The hit series Modern Family follows three separate families that are all related through Ed O’Neill’s Jay Pritchett, but as families grow, separate, and come back together, the family tree gets more complicated. Modern Family ran for 11 seasons and over the course of its successful run the series saw multiple births, deaths, and reunions. Utilizing three diverse family set-ups, the sitcom is set in modern-day Los Angeles and zeroes in on the lives of the nuclear Dunphy family, husbands Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker and their adoptive children, and the remarried Jay Pritchett with his second wife Gloria and her son from another marriage, Manny.
If the cast of Modern Family didn’t sound expansive enough based on the first season alone, it only grew as time went on, and more additions were made to the family tree while other key members who were only mentioned in passing, like Claire and Mitchell’s mother DeDe, suddenly appeared. The glue that holds these three units together is Jay, who with DeDe had Claire Dunphy (née Pritchett) and Mitchell. Despite being related, each of these families has wholly different dynamics which helped audiences connect with the relatable characters and draw comparisons to their own family units, found or otherwise.
Phil Dunphy & Claire Dunphy
The first couple to be introduced in Modern Family is the married Phil and Claire Dunphy, parents of the Dunphy household. The Dunphys are a typical nuclear family that deals with the ups and downs of raising their three dissimilar children in a modern era. Phil and Claire go through a lot over the course of the series, with Claire, the grounded and realistic of the two, experiencing a career renaissance once their two eldest daughters are out of the house. Phil, an optimistic dreamer, maintains his career as a real estate agent through most of the series, but also dabbles in commercial real estate and teaches classes.
Claire is the family member through which the rest of the Modern Family cast is related. Claire is the eldest daughter of Jay Pritchett and DeDe Williams from Jay’s first marriage, Mitchell Pritchett’s older sister, and Joe Pritchett’s half-sister. Claire struggles in the beginning with Jay’s new marriage to Gloria, believing that her much-younger stepmother could be a gold digger. However, she also is at odds with her mother DeDe, who isn’t in the series as often but always manages to bring conflict with her. She and her brother Mitchell have a typical sibling dynamic, but get along well and have various schemes throughout the series.
Haley, Alex, & Luke Dunphy
Haley, Alex, and Luke Dunphy are Phil and Claire’s three children, and they couldn’t be more different. Haley is the eldest, starting out the series at 16 years old, Alex is the middle child beginning the show at 13 years old, and Luke is the baby of the family at only 11 years old in Modern Family season 1. All three children grow exponentially as the series goes on, with each character coming into their own as young adults. Haley starts out as the typical shallow popular girl, who is often at odds with her sister Alex, an overachiever who always has a caustic retort.
Luke begins the series idolizing his father Phil, with whom he is quite similar, but forges his own path. Haley eventually ventures out and adds to the Dunphy family tree when she and Dylan fall pregnant with twins in Modern Family season 10. As to how the Dunphy children are related to the rest of the Tuckers, Delgados, and Pritchetts, Manny Delgado likes to remind them how he’s technically their uncle through marriage. Joe Pritchett, though decades younger than the three, is also their half-uncle whereas Lily and Rexford Tucker-Pritchett are their cousins. Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker are also their uncles, while Jay, Gloria, and DeDe are their grandparents.
No one thought that Dylan and Haley would be endgame as many were hoping she would end up with Andy. However, Modern Family went a different route and made Haley’s high school boyfriend her eventual husband and father to their two children. Dylan has his own special arc in the series, seeing him turn from a bad songwriter into a good nurse. He and Haley begin seeing each other again and Haley gets pregnant with Poppy and George in season 10. Before Haley gives birth, she and Dylan officially get married, thanks to Phil becoming ordained on “No pain ordain.com.”
Poppy & George Marshall
Haley Dunphy gives birth to twins Poppy and George in the Modern Family season 10 finale, the youngest members of the Dunphy family tree. Since Haley is their mother, this means that Luke and Alex Dunphy are their uncle and aunt, respectively, while Phil and Claire are their grandparents. Poppy and George’s relations to the rest of the Pritchett, Delgado, and Tucker clan is a little more complex. Jay and Gloria would technically be their great-grandparents, while Mitchell, Cameron, Joe, and Manny would be their great uncles. Lily and Rexford, on the other hand, would be their second cousins.
Jay & Gloria Pritchett
Jay and Gloria Pritchett are the second couple to be introduced on Modern Family, being married for only six months when the series begins. Jay is the central thread through which most of the characters are related, and Gloria is his second marriage much later in life. He and Gloria are quite different, but it’s their differences that make the couple work and the two eventually have another child named Fulgencio Joseph “Joe” Pritchett which includes an arc where both parties fear becoming parents again at their advanced age. Prior to their marriage and Joe’s birth, Jay and Gloria had their own separate children.
