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Portrayed by: William H. Macy
The (mostly) useless patriarch of the Gallagher clan, Frank is an alcoholic, drug addict and utter failure of a parent. Due to his alcoholism, laziness and astonishing selfishness (which borders on complete sociopathy), he has always prioritized getting drunk and pursuing a variety of bizarre schemes for scrounging up booze money or finding a place to sleep over raising his (many) children, leaving his daughter to pick up the slack.
- Abusive Parents: Neglects Debbie, Carl and Liam, emotionally abuses Fiona and Lip, and physically abuses Ian.
- The Alcoholic: Any money Frank can get his hands on inevitably go towards alcohol or other... substances, and spends most of his time either drunk, hungover or both. Even learning in Season 3 that his alcoholism is literally killing him doesn't stop him, and it takes being physically unable to ingest any alcohol (because he coughs up blood when he does!) He swaps alcohol for vast quantities of pot, Oxycontin, heroin and crack. Once he gets a new liver at the end of Season 4, he begins drinking again, although his aforementioned drug use seems to have helped him to succeed in significantly cutting down on his booze intake for the long-term.
- All Take and No Give: He leeches off of anyone willing to tolerate him, not paying anyone back.
- Altar the Speed: Marries Sheila on his deathbed in Season 4.
- Ass Shove: His relationship with Sheila leads to him being on the receiving end of this a lot. It works to his advantage when he wakes up in Mexico after a drunken bender and becomes a drug mule just to get back to the United States. His capacity for, er, storing foreign objects results in him being able to smuggle more drugs than any mule before him, earning him the nickname "El Gran Canon."
- Bi the Way: Apparently he's had sex with men in the past, even two at a time.
- Billy Needs an Organ: A major plot point of Season 4 is he needs a liver.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He's no Einstein, but he can be exceptionally clever when he needs to be, if only when scheming for his own personal gain. His children are also shocked to discover how smart he was when he was young, something that's long been eradicated by his addictions and lack of responsibility.
- The Charmer: A Subversion of one, while he is superficially charismatic, he's such a wastrel that everybody's patience for him has long since evaporated. Though when he really needs something, he can turn it on and get people to help him out.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He often goes off on nonsensical rants, often about things only tangentially related to what everyone else is talking about.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Zig-zagged. His behavior can go from a Crowning Moment of Funny to realistically depressing and serious, sometimes within the same episode.
- Consummate Liar: While many residents know him well and know he's full of it, he's an exceptionally good liar (well, he is a sociopath) and has tricked a lot of people over the course of the series.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of his nonsensical rants often come accompanied with a bit of snark, trademark of the Gallagher family.
- Dirty Coward: Whenever the going gets tough, Frank is the first one out of the door. The best example is when Monica attempted suicide you see Jimmy, Kevin, Veronica and Fiona leap into action as Frank shuffles out the backdoor.
- Drugs Are Bad: Thank to his "extensive experience," he is barely functional.
- And he becomes even worse when he's drunk, or wanting to get high.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted; almost everyone in Chicago seems to have had a bad experience with Frank and want nothing to do with him, and those who have helped him in the past seem to have wised up. However, there are some examples in earlier season where he's warmly received by his family, at Veronica and Kevin's fake wedding reception, and at the marijuana bonfire, where Fiona playfully ruffles his hair — the latter happening in the same episode where the Gallaghers had to rescue Liam after Frank loses him in a bet.
- Faking the Dead: Though it comes to bite him in the ass.
- Freudian Excuse: His mother was pretty horrible, physically abusing him and regularly telling him that she wished he was never born.
- Functional Addict: See-saws between this and being a full-blown incontinent Addled Addict.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He once head butted Ian because Ian asked him if Frank was wearing his shirt, which Frank was.
- Hidden Depths: His brother reveals to Lip and Ian that he was actually a devout and intelligent youth.
- Ignored Epiphany: His Near-Death Experience in Season 4 should've taught him a lesson not only on not drinking anymore (since he physically can't), but on taking responsibilities seriously… however, he chooses to ignore this, runs away from the hospital and starts drinking whisky by his own on the outskirts of town.
- From Season 5 onwards, he has successfully cut down on the boozing, but only by replacing it with a variety of other drugs, particularly weed and Oxycontin.
- It's All About Me: His defining characteristic, everything else stems from his extreme selfishness.
- Jerkass: He is an incredibly selfish man.
- Jerkass Has a Point: As meandering and unprovoked as a lot of his complaining is, now and then he does make some good or relevant points. Awful as he is for ruining Fiona's wedding, his public character assassination of Sean does prove to Fiona that Sean hasn't changed for her and is a remorseless addict.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: ...and despite (very occasional) Pet the Dog moments, he continues to find new lows to sink too.
- Joker Immunity: More than a few doctors have expressed shock at the fact that he isn't dead yet, and Fiona sardonically remarks that he'll outlive everyone.
- Karma Houdini: Rarely suffers much in the way of repercussions for his constant bastardry, apart from being disowned by most of his family and burning his bridges with nearly everyone else he knows.
- Kavorka Man: For someone who's an unrepentant alcoholic and stoner, he gets a lot of action.
- Kick the Dog: A lot, when you think he does something bad he does something even worse that is borderline sociopathic.
- The Load: All the time, but when he does help, it's interesting to say the least.
- Made of Iron: Has overdosed multiple times, is a frequent guest and legend at the hospital, was given Last Rites three times, spends most of Season 4 dying, and is still kicking.
- Manipulative Bastard: He doesn't always get his way (and for good reason), but he can do some pretty impressive manipulation when push comes to shove.
