Who Is Your Favorite Modern Family Character?

Sophie's Choice has nothing on this. How can you pick a favorite character from ABC's ensemble comedy Modern Family? The show has managed the near impossible: There are no throwaway characters, the kids are just as developed as the adults, and everyone is a threat for best one-liner ever.

So because this is the internet and we feel like we have to rank everything, I'm going to give this question a shot by separating Modern Family's characters into three tiers. But this isn't just a story about who I like and where I rank 'em, it's the beginning of an open discussion to find out where the general consensus is. Do your part and let your preferences be known in the comments section, below.

And Lily obviously gets her own God category, so she's off the list.

Amazing Characters

Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson)
As the "regular" half of TV's reigning Odd Couple, Mitchell currently holds the title of TV's best straight man (sure, pun intended, why not?). His actions aren't necessarily what make us laugh; his reactions to other people's actions are his true forte. Ferguson is a master of the eye roll and the stifled laugh. And is anyone else more fun to watch squirm in an uncomfortable situation?

Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell)
He's part Buster Keaton, part Mr. Bean. Phil's cluelessness and klutziness are a big draw for the show, but they don't seem tacked on. It's easy to call him a one-trick pony, and yes, the show's writers occasionally focus only on his goofiness, but he's also earnest and empathetic. Everyone knows a guy like Phil, and everyone loves that guy.

Luke Dunphy (Nolan Gould)
The spawn of dimwitted Phil and cautious Claire inherited no genes from his mom's side. He's the classic archetype of the dumb kid, done to perfection. Luke may be little more than a walking wrecking ball, but like his dad, many of his hare-brained actions (like sliding a tray of soda under the bathroom door for his mom) come from the heart.

Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill)
Somehow, the elder statesman of the clan also seems to have retained the most marbles. Jay is arguably the viewers' eyes into this functioning family full of fools. For me, it's all about O'Neill's timing and the look on his face when he wants to throw his hands up in the air and be done with it all.

Great Characters

Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet)
Yeah, yeah, you have him in your top tier, I know. And that's fine. In fact, he just barely missed the Amazing category in my book. Why? He's the requisite "let's give this guy the quirky thing to do!" character. Stonestreet's great as Cam and I love him to death, but the dramatic thing wears thin sometimes.

Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Sofia Vergara)
I had Vergara winning the Supporting Emmy this year (she lost to Glee's Jane Lynch), because I think she's done wonders with a role that is basically a female Ricky Ricardo. I'd hoped that for this season she'd be used more than just for making fun of her accents and talking about how she was raise in a small Colombian village. Still, Vergara is fantastic, and mixing Gloria with other characters always leads to unexpectedly hilarious results.

Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez)
It seems most people either love or hate this kid. Personally, I dig him. He's a four-foot-tall Don Juan who drinks more coffee than all of Seattle. But little has changed since with Man-Man since he got to pose for a picture of himself as an old time sheriff. I say give him a girlfriend and make him freak out about the relationship; that'll rejuvenate the character.

Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter)
There's so much potential here, but she's not used like she could be. Right now Alex is relegated to the smart-aleck remarks she makes while she's reading a book or exiting a room with her laptop under her arm. Winter is great, but she needs more behind her character's story. It's been a long time since we saw her chatting with Gloria about not being the pretty girl, all the back in early Season 1.

Characters That Need Some Work

Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen)
She's the family buzzkill. Don't get me wrong, she's absolutely essential to the show as the foil to Phil. But is she really that funny? It's only when she comes out of her shell (fake figure-skating in the parking lot with Mitchell) that I really care for her.

Hayley Dunphy (Sarah Hyland)
Do any of us really know who Hayley is yet? She's constantly confined to her room or texting on her phone and hasn't really shown us anything at all. When she does make an appearance, she's just whining to Claire and Phil. If my teenage daughter turns out like this, I'm shipping her off to military school.

