The family is in the throes of summer activities: Phil and Claire are trying to orchestrate a kid-free week by coordinating Luke's camp with Haley's beach trip and Alex's volunteering excursion; Jay and Gloria are getting Manny ready for his first solo trip back to Colombia; and Mitch and Cam make it a summer to remember.
Luke and Manny have their first day at high school, which proves to be harder for Phil and Gloria than for the boys. Elsewhere, Claire makes her big return to the workforce at Jay's closet company and is a little rusty on her first day, and Cam starts a new substituting gig at the high school, leaving Mitch to try to juggle Lily's first day of pre-school and a very important meeting at work.
Phil seems to have found his wheelhouse in real estate - recently divorced women - but it's taking up a lot of his time. Meanwhile, Luke invites his buddies over for a high-stakes poker game in the basement; Gloria think baby Joe might be cursed; and Cam holds an elaborate pet funeral for Larry the cat's made-up wife -- all for Lily's sake.
Cameron's older, single sister Pam is coming for a visit, and Cam is in a panic to hide the engagement until he can delicately break the news to her, but it turns out she has news of her own. Phil and Claire make a joint, guilt-ridden decision to miss one of Luke's volleyball games - that is - until one of them goes behind the other's back, and Gloria is in denial that she might need reading glasses.
Jay pulled a lot of strings to get reservations at the hottest new restaurant for a family adult's night out. Unfortunately, in each household everyone is running late - Gloria is taking forever to get ready per usual, Claire and Phil get in a tiff about letting Luke stay home alone, and Mitch and Cam end up putting on the same outfit
When Gloria hires a too-good-to-be-true male nanny, Jay and Manny are pretty much dead set against it. Frank is in town and feeling a bit lonely recently, so Phil and Jay take him out to help get his groove back. And, Mitch and Cam commission Pepper to plan their dream wedding, but Pepper might be dreaming a little too big.
At the annual school fair, Phil has planned a surprise to celebrate his and Claire's 20th wedding anniversary - however at the same time, she also has a surprise planned for him back at home. Jay is signed up by Gloria to work security at the fair and his partner is his arch nemesis. Haley bumps into Andy leading to an awkward situation. Whilst Cam is in a bad mood because of the football's team losing streak and can't enjoy the fair with Mitch and Lily.
-- I Want To Know What Love Is
Things get interesting for Jay when he's reunited with old colleagues at ClosetCon. Cam takes Mitch and Lily back to his home town for the first time to meet his family. His Grams turns up and ruins the visit. Phil and Gloria start playing with Jay's Apollo 13 spacecraft model and get the kids involved.
Coach Cam has a big football game coming up and wants to beat a world record as well. Claire wants to prove to everyone she's not just the bosses daughter. Phil teaches a lesson about optimism.
Glorias' mother is in town putting her on edge, but when she is introduced to Claire, she soon calms down. Jay takes Manny to cut down their own Christmas tree. Mitchell has to go last minute shopping when he realizes they haven't got Lily the right gift. Cameron and Lily learn the true meaning of Christmas at a charity event.
Phil ends up in jail when he lies to Luke to get him to do a dance class. Manny and Joe both have birthdays coming up so Gloria and Jay organize parties for them both. However it soon becomes apparent that Manny is going for girls that are way out of his league. Mitch and Cam try and book a wedding venue.
The high school open house puts the parents in a bit of a time warp when Claire finds herself stressed out by all the pressure, Gloria encounters a "mean girl" mom and Jay teaches Phil how to play a little hookie. Elsewhere, Mitchell gets defensive when he encounters his judgmental, environmentalist neighbor and Alex goes to see a therapist.
Phil and Claire take Haley out to dinner to discuss her future, but Haley manages to turn the tables. Elsewhere, Jay's friend Shorty and wife Darlene are back visiting, and they have some news that doesn't sit well with Jay. And, Mitch and Cam decide to have a nice, romantic dinner date where they don't talk about the wedding or about Lily, which then leads to a lot of awkward silences.
Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they're hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman, but Jay misinterprets her anger for another offense he committed. And, Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.
Phil's nemesis Gil Thorpe has stolen his elected office, what's more Luke is going head to head with her son in a wrestling match, so Phil is determined to do anything to help his son win. Claire helps Mitch and Cam out by picking Lily up from school, however she has lice and Claire has a business meeting that she has to get to. Manny's class takes a field trip to the museum and Gloria acts as a chaperone.
Cameron is in charge of the school's big spring dance, but when a popular teacher returns from sabbatical, a bit of not-so-friendly competition blooms. And with Claire on chaperone duty at the dance, Phil gets Haley to accompany him to his annual realtor's banquet and is looking forward to impressing his little girl. Elsewhere, Mitch starts a new job and can't seem to get a good read on the new boss or the work environment. Jay and Gloria babysit Lily and an accident with Gloria's purse ignites a case of whodunit and it's Lily's word against baby Joe's.
-- Come Sail Away
It's male-bonding day when Jay takes Luke into the garage to show him the way around tools and impart some manly wisdom, and Gloria goes with Claire and Lily to shop for Lily's flower girl dress. Elsewhere, Mitch, Cam, Alex and Manny go for a cultured day at the museum but it eventually becomes survival of the smartest. And Phil enthusiastically offers to help Andy with his anniversary gift to his girlfriend, which is an elaborate video expression of his love.
The adults are Vegas-bound when Jay hooks them up with Excelsior Level hotel accommodations courtesy of one of his big clients, but after learning there's an even higher level, Jay becomes obsessed with upgrading. Meanwhile, everyone's sneaking around when Claire secretly hits the tables to win back money she lost years ago, Phil goes underground auditioning for a secret society of magicians, Cam ducks out of a spa day with Mitch to join their friend's bachelor party shenanigans, and Gloria is determined to hide a female version of dog butler Barkley from Jay.
Mitch struggles to hide his true feelings about the unflattering wedding topper Cam's father whittled out of soap for them, Phil tries to help Gloria sell her pre-Jay apartment but they get sidetracked at the neighborhood salon, and Claire and the kids head over to Jay's early to help him prep for the special night with the family he's hosting but they end up just butting heads.
The entire family tags along as Phil fulfills his mom's wish for him to return to his roots and visit the country where he was conceived, Australia. Unfortunately, Phil's attempts to embrace his native land are met by a lot of rejection, while Jay and Claire let work eat into vacation time, and Mitch and Cam get reacquainted with an old friend they can't stand but is now a big-time celebrity in Australia.
Phil fails at his one task to stay home and wait for the repairman, forcing him to tell an elaborate lie to hide the truth from Claire, but the stress is more than he can physically handle. Meanwhile, Gloria is obsessing over the family portrait she is responsible for organizing this year. Claire accuses Cam of being too snobby to use her girls' hand-me-downs and Jay secretly enters Stella in a dog show.
Gloria, Jay, and Manny work each other into trying new things. Cam and Mitch realize that their wedding is getting a bit too costly. And the kids find some inspiration for a practical joke in one of Claire's keepsake boxes.
Mitch and Cam's big day is finally here and nothing can ruin it, until nothing turns into a whole lot of somethings and puts wedding planner extraordinaire Pepper Saltzman to the test. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria host the Tuckers, Phil squeezes in an eye procedure before the festivities and Claire embraces her role as "best woman."
The wedding day chaos continues as the entire party shifts from one contingency plan to another. Guests start to get testy, Mitchell and Cameron are feeling discouraged and poor Claire shows physical wear and tear, but an unexpected turn of events leads to the ceremony we've all been waiting for.