The eighth episode of the season, “Manny Get Your Gun,” aired on November 17, 2010. It drew in almost 12.1 million viewers, which is only slightly lower than the previous week.
This episode started a bit differently than normal. Instead of introducing us to three different stories in the beginning, it opens with the entire family sitting at a table in a restaurant for Manny’s birthday. Viewers then get a thirty-minute flash back to the three stories which explain why everyone is so depressed in the beginning.
In the Dunphy flashback, Claire is trying to get everyone ready to leave for the party. This soon leads to a small argument/competition between Claire and Phil. They decide to have a race to the party to see who’s way is faster. Their kids come downstairs and Claire tells them that she and Phil are separating. Luke immediately, and humorously, says that he will go with his dad. Claire tells him that he will go with her and the girls will go with Phil. While in the car, Luke asks Claire why she is getting a divorce! Claire straightens Luke’s thoughts out, pauses for a moment, then realizes that Luke had immediately wanted to go with his father instead of her. This makes her upset so she pulls over to talk with Luke, who then explains that his dad would need him more than she would. (Aw, touching moment!) He also tells her that her route is way faster than Phil’s; with her confidence restored, she races toward the restaurant.
In the other car, the tire goes flat. Phil gets out and tells the girls to help out and that it will be as fun as family camp! (an experience that Haley and Alex do not want to have again) So when they get back in the car, they break the news to Phil that they don’t want to go to family camp again. Phil, heartbroken, starts to cry, which makes Haley cry, which makes Alex cry. They eventually restore their dad’s confidence to beat Claire, so they race toward the restaurant.
Meanwhile, at the mall, Mitch and Cam are having a hard tim picking a gift for Manny. Cam, being the tenderhearted person that he is, stops to help an elderly man win back his girl. Mitch, like his sister, is in a rush and is trying to get Cam to leave but he won’t insisting that they help the couple, who they later find out are adulterers. They begin to argue about Mitch when “Free Your Mind” suddenly starts to play loudly in the mall. It’s a Flash Mob! The two watch the events unfold, then MITCH joins the dancing mob! To me, this was a big surprise; usually Cam would be the one to do something like this. Afterward, Mitch thinks Cam will be happy and impressed, but he is actually hurt that he wasn’t asked to participate. They have another fight in the car.
Jay, showing us where it children get it, is rushing Manny and Gloria so they won’t be late. Jay and Gloria then start to argue about how Gloria always ends up losing things (currently, her car keys). Jay knows he’s right about this, until he finds the keys in his jacket pocket. In desperation, he hides them in Gloria’s purse and suggests that she look in there again. When she does, she purposefully ignores the fact that they are in there. While this is going on, Manny is going through a mid-life crises. He realizes that he never had a childhood, so now he is trying to make up for it by making (poor) prank phone calls, mixing flavors of soda, and sitting on a giant island float in the pool.
Jay, in an attempt to get the family to leave on time, confesses to Gloria about finding her keys. A now infuriated Gloria (partly due to the events with Jay, and partly due to Manny’s refusal to go to his own birthday party) gets the BB gun that Jay had given Manny as a birthday present and shoots the float! That then gives us one of the funniest lines of the episode: Manny, stunned, says, “You could’ve shot my arm!” to which Gloria replies in her thick Colombian accent, “I could’ve unbuttoned your shirt if I wanted to!” They then leave for the restaurant, arguing the entire way.
The three families, in their four cars, arrive to the restaurant simultaneously and almost crash into each other! We then see/hear Manny finish the speech he had been giving in the beginning of the episode. He explains that he has realized, due to observing his ridiculous family, that he still has plenty of time to act like a child. *Insert a touching family moment to close the episode!*