I will put you through that fucking wall!
|—Frank's well-known threat|
Francis Xavier Murphy, but commonly known as Frank, is the overall main protagonist of F Is for Family. He is the baggage department manager for Mohican Airways and one of the vending machine servicemen for Champagne Chariot Vending Services. He is the father of Kevin, Bill, Maureen, and Infant Murphy and husband to Sue Murphy.
Frank Murphy was born in 1935, and was the son of William and Nora Murphy. Frank often mentions how much he hates his father whom everyone nicknamed "Big Bill". In elementary school, Frank was in the class play and was cruelly humiliated by his father for this. His dad was also shown to physically abuse Frank. For example beating him with a crutch or shoving ice cream in his face. Frank was seen by his father as too sensitive because he would cry when he was humiliated or hit, which Big Bill berated him
One traumatic event Frank often brings up was that his father forced him to wear a grass skirt and coconut bra because he cried when he heard about the Pearl Harbor attack.
In middle school, Frank was popular, but apparently a bit of a bully as he and his friends would throw weaker kids into the local river. In 1952, his father William left his family, after he got divorced due to beating his son Frank with a crutch.
Once graduating high school, Frank aspired to become a pilot. However, he was drafted into the Korean War in 1953 (he was eighteen) and was unable to attend college. At some point during his service in the Korean War, he was wounded and nearly bled to death, temporarily dying for five minutes before being resuscitated. After being discharged from the Army at the War's conclusion in 1953, Frank went to Officer Candidate School with the Air National Guard along with Bob Pogo. He began dating Sue in 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 quitting 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 as he was supposed to be watching Kevin. This Incident can be seen at the Beginning of "Are You Ready For Summer?" as the Murphy's were watching Films about Frank and Sue's early married life.
They had three more children, the second Bill, not actually named after Frank's father it was just Sue's turn to pick a name, and the third Maureen. Recently Sue gave birth to a second daughter who's name is yet to be revealed.
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 extremely overweight) and leaving 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 narcissist, his old co-workers got together with him to devise a plan to get Frank 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, and Frank was eventually re-hired.
When Frank's father comes back into his life years later, they clash at first but eventually bond. Frank's father finally apologizes to him the day their second daughter is born.
By a lot of people (especially his family and friends), Frank is best described as: abusive, arrogant, neglectful, truculent, slightly impulsive, judgmental, rude, insensitive, intelligent, remorseful, selfish, hypocritical and moral. Thus, he is usually portrayed as the Antihero. Although deep down he tries to do the right thing and his personality can reflect his life. However when he was younger Frank was nowhere near as arrogant and selfish that he currently is and is likely that as he got older Frank got more and more bitter at his life and as a result, his personality drastically changed to what it is currently.
Frank starts off as a well-intentioned, hard-working baggage manager at Mohican Airways, but he often has trouble making ends meet. Furthermore, there is an underlying element of sadness and unhappiness in the Murphy home; Even though he tries his best to ensure and secure his family's stability, it's not uncommon for Frank to fight with his children and wife, and has emotionally and verbally abused them in various ways. He is also physically abusive, as he does occasionally hit his sons (mostly Kevin) He is very dismissive and neglectful of his family, and even though he constantly professes that he loves his family and children, it is clearly evident that he favors Maureen over his own sons. In addition, his friends and neighbors have lifestyles that are infinitely more impressive to his own children than their own father.
It's clear from the start that Frank's suffering from a mid-life crisis and a major inferiority complex. He often feels: cheated, neglected, hopeless, screwed over, emasculated, worn thin, beaten down, unappreciated, and unnoticed. He is very resentful of some of the bad decisions he made as an adult, and all of it mirrors the dysfunctional and saddening situation of the Murphy household. Before his wedding to Sue, Frank felt like a success because he felt like he had something to live for and had the ambition to reach greater heights. Knowing that his pursuits were ended because of some unexpected twists, coupled with the knowledge that he has failed to properly and seriously establish himself into civilization after the Korean War, is the final slap in the face, the last humiliating insult life can dish out.
