Planes, Trains and Cars
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|"Planes, Trains, and Cars"|
|Modern Family episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Michael Spiller|
|Written by||Paul Corrigan
|Original air date||May 2, 2012|
|Season 3 episodes|
|List of Modern Family episodes|
"Planes, Trains, and Cars" is the 21st episode of the third season of the American sitcom Modern Family and the series' 69th episode overall. It aired on ABC on May 2, 2012 and was written by Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh, and directed by Michael Spiller.
Phil's friend Andre (Kevin Hart) convinces him to buy a two-seat convertible instead of his regular Cadillac, and despite his fear of Claire's reaction, he decides to do it anyway. Claire is hesitant to criticize Phil's decision and hopes he will realize buying the convertible was a mistake on his own. Due to the convertible only being a two-seater, Phil is forced to switch cars with Claire for work. Claire decides to ditch her chores and to take the convertible to the coast for some time to herself. She soon loses the keys on the beach and Phil later arrives with a spare. The two spend time together and agree to make time for one another from now on.
Cam and Mitchell lose Lily's favorite stuffed rabbit on the subway. They try and get Lily to choose a new favorite out of her other toys, but she refuses. Cam and Mitchell are therefore forced to go to desperate lengths to get the stuffed rabbit back, including putting up fliers in the subway and offering a reward for its safe return. They soon decide that Lily will have to deal with her loss when they discover the stuffed animal has been in the care of a homeless man.
Jay is ecstatic to take Gloria and Manny on a trip to his college reunion as he claims was considered somewhat of a legend by his fellow students. Jay is irritated when he's forced to drive them there due to Gloria's refusal to ride in a small airplane. One of the tires punctures and they are once again forced to find an alternative way to travel to the reunion. Gloria is hesitant to go and wants to return home until she realizes Jay is so excited to go because he wants to show his new family off to his old friends, who all used to think that Jay wouldn't amount to much. Gloria agrees to go with him, happy to play the trophy wife role.
The episode receive mixed reviews from critics. Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode a "C" rating, bemoaning the lack of a unifying theme between the three stories, and called the Mitchell and Cameron storyline "horrifyingly realistic". 
Leigh Raines of TV Fanatic gave the episode a positive review summing up the overall episode by saying "coming off of an episode that I personally was not a fan of, I can honestly say that, while not sidesplittingly hilarious, this outing did leave me with a smile".
Christine N. Ziemba of Paste Magazine gave the episode a more mixed to negative review. She criticized the character of Gloria, stating that "we know that Gloria has often used her, ahem, assets to get what she wants, but it’s a little degrading to watch her objectified". Ziemba was also critical of Manny's role in the episode. She said "Manny wasn't quite himself either, turning from a sensitive old soul, who’s wise beyond his years, into a snotty brat". Ziemba described the episode overall as "mediocre".
The episode was watched by 10.06 million viewers with an adult 18-49 rating/share of 4.0/11. 
- Bowman, Donna (May 23, 2012). "Modern Family: Planes, Trains, and Cars". A.V. Club. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (May 3, 2012). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'SVU', 'Survivor', 'Modern Family', & 'ANTM' Adjusted Up, 'Don't Trust the B' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 20, 2012.