are we looking at?

My centerpiece for Thanksgiving.

It is wonderful.
You're so talented.

I can't believe that you did this.

Yeah, my juices were really
flowing on this one.

I actually shot a making-of video.

Hey, maybe we can watch it
later at the party.

Oh, yeah. That or football.

Mi amor,
I'm so proud of you.

- Is there nothing in the world that you can't do?
- Centerpieces, for starters.

Shh! Why do you say everything of
his is great, even if it isn't?

Because I'm building him up.
That's what parents do.

Too much, if you ask me.

Kids cross the street nowadays,
they get a ribbon.

Manny's got plenty of confidence.

He just needs a little reality check
every now and then.

And this thing is a horn of ugly.

Shh! My mother used to
criticize everything I did.

And look at me now.
I am a jumble of insecurities.

I'm not getting that.

Do not say a word to Manny.

Fine. But trust me, if you told him
the truth, he'd thank you later.

Mmm, like Claire and Mitch?
Did they thank you?

Not yet.

But it's coming.

Oh! So many memories
in this place.

Do you guys still have,
like, every cereal?

We have a lot.
Yeah, of course you do.

Of course you do. You only have
the greatest dad in the world.

So what have you been up to? I haven't
seen you since you went off to college.

Oh, you know, actually,
that didn't work out so well.

I bounced around for a while. Ended
up washing dishes in New Mexico.

Mmm. Mmm.

So without the benefit
of a college degree,

I guess your options
were kind of limited, huh?

Ease up. it's a holiday.

Yeah, it was- it was-
Oh, no. No, thank you.

Thank you, though, sweetie.
You're so sweet. Oh, okay.

It was tough for a while, but then a
roommate and I started our own business.

Oh, was that also in the dish
or cleaning industry?

No. No, no, no. It was actually
a small investment company.

Well, small at first. You know, we
rode the tech wave for a while,

then expanded into video games,
amusement parks, sports arenas.

Anything that seemed
awesome, really.

I'm actually in town
to buy a blimp.

Holy crow.

Wow. So if y-
if you'd gone to college,

you would've done all that,
just four years later- or never.

Alex really needs to be picked up, sweetie.
Why don't you go get her?

I want to hear more of what he
has to say about- We're leaving.

Kenneth, I am so proud of you.
You really made it.

Well, I did get
one pretty lucky break.

Early on, I met
a very special guy...

who taught me that what I
thought and said had value.

Oh, you mean- Shh. Luke,
let the man talk.

He encouraged me to always find
the fun and follow this thing.

Your lung?
No, my heart.

To this day, at every crossroad,
I ask myself one question:

What would Phil Dunphy do?

Record scratch!

Oh, that's me buzzing.
Oh, it's Paris.

She's my assistant in Tokyo.

You'd think they'd know how to demo
4-D gaming graphics without my help.

They don't. Hey, Luke, what
instrument does Yo-Yo Ma play?


He's me.

And he's spectacular.

Oh, my God.

Kenneth Ploufe is part owner
of a resort in the Bahamas,

some cruise line...

and Lacy Fair,
that lingerie company.

Oh, ew! I'm wearing
one of his bras.

Look, he's got a model in his lap.

No way.
Look at her.

This is your fault!

Are you seriously
gonna stay in here all day?

I can't face Mom.
If I see her, I'm gonna have to confess.

Take a breather.
it's just a dent.

And saying nothing
is not lying, okay?

It's just letting the truth
speak for itself.

This is not the time
for moral equivocation.

Okay, I don't know what that means,
and also, don't tell me.

You're the one who's going to lose her driving privileges.
I don't know why you're so calm.

All we have to do is keep it from
Mom until she goes to the store.

Then, when she sees it, she'll assume
that it happened there, which it did.

So it's not really lying.

Listen to you.

Are you gonna be
a career criminal?

You sound like Morn.

I don't know what I'm gonna
do after high school.

It was a supportive wah-wah.
I was trying to save the moment.

There's no such thing
as a supportive wah-wah.

A wah-wah, by its very nature,
is vicious and undercutting.

Well, I was just trying to
salvage that story, okay?

I told you not to tell it,
you told it, and it died.

It did not die. it's a thinker.