Whenever Frank experiences more than he can handle, it makes him angry. Then, out of frustration, he uses a punching bag in the garage. He has severe anger issues that seem to stem from his relationship with his father. Ironically, he seems to have passed the trait on to Kevin and Bill. As soon as he reaches his boiling point, he'll consider anything else that's bad a personal slight, 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. When Sue told Frank she was pregnant for the fourth time Frank put his fist through the wall in fury.
Frank 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. Even though he does try to be a well-intentioned parent and push Kevin to do better at school, it is evident that his exigent attitude comes from him feeling that he deserves something from other people. He demands respect and honor from the people around him, and he wishes to get even against the society that he feels that has unappreciated and disrespected him as another jaded washout that failed to properly establish himself.
Frank is also a very controlling individual that demands that his family do nothing other than following and serve his desires, no matter how silly or selfish they seem. This first happens in "The Bleedin' in Sweden" where he (out of his jealousy towards Vic) announced he has a Brand New TV set. He was able to have his Neighbors over to watch the fight, but it ends up costing him and Sue to be in Debt with a large Electricity Bill. Another is in "F is for Halloween" when he lied to Vivian about Sue declining the Offer of a Job Position. This leads to a lot of Problems for the entire Murphy Family.
He has also shown to be sexist towards Sue and his daughter Maureen. As evidence, 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. He is also very dismissive of Maureen's interests in technology and computers, feeling that it is too masculine for her.
It is also evident that Frank is an active drunk and leads a sedentary lifestyle; He frequently drives drunk, smokes cigarettes, and can't even complete the most minuscule of tasks without consuming cigarettes or alcohol.
Frank is also a hypocrite to a degree and he rarely ever admits responsibility for problems that are clearly his own fault and doing. This is evident with his eldest son Kevin. Frank feels that Kevin has turned out the way he was due to his lack of sensibilities, but because of Frank's parental negligence and generally abusive attitude, Kevin has picked up the same exact habits as his father, which Frank himself is too blind or scared to see let alone admit.
Frank is very straight-laced, conservative, and traditional in many ways. He never gets his neighbor, Vic's, drug references and doesn't seem to catch on to his oldest son Kevin smoking pot on a regular basis, going so far as to cover his son's eyes when Vic does coke in front of them.
Although Frank doesn’t show any signs of being a racist in the Dunbartons' vein; is respected and respects Rosie as well as his former boss and other African-Americans; on one occasion, he has displayed fear to the fact that he was going to be mugged by one. Although it was later revealed to be a tv personality in blackface with the intent of broadcasting the reaction people showed him. The segment was watched by Rosie who lost a bit of the respect he had for Frank by saying “ you think you know a guy”. When Frank asked Kevin if he was dating his black friend, Nikki, Kevin thinks he was insinuating he'd have a problem with this. But Frank tells him he wouldn't care "if she was black, white, green or purple."
- Sue Murphy - 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. Frank genuinely loves Sue with all his heart but sometimes is oblivious that he treats Sue poorly at times. 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 Frank has an epiphany, realizes how poorly he treated her the past two months and realizes Sue is the best thing that ever happened to him in his life and tells the hijacker he'd be better off if he shot him (though, he didn't expect to actually be shot) Sue in the audience hears Frank's speech and is very touched by this later saying it was 'beautiful' after they happily embraced. With the incident later resolved, Sue and Frank's marriage was mended and they started to discuss their future plans together, which got sidetracked when he accidentally got Sue pregnant with their fourth child.
- Kevin Murphy - 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 affected 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 a shallow reflection of the relationship Frank had with his father. This was later confirmed in Season 3. Frank's own perception of a normal father/son relationship was affected, as evidence that he felt the need to tell Kevin at a very young age that he would always love him even if they didn't get along in the future. He incorrectly projects his feelings towards his own father on to Kevin. This explains why he's so antagonistic towards him. In season 2 he let his son know he understands if he hates him. Kevin seems surprised, and lets Frank know that even though they argue, 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 rudely dismisses Kevin when he wanted to talk about the sexual abuse by Vic's girlfriend, assuming he just wanted to ask about his band again. He continues to support Kevin's music as seen in season 4 when he happily listens to his son sing him his new song. 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 is much more independent and emotionally stable.