So who's your favorite Modern Family character? I'm choosing Mitchell, with the gay straight man role edging out the lovable doofus role and the flamboyant gay man role. Name your own fave in the comments!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (132)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
My list:
Mitchell
Gloria
Cam
Luke
Manny
Jay
Lilly
Haley
Alex
Phil
Claire

(PHIL AND CLAIRE ANNOYS THE S**T OUT OF ME)
Reply
Flag
My top amazing characters would be:
Phil
Jay
Mitchell
Pepper (whenever he guest stars )

The rest are all great as well but have some needed antithesis to play off of my favorite characters.
Cam (Awesome character when he plays strong and bold, but gets annoying when he becomes so needy and manipulating (his 10th/40th birthday,the long honeymoon )

Claire ( Funny but sadistic and mean. She needs to keep Phil in line but she constantly nags him to death)
Manny
Luke
Alex
Haley
Lilly
Reply
Flag
Phil is the best, IMHO! He knows when to crack it up and how to crack it up. Next in line is Lily.
Reply
Flag
Well Luke is the best for me. Phil and Lily are also awesome. Claire annoys me to the max !!
Reply
Flag
My favorite characters in right order:

TOP TIER
1. Phil Dunphy
2. Cameron Tucker
3. Luke Dunphy & Lily Tucker / Lily Pritchett (tie)

MID TIER
4. Alex Dunphy - whether it's 14, 15, 16, 17, she would be the star of a lolita pie cream show.
5. Manny Delgado
6. Gloria Delgado-Pritchett - but stuffing that w/ a pencil or a fat slab of manmeat would B heaven
7. Jay Pritchett
8. Hayley Dunphy

BOTTOM TIER
9. Mitchell Pritchett
10. Claire Dunphy - true debbie downer who needs a pencil up the but to relax


honorable metion to Pepper who is hilarious
Reply
Flag
Hayley Dunphy & Manny Delgado are amazing. My favorites without a doubt.
Reply
Flag
My favorite characters in right order:

1. Phil Dunphy
2. Cameron Tucker
3. Jay Pritchett
4. Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
5. Mitchell Pritchett
6. Luke Dunphy
7. Hayley Dunphy
8. Alex Dunphy
9. Claire Dunphy
10. Manny Delgado
1
Reply
Flag
Manny by far the most watchable, followed by Mitch and then guest stars Pepper and the Nanny boy toy. Is it too late for Lily's birthmother to come to her senses and take her back to Viet Nam?
Reply
Flag
PHIL DUNPHY!!!.................i have the philling that he's the best..................jay and luke is cool too!
Reply
Flag
Amazing: phil, cam, gloria, mitchell, Great: jay, luke. Not good:claire, hayley Awful: manny and alex
Reply
Flag
As for the chemistry of the characters. Which ones do and don't go well together.

Amazing duos:

Phil and anyone. Especially Luke and Gloria.
Claire and Mitchell
Luke and Jay
Luke and Gloria
Luke and Lily
Mitchell and Cam
Cam and Jay
Cam and Gloria
Jay and Manny

Great Duos:

Luke and Manny
Gloria and Manny
Claire and Cam
Mitchell and Jay

Ok Duos: every other duo except the worst duos:

Haley and Alex
Claire and Luke
Claire and Manny
and Especially
Claire and Gloria
Reply
Flag
Mine would go Amazing: Phil, Jay, Mitchell
Great: Cam, Luke, Gloria, Manny
Needs Work: Claire, Haley
Get the hell of my TV!: Alex
Reply
Flag
Mine would go Amazing: Phil, Jay, Mitchell
Great: Cam, Luke, Gloria, Manny
Needs Work: Claire, Haley
Get the hell of my TV!: Alex
Reply
Flag
Nuuuuuuuuuuu i wanna watch it tooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

no fair....
Reply
Flag
Phil Dunphy yo! and Cam of course!
1
Reply
Flag
Needs improvement, I think otherwise.

Haley's really not that active in the show especially in Seasons 2-3 for the actress (Sarah Hyland) was battling with kidney disease during this period. In the latest and on-going season, little by little Haley's character is finally being expounded on.

Claire Dunphy doesn't need to be funny. To be honest, if she was given a role of being a 'fun' mom, Phil Dunphy wouldn't be given that much focus. Every show needs a bad cop, a Cersei. Claire's character grounds not only her "fictional family" but also the audience, telling us that with all the laughter this show is giving us, there is still a lesson to be learned in every episode.

With the other characters, I would say nothing further.

Each and every one of them has a personal touch that appeals to the audience. You can see a bit (if not all) of yourself to each and one of them. Maybe you've got Jay's temper but at same time you've also got Many's sweet words.

My Personal Ranking:
1) Phil Dunphy
2) Gloria Pritchett
3) Luke Dunphy
4) Alex Dunphy
5) Cam Tucker
6) Mitchell Pritchett
7) Jay Pritchett
8) Many Delgado
9) Claire Dunphy
10) Haley Dunphy

Above all Lily. I just can't get enough of her witty comments and her adorableness!!!