The only thing people were thinking was,
"Thank God this story's over."

Okay, I get it.

So how long have I been
embarrassing you with my stories?

No, no, no, no.
You don't embarrass me.

I love your stories, okay?

The tractor in the swimming hole?

Aunt Betty's wiglet on the piglet?

Uncle Carl said you couldn't
tell 'em apart. See?

Those are funny.
You have so many great ones.

Well, that's farm life. Rain or shine,
there's always a bumper crop of stories.

Yeah, I'm just saying maybe you take
punkin chunkin' out of the rotation.

I guess you're right.
Maybe I could-

Stick to the ones that really happened.
People love those.

Excuse me, what?

I'm-I'm just saying people
laugh more at stories that are true.

Punkin chunkin'
is a true story.


No, true.

The length of a football field,

through the sunroof of a oar that
was open in late November in Missouri?

It was unseasonably warm.

That explains the fog
rolling over the hill.

And who's Cody, who you're
close enough to chunk with,

but mysteriously only
appears in this story?

Cody was K.I.A. in Desert Storm.
He's a hero.

You know, all this from someone
who's never even chunked a punkin.

Well, I've never
lunked a tunkin either.

These aren't real things.

This'll work, right?
Totally, Dad.

Why have one long table when you can
use four little ones, bistro style?

I bet this is how the French
do Thanksgiving.

You don't mind sittin' with your Uncle
Mitch and, uh, Grandpa, do you?

Anything's better
than watching Lily chew.

By the way, this is the side of your old
man that Kenneth was talking about.




So Kenneth became a gajillionaire by
asking himself, "What would Phil do?"

He sure did.

Where did that
come from, right?

But you're you.
Why aren't We gajillionaires?

Why don't you do what
Phil would do? Um-

Phil, why didn't you just put
the extra leaves in the table?

Tryin' to have some fun.
Be creative.

One long table, honey.

If it was good enough for the Last
Supper, it's good enough for us.

I'm having second thoughts
about this centerpiece.

Ay, no.
Hear him out.

I just think if we bring it to Phil and
Claire's, we'll never see it again, right?

That's the plan.

Well, that'll be sad.

Except maybe my sadness will inspire
me to create something even greater.

Remember that collage I made that
helped us get through Katrina?

Mm-hmm. You did this,
you know that.

So, is this the legendary rice pilaf
we've been hearing about?

Try for yourself.

I used to make it every year, but it,
uh, started to upstage the turkey.


Something wrong? Not so
much wrong as... missing.

It just tastes a little flat.

That a fact? I just think with
the earthiness of the rice,

you might want something
zesty to set it off.

I think this might be a job for cumin.

You know, since we're sharing
helpful criticisms- No,no,no.

Nobody's sharing anything.
Manny, go change for the party.

No, no, no, but I appreciate
helpful criticisms.

It's, uh- it's important for me
that I hear the truth.

Makes me stronger,
less of a mama's boy.

Yeah, Mom, he can take it.

That's what he says, but you don't
really know what he feels underneath.

Some people are so sensitive
that they hear one criticism...

and it kills the spark
that made them special.

I think I know what's going on here.

- This is about you and your morn, isn't it?
- Yes, it is.

No, it isn't.
Yes, it is!

Manny, don't upset me anymore.
Go. Go change.

What should I wear?

Ay, you look good
in everything.

Where you goin', Mom?

I gotta run to the store.
Someone ate all the marshmallows.

Hey, can I tell you something?

I was thinking that maybe after New Year's
break, we could visit a couple more colleges.


I was so hard on you before.
I'm sorry.

I know I'm no Kenneth. I'm gonna
need all the help that I can get.

Honey, I am so proud of you.

Oh, thank you.

What's this? Oh, okay.

- What are you doing?
- Oh, Uncle Mitchell's picking up the marshmallows.

Then again, backpacking through Europe
could be educational in its own way.


Do you know what's
illegal in Europe?

You're going to college.

Okay, fine.

Darn right, it's fine.

Piece of cake.

My hair's coming out!

Wow, honey. I think you
could make these simpler.

Just, you know, sort of do 'em
flat and on the side.

Hmm. Yeah, seems like
that's how you like me.