- Bill Murphy - Bill is Frank's middle son. 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 war movies. 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 (an example of this is when Frank didn't take him to hockey tryouts, regardless of the fact that he said he would), which led to Bill starting to become more rude and insensitive towards others. Nonetheless, he is still proud of Bill for taking on roles of responsibility and working for money. When Frank's father comes around he tries to be more involved in Bill's life, volunteering as assistant coach of the hockey team. He disappoints Bill though, when he gets held up at work and is late. Initially, this makes Bill gravitate more towards his grandfather but after Big Bill loses his temper and threatens to hit him, he empathizes more with his father and tells Big Bill off.
- Maureen Murphy - Maureen is Frank's oldest 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 something happens to Maureen, usually when they fight with each other. An example of this is in "Heavy Sledding", when Frank immediately grounds Bill for kicking Maureen in the eye, regardless of the fact that it was an accident and that Frank didn't give him a chance to explain what happened. Another instance is when he instantly ignores Kevin's hypothermia after falling through the ice, in favor of tending to Maureen's 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. When Frank's father comes around he attempts to be more active in Maureen's life. He encourages her in the school play and tells her to make the most of her small part and is very proud when she eventually gets promoted to the lead. However, he ends up humiliating her in front of the entire school when he publicly fights with his father and ends up punching him. He tries to apologize to her but she refuses to talk to him. Frank cries, thinking he has destroyed his relationship with her. She eventually comes around though, and agrees with Bill that the fight was William's fault.
- William Murphy - As stated several times in the series, Frank hates his father and his personality reflects that. Frank often tries to never live in his example, though their relationship ironically mirrors the one Frank has with Kevin. Frank once revealed that his father attended one of his extracurricular activities just to make fun of him. He deliberately humiliated Frank and called him Francine, which would eventually lead to a lifetime of resentment. his father was also shown to be physically abusive and hit him with a crutch and shoved his ice cream in his face. Although they are similar in terms of fathering, Frank doesn't anger his children on purpose like his father did. A major difference between the two in terms of parenting is their reaction to emotion. While William would yell at Frank and punish him for crying, Frank actually comforts his children when they are upset. We see him hug Maureen and Kevin when they cry and, though he considers it pathetic, he rubs Bill's back when he gets scared during war movies. In the Season 3 finale, Frank is shocked and upset when he learns his father will be visiting his family.
- Goomer - Goomer is one of Frank's close friends so Frank is grateful to have him as a neighbor. However, there are times where Frank gets annoyed or angry with him like: when Goomer and Babe fall asleep on the job or when he thinks Sue is coming and Goomer says "Hey Frank did you think I was Sue?" Even though Goomer commits voyeurism for what seems like 24/7, Frank still considers him a great neighbor. Although it's unclear how Frank would have reacted when Goomer dressed up as him and pretended to live his daily life. For the most part, Frank seems totally unaware of his neighbours creepy habits.
- Babe Bonfiglio - Babe is one of Frank's close friends and neighbours. He likes hanging out with Babe, but is very irritated by his two son's, Phillip and Anthony.
- Evelyn - Frank doesn't have much of a relationship with Goomer's wife Evelyn although friendly with her. However, he does become confused when she accuses him of stealing Goomer's pants.
