Wedding bells are ringing in season five of Modern Family. As Cam and Mitchell bicker over plans for their big day, the rest of the family has its hands full adapting to new jobs, new schools, and a new male nanny. There are babysitting disasters, an anniversary to celebrate, misguided male bonding, and everything from high-stakes poker to high-maintenance in-laws.
The family is in the throes of summer activities: Phil and Claire are trying to orchestrate a kid-free week by coordinating Luke's camp with Haley's beach trip and Alex's volunteering excursion; Jay and Gloria are getting Manny ready for his first solo trip back to Colombia; and Mitch and Cam make it a summer to remember.
Luke and Manny have their first day at high school, which proves to be harder for Phil and Gloria than for the boys. Elsewhere, Claire makes her big return to the workforce at Jay's closet company and is a little rusty on her first day, and Cam starts a new substituting gig at the high school, leaving Mitch to try to juggle Lily's first day of pre-school and a very important meeting at work.
Phil's job takes up a lot of his time; Luke has his friends over for a poker game; Gloria worries the baby is cursed; Cam hosts a funeral for the cat's imaginary wife.
Cam’s single sister Pam visits. Gloria needs glasses. Claire convinces Phil to skip one of Luke’s volleyball tournaments.
The adults struggle to make it to a hot new restaurant in time for the reservation Jay pulled a lot of strings to get.
Jay and Manny oppose Gloria's decision to hire a male nanny. Phil and Jay try to cheer up Frank. Mitch and Cam ask Pepper to help plan their wedding.
The family attends the annual school fair and Phil has a big 20th wedding anniversary surprise planned for Claire at the fairgrounds, but unfortunately, she simultaneously has a surprise for him back at home. Gloria signs Jay up to be a fair cop for the day and it gets worse when he’s partnered up with his nemesis. Elsewhere, Mitch, Cam and Lily try to enjoy the fair but Cam is in a funk from the football team’s recent losing streak, and Haley has an awkward first encounter with Andy.
With some urging from Claire, Jay begrudgingly agrees to return to ClosetCon this year, and things get interesting when Jay is reunited with some old colleagues. Cam takes Mitch and Lily to the Tucker family farm for the first time and is excited to fold them into country life, that is until Grams pays an unexpected visit. And back at home, Phil, Gloria and the kids get into some mischief involving Jay’s very delicate Apollo 13 spacecraft model
With a big football game coming up and a record to break, Coach Cam is intensely focused and showing no mercy even when the opposing team is playing with an unexpected disadvantage. Elsewhere, Claire is determined to prove to the staff that she is more than just the boss's daughter, and Phil tries to teach his kids a lesson about optimism, but the universe just isn't cooperating.
Jay takes Manny out to cut down their own Christmas tree, and Gloria is on edge with mom in town, but changes her tune when she sees her bonding with Claire. Elsewhere, Mitchell is forced to do last minute shopping when they didn’t get Lily the right gift, and Cameron takes Lily to a charity event where they experience the true meaning of Chritmas.
Phil tricks Luke into taking a dance class, but the jokes on him when the white lie indirectly lands him in the slammer. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria are throwing birthday parties for both Manny and Joe and are concerned Manny might be going for girls out of his league, and Mitch and Cam get a rude awakening in the cutthroat world of booking a wedding venue.
The high school open house puts the parents in a bit of a time warp when Claire finds herself stressed out by all the pressure, Gloria encounters a “mean girl” mom and Jay teaches Phil how to play a little hookie. Elsewhere, Mitchell gets defensive when he encounters his judgemental, environmentalist neighbor and Alex goes to see a therapist.
Haley turns the tables when Claire and Phil try to talk with her about her future; Jay receives news from his friend Shorty and his wife, Darlene; Cam and Mitch go on a romantic date.
Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they’re hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman, but Jay misinterprets her anger for another offense he committed. And, Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.
Phil is upset to have lost his elected office of social chair to his nemesis Gil Thorpe, and when he finds out Luke is competing against Gil's kid in a wrestling match, it becomes his own personal battle. Claire is nervous for a big client meeting but things get extra hairy when Mitch and Cam ask her to pick up Lily from school and conveniently leave out the fact that her class just had a lice scare. Elsewhere, Gloria chaperones Manny's school field trip to the museum.
Cameron is in charge of the school’s big spring dance, but when a popular teacher returns from sabbatical, a bit of not-so-friendly competition blooms. And with Claire on chaperone duty at the dance, Phil gets Haley to accompany him to his annual realtor’s banquet and is looking forward to impressing his little girl. Elsewhere, Mitch starts a new job and can’t seem to get a good read on the new boss or the work environment. Jay and Gloria babysit Lily and an accident with Gloria’s purse ignites a case of whodunit and it’s Lily’s word against baby Joe’s.
It’s male-bonding day when Jay takes Luke into the garage to show him the way around tools and impart some manly wisdom, and Gloria goes with Claire and Lily to shop for Lily’s flower girl dress. Elsewhere, Mitch, Cam, Alex and Manny go for a cultured day at the museum but it eventually becomes survival of the smartest. And Phil enthusiastically offers to help Andy with his anniversary gift to his girlfriend, which is an elaborate video expression of his love.
he adults are Vegas-bound when Jay hooks them up with Excelsior Level hotel accommodations courtesy of one of his big clients, but after learning there’s an even higher level, Jay becomes obsessed with upgrading. Meanwhile, everyone’s sneaking around when Claire secretly hits the tables to win back money she lost years ago, Phil goes underground auditioning for a secret society of magicians, Cam ducks out of a spa day with Mitch to join their friend’s bachelor party shenanigans, and Gloria is determined to hide a female version of dog butler Barkley from Jay.
Mitch struggles to hide his true feelings about the unflattering wedding topper Cam's father whittled out of soap for them, Phil tries to help Gloria sell her pre-Jay apartment but they get sidetracked at the neighborhood salon, and Claire and the kids head over to Jay's early to help him prep for the special night with the family he's hosting but they end up just butting heads.
The entire family tags along as Phil fulfills his mom’s wish for him to return to his roots and visit the country where he was conceived, Australia. Unfortunately, Phil’s attempts to embrace his native land are met by a lot of rejection, while Jay and Claire let work eat into vacation time, and Mitch and Cam get reacquainted with an old friend they can’t stand but is now a big-time celebrity in Australia
Phil fails at his one task to stay home and wait for the repairman, forcing him to tell an elaborate lie to hide the truth from Claire, but the stress is more than he can physically handle. Meanwhile, Gloria is obsessing over the family portrait she is responsible for organizing this year. Claire accuses Cam of being too snobby to use her girls’ hand-me-downs and Jay secretly enters Stella in a dog show.
Jay, Gloria and Manny challenge each other to step outside their comfort zone and try something new. Mitch and Cam’s wedding is getting too big and costly so they resort to selling a couple of their prized possessions, and the kids play a joke on Phil and Claire.
Mitch and Cam’s big day is finally here and nothing can ruin it, until nothing turns into a whole lot of somethings and puts wedding planner extraordinaire Pepper Saltzman to the test. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria host the Tuckers, Phil squeezes in an eye procedure before the festivities and Claire embraces her role as “best woman".
The wedding day chaos continue as the entire party shifts from one contingency plan to another. Guests start to get testy, Mitchell and Cameron are feeling discouraged and poor Claire shows physical wear and tear, but an unexpected turn of events leads to the ceremony we’ve all been waiting for.