When Alex returns from a humanitarian trip, the family dynamic shifts; Cameron remains in a lovey-dovey mood even after the honeymoon ends; Gloria gives Jay a taste of his own medicine after noticing the lack of effort he puts into his appearance.
Jay and Gloria can't agree on what kind of anniversary gifts they want to exchange. The Dunphys go with Alex to Caltech for her college tour. Mitch, Cam, and Lily take a new family portrait.
Phil must make creative edits in Cam and Mitch's wedding video when footage reveals that Phil is responsible for a terrible cold that has plagued the family; Gloria and Jay try to help Manny cope with stress in different ways.
The Dunphys move into a cramped hotel room while their house is getting treated for mold and Phil sees this as an opportunity to spend some quality time together but Claire and the kids are less than enthused. Gloria becomes over protective when Manny starts dating an older, popular girl, and Cameron is under a lot of pressure to maintain his team's winning streak but when he realizes Mitchell may be a jinx, emotions run high.
Phil is selling the house next door and he and Claire are excited by the prospect of having wonderful new neighbors, but that quickly turns into panic when a loud and obnoxious couple come to look at the house. Jay forbids Manny to see his new girlfriend when he realizes she's the granddaughter of his biggest business rival. Mitch and Cam are determined to switch Lily out of Mrs. Plank's class since she is known to rule with an iron fist - and she also scares them.
Claire allows Phil to take over Halloween this year, so he decides to turn the house into AwesomeLand. Cameron gets overwhelmed by the day's activities. Mitchell has closing arguments for a huge case, and it doesn't help that the stenographer is dressed like a spider.
Phil and Claire don't know if they should be happy or concerned that Haley and Andy are spending a lot of time together, however, they soon find things are not what they appear. Gloria is pushing Manny to learn Spanish instead of French so she goes ahead and hires a Spanish tutor, Diego, who also happens to be very handsome, much to Manny and Jay's chagrin. Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam meet a popular news reporter at a school function and one of them peaks her journalistic interest.
Phil is cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year with Luke as his sous chef, and Claire has no confidence in them and prepares a secret turkey of her own as backup. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria had plans to spend the holiday away but when the trip gets canceled last minute, they decide not to tell anyone which quickly becomes the worst idea ever since the family dinner gets suddenly moved to their house and it turns into a mad scramble to cover their tracks. Mitch is tired of always being the bad cop so when Lily refuses to wear a nice dress to dinner, he forces Cameron to deal with it who then comes up with a very unconventional approach.
When Alex tells Phil and Claire she has a boyfriend, they worry they've put too much pressure on her and has made up an imaginary boyfriend. Jay and Gloria both have parties that they are dragging the other to and Jay has a clever plan to get himself out of it, but Manny just might spoil everything. Mitch and Cam just got a beautiful white couch delivered but when Mitch is stuck helping out Brenda, a distressed co-worker, and allows her to stay - it is a mishap waiting to happen.
Haley is turning twenty-one and the whole family is taking her to a bar to celebrate! Claire really wants Haley to start seeing her as a friend rather than her uptight mom, Mitch and Cam make the sad realization that they may not be as cool as they thought, and Phil and Jay's quick pit stop to pick up Haley's gift, a new car, becomes a disaster. Back at home, Alex, Luke and Manny babysit Lily and she decides to drop the ?where do babies come from- bomb.
While driving out to get breakfast, the Dunphys plus Manny have a near death experience causing everyone to reevaluate their lives. Claire resolves to be more fun and less uptight, Haley and Alex agree not to fight anymore, Manny refuses to ever ride in a car again, Luke wants to check off his bucket list, Phil decides to be a take action type of guy, and the rest of the family has to bear the brunt of all the new attitudes.
Claire is furious about neighbors Ronnie and Amber's eye-sore of a boat on their front lawn and it soon becomes an all-out war when Phil calls in the "big guns" as back up - his dad Frank and all his retired friends to give them a taste of their own medicine. Elsewhere, Jay is trying to potty train Joe but Gloria does not think he's ready yet, and Cam secretly takes Lily to clown school behind Mitchell's back.
Phil is starting to feel the teenage cold shoulder from Luke, and with Andy hanging around a lot recently as his apprentice, he easily steps in as his new right hand man. Meanwhile, Gloria and the doctors suspect that Joe might be allergic to Stella which leaves Jay in a very tough predicament, and Mitchell is doing some freelance legal work at Jay's closet company and working with Claire becomes a very enlightening experience for the both of them.
