|More than anything, I want my girls to stop fighting and be close. I want them to share clothes and do each other's hair and gossip about boys, like I used to do with Mitchell.|
Claire Melinda Dunphy (née Pritchett) is the daughter of Jay and DeDe Pritchett and Mitchell's older sister. She is also the wife of Phil, and the mother of the Haley, Alex, and Luke. Claire was a stay-at-home mom until the fifth season when she started to work for her father at Pritchett's Closets & Blinds.
Before the show
Claire was born at some point in the 1970s to Jay and Dede Pritchett. She also has a younger brother Mitchell who is approximately 2 years younger than her. Claire has a troubled relationship with her mother who frequently criticizes her, especially on her appearance. Her mother also never went to any of Claire's events as a child ("Farm Strong") and seems to annoys her constantly even when she was young. This added more cause to her being a daddy's girl, as opposed to Mitchell who she claims is a momma's boy. When they were younger, the siblings are a figure skating duo nicknamed "Fire & Nice", which Mitchell claims was because of his red hair and because Claire was not nice ("En Garde").
When she was younger, Claire was a wild girl, usually getting into trouble and one time being brought home by the police naked, except for a pair of underwear ("The Kiss"). When she was 17, she dated a rogue Robbie Sullivan, whom she would sneak into the house at 3AM. She also dated a guy named Ricky whom her mother claims looks like Charles Manson ("The Incident"). Once, to annoy her father, Claire went out with a Cheesecake Factory manager named Todd who is twice her age ("Party Crasher"). In college, Claire dated Cooke, a professor, who dumped her. This is when she subsequently started dating Phil ("Bad Hair Day").
During a Duran Duran concert, Claire got pregnant with their first child. She announced it to Phil on the answering machine ("Message Received") and the two eloped before finally getting married four months later.
Account Manager at Starcrest Hotels
Before she got married, Claire was an Account Manager at Starcrest Hotels, where she worked with Valerie. She also spent two summers at Jay's closet business and worked at a bowling alley with Jeff.
Claire was a Stay-at-Home mother and wife aka a housewife throughout Season 1 and after which allowed her to watch and teach her kids how to grow up, she was a housewife until Season 5 when her father, Jay, hired her to work at his workplace, Pritchett's Closets & Blinds, which works well because she is family.
First Days" her father, Jay hired Claire to work for him, to which she accepted and now works for him at Pritchett's Closets & Blinds. In "White Christmas", Jay said that she would be promoted but pulled a trick on her to see if she was really fit for the job. By telling her someone else would be promoted, Claire found out by Gloria that the person was fake and she was being promoted because Gloria thought that CLaire's anger and Jay fake fighting with her was getting out of hand. In the end she finds out that she has been promoted and it is assumed that when Jay dies she will lead the company and maybe when she dies Haley or Alex will lead the company, maybe even Lily.
Claire is a perfectionist when it comes to dealing with her family, often knowing what to do during stressful times more than her husband Phil. She tends to be uptight and "bossy" in getting things done in the house, which usually leads to humorous disagreements with the laid-back Phil, who adores her. Her daughters claim she has excellent hearing because she could hear them whenever they say they are bored ("Aunt Mommy"). She is also actively participating in her children's school, and helps in organizing events. Mitchell and Cameron often go to her for parenting advice in raising Lily.
Claire has been shown to be extremely competitive, a trait she got from her father Jay who encouraged her into sports and winning ("Egg Drop"). She is also shown to be blatantly honest and almost enjoy delivering bad news to people ("The Last Walt").
Claire has a mysterious penchant for death and the macabre, implied first in "Halloween" which she says is her favorite holiday. Every year she would meticulously organize Halloween displays and pranks at her house, except one year after she scared an adult who fainted at their doorstep, and neighbors petitioned that they keep decorations "family friendly" ("Open House of Horrors"). After gay marriage was legalized in California, she suggests to Mitchell gruesome ways on how to propose to Cameron ("Suddenly, Last Summer").