- The Millstone: It's a lot easier for the Gallagher children when Frank's not around to spend much-needed funds or generally just be a Spanner in the Works. Though there are some (rare) aversions where he finds some way to contribute.
- Momma's Boy: Zig-zagged. Though he constantly tries to get on his abusive mother's good side, he is also clearly damaged from how she raised him, and explodes at her for her how she treated him... Only to go back to the same behavior the next day.
- Narcissist: See It's All About Me above.
- Near-Death Experience: Spends most of Season 4 ‘’literally’’ dying.
- Non-Action Guy: Frank gets his ass kicked by everybody.
- Pet the Dog: He has his moments. Notably when catching Ian and Mickey having sex, he passes no judgement on them despite their fear at what he might do with the information. He'll also occasionally use his schemes to benefit his children- always as a side effect to his own selfish desires, but still. But his biggest moment comes at the penultimate episode of season three where he takes responsibility for a heist he and Carl carried out, saving Carl from going to juvie. This shocks Lip so much that he comments "Hell just froze over."
- When talking to Peggy alone, he genuinely compliments his children, showing that even though he's manipulative, narcissistic, and unreliable, he still notices their achievements and is proud of them.
- His relationship with Emily is this, especially when a doped-up Frank thinks she's Fiona, and apologizes for being such a horrible parent. When she dies, he's crushed.
- He displays shockingly unusual selflessness and love when it comes to Bianca, and genuinely goes out of his way to help her. Contrast his coldly ratting out Chuckie to get back at Sammi for shooting him and his call to her family to let them know where she is, because he sincerely wants her to get help so that he has more time to spend with her.
- In Season 6, he (reluctantly) abandons his new-found hippie paradise and risks being killed by drug dealers he ripped off to drive a heavily pregnant Debbie to the hospital.
- Gets Liam into a nice private school for free, earning him a hug from his youngest child. He still has a paternal instinct, even if it's just barely there.
- Playing Possum: Incredibly good at pretending to be asleep to avoid confrontation.
- The Sociopath: He's narcissistic, avoids personal responsibility for his actions, has a has a huge sense of entitlement, he's an unrepentant Jerk Ass, and doesn't care who he screws over.
- The Stoner: After his liver troubles in Season 4 leave him unable to drink more than the bare minimum, he turns to other drugs, the main one being pot.
- Third Line, Some Waiting: Frank's role in any given episode tend to inevitably be this. While the rest of the family is coping with massive crises and personal dilemmas involving relationships, careers, financial difficulties, and even life and death that can span entire seasons, Frank is usually off on some unrelated comedic sub-plot where he's pursuing or dealing with the consequences of his latest bizarre scheme, and generally has no idea what is currently happening in his childrens' lives. This also works the other way, where his children usually have no idea what he's up to; in the Season 5 finale, when his new love Bianca commits suicide rather than succumb to cancer, he's genuinely heartbroken and numb while Lip and Ian just laugh at him, mocking his bizarre behavior.
- Trauma Conga Line: After weaseling his way out of plenty of bad situations, he develops health problems at the end of Season 3 and spends all of Season 4 dying (though he gets better by the end). Asshole that he is, seeing a chalk-pale Frank too weak to even stand and begging Sammi to not put him in the depressing hospice care is pretty rough.
- The Unfavourite: With the exception of Debbie, Carl and Sammi, none of his children have the slightest respect or affection for him, and by Season 5, even they all had their pedestals broken. When he desperately needs a liver in Season 4, Carl and Sammi are the only ones who care about his impending death and try to help out, with everyone else content to let him die. Liam doesn't even appear to realize that Frank exists. When he's in a coma in-between Seasons 6 and 7, nobody bothers to search for him, and when Frank asks why, Carl outright tells him that everyone was hoping that he was dead.
- Not only that, but he's The Unfavorite among his own parents as well.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Even though he's a main character, he's the number one source of their problems and one of the most despicable characters on the show, a fact that is regularly played both for laughs and for drama.
Portrayed by: Emmy Rossum
The real parental figure of the Gallagher family, Fiona has been forced to raise her siblings since she was young, thanks to a mother that left them and an utterly useless father.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She was drawn to Jimmy/Steve over Tony because of this. This is most evident when right after Tony pulls them over (in a stolen car) for speeding, Jimmy/Steve does some illegal plays and Fiona is noticeably turned on by his display of criminal acumen. Hell, Jimmy/Steve won her favor the second time by revealing that he was a car thief.
- All-Loving Hero: While she has her rough patches, Fiona is one of the most generous and considerate characters in the entire show.
- Big Sister Instinct: Don't touch any of her siblings. In Episode 2 of Season 1, after Frank head butts Ian, he warns him that if he ever hits one of "her kids" again, she'll end him.
- Break the Cutie: In Season 4. Well, to be realistic, the show's been breaking Fiona since day one (remember that scene where she congratulates herself for a good day work before breaking to tears?), but in Season 4 it's made Up to Eleven.
- Broken Tears: When she takes enough abuse and breaks down enough to cry, this is what they are. Her tears are heart-wrenching, mostly because they're rare and the situations are so miserable.
- Calling the Old Man Out: While she did this numerous times, special mention should go to her speech to Monica at the end of Season 1, when Monica tries to take Liam away. It's ''awesome''.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Makes quite a few bad decisions in Season 4, but none that leads to anything harrowing until she decides to keep and snort Robbie's cocaine instead of throwing it away. Liam gets into it, leading to his hospitalization and possible brain damage. Fiona herself is arrested, eventually put on house arrest, has trouble finding a job because of her status as a felon, and even her siblings briefly turn away from her.
