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Vincent, better known as Shorty, is Jay Pritchett's best friend.

He first appears in "Fifteen Percent" as part of a group of Jay's friends that Jay is chatting with outside a café. After Jay introduces Cameron to his friends as "a friend of Mitchell's", Mitchell is incensed and decides to confront his father about it. Mitchell then tells him that he believes Shorty is gay. Jay vehemently denies it, but when he confides in Gloria about Mitchell's opinion, she agrees with Mitchell, since Shorty has never tried to flirt with her. She convinces Jay to talk to him about it, and he invites Shorty to play golf. He begins noticing signs after he starts watching how Shorty acts and comes to think it may be possible. Jay settles for coffee and finally tries to get Shorty to open up. Jay, presuming that Shorty is about to come out of the closet, admits he didn't handle the situation well with his son, and offers his support to Shorty. Shorty tells him, however, that he is not gay, but that he owes a bookie $20,000. He assumes that Jay is willing to lend him the money, and considers his generosity "beautiful". Jay confronts Mitchell, telling him that in offering his support to Shorty, he's had to loan him $20,000 to cover gambling debts. It turns out that Mitchell never believed that Shorty is gay, and that he was teaching Jay a lesson for introducing Cameron as "a friend of my son's". But Mitchell tells his father he's proud of him for being more open-minded than he was when Mitchell was younger.

Shorty reappears in "Treehouse", with his girlfriend Darlene. When Gloria sees that Shorty spends a lot of time with Darlene, she gets mad because she and Jay hardly ever do something together. Shorty invites Jay and Gloria for salsa dancing, Gloria's favourite activity, where Darlene tells Gloria she coming would be doing her a favour because Shorty never stops dancing. Jay rejects the offer, which makes Gloria angry and she decides to go ahead without Jay anyway. But later, Jay takes a placebo pill that Mitchell gave him to boost his confidence to dance, and he finally meets Gloria – who could not bring herself to dance without her husband – at the club to dance the salsa together.

In "Bringing Up Baby", he, Phil and Miles kidnap Jay and bring him to a boat to surprise him for his 65th birthday. Shorty also tries to convince Phil to grow a beard.

In "Three Dinners", he and Darlene announce to Jay and Gloria that they are moving to Costa Rica. Jay gets upset with the news and reacts negatively. He tries everything to change Shorty's mind but the two of them end up fighting, with Shorty storming off. Gloria and Manny try to make Jay admit that the reason he reacted that way is because he is afraid that Shorty will like Costa Rica and he won't come back. Even though Jay denies it, he later accepts the possibility of "losing" his best friend and when Shorty comes back to get the jacket he forgot, Jay gets very emotional when he tells him goodbye.

In "Sex, Lies & Kickball", Shorty is spotted by Gloria and Jay in their car, and they decide to say hello to him. Shorty says he's only in town for a couple of days and will be heading back to Costa Rica. Gloria tells Jay that is Shorty is a very successful businessman after starting a fruit juice company there. Gloria and the now-laidback Shorty proceed to spend the entire day together, much to Jay's dismay as he had wanted to spend time with his best friend. Later on, Jay decides to let Shorty know that he is supportive of him no matter what, but Shorty confesses that he's been lying: his company didn't take off, he lost all of his money and belongings, and his wife Darlene left him for another man. He had been too embarrassed to tell Jay as Jay had warned him of this exact thing before he left for Costa Rica. Jay says that even though he's said all that, he'll still help his best friend get back on his feet.

Trivia

  • He and Jay have known each other for at least 30 years.
  • He stayed at the hospital with Jay for three days when Mitchell was born a month premature, so Jay gave Mitchell's middle name as Vincent in his honour (Mitchell Vincent Pritchett).
  • He was a Marine.
  • His father was a tailor, that's why he's always talking about clothes.
  • In reality, Chazz Palminteri is 6 years younger than Ed O'Neill.

Appearances

Season 1

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 9

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