When it comes to her kids she has difficulty controlling Haley's hormones, Alex's manipulative nature, and Luke's lack of common sense. 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.
Phil loves Claire, but thinks she can be naggy 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 that Phil begged her to marry him, and that Haley was conceived before their marriage, most likely a result of her promiscuous teenage years. 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 OverviewEdit
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 and her mother have a strained relationship. Claire tries to be a good mother to Haley, mainly to prevent Haley from behaving the same way as she did. Haley does not like this, as she is often not allowed to go out with friends because of it. Claire also does not approve of Haley's relationship with her boyfriend, Dylan.
Phil once made a bet with Claire, who is not good with technology, that if he could teach Haley 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 he was teaching her for all the times Claire insisted she was right, but Haley knew that she was wrong. Haley eventually did learn with that motivating her.
Physical appearance and typical attireEdit
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 wearing a dress 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 traitsEdit
Claire is an extreme perfectionist, seen in the episode "Family Portrait". According to Phil, "when everybody else sees something beautiful, she sees the one thing that's wrong." She is almost always paired with Phil or Haley to drive a storyline.
Until Season Five, 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, but later realizes her family is more important.
Claire is good at dealing with her kids; numerous times in the series she immediately sees through Luke's lying and Alex's manipulations. She is the most creatively 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.
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 her brother Mitchell during the entire party.
Claire enjoys reading, biking and running. In the episode "Run for Your Wife", Claire demonstrates that she can beat Phil in a race.
Julie Bowen's performance was praised by Ken Tucker, of Entertainment Weekly who said, "Bowen’s Claire could have been a blank blonde cipher. Far from it: Bowen’s wide array of silent gazes at the camera, her slow-burns at her clan’s bad behavior, and her ability to freak out without seeming nut-so crazy makes her an essential, stand-out part of TV’s best freshman ensemble cast." Julie Bowen was also nominated for Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, but lost. In 2010 she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, but didn't win. She did receive the award in 2011, and 2012 for the same category. She was nominated for the 2012 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.
Main Article: Claire Dunphy Quotes
You trying to get candy or Japanese businessmen?
We're gonna get them off of electronics with the promise of more electronics?
- She was born on Halloween 1974