Along with Phil, Claire enjoys what she refers to as "cheesy cinema" ("Our Children, Ourselves "). Claire also seem to enjoy arts and crafts, insisting that during Luke's birthday party, there be a table where kids can make personalized comb sheaths ("Fizbo"). Claire enjoys reading and jogging, as she demonstrates that she can beat Phil in a race in "Run for Your Wife". It is revealed in "Virgin Territory" that she regularly goes to shooting gallery to unwind, during which she tells her family she is doing yoga.
Physical Appearance and Typical Attire
Claire is an attractive woman with blonde hair and hazel brown eyes who has had a number of admirers, including Phil's rival Glenn Whipple, co-worker at the bowling alley Jeff, and her college friend Tater. She has mid-long hair in the first five seasons, which she cut and curled at the start of the sixth season. She once dyed her hair to brunette (as shown in "Slow Down Your Neighbors") but changed it back quickly after Jay blatantly said she looked old.
Claire generally wears what Haley and Alex refer to as "mom clothes." She generally wears blouses or button-up shirts, and jeans.
In Season 1 we see that Claire is trying her best to deal with her kids: Alex being brainy and always manipulating her sister and brother, Haley and Luke, when she can. Haley being the not so smart one but having a very active social life and not being so close to Claire as she used to be. Luke being the dumb one who Claire has to baby a little more.
In Season 2 we see that Claire is reunited (in a friendship way) with her ex-boyfriend Robbie Sullivan in "Princess Party" and her mother drives her crazier than ever by making out with Robbie and making him her boyfriend.
None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 3 summary here for Claire.)
In Season 4 we see that Claire and Phil drag Mitchell -as a lawyer- along with them to bail Haley out of jail when she gets arrested. Claire then forgives her daughter and take her home after she's expelled from college. In "Party Crasher", her half-brother Joe is born and she also becomes his godmother.
None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 5 summary here for Claire.)
None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 6 summary here for Claire.)
None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 7 summary here for Claire.)
Phil is Claire's husband of 16 years at the start of the series. Claire tends to refer to Phil as the "kid" she married. As much as they are lovers they are also best friends, Claire and Phil have a very loving romantic and friendly relationship. Phil begged Claire to marry him and he is extremely devoted to her, as seen in various episodes where even the thought of another attractive woman would cause Phil to feel guilty. Though distinctly different in personalities, Phil and Claire make a great team raising their children, as Phil refers to their disciplining method as "Good cop-Mom."
Haley is Claire's eldest daughter. As Claire had a wild childhood, she constantly tries to keep her daughters safe and from rebelling. Claire and Haley had a very close relationship but grew apart as Haley became a teenager, during which Claire says she is always in her own world ("Not in My House"). Claire reveals she reads Haley's journal and the most shocking thing in there is her grammar.
During the first seasons, the two often argue about Haley's decisions regarding her boyfriend Dylan, with Haley consistently trying to break free and Claire, concerned with her daughter's safety. As the show progresses, Claire realizes how similar she is to Haley, similarly perceiving their mothers as "psycho control freaks" ("Earthquake").
It became a running gag that due to Haley's ditzy nature, Claire has low hopes for her future, even mentioning that Haley is their "dumbest kid" ("Fifteen Percent") and her going to college is a miracle ("Schooled"). Claire buys Haley a box of condoms when she heads off to college, reasoning that she is just being realistic.
In "Best Men", Claire expresses her hope in rebuilding her relationship with Haley as she sees her maturing and easier to break through.
On Haley's 21st Birthday, Claire gets a tattoo of the Sanskrit character for "mother" on her ankle when she thought Haley would also get one. Haley then sees how painful it looks and declines getting one, making Claire mad because she has one that says "Mother" and now Haley doesn't.
