"Well Steve, I guess much like our honeymoon, it's up to me to finish the job and pay the bill!"—Marcy D'Arcy
Marcy D'Arcy (played by Amanda Bearse), formerly Marcy Rhoades, is Peg Bundy's best friend, Al's nemesis, and the family's next door neighbor on the FOX series Married... with Children. Though she considers herself to be better than the Bundys, Marcy often sinks to their level. She originally worked as a loan officer at the city bank (in a higher position than her husband, Steve) and then as the manager of the Kyoto National Bank from the second season. But for a brief time, she was demoted to drive-up window teller as punishment for approving a loan Al could not repay (in fact the purpose was to make Al able to repay a previous loan approved by Steve, but Al instead turned this loan into his "shoe hotline" project as well, and lost it too). She won back her old job after frugging on her boss's desk for 20 minutes, clad only in a slip, while the other drive-up window tellers tossed quarters at her.
Not much has been said about her early years. She was born to a father named Henry and an unnamed mother and has a younger sister who eventually became a physicist.
In some instances she described her childhood as ideal, noting how she had a Barbie doll , having a tea party with her imaginary friends and memories of her dad dressed as Santa building her a bike . In other instances, she described her family as abusive, noting in one instance how her parents sold her cherished items, including her beloved dog Chester, in a yard sale to fund a trip for themselves.
As a child, she was often teased by her fellow classmates, which would cause her to seek out revenge on them. In "Banking on Marcy", she mentions that in the first grade, while giving a speech, a bug ran up her leg, which caused her to expose her panties that read "Hey! Hey! We're The Monkees!". After being mocked by the boys in her class, she implies that she cut the brake line on the school bus just before it was suppose to depart for a trip to Mount Rushmore and told them that she was too sick to go. In "Looking for a Desk in All the Wrong Places", she mentions having a tea party with her imaginary school friends Jennifer and Robert, describing Jennifer as the popular girl who wouldn't normally hang out with Marcy and Robert as the guy who would throw milk in her face. At the party, Marcy stated that she would make Jennifer drink 4-5 cups of tea and then slam her face into the potty and used a baby blanket to suffocate her. She would then forcefully have Robert lick her feet like a dog.
She also mentions having a rival since kindergarten named Barb Lynnhart who would always try to upstage Marcy. Even at their high school reunion, despite already having lost weight, being married and working as a bank manager, she was upstaged yet again after everyone would only talk about Barb's tragic death shortly before the event.
During college, she shared an apartment with her mother who would also steal Marcy's boyfriends. She eventually graduates with a Bachelor's degree, having double majored in business and economics.
Initially, Marcy was a sweet, wholesome newlywed, but years of living next to the Bundys apparently warped her into a character almost as outrageous as the Bundys. She contemptuously bickered with Al, and reveled in his misery. One of the reasons for her hatred of Al is his chauvinistic view of women. Marcy seemed to have a disturbing dark side, and enjoys sharing her past memories with Peg, but often tends to get lost in them. At various points in the series, she is identified as someone who looks down on the Bundy clan, but is also a environmentalist. Marcy is an active feminist, who seeks superiority over men based solely on the fact that as women they are automatically better than men. She is often portrayed being sexist towards men which is ironic since she frequently calls Al out on his chauvinism. She admonishes male strip clubs as demeaning women yet doesn't see anything wrong into going to one for women where men dance for them. During the dream arc, where she and Peggy were pregnant she and her pregnant women's group took over Al's garage/private room on the grounds that as women they can do anything they want and take whatever they want from men just because they are women, calling themselves W.O.M.B for (Women. Owe. Men. Bupkiss).
Role in the series
She has however been civil with Al from time to time, such as when Steve was arrested. Al comforted Marcy at a bar and told her all about the 'horrors' of having kids. She also warned Al to not jump to conclusions when Al suspected that Kelly had earned money for a dress by prostituting herself (Kelly was actually hustling pool with Jefferson as her manager).
Al's most frequent targets are Marcy's flat chest and her chicken-like stance when she gets annoyed. In season 6, Marcy claimed she was pregnant though this was later written out of the show. This was done when Katey Sagal's pregnancy was written out after the actress suffered a miscarriage. Marcy had a loud, piercing laugh, which she usually displayed whenever Al suffered some misfortune.
One of the running gags in the series has Marcy often mistaken for a young boy, on one occasion even being mistaken for; when she reminisces about her first training bra, Al asks "How old were you then—twenty five?!" Despite wanting to appear prudish, Marcy is shown to be a very sexual person, and is revealed to have a rather sordid sexual history, such as the "Little Bo Peep and the Cop" game.
Though she will often make disparaging remarks about Bud and Kelly she does not seem to hold the same contempt for them that she does for Al, possibly because she realizes that the Bundy children cannot be faulted for their behavior due to their extremely dysfunctional upbringing.
Marcy often relives past moments in her life as well as routine experiences (such as going to the dentist) by telling stories and describing them in a sexual manner.
