Who is leaving Modern Family? Fans are speculating after death teased by series EP

Haley Dunphy next to tv dad Phil Dunphy and sister Alex Dunphy of Modern Family
Will Phil Dunphy be the one to die on Modern Family? Photo credit: ABC

Modern Family fans just got the surprise of their lives. Earlier today, the Modern Family creator teased that a significant character was going to die.

Co-creator, Christopher Lloyd, told EW that it only makes sense to kill someone off.

“We’re handling some bigger life events in this season,” Lloyd said. “We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it.”

While some of the bigger characters came to mind, there’s reason to believe that none of the main family members are going to get axed. Let’s be real – the show wouldn’t have the same feel or vibe if any of the family members got killed off.

So we decided to create a list of some of the characters that could die on Modern Family without hurting the dynamics of the main characters.

DeDe Pritchett

A user named MVKronus had an excellent theory as to why it could be DeDe. DeDe Pritchett, played by Shelley Long, has been on the show from the beginning. She’s Jay’s ex-wife and her dying could affect everyone on the show.

“I am going to guess DeDe. It wouldn’t be something that shakes the main casts’ foundation and it would affect almost every character,” The theorist wrote. ”

“Jay deals with someone who was close and his age passing away…Mitch and Claire lose their mom which also adds to them worrying about losing Jay…Lily, Haley, Luke, and Alex deal with losing a grandmother and deal with the various degrees and knowing/not knowing her well. Plenty of stories to come through that.”

That sure would give Modern Family writers plenty of storylines. The death of DeDe Pritchett certainly seems like a plausible theory.

Frank Dunphy

Frank Dunphy, played by Fred Williard, is another guess that’s going around on Reddit. It makes sense in a way, given his age and a natural progression of parents being buried by their children.

While some Reddit users are hoping for Manny to be killed off, it sounds more plausible, given it’s a comedy, that the death is more natural.

Jay Pritchett

While Jay Pritchett, played by Ed O’Neill, is another logical guess. It seems that fans are not happy with this potential outcome though.

A Reddit user named Tarp96 even brought up the great point that Modern Family is a show that’s meant to make us laugh and we can enjoy the characters without having to worry about them. While Jay was a guess for many, we are going to vote this option out.


Stella the dog, played by a dog named Brigitte, is another popular pick. Of course, a dog is still a member of the family and the loss of a dog can have an impact on the younger characters. Stella is a great suggestion.

Modern Family returns on Wednesday, September 26, at 9/8c on ABC.

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