Kevin Murphy is the oldest child in the Murphy family. He enjoys progressive rock (primarily a band called Shire of Frodo), smoking weed, playing the guitar and getting into trouble. He is voiced by Justin Long.
Kevin is the oldest of the Murphy kids. Sue's pregnancy with him was unplanned, and it wound up forcing Sue and Frank to get married. Despite this, Sue and Frank seem to have been attentive and loving parents to Kevin in his early years. Frank mentions in F is for Halloween that his legs came out first during his birth.
Every Sunday after dinner they would play a record called The Carlos Serinidad Orchestra: Strings For a Lazy Afternoon. Sue and Frank once stayed with their toddler-aged son at a motel. During this trip, an accident occurred in which Kevin went without oxygen at the bottom of the pool for two minutes. It's implied this caused him permanent brain damage.
His relationship with his dad became more strained as he got older. Having no respect for his father's job, Frank took him to work with him one weekend at the airport. At first Kevin was content to hang out with and complain to a couple of druggie baggage handlers who encouraged Kevin to quit school. This seemed like good advice to him, as he figured they had turned out well. He quickly became disenchanted with the men however, when they show Kevin the gory security tape of the previous managers death. He goes off to find his father and witnesses him being berated by a customer. Wanting to help, he returns the pills the baggage handlers had stolen from her suit case, though even then she does not let up. Kevin can't stand to see his dad take her abuse any longer and bluntly tells her to "shut the fuck up."
This experience really helped to repair Kevin and Frank's relationship, with Kevin vowing to do better in school and Frank inviting Kevin to the football game his boss had given him tickets for. By the time the game rolled around however, it seemed Kevin's grades did not improve. Kevin was extremely disappointed when his dad decided to take Bill instead because of this.
While Bill and Frank were at the game and Sue and Maureen were out shopping, Kevin met up with his friends to smoke marijuana. The first double album he grabbed to roll joints on happened to be one from his childhood that his parents would play for him. He stares at it nostalgically as he smokes, eventually tripping back to the good times as a child with his parents. When his parents get home he makes it look like he'd been studying the entire time, even putting the record on.
In F is For Halloween, Kevin spends the week doing a history assignment, though he can't find much peace in his house in order to concentrate. On Halloween night nobody will give him a ride to the library to answer his last question so he decides to walk. He is distracted by his friends along the way and decides to hang out with them instead. Luckily, one of his friends knows the answer to the question and he completes the assignment.
Because of this, his grades improve and he manages to get a C in history. To reward him for this, Sue and Frank buy him tickets to see Shire of Frodo in concert. The show is ruined though, when the band is booed offstage in favour of Lifted Riffs.
In the final episode of season 1, Kevin is smug about now being the "good son" after Bill accidentally caused a forest fire. To keep up with this, he gets a part-time job selling Christmas trees for Chuck Sawitzki. He winds up however, not getting paid, and accidentally throws one of the trees through somebody's windshield, who threatens to sue his dad over it as Kevin himself is too young to be sued by the man.
Although Kevin tried at first to keep his grades up, he ultimately let them slip back down to failures again as he finds school extremely difficult due to his undiagnosed mental disability. According to Frank, he only reads at a third grade level. Because of this, he began focusing more on his band and writing music instead. At the same time, he started to feel like he had no privacy in the house, as his little brother Bill would take his things, and once walked in on Kevin masturbating. Feeling overwhelmed and disrespected, Frank helps him turn the cellar into his own bedroom.
Kevin managed to find his band a small success by convincing his neighbour Vic, to play one of their songs on the radio. A soundbite is used as the radio station's weather jingle, and the boys book their first gig. At this gig, Kevin meets the legendary haircut girl, who takes a liking to Kevin as she is a fan of progressive rock. She invites him over to her house for a haircut and to have sex, which he happily agrees to. However, he embarrasses himself and is thrown out of the girls house, only to find himself locked out of his own house when he gets back home. Seeing this, Vic's girlfriend Cutie Pie invites him inside, and, noticing he still has an erection, winds up statutorily raping him. Kevin ends up wrecked with guilt over this incident, feeling as though he betrayed Vic after Vic had helped him and been kind to him. He tries to talk with his father about what happened, and then later his friends, but is dismissed both times. Feeling lost and worthless, he briefly considers suicide.
At Cutie Pie's birthday party, Kevin confesses what happened through song, no longer able to stand the weight on himself. This sends Vic into a rage, after already having lost his job, shooting several things in his home causing Kevin and his friends to flee. The next day Vic calms down and talks to Kevin, letting him know the incident wasn't his fault and that he forgives him.
