Modern Family is a hilarious ode to the odd dynamics that play out in the modern family unit. The Pritchett-Dunphy clan is a mishmash of personality types that somehow manage to love and annoy each other in equal measure. Let’s take a look at each of the “Modern Family” characters and see if any of them have your personality type!
The Myers-Briggs® Personality Types of the Modern Family Characters
Phil Dunphy – ENFP
“Claire’s a perfectionist, which sometimes is a good thing, like when it comes to picking a husband.” – Phil Dunphy
Phil Dunphy has an infections enthusiasm for life and a spirit of fun and adventure that endears him to his children. He’s also a bit of a dreamer, which can annoy his more practical wife, Claire. While he isn’t always gifted at “reading” people’s feelings (especially with his father-in-law, Jay) he has a good heart and tries to be empathetic and supportive to everyone in his family. That said, he also marches to the beat of his own drum and doesn’t mind if he doesn’t always blend in with the crowd. Phil is someone who sees possibility everywhere and isn’t afraid to follow the beckoning of possibility, even if it leads him down a tight rope or an impromptu role-play as Clive Bixby.
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Claire Dunphy – ESTJ
“Sweetheart, I would love to be wrong, but I don’t live with the right people for that.” – Claire Dunphy
Pragmatic and in-charge, Claire Dunphy tries to keep her off-kilter family from going off the rails. Whether she’s wrangling unruly children or keeping her husband Phil in check, Claire is the one who likes to keep things running smoothly. She’s not opposed to a little bit of fun and spontaneity, but she prefers when things are planned and organized. Like many ESTJs, Claire has a warm and sensitive interior but often has to play “bad cop” to Phil’s more affable nature. Many ESTJs will relate to her frustrations at always having to control things because everyone else is so out of control.
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Jay Pritchett – ISTP
“Rainbows. It’s just colors in the sky. Do we have to take a picture every time we see one?” – Jay Pritchett
As the patriarch of the Pritchett-Dunphy clan, Jay has a dry wit and no-nonsense attitude that can be both endearing and frustrating to his family. While he loves them deeply, he’s not one for displays of emotion or grand gestures. He wants people to get along, but he largely wants to be left to his own devices to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. That said, like many ISTPs he’s very competitive and gets a thrill from winning (even if it means being a bit of a sore loser at times).
He sees the world according to his own principles of what makes sense and doesn’t want to follow anyone else’s rules, which is likely one of the reasons he started his own business instead of working for anyone else.
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Gloria Pritchett – ESFP
“She faced her fears and it didn’t kill her. What killed her two weeks later was a bus.” – Gloria Pritchett
Bold and unapologetic, Gloria Pritchett pursues life with excitement and gusto. She loves to have fun and enjoys new adventures and travels. Like many ESFPs, Gloria enjoys being in the center of the action. Whether she’s riding a horse at a dude ranch or belting out a show tune at karaoke night, Gloria enjoys being in the spotlight and embracing new experiences. She also has a big heart and loves her family fiercely. Like many ESFPs, Gloria blends an emotional intensity with a toughness that comes with being realistic and authentic. She doesn’t shy away from who she is and doesn’t want anyone else to pretend around her either. Her ISTP husband, Jay, often clashes with her more expressive and emotional nature but deep down he knows that she brings energy and life into everything she does.
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Manny Delgado – INFJ
“I’ve always felt out of place at public school. Like a lone petunia in an onion patch.” – Manny Delgado
Creative and philosophical, Manny Delgado is likely the most mature member of the Pritchett family. He’s often misunderstood because of his introverted nature and deep-thinking persona, and he frequently baffles the adults with his wise advice. Like many INFJs, Manny feels like an “old soul” and he struggles to find his way in a world that seems superficial or reckless. Whether he’s exploring classic literature or searching for just the right tie, he approaches everything with sincere thoughtfulness.
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Cameron Tucker – ESFJ
“We never needed fake IDs on the farm. We figured if a 16-year-old could drive a tractor, he could drink a beer. Not at the same time, of course. It’s Missouri, not Texas.” – Cameron Tucker
Cameron Tucker has an exuberant warmth and emotionality that endears him to his more reserved partner, Mitchell. He loves nothing more than planning a big party or family gathering, especially if he can cheer up people with his “Fizbo the Clown” act. While he has a penchant for melodrama and exaggeration, no one can deny that Cameron would do anything for his loved ones. He’s a true nurturer who gets comfort from taking care of people emotionally. Like many ESFJs, he also has a dreamy and imaginative side that shows up in his love of Broadway theater and musical expression.
