Michael "Mike" Heck, Jr. (born April 1963) is Frankie Heck's husband, and the father of Axl, Sue, and Brick Heck. He is the manager of a quarry in Orson, Indiana, where he resides. Mike is known for his straightforward, practical attitude and his tendency to be a social recluse.
His inability to process his emotions is made into key plot points several times. However, his rather dull and bland personality merely acts as a shell to cover his true, fun-loving, soft-hearted side.
We know Mike pursued Frankie when they were younger and that at first she did not like him and even lied about what her name was to avoid him. Despite a short period where they broke up while dating, they have been together since their first date. It has been said on several occasions that Mike's favorite film is Reservoir Dogs and he only asked Frankie out on a second date because she lied and said she also liked the film.
Mike and Frankie bicker about a lot of things involving their children. According to Mike, Frankie isn't young and shiny looking anymore. Frankie tries to get Mike ivolved in some things like having a social gathering in the backyard for both Mike and Brick. Frankie invited the neighbor over to hang out with Mike, and when Mike found out, he got angry. He also didn't like that she was telling new neighbor Don that he is shy. He then found out Frankie was telling him personal stories about his brother and dad. Mike considered Frankie chatty in his pro and con chart to marry Frankie. When Frankie finds the chart, she freaks out when the chart has more negatives than positives, and one of the positives didn't say what she was great at. Frankie made a similar one for Mike having an incomplete one which led to an argument. Mike surprised her with a special anniversary gift even when they agreed not to get anything. Years ago, on their honeymoon, Mike took Frankie camping which was terrible, according to Frankie.
Mike has 3 kids but favors Axl because of their love of sports. Mike also pays the most attention to Axl and yells at him about his grades. When Axl went away to college, Axl wouldn't text Frankie but would text Mike which got Frankie annoyed and stressed out. Mike texted Axl to text Frankie which he did and made her happy. Mike often forgets about Sue which makes her feel left out. For the longest time, Mike didn't know the potato place she worked at in the mall or what her JPLA meant. Brick is forgotten all the time by both Frankie and Mike. Brick basically reads his life away and Mike and Brick never get to bond. Mike got Brick into football by having him read up on facts and find his favourite 3-syllable words.
Mike's reclusive, unaffectionate father Big Mike and Mike's well-meaning, but unreliable and unsuccessful brother Rusty, both live in Orson. In the middle of season 2, the two move in together, as Big Mike recovers from a broken hip and Rusty needs a roof as he has been living in a tent since his house burned down.
Mike's mother died when he was only in his teen years. It was confirmed in the episode in Season 8, "Clear and Present Danger," that she died of lung cancer when Sue asked Mike how she died again. Mike also mentioned that she was only young. Mike said afterward that he can still picture her singing and dancing in the kitchen, and that when he was young and if he would play in the kitchen while his mom washed the dishes, she'd bend down to Mike and let him blow the bubbles out of her hand. Mike's mother was also a third grade, then later 5th-grade teacher, who once substituted for his class when he was in elementary school.
Mike is an extremely tall man. He towers over essentially every character on the show. He always wears a checkered shirt with jeans, a leather belt, and a pair of Red Wing 877 boots.
He is known for his straightforward manner and emotional stability. Mike works at the quarry as the manager, and despite his no-nonsense approach to work and family, he is a devoted and understanding husband and father who always seems to come through for Frankie and the kids.
Mike's favorite animals are cats, which he hides his affection from his family. Mike named a stray cat Limestone, that would often come to the quarry. The cat died in 2012 in Mike's arms. Mike was sad and affected by this but didn't like to show his emotions. In 2017 when Sue made a video by interviewing Mike's family and friends about Mike for his birthday, his co-worker Jim said that one time he came into Mike's office and saw Mike watching a video of a cat befriending a bunny. Mike quickly turned the TV off after that. Again, not wanting to show his softer side.