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When you're young and dreaming of your family, you think of this perfect family; perfect wife, perfect kids. Look at me, I got this sorry bunch. But you know I wouldn't trade them for anything.
Jay Pritchett
Jay-S8
Portrayed By
First Seen
Last Seen
"{{{Last}}}"
First Mentioned
"{{{Mentioned}}}"
Full Name
Jason Francis Pritchett
Also Known As
Old Timer, Jay-Lo, Smarty Pants, Bucket List, Mr. P, Sexy Pants, Grump-pa
Gender
Male
Origin
May 23, 1947
California, USA
Occupation
Owner of Closet fornia (formerly)
Owner of Pritchett Closets and Blinds
Family
Mr. Pritchett† - Father
Mrs. Pritchett† - Mother
Gloria Pritchett - Wife
Claire Dunphy - Daughter
Mitchell Pritchett - Son
Manny Delgado - Step-Son
Joe Pritchett - Son
Donnie Pritchett - Brother
Becky Pritchett - Sister
Irene Pritchett - Sister in-Law
Michael Pritchett - Nephew
Unnamed Niece-in-Law
Melanie Pritchett - Great-Niece
Stella - Pet
DeDe Pritchett - Ex-Wife
Phil Dunphy - Son-in-Law
Haley Dunphy - Granddaughter
Alex Dunphy - Granddaughter
Luke Dunphy - Grandson
Lily Tucker-Pritchett - Adoptive Granddaughter
Cameron Tucker - Son-in-Law
Lucas Williams† - Ex-Father-in-Law
Mrs. Williams† - Ex-Mother-in-Law
CeCe Williams - Ex-Sister-in-Law
BeBe Williams - Ex-Sister-in-Law
Fulgencio† - Father-in-Law
Pilar - Mother-in-Law
Sonia - Sister-in-Law
2 Unnamed Brothers-in-Law (via Gloria)
Seasons
S1 - S2 - S3 - S4 - S5 - S6 - S7

Jason Francis "Jay" Pritchett is the patriarch of the Pritchett family. He is the father of Claire, Mitchell and Joe. He is married to Gloria and is stepfather to Manny. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and is the former owner of Pritchett's Closets & Blinds.

Biography

Before the show

Jay was born on May 23, 1947 to Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett. He also has a sister Becky and a younger brother Donnie. When Jay was 10 and Donnie was 8, a bully named Joey Calieri took Donnie's bicycle so Jay put Joey's head in the ice as revenge ("The Musical Man"). When Jay was 12, he sneaked off to the movies with his best friend Jim and after seeing Solomon and Sheba swore someday he would marry Gina Lollobrigida ("Boys' Night"). Jay lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, during when he used to sleep with a butter knife under his pillow ("Travels With Scout"). Before he turned 18, he used a fake ID to enlist in the army unsuccessfully ("Hit and Run").

Jay eventually would serve in the Vietnam War and have his navy training in Pensacola at age 18. There he would meet Charlotte, who was 31 at the time and have his first sexual experience ("Goodnight Gracie").

Later in his life, Jay married DeDe Williams and together they have two children: Claire and Mitchell. They were married for 35 years until they divorced when they grew apart and DeDe left to find herself. She subsequently dated a woman named Dottie which ended badly ("Election Day"). Later on, Jay married a Colombian woman Gloria who has a son Manny Delgado from her marriage to Javier.

Personality

Overview

Being a war veteran, Jay is shown to be quite a tough person and somewhat strict. Now past his prime, he finds many of the things that his family do tedious, which he often expresses while sighing "Oh jeez". But despite all this, he is a decent man who cares about the welfare of his family.

Jay is also quite charismatic, which he attributes to his blue eyes. He claims that he is like catnip to sister-in-laws, as DeDe's sisters BeBe and CeCe, and Gloria's sister Sonia are attracted to him ("Valentine's Day 4: Twisted Sister").

Season Summaries

We get to know Jay in Season 1 where we see that he can be uptight, but he really cares about his family and his newly extended family. We also see that Jay doesn't give out his love well and is still a little uncomfortable with his son being gay and being in a relationship with Cam and we see that Jay doesn't have a great relationship with Phil mostly because of the fact that it seems Phil took Claire away from Jay when he married her. But at the end of each episode we do see that Jay really cares and loves his family.

We see Jay in Season 2 a little more developed but still very far away from being fond with Phil and being comfortable with Mitchell and Cameron. Jay's brother comes to town and their brotherly ribbing goes a little too far, but when Jay finds out Donnie is suffering from cancer, he becomes more sympathetic and near the end, the brothers share an emotional moment and make up. Jay and his family start owning a dog named Stella which he originally did not want to keep and Jay appears to start showing much more affection towards her than to Gloria.

