Frank is a 38 year old baggage handler, father of three. Once graduating high school, Frank was drafted into the Korean War and was unable to attend college, or go to flight school to fulfill his dream of becoming an airline pilot. He began dating Sue after the Korean War, as seen in numerous flashbacks in Season 2 from 1958. It is shown that Frank was ecstatic to get into flight school and be a pilot, while Sue was planning to finish college to start her career. However, the couple was given the shocking news that she was pregnant with their future child, which lead them to both quit their desires. Frank asked his friend Bob Pogo to give him a job at Mohican Airways for the Rustbelt Memorial Airport, where he eventually became good friends with his co-workers.
Frank and Sue decided to get married due to the pregnancy, and named their first child Kevin. The two were very loving parents to their only son at this time, often taking him out, buying him a puppy and showering him with attention. During one of these outings, Kevin fell into a swimming pool and remained at the bottom for two whole minutes, an incident Sue blames on Frank.
They had two more children, the second Bill and the third Maureen. After Frank's boss dies on the job, he is promoted to manager, but is fired within 3 months after resolving the conflict that would lead to a strike, simply because his superior didn't do anything to stop their boss from terminating him. This leads Frank to leave Pogo in his car by putting the keys at his feet (he could not reach it due to being overweight) and leave him on Christmas Eve.
He spends some time unemployed, falling into a deep depression. His friend Rosie helps him get a job stocking vending machines, which Frank comes to enjoy as he feels appreciated by his new boss, Smokey. The job, however, causes strain on his marriage, as he isn't around as much and isn't supporting Sue in her new career. He also winds up stealing money from her secret stash because Bob Pogo eats a bunch of his inventory and Kevin stole money from Frank's own stash. His job also leads to him neglecting his children, which results in problems for them, especially his sons.
Because Frank's replacement, Scoop Dunbarton, was such a tyrant, his old co-workers got together with him to devise a plan to get him his old job back. They planned to send Scoop on a plane to a remote location, but the plan is interrupted by a hijacking. Frank and the others are held as hostages, and a suitcase bomb winds up killing both Scoop and Roger Dunbarton, leaving Frank's future with the company up in the air.
Frank is usually very stressed out and feels as though nothing ever goes right for him. Despite that, he is a loving husband and father who works hard to provide for his family. Frank is a man who believes in putting in effort towards hard work for success, and never has any tolerance towards failure, as demonstrated in "Saturday, Bloody Saturday", when he found out Kevin was failing his classes, and "The Trough", when he learned that Kevin wasn't fulfilling his promise to do better. There is a lot of tension in the Murphy home though, and it is not uncommon for Frank to fight with them, especially Sue.
Frank is very straight-laced and traditional in many ways. He never gets his neighbour, Vic's, drug references and doesn't seem to catch on to his oldest son Kevin smoking pot on a regular basis. He also doesn't understand why Kevin likes progressive rock and considers it "bullshit." He did not like the idea of his wife having a part-time job, because it would mean he would have to be left alone with the kids. When the job becomes stressful for Sue, he tells her that that's just how it is being a part of the working world, given that he's been through it himself.
Whenever Frank experiences more than he can handle, it makes him angry. Then, out of frustration, he uses a punching bag in the garage as anger management. As soon as he reaches his boiling point, he'll consider anything else that's bad a blessing in disguise, like in "O Holy Moly Night" when the Mohican Airways staff goes on strike, Frank analyzes all the turmoil he and his family have gone through and explodes in fury, pointing out that staying positive and hoping for a miracle would be improbable. This is shown when he says Major would be lucky as soon as Maureen says he might be dead. Another instance is when a man whose windshield Kevin accidentally destroyed threatens to sue Frank, and he sardonically says that he should do it soon. The third breaking point involves Bill saying that he's about to be beaten by his bully. And the final straw is when Pogo tells Frank that Dunbarton fired him, and Frank immediately puts Pogo into a near death situation for not stopping it.
