Halloween is the first Halloween episode of Modern Family.
Halloween is a big deal around the Pritchett-Dunphy establishments. Mitchell is relieved his new job encourages people to dress up, except it's one tool and one douche who dress up and he mistakenly wears a Spider-Man costume to work.
Phil and Claire are really doing up the house for Halloween. They have a party every year, and even scared Luke with the famous "fake chopped hand only to pick it up and it's a real hand" trick. Haley has to go change her GQ/Glee inspired cat costume, so she will be saved from "boys asking you all day if you have a rough tongue."
Gloria tells Jay they are going as a gargle and a bruha. Manny's translation: a gargoyle and a bruja, which is a witch. Gloria's accent does become a problem later when Gloria asks Jay's secretary to order a box of those little baby cheeses he likes. He ended up with a dozen baby Jesus.
Meanwhile, Phil is freaking out because his neighbor, Jerry, had his wife walk out on him, and he didn't give a reason. He presses Jerry to tell him, but he stops listening at "spontaneous and sexy." He probably should have been used to crossing in front of the motion-sensor coffin by now, but he goes right in to prove he's spontaneous and sexy to Claire. Only she just yelled at Haley for wearing a slutty nurse outfit and was still on a ladder, so you know how that went.
Mitchell's solution was to put on one of the suits he left in his car from the dry cleaners. Except his Spider-Man costume was designed so he could give everybody two tickets to the gun show, and any movement made him squeak. Naturally, he had a lot of moving to do at the office. This still, however, doesn't beat Cameron's Halloween, where he lost a childhood. Mitchell finally breaks away to change, except his shirt somehow gets taken by the janitor. He calls Cameron.
CAMERON: You know what's ironic? You know who could really help you right now... is Spider-Man.
That was NOT advice. Mitch, amazingly, climbs down the drain pipe, except he forgot his keys and sets off all the car alarms.
At the party, Luke is Einstein and Manny is Frankenstein's monster. Haley was Mother Teresa... back when she was hot, and Alex is dressed like Alex. Everybody has a role in the Dunphy House of Horrors. Mitchell gets to be the scarecrow, even though he doesn't want to wear a costume, Alex is in a cage since she's being held against her will in a house of horrors and Gloria will use her brand new American accent to welcome the kids to the house. She's still ticked at Jay, and her line sounds totally flat. Still, that was an improvement over Cameron's head, which told the story about how his friend blamed him for stealing an entire bag of candy and humiliated him. Jay can't get the lightning and fog cues in on time, and Gloria starts sniping at Claire about her new non-accent. On the good side, Cam whining about wetting his pants when he was ten did creep a few kids out. Claire, naturally, goes ballistic, and Gloria storms out. Jay chases her.
JAY: (to Gloria) Listen, there's this story of a guy eating in a diner alone. Behind him, he hears a woman, talking. He doesn't turn around... five minutes, ten minutes... he's just listening to her, the life in her voice. Before he realizes it he's fallen in love. Now guess who that guy is?
Gloria is touched and is ready to kiss Jay, only he left and Mitchell tells her how sweet that was. The bruha punches out the scarecrow.
Claire is upset because she used to have Christmas and Thanksgiving, only to have those taken over by Gloria and Mitch and Cam. It might be a little crazy for a grown woman to care about Halloween, but it's her holiday, and she wants to keep it. Phil goes to comfort her, admitting he had been acting crazy all day over the Jerry and Judy breakup. She tells him he's stuck with her, and he hopes that's the case. On the good side, another group of kids comes by, and everybody gets it right.
And Jay knows how to handle a mad Gloria, even when everybody's making fun of her accent, because he used to handle explosives in the service. Just store them at the right temperature and you won't have a problem... until you do. Right, Gloria?