More+
Reply
Flag
My favorite characters in right order:

TOP TIER
1. Phil Dunphy
2. Cameron Tucker
3. Luke Dunphy & Lily Tucker / Lily Pritchett (tie)

MID TIER
4. Alex Dunphy - whether it's 14, 15, 16, 17, she would be the star of a lolita pie cream show.
5. Manny Delgado
6. Gloria Delgado-Pritchett - but stuffing that w/ a pencil or a fat slab of manmeat would B heaven
7. Jay Pritchett
8. Hayley Dunphy

BOTTOM TIER
9. Mitchell Pritchett
10. Claire Dunphy - true debbie downer who needs a pencil up the but to relax


honorable metion to Pepper who is hilarious

speaking of cersei - would pound the curtains til' i erupted nut juice all spill all inside for pie cream finish
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
I really enjoyed Dylan when he was on the show.
4
Reply
Flag
Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) is my favorite...he always says to Mitchell what I want to say to my companion in similar incidences. I am a female in a relationship with a male...Cam & Mitchell behave just like we do and we're seniors! Ha! Ha!
Reply
Flag
Phil is definitely my favorite by far (Mitchel a close second) and Gloria would be least favorite with everyone else falling in the Middle, which by the way is also a good show.
1
Reply
Flag
Cam, THE best
Luke
Lilly
Gloria
Phil
Mitchell
Claire
Manny
Jay
Reply
Flag
1) Cam
2) Lily
3) Phil
4) Gloria
5) Manny and Luke
Reply
Flag
The top names would be grouped:-
Cam
Jay
Gloria
Then the rest are equal also. Each have their own individual funny side and characteristics.
I hope you enjoy filming in Aust.
1
Reply
Flag
Your list is pretty accurate, at least as far as my opinions go. I think the only change I'd make would be knocking Jay Pritchett down to the great characters category. Other than that... yup. Pretty spot on.
Reply
Flag
Id rank them like this:

1. gloria
2. luke
3. mitchell
4. haley
5. claire
6. jay
7. cameron
8. lilly
9. alex





10. manny
11. phil

honestly cant stand either of the last 2. I usually mute their parts on tv and fast forward them if im watching a d.v.d
Reply
Flag
Lilly and luke, are the best.. I would love to have a son like Luke, that would be so much fun:)) for the adults, I agree with Tim, Mitchell if great (and I do have a couple of friends just like him:D) and for Phil the verdict is just the same: "Everyone knows a guy like Phil, and everyone loves that guy."
Reply
Flag
Lily's the best. So I understand why she's "hors concours". So I go for Jay. Followed by Haley.
1
Reply
Flag
I'd go with Luke and Phil, followed by Claire.
5
Reply
Flag
Luke and Phil are my favorites
2
Reply
Flag
I like them all, but these are my top 3 favorites.
Phil
Gloria
Claire (Yeah! She's awesome!)
4
Reply
Flag
1 Phil dunphy yoh

2 Luke

3 manny

4 jay
Reply
Flag
My favorite characters in right order:

TOP TIER
1. Phil Dunphy
2. Cameron Tucker
3. Luke Dunphy & Lily Tucker / Lily Pritchett (tie)

MID TIER
4. Alex Dunphy - whether it's 14, 15, 16, 17, she would be the star of a lolita pie cream show.
5. Manny Delgado
6. Gloria Delgado-Pritchett - but stuffing that w/ a pencil or a fat slab of manmeat would B heaven
7. Jay Pritchett
8. Hayley Dunphy

BOTTOM TIER
9. Mitchell Pritchett
10. Claire Dunphy - true debbie downer who needs a pencil up the but to relax


honorable metion to Pepper who is hilarious
Reply
Flag
It is very annoying that Luke and jay are on the top. Why? Because to me there not that great personally I think cam, Haley, Phil, and Gloria should be on top. What's exactly so great about Luke? All he does is take his pants off and act clueless. To me, he's not that funny. Sorry!
4
Reply
Flag
I like em all.
Phil is undoubtedly the best though.
2
Reply
Flag
I love Phil and Cam but as great as they are they need all the other characters to balance it. all the characters in this show work because of the other characters.
1
Reply
Flag
Gloria Delgado, Phil Dunphy And Jay Pritchett are AMAZING!
1
Reply
Flag
AMAZING: Gloria, Cam, Luke, Phil

GREAT: Jay, Mitchell

SOME WORK: Haley, Claire, Alex

ANNOYING: Manny
4
Reply
Flag
Phil and Alex (I totally agree that she has a lot of potential) :)
Reply
Flag
this show is just, meh. actors are fine, but the humor is very conventional and nothing special. "RAISING HOPE", on the other hand, is much better in my opinion, with truly original scripts and amazing actors.



