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This family needs a dumbass-ectomy.
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Alexandra Anastasia "Alex" Dunphy is the middle child of Claire and Phil Dunphy. Alex is evidently the most clever and intelligent of Claire and Phil's children. She is the older sister to her goofy brother, Luke and the younger sister to her shallow sister, Haley.


Before the show

Alex was conceived in a hotel room in Disneyland ("The Graduates"). She was born on January 17, 1997. Her older sister Haley is three years older and her brother Luke is one year younger than Alex. Claire says that during her pregnancy with Alex, she had a "pregnancy brain", implying that the brainy Alex was strongly competing with her for resources ("When a Tree Falls"). She had a poem published in Highlights Magazine when she was five years old ("Patriot Games").


Although Alex is younger than most of the family, she is arguably the most intelligent and well-read member, even more than Manny and her lawyer uncle, Mitchell ("Other People's Children"). Being an overachiever, she tends to address people with sarcasm and condescension, although most of the time nobody gets her humor. She is also shown to be competitive just like her mother, Claire, which she admits is because she is not used to not coming in first.

Having raised by inexperienced parents, Alex learned to be extremely self-reliant at a young age that Phil once compared her to a self-cleaning oven ("Under Pressure"). Due to her abilities, her parents also tend to pay less attention to her concerns in favor of her less capable siblings. Alex often breaks the fourth wall when her family discusses ridiculous ideas and she feels like the odd ball. In "Grill, Interrupted", her grandfather Jay confides to Alex that the family needs a leader and one day he will not be around to do it anymore, implying that in the future, she will the the one to keep the family in check because she is the only one who can do it.

She enjoys messing her family when they are rude to her, which is fairly often, taking advantage of their and inferior intellect by fooling them into believing unrealistic things. At one time she convinced Haley that she could charge electronics by rubbing the battery on her head and Luke that he could do the same by holding it in his mouth ("En Garde"). As much as she enjoys torturing her brother and sister, she always seems to have their backs, as in "Undeck the Halls" when she confesses to smoking, even though she didn't do anything, to bring back Christmas for them or in "Games People Play", when Alex says she would have tutored Luke if she had known he was failing Pre-Algebra.

Alex is almost always bickering with her sister Haley, usually regarding her appearance. According to Haley, Alex has no fashion sense, and finds it difficult to make friends at school. It is shown in several occasions, that she does indeed care for her reputation, like when she refuses to be seen with her mother dropping her off to meet with her friends ("Benched"), and when she accepts advice from Haley about how to be friends with a popular girl at school ("Strangers on a Treadmill").

Alex is also shown to yearn for her mother's approval through academic awards ("Integrity"). In high school, she is part of the debate team and the French club ("Rash Decisions"), practices lacrosse, and plays the cello and sings the backup vocals of her band, Electric Light Dorkestra ("Best Men"). She later admits to Haley that she eventually hated playing the cello but continued to play it because she is not used to quitting ("Someone to Watch Over Lily").

Alex was also implied to be multilingual, being part of the French club and speaking some form of Chinese in "Planes, Trains and Cars". She says that she also know Elvish. She is sensitive to the sight of blood faints because of it ("Arrested", "Heart Broken").


Extremely smart and studious, Alex is shown to be a hard-working student, being awarded more than any other student in the school and often seen reading her books at home or even on vacations. During high school, she took advanced classes that she once became classmates with Haley. She graduated valedictorian from junior high ("See You Next Fall") and co-valedictorian from senior high ("Patriot Games") with Sanjay. After graduation, she applies to several universities including PrincetonHarvardMIT, eventually choosing Caltech.

When Alex does not get into Harvard University, she breaks down and when confronted by Haley, she admits feeling indignant about how she had done perfectly her entire life only to be rejected.

She is currently a student at Caltech, majoring in biochemistry.

Alex's Fans

In "After the Fire", it is revealed that Alex has her own fan base, similar to her popular sister, though hers is composed of nerds like her. Alex tells Haley that someday "your fans are going to work for my fans."

