Bill was born three years after his brother, Kevin, an unplanned pregnancy.
In the first episode we see that Bill is a common target of local bully, Jimmy Fitzsimmons and his cronies. Bill winds up shirtless and stuck in a tree as the group taunts and shoots at him with a BB gun. He has to be saved by Kevin in this instant, and it is implied Kevin comes to his rescue at least fairly regularly.
Bill's next encounter with Jimmy is on Halloween. On the way home from school, Jimmy emerges and threatens to beat up Bill and his friend Phillip if he catches them out trick-or-treating. After nearly an entire night of moping and watching the festivities from his window, Bill calls up Phillip and convinces him they should go out anyways, as Jimmy probably wouldn't even spot them in the dark.
Jimmy and the others ambush Bill immediately, delivering a merciless beating as neighborhood children gather around to gawk and cheer. Bill manages to sneak off back inside, where he breaks down in tears.
As revenge for this incident, Bill sucker punches Jimmy at school. This causes a fight, which Maureen intercepts, and Bill gets suspended. Maureen's involvement causes the bullying of Bill to become worse, being seen by everybody at school as a pussy. Maureen takes full advantage of Kevin helping him hide the suspension notice by blackmailing and relentlessly emotionally torturing Bill throughout the episode. Finally, he decides he's had enough and needs to stand up for himself. He goes into the woods to find Jimmy, demanding a fight. He takes a firework from Jimmy's clubhouse in an attempt to get his attention, but winds up causing a massive forest fire.
After his dad was fired and had to take another job, he began to get ignored as both his parents were working. Frank breaking a promise to take Bill to his hockey tryouts sends him over the edge, and he begins to engage in risky and cruel behavior such as stealing, skipping restaurant bills and becoming a bully to his friend, Phillip. He see's the error of his ways with a little bit of help from his sister, and he and Phillip devise a plan to rid themselves of Jimmy Fitzsimmons. The plan goes horribly wrong, however and Jimmy winds up being hit by Randy's van. Phillip, Ben and Ken run away but Bill takes Jimmy to the hospital.
Bill appears to be like any other kid, respectful towards others, but being too nice or naive which causes people to take advantage of him (one example being when Maureen forced him to do her bidding to prevent his suspension from being revealed.) He does not like to be thought of as a wimp or a pussy, and will stand up for himself on occasion with varying degrees of success.
Being bullied a lot, he seems to have a great fear of others. Frank brings this up when he refers to Bill as a "little pussy who needs to have his back rubbed during war movies". When Jimmy Fitzsimmons bullies him one too many times, he begins to stand up for himself and face any challenge towards him with no hesitation, despite still fearing him. Bill even decides to risk getting beaten up by Jimmy when he refuses to get involved in Jimmy's plot to steal the church's golden chalices.
Bill tends to be traumatized, or disassociate if he is exposed to something he can't handle. Examples of this are when he witnessed the horrors of the stadium bathroom, accidentally walking in on Kevin masturbating, seeing Scoop Dunbarton die in an explosion, and when he was stuck under his parents bed as they had sex. The last one caused him to throw up during dinner at the memory.
Bill seems to be developing anger issues similar to his older brother and father, mainly stemming from neglect.
Family and Relationships Edit
Frank Murphy Edit
Frank is Bill's father. Like any child, he is in need of his fathers love and approval. Bill is very pleased whenever he can manage to get this, such as when his dad let him watch the fight on TV and have a sip of beer, or when Frank took him out to a football game. Bill is also fearful of his father, which is the reason he didn't want to admit he had broken the new TV. When Bill overheard his dad call him a pussy, and describe him as overly sensitive and fearful, he became less trusting of what Frank said to his face. Especially when he told Bill to be the man of the house while his parents and Kevin were out. He went to go challenge Jimmy to a fight in order to prove to everyone, including Frank, that he wasn't a pussy. Bill became trusting of Frank again when he and the rest of the family defended him against the Fitzsimmons on Christmas Eve.
In season 2, Frank was proud of Bill for being responsible and earning money with a paper route, and Bill seemed to appreciate the help his father would give him with customers who didn't want to pay. When Frank began working the night shift as a vending machine stocker however, he started to neglect his family, including Bill. He was especially hurt when Frank couldn't take him to his hockey try-outs. This had a clear effect on Bill, as he began to get angry and act cruel towards others, including his best friend, Phillip.
