“Mother Tucker,” the ninth episode of the season, aired on November 24, 2010, and brought in about 10.5 million viewers, the lowest of the season.
In this episode, we see Haley being tutored by a smart boy named David. Not long after Claire leaves, she remembers something she forgot and walks in on Haley and David making out on the couch. I personally, thought Claire would freak out, but she’s kind of relieved; she then convinces Haley (she didn’t have to convince her very much) to dump her old, dumb boyfriend, Dylan. This saddens Phil, my guess being that he has been dumped suddenly a few times in his past. Thinking he needs someone to talk to, Phil befriends Dylan. They make some small talk over playing guitar and decide to go buy Phil a new guitar. After that, they stop by a juice bar. While Phil is in the restroom, Haley spots Dylan’s car outside the juice bar and a girl’s sweater (her dad’s) hanging on the back of the chair across from Dylan. Haley, now jealous that he has another girl in his life, wants to take Dylan back, but he refuses and states that he needs some time away from her and her father.
Meanwhile, Jay is suffering from some stomach aches. Gloria insists that there is nothing wrong with him, and Jay initially agrees. But Manny looks up Jay’s symptoms on the internet and gets Jay more and more paranoid throughout the episode. He eventually caves in and goes to the hospital, much to Gloria’s disliking (A flashback showed us how tough she really is: she dislocated her shoulder while playing ping-pong, pushed against the wall to pop it back in place, and went back to her game). After the doctors run a test, they determine that Jay has appendicitis and needs an immediate operation. Gloria feels bad for not believing him in the beginning.
Now, on to the story that gave this episode its name. Cam’s mother, Barb comes for a visit! But unlike most mother-in-law stories, this mother-in-law is extremely touchy. This is a problem for Mitch. Not only does he have general problems being touched, but this is his mother-in-law and she’s touching him in awkward places! But Mitch doesn’t have the heart to tell Cam about his issues because Cam and his mom are so close. So Mitch tries to envoke some inappropriate touching while Cam is within eyesight. When Cam misinterprets what is going on, he pulls Mitch aside to talk. Mitch opens up about Barb and her touching to Cam. Unfortunately, she hears him talking and feelings get hurt.
But Modern Family never ends on a sad note. So here’s the tag scene for this episode: Barb is outside the bathroom door apologizing to Mitch (inside taking a bath) about her unknowingly touching him. He, of course, forgives her, so she walks into the bathroom to talk to him face-to-face. (Good thing you’re taking a bubble bath, Mitch!) Barb sits on the side of the tub, and the two talk for a bit. Barb yells out to Cam to get a camera and take a picture since they made up. Then her bracelet falls into the tub with Mitch, which she dim-wittingly searches for. Cam comes in to take the picture.