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Modern Family Wiki

"Farm Strong" is the fourth episode from Season 5 of Modern Family, it aired on October 9, 2013.

Plot Summary

Cameron's older, single sister Pam is coming for a visit, and Cam is in a panic to hide the engagement until he can delicately break the news to her, but it turns out she has news of her own. Phil and Claire make a joint, guilt-ridden decision to miss one of Luke's soccer games - that is - until one of them goes behind the other's back, and Gloria is in denial that she might need reading glasses.

Episode Description

Phil and Claire would love it to stay in bed on Saturday mornings, especially since Claire now works during the week. However, Luke has all-day soccer tournaments on Saturdays that he has to go he can sit on the bench. Phil and Claire hope to talk to him and get him to say they don't have to go. Which didn't take as much arm-twisting as they expected. Claire would have felt guilty, only she had a ton of errands to do and Phil had to clean out the gutters with a device he just puts in there and it cleans them out. (He calls it the gutter-done). He was quite proud of it. The gutter robot clearner gutter-done alright. The spinning blades, meant only to get out leaves and gunk, also evicted a bird's nest from the gutter and the eggs still in it. Phil was were Haley and Alex, who had to witness it.

Cameron and Mitchell were preparing the house for Cam's sister, Pam, to arrive from the farm. And when I say prepare, I mean get rid of any evidence the two were about to get married because Cameron suspected Pam wouldn't take the news well at all. Particularly when Pam comes in without her trunk (of clothes, that was mean what you were thinking!) and tells the guys the little girl she used to babysit was about to have twins. Cam decided they would just say the good news was they were getting a new dryer...which still depressed Pam a bit. Of course, it would help if Lily had been on-board with the lying, as she blurted out Mitch and Cam were getting married. But Pam took it quite well, even lifting Mitchell in the air. She had no reason to be unhappy, since she had great news herself. She was engaged. (Mitch tried to lift her in the air, but you've seen what Cam looks like, so…). She was marrying Bo Johnson, who was Cam's childhood crush. Cam thought he might have been marrying Pam to get drilling rights to the land she owned, but she took quite the offense to that, saying Bo had enough land where he didn't need hers. Pam said Cameron was the one who couldn't hack it on the farm and whom everyone had to walk on eggshells near because he didn't take bad news well. And Mitchell got his first taste of what it was like to break up two siblings that could form their own tag team for the WWE.

While Jay and Manny tried to convince Gloria she needed glasses by faking Jay eating rat poison and having her read the box (she couldn't), Claire was on a hot streak doing errands. In fact, she caught every possible break there was, so she still had time to make most of Luke's soccer games. But that turned out to be not the case. Not only was Luke playing, he was scoring goals like he was Beckham (and even got to see a Posh-Spice looking soccer player not wearing a bra, so he was having a good day). Claire apologized to Luke for missing it but got him to promise not to boast of his great game to Phil. Or that she showed up, for that matter. Phil, who was still distraught over killing those baby birds with the gutter cleaning robot, couldn't even bear to hear the word bird mentioned at all. Cameron, meanwhile, couldn't let it go that Pam thought he was the weepy one of the family, so he put everybody on the spot and demanded to know if he ever got overly-emotional, and that everybody walks on eggshells around him. Claire admitted he wouldn't react well to finding out he cancelled lunch on her last week and she met Beyoncé Knowles at the restaurant. Cam keeps it in, but Manny tells him he overuses the word "divine". Jay threw out the blue rotary phone Cam got him for Christmas because it made him feel like Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie. Haley didn't like his shirts with the crazy cuffs. Cameron was off to lock himself in the bathroom before Lily got her shots in. Mitchell went to comfort him, saying he may have difficulty with bad news, but everyone always wants to share good news with him because he would always appreciate it. And Pam told him the same thing. Of course, brother and sister made up.

As for Gloria, she finally relented on the glasses when Jay said he worried about her and apologized for bringing up that he can't hear. She tried on the glasses and noticed a lot of wrinkles on Jay's face she never saw before. So he would live with her eyesight, and she would live with his hearing.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring


  • Claire talks about her mother not going to her sports events. Presumably this refers to figure skating ("En Garde", "Virgin Territory").
  • Jay again references his time in the Navy.
  • Claire says that she met Beyonce, and Cam asked if it was the singer or Pepper's dog. But in the episode "Boys' Night", he says that his dog's name is Tallulah. It's possible that Pepper has two dogs.
  • This episode aired exactly six years before Perfect Pairs.
  • The license plate on the car in the Dunphys' driveway when Phil is cleaning the gutters is the same license plate used on the signs on the episode "Slow Down Your Neighbors."


  • The title refers to Pam saying that Cam left the farm because he's not "farm strong". However, he later demonstrates by himself he does really have a "farm strong" when he breaks a doorknob.
  • This is the 100th episode of Modern Family to be broadcast.
  • The press release for this episode originally said that Claire and Phil skipped Luke's volleyball tournament, but he suddenly practiced soccer instead.
  • Birds don't live in nests full-time, only while fledging. And there would be no baby birds in October.
  • We learn that Pepper has a dog whose name is Beyoncé.
  • Manny thinks Cam overuses the word "divine".
  • Haley dislikes Cam's shirts with "the crazy cuffs".
  • Cam's sister Pam appears for the first time.

Cultural References