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Claire Dunphy

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Claire Dunphy
Portrayed By
First Seen
Last Seen
First Mentioned
Full Name
Claire Melinda Dunphy
Also Known As
Julianna (by herself and Phil)
Mrs. D (by -)
Mama Bear (by -)
Bossy (by -)
Wonder Woman (by -)
Mama (by -)
Claire-Acuda (by -)
California, USA
Account Manager at Starcrest Hotels (formerly)
Housewife (formerly)
Works for Pritchett's Closets & Blinds (currently)
Jay Pritchett - Father
DeDe Pritchett - Mother
Mitchell Pritchett - Brother
Gloria Pritchett - Step-Mother
Manny Delgado - Step-Brother
Frank Dunphy - Father-in-Law
Grace Dunphy† - Mother-in-Law
Phil Dunphy - Husband
Haley Dunphy - Daughter
Alex Dunphy - Daughter
Luke Dunphy - Son
Joe Pritchett - Half-Brother
Lily Tucker-Pritchett - Adoptive Niece
Cameron Tucker - Brother-in-Law
S1 - S2 - S3 - S4 - S5 - S6 - S7
Claire Melinda Dunphy (née Pritchett) is the daughter of Jay, Mitchell's older sister, and the somewhat overprotective mother of the Dunphy family's three very different children. This stems from the fact that when she was a teenager, she described herself as "out of control". She is often exhausted from the stress created by her family, but is still a loving mother.

When she is really good at being a mum it comes to her kids she has difficulty controlling Haley's behavior, Alex's workaholic nature, and Luke's lack of any intelligence. She is seen as an experienced parent by Cameron and Mitchell so she is often approached for parenting advice. She enjoys jogging and reading. Claire is also the most active family member when organizing family events.


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 occasionally criticizes her about things, especially her appearance. She also never went to any of Claire's stuff ("Farm Strong") and annoys her constantly. As a teenager, Claire was a wild girl, usually getting into trouble and one time being brought home by the police naked ("The Kiss"), except for a pair of underwear) and sneaking into the house at either 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning ("Princess Party", "The Incident"). In high school, she had a boyfriend Robbie Sullivan and they reunited in "Princess Party" when Dede found him at the airport when she came to visit and he had grown up to become a limo driver.


Phil's Overview

Phil loves Claire, but thinks she can be nagging and overbearing. He disapproves of her strict style of parenting, and thinks she is too up-tight about unnecessary things. Claire often refers to Phil as "the kid [she's] married to." Claire's parenting styles are a reflection of her teenage years, which she, as well as her father, have confirmed were wild. She tries hard to prevent this same fate from happening to her children, mainly Haley.

In "Hawaii", Claire explains how Phil begged her to marry him, and that Haley was conceived before their marriage, most likely a result of her dingdong. In "Strangers on a Treadmill", we learn that Claire does not think Phil is funny, though she eventually does by the end of the episode.

Jay and Mitchell's Overview

Jay does not express his love for Claire and Mitchell very well. Claire says he has always had trouble expressing his love. Jay and Claire's relationship were strained during her teenage years, during which Jay reveals she was once found by the cops naked with her boyfriend after a party. In "My Hero" Claire reveals she still finds Jay condescending and rude to her, but after overhearing Jay express his concern for Mitchell's well-being she views him in a more positive light. 

Mitchell has said that Claire was bossy and mean growing up, and when she and him were a figure skating team, Claire quit right before a big competition to spare Mitchell of torment from his peers. Mitchell was angry about this and held a grudge for it until "En Garde".

Haley's Overview

In the first season, Haley and her mother have a strained relationship. Claire used to be like Haley when she was her age. Claire tries to be a good mother to Haley, mainly to prevent Haley from behaving the same way as she did. Claire has stated that if Haley never wakes up on a beach in Florida half-naked she has done her job. Haley does not like this, as she is often not allowed to go out with friends because of it and Claire also does not approve of Haley's relationship with her boyfriend, Dylan, we see that she tries to force Haley to be with two other people, Andy and Ethan and will do a lot of inappropriate things to stop her from being with the person she calls a "Dodo", Dylan.

In episode "Fifteen Percent", Phil made a bet with Claire, who is not good with technology, that if he could teach "their dumbest kid" to use a simple television set, the family could keep it. Phil was able to teach Haley by telling her Claire thought she couldn't do it, and that she needed to learn how to use the control to the TV for Phil for all the times Claire insisted she was right, but Haley knew that she was wrong. Haley eventually did learn with that motivating her.