- Roger Dunbarton - Roger or "Mr. Dunbarton" the late CEO and founder of Mohican Airways was Frank's boss and turned enemy during Season 1. However later after feeling betrayed and humiliated by him, Frank holds a grudge against him referring to him as "fucking asshole rubbing his charmed life in my face" after reading the newspaper. At first, Dunbarton instructs Bob Pogo to give Frank the cooperate tickets for the next Sunday as a means of settling the strike, while at the game Frank sits next to his CEO Dunbarton encourages Frank to scare everyone into avoiding the strike. Later when Frank finds a solution to the strike Dunbarton uses it as an opportunity in order to boost his ego which leads to the strike. When Bill tells Frank that his friend is on TV Frank says that Roger is just his boss not his friend. Frank goes down to resolve the strike Dunbarton unimpressed by his speech tells Bob Pogo to tell Frank that he's fired.
- Scoop Dunbarton - Scoop was Frank's replacement and enemy. Frank held a very low opinion of Scoop and vice versa. Scoop calling Frank a "Frog fucker". So Frank volunteered to help take down Scoop Dunbarton in order to get his old job back.
- He would be 86 years old today in 2021.
- As depicted in "Are You Ready For The Summer?, Frank is somewhat of a patriot and nationalist, as he strongly rebuked a child for attempting to desecrate an American flag, and thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a memorial parade and hosting an Independence Day party in his neighborhood.
- As a Korean War veteran, his patriotism is justified.
- It is suggested that he is a supporter of the Republican Party (a political party with conservative political views) as he supported Richard Nixon's presidency.
- Frank's "put you through the wall" threat was inspired by his father's empty threat of throwing him or his sister down a fucking well.
- It's been hinted at that Frank is suffering from PTSD from his combat service in Korea. His self-medication for it is to simply, "Shove it down" rather than seeking help from the VA. He also thought he was shoving his commanders' guts back in his body even when he said "THOSE AREN'T MINE THOSE AREN'T MINE."
- In "The Liar's Club", Frank repeatedly ranted about his hatred for M*A*S*H, as he did not appreciate the show's comedy portrayal of being in the war, thinking that it trivialized the serious pain that came with it.
- According to the Intro, Frank had begun to experience a few Health Problems overtime after his Marriage with Sue.
- Due to Frank's frequent smoking and drinking, he's suffered from hair loss over time.
- It is indicated that he experienced vision loss and became short-sighted, as he also started to need and wear glasses.
- Frank has gained some weight over time, due to the fact that he spends most of his time, sitting on his chair and watches TV.
- Frank in many ways is similar to Red Foreman from That 70s Show
- They both fought in the Korean War
- They are both balding
- They both drink heavily with Frank regular drinking White House Beer and Red regular drinking Budweiser
- They are both Arrogant, Short-Tempered and Grumpy
- They both favor their daughters (Laurie/Maureen) over their son/s (Eric/Kevin and Bill)
- They both emotionally abuse their sons with Red often threatening to 'Put his foot' in Eric's ass and Frank threatening to put Kevin and Bill 'Through that fucking wall'
- Incidentally, Kurtwood Smith (who plays Red Foreman in That 70s Show) voices Stan Chilsons, Sue's father.
- A running gag for Frank that appears once a season is that he states he does not attend Church.
- In the season 1 finale, he tells Bill while dropping him off at Church that he has heard the bible stories countless times and therefore sees no need to attend it.
- In the season 2 finale, when he gets caught in the crossfire of a terrorist attack, he tells God that situations like this is why he refuses to attend Church.
- In a season 3 episode, while having a vacation, he tells God to please cut him a break due to all the misfortunes he and his family are suffering on said vacation before stating his disbelief in the Bible stories and again, situations like the one he's in is why he doesn't go to Church.
- In the season 4 opener, when he actually comes to Church to converse to Father Pat regarding his issues with his dad, Big Bill Murphy and he soon voices his frustrations with every little thing that comes with coming to Church including the things that happened before and after he is in attendance.
- This is possibly foreshadowed in the pilot where he gets a call from a telemarketer trying to sale him a Bible but Frank, annoyed at having his dinner with his family interrupted, loses his temper and tells the telemarketer that he does not want one because his time in Korea made him 'meet God'.
- "I'll put you through that fucking wall!"
- "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!"