Sue Murphy Edit
Sue is Bill's mother. The two haven't interacted much on screen, but they seem to have a normal mother-son relationship. In a heated argument with Frank, he brought up the fact that Bill is too sensitive because Sue "coddles" him way too much. Bill is also the Murphy kid who takes after Sue the most, as he is kind, soft-spoken, and easy to upset.
Kevin Murphy Edit
Kevin is Bill's older brother. In the first season, Bill and Kevin share a bedroom and are fairly close with each other. In the first episode, Kevin is shown as being protective of Bill (albeit begrudgingly at times). He leaves his girlfriend to go and save Bill from a group of bullies, and also helps Bill hide the fact that he broke the new TV from their parents. Later, he also takes the fall for breaking it (though Bill tells the truth shortly after). A few episodes later, Kevin helps Bill hide his suspension notice and even forges Frank's signature on it so he won't find out. Although Bill seems to appreciate this help, even when it backfires, he would prefer to be able to stand up for himself rather than have Kevin do it.
During Season 2, Kevin and Bill's fraternal relationship deteriorates when Kevin needs more privacy and Bill steals one of Kevin's records. They fight a lot during this time, with Bill making fun of Kevin in front of his friends and Kevin retaliating by punching him and throwing his hockey stick up a tree. Later when Sue forces them not to talk to each other for the rest of the night, they eventually cool down and tell one another their plans to help the family financially, but It's unknown where their brotherhood currently stands.
Maureen Murphy Edit
Maureen is Bill's younger sister. He is often put in charge of watching her, and she rarely listens to him. In Saturday, Bloody Saturday he claims "I don't care if you get hurt, but dad does." When she winds up falling off a roof, and asks Bill to carry her, it's made clear that he really does care about her. In general, Maureen and Bill tend to fight a lot. Such as Bill flicking cereal at her, or Maureen pouring syrup on his hair. Despite her teasing, Maureen will sometimes offer good advice to Bill, such as apologizing to Phillip.
Phillip is a boy in Bill's class, and his best friend. Bill and Phillip are both wimpy and appear to be social outcasts among their peers. They are both fans of the cartoon Nickel and Pickle and both fear local bully, Jimmy Fitzsimmons. Bill's friendship with Phillip temporarily became strained when Bill became a much more rude and rebellious person. Luckily, they made up after Jimmy Fitzsimmons returns from Catholic Military School.
Jimmy Fitzsimmons Edit
Jimmy Fitzsimmons is Bill's bully who enjoys tormenting him, making Bill fear him. Jimmy beats him ruthlessly on Halloween, and once shot at him with a BB gun. For obvious reasons, Bill does not like Jimmy at all. He was fearful of him, though after the Halloween incident, he was after revenge. Despite this, when Bill was forced by his dad to be an alter boy with Jimmy, Bill tried to remain on friendly terms with him. Although it started off fine due to Jimmy respecting Bill's recent courage towards his bullying, this proved difficult as Jimmy kept pressuring Bill into doing things he didn't want to, such as stealing from the church. Jimmy is scared of both Bill's brother, Kevin, and his mother, Sue.
By Season 2, Bill decides he doesn't want to be Jimmy's and had no problem throwing Jimmy under the bus when he stole a hockey stick. This caused Jimmy to be sent to military school, giving Bill more confidence without him around. When he returns, he finds out Bill was responsible for sending him there, threatening to kill him over this. In spite of their animosity towards one another, Bill still helped Jimmy out by taking him to the hospital when he was the victim of a hit and run by Bill's boss, Randy.
In season 2, Bill began to show an interest in girls romantically. This was first shown when Bill was making fun of Kevin in front of his friends, he blushes when Claire laughs and tells him he's funny. Later on in the season, he stops to stare at Cutie Pie, along with Kevin, as she kisses Vic. Like with Claire, he seems infatuated with her. At the end of the season he makes a fool of himself in front of Bridget Fitzsimmons, showing an instant attraction to her as well. This is the first girl his own age Bill has shown interest in, and it's hinted he has a crush on her.
- Despite being a well-behaved kid, Bill is often the one who Frank threatens to put through a wall, presumably due to Bill always getting caught doing something bad or even at the right place at the wrong time.
- According to Bill's suspension notice, he is in the fifth grade. Though since he's 11, he should actually be in the sixth grade. (He could have started school late depending on when his birthday is).
- He would be 56 today in 2018.
- He is right-handed.
- His eyes are revealed to be green when we see his eye in extreme closeup during his traumatized state in The Trough.