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Mitchell Pritchett – ISTJ
“My great-great-grandfather helped build the Brooklyn Bridge. I heard that until the day he died, every time he passed it he was filled with such pride. He’d say, ‘There’s a little bit of me in that bridge.’ I know that I’m not the handiest guy, but I’m still a man. And I want to be able to look out into my yard and say ‘There’s a little bit of me in that princess castle.'” – Mitchell Pritchett
As the eldest son of Jay Pritchett, Mitchell has always felt pressure to live up to his father’s expectations. He’s a successful lawyer with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. However, he’s also a bit critical and high-strung, which often lands him in hot water with his highly emotional and expressive partner, Cameron. Like many ISTJs, Mitchell has an air of professionalism and seriousness. He will carry out his responsibilities and follow through on his word, even when he doesn’t like it (like when he joined Cameron on his juice fast, just to offer moral support). Underneath his sometimes prickly demeanor, Cameron is a deeply sensitive and supportive person who shows he cares by offering practical assistance and guidance to his family.
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Haley Dunphy – ESTP
“Saying nothing is not lying, it’s letting the truth speak for itself.” – Haley Dunphy
Impulsive and snarky, Haley Dunphy embodies a fairly ditzy version of the ESTP personality type. She lives for the thrill of experience and is always looking for new opportunities to have fun or let loose with her friends (or boyfriends). When it comes to decisions, she focuses on what will get her ahead with the least amount of effort. She cares less about good grades or book-smarts and more about making an impression with her peers and having fun. Cheating isn’t beyond her and while she may not get A’s in school like her sister, she has an abundance of knowledge on how to get what she wants, how to manipulate, and how to come up with clever tactics to steer clear of her parent’s interference.
Alex Dunphy – ISTJ
“I shouldn’t be penalized for being too smart, I’m not running for president.” – Alex Dunphy
The middle-child of Claire and Phil Dunphy, Alex is determined to set herself apart from her often chaotic family. She’s fiercely competitive and takes her academic achievements very seriously. Although she can be a bit judgmental and inflexible, she’s usually the voice of reason in her family. When things get chaotic or out-of-control (which happens often), Alex is in the background making sarcastic statements and wry observations. Unlike her spontaneous sister, Haley, Alex carefully weighs all her options before making a decision. She’s loyal and reliable, but she can also be quite stubborn when she sets her mind to something.
Luke Dunphy – ENTP or ESTP
“We can’t have people golfing sober. They’ll realize it’s a waste of time.” – Luke Dunphy
It’s difficult to type Luke Dunphy because he appears one way as a young child and a different way as a teen. As a child he seems fairly clumsy and unaware of his surroundings, going after hair-brained ideas and asking “Why not?” rather than “Why?” The childhood version of Luke seems like an airheaded version of an ENTP, while the teenage version of Luke seems like a flighty version of an ESTP. Either way, he seems to show a preference for Extroversion, Thinking, and Perceiving. He’s always coming up with new schemes and ideas, even if they’re not always the best (like attempting to take Lily down out of jealousy). He’s also a bit of a mischief-maker and loves to push boundaries, much to the dismay of his parents. He’s highly adaptable and can quickly come up with new solutions to problems, even if they’re not always the most practical. Despite his sometimes impulsive nature, Luke is a good friend and genuinely cares about the people in his life.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett – ISTP
“Cry me a river…Sorry, should I call you a wahmbulance?” – Lily Tucker-Pritchett
We don’t see a lot of Lily’s character until later on in the Modern Family series. However, as her personality blossoms and develops, so does her snarky sense of humor. Lily has mastered the art of hurling an insult in such a straight-faced way that it almost feels like a compliment. Her detached, skeptical demeanor allows her to call out some of her dad’s double-standards. For example, when she points out that they’re always telling her to love herself but they can’t stop hiding in their own bathing suits. Like many ISTPs, Lily is an independent thinker who isn’t afraid to voice her opinion, even if it might not be popular.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you agree with these character typings? Do you have different opinions? Share your perspectives in the comments!
Explore even more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!