None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 3 summary here for Jay).

We see Jay, in Season 4, become 65 years old and learn from Gloria that she is pregnant ("Bringing Up Baby"). In the episode "Party Crasher", his son, Joe is born just after midnight on Manny's birthday.

None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 5 summary here for Jay).

None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 6 summary here for Jay).

None Assigned yet (Please write a Season 7 summary here for Jay).

Occupations

Co-Owner of Closet Fornia

Formerly

During the early 1980s, Jay was the co-owner of a closet company called "Closet Fornia" alongside Earl Chambers. Their business was going very well, as Jay recalls that "maybe a celebrity or two" had come in to their company and "may or may have not bought a closet". However, the partnership soon ended when in 1984 Earl unceremoniously left and took all their clients with him. According to Jay, Earl had badmouthed him so Jay had to start all over again ("Won't You Be Our Neighbor"). Jay had carried a grudge against Earl ever since.

Owner of Pritchett's Closets & Blinds

Co-own (with Claire)

Jay is currently the owner of Pritchett's Closets & Blinds. He hired his daughter, Claire, to work for him ("First Days"). From being the owner of the closet company, it seems that it's given him a lot of money. He seems to be the wealthiest person in his family. In Season 7, Jay hands down the business to his daughter, she takes over as everyone's boss. He comes back to help out as he misses working there but is scared to ask Claire. Claire has been wanting him back for help, but was scared to ask him too.

Relationships

Family

Claire

Claire is Jay and DeDe's eldest child and daughter. It was stated that Claire gets her competitiveness and tough attitude from her father ("Egg Drop"), encouraging her into sports and becoming daddy's girl ("After the Fire"). Their relationship was strained during her rebellious teenage years, during which Jay reveals she was once found by the cops swimming in her underwear with her boyfriend after a party ("The Kiss").

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. Despite all their troubles, Claire is closer to her father because of his supportive attitude growing up .

Mitchell

Mitchell is Jay's son. As Jay had trouble expressing his love to his children, it affected Mitchell greatly who was growing up in the closet. Jay had trouble being totally supportive of Mitchell and Mitchell had to come out to his father three times. This has led Mitchell to very much want to appeal to his father. Jay has recognized his mistakes with Mitchell and has tried to reflect better understanding with his stepson, Manny. Despite Mitchell's complaints, he learned patience in dealing with his father.

The Wedding (Part 2)
Mitchell is extremely touched when Jay provides his club as venue to Mitchell's wedding to show how much his son means to him, and offers to walk him down the aisle.

Phil

Phil is Jay's son-in-law. Jay usually mistreats and antagonizes Phil and Phil always tries really hard to gain approval from Jay.

Come Fly with Me
Jay tells Phil that he likes him for taking good care of his family and thinks very highly of him, despite their differences.
Great Expectations
Jay recounts that he first met Phil while he was hiding outside the house waiting for Claire to come out. His granddaughter, Haley and her boyfriend are in the same position: Dylan is in the bushes outside, and Haley is inside.

Dance Dance Revelation
Jay introduces Phil as "Phil is my son-in-law," but Phil says it sounds like he is saying, "Phyllis, my son-in-law." Phil also complains that Jay says "Dumb-phy" instead of "Dunphy", which he actually does.
The Kiss
Phil once fixed Jay's printer and since it is Phil's only accomplishment with Jay, he brings it up every chance he gets.

After the Fire
to Jay's dismay, he accidentally told Phil that he loved him, but Phil was too busy and didn't hear it.

DeDe

DeDe Pritchett is Jay's first wife with whom he has two children with, Claire and Mitchell. DeDe is known to appear a little crazy and inappropriate at times, which she admits later is due to her insecurities with Gloria and Jay's new life. Jay dreads and tries to avoid DeDe meeting Gloria as the former tends to always cause trouble.

Disneyland
It is said that, while married, Jay and DeDe grew apart and argued over little things. After he took their children to Disneyland, he decided to tell DeDe it was over. However. after hearing the Robotic Lincoln's speech, he realized staying with his kids is more important than leaving his wife, so he waited until they were all grown up.

Arrested
DeDe says that Jay was always absent while they were raising their children, which Jay admits was because he was busy providing for their family who had very little at the time. They divorced after 35 years of marriage. Jay describes his marriage to DeDe being, though "perfect in paper", it was also like serving time (prison wise).