Alex is Claire's second daughter. She is the smartest person in her family but not always the wisest. She is an extremely smart and mature character, Alex never needs Claire or Phil to supervise her even at a young age. Since she basically acts as an adult, Alex usually serves as Claire's spy in keeping her siblings Haley and Luke safe, as seen in "iSpy".
In "iSpy", Claire asks Alex to go through her sisters stuff after realising that Haley may be going to a photography exhibit as Haley tells Claire it's just a "photography class thing". When Claire asks Haley tells her they're just showing photos. Alex then makes her go through her sisters' stuff because there could be something in there. Stating she doesn't want to invade her privacy but she wants to know what happening. Later Alex then leans over Haley in her bedroom while she's sleeping to go through her sisters' bag, she finds a "15TH Annual Student Photography Exhibition" photography notice in her bag. She then calls her mother to let her know what she found out she tells her mother that "this is a bigger deal then Haley let on, only five people in her class were picked to show their photographs and Haley was one of them.", Claire then asks "Are there more than five people in her class" after stating that it's amazing and Haley did a good job. Alex then tells her it's the first thing she checked. Claire then tells her that everyone has to be there. She tells Alex to call Uncle Mitchell and Grandpa. Claire then asks if Haley caught her snooping, Alex tells her she was taking a nap.
Claire's main concern with Alex is that she frequently makes fun of her siblings for her amusement. She shares to Claire that she is most happy when they are both in trouble ("Not in My House").
In "Our Children, Ourselves" Alex places second in her class and states that she just has to do "the best with what she was given," insulting her parents' intelligence and worrying Claire if they are holding their children back.
Though Alex often treats her parents with condescension, she thanks Claire in "American Skyper" after her high school graduation for being the one responsible for her achievements and invites her to go to with her on her trip through Europe.
Luke is Claire's only son. Claire feels that she needs to protect him as he's the one that is usually putting himself in danger with experiments and other dumb things. Phil takes on the cool dad aspect of things and supports Luke in decisions, stating that some people ask "Why?" and Luke asks "Why not?", Claire has once told Phil that she asks "Why?", with Luke, in her head a lot.
In "Truth Be Told", Alex and Haley convinced Luke he was adopted, and Phil's old girlfriend wanted to take him home. Claire was completely clueless about the situation, and let his older sisters continue to tease him for fun in the end never learning the truth about Phil's old girlfriend Denise.
In "Phil's Sexy, Sexy House", she finds Luke in a closet with a six pack of beer which she takes from him and later has to ground him for. It seems that like everyone else Luke snuck into Cyril's sexy sexy house and wanted have some fun with his boys, we see him mention earlier on that all the girls said no so they were all alone with their beer.
Jay is Claire's father. Claire says that Jay has always had a tough time with giving out love as he isn't seen as the soft type of guy although he tries- to breaking point- to give out the love that his kids deserve. Jay never really dealt with Phil 'taking away' his daughter and can sometimes think of Phil as his enemy because of this, Jay has shown to Claire at certain multiple times that he does love her, Jay and Claire do have a strong loving friendship.
Gloria is Claire's stepmother. Claire is at first very nervous with Gloria, she is on observation to make sure that her mother-in-law can make her Dad happy. at first it is said by Luke that Claire has once or twice called Gloria a 'Gold digger' in "Coal DIgger", at first Luke hears Gold Digger as Coal Digger. This was before Claire and Gloria spent some time together. Gloria and Claire now have a very strong and loving relationship now that all is out in the open. Gloria can sometimes unintentionally be a harmless threat to Claire's love life, as Phil seems to usually be attracted to Gloria in some ways although Phil knows not to cross the line and states that he will never stray away from Claire.Gloria can sometimes unintentionally be a harmless threat to Claire's love life, as Phil seems to usually be attracted to Gloria in some ways although Phil knows not to cross the line and states that he will never stray away from Claire.
In "Coal Digger", Luke tells Manny that Claire has once or twice called his mother a 'Gold digger', at first Luke hears Gold Digger as Coal Digger. This was before Claire and Gloria spent some time together. Gloria and Claire now have a very strong and loving relationship now that all is out in the open.
