S3 E09 Punkin Chunkin

11/22/11 | TV-PG | CC

Kenneth is the sweet kid who used to live next door to the Dunphys. According to Claire, he's actually the "weird" kid who used to live there. Kenneth always looked up to Phil. The two of them are a lot alike. In fact, Kenneth has lived his life by always asking himself one question: What would Phil Dunphy do?

Kenneth is now a successful businessman. So why isn't the mentor doing as well as the mentee? Phil believes his loving wife is to blame. Claire is always quashing his creativity by dismissing inventions like "Real HeadScratcher™." It's a hat filled with "32 patent-pending nogginizers that gently massage the scalp in a soothing purr of motorized delight."

Mitchell gets exasperated whenever Cameron tells his Punkin Chunkin story. What's the Punkin Chunkin story, you ask? Well, Cam and his friends once tried to slingshot a pumpkin across a football field. Okay, that's the abridged version. Cam gives a more detailed, dramatic version of this legendary tale. We say "legendary" because Mitchell doesn't believe the pumpkin ever cleared the goalposts as his storytelling partner claims.

Gloria compliments Manny on the centerpiece he made for Thanksgiving. Jay thinks the thing is a "horn of ugly" but his wife puts the kibosh on his constructive criticism. Of course, Manny has no problem telling Jay that his rice pilaf tastes a little flat. Later, Jay gives Manny the brutal truth about his centerpiece. Needless to say, Gloria isn't happy with her hubby.

When Haley accidentally puts a huge dent in the side of the car, she and Alex try to cover up the crime. The plan is to keep the dent hidden until their mom goes to the market so she'll assume it happened there. Haley's smooth at spinning a web of deception. A worried Alex, however, feels like she's losing her hair due to all the lies. More on that later.

Everyone meets at the Dunphy house for Thanksgiving dinner. The smell of all that good food can't compete with the animosity in the air. The Pritchett side of the family is labeled as skeptics and dream-crushers after Phil gives a failed demonstration of the Real HeadScratcher™. Mitchell, Claire and Jay are the only ones who don't believe the Punkin Chunkin story. If only they could prove that what Cam says is the gourd's honest truth.

The entire family heads out to the nearest football field. The doubting Pritchetts watch from the sideline as the others enthusiastically attach a giant slingshot to one of the goalposts. Cam places the pumpkin in its launching pouch and lets it fly. The pumpkin is airborne! Then it's in pieces about 90 yards shy of the other goalpost. The great pumpkin experiment is a colossal failure. Game over.

Jay, Claire and Mitchell were right, yet they don't feel great about it. They offer some suggestions for a more productive pumpkin launch. The entire family works together to create a modern-day Punkin Chunkin memory. Soon dozens of pumpkins are soaring across the field. One strays out of bounds though as it pelts the side of Claire's car. Too bad a guilt-ridden Alex blurted out the truth seconds before impact. That's okay. All this makes for a great story.

Continue Reading