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Modern Family: Fifteen Percent

the thirteenth episode in Season 1

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Modern Family keeps me entertained

  • Feb 21, 2010

“People can change” is the theme of the 13th episode. It opens with Claire trying to use the new entertainment system that Phil setup in the living room and having problems. Phil uses a crazy analogy when trying to help her saying she has to think of the remote as the human body, the receiver as the brain and the television as the face. Claire then quips saying I know what part you would play, referencing to Phil being the ass. This scene is one of the things that makes this show so funny because everyone can relate.

We then see Cameron bumping into Jay and his friends on the street and Jay introduces him as his son’s “friend.” Once Mitchell finds out from Cameron what his dad says he is upset and ends up telling his dad that his friend Shorty is gay and his gaydar is always pinging (correct) and it leaves Jay in disbelief.

Manny, who might be my favorite character on the show, is talking to his mother while getting ready to go out on a date with a lady he met in an online book club but they learn soon Whitney is much older. They end up consoling her and Gloria says in her country they say that love is right around the corner, and then to the faux-documentary camera she states that she comes from a neighborhood with a lot of prostitutes.  This show has so many one-liners that make you laugh out loud.

Jay really starts to wonder if Shorty is indeed gay while talking to and Gloria says he should talk to him. But Jay says that men don’t talk about their feelings but only about sports, cars and getting up to pee in the middle of the night.

Phil comes home and finds out that Gloria smashes the remote and it continues their argument. Gloria gives another jab to Phil that she apologizes for breaking the worst remote ever. Phil then says he will  show Claire how easy it is to use by teaching their “dumbest” child.

We find out later that Shorty isn’t gay and because of the confusion Jay ends up helping him pay off a bookie and Shorty gives one of the funniest lines of the show. *See below*

Haley passes the test on the television Claire ends up waking her up in the middle of the night so she doesn’t have to learn from Phil.

At the end Mitchell wonders to the faux-camera if people change, saying I think people are who the are, give or take 15%, that’s how much they can change if they really want to but sometimes that 15% is just enough.


Funniest lines/parts of episode:

·         Phil saying he will show Claire how easy it is to use by teaching their “dumbest” child.

·         “Look, two things flaming at once.” Mitchell commenting to the florist when the flowers Cameron put into the microwave to kill them catch on fire.

·         “If you don’t relax you won’t ever get that shaft where it belongs.” Shorty giving Jay an uncomfortable golf lesson.

·         “I have a house that looks like little Columbia, a gay son and a Chinese granddaughter (who is actually Vietnamese.)” Jay when discussing his life with Mitchell after telling him Shorty wasn’t gay.

What did you think of this review?

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April 09, 2010
This is a great recap of the episode! My favorite part was when we learned that Phil was a cheerleader in college!!
February 22, 2010
great review for a funny episode
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Quick Tip by . December 29, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
Jay gets called on his gay views when one of his friends is picked up on gaydar by Mitchell, Claire rebels against Phils creature comfort remote and Glora and Manny dress up a frumpy spinster who thinks she found the right man in Cameron. I love the ending to this one.
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John Petrovic ()
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Fifteen Percent is the name of the thirteenth episode of the American Broadcasting Company sitcom Modern Family' season 1. In the episode Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) plants the seed in Jay's head (Ed O'Neill) that he thinks one of Jay's old buddies, Shorty (Chazz Palminteri), might be secretly gay. Jay doesn't believe it for a second except for all the questionable signs he now keeps noticing. Meanwhile Gloria (Sofía Vergara) gives Manny's (Rico Rodriguez II) date a makeover. Also, Claire (Julie Bowen) faces off with Phil's (Ty Burrell) universal remote. While golfing it is revealed that Shorty is not gay, but in debt which Jay offerered to help thinking he was gay. Phil teaches Haley how to use the remote and in the night with everybody asleep Haley teaches Claire how to use the remote and Whitney falls in love with Cameron not knowing he's gay.

The episode was written by co-creator Steven Levitan and directed by Jason Winer. The episode aired in the United States on January 24, 2010 on ABC and achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.2/11, attracting 9.828 million viewers. The episode received generally positive reviews from critics.


The wraparound theme of this episode involves people changing and growing.

The central plotline involves Mitchell planting the seed in Jay's head that he thinks one of Jay's buddies, Shorty, might be secretly gay. Jay and his buddies met Cameron, whom Jay introduced as Mitchell's friend. This incensed Mitchell, who tells Jay ...
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