In the episode "New Year's Eve" Haley has a moment of understanding why her mother did what she did when Haley is stuck in the same position when she sees her baby brother, Luke, alone with a girl in his room and Haley does the exact same thing Claire did when she had Dylan over: she barged in to Luke's room pretending to put away laundry and kept an eye on him.

Physical Appearance and Typical Attire

Claire generally wears what Haley and Alex refer to as "mom clothes." She generally wears blouses or button-up shirts, and jeans. Throughout the series, you only see Claire naked (partially) a few times. On the show's Valentine's Day episodes, "My Funky Valentine" and "Bixby's Back", Claire made up an alter ego, Julianna, to go role playing with Phil, who took on the alter ego of Clive Bixby (where the name for the latter episode was derived). Both of their attempts to go role playing were disastrous and ended in either Phil or Claire's embarrassment.

Quirks and Personality Traits

Claire is an extreme perfectionist. In "Earthquake", Claire and Haley have an argument about going to a party. When a small earthquake hits, she is locked in the bathroom with a plumber and grounds Haley through the door. As the two are screaming, Haley calls Claire a "psycho control freak", and the plumber gives her parenting advice. Claire realizes that she is just like her mother and Haley is like her after referring to her mother as a "psycho control freak", and apologizes to Haley.

Until "First Days", Claire was a stay-at-home mom. She revealed in the episode "Moon Landing" that she was once heading for a successful career in hospitality management before becoming pregnant with Haley. She is often bothered by the success of her past co-workers, and sometimes acts as though she regrets her pregnancy with Haley and her marriage to Phil.

Claire, much like Mitchell, becomes selfish, neurotic, controlling and fiery when she does not get her way, is in a hrry for something or else is under a small amount of stress. Claire's most contributing personality trait is that she is extremely self-appreciating. She is brought into a rivalry several times with Gloria, because the latter always outshines her with her upbeat personality and imaginative ideas, not to mention her obvious good looks. She centers on her own opinion as though it is the only existent one at all.

Claire can be incredibly condescending towards people she doesn't like - namely Dylan, whom she constantly tries to get rid of.

She is the most active member of the family and organizes many family and school events. Mitchell and Cameron often go to her for parenting advice for raising Lily.

Season Summaries

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.)




Claire and Phil

Phil is Claire's husband.

He tries to be a good husband to her and fails when he thinks for himself or doesn't side with her and he tends to innocently flirt with his very young step-mother-in-law Gloria, but, they still love each other as they are in a marriage for a reason. 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:

In "Pilot" we see that Claire asks Phil to tell Haley what's wrong with her skirt (Claire thinks it's too short). Phil is supposed to tell Haley that it's too short, but he misunderstands Claire as he isn't listening to what she is complaining about; he is on his phone. Phil tells Haley that it looks cute, to which Haley thanks her dad and Claire looks as if she's given up on Phil.

In "My Funky Valentine", Claire and Phil dress up as their roleplaying characters. (photographed upper right) When Claire and Phil are going up on the escalator, Claire gets the belt that is attached to her coat stuck in the gap of one of the steps that revolve. Phil tries to help her out and fortunately accidentally trips and falls onto the 'Emergency Stop' button, which stops the escalator from continuing. A bunch of people come up to Phil and Claire who have an either friendship, aquaintance or working relationship with them, each see that Claire is stuck and offer to help her out, which Claire very badly wants to decline as she is completely naked underneath her coat for Phil. Phil then runs out to call for help, he comes back and tells everyone that help is on the way to get rid of them; he hasn't actually called for help, when he tells Claire this, she is confused as to why he didn't actually call them, which would have been a good idea. She then tells him to actually call for them.

In "Family Portrait", there is a kiss cam at the football game and Gloria kisses Phil. Phil then begins thinking of ways to say sorry to Claire, Claire is acting up about something Phil doesn't know about and he thinks that it's the kiss cam. Phil tries to say sorry but dances around the actual thing. Claire complains at Phil but doesn't tell him what for and so Phil thinks it's the kiss cam. They both don't find out about each others problems until they pose for a family portrait, which goes horribly wrong.

