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Modern Family Episode “Crazy Train” Has Some Titanic And Other References

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DESU chapter.

Warning: This article has spoiler alerts!


For those who have not watched Modern Family, here is a summary from Google.


 “Told from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, the series offers an honest, often-hilarious perspective of family life. Parents Phil and Claire yearn for an honest, open relationship with their three kids. But a daughter who is trying to grow up too fast, another who is too smart for her own good, and a rambunctious young son make it challenging. Claire’s dad, Jay, and his Latina wife, Gloria, are raising two sons together, but people sometimes believe Jay to be Gloria’s father. Jay’s gay son, Mitchell, and his partner, Cameron, have adopted a little Asian girl, completing one big — straight, gay, multicultural, traditional — happy family.”


I have seen all the seasons over a hundred times, but one episode that I recently watched caught my attention: “Crazy Train,” Season 7; Episode 21.  I had not noticed it before, but it takes place on a train and the family are going to Dede’s wedding.  Who is Dede? Dede is Jay’s ex-wife, who was crazy and played favorites while they were married.  Within one episode there were seven dramatic things occuring:


Alex Going to Coach For A Guy 


Watching this episode, it seems a mixture of the titanic plot with Alex going to coach and finding out that it is more entertaining than being in first class.  Although the titanic was a boat, this is the train version.  In they back they do similar scenes to the movie including dancing in the aisle, wearing older clothing from when locomotives were popular, and Alex falling for a passenger from the coach class. The difference between the movie and episode were there was no judgement and the family did not care that she went back there.  Instead Hailey persuaded Alex to go back there, but when Alex went back to first class, she realized the guy stole her wallet.

Jay Persuading Future In-Laws, Dede Is Not Crazy 

Jay spends the entire episode on fixing a comment he said about his ex-wife.  He went to the bar, as he usually does, once he is on the train and starts talking to someone.  He talked about going to his ex-wife’s wedding and how crazy she is.  Well her fiance’s son was on the train and over heard, therefore he spent the entire episode trying to persuade them that she is not crazy.  At one point, when he says Gloria is not his wife, he says he was just so sad that she moved on because he still loved and wanted to be with her.  Then at the end of the episode, the fiance’s son says well that’s good she’s not as crazy as the last, she drove him crazy so he burned her house down.

Cam and Phil Trying To Prove A Train Novel Plot

Cam and Phil walk down the aisle of the train, heading somewhere and spot one of their favorite authors.  He writes mystery novels and they were trying to get a sneak peak into a book they have been waiting for ten years to be published.  He allowed them to read the first chapter, so they would stop bothering them.  Knowing the two’s personalities, the author was going to get more than he bargained for.  After reading the chapter, they told some suggestions, making the author realize he has no book! So they investigated and gave proof that it could happen.  They acted out different scenarios on the train and eventually found one, until Hailey came at the end and proved him wrong again.  Therefore, they had to retry since Cam and Phil really wanted there to be another book. Afterward, the author started sending manuscripts of the book so they could read and make sure it was possible.  Cam and Phil ended up getting more than they bargained for at the end.

Luke Attempts To Pick Up A Woman


Luke is a teenage boy who likes to try to pick up older women.  In this episode on the train, Luke sees a woman sitting alone and tells Manny he is going to go for her.  Manny who doesn’t really care and tells him to prove it.  So he talks as if he has traveled everywhere, saying he went from the “El Grande to one of the lakes in the north.”  When she says “I can teach you something,” he takes her to the room they have on the train for their family.  Luke thinks he is going to get something, but she pulls out a tablet and says she is a geography teacher.  As Luke learns, at the end of the episode he corrects his family if they say something related to geography.  Then says he wishes he never learned it, he has always used his lack of knowledge, also known as play dumb, to get the ladies.

Manny Thinks Alex Likes Him


So for awhile in this season, Manny though Alex had a crush on him.  Near the end of the episode when Alex tells the boy from coach class to meet her in their “room.”  The family had a room in the train where they could go to if they didn’t want to sit with everyone else.  So she told him to go there and Manny went in there to get something.  So Alex asked if he was there, not mentioning the name, and he said yes.  She comes out trying to look seductive, both yell, and Manny is like no, we cannot be a thing.  He left before Alex could tell him she was waiting for someone else.

Gloria Trapped In Coach  

Gloria goes to find a bathroom when she gets on the train and gets lead in the wrong direction by one of the kids.  I think it was Hailey, but usually she leads someone to a place and says “oh well.”  Therefore, Gloria followed the directions and it led her to the coach class.  I am not sure if her image had anything to do with it, but the guy asked for her first class ticket as proof she was supposed to be there and she forgot it.  Gloria is a proud Columbian woman who was wearing a nice dress and minimal jewelry.  Many people from the train claim they were supposed to be riding the first class, such as the guy from coach with Alex where they acted as if he had forgotten his.  Therefore, Glordia tried everything to get back from running past the worker, speaking spanish when she’s mad, scream Jay’s name, saying she wasn’t his wife until the end when she made it back.  Although the entire time Alex was also in coach class, the two did not see each other.

Mitch and Claire Attempt To Write A Wedding Speech


Once everyone was on the train, Mitch and Claire split from everyone else to write a speech for their mothers wedding.  Their drama ended with Claire realizing that Mitch only asked her to help out of pity.  Mitch was always Dede’s favorite in the family, but once Claire found out.  She tried reverse psychology and showed Mitch how evil their mom was, realizing that Claire was right and they turned the speech into a roast.  Their family loves each other, but the Pritchett (Claire, Mitch, Jay, Dede) family has a dark humor so they joke about each other.  Although the roast was not in this episode.

By the end of analyzing this episode and proving my theory about this modern family episode being tied in with the titanic, along with some other themes.  If you have not seen this series, I definitely recommend it.  It is very relatable to family and life, especially in today’s society.

Hi everyone, I am from the Lonestar state, go cowboys!  I lived in several places including some countries which I love writing about, along with writing about lifestyle.  I am majoring in Mass Communications with a with a minor in history!