Sue Murphy embodies perseverance in the acclaimed animated series “F Is for Family.” Voiced by Laura Dern, Sue adds color to the show with her vibrant energy, optimism, and never-say-die spirit.
Juggling her responsibilities as a mother of three, a loving wife, and a driven career woman, Sue personifies the 1970s working woman’s struggle to have it all.
Who Is Sue Murphy?
Sue’s character offers a wealth of contradictions that make her relatable to viewers. She portrays the stereotypical housewife role with a twist, revealing the inherent conflicts within a woman’s traditional role at the time.
While maintaining the household, Sue also harbors dreams and aspirations outside the family, including a passion for her Plast-a-Ware sales job.
Despite societal expectations, her pursuit of career success illustrates the inner strength that makes Sue a standout character.
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Blonde
A Character Filled with Contradictions
Sue’s character offers a wealth of contradictions that make her relatable to viewers.
She portrays the stereotypical housewife role with a twist, revealing the inherent conflicts within a woman’s traditional role at the time.
While maintaining the household, Sue also harbors dreams and aspirations outside the family, including a passion for her Plast-a-Ware sales job. Despite societal expectations, her pursuit of career success illustrates the inner strength that makes Sue a standout character.
A Career Woman’s Journey
As one of the few working mothers in her neighborhood, Sue faces constant challenges at home and work. Struggling with the guilt of not always being there for her children, Sue’s journey represents a delicate balancing act that many women will find familiar.
Her foray into entrepreneurship with her Salad Tosser invention showcases both the failures and triumphs of a woman determined to make a mark. It’s an inspiring reminder that ambition doesn’t have to take a back seat to motherhood.
Sue, as a Mother
Sue’s role as a mother is not just about nurturing her children; it’s about teaching them life’s essential lessons. The show paints a vivid picture of Sue’s parenting style, filled with both warmth and discipline.
In guiding her children through the complex world of the 1970s, Sue strives to instill values, encourage independence, and foster understanding.
Her interactions with her children provide some of the show’s most touching moments, revealing the deep connection between a mother’s ambition and her love for her family.
Sue Murphy’s Personality
Sue Murphy, characterized by her soft speech and deep care, is ambitious and short-tempered. Her loyalty to her family clashes with the stresses of daily life, leading to emotional outbursts and occasional depression.
Struggling with her role as a stay-at-home mother, she seeks more purpose but finds her job equally draining. An inventive spark with the Salad Tosser ends in disappointment when the idea is stolen.
Sue’s desire to succeed feels stymied by her past choices, and her overly polite nature sometimes hinders her, such as when dealing with self-absorbed acquaintances or adapting to a crude work environment.
Her multifaceted personality reflects a woman navigating diverse desires and societal expectations, constantly striving to discover her unique path and identity.
Behind the Voice: Laura Dern’s Portrayal
The voice acting by Laura Dern breathes life into Sue Murphy’s character. Dern’s performance captures the range of emotions that Sue experiences throughout the series, from joy and excitement to frustration and sorrow.
Dern’s nuanced portrayal adds layers to Sue’s character, making her feel
real, relatable, and human.
Her collaboration with the show’s writers and her understanding of the era allows Dern to provide a voice that resonates with viewers, connecting them more deeply with Sue’s journey.
Sue & Frank Murphy
Sue’s husband, Frank shares a loving yet strained marriage with her, with financial issues often being the main stressor. This stress fuels volatility in Sue and Frank, leading them to engage in loud verbal arguments frequently.
They started dating in 1958, deeply in love, but Sue’s pregnancy brought fear and uncertainty about their futures and raising a child. Together, they chose to face the challenge, with Frank vowing to be Sue’s co-pilot.
As the years passed, Sue began to feel that Frank failed to uphold this promise, not supporting her ambitions even though she consistently supported his. Recognizing this, Frank actively worked to improve.
While Frank’s selfish and arrogant nature is evident, Sue continues to give him the benefit of the doubt. Frank’s genuine love for Sue shines through despite his flaws, a love he holds in his heart unconditionally.
Sue and Kevin Murphy
As Kevin’s mother, Sue is more lenient towards him than Frank, often being too easy on him. She knows yelling only increases Kevin’s defiance, so she contrasts Frank’s approach. Sue has shown disappointment in Kevin’s academic failures and pride in his improvements, such as getting a C.
An accident that caused Kevin permanent brain damage leads Sue to treat him delicately, feeling guilt. She urges Frank to be gentle with Kevin and nurtures his sensitive side, showing pride when he engages in activities like reading for fun.
- I WORK HARD TO KEEP THIS FAMILY HAPPY! I KEEP EVERYONE! EVERYONE! FROM KILLING EACH OTHER!””Oh,
- “It is hot. There is a creature inside me, and it is using my bladder as a speedbag. But do you . . . see me . . . ranting and raving like a LUNATIC?!”
- that’s Frank! Oh isn’t he handsome? And he’s so fun and charming! He’s gonna be a pilot”
- “Get the fuck off my lawn!”
- “Oh, my God, you’re right. I didn’t finish the wallpaper, I didn’t finish college, I never finish anything!”
- “When I told you I was pregnant, you put your fist through the wall,”
- “I sell plastic that I cry into! We all have our shit to carry, Ginny! Sometimes I wish I never got married!”
- “Oh, Frank!”
- The writers have indicated that Kevin is Sue’s favorite among her three children.
- During Kevin’s fifth birthday celebration, Sue and Frank referred to him as “The Accident” on his birthday cake, even going so far as to write it out.
- None of the children have inherited Sue’s blonde hair.
- Sue is often portrayed as caring, supportive, ambitious, loyal, and sometimes short-tempered.
- Her character reflects the women’s liberation movement and societal changes in the 1970s, especially the challenges of balancing family, career, and personal fulfillment.
- Sue’s character challenges stereotypical portrayals of femininity, and her struggles mirror those faced by many women during the era in which the show is set.
- Stan Chilson – Father
- Marilyn Chilson – Mother
- Louis Chilson – Brother
- Mr. Chilson – Paternal Grandfather
- Frank Murphy – Husband
- Kevin Murphy – Son
- Bill Murphy – Son
- Maureen Murphy – Daughter
- Megan Murphy Daughter
- William Murphy – Father-In-Law (Deceased)
- Nora Murphy – Mother-In-Law
- Eileen Murphy – Sister-In-Law
- Phyllis – Cousin
- Vivian Saunders
- Ginny Throter
- Nguyen-Nguyen Stevenson
- Mary Margaret
- Marie Bonfiglio
Frank and Sue Argue
What is Sue’s ambition in the show?
Sue struggles with her role as a stay-at-home mother and seeks more purpose in her life. She even invents a product called the Salad Tosser, reflecting her ambition and desire for independence.
How does Sue treat her oldest son, Kevin?
Sue is more lenient and understanding towards Kevin, treating him delicately due to guilt over an accident that caused him permanent brain damage.
What era is “F Is for Family” set in, and how does it affect Sue’s character?
The show is set in the 1970s, reflecting the societal changes and challenges faced by women during that time. Sue’s character embodies many of the complexities of balancing family, career, and personal fulfillment in that era.
What is the Salad Tosser that Sue invented?
The Salad Tosser is a product invented by Sue in the series. Though she had high hopes for it, the idea was eventually stolen, leaving her disappointed.