Although Marcy and Al are usually adversaries, they often unite in common causes, such as later when Marcy's new husband Jefferson comes into the series. Their teamwork is attributable to the fact that they are both "bread-winners," giving them occasional moments of mutual understanding. She even writes a song called "Al Bundy away".
Marcy also reveals that her mom stole all her boyfriends except Steve and Jefferson.
In many episodes, it is mentioned that she has a strained relationship with her family, particularly with her mother. Despite this, she still lets her mother visit her house from time to time and even made Jefferson dance for her.
She said that her parents took a weekend mountain vacation without her after selling her personal items, including her dog, at a yard sale.
In "Death of a Shoe Salesman", Marcy mentions that her father is named Henry, as she mentioned that she wanted to rename Seven after him. It is implied that Marcy's father either died or left the family when she was younger, as it is mentioned by Steve in the pilot episode that her mother had three husbands who are dead and buried. Marcy tells him that they all died by suicide, though he implies it was something else. She does mention having a memory of her dad building her a wagon for Christmas in "High I.Q.".
She has a sister that is first mentioned in "Johnny Be Gone", when Steve mentions that the slides of their rafting trip was mixed in with slides of Marcy's sister giving birth to twins. In "Rain Girl", she mentions that she has a sister who became a physicist and that she paid for her sister's college education while working in a butcher's shop throughout high school. It is implied that she is still bitter at her sister, saying that her mom felt that her sister was "too pretty and too delicate to be hauling slabs of meat", costing Marcy her youth and missing out on prom. Her sister was supposed to be at her wedding to Jefferson D'Arcy, but Al kept the money for the wedding arrangements and had Buck stand in her place.
She has a cousin named Mandy, who looks almost identical to her, but with darker hair and breast implants. Although she is happy to see her cousin at first, she reveals to Al that she was jealous of Mandy growing up, since she was always considered more talented and prettier and even stole Marcy's boyfriends, only to later find out that she's a lesbian.
She also has an unnamed male cousin that she mentioned in "A Taxing Problem". She said that he took her to prom for $5 on the condition that he wouldn't tell anyone that he was related to her. But he let it slip, causing her to be the laughing stock at school. She ended up taking the bus home, while he made out with "a fat slut named Roberta" in the backseat of Marcy's car.
In "Hot off the Grill", she inherited the urn with the ashes of her Aunt Tuney, whom she cared deeply for, even talking to her and taking her urn to the lake. Though Steve seemed to hate her and said that she would pay sailors to have sex with her. He is also mad that Marcy got Aunt Tuney's ashes while her remaining $100,000 went to her five cats. Later, he takes some satisfaction in knowing that her ashes were mixed in with Al's charcoal grill.
In "Banking on Marcy", it is mentioned that she had a traumatic childhood incident involving a relative named "Uncle No-Pockets" that Peggy heard about before.
Despite Steve and her getting divorced in season 4, it is implied that she still has some feelings for him. In "Death of a Shoe Salesman", she mentions that she wants to be buried next to Steve and that she calls out his name in bed during sex with Jefferson. She also implied that he is a better lover that Jefferson.
- She has mentioned that she is a fan of the American band The Monkees, claiming that she had a pair of panties in elementary school that read "Hey! Hey! We're The Monkees!" in "Banking on Marcy". She also mentioned that Peter Tork was her favorite member from the band in "My Dinner with Anthrax".
- In her youth, she had several dogs and something happened to them that left her with emotional scars:
- Chester - Sold off during a yard sale. She still wakes up screaming "Chester! Chester! Please come home! I can't live without you"
- Winkums - Tied to the back of her bike, though it is unclear what happened afterward due to Al's inner monologue. She has an emotional breakdown as she tells Al, Peggy and Jefferson about her dog during a game of "Ethical Dilemma".
- In a few episodes, such as "Looking for a Desk in All the Wrong Places" and "Heels on Wheels", it is mentioned that she is on some sort of medication for mood and mental issues.
- Her maiden name has never been mentioned. Even after divorcing Steve in season 4, she kept using his last name, "Rhoades" until marrying Jefferson in the season 5 episode, "Married... with Who?".
- "The House That Peg Lost"
- Torch Song Duet
- Breaking Up Is Easy to Do (Part 3)
- You Better Shop Around (Part 2)
- The Naked and the Dead, but Mostly the Naked
- The D'Arcy Files
- The Agony and the Extra C
- Pump Fiction
- Married... with Aliens
- Requiem for a Chevyweight (Part 2)
- Kelly Does Hollywood (Part 2)
- Turning Japanese
- Rain Girl
- At the Zoo
- Ride Scare
- If I Were a Rich Man
- Death of a Shoe Salesman
- Johnny Be Gone
- Looking for a Desk in All the Wrong Places
- Guys and Dolls
- Hi I.Q.
- Yard Sale
- Alley of the Dolls
- "Driving Mr. Boondy"