Frank Murphy, the head of the Murphy household in Netflix’s animated series “F Is for Family,” is anything but conventional. Voiced by co-creator Bill Burr, Frank’s no-nonsense approach to life, combined with his colorful language, brings humor and intensity to the show.
In the world of ‘70s suburban America, Frank navigates the challenges of raising a family while working a blue-collar job. His raw expressions and candid personality form the basis of the show’s humor, yet they also reflect deeper social commentaries.
Who is Frank Murphy
Francis Xavier “Frank” Murphy, born on January 7, 1935, is the central protagonist in the animated series “F Is for Family.”
With Irish heritage, he once managed the baggage department at Mohican Airways and served as a vending machine serviceman for Champagne Chariot Vending Services.
As the head of the Murphy family, he’s the loving yet complicated father of Kevin, Bill, Maureen, and Megan Murphy and the devoted husband to Sue Murphy.
Height: 5′ 11″
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Dark Brown
A Father’s Struggles and Love
Frank’s love for his family is undeniable despite his rough exterior and tendency to explode. His relationship with his children and wife, Sue, is fraught with ups and downs. He’s not afraid to lay down the law, yet his efforts to do right often backfire.
Whether it’s trying to instill a work ethic in his son or understanding his daughter’s evolving independence, Frank’s approach is often misguided but never malicious. His intentions are pure, but his execution is uniquely Frank. Viewers laugh at his mistakes, sympathize with his failures, and celebrate his small victories.
Frank’s Relationship with the Workforce
Frank’s work life is a significant element of “F Is for Family,” reflecting the broader economic and cultural shifts of the ’70s. He feels the pinch of a changing society as a middle-aged, middle-class man.
The pressures and disappointments he faces at work underscore broader themes of disillusionment and the ever-elusive American Dream.
His battles with his boss, colleagues, and even a vending machine paint a vivid picture of a man caught in a system that seems to work against him.
The series critiques corporate culture through Frank’s struggles and reflects many people’s frustrations during this era. The authenticity of his work challenges and the camaraderie with his co-workers offers insight into the everyday experiences of many during this time.
Personality Of Frank Murphy
Frank Murphy’s personality is a complex web of contradictions. Judgmental, cynical, truculent, self-centered, hotheaded, rude, uncouth, and arrogant are some words that capture his character’s essence. The dark, disturbing undertones of his nature reveal his embitterment with the world.
Starting his journey as a well-intentioned, hard-working manager at Mohican Airways, Frank frequently grapples with balancing a demanding occupation with the needs of his large family.
His family life at home often descends into dysfunction and unhappiness. Frank sometimes fights with his children and wife over trivial matters and has emotionally, verbally, and physically abused them.
Although he professes love for his family, doubts linger over the sincerity of his feelings, especially since he appears more affectionate and attentive to his daughter Maureen than his sons.
Navigating the Complexities of Marriage
Frank’s relationship with his wife, Sue, is not sugar-coated or idealized. It’s messy, real, and filled with tender moments and heated arguments. Their marriage is a dance of two individuals trying to figure out their roles and expectations in a rapidly changing world.
Sue’s ambition and Frank’s fears clash, creating dynamic tension. This friction provides opportunities for both humor and introspection as the couple grapples with issues that still resonate today.
Their struggles to communicate, understand each other’s needs, and balance family life create a rich narrative that’s as entertaining as it is insightful.
Exploring the Social Issues of the ’70s
“F Is for Family” doesn’t shy away from tackling the social issues of the ’70s, and Frank Murphy’s character is often at the center of these explorations.
From racial tensions to the women’s liberation movement, the series weaves these themes into the storyline in a natural and thought-provoking way.
Frank’s interactions with characters from different backgrounds and his responses to the changing social landscape offer insights into the era’s challenges and changes.
His confusion, resistance, and eventual growth mirror the societal evolution around him. Through Frank’s character, the series invites viewers to reflect on history, change, and the progress that continues to shape our world today.
