Modern Family: Season 3, Episode 3

Phil on Wire (28 Sep. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Phil tries to learn tightrope walking, Haley and Alex wind up in the same math class, Gloria becomes upset over Jay's pampering of the dog, and Mitchell joins Cameron on a juice fast.



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Episode complete credited cast:


The growing bond between man, Jay, and dog, Stella, is grating on Gloria's nerves; Phil and Luke embark on a new adventure involving a tightrope, but it's Claire with the missteps, as she tries to teach the girls a life lesson; and Cameron chooses the most inopportune time to start a juice fast. Written by ABC Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

28 September 2011 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


In this episode Phil says he's always dreamed of walking a tight rope. However, in a previous episode, during a confession to the camera Phil claims that he can walk a tight rope, since he attended trapeze school. See more »


Claire Dunphy: Are those jazz dancing shoes?
Phil Dunphy: Tightrope walking shoes. Got them on sale, only used once.
Claire Dunphy: That's not a ringing endorsement.
See more »


References Girl, Interrupted (1999) See more »


Modern Family Main Theme
Written by Gabriel Mann
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User Reviews

28 November 2011 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Cam has decided to go on a fast. Mitch watches in horror as Cam empties the cupboards of all the junk food. He has to give it away. Mitch thinks his sister Claire's kids can do with the goodies. When Mitch arrives to the Dunphys, Phil and and Luke have been watching a video of a man walking on a high wire. Phil wants to do it, for perhaps no other reason than to prove he can do it. Luke takes the junk food to his room without telling the rest of the family.

Jay and Gloria are in bed. She suddenly is awakened by Jay's snores. He is not the source of the noise, it is Jay's dog that has found its way to their bed. Gloria wants him to put a stop to it, but Jay cannot find the heart to punish the pooch. Gloria hits the ceiling when the dog destroys one of her favorite shoes. As a solution, Gloria offers the dog one of Jay's shoes to chew on, but the dog refuses.

Claire has been having a bad time with her daughters. Alex, who has no trouble with math, has been placed in Hailey's class, something that does not sit well with the older sister. Claire taking the girls to school stays too long talking with the girls in a no-parking zone. The female guard is adamant she moves, which eventually she does, but the next time it happens, Claire is given a ticket.

Mitch's boss, Charlie Bingham, is throwing a party at his ocean front home. Mitch and Cam attend. It is a struggle no to be tempted to partake on the goodies being passed with the cocktails. At a presentation, Charlie talks about watching a dolphin ingest a plastic bag. Cam is a mess thinking of the dolphin's fest. Mitch has to get him out. They end in the water as Cam cries because he wants to help the fish, while all the party guests watch them from the terrace.

Finally, Phil is able to walk the tight rope without any problems. He proves that he can do anything he puts his mind into, surprising himself in the process.

The episode was written by Danny Zucker based on a story by Bianca Douglas. Jason Winer directed this chapter getting the high degree of acting this program is famous for. By now, on its third season, everybody is comfortable with the characters they are assigned to play.

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