Gloria

Gloria Pritchett is Jay's second wife. She is much younger than Jay which makes people sometimes think that he is her father. She has a son, Manny with her previous husband, Javier. Jay and Gloria got married 6 months before the start of the series and she gives birth to their son Joe in Season 4. Feisty and confident, Gloria thinks Jay is her match, which makes her attracted to him ("Two Monkeys and a Panda"). Jay continually struggles to cope with Gloria's insistence to preserve their Colombian traditions so they tend to compromise with the rest of the family.

Cam

Cam is Jay's son-in-law. They particularly bond because of their shared interest in sports. Jay mentions he used to be a quarterback and Cam was a center.

Express Christmas
Cam reveals that he kept the cork and wine bottle from when they watched their first game together to commemorate. Jay is also shown helping out Mitch and Cam in building and fixing around the house.

Manny

Manny is Jay's stepson from his marriage to Gloria. The two have become closer throughout the series, after Jay's deep concern for Manny becomes apparent. Jay is fully supportive of Manny in sports (fencing and later football), although being a romantic, Manny prefers poetry and art.

The Bicycle Thief
At the start of the series two seem uncomfortable with each other mainly because Manny thinks very highly of his adventurous father than of Jay.

Two Monkeys and a Panda
It is implied that Manny was not very fond of Jay at the start. He reveals that for the first month he knew Jay, he didn't think Jay had a chance with his mother and did not bother to know his name.

Treehouse
During Jay and Gloria's wedding, Manny chose the song for their dance, "Beauty and the Beast".

Joe

Joe is Jay's son with Gloria. Jay consistently worries he might miss milestones of Joe growing up as he did with Claire and Mitchell, saying he might not have another chance.

The Verdict
Jay has to take cover for Gloria at Joe's pre-school, The Learnin' Barn, while Jay starts to hate the fact that while his child is at school, he also has to be there, as he's covering for Gloria. Jay has a tough time trying to connect with Joe while he is there, as he calls out for Joe at some point and Joe runs past him, Jay then states he feels like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense. Later on we see that Jay tells Gloria that he feels like Joe didn't even notice or care he was there. However, their son comes running in, when Gloria asks how his day at school went, he positively answers saying it was great because his Daddy was there, and they now call a kid, who Jay picks on while he is there; when the kid starts a fight with him, "Big Ears". Jay dismisses any of his concerns when he realises his son did actually have fun because he was there.

Friendships

Vincent

Vincent is Jay's best friend introduced in season 1. As everyone calls him Shorty, his real name is never mentioned until the Season 5 episode "Three Dinners", where Jay reveals that Mitchell's middle name is named after Shorty, as he stood by Jay when Mitchell was born one month premature. He eventually moves to Costa Rica with her wife Darlene, promising to call Jay every day. Shorty has a tendency to show interest in things the same as gay men, such as outfits, picnics, and other men's physique.

Fifteen Percent
Mitchell meets Shorty and thinks he is "gay as they come". When Jay tries to confront Shorty, he says he is not gay and likes only clothes because his father was a tailor.

Other Family

Jay's parents have both passed away, and his brother Donnie is living with his own family (possibly in Buffalo as Jay is not sure). His sister Becky is only mentioned.

Mr. Pritchett

Mr. Pritchett is Jay's father, we don't actually know his name. His father fought for the U.S., indicating that he may have fought in World War II and was mentioned to be emotionally reserved with Jay. He died at the age of 63.

Mrs. Pritchett

Mrs. Pritchett is Jay's mother, we don't actually know her name either. His mother was implied to be very affectionate with her children. Jay had written her a poem for Mother's Day when he was 9 which she kept in her cookbook.

Mother's Day
Jay tells his family the story when his mother came charging out of the stands during a game to defend him when his Little League coach was yelling at him. Jay tears up while telling the story, sobbing "you only get one mom".

Donnie

Donnie is Jay's younger brother.

Hawaii
He is first introduced in "Hawaii" when he calls Jay on his birthday and reminds him that he is now the same age as their father when he died, which worries Jay. Jay and Donnie seem to show their affection to each other by brotherly insults and sometimes even by wrestling each other for sport. Though the two seem to always trade banters, they share a deep love for each other as seen when Jay apologizes for treating Donnie differently after he found out about his illness.

The Musical Man
Donnie visits Jay and Gloria and Jay finds out later that Donnie has prostate cancer.

Becky

Becky is Jay's sister. We don't see much of their relationship, the only thing we ever hear about them is that their father kissed him goodnight thinking he was her, which is mentioned in The Kiss.

