5 Times Alex Was The Smartest (And 5 Times She Definitely Wasn’t)


Alex Dunphy is, without a doubt, the smartest character on Modern Family. Even when Alex was a child, her independence and sense of self were so astounding that Claire and Phil kind of forgot about her because they were too busy tending to Haley and Luke, who required more attention.

RELATED: Modern Family: 10 Things That Make No Sense About Alex

While Alex would have preferred more love and attention from her parents, she was bright enough to realize their train of thought and went on to do extraordinary things in science. However, as brilliant as Alex Dunphy is, there were moments of weakness that proved she was just like any other ordinary girl her age.

10 Smartest: She Made A Robot

alexs robot at caltech - modern family

When Phil and Claire went to check on Alex at Caltech, they assumed she would be so busy with school that her personal life would be in shambles. They showed up to Alex’s dorm room ready to clean the mess, restock the fridge, and give Alex a few pick-me-ups. However, what they found instead was that she was completely reasonable.

In fact, not only was her room clean and life organized but she was also working on a robot that could declare a person’s movement for “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” The robot was so good, Phil didn’t win once.

9 Not As Smart As She Thinks: She Didn’t Know Luke Was Cheating At Scrabble

luke and claire cheat in scrabble - modern family

When Alex is spending some time at home healing from mono, she plays Luke in a friendly game of Scrabble. However, Luke was tired of Alex winning every game so he teamed up with Claire to beat Alex as a team.

RELATED: Modern Family: Alex’s Slow Transformation Over The Years (In Pictures)

Whenever Luke needed a particular letter to beat Alex, he would “go to the bathroom” where Claire would be hiding with all of the letters. Alex was annoyed that Luke was beating her at an easy game and feared the mono ruined her brain cells. If she was as brilliant as she puts off, she would have realized Luke always had an incredible word ‘after’ visiting the bathroom.

8 Smartest: Validvictorian And Top Of Her Class

When it comes to Alex’s smarts, the proof is in the pudding. Alex was voted valedictorian of her middle school and gave an inspiring speech about everyone finding their way as they grow. In high school, Alex was shocked to find out that she tied for valedictorian with her educational nemesis, Sanjay Patel but nevertheless, was still awarded the title.

When she graduated from Caltech, she was yet again at the top of her class and graduated with honors. No matter how stressful life got, Alex always kept her eyes on the prize and succeeded through school.

7 Not As Smart As She Thinks: She Needed Hailey’s Help With Making Friends

When Alex was still in middle school, she found herself in unchartered waters when the popular girl in school, Mackenzie, was attempting to hang out with her. At first, Alex’s eagerness was seen as too dorky (according to Haley).

RELATED: Modern Family: The 5 Most Annoying Things Alex Ever Did (And 5 Sweetest)

The only way Alex was going to be seen as cool was with her help. Haley told Alex exactly what to say to Mackenzie and how to act when Alex was around her. Alex pulled it off so well that Mackenzie ended up chasing her. Without Haley’s help, Alex wouldn’t have known where to start.

6 Smartest: She Was A Published Poet

Alex has always been a woman of bright intellect on paper. In person, her awkwardness can sometimes overshadow her brightness.

As a child, Alex has always shown her intellect on paper. When she was five years old, she became a published poet in Highlights Magazine. While Manny may be seen as the poet in the family, he had some serious competition when it came to Alex.

5 Not As Smart As She Thinks: She Failed The First Round Of The Spelling bee

alex dunphy loses the spelling bee - modern family

In “Mistery Date,” Claire and Alex go away for the weekend for a spelling bee. Alex did exceedingly well the year before and Claire couldn’t have been prouder. As soon as Claire took her seat in the audience, she began bragging to the women around her that her daughter took it all the way last year, which is why she rented a seat cushion for two days instead of one.

But when Alex went up to spell the word given, she spelled it wrong and was kicked out of the competition. Alex was heartbroken and embarrassed.

4 Smartest: She Speaks Multiple Languages

It looks like Gloria isn’t the only one in the family who is bilingual. When Alex was in high school, she talked about being a member of the French Club. Viewers have never seen Alex’s French in motion but she wouldn’t have been accepted into the club without knowing it well, right?

In “Planes, Trains, and Cars,” Alex drops another bombshell when she speaks a form of Chinese. What other languages does Alex speak that she doesn’t drop a hint of at home?

3 Not As Smart As She Thinks: She Didn’t Realize Luke’s Puzzle Was Rigged

lukes puzzle - modern family

In “Putting Down Roots,” the Dunphy kids are given toys from their past that DeDe had before she passed away.  Luke was given a puzzle that only he could solve. Alex failed every time she tried putting together the puzzle, so when she tried it again as an adult, she was hoping she’d have a different result.

However, she yet again couldn’t solve the dreaded puzzle. As it turns out, Luke broke the puzzle in a way that it could never be solved. If Alex was as bright as she thought she was, she would have put two and two together (just like the Scrabble game).

2 Smartest: Computer Smarts

alexs essay - modern family

When it comes to electronics, Alex and Phil know all. Haley may have been good at combining media together to prank Claire but Alex and Phil reign supreme. Not only did Alex create robots at Caltech but she was the only one who understood computers.

She was the one who helped Haley realize she wasn’t turning off her webcam when she was done using it. Alex was also the one to help Luke and Manny unfreeze their computer after they were on a less than family-friendly website.

1 Not As Smart As She Thinks: She Sent Nudes To The Wrong Number

Bill breaks up with alex – modern family

When Bill was fighting a forest fire for a couple of weeks, he called Alex from a different number to touch base. Alex assumed that particular phone number was the only way to contact Bill, so she sent him risque photos to spice up their relationship. Alex didn’t love doing it but she assumed it made Bill happy.

While at dinner, Alex told Bill she didn’t want to make a habit out of sending him pictures. However, Bill had no idea what she was talking about it. It turns out that she sent pictures of herself to his colleague called “Creepy Craig.” Alex should have been a smart enough lady to know not to send pictures of herself to a random phone number. Bill was so distraught that he broke up with her on the spot.

NEXT: Modern Family: 10 Of Alex’s Love Interests, Ranked

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Updated: December 8, 2020 — 4:00 am

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