In "Virgin Territory", Phil finds out, from Alex accidentally implying it, that Haley has lost her virginity to Dylan. Phil asks Claire how long she's known about it and she tells him that she known about it for 3 months, Phil then states "So this giant thing happened to our first born and you kept me in the dark about it for 3 whole months?" Claire then says she's sorry as she didn't know how he'd react. Phil then unexpectedly hugs her for not telling him as it's evident he was ready to learn about Haley and Dylan. Phil then whispers "Thank you" as he hugs her.

In "The More You Ignore Me", carrying on from ("She Crazy") Phil is still upset by the ducklings for imprinting on Claire instead of him. Claire was the only one there when the ducklings hatched, Phil and Lily got there late after hearing from Claire it was happening. Phil is mad, for almost the entire episode, at both the ducklings and Claire.


Claire and Haley

Claire and Haley.

Haley is Claire's eldest daughter.

Claire makes sure that her daughter does not, in her words, "wake up on a beach in Florida half-naked". Claire tries to keep her daughter safe and protected. Although she doesn't do this with Alex as Alex is smarter than her family and knows what not to do. Claire and Haley had a very close relationship as Haley grew up, but when she became a teenager Claire and Haley grew apart and Haley became like her Mom, which is something that Claire fears, although they did grow apart, they prove each time that they still have a very strong loving relationship.


Claire and Alex

Claire and Alex.

Alex is Claire's youngest daughter.

Claire doesn't need to worry about Alex as much as she worries about Haley, as, Alex is the smartest of all her kids, Alex doesn't party with friends and date boys as much as her sister and she doesn't do dumb things as much as her brother, however Claire does often have to split her and Haley up as they tend to mock each other and fight about their differences. It seems that Alex is the easiest to deal with of all her kids. Alex and Claire are shown to have a very good but sometimes unstable relationship.



Claire and Luke.

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.



Claire and Jay with Mitch.

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.


Claire and Gloria

Claire and Gloria.

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.


Claire and Manny

Claire and Manny.

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 somtimes 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.


Cameron is Claire's brother-in-law.

Claire nad Cameron seem to have a good relationship with each other although they've never had a conversation alone with each other so the relationship has never really gone too far.


Claire and Mitchell

Claire and Mitchell.

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.

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.

We don't really ever see a relationship between these two characters, but we assume that they are good friends and have a good relationship.


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.


Along with Phil, Claire enjoys what Phil refers to in "Our Children, Ourselves" as "cheesy cinema". Claire enjoys crafts, insisting in "Fizbo", during Luke's birthday party, that there be a craft table where kids can make comb sheaths. Nobody visited the table besides Mitchell during the entire party.

Claire enjoys reading and jogging. In the episode "Run for Your Wife", Claire demonstrates that she can beat Phil in a race, but lets him win out of pity.

Claire also goes to "yoga" a lot. Claire's codename for firearm practice to release stress and her sacred space that only Gloria knows about.


  • She, Jay, Gloria, Phil, Mitch, and Cam are the only characters who have appeared in every episode.
  • She goes to a shooting range ("Virgin Territory").
  • 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 Lukes' birthday party ("Fizbo").
  • She enjoys "cheesy cinema" ("Our Children, Ourselves").


Quote1 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!
Phil: Done!
[Hayley, 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"

Quote1 Alex: I can't believe it. I got a "B" on my paper.
Phil: Good for you.
Claire: Yeah.
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"

Quote1 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"

Quote1 Claire: Honey, are you wearing cologne?
Luke: No. Dad attacked the cologne guy and then hugged me.

From "Dance Dance Revelation"

Quote1 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"

Quote1 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"



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112131415161718192021222324Total
Season 1 24
Season 2 24
Season 3 24
Season 4 24
Season 5 24
Season 6 24
Season 7 7

Please go to here for color coding.


  • Season 1
  • Season 2
  • Season 3
  • Season 4
  • Season 5
ved Modern Family  characters
Main characters
Phil DunphyClaire DunphyHaley DunphyAlex DunphyLuke DunphyJay PritchettGloria PritchettManny DelgadoJoe PritchettMitchell PritchettCameron TuckerLily Tucker-Pritchett
Recurring characters
Frank DunphyDeDe PritchettPepper SaltzmanSalAndy BaileyDylan MarshallRonnie LaFontaineAndrew • [PETS]: LarryStella

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