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The Big Guns

"The Big Guns" is the twelfth episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom Modern Family, and the series' 132nd episode overall. It originally aired on January 14, 2015. The episode was written by Vali Chandrasekaran and directed by Jeffrey Walker .

"The Big Guns"
Modern Family episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 12
Directed by Jeffrey Walker
Written by Vali Chandrasekaran
Production code 6ARG14
Original air date January 14, 2015
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Day We Almost Died"
Next →
"Rash Decisions"
List of Modern Family episodes



Ronnie (Steve Zahn) and Amber (Andrea Anders) get a boat and they park it on their front lawn, something that makes Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) furious. Phil tries to tell them politely to remove the boat but when he sees that being polite leads nowhere, he decides to call his father Frank (Fred Willard) and all his retiree friends to come and camp in front of their houses with their trailers. At first everything seems to go well for Phil and Claire but Ronnie gets along with the older men and they all hang out together. That leads Claire to call the police.

In the meantime, Luke (Nolan Gould) tries to flirt with Tammy (Brooke Sorenson) who lies on the boat in her swimsuit. Tammy turns him down every time he talks to her. At the end, Luke passes next to Tammy without even looking at her and pretending that he no longer cares about her, something that makes her mad. It turns out that Alex (Ariel Winter) advised him to act like that to make Tammy notice him.

Jay (Ed O'Neill) tries to potty train Joe (Pierce Wallace) despite Gloria's (Sofía Vergara) warnings that Joe has to be ready on his own and Jay has to not put stress on him. The real reason Jay wants to train Joe is because every time he goes to the store to buy diapers, people think that he asks diapers for himself. After a long time and the moment Jay is ready to give up, Joe manages to use the potty.

Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) takes Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) to a clown school without telling Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) because he knows that Mitch will disapprove of it. When Mitch finds out, he is furious but Cameron asks him to let Lily prove to him that "she is a natural". Lily starts making different pranks that indeed make Mitch laugh but they are painful for Cameron. Cameron asks Mitch to not laugh because that encourages Lily and asks him to talk to her. Lily admits to Mitch that she hates being a clown, and the reason she is acting like that is to make Cameron ask on his own for her to give up, so as to not hurt his feelings. Mitch tells her that she has to be honest, but Lily finds another way to tell Cameron and spares hurting his feelings.



In its original American broadcast, "The Big Guns" was watched by 9.44; up by 0.15 from the previous episode.[1]


"The Big Guns" received mixed reviews.

Lisa Fernandes from Next Projection rated the episode with 8.4/10 stating that despite the uncomfortable and marginally funny main plot, the secondary plots save the whole episode.[2]

Leigh Raines of TV Fanatic rated the episode with 4/5. "It's not always easy to put up with your neighbors, especially when it's pot dealers with a huge boat."[3]

Joshua Alston from The A.V. Club gave the episode a B- rating stating that it is nearly impossible not to make Dunphy-centric episodes due to the large number of family members and that might lead to some problematic episodes sometimes. ""The Big Guns" never kicks into full gear because so much of its time is spent setting up a standoff between the families that peters out without ever reaching anything resembling a climax. Because the episode is structured so oddly, it seems to end abruptly because it never totally feels like it has started. The entire episode feels like a well-constructed first act, at least for the Dunphys and Pritchett-Delgados, and then it goes off."[4]


  1. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (January 16, 2015). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol' & 'The Mentalist' Adjusted Up; 'The Mysteries of Laura' and 'black-ish' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ Fernandes, Lisa (January 15, 2015). "Modern Family, "The Big Guns," (6.12) – TV Review". Next Projection. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ Raines, Leigh (January 14, 2015). "Modern Family Season 6 Episode 12 Review: The Big Guns". TV Fanatic. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ Alston, Joshua (January 15, 2015). "Modern Family: "The Big Guns"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 

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