RAISING HOPE reminds me a lot of the spirit you find in the "The Royal Tenenbaums" movie. It's not for everyone, I agree, but WAY more subtle when it comes to jokes and odd yet funny situations.



I still watch Modern Family, but it's because there's nothing else on Wednesday nights...
Reply
Flag
raising hope is thrash
Reply
Flag

Gods: phil cam & gloria
Amazing: luke jay mitchell & many Great: claire dylan
Need work: alex
Annoying: haily
Brilliant show!
1
Reply
Flag
Gods: phil cam gloria
Amazing: luke jay mitchell many
Great: claire dylan
Need work: alex
Anoying: haily
Brilliant show!
2
Reply
Flag
Phil,Cam,Gloria,Hayley!!! Best show on TV
Reply
Flag
If I broke them down like you did then my Top 4 would definitely be Phil, Gloria, Jay and Claire. Claire doesn't belong in your "Characters that need some work" category. She can really be quirky at times in episodes like the Halloween one or others where you basically see how similar Phil and Claire are. Gloria's comedy is just genius and many times this season I've just found myself still cracking up over one of her jokes that happened two scenes ago. You covered Jay and Phil pretty well and I think it's pretty obvious why they're both awesome.
Reply
Flag
Funny Show, but it's Gloria that will bring you back every time.....
2
Reply
Flag
honestly i have no idea why Luke is in the amazing category....all the viewers know about him is that he is a dumb kid...Claire should swap with him because she is the person in the Dunphy family that keeps it together (like an actual family) so what if she is a joy kill, it's still funny to see her shoot down Phil's stupid ideas all the time

and my favorite character is definitely Gloria
3
Reply
Flag
Luke is amazing, because he is not a caricature of a dumb kid, (and the character is not that dumb btw) but he is displayed in such a genuine, realistic, three dimentional fashion that you never feel the cringe that you feel when you watch a kid who tries to talk and act like a kid, but all the result is a pretentious script written and explained by an adult and acted by an over-acting kid.. both the actor and the script writes do an amazing job with this character that he becomes very real, pretty like your next door neighbor's clumsy son:) all the characters in the amazing list are those who feel very real.. Gloria is adorable but over-repetative and very predictable..
Reply
Flag
Gloria!!!!
1
Reply
Flag
Phil Dunphy YO!
1
Reply
Flag
Taken individually, they are all annoying. But the fat gay guy is pretty funny. Show is good but over-rated.
Reply
Flag
Amazing: Jay, Manny, Gloria, Mitchell
Great: Cameron, Claire, Haley, Phil
Need Work (but are still very enjoyable): Luke, Alex
2
Reply
Flag
I have two favorites Phil the uncool dad and Jay because of all the characters he somehow seems the most normal (Well other then the two girls)
Reply
Flag
Characters that need work??? Please!! The writers have done the impossible and given top talent great interaction in roles that suit the environment! Julie Bowen's role is brilliant in satire and wit, and reality based interactions with her children. The balance she brings to Ty's Phil is a perfect reflection of how the parental roles play out in daily life. I'll just bet you were that kid that pulled the 1 loose thread on your knit sweater til it had a huge hole!!!
Reply
Flag
So, it's not really a list of characters so much as the people on the show ranked from the ones you find the funniest to the least funny? Namely Luke you have down as an "amazing character". He's a one-note joke, he's a dumb kid. Yes...it's a hilarious joke, but that doesn't make him a character. Claire is easily the best character, she's changed the most/learned the most from her ridiculous "make herself and family look perfect" behavior. Phil is the funniest (basically just because Ty Burrell is the man). And Ed O'Neill should be at character that needs work. We get it. He's the man of the family. Well, last time I checked, no fat, over-age, balding ogre should ever be complaining about what his 30 something dime of a latin wife wants to do. EVER.
Reply
Flag
For me, Phil and Cameron are the biggest draws of the show (I look forward to their storylines the most). I think both Claire and Haley have improved this season (their misunderstanding with about being in love with an idiot was aces), and Luke is the only character I think can wear thin at times. But everything else I think Tim pretty much nailed (esp Jay and Manny). Btw, never doubt Sue Sylvester. She does more for Glee than Gloria does for Modern Family.
1
Reply
Flag
mitchell! also gloria
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook