On Modern Family, Claire Dunphy is the quintessential suburban mom. She was the homemaker of the Dunphy household for over 20 years before deciding to go back to work; she's overbearing and competitive when it comes to her family; she enjoys running or meeting with her book club when she has time off. Overall, Claire is a well-rounded woman with a lot on her plate, but sometimes her competitive nature gets the best of her.
Raised as the "boy" of the family by her dad Jay, Claire can be seen as too aggressive at times. It's almost like she doesn't have an off switch. Thankfully, she lives a stone's throw away from her brother and dad, but it's her husband Phil who brings her back down to reality when she gets ahead of herself. Although she has a close family, loving husband, and good kids (for the most part), Claire sure does make a lot of mistakes that land her in hot water. Here are some prime examples.
10 FRAMING ALEX AND BEN'S SEX ART
In the ninth season, we see Claire slowly morphing into her dad. Her daughter Alex has been dating Claire's assistant Ben for a couple of months now, and as nice as a man Ben is, Claire is not happy about the relationship. She makes Alex and Ben feel uncomfortable being together, which is exactly what her dad did to her and Phil.
Alex decides to get back at her mom by creating a sex portrait with Ben and leaving it for her mother to find. But Claire takes it a step further and humiliates them by hanging their "artwork" in the dining room.
9 NOT TELLING PHIL ABOUT OWNING A POTENTIAL MAGIC SHOP
It's during Jay and Gloria's 10th wedding anniversary that we found out Phil could have owned his own magic shop. As it turns out, the opportunity to own one came knocking on his door. However, Claire decided not to tell Phil about the opportunity. She thought it would derail his great career as a realtor and they had small mouths to feed. Phil found this out over 20 years later and felt betrayed by his wife. Claire made up for it, of course, but it was a heavy secret and nasty thing to keep from her magic-loving husband.
8 INTERRUPTS DYLAN'S FIRST PROPOSAL AT THE RANCH
The third season starts off with the entire family (and Dylan) going away to a ranch. The group stayed busy doing outdoor activities, campfires, and horseback riding. At this point in Haley's life, she and Dylan were pretty hot and heavy. Thus, Dylan thought their getaway to the ranch was the perfect time to propose.
However, before he could get a word out — after getting on one knee — Claire interrupted the proposal and turned it down for Haley. As young as Haley and Dylan were, it was her proposal to turn down. It was her special moment. Claire ruined it due to her control issues and hatred of Dylan.
7 BUYS CHEAP WOOD (AND HIDES IT FROM JAY)
It took some getting used to but Claire finally gets comfortable as the boss in charge over at Pritchett's Closets and Blinds. With Jay being retired, he still pops in and out of the office giving his two cents when it matters.
As thorough as Claire is, she accidentally bought some cheap wood that was getting people sick and making headlines. If people knew they bought closets from Pritchett's Closets that was making them ill in the long run, there would be a massive lawsuit on their hands. Claire eventually figured it out — and so did Jay — but she tried her hardest to keep the news from the one person who probably could have helped her.
6 A HORRIBLE GIFT GIVER
It's not too surprising that Claire is a bad gift giver considering how scatter-brained she is. In the past, Claire bought Phil an at-home performance from a musician he never heard of, two "free" back massages from her any time he wanted one, sparkly gifts to keep him occupied because she didn't have the time to be alone with him, and she even forgot to get her own brother a gift on his birthday. You'd think she'd be more organized by now, but not our Claire...
5 SCOLDS HER FAMILY FOR EMBARRASSING HER IN FRONT OF AN OLD FRIEND
In the Season 1 episode "Moon Landing," Claire finally gets to have some girl time with an old friend. Valerie (Minnie Driver) and Claire head out to lunch to catch up and as Claire begins talking about family life, she thinks Valerie is jealous of Claire. But as soon as Valerie starts talking about work, we see that she isn't jealous of Claire at all — she pities her.
In an effort to prove how amazing her family is, she brings Valerie back to the house. Unfortunately for Claire, her husband is stuck in a port-o-potty, Haley is throwing things at Dylan from her bedroom window, Luke is sitting in the kitchen with bottles of alcohol around his feet, and Alex is looking for a rat. Instead of turning into a parent, Claire scolds her entire family for embarrassing her in front of her friend.
4 TRASHES PHIL'S INDEX CARDS
In the second season, we see Phil preparing to host the Southern California Annual Realtors Banquet (SCARB). In classic Phil form, he's been writing jokes for weeks to make sure the show goes off perfectly and he gets a lot of laughs. Sadly, Claire gets embarrassed by his jokes and doesn't think anyone else would find him funny, so she hides his index cards for the big night. Phil ends up remembering most of the jokes by memory anyway and it was a raging success. At the end of the night, Claire admits to hiding his cards, but it's sad she couldn't have been honest with him from the start.
3 TRIES GETTING GLORIA DEPORTED
When Jay and Claire are away for the weekend at a closet convention, Claire is suspicious of her father's whereabouts. She thinks he's having an affair with another closet professional but as it turns out, they're old buddies.
As Claire and Jay are arguing about the situation, we learn that Claire tried getting Gloria deported twice... Jay was pretty calm over the who scenario, but considering Gloria and Jay are married and have Manny in the picture, that was pretty low of Claire.
2 DOESN'T BELIEVE ALEX HAS A BOYFRIEND
In Season 6, Alex is going through a hard time with schoolwork, friends, and boys. She's also not the kind of girl who tells her parents every single detail of her private life like Manny does. But when Alex seems upset over her boyfriend moving, Claire doesn't believe her. She starts picking apart other things in Alex's life that she could be making up as well. As we later find out, Alex did, in fact, have a boyfriend (and a date with a new boy later in the night) and it's a shame that Claire doubts her kids so much.
1 GOES AFTER A CHILD SO THAT LUKE WOULD WIN AN AWARD
With Haley winning prom queen, Alex winning every award the school has (and being crowned class valedictorian), Luke was the last of three to graduate with no awards. Without even asking Luke if he cared about this, Claire stuck her nose where it didn't belong and framed another student for bad behavior so that her son would win the school's Integrity Award. Apparently, however, the Integrity Award is one of the lamest awards you could get and Luke was mortified by the honor. And let us not forget that Claire framed a child!