The Kiss
Jay mentions that the only time his father showed affection for him was when he thought he was Becky and kissed him good night.

Trivia

  • He along with the other parents: Gloria, Phil, Claire, Mitch, and Cam are the only characters who have appeared in every episode.
  • He may have stayed in Ohio for a while, as he asks a woman in Florida who seems familiar to him if she had been there ("Goodnight Gracie").
  • Jay can be seen reading a newspaper that was previously seen in 'Married... with Children', which he starred in.
  • He likes constructing model airplanes and keeps a collection in a cabinet that is always locked.
  • Jay seems to enjoy sports and fishing, as seen in various episodes.
  • His favorite song is "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips ("The Late Show").

Quotes

Season 1

Quote1 Jay: Where's my good underwear?
Gloria: The question is, why isn't all your underwear good, Jay? You make a nice living.
Quote2

From "Family Portrait"

Quote1 Jay: Back in '68, when I was sweeping up hair in that barbershop, I had this mental picture of the family that, if I was lucky enough, I would end up with. Perfect wife, perfect kids... Well guess what? I didn't get any of that. I wound up with this sorry bunch. And I'm thankful for that every day. Well, most days. Quote2

From "Family Portrait"

Quote1 Jay: So Chamberlain comes in one day with a friend, and it's Elvis. Best singer in the world after Sinatra, and I'll fight anyone who says different.
Luke: Dad says the best singer in the world is Peabo Bryson.
Jay: Then I'll have to fight your dad.
Quote2

From "Family Portrait"

Quote1 Jay: When you're young and dreaming of your family, you think of this perfect family; perfect wife, perfect kids. Look at me, I got this sorry bunch. But you know I wouldn't trade them for anything. Quote2

From "Family Portrait"


Season 2

Quote1 Jay: I am always on time. It's easy for me, 'cause I'm organized. Not my wife. You think growing up in a place full of death squads and drunk uncles she'd learn to run faster. Quote2

From "Manny Get Your Gun"

Quote1 Manny: It says in the box that this is for ages sixteen and up. Are you sure I should have this?
Jay: What do you mean? You were born sixteen.
Quote2

From "Manny Get Your Gun"

Quote1 Manny: What did you mean I was born sixteen?
Jay: I'm just saying you were never a kid. Which is good, because I hate kids.
Quote2

From "Manny Get Your Gun"

Quote1 Jay:(as Manny mixes two soda drinks together) What are you doing?
Manny: Turning back the clock.
[while Jay hides Gloria's car keys in her purse, he is unaware that Manny is drinking it already and he cringes]
Manny: That's disgusting!
Jay: Don't judge. You're not married. This never happened.
Manny: What never happened?
Jay: That's a good man.
Manny: Boy! I'm a boy!
Quote2

From "Manny Get Your Gun"

Quote1 Gloria: Tell me the truth, Jay. Did you put the keys in my bag?
Jay: ...No.
Gloria: I won't be mad.
Jay: In order to prove a point, I may have put the keys-
Gloria: [Punches Jay repeatedly in the arm] I knew it!
Jay: Why did I give you such a big watch?
Gloria: Why, Jay? What point were you trying to make?
Jay: I just wanted you to be more organized. You can be a little scatterbrained sometimes.
Gloria: You are the one whose brains are going to be scattered! Manny, hand me the gun!
Quote2

From "Manny Get Your Gun"

Quote1 Gloria: How come I do all the looking while you do all the sitting?
Jay: Because you do all the losing.
Gloria: You are this close to doing all the sleeping in a tent on the backyard.
Quote2

From "Manny Get Your Gun"


Season 4

Quote1 Jay: I'm 65. If Gloria wants to be surprised, she should buy a box of Cracker Jacks. Quote2

From "Snip"

Quote1 Jay: [Picking up Phil for his vasectomy] Let's go! Chop chop!
Phil: Really?
Jay: Oh, yeah [Chuckles]
Quote2

From "Snip"

Quote1 [After finding out Gloria is pregnant with Joe]
Jay: I've always seen life like a series of doors. Sometimes you get to choose the door you go through, and sometimes you don't get that choice. But you still have to walk through it. So either you can go through kicking and screaming, or walk through with your head held high. And since I don't get to choose the door I'm about to go through, I just pray it's a healthy, happy kid. And a boy.
Quote2

From "Snip"


Season 7

Quote1 [to Claire]
Jay: And by the way I've known you for a long time. The last thing you need to worry about is looking weak.
Quote2