Frank and Sue Murphy
Sue is Frank Murphy’s wife, and their marriage began when she became pregnant with their first child, Kevin. Their relationship, though filled with love, is strained due to financial pressures, Frank’s company’s impending strike, and Sue’s new job. Frank’s love for Sue is genuine, but his obliviousness to treating her poorly sometimes leads to tension.
Season 2 highlights growing difficulties in their marriage, with increased fighting and Frank’s secret jealousy of Sue’s invention, stemming from his unfulfilled dream of becoming a pilot.
In the episode “Landing The Plane,” Frank has a moment of clarity, recognizing how poorly he’s treated Sue and affirming that she’s the best thing in his life.
After an intense incident, they embrace and mend their relationship, happily discussing plans. However, these plans are quickly interrupted by the unexpected news of Sue’s pregnancy with their fourth child.
Frank and Kevin Murphy
Frank’s oldest son, Kevin, once had a close relationship with his father, but they grew apart. Though Frank often acts harshly toward Kevin, his love for his son is apparent, and he desires Kevin’s respect.
Kevin’s declaration, “I fucking hate you,” profoundly affected Frank, and since that incident, he has actively worked to repair their relationship and encourage Kevin to do better in school.
Frank was deeply moved when he found Kevin listening to a record he and Sue used to play for him as a child. However, he disagrees with Sue’s gentle treatment of Kevin.
In the episode “Bill Murphy’s Day Off,” it’s revealed that Frank indirectly shaped Kevin’s attitude by allowing him to drown in a motel swimming pool as a toddler, leading to Kevin’s PTSD. Frank has had to help Kevin through panic attacks stemming from this traumatic incident.
In Season 2, the series hints that the current father-son dynamic between Frank and Kevin reflects Frank’s shallow relationship with his father.
This connection is confirmed in Season 3, showing how Frank’s perception of a normal father/son relationship was skewed. He even told Kevin at a young age that he would always love him, even if they didn’t get along in the future, mistakenly projecting his feelings toward his father onto his son.
- “I’ll put you through that fucking wall!”
- “You listen to me you goddamn son of a bitch! I don’t need some bible telling me about God. I almost bled out in
- Korea, Okay?! I HAVE MET GOD!”
- “You can’t leave me alone with these kids! I won’t survive!”
- “I hate my life, but I keep on doing it!”
Times Frank Murphy Had Absolutely No Chill
- Daddy (By Maureen and Kevin)
- Shamrock-Shitting Pen-Hoarder (by Roger Dunbarton)
- Neglectful Father
- Francine (by William Murphy)
- Son (by William Murphy)
- Balding piece-of-shit (by Louis)
- Shifty-Potato-Eating-Mick (by Stan)
- Walt (by Dick Sawitzki)
- William Murphy – Father (Deceased)
- Nora Murphy – Mother
- Earl Gribble – Stepfather
- Eileen Murphy – Younger Sister
- Phineas – Union Brother
- Uncle Bucky- Maternal Uncle
- Sue Murphy – Wife
- Stan Chilson – Father-In-Law
- Louis Chilson – Brother-In-Law
- Marilyn Chilson – Mother-In-Law
- Kevin Murphy – Older Son
- Bill Murphy – Younger Son
- Maureen Murphy – Older Daughter
- Megan Murphy – Younger Daughter
- Roger Dunbarton
- Scoop Dunbarton
- Chet Stevenson
- William Murphy
- Buster Thunder Jr.
What is Frank’s relationship with his family like?
Frank’s relationship with his family is complex. Though he loves his wife, Sue, and his children, Kevin, Bill, Maureen, and Megan, his struggles often lead to dysfunction, misunderstandings, and conflicts within the family.
Why does Frank struggle with his son Kevin?
Frank and Kevin have grown apart over the years, and their relationship is strained due to Frank’s harsh treatment, past incidents such as a near-drowning experience, and Frank’s projection of his feelings towards his father onto Kevin.
What are some of Frank Murphy’s personality traits?
Frank is often described as judgmental, cynical, self-centered, and hot-tempered. Despite these traits, he genuinely loves his family and struggles with his emotions and mid-life crises.