The “Bicycle Thief” episode of Modern Family shines a light on the concept of masculinity and how ideals of masculinity are iterated in the context of nuclear family life. Though there is this central theme of “what it means to be a dad”; one sees that gender roles are also interpolated via the way parenting is exercised. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the show is the way it displays the societal view in that the role of the parent in the act of parenting is integral to the development of the identity of the child. The homosexual couple, Mitchell and Cameron, feel a need to suppress the flamboyantly gay aspects of their personality and take on this alternative role as parents that is not as homosexual. There is evidently this confusion as to how they can carry out their role, as there isn’t really a pre-existing model of homosexual parenting in society; the common understanding of the nuclear family and how children are to be raised is still highly heteronormative. In fear of shame in not being able to be accepted by others present at the daycare, and in their own hopes of being able to raise their child “normally”, Mitchell and Cameron choose to conceal aspects of their sexuality and succumb more to common gender roles. The couple tries hard to come across as normal, successful parents, going so far as to “steal a baby’s intellectual property” to prove that their child is just as bright and developing just as well. Jay grows concerned for the way his son’s sexual identity is coming across to others as he deems the original bike his son owned as not manly enough, even in spite of how Claire says that they could just add more black masking tape to conceal the pinkness of the bicycle. Jay’s concern is interesting in a sense that he feels it is his responsibility “as a dad” to take charge for his son’s development of masculine identity – (“sometimes it’s the dad’s job to be the tough guy”). Already, we see certain associations that are embedded in society come to play as pink is perceived to be a feminine color and not acceptable for a young boy to be seen with in public. There seems to be this common expectation that it is the dad who serves as the supreme manly male and the prime example patriarch to the child. Manny, in his “bonding session” with his stepdad, continually talks about how his real father is the epitome of man – bear-fighting, with a tank tolerance for alcohol (as a result of having survived shock by lighting). Yet, essentially, the episode comes to the conclusion in that “90% of being a dad is just showing up”. The show thus tells seems to contain this message in that we need to let loose a bit in regard to what the specific demands of being a mother or a father are (and how being male or female comes to play here), and view parenting in terms of being responsible.