- Cool Big Sis: Her younger siblings all look up to her in one way or the other.
- Deadpan Snarker: As a Gallagher, she naturally excels at snark.Fiona: (to Robbie) You call me when I'm with Mike, text me when I'm with Mike… why don't we just, cut off the middle man which is me and, you can fuck your brother.
- The Determinator: You cannot stop Fiona Gallagher, especially when her family is involved.
- Ethical Slut: Sees no shame in being sexually promiscuous in her personal life. Assuming she is a prostitute is a non-family Berserk Button for her. She broke down in tears after having to wear a stomach baring cheerleader outfit for a sleazy sports bar with handsy patrons, and this is a woman who is comfortable with her dad giving her partners condoms.
- Even the Girls Want Her: A fair amount of plot stems from this, if the character doesn't have the last name Gallagher, you can assume they are attracted to Fiona. One of the most egregious examples was Jasmine who was set up as a Distaff Counterpart to her boyfriend, Jimmy/Steve, being overly generous, mysterious about their intentions, and harboring a desire to sleep with her (and expressing it).
- Good Bad Girl: Like all the Gallaghers, she is successful sexually, accruing a wide variety of partners. When teased about sleeping with near a hundred guys, she responds that it's only 95. She's also a responsible guardian to five kids (plus whomever the Gallaghers are sheltering on a week by week basis).
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Despite being the most stable and sane Gallagher, when she gets to go out she usually parties hard. It's pretty harmless and normal until her decision to keep Robbie's cocaine leads to Liam's hospitalization and the end of a stable career path, and after failing to find a new job, she ends up partying hard at Robbie's home, leading the family to search for her as they so often had to do with Frank.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With her neighbor and best friend Veronica.
- Idiot Ball: Despite her relatively young age, she's the most responsible parent the kids could have asked for... Until she decides to leave cocaine lying out with a curious toddler running around.
- Smart, savvy Fiona, who has already shown plenty of business acumen with managing the diner, is downright shocked when she hastily buys the dumpy, seedy laundromat, only to find that it needs repairs costing thousands. Not to mention that after the Gallaghers already faced homelessness, she puts the house up for collateral without telling anyone first.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Most of the times when she is naked it's just her changing clothes/getting dressed or walking around in her underwear.
- Humiliation Conga: The fallout of her mistakes during Season 4 is one big heroic variant to this. Her cheating on Mike with his troubled brother Robbie leads to an unhappy breakup with one of her few decent boyfriends, leading to her realization that she doesn't deserve nice men. Though she manages to keep her job, she loses it anyway after she leaves cocaine out, which also hospitalizes Liam. She's arrested, has the family briefly turn away from her, goes under house arrest involving having to urinate in front of her probation officer, has trouble finding a job under her felon status, and then gets a dressing-down from Mike's sister in front of all of her old coworkers. This culminates in her going off the rails at Robbie's home and ending up in a rather Frank-like situation. Fortunately, she comes out stronger at the end of the season.
- Knight Templar Big Brother
- Mama Bear: To her siblings.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: With Jimmy/Steve. It's lampshaded various times, particularly by Frank.Lawyer: (looks at Fiona and Jimmy/Steve) Who are these?Frank: My daughter and her girlfriend.
- Ms. Fanservice: Regularly appears onscreen in very revealing and/or non-existent clothing.
- My Own Private "I Do": In Season 5, she impulsively marries Gus, a musician she had only recently met, after what she describes as a "all day sex bender." It doesn't work out.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her main plot of Season 4 revolves around how badly she manages to screw up after finally starting to get things right in her life. She loses her stable job, cheats on her faithful boyfriend with his brother, accidentally causes her toddler brother to overdose on cocaine, and goes to prison. All of that over one season.
- No Accounting for Taste: Seems to attract criminals, cowards, or other morally deficient or irresponsible individuals. She has realized it and has gotten pretty used to the men in her life abandoning/disappointing her.Veronica: Why are all the men you date pussies?Fiona: They are what they eat. (Waggles tongue)
- Not So Different: Being a Gallagher, she makes some bad decisions that are reminiscent of Frank's, the biggest being her multiple probation violations in Liver, I Hardly Knew Her. Fortunately, she's just different enough to still make her the far more responsible parental figure.
- Only Sane Woman: Until Season 4, at least. She "gets her shit together", as she says, by the end of the season though.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The only time she's ever called Frank "Dad" was at Thanksgiving, after Monica slits her wrist and she needs his help to figure out what medication she's taking, underscoring how dire the situation is.
- Promotion to Parent: It seemed at first that since Monica ran off she became this, but it's later shown that ever since an early age she's been taking care of the others, she's been doing Frank and Monica's work since ''she was a toddler''.
- Gets more and more deconstructed as the series goes on. Earlier seasons don't shy away from the stress Fiona has placed on her, but she keeps her head above water, and bravely and selflessly secures guardianship of the other children without much hesitation in Season 3. Season 4 sees her already getting overwhelmed and getting frustrated that nothing is ever about her, an by Season 7, she asserts that she's "done mothering everyone" — a far cry from her conversation with the judge while securing guardianship, where she accepts that she'll have to take care of them for most of her life.
- Really Gets Around: Kev once commented she was nicknamed "First Date Fiona" (she took no shame in that nickname).
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Enjoys dressing sexily when she goes out or is spending time with her boyfriends.
- Stepford Smiler: A more positive portrayal than normal. No matter how tragic or terrible the situation is, Fiona keeps on smiling and pretending it's all fine for the sake of her siblings.
