Punkin Chunkin (Modern Family)

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"Punkin Chunkin"
Modern Family episode
Punkin Chunkin (Modern Family).jpg
Cam (Eric Stonestreet) trying to prove his story is true while the whole family's watching.
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 9
Directed by Michael Spiller
Written by Ben Karlin
Production code 3ARG05
Original air date November 23, 2011
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"After the Fire"
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"Express Christmas"
List of Modern Family episodes

"Punkin Chunkin" is the ninth episode of the third season of the American sitcom Modern Family, and the series' 57th episode overall. It was aired on November 23, 2011. The episode was written by Ben Karlin and directed by Michael Spiller.

In the episode, an old kid neighbor of the Dunphys who never attend college but he is now billionaire due to his ideas for video games, visits them causing some tension to the family since Haley takes the opportunity to say that not going to college is not that bad if you follow your dreams while Phil blames Claire for holding him back from his dreams. Jay tries to give Manny constructive criticism but Gloria does not understand why they should tell Manny negative things. Mitchell questions the authenticity of Cameron's stories challenging him to prove that his stories are true.

"Punkin Chunkin" received mixed reviews from the critics.


The Dunphys receive a visit from their old kid neighbor Kenneth (Josh Gad) who idolized Phil (Ty Burrell). Kenneth tells the family that he dropped college and is now an Internet billionaire because of the ideas he had on video games, something that he owes to Phil since he was the one who was always telling him to follow his heart. Haley (Sarah Hyland) takes the opportunity to say that it is not so bad not to go to college and follow your dreams instead, something that upsets Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil says that Claire is always folding his dreams keeping him back.

Meanwhile, at the Pritchett-Delgado home, Jay (Ed O'Neill) tries to give Manny (Rico Rodriguez) a little constructive criticism but Gloria (Sofía Vergara) stops him all the time because she does not want to hurt Manny's feelings. Jay tries to explain her that it is not bad to tell Manny that he is not perfect in everything but she does not understand.

Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) are out with friends and Cameron is offended when Mitch does not feel good with his stories and questions the authenticity of them. Cameron insists that all his stories are true but he struggles to make Mitch believe them.

The whole family gathers at the Dunphys house to celebrate Thanksgiving but the whole family is divided between the "Dreamers" (Cameron, Phil and Gloria) and the Realists (Jay, Mitchell and Claire) with the Dreamers saying that their partners do not believe in them. The disagreement leads them to a football field so Cameron can prove that his story with the punkin chunkin is true.



In its original American broadcast "Punkin Chunkin" was watched by 12.72 million; slightly down from the previous episode.[1]


"Punkin Chunkin" received mixed reviews.

Claire Zulkey from The A.V. Club gave a B+ rate to the episode saying that "...the show didn’t go anywhere new tonight but it was good entertainment for the night before Thanksgiving."[2]

Leigh Raines of TV Fanatic gave the episode a 3/5 rate stating that this week's episode was "just depressing".[3]

Maris Kreizman from Vulture gave a good review to the episode saying: " The push and pull between the three main couples has always been the show’s lifeblood. If revisiting this dynamic sometimes comes at the detriment of plot and character development, well, at least it’s good for laughs."[4]


  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 28, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'The X Factor' Adjusted Up; 'Happy Endings,' 'Mobbed' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. 
  2. ^ Zulkey, Claire (November 23, 2011). "Punkin Chunkin". The A.V. Club. 
  3. ^ Raines, Leigh (November 23, 2011). "Modern Family Review: Dreamers vs. Realists". TV Fanatic. 
  4. ^ Kreizman, Maris (November 24, 2011). "Modern Family Recap: What Would Phil Dunphy Do?". Vulture. 

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