Jay is Claire and Mitchell’s father through his first marriage to DeDe Williams. This means he is a grandfather to Haley, Alex, and Luke Dunphy, as well as Lily and Rexford Tucker-Pritchett. He is also a great-grandfather to Poppy and George Marshall. He raises Gloria’s son from a previous marriage, Manny Delgado, as his own considering Manny’s father Javier is absent. Gloria finds herself through marriage to be Claire and Mitchell’s stepmother, a point of contention early on in the show, but she’s also a step-grandmother to Phil and Claire’s kids and Mitch and Cam’s kids.
Manny Delgado is Gloria’s son from a previous marriage to Javier Delgado, whom Jay raises as his own son. He and Jay are often at odds as Manny is much more artistically driven. Manny is around the same age as Luke Dunphy, his nephew through marriage, and has a decent relationship with all the Dunphy and Tucker-Pritchett siblings that are around his age. He is technically Claire and Mitchell’s adoptive brother and Joe Pritchett’s half-brother. Since he’s Luke’s uncle, that means he’s also uncle to Haley, Alex, Lily, and Rexford.
When Jay and Gloria found out they were pregnant in Modern Family season 4, it caused panic in the household. Regardless, Joe was a welcome addition to the Pritchett family, despite being born on Manny’s 14th birthday. Joe is a half-brother to Claire and Mitchell through Jay and Manny through Gloria. He’s technically half-uncle to Haley, Alex, and Luke Dunphy as well as Lily and Rexford Tucker-Pritchett, and great-half-uncle to Haley’s kids Poppy and George. Joe is the first new addition to the Modern Family cast and the youngest of all of Jay’s children.
DeDe was mentioned before she was seen, but Jay’s mercurial ex-wife makes her first appearance in Modern Family season 1, episode 4, “The Incident,” where she reconvenes with the family after a drunken rant at Jay and Gloria’s wedding several months prior. DeDe is the mother of Claire and Mitchell with Jay, which makes her grandmother to Haley, Alex, and Luke Dunphy as well as Lily and Rexford Tucker-Pritchett. In addition, she’s a great-grandmother to Poppy and George. Otherwise, DeDe bears no relation to anyone else in the series, but every appearance that Shelley Long’s character makes is a memorable one.
Javier is another ex-partner that occasionally appears on Modern Family and manages to stir up drama. Javier Delgado is Gloria’s ex-husband, and Manny Delgado is their child. Javier isn’t related to anyone else on Modern Family and doesn’t come on the series often, but it’s his absence that makes him an impactful character. Benjamin Bratt’s absentee father is often out gambling and living a life of danger and excess while Gloria and Jay raise his son. Manny begins the series idolizing Javier but eventually becomes disillusioned when he realizes how little he’s been there for him.
Mitchell Pritchett & Cameron Tucker
The final couple to be introduced on Modern Family is Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker. The series begins when the two decide to expand their family by adopting a baby girl from Vietnam and name her Lily Tucker-Pritchett. After a lot of back and forth over the progressive seasons, the two eventually end up adopting another child, Rexford Tucker-Pritchett, bringing the series full circle with his introduction. Mitchell is a lawyer who sees various ups, downs, and changes within his own career and Cam starts out the series as a stay-at-home dad before becoming a football coach.
Mitch and Cam have a loving marriage, despite their clear differences. Mitchell is where the rest of the Modern Family clan finds their relational thread, as he’s the youngest son of Jay and DeDe and younger brother to Claire Dunphy, with Manny Delgado being his step-brother and Joe Pritchett his half-brother. This means he, and Cam, are uncles to Haley, Alex, and Luke Dunphy and great-uncles to Poppy and George. Gloria is technically Mitch’s stepmother and the two have a good relationship as Mitch has gotten her out of a few spots of legal trouble.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett & Rexford Tucker-Pritchett
Lily Tucker-Pritchett and Rexford Tucker-Pritchett are Mitch and Cam’s children on Modern Family. Their separate introductions act as a bookend to the series, with Lily being introduced to the rest of the Pritchett and Dunphy clans in the pilot episode and Rexford receiving a similar introduction toward the end of the show. Lily essentially grows up on Modern Family, beginning the series as an infant and ending the series at 12 years old. Rexford is only in a handful of episodes, being born prior to the Modern Family series finale.
Lily and Rexford are grandchildren to Jay and DeDe, and Gloria’s step-grandchildren. Manny would be their step-uncle, whereas Joe would be their half-uncle, and Phil and Claire would be their uncle and aunt respectively. Haley, Alex, and Luke Dunphy would be Lily and Rexford’s cousins, with Haley’s children Poppy and George becoming their second cousins. The Modern Family family tree is expansive and confusing, to say the least, but the dynamics between these characters are highly enjoyable and relatable, and nearly everyone can find moments and situations within the show that have played out within their own clans.