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10 Times Jay Loved Stella More Than Gloria

In season 2 of Modern Family, the Delgado-Pritchetts adopt Stella and adapt to a new life of being pet owners. Jay is originally against the idea of owning a pet but after raising Stella for a few weeks, he realizes how much he adores her. Jay and Gloria changed their views on Stella almost overnight, with Jay fawning over her and Gloria regretting taking her in.

Jay quickly started treating Stella like a prized possession, while Gloria watched in jealousy. He oftentimes treated Stella nicer than he treated his wife. The irony of it all became a long-running gag on the ABC sitcom as fans fell in love with the relationship between Jay and “Stella Bella.”


Updated on July 21st, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs: Jay Pritchett and Stella were the duo no one saw coming on Modern Family. As much as Jay loved his wife Gloria, there was something about Stella that lifted Jay’s spirits. Jay was typically seen as a cranky character — someone who was constantly bothered by the noise and drama in his life. But as soon as Stella came into his life, all of his worries faded. There were a handful of scenes that proved Jay loved Stella more than Gloria. All the while, Gloria had to accept that her husband had an unmatchable bond with their family dog. 

When He Dreamt Of Stella In His Sleep

jay dreaming of stella in modern family

With a woman as stunning as Gloria, one could only assume that she would be the only woman Jay would dream of. But in one episode, Gloria is woken in the middle of the night by Jay groaning and saying “baby” in his sleep. Gloria immediately suspects he’s dreaming of another woman and gives him the cold shoulder. To Gloria, this was the worst thing Jay could do to her.

RELATED: 5 Worst Things Gloria Did To Jay (& 5 Jay Did To Gloria)

When they finally talk about it, Jay tells Gloria he was screaming “baby” because he was having a nightmare about their son Joe. Later when Jay spoke to the cameras, he admitted he wasn’t dreaming of Joe or Gloria — he was dreaming of his dog Stella.

When He Offered Stella A Towel (But Not His Wife)

Three split images of Jay and Stella and Gloria in the pool from Modern Family

In the episode ‘Little Bo Bleep,’ Jay is concerned when Stella keeps jumping into the pool without knowing how to swim. He assumes she’s suicidal and jumps into the pool to save her whenever she dives in.

Gloria isn’t a fan of Stella but when she hears Stella fall into the pool, Gloria does the right thing and jumps in to save her. When they emerge, Jay quickly wraps a towel around Stella instead of warming up—and thanking—his drenched wife. As perfect as Jay and Gloria’s relationship was, this was a low moment for the pair because of his dedication to Stella over Gloria.

He Chose Stella Over Joe’s Rash

jay kissing stella goodbye - modern family

In the episode ‘Rash Decisions,’ Gloria and Jay are perplexed when Joe gets a rash all over his body. After running through possible reasons, Gloria is convinced Joe is allergic to Stella. Jay refuses to get rid of the dog, which angers his wife because he is choosing a dog over his child.

However, Jay sadly comes around to it and gives Stella to Mitchell and Cam. A few days later, Joe still has the rash and appears to be allergic to Gloria’s new lotion. One of the more shameless things Jay does was as soon as he was in the clear, he left Gloria and his son behind and brought Stella home.

He Hates When Gloria Snores But Loves It When Stella Does

When Gloria was pregnant with Joe, Jay was losing sleep because of Gloria’s snoring. He even tried sleeping in a hotel one night just to hide from her. But in an earlier episode, Jay wakes up to the sound of snoring in bed and it turned out to be Stella.

Gloria was annoyed by the noises but Jay adored them. He assumed Stella was afraid in the middle of the night and snuck into bed to curl up with them. Gloria reminded Jay that they had a “no dogs in the bed” rule but Jay ignored her. Gloria’s snoring brought out the curmudgeon out in Jay but Stellas made him happy.

He Sneaks Away From Gloria To Enter Stella In A Dog Show

sleeper - modern family - jay walking stella in the dog show

In the episode ‘Sleeper,’ Jay is nervous about entering Stella in a local dog show. He lied to Gloria and told her he was getting his tires rotated but in actuality, he was buying Stella a decorative show collar. The biggest mistake Jay made here was lying to Gloria instead of telling her how much he wanted Stella to win an award.

RELATED: The 10 Most Shameless Things Jay Has Ever Done On Modern Family

As the day went on, it became harder for him to do the dog show without Gloria knowing, so Mitchell convinced him to do it anyway. By the end of the episode, Jay was seen showing Stella off while the family cheered on.

Jay Greets Stella First

Jay and Gloria have a relationship filled with arguing but they wouldn’t change it for the world. Speaking loudly was their form of communication. When Jay worked, he would come home and be greeted by a loving Gloria regardless of how they were doing.

The two would talk about their days, problems, and what they have planned for the evening. But once Jay formed a bond with Stella, it was Stella greeting Jay by the door — not Gloria. Jay hilariously told Gloria he would greet her first too if she wagged her tail when he came home.

“S” Is For Stella

In the episode ‘Valentine’s Day 4: Twisted Sister,’ Jay and Gloria had a romantic evening planned for Valentine’s Day. But when Gloria’s sister Sonia shows up unexpectedly, their plans changed. Some fans forgot about Gloria’s younger sister but after this episode, it was impossible to forget who Sonia was because of her evil actions.

Since Jay didn’t need to splash Gloria with fancy gifts, he went to the jewelry store and bought Stella a chained collar with a bedazzled “S” on it. Manny judged Jay for getting Stella a Valentine’s Day gift but it sums up their relationship in a nutshell. What’s worse was Jay wound up giving Sonia Stella’s collar since both names started with an “S.”

He Even Showers With Stella!

A split image of Gloria upset at Stella for eating her shoe on Modern Family

The closer Jay and Stella became, the more hostile Gloria becomes with the dog. In one scene, Gloria is furious that Stella is chewing on her expensive shoes. While Jay is showering, she barges in and warns Jay that he has to train Stella better because all of her shoes are ruined.

Instead of taking Gloria’s concerns seriously, Jay tells Gloria to clean up her shoes so Stella wouldn’t eat them. As wise as he was, it didn’t make sense that Jay would choose Stella over his wife in times like this. However, it’s then that she notices that Stella is also in the shower with Jay. The two are so connected, they were bathing with each other.

Stella Was His Muse For His New Company

jay holding stella in modern family

Jay has one of his better father/daughter moments when he hands his company over to Claire. With time on his hands, he enjoys retirement for as long as he can before he becomes bored. He eventually begins dabbling in different projects before creating a new business venture: Dog Beds by Stella.

RELATED: The 10 Most Shameless Things Jay Has Ever Done On Modern Family

With Manny’s help, Jay starts creating various dog beds for all breeds. Stella, of course, is the inspiration and muse of the company, much to Gloria’s chagrin. Instead of spending his free time with Gloria, he spent it on his dog bed designs.

Jay Feeds Stella Gloria’s Colombian Meals

jay feeding stella - modern family

In the episode ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It,’ Jay admits that he gives Stella human food from time to time. His obsession with his dog made Jay one of the better Modern Family characters. Whenever Gloria makes something he doesn’t enjoy, he quietly feeds it to the dog. Jay told the cameras he lied to Gloria when they first started dating and said he loved this one specific Colombian dish, and now he can just slide it to Stella.

It took Gloria three days to make this special meal but she did it because she thought Jay loved it. As it turns out, he hates it and secretly feeds it to Stella without Gloria noticing. Instead of being honest with his wife, he’d rather feed his pet the food she worked so hard on.

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