Regrets Only

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"Regrets Only"
Modern Family episode
Regrets Only (Modern Family).jpg
Claire (Julie Bowen) talking to Jay (Ed O'Neill) about her fight with Phil (Ty Burrell) while eating ice-cream at the Mall
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 16
Directed by Dean Parisot
Written by Abraham Higginbotham
Production code 2ARG14
Original air date February 23, 2011[1]
Guest actors
  • Jeremy Scott Johnson (Andrew)
Season 2 episodes
Episode chronology
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"Princess Party"
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"Two Monkeys and a Panda"
List of Modern Family episodes

"Regrets Only" is the 16th episode of the American comedy television series, Modern Family's second season and the 40th overall. It was originally aired from the ABC on February 23, 2011. The episode was written by Abraham Higginbotham and directed by Dean Parisot.


At the Dunphys it is clear that Claire (Julie Bowen) spent the night on the couch and that she and Phil (Ty Burrell) had a huge fight, but he does not have a clue as to what it was about. Meanwhile Jay (Ed O'Neill) gave Gloria (Sofía Vergara) a karaoke machine as a gift that she loves but he still regrets because of Gloria's off key loud singing. Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) is trying to arrange for a very important fund raising that gives him the chance to upstage his "nemesis" Andrew (Jeremy Scott Johnson).

Jay comes to the Dunphys to help them fix the microwave oven door which was torn apart during Phil and Claire's fight, but the official version of the disaster in the kitchen is that a raccoon came in through the dog trap door and Claire had to fight it off with a fire extinguisher. Since Jay can not fix the oven, Claire asks Phil to take her to the mall to buy a new one but he says that he was on his way to have a hair cut (which is really only an excuse to avoid going to the mall with Claire). Gloria volunteers to cut Phil's hair and Jay agrees to take Claire to the mall (which is also an excuse to avoid having to videotape Gloria singing on the karaoke machine).

While having his hair cut (and Gloria's breasts in his face) Phil talks with Gloria about the fight and they try to figure out what caused it. He and Gloria come to the conclusion that the fight maybe was about him mistakenly buying broccoli instead of cauliflower. In the mall Jay discovers why Phil did not want to come with Claire. Claire while getting a massage makes all kinds of loud embarrassing noises. While eating an ice cream Claire tells her side of the story and it turns out that Phil went to lunch with a friend and had an amazing salad that he loved which Claire had been telling him about for years but he never tried. She left to walk around the block after having a meltdown and throwing the broccoli at Phil, but as she walked out the door her night gown got caught in the door and she had to get back into the house through the dog trap door, which Phil confused with a raccoon and he was the one to attack her with the fire extinguisher.

Meanwhile Haley (Sarah Hyland) has been "working" as a waitress and getting always just under $60.00 in tips. However Alex (Ariel Winter) figures that Haley is tricking her parents after Manny (Rico Rodriguez) tells her that he has not seen Haley at the restaurant, since her parents are matching her tips in order to buy a car and she has been flashing the same $60.00 over and over again. She arranges that the family go for dinner at the restaurant and texts Haley to tell her. Once in the restaurant Haley tells them that there are no tables left but Alex called to make a reservation. Haley "takes" their drink order, as it turns out she has a table of her own and she orders everything on her own tab. Phil is trying to undo everything that might have caused the fight of the night before but when the menus arrive he tells Claire about the salad and she has a new meltdown and storms out of the restaurant. Haley uses this opportunity to "get fired" after her mother's outburst, foiling Alex's plan to expose her as a fake.

Cameron is gloating about the event that he is preparing with a harp duo called "Harp attack", since there haven't been any cancellations so far, but Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) finds in the back of his car all the invitations that he was supposed to have sent but never did. He tells nothing to Cameron and tries to have as many people come by asking them over the phone, but since there is a similar event on the same evening many are already engaged.

Cameron has hired Luke (Nolan Gould) to help to arrange his musical soirée and he gets a call from his friend Longines, who he asks for a couple of chairs. During that conversation he learns that no invitations were sent. He calls Mitchell over the phone and orders him to fix it. Mitchell calls everyone he knows and manages to bring a few people to the event, which turns out to be double the attendance of Andrew's event the year before.

Meanwhile, Phil shows Claire a photo album of pictures from when they just started dating. He shows that he has changed a lot as a result of her advice and that he does listen to her.

Gloria has learned a new song and is about to try it on the karaoke. As Jay is about to tell her that he can't take it anymore, Manny runs in and begs his mother to stop it, that the karaoke will destroy their family and accuses Jay of being a coward.

In the epilogue Jay tries out the karaoke, a surprisingly good rendition of "Danny Boy" but it suddenly stops when Manny unplugs it telling Jay, very sternly, that if he keeps it going, it will not be the only plug he will pull out.



In its original American broadcast, "Regrets Only" was viewed by an estimated 10.35 million households and received a 4.1 rating/11% share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49.[2] This marked a season low for the series.[2] Despite this the episode became Wednesday's highest rated scripted program.[2][3]


The episode got mixed reviews.

TV Squad writer Joel Keller praised the episode for mixing up the three families writing that "the humor was rooted in the comedy of recognition that got 'Modern Family' all those Emmys last year."[4]

John Teti from The A.V. Club gave a B- rate to the episode saying that clichés are not necessarily a problem when they executed in fresh ways but sometimes tired is tired. He stated though that Mitchell and Cameron's storyline is the bright spot of the night and doesn't need to be saved. "Sometimes, tired is tired. A couple having an argument while the man doesn’t know what it’s about is tired. A wacky character with a terrible singing voice—except she doesn’t realize it, and she just loves to sing!—is tired. No amount of stylish storytelling is going to save these musty tropes. At least, it doesn’t tonight."[5]

Christine N. Ziemba from Paste Magazine rated the episode with 8.4/10 saying that for the first time on awhile the show didn't pull any punches with the jokes. "There were many more belly laughs in this episode that in the previous two combined, with great writing and perfect delivery by the cast. The use of physical comedy and quick delivery balanced against the pauses and imploring stares into the camera went a long way. A hat tip to this week’s scene stealers: Bowen, Burrell and O’Neill. We’ll see if the show can top itself next week."[6]

Matt Richenthal from TV Fanatic gave 3/5 to the episode saying that for the first time in memory, when it comes to that show, he didn't laugh out loud. "For a few weeks, the series has been teetering close to feeling like a regular sitcom. Sadly, it fell off that edge here, courtesy of a confluence of cliches and set-ups that I've seen a million times before."[7]


  1. ^ "Daily News Releases". Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  2. ^ a b c Seidman, Robert (2011-02-15). "TV Ratings Wednesday: Idol Dominates; ‘Modern Family’ Hits Lows; ‘Suspect Behavior’ Tumbles". Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (2011-02-21). "ABC Freshman ‘Better with You’ Towers Over NBC’s ‘Minute to Win It’ at 8:30pm". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  4. ^ "'Modern Family' Season 2, Episode 16 Recap". 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  5. ^ Teti, John (February 23, 2011). "Regrets Only". The A.V. Club. 
  6. ^ Ziemba, Christine (February 24, 2011). "Modern Family Review (Ep. 2.16 - Regrets Only)". Paste Magazine. 
  7. ^ Richenthal, Matt (February 24, 2011). "Modern Family Review: A Not So Happy Valenbirthuhhhversary...". TV Fanatic. 

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