From "Promposal"

Quote1 Gloria: Ok, that's it! If the men in this house don't start talking to me, I swear to God that I will make life miserable for each and every one of you!
[Thunder crashes, electricity zapping]
Gloria: No, not yet.
Manny: Oh, don't tell me the power just went out. My Sleep Number bed is stuck on the nap setting.
Jay: Calm down, this is exactly why I sprung for a new generator.
[Generator powers on]
Jay: Which, you're welcome, just kicked in. Now, granted, it doesn't power everything. I had to make some hard choices.
Manny: Mmm, that's it? The bar and the pool table?
Quote2

From "The Storm"

Quote1 Jay: Pool's drained, leaks are fixed, generator's running, and I'm meeting my buddies.
Gloria: Why, Jay? Why you have to go out? It's a hurricane outside!
[Jay opens a pickle jar and takes one out]
Jay: I just do.
[Jay walks out]
Quote2

From "The Storm"

Quote1 Jay: A damn tree's blocking the street. I need my chainsaw.
Phil: Jay, I know you didn't ask my advice
Jay: I'm glad you noticed that.
Quote2

From "The Storm"

Quote1 Gloria: She could lose a couple of pounds, anyways.
Jay: Thank God you don't have a daughter.
Quote2

From "I Don't Know How She Does It"

Quote1 Jay: Gloria makes this Colombian dish I loved when we were first dating... I lied about a lot of things back then.
[Jay takes a forkful of the food, looks over at a seemingly sleeping Gloria and secretly feeds the dog, but Gloria sits up.]
Gloria: What the hell are you doing?!
[Jay puts the fork down]
That takes me three days! Three days to prepare! And then you say that you love it, and you feed it to the dog? What else have you been lying about, Jay Kennedy Pritchett!?
Quote2

From "I Don't Know How She Does It"

Quote1 [Manny and Luke arrive at Jay and Gloria's house]
Manny: Oh! Hi there, how's everybody doin'?
Luke: What's up with Stella?
Jay: Where've you two been?
[Manny drops his Mom's laptop]
Gloria: Is that my computer?!
[Gloria bends down to pick it up]
Manny: Don't open that!
[Luke goes to open the door for Stella]
Jay: Don't open that!
Luke: Is that Joe's plane?
[Jay goes to open the front door]
Gloria: Don't open that!
Luke: Lot of unanswered questions here, seems like.
Gloria: Why don't we all just take a step back?
Jay: Nice and easy
Gloria: Okay, so now I am going to go and take a little walk.
Manny: Luke and I have some homework to do upstairs.
Jay: And I'm going to the little boy's room.
Quote2

From "I Don't Know How She Does It"

Quote1 Jay: You're picking your eyebrows again. Like you did when I put you in Little League.
Mitchell: Okay, I am a little stressed. But it's just 'cause I'm buried under work. And Cam's sister is the worst influence on Lily. But I can't yell at her because she's a sopping mess. So, you know, who am I supposed to yell at? My husband, who needs a machine to breathe?
Jay: Well, you better find yourself an outlet. That's why I have scotch and golf and cigars. Otherwise, I'd be a raging jackass.
Waitress: We're out of Rye.
Jay: Then bake some!
Mitchell: Can you please not yell at the woman who's bringing us our food?
Quote2

From "Express Yourself"

Quote1 Mitchell: So, a karaoke bar, huh? [ Chuckles ] You know, it's a little offensive that you think singing a pop song is gonna solve my problems. How gay do you think I am?
Jay: Mitchell! Madonna!
["Express Yourself" comes on]
Quote2

From "Express Yourself"

Appearances

For Season 7, there were no more than 22 episodes, which is unusual since, every other season has 24 equally.

Appearances

Episode
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 22
Season 8 ? ? ?

Please go to here for color coding.

Gallery

  • Season 1
  • Season 2
  • Season 3-6
  • Jay and Claire
  • Jay and Mitchell
  • Jay and Phil
  • Jay and DeDe
  • Jay and Gloria
  • Jay and Cam
  • Jay and Shorty
ved Modern Family  characters
Main characters
Phil DunphyClaire DunphyHaley DunphyAlex DunphyLuke DunphyJay PritchettGloria PritchettManny DelgadoJoe PritchettMitchell PritchettCameron TuckerLily Tucker-Pritchett • [PETS]: LarryStella
Recurring characters
Frank DunphyDeDe PritchettJavier DelgadoPepper SaltzmanSalAndy BaileyDylan MarshallRonnie LaFontaineAndrew

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