Family and Relationships Edit
Sue Murphy Edit
Sue is Frank's wife. They got married because he got her pregnant with Kevin. Frank and Sue have a loving but strained relationship. This is mostly due to financial stress, and later Frank's companies impending strike and Sue's new job. In season 2, we see their marriage go through a lot of difficulties, and they begin to fight more and more often. Frank is secretly jealous of Sue's invention because he never got to live his dream of being a pilot, and so he is unable to support her. In Landing The Plane he reflects on how poorly he treated her the past two months, and tells the hijacker he'd be better off if he shot him (though, he didn't expect to actually be shot). With the incident later resolved, Sue and Frank's marriage was mended and they started to discuss their future plans together.
Kevin Murphy Edit
Kevin is Frank's oldest son. They were very close when he was young, but grew apart over the years. Frank can be hard on Kevin, but he obviously loves him and wants his son to respect him. He was clearly effected very much when Kevin said to him; "I fucking hate you." Since this incident, he has tried to repair his relationship with Kevin and to motivate Kevin to do better in school so he can have a career. He also seemed touched when he came home to find Kevin listening to the record he and Sue used to play for him as a child. Though, he does think Sue treating Kevin delicately is unnecessary. In "Bill Murphy's Day Off", it's discovered that Frank was indirectly responsible for Kevin's attitude as he had let him drown in a motel swimming pool when he was a toddler. He also has to sometimes bring Kevin down from panic attacks, because the accident gave his son PTSD.
In Season 2, it's strongly implied that Frank and Kevin's current father-son relationship stems from the fact that it's similar to the relationship Frank had with his father in the sense that it's like Frank being denied his dream by his dad and the constant fighting they always went through, which explains why Frank was shocked when Kevin said "I Hate You" to him. When Kevin and Frank were spending the day together after both ditching their responsibilities, he confides this in Kevin, letting his son know he understands if he hates him. Kevin seems surprised, and lets Frank know that even though they fight, he doesn't hate him.
Because of Frank's own failed ambitions, he was unable to support Kevin's dream of being a musician. He did eventually come around, though only if Kevin promised it wouldn't interfere with his school work. By this time though, his marriage with Sue was on the rocks and he wasn't around for Kevin to talk to about the sexual abuse with Vic's girlfriend when he needed him. Kevin is a child obviously in need of a lot of emotional support and affection, but Frank doesn't see this partly because of his sexist attitude, causing him to give this to Maureen instead who doesn't really need it.
Bill Murphy Edit
Bill is Frank's middle child. He seems to have little patience for Bill and often threatens to "put [him] through that fucking wall." Bill is obviously a sensitive child and because of this Frank thinks of him as a "pussy" who can't handle much, even pointing out that Bill needs his back rubbed when he watches a war movie. To his face though, he calls Bill a little man, either out of guilt or as a way to encourage him. Frank was very defensive of Bill when the Fitzsimmons tried to incriminate him.
In Season 2, Frank begins to neglect Bill, which led to Bill becoming more rude and insensitive towards others. Nonetheless, he is still proud of Bill for taking on roles of responsibility and working for money.
Maureen Murphy Edit
Maureen is Frank's only daughter. He considers her his little princess and rarely disciplines her. In F is For Halloween he discouraged her from wearing boys Halloween costumes, trying to get her to dress up as something female. In the end, he did relent and allowed her to dress as Mr. Coconut. Because of his favoritism, Frank will usually automatically blame Bill when Bill and Maureen fight with each other. This also caused him to ignore Kevin's hypothermia after falling through the ice, in favour of tending to Maureen's small cut on her eye (which was the result of Bill accidentally kicking her).
As the series progresses, Frank becomes more accepting of Maureen's personality and desires, even allowing her to be who she wants to, as long as she doesn't turn out to be like Kevin.
- He would be 82 years old today in 2017.
- When Kevin was small he told Kevin to remember he'll always love him, even if they don't get along in the future. This is because of the fact that Frank hated his own father growing up.