- Tragic Drop Out: Having to take care of all of her siblings prevented her from finishing high-school, and her job opportunities and financial situation repeatedly suffer as a result. She receives her GED at the end of Season 2.
- Unwanted Assistance: One of her problems is that she refuses to ask for help, even when Jimmy/Steve offers to help her out. Part of it is cause she doesn't want to rely on someone to the point that when she needs them the most, they're gone.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Mike with Robbie in Season 4. And on her husband Gus with both Jimmy and Sean in season 5.
Philip 'Lip' Gallagher
Portrayed by: Jeremy Allen White
Frank's oldest son, Lip is very intelligent, but also has a massive chip on his shoulder and serious anger issues thanks to his impoverished upbringing and negligent parents.
- Adorkable: He has his moments of this. Particularly in college in Season 4.
- The Alcoholic: He's always hit the booze pretty hard, but in Season 6, Lip transitions from hard-partying adolescent to full-blown alcoholic, and it has some pretty severe consequences. Season 7 sees him attending AA and falling on and off the wagon.
- Affectionate Nickname: Nearly everyone calls him Lip.
- Badass Bookworm: Solves more of his problems with violence than with his intelligence.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Incredibly smart, but his poor parental role-models and drug and alcohol use have meant he is often not motivated to fully take advantage of his skills. Once he starts going to college in Season 4, he quickly finds the workload to be a massive shock compared to high-school, which he coasted through without a great deal of effort.
- Chick Magnet: And boy does he get the crazy ones.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Though he was jealous of Jody, the "crazy" doesn't come up until he starts seeing Helene. He assaults her son (thinking that he's also a paramour) and comes to her house after they break up, drunkenly demanding for her to come out and talk to him, not understanding that he's already put her career in jeopardy. Eventually he even gets to the point where he can't even get aroused unless he's thinking of Helene. He gets better eventually, though.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the grand Gallagher tradition.
- Diabolical Mastermind: In training, he's very smart, and uses his know-how to steal credit cards and fake tests.
- Guile Hero: Whether this actually works out or not (it rarely does), this is what he sees himself as and strives to be.
- He's Back: After Lip's breakup with Helene, he can't get aroused even while living in a sorority unless he looks at a picture of her. It's after a very thorough foot massage by Queenie that he's shown in the stinger of the episode in a fourway with three sorority sisters.
- Hot-Blooded: Has a very short temper that can cause him to explode into some really volatile, irrational rages.
- I Am Not My Father: He really hates his father and really doesn't want to turn out like him, even though he likely will follow the same path.
- After several seasons where he's clearly living his life in the exact opposite way as Frank would (working his arse off in both college and part-time jobs, contributing to the family back home as much as he can, working towards a long-term career), Season 6 sees him at serious risk of turning into his dad. Not only is he developing a drinking problem that could rival Frank's, complete with embarrassing, bridge-burning blackouts and waking up in hospital, but after being caught smashing up several cars in a drunken rage by campus security, and being expelled, his education is in serious danger as well.
- Jerkass: To people who aren't close to him in particular, but in truth he really is a…
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Fundamentally a very good and caring person, despite how abrasive he can be at times. Note how when he and Karen are finding potential adoptive parents for Karen's baby, she only cares about the money involved while he genuinely tries to find a good family, even though a few episodes earlier, he wanted her to get an abortion.
- Jerkass Has a Point: On occasions.
- Likes Older Women: In Season 5, he starts sleeping with his attractive older professor, who has a son his own age.
- Love Martyr: For Karen, his dedication to her and what he thought was his child drove him to do some really stupid and asinine things.
- Nice Guy: The episode in which he and Mandy take in Mandy's little half-sister at his place makes this particularly noticeable.
- Only Sane Man: With the exception of Season 2. And Season 6, where a successive series of events - his affair with Helene ending, being kicked out of his dorm, being kicked out of his replacement accommodations, plus his rapidly growing alcoholism and the general sense that unappreciated by his superiors - see him seriously losing the plot.
- Off the Wagon: After making a genuine effort to stay (mostly) sober during the first half of Season 7, losing his appeal to get back into college and his break-up with Sierra sees him fully relapse. He sobers up again by the end of the season, and starts attending AA regularly.
- Promotion to Parent: Forced through this in Season 4, with Fiona gradually going off the rails while he’s away at college.
- Really Gets Around: Sleeps with a lot of women over the course of the series.
- The Slacker: Would rather not live up to his responsibilities, and though he's brilliant, he doesn't like to take tests unless he's being paid to take someone else's.
- The Smart Guy: He's extremely smart, but he doesn't fully embrace it because to him (and everyone else), Gallaghers don't succeed.
- The Stoner: Indulges in a joint or three pretty regularly.Lip: (to Ian, after the latter asks he he has any ecstasy) "You know that I've always preferred carcinogens over stimulants."
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 2. He gets better though.
- Gets more hostile in Season 7, where he seems almost annoyed that his family is finding success and he isn't.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Ian and Mandy.
- Turn Out Like His Father: Subverted on the last part, since unlike Frank, he finished high school and gets into college (partly thanks to Mandy though). The drunken benders and Frank-like ranting shows that the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, though. One scene in Season 7 shows him waking up on a train from a drunken stupor, and the resemblence to Frank is uncanny
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Mandy with Karen in Season 3. That does not end well. He then cheats on Amanda with Helene, one of his professors, in Season 5. It doesn't go so well either.