Manny is Claire's stepbrother. Claire and Manny have a good relationship with each other, one of the very first interactions Manny and Claire have with each other is an awkward one that turns into a therapy session for Claire, venting about her kids, half way through Claire states that she sometimes forget he's not a teenager or an adult as he seems to be a good therapist and a know-it-all, who can relate to both teenager, kids and adults.
Mitchell is Claire's brother. Mitchell and Claire have a very good relationship with each other. Mitchell and Claire often bicker and fight as if they were teenagers, but they always make up, Mitchell doesn't always seem to let his feelings out to Claire about how he's feeling, but they still manage to work everything out in the end and will always love and support each other. Mitchell reveals that they grew apart after their parents' divorce because they picked opposing sides, Claire being a daddy's girl and Mitchell being a momma's boy.
In "En Garde", it is revealed my Mitchell that he is still a little bitter with Claire about the fact that claire quit ice-skating just before a massive competition, Claire states that she did it so Mitchell wouldn't be embarrassed she then explains to him that he was dropping her quite a lot during rehearsals and she didn't want him to drop her when the massive competition came. Claire then asks if he forgives her, which he says he does but then tries to lift her up when they hug, indicating that he doesn't forgive her and he still wants to try to lift her up to see if he could still lift her. Mitchell then sits down with her and they have a real conversation where Mitchell and Claire both reveal things to each other. Claire then gets up and gets into the ice-skating position indicating to Mitchell that they can try again and resolve the conflict that they have. Later on we see them dancing and Cam is recording whilst Jay looks proud.
Lily is Claire's adoptive niece. It was stated that until Sleeper, Claire gives her daughters' old clothes to Lily, though Cam does not want her to wear any of them.
DeDe is Claire's mother, they don't always get along very well and this is mostly because of DeDe's incoming, unintentional insults toward her.
In "The Incident" it is shown that DeDe may be mentally ill with her frequent outbursts of anger towards Gloria and her inappropriate sexual refrences to her children about her love/sex life.
- She along with Jay, Gloria, Phil, Mitch, and Cam are the only characters who have appeared in every episode.
- She has a penchant for drinking wine, as seen in various episodes.
- She went to Pole Dance classes ("The Help").
- She seems to enjoy crafting, we see that Claire thinks there should be a crafting table for the kids at Luke's birthday party ("Fizbo").
- She has Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome which she inherited from her mother ("Heart Broken").
- In "iSpy" Haley reveals that she knows she once tried to add her on Facebook using a fake profile named Margo Lacroix.
- She then started to use a Facebook account named Brody Kendall to stalk her children online which was revealed in "Connection Lost" by Alex.
|I'm a mom travelling with her kids. It's not a vacation, it's a business trip.|
— From "Hawaii"
| Haley: My pimple's starting to show. |
Claire: Can you stand?
Claire: Then this picture's happening.
Haley: It's all everyone's gonna see!
Claire: [Sees Gloria wearing a short, slinky dress] Somehow I doubt that.
— From "Family Portrait"
| Phil: What'cha got there? |
Claire: These are supplies for the crafts table. I finally figured out what we're gonna be making.
Phil: Kids bored?
— From "Fizbo"
| Claire: We're going to get them off electronics with the promise of more electronics? |
Luke: I want chicken pot pie.
Phil: And chicken.
Haley: I want a car.
Claire: No way!
[Haley, Alex, and luke all scream in excitement]
Haley: I'm getting a car!
Phil: Yeah! Fun, right?
Claire: No, no, no! Phil, we cannot afford a third car.
Phil: Relax. They're never going to last as long as us.
Claire: Oh, honey. Don't take this the wrong way... but I have almost no faith in you.
— From "Unplugged"
| Alex: I can't believe it. I got a "B" on my paper. |
Phil: Good for you.
