The family's dude ranch vacation turns into disaster when Dylan proposes to Haley, Alex gets an unexpected first kiss, their cowboy guide keeps hitting on Gloria, and Phil goes out of his way to impress Jay.
Lily has problems with Mitchell and Cameron's plans to adopt another child, Jay tries to get Manny to confess to stealing a locket at school, and Claire goes to extreme lengths to prove that she was right in an argument.
Claire recruits her family to help gather signatures for a petition to get a stop sign, Gloria loses the family dog, Jay helps Manny try to sell wrapping paper for school, and Cameron leaves a mess in the kitchen for Mitchell.
While Phil takes Haley on a tour of his alma mater, Claire goes out on the town with a man she mistakenly assumes is Mitchell and Cameron's gay friend. Meanwhile, Gloria is alarmed and curious about Manny's mail-order package.
Phil tries to build a treehouse, Haley struggles with writing a college admissions essay, Cameron hits on a single woman to win a bet with Mitchell, and Jay doesn't want to go out salsa dancing with Gloria and another couple.
As the family collects goods for a family whose house burned down, Jay makes an embarrassing remark to Phil during a massage, Claire is jealous of Mitchell's friendship with Gloria, and Cameron struggles with a moving van in a parking lot.
Phil is upset that Claire is stifling his creativity, Mitchell doesn't believe Cameron's "punkin chunkin" story, Gloria won't let Jay tell Manny that his Thanksgiving centerpiece is horrible, and Hayley and Alex get in an accident.
After having a doctor's visit but then missing the call with the test results, Phil automatically jumps to conclusions and starts saying his goodbyes. Meanwhile Javier pops up unannounced again and takes Manny to the horse races for a belated birthday celebration, and a subtle competition ensues when Mitchell brings home an environmental law award and it becomes a game of who has the bigger trophy.
While Jay and Claire become hyper-competitive while working on their boys' science project, Gloria tries to help Phil with his real estate seminar. Meanwhile, Cameron and Mitchell interview a potential birth mother.
Claire's family tries to help her prepare for her political debate, Lily begins saying the "F word" right before her appearance as a flower girl at a wedding, and Jay begins to wonder if his dog Stella is suicidal.
Claire thinks Phil's prospective new client is hitting on her, tensions rise as Mitchell and Cameron temporarily stay with Jay and Gloria, and Alex becomes jealous when Hayley volunteers as a Big Sister.
Alex accidentally reveals a secret about Haley to their dad, Cameron fakes a back injury to catch Claire in a lie, Mitchell confesses a secret about one of Jay's proudest moments, and Luke helps Manny try to impress a girl.
Cameron reunites an old clown act despite Mitchell's warnings, Phil plays hardball with a rival to get a listing, Manny's new "friend" has a crush on Gloria, and Claire wants her daughters to friend her on Facebook.
Phil makes an impulsive car purchase and wonders how Claire will react, Jay struggles to get himself and his family to a weekend with the guys at Pebble Beach, and Mitchell and Cameron lose Lily's stuffed bunny on the subway.
Jay and Gloria argue about how a waitress is closer to Jay than Gloria. Luke is awarded a medal for putting out a fire he started, Phil tries to fire Mitchell, and Claire and Cam fight about Cam's parenting strategies.
Jay and Manny are left to accompany Lily at her recital as Mitchell and Cameron bring Gloria along as translator as they adopt a Mexican child. Meanwhile, Haley has a surprise announcement about her plans after high school.