Portrayed by: Cameron Monaghan
The third-born of the Gallagher clan, an aspiring soldier who initially hides his sexually before coming out as gay. In later seasons, he is revealed to be bipolar, much like his mother. After drifting for a while with no real life goals, he eventually becomes a paramedic in Season 6, and - after some initial hiccups - proves to have a real aptitude for it.
- Badass Gay: Headbutts and proceeds to beat down Terry until one of Terry's brothers hits him with a chair. Which just causes him to turn around and tackle the guy!
- But Not Too Gay: Played straight until around Season 3, but enforced for the first two seasons because his actor was not yet 18, and therefore could not perform any explicit sex scenes.
- Closet Key: For Mickey.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The opening sequence features Ian jerking off with a magazine in the bathroom before being abruptly interrupted by Kev who came in to look for something.
- Gay Best Friend: To Mandy.
- Generation Xerox: Develops Bipolar Disorder in Season 4, just like his mother.
- The Idealist: Especially when compared with Lip. His whole military aspirations are filled with some pretty rosy expectations of life in the armed forces.
- Informed Ability: Subverted. Ian supposedly knows how to kill people in a hundred different ways, is a good marksman and trains karate, but even armed with a tire iron, Mickey managed to get the upper hand of him easily and most of Ian's problems have been solved by either diplomacy or sex, so there's no much support for his alleged skills.
- However, Ian beats the living crap out of his brother, proving he does show these fighting abilities but just chooses not to. After Frank headbutts him, Lip tells him to fight back, but Ian says he won't because if he does, he will kill him. AND in Season 3 he knocked down Mickey with TWO fingers!
- Informed Attractiveness: The way characters react to him, he's apparently the most irresistible gay man in Chicago.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Mandy.
- Love Martyr: Being in love with Mickey Milkovich is no picnic. Averted in Season 7, when he decides to break up with Mickey for good and focus on his job as an EMT and date someone less complicated.
- The Medic: As of Season 6, he's become a paramedic.
- Mood-Swinger: It is unclear whether this is due to drugs, bipolar disorder or both, but Ian alternates between periods of almost manic enthusiasm and deep depression.
- Season 4 confirms this: he has bipolar disorder, just like Monica.
- Mr. Fanservice: Gives lap dances for a living no less!
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: While a paramedic, he thinks he can connect with a woman having a mental breakdown well enough to where he can loosen her restraints against protocol... Only for her to immediately jump out of the back of the van and get hit by a car (non-fatally).
- No Bisexuals: Seems to be a believer in this; he assumes Jimmy's dad is gay and doesn't seem convinced when he claims that he's more Anything That Moves, and also maintains that Mickey's gay and that he only sleeps with women so he can lie to himself.note
- Season 7 has him breaking up with Caleb over him being bisexual.
- Note to Self: Season 7 shows that he recorded a message to himself telling him to go home and take a break if his bipolar disorder is causing issues for him at work.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't get to see any part of his life in the Army, including him trying to steal a helicopter.
- Out of Focus: Goes in and out of this over the course of the show, most notably in Season 2 and the beginning of Season 4.
- Pretty Boy: Especially when compared with the rougher looking (though still attractive) relatives. Justified, as his real dad is much finer featured than Frank.
- Put on a Bus: Literally, at the end of Season 3 when he steals Lip's identity to join the Army. He comes back halfway through Season 4.
- Straight Gay: While he can play the gay stripper/club kid, in everyday life he is basically an average guy.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Lip and Mandy.
- Took a Level in Badass: From Season 2 onwards.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The first half of Season 6 sees his attitude worsen as he constantly butts heads with Fiona and even eventually Lip, a side effect of his refusal to medicate. He gets better, though.
- Transparent Closet: While he didn't go flaunting it early on (because in his neighbourhood, homophobia is quite common apparently), by Season 4, it's pretty obvious to everyone in the Gallagher house that he and Mickey were in some sort of relationship.
- The Unfavorite: To Frank, for a multitude of reasons. He looks like Monica, who Frank has a troubled relationship with. He isn't really Frank's son. And most damningly he is both A) not a Hero-Worshipper of Frank like Debbie and Carl and B) still young enough to be vulnerable to Frank's crap. Notably he is the only kid that Frank physically abuses.
- Who's Your Daddy?: In Season 1, he finds out that Frank isn't actually his biological father: he is in fact the result of an affair between Monica and one of Frank's brothers.
- Your Cheating Heart: Twice in the season 5 premiere, as a result of hypersexuality, a symptom of bipolar disorder.
Portrayed by: Emma Kenney
The youngest of the Gallagher girls. Debbie is awkward and dorky but also level-headed and (generally) mature for her age. In the Season 5 finale, she becomes pregnant, and gives birth to a daughter named Frances near the end of Season 6.
- Adorkable: All the time, especially whenever she's clumsily trying to play the role of a seductive Femme Fatale.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Debbie's a real sweetheart, but Season 3 proved that you "do not F with Debbie Gallagher!," as she puts it. She nearly drowned a girl who was mean to her at the pool, glued shut the eyes of an abusive foster mother, and claimed Cousin Patrick molested her in order to discredit him and force him to let the Gallaghers stay in the house for low rent.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Starts to develop some of the traits in Season 3, and is a full blown one by Season 4.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: As with many cases of this trope on the show.... it's mostly played for laughs when Debbie loses her virginity to an older boy she likes by sleeping with him while he is basically passed-out drunk - or, as he puts it the morning after, "statutory rapes herself." When she confides in Fiona and Lip about it later, both are more bemused by the story than anything, although some of Debbie bitchy friends do seem genuinely outraged by what happened (albeit probably because they were looking for a reason to mock Debbie, more than anything else.)Lip: Deb, I think any boy would be very lucky to be raped by you.