Season Summaries

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Summer Lovin
In the month 'June' we see that Alex carries on dating Sanjay upsetting her sister because her sister doesn't have anyone as a romantic partner. During June, Haley sees her ex-boyfriend Dylan again at the mall much to Claire's disappointment and they end up getting back together. In the month 'July' we see that since Alex and Sanjay are both heading to college they both decide mutually to break up on Labor Day before they go, seeing as most people don't survive with long distant relationships. Haley and Dylan both tell them to stay together and try to survive while her brother tells her to break up as there are multiple hot, sexual things going on in college and they shouldn't miss out. Despite what Haley and Dylan have said Alex and Sanjay still agree to break up. They break up and Alex tells her Uncle Mitchell and makes her get into painting to fill the sadness. It's only at the end, when Alex is talking to her Uncle Mitchell she realises that Alex and Sanjay are the same they're very good at a lot of things and then she realises they should make it work. She rushes to him beofre he can get on the plane during their talk they realise that they, always being the top percentile of anything, are really the very few only ones that could actually survive a long distance relationship and they've had the statistics all wrong.
The Day Alex Left for College
Luke comes down wearing glasses as his new look and Alex is immediately insulted as she states it's like non disabled people parking in handicapped spaces. Alex comes down the stairs and Claire tells her she so consiated because she's leaving a whole day early for college, Alex then tells her that her leaving day is today and tells both Claire and Phil that she decided to tell them the wrong leaving date to avoid everything they'll do. She then tells them that Haley is driving her to college. They both state what they would've done if she hadn't of given them the wrong date, Phil: making a playlist of goodbye songs for the ride and Claire: Making her favorite meal for Dinner and then fighting over separation anxiety and then the morning of leaving day they'd make up before she left. Alex then says that she sees that she made the right decision when she didn't tell them. Alex then tells them they both have 5 seconds to hug her and then tells Luke he also does however he dismisses this and Claire takes Luke's 5 seconds. Haley and Alex arrive at Alex's college dorm, Haley tells her that because she wouldn't let Claire and Phil cry the emotion is going to build up and explode all over her and Luke. Alex tells her that she couldn't wait as she's been dreaming about this day (being moving into college) for a long time and Haley makes a joke saying "leaving your family?" Alex tells her no to turn it into an insult. Alex tells Haley that she's just really ready for College and she really wants to be surrounded by smart, curious people. Haley goes to leave but Maisie shows up and is very energetic. She states that she is Alex's roomate and when Alex asks where her original roomate went and Maisie states that she had a panic attack and they didn't accept her Visa so she is stuck in Norway. She then makes a joke that no one laughs at and sparks an interest in Haley as she's having fun off of the fact that Alex doesn't want ther as a roomate she only wanted smart, curious people and Alex sees Maisie as dumb. Alex rushes to get Maisie out of the room and once she does she asks Haley to stop enjoying it so much Haley tells her she is. Alex tells her it ends now and picks up her phone, Haley asks her what she's doing and Alex tells her that she is calling her Advisor to get a new roomate and Haley manages to convince Alex to keep Maisie by telling her a story "I had a similar experience with a roommate. She was this annoying little know-it-all who totally got on my nerves-" Alex interrupts her sister to say "Yeah, I get it." knowing that the girl in the story is her. Her sister tells her to "shh" wanting to carry on, "I spent a long time trying to get rid of her until I realized that that little girl, in her own way, put me on a pedestal. It felt great. You just landed in a world of superstars, and I know you'd never admit it, but you're scared. It's not the worst thing to have your own personal cheerleader. I miss mine already." Alex is then convinced to keep Maisie, not to change her, but to have a polar opposite that doesn't get boring. Alex goes to hug her sister and 5 seconds later Haley tries to come out of the hug but her sister is resistant to, Haley realises that Alex wants more hugging time as she is very grateful for Haley's advice; which is rare for the sisters.
The Closet Case
Alex is only seen via Skype.
Luke recieves a call from Alex and he tells her that she is lazy, as she could just come downstairs, Alex has to inform him that she's at college and she doesn't even live there anymore. A girl walks into Alex's room as Alex tells him that she'll try skyping Claire as it doesn't seem like Luke cares. Luke rushes to tell her not to end the call and tells Alex to tell him everything and take as much time as he needs to as the girl is right there. Alex opens up about Sanjay telling Luke that he's been ignoring her and she might call him but as Alex says she might call him the girl in the background is about to take off her towel and Luke tells her to do it. Alex is unaware that Luke is talking to the girl behind her until the girl turns around and says hi to Luke, Alex then turns off Skype and ends the call.
Summer Lovin
Please write a description here for Alex's appearance in this episode.
The Verdict
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The More You Ignore Me
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Phil's Sexy, Sexy House
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Clean Out Your Junk Drawer
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White Christmas
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Haley is Alex's older Sister, and she also happens to be her polar opposite. While Alex is smart, quick witted and geeky, Haley is popular, outgoing and shallow. At the beginning of the series Haley and Alex had a much more strained relationship with Alex always trying to stand apart from her sister and Haley constantly mocking Alex on her life choices, such as clothing, homework, boys and Alex would return the mocking. As years have progressed the two girls have grown closer. Alex and Haley once convinced Luke that he was adopted, and Phil's old girlfriend wanted to take him home. Though they still mock and tease each other, it is in a more playful way and you know that they love and care about each other.