Alex: No, it would be good for you. It's terrible for me. Thanks to your moldy encyclopedias, my take on mitosis was completely out of date. They don't even call it "protoplasm" anymore. It's "cytoplasm".
Claire: Well, you could have asked one of us.
Alex: Now you're making jokes?
Claire: I'm not making a joke.
Alex: Really? What's the difference between a gamete and a zygote?
[Claire is at a loss for words]
Phil: Don't fall for it, Claire. She's just making up words.
— From "Unplugged"
| Claire: They say they need volunteers so that everyone feels included, but they really want me to do it. I always plan the school dances. It's been my thing since Haley was twelve. |
Gloria: They made us co-chair. That means we are supposed work together. But Claire doesn't take any of my ideas.
Claire: She suggested an Arabian Nights theme. Isn't it a little soon?
— From "Dance Dance Revelation"
| Claire: Honey, are you wearing cologne? |
Luke: No. Dad attacked the cologne guy and then hugged me.
— From "Dance Dance Revelation"
| Gloria: I didn't come here to steal your thunder. Your thunder is your thunder and my thunder is my thunder. |
Claire: I know, it's just that God gave you so much thunder.
— From "Dance Dance Revelation"
| Claire: Is this because I wouldn't dance with you? I'm a married woman. How would that look? |
Gus: One dance with me, and you forget all about it.
Claire: I already have a man who doesn't change light bulbs at home.
— From "Dance Dance Revelation"
| Phil: Honey, you're not unlikeable. |
Claire: Thank you.
Phil: You just seem unlikeable.
— From "Little Bo Bleep"
— From "Punkin Chunkin"
| Phil: How about this? "Mitchell, I love you. I can't tell you enough how much I respect you"... |
Claire: Are you firing him or proposing to him?
— From "Tableau Vivant"
| Claire: You have an in-law, and no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, they still don't like you. |
Jay: That's right.
Claire: Doesn't that sound familiar?
Jay: You're not saying?
Claire: Oh, I am.
Jay: Son of a bitch, I'm Phil!.
— From "Fulgencio"
| Claire: [Spills water on her shirt] Oh, what have I done? Now my shirt is all see-through. |
Cameron: And so are you. I know what you're doing.
— From "The Wow Factor"
— From "Best Men"
— From "The Late Show"
— From "The Late Show"
| Phil: We're gonna have this boy over for dinner, and I'll serve a big heaping plate of I-told-you-so. |
Haley: And then we'll serve unicorn burgers and magic beans and I'll bring my boyfriend Bigfoot.
Claire: Still better than Dylan.
— From "Strangers in the Night"
|And this is not wine, it's Ny-Quil. And some of last night's wine.|
— From "The Cold"
| Claire: Everyone pretend to be gardening. Luke, grab that hoe. |
[Luke grabs Haley]
Haley: That's not what she meant! [to Claire] ...is it?
— From "Won't You Be Our Neighbor"
| [Mitchell and Cameron are about to fight] |
Claire: [Smirking/to Phil] Here we go
Mitchell: [to Claire] Okay, I don't appreciate the smirking.
Claire: I hear you, Mitchell, and I will try to smirk when you're not looking.
— From "Clean Out Your Junk Drawer"
| Gloria: [to Jay] You prefer to hide in the bathroom than to deal with your emotions! |
Jay: Gloria, what's the big deal!?
Gloria: The big deal is that we're raising a child together, and you have a chance to make him different (she points at Mitch and Claire) than those two.
Claire: Us? I'm sorry. What's wrong with us?
Gloria: I'd take a bullet for you but you two are kind of neurotic.
Mitchell: We're not neurotic
Claire: Do people say that we're neurotic?
Mitchell: They don't say that do they?
— From "Clean Out Your Junk Drawer"
| Phil: Claire... life's like a mountain road, with a new adventure around every corner. |
Claire: If that's the slogan for the stupid coat, I'm going to kill you.
— From "White Christmas"
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|Modern Family characters|