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Modern Family Wiki

Whanex? is the thirteenth episode from Season 10 of Modern Family, it aired on January 23, 2019.

Plot Summary

While preparing a presentation for his students about their future goals, Cam must also contend with a bully at the school and Jay is having a little technical trouble during his video conference. Meanwhile, the local mall is holding a photo shoot for its new ad campaign and Gloria tricks Phil and Joe into participating.[1]

Episode Description

Cam is preparing to speak for an assembly at the high school on "What's Next" for students, and whether or not college is a good option. Cam becomes increasingly anxious, however, as Principal Brown continuously bullies him, forcing him to push the students towards college in order to get profit for the school. Mitch, on the other hand, has to bake one hundred cupcakes for his boss's son whose birthday is approaching and in exchange, he will receive a big case for his work. He recommends Cam simply do what Principal Brown expects of him.

Meanwhile, Claire informs Jay they have a meeting through Skype at their new office, which includes their boss, Nick. Jay, however, struggles immensely with using the new technology. Making a fool of himself, Jay gets fed up and leaves, heading back to the old office. Claire is chosen to be the voice for the company's "smart-closet" prototype, exciting her. After recording, Claire heads to the old office after Jay. There, she discovers an old welcoming video playing in his office, and Jay laughing with some old colleagues. Realizing Jay his simply homesick, Claire recommends he return to the old office. Jay disagrees, however. He expresses that he simply needs to put himself out there more, and he'll become more comfortable.

At the mall, Phil is accompanying Gloria and Joe to help Joe pick up some magician clothing. While there, Gloria "discovers" a family photo shoot is happening that day, forcing Phil and Joe into signing up with her. Gloria really knew about the photo shoot prior, wanting to relive her old modeling days, and brought Phil along as Jay would not agree to it. While in the shoot, Gloria does her modeling poses, while Phil tries too hard. In the end, Phil and Gloria are not chosen for the picture, but Joe is, much to their disappointment.

Back at the high school, Cam is ready to start his 'Whanex?' presentation (so named because the banner Cam had ordered was meant to read 'What's Next?' but he was misunderstood on the phone). To illustrate his points, he has brought Alex and Manny as college graduates, and Haley and Luke as alternative paths. However, Cam begins to belittle Haley and Luke's choices, painting college as the only "good" option. Mitch suddenly calls Cam, informing him that Mitch's boss gave the case to someone else, and that Cam go against Principal Brown since he'll likely be fired if the school's college applications go down leaving Cam in line for the top job. Cam proceeds to do just that, now belittling Alex and Manny for their choices. After the assembly, Mitch informs Cam his boss actually gave him and even better case, and that the cupcake baking was due to a misunderstanding. Principal Brown is angry at Cam's actions at first, but upon seeing Cam's easily pursued nature, decides to appoint him as permanent vice principal.

After dropping Joe off at a friends house, Gloria takes Phil to see an old billboard that features Gloria from 20 years ago. Gloria expresses interest in Phil's work, who thinks Gloria would be a good realtor. Gloria ends up attending Phil's classes at the community college, taking her first steps to being a realtor.

Main Cast

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

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

Guest Starring

  • Andrew Daly as Principal Brown
  • Ben Schwartz as Nick
  • Tessa Auberjonois as Nancy
  • Phillip Anthony-Rodriguez as Tim
  • Christopher Darga as Lou
  • Roy Jenkins as Kenny
  • Kevin Patrick Doherty as Brooks
  • Chad Coe as Photographer
  • Nick Paonessa as Sean
  • Greta Jung as Mia
  • Frankie A. Rodriguez as Eduardo
  • Amy Tolsky as Guidance Counselor
  • Griffen Campbell as Tyler
  • Avery Tiu Essex as Young Claire
  • Nick Charles Scurrie as Student
  • Kristina Hanna as Tiffany


  • Lily does not appear in this episode.
  • This is Luke's 200th episode.
  • This is the first episode when we see a parent briefly portrayed as a kid, Claire in this case.
  • Gloria cites all her previous jobs as modeling, driving a taxi, and selling bacon wrapped hot dogs outside a night club.
  • Phil is the only adult not to have an interview scene, and the kids are never seen at their houses, but instead, in public places in this episode.


  • This episode was broadcasted exactly six years after "Fulgencio".
  • With this episode, almost every character save for Haley and Joe fought with a bully.
  • This is the second episode in which Jay is seen making a video conference after "No Small Feet" and one of few episodes in which a main character is seen alone through a laptop during the episode, after "Connection Lost" which featured Claire, "American Skyper" which featured Phil, and some various episodes in seasons 4 and 7 which featured Haley or Alex.
  • This is also the third time that Phil and Joe interact together.
  • This episode marks Principal Brown's eighth appearance as well as Tim's , Kenny's and Nick's third appearance.
  • This episode marks also Lou's second appearance from "The Verdict", an episode in which Alex and Haley were mistaken for one another by Claire. In this episode, Cameron mistakenly believes that Alex is Haley's older sister.
  • This is the second episode after "Sarge & Pea" in which Gloria is seen via an ad.
  • This is the second episode since "Playdates" in which a Pritchett-Tucker is seen with kids who aren't his during the whole episode.
  • This is the third episode to have Phil teaching real estate in Sequoia College.
  • Cam gets promoted to permanent Vice Principal, he was only temporary Vice Principal since "Tough Love", though it seems weird that he had to share half of his desk with a guidance counselor.
  • Joe is the only kid to share a scene with one of his relatives, Gloria in this case, and Gloria is the only parent to never interact with her spouse.
  • Mia returns from "A Sketchy Area". Jay wore the same suit in this episode.
  • This is the second episode in which Gloria is seen dressed as Marylin Monroe, imitating her song for Jay's birthday (instead of Kennedy). She was disguised as Marylin Monroe in "Good Grief".
  • Jay references "Double Click".
  • In "Farm Strong", Gloria refused to wear glasses, a thing she finally accepted.
  • Alex mentioned how she became co-valedictorian in "Patriot Games".
  • Several episodes showed us that Cam was able to take some decisions, while Phil's face was seen on ads and billboards, but it seems that those facts were forgotten.
  • Nick, Kenny, Lou and Tim appear for the last time.

Cultural References

  • When Jay walks into the walk-in closet with the voice-activated assistant (which features Claire's voice), he believes she sounds like legendary femme fatale actress Lauren Bacall.
  • Claire refers to "Glengarry Glenlivet fun", a reference to Glengarry Glen Ross and Glenlivet whisky.
  • Nick recommends a Christopher Walken sound-alike voice.
  • Gloria performed a version of Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday, Mr. President"
  • The school tries for a "Golden Apple Award".
  • Mitch and Cam have a cheeseboard on the wall reading "Camembert: Fromagerie de Le Pierrot" - Le Pierrot is an old Normandy cheesemaker.


  • The A.V. Club gave it a "D", the lowest rating that site ever gave to a Modern Family episode, even worse than "Australia" and "Sleeper" (season 5), which both got a "C-". These are stories of jobs and careers and what it means to be an adult with responsibilities, and it couldn’t be more boring. The worst of the three stories is Jay’s. The entire half hour is punctuated by jokes about how Jay is old and out of touch at work. Sound stale? It is. There’s a scene here where Jay can’t figure out how to use his computer that probably runs for about two minutes but feels like a lifetime.
  • TV Fanatic gave it 3.5 / 5.0