It’s Father’s Day in the Modern Family season 8 premiere titled The Tale of Three Cities. The extended Pritchett-Delgado-Dunphy-Tucker clan are at the tail end of their summer vacations from three different cities and they all converge to celebrate Father’s Day at Jay and Gloria’s house.
The Dunphy family just had a great week in New York. However, Claire (Julie Bowen) has a closet convention that she needs to attend in Raleigh, North Carolina. They send their kids home on a plane and they decide to take a road trip to the convention. At least that was the plan.
The kids decide to spend a few more days in New York to have fun without their parents. Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire have the same line of thinking and they also decide to enjoy a few more days in New York. The family members call each other and go to great lengths to avoid getting caught. They all converge back home, where they all promise to keep the big secret.
Meanwhile, Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) spend the summer in Missouri with Cam’s family. Mitch isn’t too thrilled to spend the vacation sitting by the bedside of Cam’s comatose grandmother. He ends up saying a lot of insensitive things and the entire family turns against him, including Cam. Things get even worse when she dies while he’s the only person in the room with her.
Elsewhere, Gloria (Sofia Vergara), Jay (Ed O’Neill) and their kids travel to Juarez to attend a wedding. Gloria’s sister Sonia is there, and Jay makes the mistake of mentioning Gloria’s hot sauce business.
Just as Gloria expected, her extremely jealous sister freaks out about the hot sauce recipe that their great aunt gave to both of them. She follows the family home and decides to kidnap Manny. While Jay panics, Gloria handles everything and tells him that kidnappings are not a big deal in their family.
Manny saves his own skin when he creeps Sonia out. He starts flirting with her, and she is forced to drive back to return him. Sonia confronts Gloria and Jay tries to mediate. They eventually patch things up when Gloria admits that she was always jealous of how their father loved Sonia more. For her part, Sonia was happy enough to discover one thing that Gloria is jealous about.
With everything seemingly back in order, Jay hosts the Father’s Day meal. All hell breaks loose when Luke admits staying in New York with his siblings. Despite Claire’s efforts to cover up their own decision to stay, Haley figures it out.
Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam continue to argue about the conflict with Cam’s family. Jay throws in the towel and declares that his Father’s Day is a disaster after he watches his chaotic family. It doesn’t help either that his youngest son, Joe is turning into a kleptomaniac. What’s worse, he comes to the conclusion that Gloria’s daddy issues might be the only reason why she’s with him in the first place!