Flat and on the side.

You know what? Sometimes I need
to be puffed up and frilly.

Is this one of those moments
I'm gonna have to remember later...

when they ask me
if there were any signs?

This is what Phil would do.

Make fantastic napkin origami
that startles and delights his guests.

I know. But, sweetie, they're just
looking a little-

Claire, you always do this.
You squelch me.

You squelch me right
when I'm about to soar.

Honey, you're folding napkins.

You're folding my dreams.

You know what Kenneth told me?

The secret to his success?

His whole career,
he's tried to emulate me.

The only difference is, he hasn't had someone
constantly telling him what not to do.

So the only reason we don't have a
blimp tethered to our mailbox...

is because I'm always shooting
down your great ideas?


Let's review
the squelch pile, Phil.

Let's see.
The rice pudding franchise.

Works for all chewing abilities.

Adult tricycles.

Just try to fall off.

The aspirin gun.

Some people have
a hard time swallowing.

And you left one out. And that, my dear,
Claire, is a Real Head-Scratcher, T.M.


Hey, friend.

You look like you had
a rough day at the office.

The stress from my job
at the robot assassin factory-

is too much to take.

Aw, shoot me an aspirin, pal.

Maybe some day.
But until then, try this on for size.

The Real Head-Scratcher features
32 patent-pending nogginizers...

that gently massage your scalp
in a soothing purr of motorized delight.

Ah. And it feels great.

And it looks good too.

It's a real life-saver.

You mean a Real Head-Scratcher?

I love you, Phil, but you-

Stop. I love your
"I love you."

I'm gettin' awful tired of your "but."

I heard it.


Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Happy Turkey Day.

Hey, is that a new car?

- It's the best, isn't it?
- I can't take my eyes off it.

You shouldn't either.

Are you okay, mami?

- I'm- I'm-
- Hey, guys!

Now the party's started.
Come on.

How are you?

You disgust me.
Are you hungry?

Oh, good,
it's still in one piece.

You hit those potholes
pretty hard.

It's like you didn't see 'em.
No, I saw 'em.

Can I be honest with you, Jay?

I'm getting the sense that you're
not the biggest fan of Alegria.

You got a name for it now. Great.
All right, cards on the table?

This is not your best work.

Now look, don't get me wrong.
You're a talented kid.

You're gonna be
a big success in the world.

But this-
it's a swing and a miss.

Well, but my mom said it was-
"It's great."

Yeah, I know.
But how did she say it?

What do you mean?
There's a big difference...

between "It's great" and
"It's great"- You hear that?

"It's great" and "It's great. "

All I hear is a bunch of people
telling me I'm great.

And that's a problem, because a lot of times
people will lie to you to protect your feelings,

and that's not doin' you
any favors.

You get a lot farther in life...

if you know what you're good at
and what you're not.

Now, you can handle that, right?

Of course you can.

How you doin', honey?

I'm great

Okay, everybody, come on. Two
minutes till dinner. Get ready.

Sounds good.
All righty!

Oh, wow, Manny.
What have you got there?

He made a centerpiece.

Oh. That's fantastic.

It's garbage.

No, no, no! What are you doing?
it's so beautiful!

Stop the lies.
Jay told me the truth.

What did you say?

I mentioned it wasn't
his best effort.

He said it was
a swing and a miss.

Why? Why do you say these things, Jay?
it's like I married my mother!

- Yeah, Jay, why would you do that?
- Because he's a Pritchett.

But don't let these negative
nellies drag you down, Manny.

Because one day, you could
have a trillion-dollar idea...

that the people who supposedly
love you most-

Okay, Phil. That's it.
Go get the head-scratcher.

The Real Head-Scratcher, T.M.?

Go get it, and let everybody else decide
how many trillions I've cost you.

Way ahead of you.

So what's goin' on here?

We are about to make hat history.

Or as I like to call it,

Early man had hours and hours
to scratch his weary head.

But what about
today's busy times?

Thank you, squire.
Great thing about this,

you can wear it anywhere.

Hit it, buddy.


It's like a thousand tiny angels
are line dancing on my sca-


Looks like we got a slight
malfunction in a rear nogginizer.