Valentine's Day means 'Juliana' and 'Clive' are back, but things get worrisome when Claire starts sensing Phil may be more into Juliana than her. Jay goes from feeling disappointed to scared when Gloria's visiting sister becomes a larger deterrence for a romantic evening with Gloria than he thought. Mitchell and Cameron get themselves in a precarious situation with a good friend.
After a long reunion weekend with Phil's old cheer buddies, Claire jumps at the chance to snag the only first class seat left on the return flight home, leaving Phil in coach. Gloria forces Jay to teach Manny how to defend himself against a bully in his cooking class, but when things backfire it seems that the real bully might be someone else. Mitch, Cameron, Pepper and the whole gang throw Sal a belated baby shower.
Claire's computer becomes the hub of all the family's activities when she gets stuck at the airport and is desperate to reach Haley after a big fight. After FaceTiming with Phil and the rest of the family to help track her down, Claire quickly turns to online snooping which inevitably becomes disturbing real quick and everyone gets sucked into the online drama.
Jay and Claire shoot a Pritchett Closets commercial. A drone is spying on Gloria. Lily prepares to perform in her school talent show. Haley's feelings for Andy become even more complicated.
Spring break has Claire doing some spring cleaning, while Phil struggles with not being a spring chicken when Luke starts outperforming him at seemingly everything. Haley takes Alex to a music festival to take her mind off of colleges, and Gloria and Jay challenge one another to give up Spanish soap operas and cigars respectively. However, when Gloria accompanies Cameron to his faculty talent show, she projects the soapy drama she craves onto Cam's rivalry with Senor Kaplan, and Jay tags along with Mitchell to pick up Lily from camp so he can sneak a smoke.
Jay's birthday brings everyone together and Phil is beside himself over the super cool gift he got Jay, a high-tech outdoor grill. Claire and Mitch decide they will "offer" to pay back the money Jay loaned them ages ago as their gift not really thinking he will take them up on it, and Gloria teaches Manny and Luke a lesson about drinking, while Andy gets real awkward with Haley when she brings over her new doctor boyfriend.
Jay agrees to sub in on Cam's bowling team, not knowing it's an all-gay league. Phil and Clair have an unexpectedly nice time with their neighbors. Gloria and Mitch agree to go out with Haley.
Phil and Jay run an errand together to pick up Lily's hand me down princess castle for Joe, both though are in a mood because Phil is upset that Claire won't let him buy an arcade machine, and Jay thinks Gloria is letting Joe play with too many girlie items. Mitch and Cam babysit Joe and both get the itch for another baby - that is until Joe presents to be quite the handful! Meanwhile, Gloria tries to help Haley stand up for herself at work, and Claire tries to bribe Luke's principal to give him one of the student awards this year.
Alex's worst nightmare is realized when she gets news that she has to share the Valedictorian title with her number one competitor, Sanjay! Both sets of parents get equally caught up in the rivalry and convince Principal Brown to let them break the tie via a gym grade they both have not completed - a one mile run. Elsewhere, Gloria is studying for her upcoming U.S. citizenship test and a visit from Javier throws her off her game, and Mitch and Cam blindly agree to join a protest against a local restaurant that they are actually secretly excited about.
The family is determined to make Alex celebrate her senior ditch day and Phil, Luke and Haley forcefully take her out but end up at an unexpected detour. Claire is torn when she gets a job offer from a big hotel chain but feeling torn quickly gets replaced with feelings of confusion when she can't tell whether or not Jay really cares if she stays or goes. And with Manny groggy off of pain huggers from his wisdom teeth procedure, Gloria seizes the moment to put a sabotage plan into effect to break Manny and his new girlfriend up.
The whole family is at Jay & Gloria's for Alex's graduation party, except for Phil, who ingeniously figured out a way to be there via skype and a robotic vessel after being unexpectedly detained in Seattle on a business trip. During the celebration, Jay frets about Gloria's cousin who has overstayed his welcome, Claire stresses out about giving Alex the perfect gift, Mitch hides news of being laid off from Cam and Andy's girlfriend, Beth, is in town stirring up a whole lot tension with Haley which finally leads to a realization that may have come too late.