Modern Family’s Alex Dunphy is the middle child in the Dunphy family and is hands down Claire and Phil’s most prized child. Nothing against Haley and Luke, but Alex has always had her eye on the prize in terms of success. From an early age, Alex had a passion for science and knew she would be following a career in it. Haley and Luke, on the other hand, weren’t even sure if college was for them.
Education aside, Alex has her lovable moments on the shower but she’s less emotional than her older sister Haley. While Haley freaks out over practically everything, Alex sits on the information and processes it before making a decision. Over the years, we’ve seen Alex do this time and time again — sometimes completely alone. Since she’s the most independent out of the Dunphy children, sometimes Claire and Phil tend to forget about her (or use her to gain what they want). Below we’re taking a look at 10 times we felt sad for Alex.
10 WHEN SHE WENT TO THERAPY FOR FEELING OVERWHELMED
In the fifth season, Alex has a small meltdown about not being good enough when there are people younger than her doing bigger and better things. She decides to sign for therapy as a way to cope. Without any of her parents’ help, she sought therapy on her own and even made the appointment.
Viewers felt bad that Claire and Phil didn’t realize how much stress their daughter was going through. Things got even more emotional when we found out her entire meltdown revolved internal pressure to be responsible for her family while also feeling alone.
9 WHEN HER PARENTS DIDN’T BELIEVE HER FOR HAVING A BOYFRIEND
Alex has had her fair share of boyfriends throughout the years on Modern Family. It’s in the sixth season when Alex’s boyfriend—who never met Alex’s parents— broke up with her because he was moving away and Haley put it into their heads that he didn’t exist at all.
Phil and Claire try to get to the bottom of Alex’s invisible relationship status but are pushed out for being too nosey. At the end of the episode, Alex is courted by a boy at her school and her parents are almost too in shock to do anything about it, but it’s sad that the Dunphys think so little of Alex to believe that she’d create an imaginary boyfriend.
8 WHEN SANJAY CHEATED ON HER
After competing with one another for the top spot at graduation for years, Alex and Sanjay ended up falling for each other. The two decided to break up before college (knowing that long-distance relationships rarely work) and both took it pretty hard.
However, after re-working the numbers, Alex and Sanjay decided to work it out and try long distance. As time went on, though, Sanjay grew less and less interested in Alex and cheated on her. This left her crying alone on her bunkbed alone. Thankfully, Luke was in town and was there to help her in her time of need.
7 AND WHEN HER BOYFRIEND WAS SECRETLY GAY
In the episode “Baby On Board”, Alex brings her new boyfriend Michael over to meet the family before his prom night. Upon meeting him, it was clear he wasn’t straight. And most of the assumptions pointed true in the episode “Yard Sale” when Michael met Mitchell and Cameron.
Alex felt bombarded by her family members when everyone told her she was dating a gay man and when she approached Michael about it, he shut her out. The relationship obviously didn’t work out but we feel bad Alex can be so smart and yet so blind at the same time.
6 WHEN HER ENTIRE FAMILY SAID SHE RUINED THEIR ‘PERFECT LITTLE SUMMER’
Claire and Phil dreaded summer when the kids were younger because they were home and needy all the time. But in “The Long Honeymoon”, we see the Dunphy’s enjoying their summer at home. Haley and Luke are getting along and stopped arguing, Phil never had a bad plum all summer, and Claire was actually loving her magic. It was a magical summer for the Dunphys (pun intended).
However, when Alex walked in the door from a humanitarian trip, their summer fell apart. It was almost like a curse. Haley and Luke began arguing, Phil had a bad plum, things started going awry. What’s worse is Claire and Phil pointed this out to Alex, making her feel like she had to leave the house for everyone to be happy.
5 HER FIRST COLLEGE ROOMMATE WAS NOT WHO SHE PICKED
Alex seemed more prepared for college than nervous. She was excited and hopeful. Not one for emotions, she decided to throw her parents off and leave a day early so that she didn’t have to endure an emotional car ride to CalTech.
However, once she arrived at college, her plans fell through. Instead of being roommates with a girl from Norway (that Alex had handpicked), she was stuck with a child prodigy named Maisey. Granted, Maisey was sweet and excited to be friends with Alex but she was all too excitable.
4 WHEN THE BOY SHE MET ON THE TRAIN STOLE HER WALLET
In the seventh season, we see the Dunphys, Tucker-Pritchetts, and Pritchett-Delgados taking the train for DeDe’s wedding. While on the train, a beautiful stranger came up to Alex and began complimenting her. He tried to sneak into first class with her but was later kicked out.
Alex decided to try and find this mysterious man and had a unique time flirting with him. But towards the end of the train ride, the mystery man snuck away and brought her wallet with him.
3 WHEN CLAIRE UNDERMINES HER RELATIONSHIP WITH BEN
In the beginning, many Modern Family fans thought Alex and Ben were a good couple. He was already well accustomed to the Dunphy household after working with Claire and he was older (and nerdy), which matched Alex’s maturity. Over time, these two didn’t work out, however, it’s mainly in part to Claire.
Whenever Alex mentioned Ben or had Ben over, Claire’s rude remarks made Ben feel uncomfortable. Claire’s entire behavior also infuriated Alex, which made her want to bring Ben around even more just to anger her mom.
2 WHEN HALEY CARED MORE ABOUT HER PHONE THAN ALEX
In the episode “The Day We Almost Died,” the Dunphys (and Manny) are left shaken up after almost getting in a life-changing car accident after a truck blew a stop sign. After Phil slammed the breaks, Haley and Alex leaped towards each other in a full embrace. “I thought I lost you!” Haley cries as she hugs Alex.
Seeing Haley’s emotional and raw declaration towards Alex in her time of need made Alex actually want to be close to her sister. As we later find out, Haley was actually talking about her cell phone, not her sister.
1 MONO REALLY SET HER BACK
With Claire and Phil working full time and Luke and Haley living at home, their house got even more crowded when Alex was diagnosed with mono and had to stay put instead of going back to school. Alex found it unbearable to concentrate on school with all the shenanigans the Dunphys found themselves in and lashed out almost as a mother would.
Claire loved having Alex home because she kept everyone in line, saving Claire the title of “bad cop.” Seeing Claire thrive in Alex’s dark moments is pretty messed up when you think about it.