Jay has just recently married his younger, Colombian wife, Gloria, but he's having trouble keeping up with her and her son Manny. Claire is having trouble with her own family, especially with her husband Phil, who thinks he can be hip with his three kids. Also, Mitchell and his partner Cameron adopt a Vietnamese baby, Lily.
The entire family is invited to Jay and Gloria's for a barbeque and the football game. But the barbeque becomes an awkward affair following an earlier incident at school between Manny and Luke.
Jay and Phil fly a model airplane. Claire and Manny bond as siblings. Mitchell and Cameron go shopping at Costco. Gloria helps Alex buy a dress.
Dede, Claire and Mitchell's mother, stops in for a surprise visit and wants to try to make up with everyone that she offended during "the incident" that she caused at Jay and Gloria's wedding. No one is eager to see her, but everything comes into play when the whole family meets at Claire's house for dinner.
The whole family is invited for some barbeque and football at Gloria and Jay's house. However, earlier at school there was an incident between Manny and Luke, making things very awkward for Claire and Gloria. Things heat up when an offensive label is uttered.
It's the first day of school for the families. With all of the kids out of the house, Phil misreads how Claire is dealing with the empty house. Jay and Gloria have a disagreement over Manny's choice of an outfit for his first day of school. Also, Mitchell and Cameron become very upset when they find out that Lily suffered her first bump to the head.
Manny becomes interested in fencing and the whole family comes out to cheer him on. However, with Jay being so interested in Manny's success at fencing, Mitchell's old childhood wound is triggered. Meanwhile, Phil tries to see if Luke has any hidden talents of his own.
Claire has had a history of giving bad gifts. So, she decides to give Phil a surprising anniversary present, which is a private performance by Izzy LaFontaine, one of their favorite musicians. However, this unexpected gift is unexpected in more than one way. Also, Cameron and Mitchell call their party-girl friend, Sal, for a night on the town.
Phil and Claire throw Luke the biggest and best birthday that he could want. However, Cameron arrives as Fizbo, the clown, who triggers a chain of events that leads to someone ending up in the hospital.
The Dunphy kids are in trouble again, but this time Claire and Phil are threatening to take Christmas away. Gloria and Manny want to incorporate some of their Colombian practices into Jay's holiday traditions, but he wants to keep it his way. Meanwhile Cameron and Mitchell take Lily to the mall for her first picture with Santa, however this Santa isn't very jolly.
When Javier, Manny's unreliable dad, arrives, Jay's reaction is less than enthusiastic, worrying Gloria. Meanwhile, Claire is left with no other choice than to call for the hot firemen to rush Phil to the hospital when he suffers from kidney stones. Also, Mitchell and Cameron attempt to sleep train Lily, but they have a harder time than she does.
Claire finds a scandalous picture on the computer and assumes it was because of Luke, but Phil doesn't admit it was him instead. Meanwhile, Gloria and Jay have a fight over Jay's beloved life-sized dog butler statue, and Cameron begins to sympathize with their gardener.
Mitchell believes one of Jay's old buddies, Shorty, may be gay in secret, while Jay doesn't believe it for a second except for all the signs he now keeps noticing. Meanwhile, Gloria gives Manny's date a make-over, and Claire faces off with Phil's universal remote.
Claire is disappointed when an old friend, Valerie, comes for a visit but is not the same as Claire had remembered. Meanwhile, Jay has an awkward moment in the locker room with Cameron when they go to play racquetball, and Mitchell helps Gloria with some legal problems.
Claire and Phil plan a Valentine's Day excursion; Jay takes Gloria to a comedy show; Cameron and Mitchell try to play cupid for Manny.
When Phil and Luke embark on a discovery expedition underneath the house, Phil tries not to let his fear of the dark and of creepy crawlies get the best of him. Meanwhile, Claire takes a nervous Haley to the DMV for her driver's test, Manny's sudden illness before a friend's amusement park birthday party makes Gloria suspicious, and Cameron and Mitchell invite Lily's pediatrician over for what turns out to be an anxiety-ridden brunch.
After reconnecting on Facebook, Phil invites his old high school girlfriend to drop by the house, but this friendly visit quickly turns into trouble. Meanwhile Jay accidentally kills Manny's beloved pet turtle, then goes to extremes to cover his tracks, and an overworked Mitchell finally stands up to his boss.
Jay and Mitchell go on their traditional father-and-son outing to see the meteor showers, but Mitchell is upset when he finds out that Manny will be joining them. Cameron and Gloria spend some quality time together, with some minor incidents, while Phil and Claire both take on one of their child's school projects.
It's Phil's birthday and there's a new product he wants coming out at the same time. Meanwhile, Mitchell decides to toughen up and Cameron gets talks to a neighbor about marital problems, but he gets too involved with the neighbor's stories.
During an intense basketball game, Luke and Manny's coach quits, which leads to Jay and Phil stepping in to help out. Meanwhile, Mitchell helps Cameron find a prospective employer.
Phil's father shows up for a visit with an RV and a dog, making Claire believe that he is hiding a more serious reason for coming. Meanwhile, Cameron fills in as a drummer for Dylan's band and Jay and Gloria take Manny to a horror movie that traumatizes him.
Gloria surprises Jay with a trip to Hawaii for his birthday, but he isn't pleased to find out that the entire family is tagging along. When everyone arrives at the airport, chaos ensues with forgotten identification, breeches of security, and flying phobias.
Jay could not be more excited to do nothing but indulge and relax in this tropical paradise, but then an unexpected reality check dampens his plans. Meanwhile, Phil is determined to make this trip romantic for Claire, Mitchell and Cameron have opposing views on whether to sightsee or not to sightsee, and the kids get into a little bit of mischief when left to their own devices.
Claire makes an effort to take a new family portrait, but everybody is too busy to cooperate: Gloria and Manny go with Phil and Alex to a Lakers game and share an awkward moment on the jumbotron, Cameron gets a job as a wedding singer while Mitchell takes care of Lilly and a stray pigeon, and Luke interviews Jay for a school project.