Run for Your Wife (Modern Family)

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"Run for Your Wife"
Modern Family episode
Run for your wife (Modern Family).jpg
Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) with Lily at the doctor's office
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 6
Directed by Jason Winer
Written by Brad Walsh
Paul Corrigan
Production code 1ARG01
Original air date October 28, 2009
Guest actors
Season 1 episodes
Episode chronology
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List of Modern Family episodes

"Run for Your Wife" is the sixth episode of the ABC series Modern Family. It premiered on ABC in the United States on October 28, 2009. The episode was written by Brad Walsh & Paul Corrigan and directed by Jason Winer.[2]

In the episode, It's the first day back at school for the kids and, at the Dunphy house, Phil oversteps when he misreads how Claire is coping with an empty nest. Over at Jay's, he and Gloria are in disagreement over Manny's interesting choice of outfit for his first day of class, and Mitchell and Cameron freak out after Lily gets her first bump on the head.

The episode was written by Brad Walsh and Paul Corrigan and directed by Jason Winer. "Run for Your Wife" received positive reviews from critics and became the highest rated scripted program of the night.

On the DVD release in the U.S. and the U.K., this episode is restored to its production order as the second episode of the series.


It's the first day of school for the families. The episode opens with mass chaos in the Dunphy household. Luke (Nolan Gould) was supposed to keep a summer journal, but only wrote one entry: June 21st, found a stick. Haley (Sarah Hyland) just got her learner's permit, and is embarrassed that the driving instructor will be picking her up from school. She does not want her friends thinking she is dating a 40-year-old man.

With all of the kids out of the house, Phil (Ty Burrell) misreads how Claire (Julie Bowen) is dealing with the empty house, believing she is bored and needs a challenge, when in reality, Claire wants to sit in the house alone and read her book. Phil believes that women tell men what they want by telling them the opposite of what they want. After an argument about who runs faster, Phil challenges Claire to a running race, believing he is faster than her because he can take two stairs at a time. At the end of their race, Claire gives up and lets Phil win, knowing that the kids leaving for school was harder on him than it was on her. He needed the win more than she did. While celebrating, Haley hits Phil with the Driver's Ed car, but Phil just rolls off and says he's okay.

Gloria (Sofía Vergara) cannot believe that Manny (Rico Rodriguez) is going into 5th grade. Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria have a disagreement over Manny's decision to wear a Colombian poncho on his first day of school. Manny wants to show his classmates that he is proud of his Colombian heritage, but Jay thinks he will get beat up because of it. Gloria tells Jay that he is overreacting and consequently undermining Manny's confidence.

After Jay drops Manny off at school, he returns to the house to get Gloria and treat her to a spa day. When getting into Jay's car, Gloria discovers Manny's poncho thrown in the trunk. She makes Jay drive back to Manny's school and return it to him, showing his support for whatever Manny wants to do. When Jay and Gloria arrive at Manny's school and pull him out of class, Manny thinks that they are there to tell him someone has died, which is usually the case when you get pulled out of class in Colombia. Jay gives Manny's poncho back to him, and Manny informs his parents he will be playing the traditional Colombian pan flute, and doing the dance. Gloria then tells Jay to break the flute because the poncho plus the flute plus the dance is more than she can handle. So, Jay stomps on the flute, "accidentally" breaking it so Manny cannot perform.

Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) is frantically baby proofing the house so Lily will not get hurt. Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) has Lily dressed up as various pop icons to do a photo shoot with her. Cameron thinks that Mitchell needs to lighten up and just dance with Lily. While dancing, Mitchell tosses her up into the air and accidentally hits her head on the ceiling. Neither one wants to call Claire for advice, but then end up calling anyways. When Claire tells them that Luke hit his head all the time when he was little, they immediately decide to take Lily to the doctor.

During the doctor appointment, their physician happens to be Asian, like Lily. They tell Dr. Miura (Suzy Nakamura) that they plan on raising Lily in her Asian heritage, and she takes offense to Cameron asking if he pronounced the name of an Asian soup correctly, being that she is from Denver. After the appointment, while Mitchell is doubting his abilities as a father, they accidentally lock Lily in the car. Mitchell calls ONSTAR while Cameron frantically runs toward the car with a trashcan, intent on breaking in the window to retrieve Lily.

At the end of the episode, all of the families reflect on how difficult it is to be a parent, but despite of all of the trials, it is the best job in the world.


The episode was written by Brad Walsh and Paul Corrigan, their first writing credit for the show. The episode originally aired October 28, 2009 on American Broadcasting Company as the sixth episode of the series and first season. Despite this, it is placed second on the first season DVD.

The episode also guest stars Suzy Nakamura as Dr. Miura and would later appear in "Fears".[1] Cameron and Mitchell's reaction to Lily being locked in the car was improvised by the actors who play them, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.[3]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Lily is seen dressed as Diana Ross, Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, and Stevie Wonder. Cameron also plans to dress her as Cher. While Lily is dressed as Diana Ross, Mitchel asks why she is dressed as Donna Summer.[4]
  • Gloria comments that Batman does not get picked on for wearing a cape, citing this as evidence that Manny could wear safely a poncho to school.[4]
  • Jay mentions a friend of his was at the Woodstock.[4]
  • When the kids get home from school, Phil asks Luke if he wants to play him in Super Mario Kart, but Luke replies that he can't because he has too much work to catch up on with his summer journal.[4]



In its original American broadcast, "Run for Your Wife" was viewed by an estimated 9.325 million households and a 5.5 rating/8% share Nielsen rating and a 3.7 rating/9% share in the 18-49 demographic.[5]


The episode has received positive reviews from critics.

IGN reviewer Robert Canning gave the episode an 8.9 calling it "Great" and also stated "Even though the series can get hilariously loopy, this subtleness keeps it all grounded and real… and very, very funny.[6]

Jason Hughes of TV Squad said "Once again, the three families on this show needn't interact at all for the series to work".[7]

James Poniewozik of Time called it "another fine one" and called it a "fine outing for Sofia Vergara".[8]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B- saying "It's just a mediocre episode, and I actually thought it showed just as much heart as I've come to expect from the show. The formula just got tweaked in ways that didn't turn out to be so fruitful".[9]

Wendy Mitchell of Entertainment Weekly stated in her review "As with every week, I feel like there are so many that I could just cut and paste the entire script."[10]


  1. ^ a b Internet Movie Database Retrieved 2010-06-08
  2. ^ "Modern Family: Run For Your Wife: Writers, Directors, and Crew". Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  3. ^ Lance Carter (December 18, 2009). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson talks ‘Modern Family’, improvising on set and audition for the role". Daily Actor. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Run for Your Wife/Transcript". Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ Robert Seidman (2009-10-29). "TV Ratings, Wednesday Broadcast finals: Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds repeat were up a tick". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  6. ^ Canning, Robert (October 29, 2009). "Modern Family: "Run For Your Wife" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  7. ^ Hughes, Jason (October 29, 2009) TV Squad Retrieved 2010-06-22[dead link]
  8. ^ Poniewozik, James (October 29, 2009). "The Morning After: Post-Game". Time. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ Bowman, Donna (October 28, 2009). "Modern Family: "Run For Your Wife"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  10. ^ Mitchell, Wendy (October 29, 2009). "'Modern Family' recap: Best lines from last night". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 

External links[edit]