Kevin is usually a calm-minded person, who is prone to short tempers whenever provoked. He is a slacker who doesn't see any worth in hard work, until Frank has to teach him the true meaning of responsibility and respect. He seems to be very close with his younger siblings, especially Bill. Kevin does his best to be protective of and a role model to Bill, though he can get tired of his brother's traits (i.e. his wimpiness and reluctance to follow through with his advice). He did go through a phase where he was taking a lot of his anger out on Bill, but this went away once Kevin had his own bedroom.
Despite his tough exterior, Kevin is a very sensitive boy. He is prone to sobbing spells when overwhelmed, and often tears up in frustration and sadness too. He takes things to heart, and operates much more on emotions than logic.
Kevin tries hard to be responsible, such as finding himself a job at Christmas time, working hard to complete his history assignment, babysitting his siblings when his parents are away, and being enthusiastic over using a condom as he rehearses losing his virginity. However, his responsible actions rarely pay off. For example, Chuck Sawitzki refused to pay him for his work selling Christmas tree's. He is also only able to barely pass classes, even when putting in a lot of effort. This causes Kevin to become frustrated and/or discouraged and usually leads to him making mistakes, such as throwing a Christmas tree through someones windshield or giving up on school entirely.
Still, Kevin enjoys getting up to mischief and taking risks, especially when his friends are around.
Motel Swimming Pool Incident Edit
Kevin nearly drowned as a toddler in a motel swimming pool. This event had several life long effects on Kevin. The first being that going 2 minutes without oxygen caused him brain damage, which is part of the reason he does so poorly with his classes and hates school. The second is that Kevin has a severe fear of water (or at least, large bodies of water.) Falling into water by accident can cause him to have a panic attack, as demonstrated in Heavy Sledding. We see him calling out; “Daddy! Water!” and Frank rush over to comfort him, implying these panic attacks are not entirely uncommon for him.
According to Frank, Kevin's bad behaviour also stems from this incident, because it caused Sue to go incredibly easy on him for most of his life, not disciplining him as much as the others, and lowering her expectations of him.
Family and Relationships Edit
Frank Murphy Edit
Frank is Kevin's father. When Kevin was little they were quite close, and Kevin finds himself nostalgic for this time. Kevin and Frank's personalities often clash and there is obviously friction between the two. In "The Bleedin' in Sweden", during an argument over the broken TV, Kevin tells Frank he hates him. He seems to immediately regret saying this, while Frank was visibly shocked. It's obvious Kevin is still after Frank's approval, despite his typical teenage rebellion. He legitimately tried hard to improve in his history class in order to live up to the promise he made his dad. He is also openly grateful when Frank spends time with him, like taking him to see his favorite band or having him tag along with him to work. Kevin wanted Frank to be supportive in his musical endeavors and dreams to be a rockstar, but Frank would only tell him it will never work out. He did eventually come around, though. When Frank began his new job and started having marital problems, Kevin felt ignored and neglected. When the incident with Cutie Pie happened, Kevin wanted desperately to talk to his dad about it, but Frank never took the time to listen.
Kevin has a tendency to call his father 'daddy', especially when he gets emotional. When he is in danger or upset, he usually calls out for Frank instinctively. He needs his dad to calm him down when he has panic attacks pertaining to his fear of water. Kevin points out that while he and Frank argue, he could never hate him like Frank and his father did. It's also been noted that Kevin was disappointed with Frank when he lied about filing for unemployment.
Sue Murphy Edit
Sue is Kevin's mother. Kevin seems to have a normal, healthy relationship with his mother. Overall, she gets along with him better than he does with Frank, but he does not possess the same desire for approval from her as he does with Frank. Similarly to with his dad, he will call her 'mommy' when in an emotional state. This is more rare though, as Kevin usually tries to get comfort or reassurance from his dad.
Bill Murphy Edit
Bill is Kevin's little brother. Like most brothers, they tend to get on each other's nerves, with Kevin occasionally teasing him. However, it's quite obvious that Kevin is very protective of his younger brother. He often protects him from bullies, such as Jimmy Fitzsimmons, who was obviously terrified of Kevin as soon as he recognized him. In the first episode, Kevin immediately leaves Claire, who had finally agreed to touch him over his pants, to rescue Bill. He seems to see this as an inconvenient obligation. Though, Kevin is quite eager on more than one occasion, to help Bill in avoiding getting in trouble with their parents. He took the fall when Bill broke the new TV, and forged Frank's signature on Bill's suspension form so that he could take the day off and Frank would never know. He also defended Bill from Jimmy when Jimmy accused Bill of lying about his non-involvement in robbing the church.
