Modern Family (2009– )
3 user 1 critic

The Storm 

During an electrical storm, Phil tries too hard to prove that he's useful, Jay desperately tries to make an appointment at a bar, Manny has an embarrassing moment with Claire, and Mitch and Cam try to save Lily's failing birthday party.


James R. Bagdonas (as Jim Bagdonas)


Steven Levitan (created by), Christopher Lloyd (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ed O'Neill ... Jay Pritchett
Sofía Vergara ... Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
Julie Bowen ... Claire Dunphy
Ty Burrell ... Phil Dunphy
Jesse Tyler Ferguson ... Mitchell Pritchett
Eric Stonestreet ... Cameron Tucker
Sarah Hyland ... Haley Dunphy
Ariel Winter ... Alex Dunphy
Nolan Gould ... Luke Dunphy
Rico Rodriguez ... Manny Delgado
Aubrey Anderson-Emmons ... Lily Tucker-Pritchett
Jeremy Maguire ... Joe Pritchett
Adam Devine ... Andy (as Adam DeVine)
Chloe Csengery ... Maisie
Violet Lux ... Ashley


A huge thunder storm brings wide power outages and the whole family congregates at Jay and Gloria's to use their generator, but Jay has one foot out the door desperately trying to make it to a reunion with some old Navy buddies. Meanwhile, Phil tries to be the hero and redeem himself after a very embarrassing public panic attack earlier, but only causes more headaches for everyone. Mitchell and Cameron grasp at straws trying to salvage Lily's birthday party where the most popular girl at school is in attendance, and Haley turns up the seduction efforts with Andy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 February 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ninteenth appearance of Andy and the third time he appears without Beth. See more »


To get the party started, Mitchell and Cameron try dancing to "Brick House" on a hand cranked emergency radio. When the power runs out, the song slows to a crawl and stops. That would happen if it were a record player or a tape player, but not to a radio; the song should have stopped abruptly when the power was cut. What we are hearing is simply an effect that was edited in by the sound engineers. See more »


Jay Pritchett: A damn tree's blocking the street. I need my chainsaw.
Phil Dunphy: Jay, I know you didn't ask my advice...
Jay Pritchett: I'm glad you noticed that. I've been stuck here all day. Now, I'm going to that bar! The last thing I need's another delay. Where the hell's the chainsaw?
Phil Dunphy: It's right there.
[Thunder crashes; Jay sighs and hangs his head sadly]
Jay Pritchett: I'm not going to get there, am I?
Phil Dunphy: We don't have to talk about it.
Jay Pritchett: Old Navy buddy of mine, Big Jake, died today. Guys in my unit have a tradition whereas, if one of us goes, the ...
See more »


References The Little Mermaid (1989) See more »


Brick House
Written by Shirley Hanna-King, Lionel Richie, Milan Williams, Walter Orange, Ronald La Pread, Thomas McClary and William King
Performed by The Commodores
See more »

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User Reviews

A joke or two isn't worth foregoing logic in storytelling
23 June 2019 | by CDM_moviereviewerSee all my reviews

The story presented in this episode of Modern Family is extremely disjointed. Problems in the story's timeline are so happenstance for the sake of presenting a "funny" scenario that the overall story becomes disjointed, confusing, and distracting. First, the Dunphy family - in the early morning hours of that day, the Dunphy family celebrates with their neighboring residents at the annual block party. Phil decides to dress up as a clown for the enjoyment of the neighborhood children, only to find himself scared in front of a hall of mirrors and passes out from seeing himself as clown. Phil has a phobia of clowns (i.e., coulrophobia). He (Phil) thought that dressing up as clown would not make him scared, as he states, similar to "Not being able to tickle yourself, so how could you scare yourself". Cameron typically does the clown for these events, but Claire states that he was busy with Lilly's birthday party. This is where several "what" or "where are these people" moments come into play. Lilly's birthday party was not until later in the afternoon. So why wasn't Cameron helping the family with their block party, as they typically do according to Claire? Additionally, Mitchell, Cameron, and Lily, are shown at home resting at the same time (early morning hours, before the party) as the Dunphy block party. This was the moment Lily received confirmation that a popular student in her class was going to be in attendance at her party later in the afternoon. Furthermore, the family (Dunphy) is already at home resting and enjoying their company, while Cameron and Mitchell are shown at Lily's birthday party. Additionally, where was everybody for Lilly's birthday party? Why wasn't anyone in attendance at her party? She may be adopted, but she still is family.

When I first saw this episode, I thought Mitchell and Cameron were hosting their daughter's sleepover party with fellow classmates and not Lily's actual birthday. What is made worst is the fact that no one in her family is even acknowledging Lilly's birthday. I didn't hear one character in this story mention "birthday" and "Lilly" in a sentence, much less the phase "happy birthday".

While enjoyable to watch, this episode of Modern Family was disjointed and confusing, with odd plot devices used for the sake of one or two jokes about a man dressed up as a clown and scaring himself to the point of passing out. That seemed to be the only joke the writers of this show wanted to tell, and the only plot point in the story worthy, ostensively, of dismissing all other characters and their relation to the story or fully actualized scenarios that could have worked for us to watch 30 seconds of Phil dressed up as a clown and scaring himself. For the record, building a story around one or two jokes can work.

A story built around one or two jokes that does work is exemplified in season 5, episode 21 of Modern Family titled, Sleeper. In that episode, Phil buys a record of a song that reminds him of his teenage years, only to later realize he was listening to the exact song that played when he first had sex, and there therefore felt as if he was cheating on his wife. In the end, Modern Family can indeed produce good stories with funny and interesting plot devices without sacrificing continuity, story logic, and character development, but that was not seen in The Storm.


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