The Wow Factor

"The Wow Factor" is the 18th episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom Modern Family, and the series' 90th episode overall. It was aired on March 27, 2013. The episode was written by Ben Karlin and it was directed by Steven Levitan.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson submitted this episode for consideration due to his nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. Ferguson also named this episode as his favorite one of the fourth season.


Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Claire (Julie Bowen) work together on a house's renovation that they are going to flip later, but they seem to disagree in many things. A disagreement on their visions about the backyard, makes Cam call his lesbian friend, Pam (Wendi McLendon-Covey), whose son is at the same school with Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons), to tell them what she thinks since she is working on the constructions. When Pam agrees with Claire, Cam does not like it very much, so he goes ahead on his own and makes the fountain he wanted on the backyard to prove them that he is right.

Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) drops off Lily at school, when he sees that there is a playground bully named Milo (Luke Grakal) who is terrifying the other kids. His first attempt to teach him a lesson of not being a bully is not going that well, so he asks for Luke's (Nolan Gould) help. When he later goes back to school for his second attempt, he takes it way too far.

Meanwhile, Jay (Ed O'Neill) encourages Gloria (Sofia Vergara) to spend some time with Manny (Rico Rodriguez) since she feels like she is ignoring him lately because of Joe, and he will spend some quality time with Joe. Gloria asks him to not forget to take Joe to his baby class. On his way there, he encounters with an old high school friend of Claire's, Rachel (Margaret Easley), and after the little talk they have, Jay decides to skip the baby class and go with the baby to the movies. Joe starts crying and Rachel offers to take him outside till the movie ends. When Gloria sees her baby with a stranger (to her, anyway, but not to Jay), things do not seem very auspicious for Jay.

At the Dunphys house, Phil (Ty Burrell) tries to teach Alex (Ariel Winter) and Haley (Sarah Hyland) few basic things about home improvement. On his try to explain them how the water heater works, he breaks it and his efforts to fix it just make things worse. Seeing that he can not fix it, he asks the girls to go to the store to buy him something, so he can stay alone and call his dad (Fred Willard) to tell him what to do.



In its original American broadcast, "The Wow Factor" was watched by 9.09 million; down 1.44 from the previous episode.


"The Wow Factor" received generally positive reviews.

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave a B+ grade to the episode saying that the structure of the episode is conventional but the way the script gets around to its key setpieces is appreciable. "Last time Karlin gave us a Modern Family script, the overall structure was the gem. Here, it’s the little moments that elevate what’s around them to something out of the ordinary."

Dalene Rovenstine from Paste Magazine rated the episode with 8.8/10 but stated that the writers wasted the talent of Wendi McLendon-Covey by not given her many lines.

Michael Adams of 411mania gave the episode 8/10 saying that this episode did what it needed to do. "I liked tonight, thought it was pretty funny and am happy that they brought back the house flip. Keep things as funny as tonight, if not funnier, tie in some story arcs from this past season, give me Jay's birthday or a vacation, and end the season on a high note."

Leigh Raines from TV Fanatic and Zach Dionne from the Vulture, both rated the episode with 4/5 with the latter saying that the episode is a "winner".

Wyner C of Two Cents TV also gave a good review saying that the episode was "cute".