- Growing Up Sucks: A major plot point for her in season four.
- Hero-Worshipper: She really idolizes her father and hopes for him to come back to normal. Until Season 3’s "The American Dream" where she loses her shit at him big time. Of course, by the next episode, Status Quo Is God.
- Season 7 shows she's no longer a daddy's girl. Especially when Frank attacks her trying to find where she stashed Monica's meth.
- Kavorka Man: A rare gender-swapped variant. Debbie is no beauty like Fiona and tends to be a bit dorky, but her boyfriends have all been very attractive.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Develops her first major crush with Matty, who only wants to be friends due to her young age. After her Operation: Jealousy backfires, she starts harassing a girl Matty is seeing, complete with anonymous threats over the phone and leaving a snake in her car.
- Love Makes You Stupid: So blindsided by her feelings and influenced by her equally young and sexually active friends that she fails to see or understand why Matty (who is 20) would turn down a sexual relationship with a girl who is barely 13. Like most teenagers with their first crush, she also Took a Level in Dumbass and loses a lot of what made her Wise Beyond Her Years.
- Mama Bear: Season 7 sees her ready to outright kill her daughter's grandmother and aunt after they take Franny away from her.
- Minor Living Alone: There are other people in the house sometimes, but after Sammi leaves and Carl goes to juvie, Debbie and Liam are the only permanent residents of the Gallagher house.
- No Periods, Period: Averted in Season 4, when she has her first one.
- The Pollyanna: Although seems to be subverted as of Season 4.
- Odd Friendship: She develops this with Mandy in Season 3, after Mandy teaches her "Milkovich style" self-defense. Mandy also serves as a sort of Big Sister Mentor in Season 4 when Fiona's too busy with her new job to pay attention to Debbie, specially when Debbie starts reaching sexual maturity.
- Also, with Sheila Jackson. Perhaps because she reminds her of Karen as a child, when she was young and innocent. Sheila often trusts Debbie with the care of her house or her plants, and would often stay with Carl and her in Season 4 when Fiona was working.
- Operation: Jealousy: She tries to make ex-"boyfriend" Matty jealous and want to date her again by lying about having other dates, which backfires when Matty returns with a (real) date of his own.
- Stepford Smiler: No matter how horrible Frank and Monica treated her, no matter how much her or her family suffer, she always tries to smile so that others are not concerned about her.
- Teen Pregnancy: Lies to her boyfriend Derek about being on birth control in Season 5 in an attempt to get herself pregnant. It works, and she gives birth to a baby daughter in the latter half of Season 6.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: While she still displays some serious cunning and has enough book-smarts to pass her GED in one hour, ever since she became pregnant near the end of Season 5, Debbie's general common sense and maturity has taken some serious hits.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Hits this majorly in Season 4, coinciding with her hitting puberty and becoming a Bratty Teenage Daughter. Hits it again in Season 7 as her maternal demands turn her into a Jerk Ass.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Her maturity and responsibility are a running gag. She even gets a stress rash at one point from running a daycare at the house. At one point in the first season she says to Carl, "You're 9, you need to start pulling your weight."
- Starts to slip after hitting puberty and becoming obsessed with losing her virginity, leading her to act like a petty Jerk Ass over her first love, Matty. This culminates in a complete aversion at the end of Season 5 when she intentionally gets pregnant despite being very young.
- Yandere: Goaded on by Mandy, she launches a harassment scheme against a girl who Matty is dating, leaving a snake in her car and leaving a note saying that the next one will be venomous if she doesn't leave Matty alone. Backfires when said girl launches an equally vicious scheme of her own.
Portrayed by: Ethan Cutkosky
The second-youngest Gallagher, Carl is a bully and delinquent with sociopathic tendencies and very little book-smarts. As he gets older, he becomes heavily involved in a drug-dealing gang, which he initially proves very successful at. After things go badly, he manages to escape the gang, and he is now trying to stay on the straight and narrow.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Frank explains to him what "masturbate" means in Season 4.
- Ax-Crazy: He is... disturbed. He becomes somewhat more normal in later seasons, though.
- Batter Up!: A Running Gag is Fiona taking the family weapon, a bat, out of his hands as he heads to school.
- Birds of a Feather: With Bonnie; they meet in detention and discover they have a lot in common.
- The Bully: To the other kids at his school.
- Character Development: Receives a lot throughout the seasons, starting out as a borderline-psychopath, then going to juvie and joining a gang, before eventually quitting the thug life and deciding to become a cop. When he returns from military school at the end of Season 7, he has become a mature, dependable adult, a far cry from the psychopathic thug and bully he used to be.
- Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Carl gets a circumcision in Season 7 and while he's supposed to not have an erection for 72 hours, he keeps running into sexy ladies, requiring him to get his stitches redone.
- Comically Missing the Point: He overhears Ian and Jimmy talking about Ian's relationship with Jimmy's dad in Season Three. This conversation then occurs.Carl: Ian's dick was in your dad's mouth?Jimmy: (nervously) It's a figure of speech, it's like sayin'… none of your business… your dick's in my dad's mouth, man.Carl: Who says that?Jimmy: (Pause) Gay dudes.Carl: Is Ian gay?Jimmy: No, no.Carl: Is that what gay people like to do?Jimmy: Jesus, forget it Carl (walks away).
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Played straight at first, as Carl proves to have a serious aptitude for the criminal life and is raking in cash, but he soon discovers the downsides once his friend Nick is sent back to prison for killing someone who stole his bike and the head of his gang beats him for not wanting to work on a particular day. By the second half of Season 6, he's gotten out of the gang life and has gone straight.
