Connor Murphy is a catalyst for the plot of Dear Evan Hansen. Connor is a 17-year-old student in high school. He was the brother of Zoe Murphy and the son of Cynthia and Larry Murphy. Connor suffered from depression and anxiety at a young age but was unable to get help. He fought with his parents and sister and was constantly angry. He ends up committing suicide later on in the story. In the cut song "A Little Bit of Light" we discover that Connor most likely overdosed because of the lyrics, "The missing pills from the medicine cabinet, the missing kid found passed out in the park." This song was cut and therefore it isn't canon, though the Dear Evan Hansen novel substantiates the idea that Connor died of an overdose: "The rest is a blur.... I called a guy from rehab. He gave me what I needed." The novel also reveals that Connor had a history of self-destructive and impulsive behaviour; at times, he would intentionally harm himself, even going so far as to crash his car into a tree: "There were no deer in the road that night. I can come clean about that now. I crashed into that tree because I felt like it. My messiest decisions were always like that. Made in a split second." It is said that Connor also suffers from substance abuse, even being high at the start of the show.
While the audience never gets to truly know him due to his early suicide, he appears to be sarcastic, sullen, and easily angered. It is implied that he is severely depressed and anxious, potentially has borderline personality disorder, and deals with a lot of anger and family issues. He also uses drugs, most likely as a coping mechanism.
In the novel, we read from his perspective as well as Evan's and he is shown to be intelligent, insightful, and a decent listener. Later in the story, he becomes what other people know him to be a figurehead of a suicide prevention project as well as the supposed friend of Evan Hansen.
Initially, Connor dresses in a dark gray denim jacket and gray undershirt, along with black jeans that have been loosely tucked in to his boots. Later on, his denim jacket is replaced by a gray zip-up hoodie. He also wears a pair of black combat boots and carries an olive green messenger bag. He has long, unkempt hair, and black painted nails.
In "Dear Evan Hansen: Through the Window," costume designer Emily Rebholz describes Connor's costume choices in greater detail: "He goes to the Army Navy Surplus Store. He thrifts. He does the things that his mom would really hate." Additionally, Through the Window reveals that Connor was intentionally dressed in dark gray, rather than black, in an effort to make him "feel approachable," and to not come across as "so extreme."
Connor makes a small cameo in the first song of the show. This introduces him and gives us our first taste of who he is and what he is like. He appears sarcastic and rude, and apparently high, arguing with his mother about going to school.
Though Connor does not sing in the song, he is thoroughly mentioned as being there. However, the song is Evan's retelling of a fictional today; it is not a proper representation of the real Connor.
Connor sings this song with Evan. This song takes place after we discover he has died but occurs while Evan and Jared are writing fake e-mails to "prove" he and Connor were friends. He is in this song as a figment of their imagination, and the things he says are not events that truly happened.
Evan envisions Connor's ghost to help him find out what to do, which leads to Evan starting The Connor Project with his peers.
Connor sings this song as another fake letter and at first, it's about rehab, but then Jared tries to bring himself into the friendship, which Evan quickly shuts down as it wouldn’t fit with the story he was making up.
Connor sings this song to Evan following Good For You, reminding him of the lie that he's caught himself in.
Cynthia is Connor's mother. While she tries her best to be a good mother, she and Connor are frustrated by each other. Her approach to handling Connor's illnesses is to try a bunch of different cures, switching to a new one each time it doesn't work. She has a bit of a "fake it 'till you make it" mentality.
Connor's father. They did not have a very close relationship and when Connor committed suicide, he did not seem grief-stricken, though he was and wasn't great at expressing it. In "Requiem," Larry reprimands Connor for hurting their family and for not being the son he wanted him to be. In the novel, Connor mentions that Larry once bought him a car as an "olive branch." However, Connor crashed that car on an impulse prior to the events of Dear Evan Hansen.
Zoe is Connor's younger sister, and before and during Requiem she admits that he was abusive towards her, claiming he slammed on her door and even threatened to kill her (though Connor disagrees with this claim in the book.) She felt distanced from Connor, though she wanted to be close to him (as shown by her interest in what Evan has to say in "If I Could Tell Her"), and admitted to missing him in the novel. However, she says that Connor's "suicide letter" was the nicest thing he ever said to her, showing that the two had a strained and unhealthy relationship.
Connor alternated between being extremely angry at Evan (because he thought Evan was making fun of him) and tolerating him, going so far as to sign his cast. However soon after, he goes back to being angry at Evan as he notices Zoe in Evan's letter and thinks Evan is trying to make him lash out so that Evan can tell people that Connor is crazy. However, the audience knows this isn't the case. Connor also says (in the book) that maybe in an alternate world, he and Evan could have been friends.
Connor dislikes Jared during their only interaction, likely because Jared sarcastically calls him a "school shooter" and a "freak." While Jared joins in with the Project, it’s likely out of a sense of justice and helping Evan rather than a sign of positive feelings towards Connor.
According to the book, Connor has one friend: a boy named Miguel who he met at the private school he was expelled from. He was the first openly gay person Connor knew. It is implied that Connor and Miguel hooked up at least once, though Connor is insecure and uncertain about the true nature of their relationship. They stopped talking months before the events of Dear Evan Hansen. Miguel is the last person Connor reached out to before he died.
- In the book, he states that he is LGBTQ+ in some form. "I was something in between. Fluid. The way I thought about both girls and guys." Many fans believe he is bisexual or pansexual due to this claim. 🏳️🌈
- Connor was an avid reader, his favorites books including titles like: White Fang, The Little Prince, Ready Player One, and The Giver.
- He went to an all boys school for awhile (Hanover), which is where he met Miguel. He was expelled from Hanover after weed was found in Miguel's locker; Connor took the fall for Miguel in order to prevent Miguel from being kicked out of the school.
- In the book, it's mentioned that Connor was a fairly talented artist and that he liked to draw. Evan describes Connor's sketches as "bizarre and unnerving, but also intricate and skilled."
- Connor was originally supposed to sing in Good For You