Claire Elizabeth 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 it comes to her kids she has difficulty controlling Haley's behaviour, 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.


Phil's Overview

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 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 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.

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 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.

In the episode New Year's Eve Haley has a moment of understanding about her mother when she sees Luke alone with a girl in his room. She 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

In "Earthquake", Claire and Haley have an argument about how going to a party. When an 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.

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.


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.


  • She was born on Halloween 1974.
  • She went to Pole Dance classes.
  • She, Jay, Gloria, Phil, Cam, and Mitch have appeared in every episode.
  • She goes to a shooting range.
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