- Dumb Muscle: Carl is stupid, and it's not even a case of Brilliant, but Lazy as he even has trouble with stuff he's interested in (knowing the math behind selling drugs). Despite these difficulties, he does have a sort of low cunning that he can apply in immediate plans of violence and thievery.
- First Kiss: Has his with homeless Bonnie in Season 4.
- Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: His stint in juvie helps him make serious connections and become a much more skilled criminal. In fact, one of his reasons for antagonizing the judge at his trial was so he could get an "education" in juvie.
- Held Back in School: Is taking sixth grade for the third time in Season 5.
- Hero-Worshipper: Supports Frank the longest out of the siblings, until Season 7 when he couldn't care less about him and outright states that he (and everyone else) hoped Frank was dead during his disappearance.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Given the nature of the show as a Black Comedy with frequent dramatic interludes, Carl's...activities are played as either serious issues for the family to resolve (or resolutions to serious issues) or as jokes that the family just shakes their head at.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Nick. Carl is heartbroken when Nick murders the boy who stole his bike and is sent back to prison.
- Hidden Depths: He's an extremely skilled marksman, as shown in his experience at the shooting range in Season 7.
- Karma Houdini: Of being The Bully, courtesy of Frank. Averted in Season 5, where he gets caught, rejects legal advice, and demands to go to juvie.
- Knife Nut: Tends have have a variety of shivs and other weapons hidden in various spots around his house.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Towards Liam. When he hears two kids in school laughing and making fun of Liam, calling Liam retarded, he beats them up to a pulp, despite them being older than Carl!
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Played with in Season 3, when Frank purposely convinces Carl that he 'caught' cancer from someone for monetary gain.
- Mixed Ancestry: Carl takes a DNA test to prove his African ancestry to get into military school due to Liam being his brother. While he's not black, he does find out that he's got Native American blood in him, allowing him to get into military school.
- Morality Pet: Liam in earlier seasons, Nick and Dominique in Season 6.
- Out of Focus: For part of Season 2, before having several storylines in Season 3, Season 4, and Season 6.
- Put on a Bus: Goes to military school halfway through Season 7.
- The Bus Came Back: Returns for the final episode in Season 7 after Monica dies.
- Reformed, but Rejected: Even though he stops acting like a gangbanger, gets a job dishwashing and even has his cornrows undone, his girlfriend Dominique's Papa Wolf father makes it clear he will never accept him. Until Season 7, Dom's father realizes just how out-of-control his daughter is and treats Carl like a son.
- The Sociopath: He did try to kill Patrick at one point… lampshaded by Fiona, of course.Carl: Option four was kill Patrick… why waste an option?Fiona: (sighs) I'm raising a sociopath...
Fiona: What if he shows remorse?Carl: What's that?
- A Season 5 exchange revisits the idea:
- Token Evil Teammate: Of the Gallagher clan. While every Gallagher causes trouble, Carl is notable for being the only one of them that's probably evil but also legitimately on the family's side (unlike Frank or Sammi).
- Took a Level in Kindness: Seems to be developing a conscience in Season 6.
- The Unfettered: Carl's main positive trait is that he is absolutely willing to do anything to achieve his goals, and when his goals were "Save Frank" he proceeded to kidnap dogs to sell for drug money which upon failing led to him stealing drugs, and then cripple Frank when he was unable to do it himself to get the insurance money to pay for surgery.
Portrayed by: Brenden and Brandon Sims; Brennan Kane Johnson & Blake Alexander Johnson; Christian Isaiah
Frank and Monica's youngest son. Due to his dark skin and African-American appearance, he was believed thought by the entire family (Monica included) to be a result of Monica sleeping with a black man, until a paternity test reveals that Frank genuinely is his father.
- Ascended Extra: While still a minor character compared to the other Gallaghers, Season 7 has seen Liam's role in the series increase now that his actor(s) are old enough to regularly deliver dialogue. Even more so in Season 8, where he has his own story-line and a new actor.
- A Day in the Limelight: Season 7's "You'll Never Ever Get a Chicken in Your Whole Life", in which Liam has his first day at school.
- Children Are Innocent: Even Frank kinda likes him. In Season 7 starts to show some of Frank's influence rub off on him, but he's still generally a nice kid.
- Chocolate Baby: Subverted when a DNA test reveals that Frank truly is Liam's biological father. Even Frank had never believed it before, but when the results come in he remembers an old rumor about his grandmother having had an affair with a black musician, and it all suddenly makes sense to him.
- Cuteness Proximity: He's definitely one of the more popular Gallaghers. Even Baby, the drug dealer who holds him hostage after Frank loses him in a bet, can't get enough of him and seems reluctant to give him up.
- The Cutie: Pretty much a given from the start. However, the additional scenes and focus on Liam during the fourth season amps his cuteness factor up a few notches.
- Harmful to Minors: He rather sees a lot of the daily life of the Gallagher clan... and this comes to a head in Season 4 when he accidentally snorts coke, causing him to go the hospital and Fiona to get arrested, causing her own downward spiral.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Averted. It's easy to assume he's not related to Frank, and even Frank originally thought he was the result of one of Monica's affairs, but a paternity test confirms he's really Frank's son.
- Race Lift: Just like Veronica, his UK counterpart is white, while in the US version he is black.
- The Stoic: Though almost entirely because of the youth of the actor, they wring a good deal of humor out of Liam's total nonchalance in the insanity that is his home life.
