Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Which Day 1 Modern Family Actor Was In The Least Amount Of Episodes?

It's the kind of thing that goes without saying these days — it did, after all, win the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for five straight years – but still: "Modern Family" is easily one of the most successful TV shows of the 21st century, comedic or otherwise. For 11 years, the ABC domestic sitcom managed to stay at or very near the top of American viewership rankings for scripted half-hour shows, all while providing near-endless enjoyment, escapism, and relatable storytelling for families around the world. When the show finally came to a close in 2020, it felt like a book was being closed on an entire era of sitcoms; that's how big the cultural shadow it cast was.

In light of that, it's only natural that, as the show went on and on, the ensemble cast of "Modern Family" grew to become its own kind of legendary. With its famously evenly-distributed focus, the show found time to not only give every one of its 11 principal cast members plenty of time in the limelight but also to develop them all and flesh out their respective arch-narratives immensely over the years, to the point where the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tuckers became a veritable second family to millions of viewers. 

Any "Modern Family" fan will most likely have trouble singling out their favorite among those 11 characters. But which of the actors who played them had the fewest actual appearances on the show? The answer makes sense when you think about how the show progressed.

Ariel Winter was in the fewest episodes out of the whole original cast

If we're counting all the actors who were series regulars on "Modern Family" at one point or another, the ones with the fewest appearances would be the ones who became regulars in later seasons — including Aubrey Anderson-Emmons as Lily, Jeremy Maguire as Joe, and Reid Ewing as Haley Dunphy's (Sarah Hyland) on-and-off boyfriend and eventual husband Dylan Marshall. But, when only the actors who were regulars on the show from the very first episode are considered, the answer is quite different.

Although "Modern Family" often devoted as much time to the kids' plots as to their parents', the show's overall focus was decidedly skewed more in favor of the latter. Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Eric Stonestreet all appeared in every single one of the show's 250 episodes, per IMDb. The kids, meanwhile, would all sometimes skip an episode here and there, especially as they left for college and started relationships of their own (and, in Haley's case, a whole family) in later seasons. 

The one who skipped the most episodes was Ariel Winter as geeky middle child Alex Dunphy; Winter appears in a total of 216 episodes throughout the series. Conversely, the most consistent player out of the younger cast was Rico Rodriguez, who played Manny Delgado-Pritchett in 229 total episodes. Nolan Gould had 221 appearances as Luke Dunphy, and Sarah Hyland played Haley in 220 episodes.