Kevin started to become annoyed with Bill as he grew older and began needing more privacy. Especially when Bill took a record from Kevin's record collection, something that is very important to him. They began to fight often, both verbally and physically, with Kevin beating Bill up and throwing his hockey stick up a tree because he made fun of him in front of his friends. Once Kevin was given his own room however, their relationship seemed to go back to normal, but this is never shown, so it's still anyone's guess.
Maureen Murphy Edit
Maureen is Kevin's little sister. In "Bill Murphy's Day Off" she hangs out in his bedroom, listening to him play guitar. Kevin seems to enjoy having her act as an audience for his original song. In general, they get along well but he has little in common with her due to the age difference. In "O Holy Moly Night", he helps her draw missing posters for their dog, Major.
Lex and Bolo Edit
Kevin's two best friends, who's real names are Craig and Lawrence. The three are all very similar and enjoy smoking marijuana, drinking beer and committing petty vandalism. They have a band called Merlin's Monocle, and are convinced they will soon be famous. The two of them sometimes tease Kevin for being more sensitive than them, but ultimately they get along well. They both have a strong dislike for Kevin's dad. Bolo and Kevin talk on the phone often, and Kevin sometimes relies on Bolo for rides.
Claire was a friend of Kevin's who he hung around, and would sometimes make out with. They seemed to have mutual feelings for each other, and Kevin kept a polaroid of her taped to his bedroom wall. Claire lost interest in Kevin romantically, when she saw him crying for his dad after falling on the cracked skating rink and getting wet. She deems Kevin a "pussy", and makes fun of his fear of drowning when he tried to talk to her days later. It doesn't appear the two will make up.
Vic is Kevin's next door neighbour. Kevin was always impressed with the various attractive women Vic would bring around. Kevin used his contact with Vic to get a radio DJ to listen to his bands demo tape. Vic had the station use a small clip of their song "Weathered Soul" as the weather jingle. Kevin was very appreciative of this, and he and Vic became friends as Vic continued to be supportive of Kevin's ambitions. When Kevin is sexually taken advantage of by Vic's girlfriend, however, he begins to feel incredible guilt weigh down on him. Vic continues his support and kindness, which makes Kevin feel like a terrible person. As Vic praises Kevin's honesty, talent, and good-hearted nature, the secret eats away at him, telling himself "I have to kill myself" as he see's it as the only chance at redemption. When Kevin finally confesses, Vic goes into a violent rage and Kevin is convinced Vic will kill him. Once Vic calms down the next day, and comes off his cocaine high he has a talk with Kevin, trying his best to explain why what happened wasn't the boy's fault. Their relationship seems to be repaired after this, as Vic loans Kevin his car so he can pick up a drunk Sue.
Hair-Cut Girl Edit
A girl who is rumoured to invite guys over to her house for a free haircut, and then have sex with them. Kevin first hears about her from Bolo, but because he doesn't know her name, he assumes she doesn't exist. Later, he actually meets her and she invites him to her house. Kevin is very excited when he gets there, as she is a big fan of Shire of Frodo and other progressive rock bands. While getting his haircut, she flirts with him and blows on the back of his neck which gets Kevin very turned on. He accidentally ejaculates in his pants, twice, chipping her tooth with his shoulder. As she starts to yell at him, he panics, bumping into her vanity and knocking several items off of her shelf. He tries to help wipe the blood off of her shirt, but she is already livid and throws him out of her house, calling him a freak.
- Kevin was failing the following classes; American History, Freshman English and Composition, Remedial Science and Study Hall.
- In Kevin's marijuana induced hallucination (flashback from the past), Frank once told him that they may not get along so well in the future, which foreshadowed their current father-son relationship. The reason why Frank told Kevin this is because it was exactly what happened between Frank and his own father.
- Kevin and his friends formed a rock band (Merlin's Monocle) prior to the start of the series.
- Kevin has aquaphobia due to the drowning incident.
- Like his friend Lawrence, Kevin knows how to drive despite being 14.
- He dislikes blood and gore as seen when he saw Frank covered in it and was notably disgusted, when he cried over Frank's graphic war descriptions and his horrified reaction to Ed's death tape.
- According to Frank, Kevin has poor eyesight and often asks to get glasses.
- Due to Kevin being a breech birth, it's likely that he was delivered through a C-section.
- He would be 58 today in 2017.
- Kevin has been suspended from school 37 times, thanks to which he can now perfectly forge Frank's signature.