Modern Family: Season 1, Episode 8

Great Expectations (18 Nov. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,039 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Jay has a sleepover for his grandkids, but Haley is looking for a way out. Claire tries to get a perfect anniversary gift for Phil, and Mitchell and Cameron discover that their ladyfriend is crazy and jealous of their daughter.



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Episode complete credited cast:


With a history of giving bad gifts, Claire is determined to surprise Phil with an amazing anniversary present - a private performance by one of their favorite musicians, Izzy LaFontaine! However, it turns out to be a surprise in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Mitchell and Cameron call up their party-girl bestie, Sal, for a long overdue night out on the town. Written by ABC Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 November 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


"Great Expectations" marks the third time Ty Burrell has worked opposite Edward Norton. The two had previously worked together on The Incredible Hulk and the off-Broadway play Burn This. See more »


Sal removes the paper umbrella from a drink and in the next shot the umbrella is back. See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the memory of David Lloyd, the father of creator Christopher Lloyd with the quote: A little song, a little dance, a shot of seltzer down your pants. See more »


References Driving Miss Daisy (1989) See more »


Car Crash Love
Written by Bob Mair and Nick Vincent
Performed by The Warhols
Courtesy of Black Toast Music
See more »

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User Reviews

By Dickens, NOT!
22 January 2012 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Phil and Claire's anniversary is a cause for celebration. Phil surprises his wife in bed with his present, a bracelet that she loves. Phil, who is sure his wife has something hidden for her, is in a shock when he is handed an envelope where Claire has written funny things for him, but as a matter of fact, she has not bought a present for him. What to do? Reading about a member of the band Spandau Ballet, Izzy Fontaine, is living not far from them, she decides to hire him for a private concert where he will entertain them.

Cam and Michell want a night out. The problem is Lily. Mitchell feels he could ask Gloria to babysit for them, which she agrees to. That will give the duo an opportunity to get together with their friend Sal, a lady who loves to party and was always with them, prior to getting Lily. As they meet, Sal turns out to be a loud woman that can drink anyone under the table. All she wants to do is party. Mitchell and Cam are sore she has not shown any desire to see Lily. Sal has no use for the little girl; after all, she is a party animal, something that does not sit well with her old friends. Cam and Mitchell figure Sal feels neglected and that is why she is acting this way.

Jay and Gloria are having all the grandchildren at their house for what he calls Jay's Night where he will prepare his Sloppy Jays and watch a Western film. Haley is mortified; she wants to go to a party being held a few blocks away where she knows Dylan will be. Haley tries everything possible, but Jay is into her game. Finally, as Haley tries to sneak out, Jay goes outside calling Dylan, who is thrilled to eat and watch the Western with all of them.

Phil and Claire enjoying a moment alone, are surprised when Iz Fontaine finally gets to them. He appears to be a relic from their past. As he start to play, the guy cannot carry a tune. Iz asks Phil for his favorite songs from the band, but he does not remember any one of them. The night does not go according to plan for the couple celebrating their anniversary.

Directed by Jason Winer and written by Joe Lawson. There are good moments in the episode. Elizabeth Banks shows up as Sal, the party girl and Edward Norton as Iz Fontaine.

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