In one episode of Modern Family, the mother refuses to get her son a new bike because she thinks he is not responsible enough for it. But the father doesn't agree with her completely and buys it for his son. He says,

We feel like this is a chance for you to show some responsibility. Don't make us look like jerks here.

I can get the general idea that he wants his son to take good care of the bike. But what exactly does "don't make us look like jerks here" mean here? I can only come up with two possible answers:

  1. "Don't make us look like fools here." We bought it for you bucause we trust you, don't make us look like fools who trust the wrong person.
  2. "Don't make us look like bad parents here." If the bike gets stolen, the boy may have to face punishment and not likely to get a new one. Being tough to his own child doesn't fit the speaker's parenting style and makes him feel bad.

2 Answers 2


I think the first option has the correct sentiment, but I'm not sure it's necessarily about trust, as such.

I would phrase it more like this:

I believe you are responsible enough to have a bike - don't make me look like an idiot by proving me wrong


I would say the first option. They don't want the son to do something unfortunate and make them look like fools for trusting him.

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