Mitchell is Alex's Uncle. They don't spend a lot of time together, but they are seen together in a few episodes.

"Express Christmas"
While they go to buy a Christmas tree with Lily, they discover that they have a lot in common.
"Lifetime Supply"

Mitchell and Alex.jpg
When Mitchell wins an award from the California Bar Association for his work in environmental law, Cam puts in the mantle another trophy he won in the farm next to Mitchell's award, and Mitchell gets a bit mad at him for this. Later, Mitchell talks to Alex about this and she agrees with him, as Claire one time took a couple of participation ribbons Haley and Luke won and put them next to her big plaque. This makes Mitchell to realize that he was acting like a 14-year-old girl.

"Yard Sale"
Claire, Mitchell, and Cameron try to make Alex understand that her boyfriend, Michael, is gay, but she doesn't believe it.


Claire and Alex.jpg

Claire is Alex's Mother, Alex and Claire had a very strong family and friendly relationships but as she grew up like Haley, they grew apart with communication but they both still very much love each other. Alex is known to be the smartest of the family. Claire doesn't have to take care of Alex as much as Alex needs to take care of her Mother. Claire tells Alex that she wants to be the Mother who shows their smart kid off, as she can't do this with Haley or Luke, Claire realises that she doesn't want to become that Mother but she still wants to support Alex in the best way that she can.


Alex and Phil.jpg

Phil is Alex's Father, Alex and Phil also like Claire had a strong relationship growing up, although now that Alex has grown much smarter than before, she considers her Dad to be an idiot, but she still very much loves him. They have a friendly as well as a family relationship. In telling Phil that Luke has probably lost his virginity she accidentally tells him she's lost hers too, stating, "Don't be so naive, we were all 17 once. It's not like we all-", Phil then states that he was sat there with a look on his face for 20 minutes, after realising what Alex was going to say.

Love Interests


Jeremy is a boy that Alex seems to like , revealed in "The Kiss", her family find out and try to get involved.

"The Kiss"

Jeremy ohmygass.jpg
Claire finds out that Alex has been texting with a boy. She sends Haley to give Alex advice about love, however, Haley says that if she doesn't kiss him soon, he will think she's a lesbian, so she rushes to Jeremy's house and rambles on about their feelings and wanting to kiss him. Jeremy is left stunned and, before he is able to reply, the door to their house opens and it is revealed that his friends have just overheard their conversation. Alex runs off in embarrassment. The news quickly spreads, humiliating both Alex and Haley; Haley being her big sister. That night after Claire comforts Alex, Jeremy appears by their house, waiting for Alex. He tells her that if his friends weren't there, he would have said yes to her offer of a kiss. When he asks her if she still wants to, she tells him that she wants to hang out with him in person more first instead of just over text, to which Jeremy sighs with relief.
"Bixby's Back"
Alex states that she will be having a phone date with Jeremy for Valentine's Day.

Jimmy Scrivano


Alex meets Jimmy while on vacation with her family in Wyoming. He first flirts with Alex, which makes her feel annoyed. Jimmy argues with Alex that she shouldn't be fighting what they had together and Alex states that she just wants to be left alone. Jimmy kisses her and obliges Alex's wishes and leaves. Later, Alex confronts Jimmy and tells him that he "stole" her first kiss. He says that he doesn't want it and he precedes to give it back by kissing her again. She says that she doesn't want it now and "gives it back to him" by kissing him passionately before she leaves confused at what she has done.

"Dude Ranch"
Near the end, Alex tells Jimmy that their homes are "2,443 miles apart".
"Door to Door"
Alex is revealed to have been "Skyping with her boyfriend".


