There can be only one Kevin Murphy.
|—Kevin to Frank|
Kevin Murphy is one of the two deuteragonists (alongside Sue) of F is for Family. He is the quick-tempered, foul-mouthed, 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, making him a breech birth baby.
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.
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 manager's 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 suitcase, 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.
It takes a while, but Kevin eventually does improve in school 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's lead singer is knocked out by a thrown beer bottle to the face and booed offstage in favor 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.
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 neighbor 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 racked 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 never blamed him.
During the summer of the same year, Kevin attends summer school and has a falling out with his band. His new friends teach him how to rob a liquor store, but he fails and is arrested but not charged.
The next school year Kevin has rejoined his band and begins a romance with classmate Alice Goldman. She lends him a Lord of the Rings book which gets him interested in reading.
Kevin is usually an easy-going 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 or sadness. 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 trees. 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 someone's windshield or giving up on school entirely. Like most teenagers, Kevin has bad attitude problems which is part of the problem as to why Kevin and Frank are constantly at odds as well as sometimes with his mother Sue.
Still, Kevin enjoys getting up to mischief and taking risks, especially when his friends are around. He likes getting "toasted" on marijuana with his buddies, saying "tis the season" when they are using a gourd at Halloween as a pipe out of which to smoke marijuana.
Motel Swimming Pool Incident
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 the water by accident can cause him to have a panic attack, as demonstrated in Heavy Sledding. We see him calling out; “Daddy! Water! (or "wawa") and Frank rushes over to comfort him, implying these panic attacks are not entirely uncommon for him, although it is implied he wasn't aware of the incident until Frank mentioned it.
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.
After seeing the motel, some of Kevin's memories of the event began to resurface. He recalls that he was strapped into a stroller which Frank put him in. it also appears that Sue was not present for the event as she was not seen in the flashback, possibly implying that Frank was supposed to be the one looking after him.
Kevin eventually returns to the motel's pool after 13 years and predictably goes through the same thing. The janitor saves him, though he sees the janitor as a vision of Frank. This results in Kevin getting a better outlook on life and finally being at peace from the first incident. It is Possible that going through this Ordeal again may have Kevin overcome his Fear of Water as shown when he tried to save his Brother in the Season 3 Finale.
Family and Relationships
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 endeavours 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 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 rarer though, as Kevin usually tries to get comfort or reassurance from his dad.
Kevin is emotionally open with his mother, which she is receptive of. For example, when Sue was in labour Kevin was the first to meet her at the hospital and sang to her to comfort her. He told her he would stay with her the entire time, until of course Sue reminded him where the baby was going to come out.
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 attempted to save Bill from drowning, though Maureen ended up saving them both with a life preserver.
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.
Kevin and Bill also share a bond over being pushed aside by Frank in favour of Maureen. When Sue becomes pregnant again, they warn Maureen she is about to wind up like them.
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
Kevin's two best friends, whose 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. The relationship between the three starts to crack in the third season, when Lex and Bolo tell Kevin they no longer wish to perform fantasy-inspired music and would rather play Lifted Riffs-style hard rock to increase their chances of getting girls, prompting Kevin to leave the band and being replaced on guitar by Ben. After facing his fear of drowning, Kevin tries to make up with the two, who reluctantly let him back into the Band, but relegate him to rhythm guitar (and eventually Tambourine due to Kevin's eagerness to being the Band's Center of Attention starting to get in the way). Although Kevin's offer to score beer for them seems to bring back Lex and Bolo's respect for him, his plan fails and he ends up arrested. In the fourth season, Kevin is still part of the band, and is back on rhythm guitar.
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. This worsens when Kevin had beaten up Bill for making fun of him in front of her and threw his hockey stick in the tree. It doesn't appear the two will make up.
Vic is Kevin's next-door neighbor. Kevin was always impressed with the various attractive women Vic would bring around, and mentioned to Cutie Pie that she is lucky to be able to spend all her time at Vic's house. 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 abused 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 sees 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.
Vic continues to help Kevin with his band, this time to prove he can still discover a hot new sound. Kevin wants to help Vic not to feel old, even at the risk of his own happiness. Eventually, Vic see's how selfish he was and apologizes to Kevin.
A teenage 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, accidentally 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. In retaliation, Kevin (with the help of Nuber's Gang) threw a White-House Beer bottle at her house.
At first, Nuber and his gang made things hard for Kevin while they were in summer school. Eventually, Kevin earned their respect when he stood up to their summer school teacher and mocked him. From that point on, Kevin became an integral member of Nuber's crew.
Kevin first met Alice in the seventh grade as they shared a gym class. They reunited at back to school night where she gave him her copy of Lord of the Rings and the two quickly bonded and started a romantic relationship. She often encourages Kevin to try his best and to listen to his heart.
- Kevin was failing the following classes:
- American History
- Freshman English and Composition
- Remedial Science
- Study Hall
- Out of the three Murphy children, Kevin resembles Frank the most. This was pointed out in the Season 4 premiere, and it alarms them both.
- For the first five years of his life, Kevin thought his name was "The Accident", which, according to Frank, was a "playful joke" between him and Sue.
- As revealed in "Frank the Father", Kevin hasn't had the best birthdays. One example includes his ninth birthday, where Frank left him at the beach to go get a beer and he got stung by a jellyfish. Another example is when Sue and Frank referred to him as "The Accident" on his birthday cake.
- It should also be noted that Kevin's birthday this year wasn't celebrated at all in "Mr. Murphy's Wild Ride." Instead, Frank (who completely forgotten Kevin's birthday and age) makes him work on the baby's room.
- Like his friend Bolo, Kevin knows how to drive despite being 14 (now 15).
- When Kevin was 4, he was told by Frank that his grandfather (Frank's father) lives on a comet, which was just an excuse to avoid having them meet.
- 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. He was equally disgusted when Scoop Dunbarton blew up at the end of season 2.
- 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 61 today in 2020.
- Kevin has been suspended from school 37 times, thanks to which he can now perfectly forge Frank's signature. This is one of the reasons why he is failing at Study Hall, in which during that period the student present there will do some homework and studying in preparation for his/her classes the following day, and all the other classes.
- He is right-handed.
- The guitar Kevin uses resembles an Epiphone Wilshire pro.
- "My dreams are not forbiddable!"
- "Yeah, I'm high, all right."
- "Shut up! Can't you see that I'm having adult feelings?"
- "Fuck you! Drowning is a serious subject!"
- "I've been suspended 37 times. The system is a joke. They suspend me cause I'm a piece of shit. They give me a paper saying I'm said 'piece of shit', and I'm supposed to get my parents to sign it? Why the fuck would I do that? I'm a piece of shit!"
- "Oh, I need to kill myself."
- "I hate you! I wish I was never born!"
- "There can be only one Kevin Murphy."