Ohh! Shut her down!
Shut her down, buddy!

It's not working, Dad! My hair!
it's got my hair!


Fine. I'm fine.

Forgot about that feature.
it's an exfoliating scrub.

Buddy, can you grab
the safety shears?

You know what, Phil?
Keep it up.

And I admire you and Manny.

I know what it's like to stare
down skepticism from a loved one.

- Cam, not now.
- Why not now?

It's Thanksgiving.
Families gather. Issues come up.

Only if you bring them up.

It's healthy to get
things out in the open.

Y'all know my punkin chunkin' story
or do you need a refresher?

We've heard it.
Oh, several times.

I love it,
with Cody and the friends.

Yes. So you know how it ends.

But the question is,
who here thinks I made that up?


Oh, well. Doesn't that tell
the whole story right there?

Here we have the skeptics.

The dream squashers.
The Pritchetts.

And here we have the dreamers,
the artists, the visionaries.

Sweet Caroline!

So we're supposed to believe that you make
a pumpkin fly across a football field?

I can prove it right now.
Let's go to the football field.

- Yes, let's do it. I'd love to end this.
- Let's settle this.

Dreamers versus Pritchetts.

Let's go!
Oh, no, no, no, no!

No, no, no!

I did not just cook
for eight hours...

so you people could run off
to prove some asinine point...

that's only gonna make
half of us feel bad.

Come on!
Show a little respect.

Turkey smells great,

Is that turkey? Because
something smells like chicken.

Okay, let's settle this.

Vamos! Vamos!
Jay, I drive!

This is the coolest thing ever.

Okay, I want to film.

Ay, no, wait.
I want to be in it.

Hey, Cam, are you sure
this is going to work?

Oh, God, you sound
just like Cody.

Do you think this
could launch a human?

Oh, Luke.

Let's do the pumpkin first.

They're havin' fun over there,
but you know it's gonna end in tears.

Yeah, always does. Knock, knock.
Who's there? Physics.

Thank you.

Who's gonna be able to launch it?
I think it should be Cam.

No, I think it should be all of us!
All of us! All of us!


For the record, I don't
squash all of Phil's dreams.

Just the ones that are,
you know, potentially fatal.

I'm just trying to get
the kid ready for life.

Yeah, if we didn't do this
to them, the world would.

Okay, everybody
in final launching positions?

Get ready to eat some crow!

It is not as delicious
as it sounds.

Okay. Uno, dos, tres!


What happened, Cam? I-I don't know.
I-I don't know.

Can we do it again?

No. We only had one punkin
and we just chunk it.

Well, we were right.
Oh, my. Yeah.

I'm sorry, guys-

This usually feels
a little better, doesn't it?


All right, I hate to admit it,

but when they put the pumpkin in, I
was kind of hoping it would work.

Me too.

Huh. All right.

Let the gloating begin.

You know,
it was a pretty good try.

We don't need your pity.

Let's just get this stuff cleaned up.


Oh- Well,
or if maybe we, um-

we launch it
from a steeper angle.

Maybe if you had somebody else,
you know, helping you pull the thing.

We don't have any more pumpkins.
That's the easy part.

They're on every porch
up and down the block.

We can handle that.
Come on, kid.

Come on. Let's try one. Okay.

All right.
All right!

I say "punkin,"
gang says "chunkin'!"

There are dreamers and
there are realists in this World.

You'd think the dreamers
would find the dreamers...

and the realists
would find the realists,

but more often than not,
the opposite is true.

Maybe if this works, we should
launch my centerpiece next.

It wasn't that bad.

Your rice pilaf was.

Ready. Straight back.

Be careful.

All right.

Come on, keep going!
Keep going!

You see, the dreamers
need the realists...

to keep them from soaring
too close to the sun.

And the realists?

Well, without the dreamers,

they might not ever
get off the ground.

Next one's going through the-
the goal thingy. I can feel it.

Now, when Lorna,
Cody and I did this-

Less talkin', more chunkin'.

Mom, I need to tell you something.
What is it?


I distracted Haley
while she was driving...

- and we dented your car.
- Fire!



Well, girls,

three more seconds, and you
would've gotten away with it.


Now a human?

Come here, Lily. Luke,no.

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