Michael is a boy who appears in "Baby on Board", he asks Alex to the prom, when she says it's lame.

"Baby on Board"
There is a prom at Alex's high school. After saying it was lame, she does get asked by a boy named Michael.

"Yard Sale"


Michael comes over and Claire is certain he's gay. Mitchell and Cameron confirm her assumption, they convince Alex to ask him. This isn't met well, as Michael gets very defensive and upset. Later, they are seen being intimate again.

Jason Darling


Jason met Alex at a tour of CalTech in "Do Not Push". The two click, and Jason convinces Alex to consider going to CalTech even though it is close to her parents. They make awkward attempts to flirt with each other, both claiming that they have Asperger syndrome just to seem more interesting to the other before quickly redacting the statement. By the end of the tour, the two have developed an actual interest in each other, and Alex calls Jason "honey" after thinking Jason has called her "darling" (while he was actually just clarifying his surname). The two hug and depart. Alex friends Jason on Facebook, but he is never seen again.



Alec was Alex's boyfriend for an unknown amount of time in Season 6. He appears only in "Strangers in the Night". He is a model and Alex shows her parents a picture of him in a supermarket flyer which makes them believe she is making him up. He later shows up at her door and breaks up with her because his dad got transferred to Africa to work there as a baby heart surgeon. None of the Dunphy family believe he is real, until Alex shows she is not just a compulsive liar and goes out with the completely real Teddy Keys.

Teddy Keys


Teddy Keys was Alex' "rebound" after Alec broke up with her in "Strangers in the Night". He is a "bad boy" who recently got out of juvy and rides a motorcycle, but he is shown to have a romantic side, giving Alex two white roses throughout the episode. At first, Claire and Phil do not believe Teddy is real, as all of the facts Alex produces about him correlate to various items in her room (i.e., "Teddy" being a teddy bear on her bed, "Keys" being her car keys on her dresser, his working at MattressKing being her mattress and a poster of Martin Luther King Jr. on her wall). However, he does indeed arrive at the door, and though initially happy that Alex was not, in fact, a compulsive liar, Claire and Phil realize that she is actually going on a date with a seemingly dangerous kid and quickly run out after them.

Sanjay Patel

Sanjay reaffirms his affection toward Alex.

Sanjay is often mentioned in previous episodes as he is Alex's all-time academic rival, but he first appears in "Patriot Games". It is then revealed that Sanjay had been crushing on Alex for a while.

"Patriot Games"
Alex is furious upon learning that she has been asked to be co-valedictorian with her all-time academic rival, Sanjay Patel. Due to having the same GPA as one another. Alex and Sanjay then decide to settle things with a physical test, in form of a race to determine who gets the valedictorian spot. Prior to the race, Sanjay goes over to Alex's house to confess his crush on her. Alex is flustered, but then convinced by her family that it was possibly a distraction. On the day of the race, Alex prepares for the race confidently, and tries to ignore Sanjay. Sanjay is then confused, as to why Alex is ignoring him. When the race starts Sanjay refuses to run. However, In front of their parents, Sanjay reveals that he doesn't care for the valedictorian spot, and that he cares more about Alex knowing his true feelings for her. He then expresses his embarrassment about his skinny legs--in which Alex tells him she likes, they then move towards each other, while exchanging compliments about each other. Alex then kisses Sanjay, who tells Alex competitively that he kisses better than her. Alex then strikes back and tells him she is destroying him and they continue to kiss. While Alex is in college, it is revealed that the two have broken up.


Reuben is a friend of Luke's and is said to be quite the dork. After Alex's break up with, Sanjay, she feels lonely and is desperate for someone to make her feel better (about her self, mostly). Reuben has a huge crush on Alex and comes running up as soon as he finds out she and Sanjay are broken up, resulting in the two of them being in a relationship. Reuben is pretty much Alex's recovery boy, since they break up a very short period after they got together. Alex also mentions that she has tried breaking up with him before and that he is annoying, desperate and dorky.

"Phil's Sexy, Sexy House"
It is found that Alex talked Reuben into having sex with her, which is stopped when Phil is playing a virtual reality game when he says tells whoever he is fighting to come out, reuben thinks that Phil is talking to him, so he comes out and tells Phil that Alex talked her into doing it. Claire is also visibly disappointed that Reuben is the one who was in there with her, and though she could do better.



