The third season of the comedy television series, Modern Family premiered September 21, 2011 and ended on May 23, 2012 on the American Broadcasting Company in the United States. Modern Family was officially renewed for a third season on January 10, 2011. The series airs at 9:00 pm ET on Wednesday on ABC and is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Lloyd-Levitan Productions with creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd as show runners.
This season like the previous seasons won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Eric Stonestreet, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Julie Bowen, along with Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for Steven Levitan, among the fourteen nominations it earned. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
The family vacations at a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Mitch and Cam gather the family together to announce that they want to adopt another child.
Jay's relationship with the dog irritates Gloria; Phil and Luke try to master the tightrope; Cameron starts a juice fast.
Jay helps Manny with a school fundraiser; Claire petitions for a stop sign at a busy intersection; Phil and Luke try to create a viral video; Gloria searches for Stella.
Gloria tries to help Jay and Manny with their problems but both are unreceptive; Claire considers running against Councilman Duane Bailey (David Cross); Cam and Mitch are the victims of a hit-and-run accident.
Phil takes Haley to visit his alma mater; Claire goes out with Mitchell and Cameron; Gloria and Jay may have to broach a delicate subject with Manny.
Gloria insists on a night of salsa dancing with Jay; Cameron goes too far when Mitchell and a friend challenge him to get a hot woman's (Leslie Mann) number; Phil builds a tree house.
After a fire destroys a neighbor's home, the whole family tries to help by organizing a community drive.
A former neighborhood resident, now rich and successful, returns for a visit; Jay thinks Manny needs constructive criticism; Mitchell questions the authenticity of Cameron's colorful childhood stories.
The family puts together a quick Christmas celebration when they realize they won't be together on the actual day.
When Phil misses a call from his doctor with test results, he immediately assumes the worst; Javier stops by to take Manny to the horse races; Mitchell's winning of an environmental law award sparks a competition.
Claire and Jay's competitive streaks lead them to take over their kids' school projects; Phil asks Haley and Gloria to help him with a presentation; Mitch and Cam meet with prospective birth mothers.
Claire prepares for her debate with Duane Bailey; Mitch and Cam try to clean up Lily's language before her turn as a flower girl; Jay blames Stella's strange behavior on Gloria.
Claire thinks Phil's new business partner is blatantly inappropriate.
After selling a house to Mitch and Cameron's friends, Claire and Phil plan a celebratory dinner; overindulging in drinks leads to over sharing.
Gloria learns about a secret that Claire has been hiding; one of Jay's proudest golf moments is ruined by Mitchell; Phil makes an inadvertent—and uncomfortable—discovery about one of his daughters.
The pressure is on Mitchell to get Cameron's birthday celebration just right, since he was born on Leap Day and it only comes once every four years. Meanwhile, Jay undergoes a masculinity crisis; and Phil's Leap Day plans hit a snag.
Cam runs into his former clown partner, Phil gets into some serious real estate competition, and Jay and Gloria have suspicions when Manny makes a new friend.
The all important election day has arrived and the whole family rallies for some last minute campaigning. Mitch and Cam ride around in a Vote for Claire' mobile, the Dunphy house is campaign central with everyone manning phones and soliciting votes, and Claire does some last minute interviews with a few technical difficulties.
Claire delicately helps Luke cope with the fact that his friend and their old neighbor, Walt, has passed. Phil takes Alex for some father-daughter bonding time, and Haley throws an unauthorized party. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria go over to Mitch and Cam's to have dinner with Cam's father, Merle, who is in town visiting and awkwardness and tension seem to be the rule of the night.
The Dunphys are in the market for a new car and Phil makes a spontaneous purchase without Claire. Will he have buyer's remorse? Meanwhile, Jay is determined to get to his high school reunion with Gloria and Manny in tow, and Lily loses her favorite stuffed animal on a public metro train, leaving Mitch and Cam with an inconsolable toddler.
Nothing is more quintessential to good ol' family fun than a trip to Disneyland, but not without a side of motion sickness, achy feet and a wayward toddler -- when the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan hits the park! Phil tries to keep up with Luke, Claire's shocked when they run into Dylan, Jay and Gloria disagree about what are sensible shoes for the day, and Mitch and Cam must contain Lily's new affinity for running.
It seems everyone has a bone to pick: Jay and Gloria get on each other's nerves while trying to simply order lunch at their local diner; Phil is put in the position of having to fire Mitchell; Cam and Claire have opposing theories on how to discipline children; and Manny is upset with Luke for accepting an award under false pretenses - all of which spells trouble for Alex who is counting on them to all work together for a "living art" school project display.
It's been an up-and-down emotional roller coaster for Mitch and Cam in their quest to adopt another child. Their latest ride has them bringing Gloria in tow as a translator, leaving Jay and Manny to look after Lily, who has a big dance recital coming up. Meanwhile Claire and Phil have a proud parenting moment when they send Alex off to her first prom, but then that is quickly marred with Haley's shocking news of her future plans.