Happy Birthday, Manny! The entire family has gathered at a restaurant to celebrate this joyous occasion. Manny says, "It's so nice to spend my birthday surrounded by so many smiling faces." Actually, nobody at the table looks happy at all. To understand why, let's jump back about 30 minutes or so as the members of our three favorite households make their way to the b-day bash.
With Jay's car in the shop, no one can leave the house until his wife finds her keys. As Gloria does a hard-target search of the house, Jay gives Manny his birthday present. It's a BB gun. It's supposed to be for ages 16 and up, so Manny wonders if it's an appropriate gift. Jay's off-the-cuff remark that Manny was "born 16" has the birthday boy believing he's missed out on his childhood.
In an effort to reclaim his youth, Manny makes a crank call. Have you heard the one about Seymour Butts? It's a classic, but the kid can't pull it off. As Manny looks for other ways to turn back the clock, his mom continues the quest to find her keys. She'll never find them because Jay had accidentally plopped them into his pocket.
Jay's been riding Gloria for being disorganized, so he secretly slips the keys into her purse to avoid her wrath. Gloria catches on to her hubby's trickery and is fed up with Manny's depression over his lost childhood. She confiscates the BB gun and isn't afraid to use it should either of the men in her life get out of line.
Phil and Claire take two cars to Manny's party as part of a little competition to see who can get there first. When Claire says they're splitting up, Luke assumes she's talking about their marriage. The misunderstanding is cleared up as mother and son race to the restaurant determined to beat Phil and the girls.
A suddenly bummed Claire removes the pedal from the metal when she realizes Luke said he wanted to go with his dad back when he assumed the worst. Claire is upset because she believes her only son picked the fun parent after the imaginary breakup. But the real reason Luke opted to go with Phil is because he thought his dad would probably need him more. Now the tears really start to flow.
Phil's also having a rough ride when he learns that neither Haley nor Alex want to attend family camp this year. It's just like regular camp but for the whole family. Guess that was pretty self-explanatory. Haley and Alex are shocked to see that Phil is starting to mist up. They've never seen their dad cry before and they're the ones who caused this unprecedented event. Soon everyone is bawling.
Much to Mitchell's chagrin, Cameron meanders his way through a walking mall soaking in the joys of the day. Their journey towards the restaurant stalls even more when Cam tries to help an elderly man declare his love for a woman who's walking by. Mitchell is beside himself. There's simply no time for impromptu matchmaking, especially after they realize the old man is trying to woo a woman who isn't the wife he already has. Oops.
Having lost time with the elderly adulterers, Mitchell wants Cameron to pick up the pace. The guys are held up once again when a flash mob breaks out right in front of them. A flash mob, in case you don't know, is a choreographed routine a group of people spring on others without warning.
Surprisingly, Mitchell is part of the event. It was his way of showing Cam he could be spontaneous, too. Sounds like a nice gesture, right? But it actually upsets Cameron greatly because Mitchell danced without him. He says, "You cheated on me with choreography and that is the worst kind."
So that's why everyone is in a bad mood at Manny's dinner. The birthday boy is able to put his fear of growing up too fast in perspective during an impressive little speech. Manny says, "I really thought it was too late for me. But for the last few minutes, I've been watching all of you acting like children and it hit me. I've got plenty of time left to be a kid." Suddenly everyone's frown turns upside down. Guess it turned out to be a happy birthday after all.
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