Even though Ben is older than Alex he's still the type she seems to be drawn to, being a "underachieving man-child" who still lives with his mother at age 26.

"Do You Believe in Magic"
It's revealed that Ben fell for Alex when she worked at Pritchett's Closets & Blinds for the summer and later stole her portrait from Claire's office and sent Alex flowers as a secret admirer. When Alex found out who sent her the flowers she kisses him.

"Finding Fizbo"
Alex mentions that the two are now dating and she's trying to hide it from her family, especially her mother.

"Five Minutes"
Phil and Claire pay Alex a surprise visit to her dorm room and discover her relationship with Ben. Claire isn't too happy about it but Phil is just happy to see Alex happy.



Bill meets Alex when she burns a bagel bite in the microwave in her dorm room after over indulging in a pity party over her sister Haley dating her school professor and crush Arvin. Bill wakes her up and carries her out of the smokey room.


  • Ariel Winter is one year younger than the character she portrays.
  • Alex plays the cello and sung in a band called Electric Light Dorkestra ("Best Men").
  • From "Pilot" until "Suddenly, Last Summer", Alex wore small framed glasses and then in "First Days" onwards, Alex switched to bigger glasses. Both are black square plastic frames, which seems to be her preferred style; except on occasion and in newer promo attires at this time on. Also at times she can be seen without her glasses.
    • She also wears contacts (only) on rare occasional attires other than eyeglasses.
  • She played lacrosse. (Source needed)
  • It is implied that she leans democratically, as in ("Under Pressure") she wonders if Hillary is going to run for president or not and states frustration over it, although she understands the pressure Hillary must be facing.
  • Blue index cards help her study better ("Under Pressure").
  • When she was little she won a spelling bee in school. The winning word was "responsibility". Her parents didn't even know she was in the spelling bee ("Under Pressure").
  • She told a therapist in "Under Pressure" that her family "doesn't get her", and it makes her feel kind of alone.
  • In "Under Pressure" it is noted she takes AP Bio, Advanced Lit., and AP History.
  • She began drinking recreationally at age 16, sometime around the events of "A Hard Jay's Night".
  • She lost her virginity at age 17, as she accidentally reveals to her father in "Double Click".
  • Like her brother and her sister, Alex has an allergy. She is allergic to hazels as it's specified in Ringmaster Keifth.
  • Alex is the only Dunphy kid not to attend Community College.


Season 3

Quote1.png Phil: We're gonna have to settle this dispute in court - the Food Court. The honorable Judge Cinnabon presiding.
Haley: The food court? That place smells like the inside of Luke's bicycle helmet.
Alex: I like the food court.
Lily: Me too!
Phil: Don't worry, girls. We won't deprive ourselves just 'cause Haley's aversion to...
Alex: [laughs, then stops herself] Oh. Oh, Haley's aversion. I thought you said... never mind.

From "Virgin Territory"

Quote1.png Haley: [complaining to Claire about being in the same class with Alex] Her hand's in the air, like, every five seconds, and she actually reminded Mr. Waters to assign homework. The class loved that. Do you know how embarrassed I was?
Alex: Not as embarrassed as I was when she said eight was a prime number.

From "Phil on Wire"

Season 7

Quote1.png Phil: [to Alex] Can I ask you a question?
Alex: What?
Phil: Do you think it's possible your brother snuck a girl in here last night?
Alex: [with extreme sarcasm] I wouldn't be too surprised.
Phil: So you think he's... they...
Alex: Oh, come on, Dad, don't be so naive. We were all seventeen once, it's not like we all...
Phil: [mouth agape]
Alex: [raises her index finger, backs away slowly]

From "Double Click"



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Total
Season 1 21
Season 2 22
Season 3 22
Season 4 23
Season 5 22
Season 6 22
Season 7 19
Season 8 19
Season 9 17
Season 10 17

Please go to here for color coding.


ved Modern Family  characters
Main characters
Phil DunphyClaire DunphyHaley DunphyAlex DunphyLuke DunphyDylan MarshallJay PritchettGloria PritchettManny DelgadoJoe PritchettMitchell PritchettCameron TuckerLily Tucker-Pritchett • [PETS]: LarryStella
Recurring characters
Frank DunphyDeDe PritchettJavier DelgadoPepper SaltzmanSalAndy BaileyRonnie LaFontaineAndrew