Alexandra Anastasia "Alex" Dunphy is the second daughter of Claire and Phil Dunphy. She is evidently the most clever and intelligent of the three siblings. Also the middle child to a shallow big sister and a goofy younger brother, she enjoys messing with them when they are rude to her, which is fairly often, taking advantage of their naivety and inferior intellect by fooling them into believing unrealistic things. At one time she had convinced Haley and Luke that they could charge electronics by rubbing the battery on her head and holding it in his mouth. As much as she enjoys torturing her brother and sister, she always seems to have their backs, as in "Undeck the Halls" when she confesses to smoking, even though she didn't do anything, to bring back Christmas for them or in "Games People Play", when Alex says she would have tutored Luke if she had known he was failing Pre-Algebra.
Before The Show
Alex was conceived in a hotel room in Disneyland ("The Graduates"). She was born on January 14, 1997. Her older sister Haley is three years older and her brother Luke is two years younger than Alex. Claire says that during her pregnancy with Alex, she had a "pregnancy brain", implying that the brainy Alex was strongly competing with her for resources ("When a Tree Falls"). She had a poem published in Highlights Magazine when she was five years old ("Patriot Games").
Although Alex is younger than most of the family, she is arguably the most intelligent and well-read member, even more than Manny and her lawyer uncle Mitchell ("Other People's Children"). Being an overachiever, she tends to address people with sarcasm and condescension, although most of the time nobody gets her humor. She is also shown to be competitive just like her mother Claire, which she admits is because she is not used to not coming in first.
Having raised by inexperienced parents, Alex learned to be extremely self-reliant at a young age that Phil once compared her to a self-cleaning oven ("Under Pressure"). Due to her abilities, her parents also tend to pay less attention to her concerns in favor of her less capable siblings. Alex often breaks the fourth wall when her family discusses ridiculous ideas and she feels like the odd ball. In Grill, Interrupted, her grandfather Jay confides to Alex that the family needs a leader and one day he will not be around to do it anymore, implying that in the future, she will the the one to keep the family in check because she is the only one who can do it.
She enjoys messing her family when they are rude to her, which is fairly often, taking advantage of their and inferior intellect by fooling them into believing unrealistic things. At one time she convinced Haley that she could charge electronics by rubbing the battery on her head and Luke that he could do the same by holding it in his mouth ("En Garde"). As much as she enjoys torturing her brother and sister, she always seems to have their backs, as in "Undeck the Halls" when she confesses to smoking, even though she didn't do anything, to bring back Christmas for them or in "Games People Play", when Alex says she would have tutored Luke if she had known he was failing Pre-Algebra.
Alex is almost always bickering with her sister Haley, usually regarding her appearance. According to Haley, Alex has no fashion sense, and finds it difficult to make friends at school. It is shown in several occasions, that she does indeed care for her reputation, like when she refuses to be seen with her mother dropping her off to meet with her friends ("Benched"), and when she accepts advice from Haley about how to be friends with a popular girl at school ("Strangers on a Treadmill").
Alex is also shown to yearn for her mother's approval through academic awards ("Integrity"). In high school, she is part of the debate team and the French club ("Rash Decisions"), practices lacrosse, and plays the cello and sings the backup vocals of her band, Electric Light Dokestra ("Best Men"). She later admits to Haley that she eventually hated playing the cello but continued to play it because she is not used to quitting ("Someone to Watch Over Lily").
Alex was also implied to be multilingual, being part of the French club and speaking some form of Chinese in "Planes, Trains and Cars". She says that she also know Elvish. She is sensitive to the sight of blood faints because of it ("Arrested", "Heart Broken").