Portrayed by: Chloe Webb
Seasons 1-2, 5, 7
Frank's estranged wife and the mother of all of his children bar Sammi, Monica suffers from bipolar disorder, numerous substance abuse problems and general selfishness. She left Frank and the kids sometime prior to the start of the series, but even when she is around is a thoroughly useless and unreliable parent.
- Bi the Way: While most of her flings appear to have been with men, she is revealed to be dating an aggressive Butch Lesbian near the end of Season 1, and Frank finds her receiving oral sex from a woman in Season 2.
- Driven to Suicide: Slits her wrists at the end of Season 2, due to her manic depression, but the attempt is unsuccessful.
- Dumb Blonde: While she's not especially stupid in any obvious way, she certainly is not an intelligent woman in any respect.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted in her first appearance, but played straight in the second, where she easily worms her way back into the hearts of her children, even convincing Fiona that she can be a responsible parent.
- Jerkass: She's more Obliviously Evil than Frank, but it really says something that, despite the fact that Frank is a drunken irresponsible asshole, Lip considers him "the good one" in comparison to Monica.
- Killed Off for Real: Dies at the end of Season 7.
- Missing Mom: Ran off a while before the first episode, and only intermittently reappears before disappearing off again.
- Mood-Swinger: Due to her manic depression.
- Really Gets Around: Seems to be with somebody new every time she makes an appearance, and apparently cheated on Frank regularly when they were together. Neither she nor Frank assume that Liam's obviously African-American appearance is anything other than the result of Monica having an affair with a black man, and both are shocked when it is revealed that Liam is in fact Frank's biological son.
- Your Cheating Heart: Slept with Frank's brother.
- You See, I'm Dying: Season 7 has her reveal she has a brain tumor.
Portrayed by: Louise Fletcher
Frank's criminal mother, who went to prison after her meth lab blew up and killed several teenagers. She was released in Season 2 for health reasons, and died not long after.
- Abusive Parents: Physically, verbally, and emotionally abuses Frank, and has been doing it since he was a child.
- Affably Evil: Peggy might be a remorseless meth dealer and ex-con, but she's quite charming and amiable in her own blunt way.
- Bi the Way: Mentions having sex with other women in prison.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Peggy Gallagher genuinely cared about her children and grandchildren. Except for Frank.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: ...so she has Sheila do it instead.
- It's All About Me: Refuses to accept any responsibility for the victims of her exploding meth lab, nor for the utter fuck-up of a human being that Frank grew into.
- Mercy Kill: Allows Sheila to kill her so she won't suffer any more from her cancer.
- Never Mess with Granny: Has a gun, and, being a former career criminal, is probably well-versed in its use.
- Odd Friendship: Develops one with Sheila, after they initially get off very much on the wrong foot.
- The Sociopath: Doesn't seem to have any remorse for the deaths she was sent to jail for, nor does she see any problem with teaching pre-teen Carl how to make a meth lab.
Portrayed by: Emily Bergl
Frank's oldest daughter and the half-sister of the rest of the Gallagher kids, born before Frank hooked up with Monica. None of the other Gallaghers knew Sammi even existed, nor had she ever met Frank, until he tracked her down in Season 4 in an attempt to manipulate her into donating him a liver.
- Alliterative Name
- Attention Whore: In Season 5, she openly has sex on Frank and Shelia's couch, to get Frank's attention. It doesn't work on Frank, but it doesn't win her any points on Sheila's account.
- Ax-Crazy: Shot Frank in the shoulder to force him to need her. As pointed out by Frank:Frank: There's no way you're that bat shit crazy!
- Bait the Dog: Spends an episode bonding with Ian, before calling in the military to have him arrested.
- Freudian Excuse: Frank, ironically not because he raised her, but because he didn't.
- Knight Templar Parent: Beats Carl up and then turns Ian in because Chuckie's incarceration. She even tattoos a swastika on Chuckie's forehead and tells him about sexually gratifying guards to earn his protection, the former actually working in getting him in with a group of white supremacists.
- Long-Lost Relative: First appears in Season 4, after no prior mention of her even existing until Frank tells Fiona about her.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Frank drops this bomb on her, after she thinks he wants to date her.
- Mama Bear: When Chuckie is arrested, she calls the police on Carl.
- Misplaced Retribution: Holds all Gallaghers responsible for Chuckie's arrest, even though only Frank and Carl are involved. Her further retaliation is getting Ian arrested by the military for going AWOL, taking away someone they love just as "they" took away someone she loves.
- Pet the Dog: Is an Ax-Crazy attention seeker, but in the end, she really does love Chuckie, even if he's often shoved to the side when she comes home with a one-night stand.
- Put on a Bus: Imprisoned after trying to kill Mickey in Season 5.
- Really Gets Around: Seems to be willing to sleep with just about anyone or offer sexual services for money, especially if it will help out Frank or get his attention. At one point, she mentions being a groupie in her youth, during which all the band members got to have "every hole."
- The Scrappy: Many fans believe that Sammi was unnecessary to the plot, and was only there to be the Creator's Pet, and create more drama than was necessary.
- The Sociopath: Both Frank and her own mother describe her as being a psychopath.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: She hasn't seen enough of Frank to know it's never going to happen, and wants very badly to please him.
Portrayed by: Kellen Michael
Sammi's overweight and not-particularly-intelligent son.
- Big Eater: Which doesn't turn out to be much fun for anyone who has to share a bathroom with him.
- Butt-Monkey: Especially in Seasons 5 and 6, which are not kind to poor Chuckie at all. He gets manipulated by Carl into being a drug mule, arrested and sentenced to a year in juvie without ever fully comprehending what had happened, has a swastika tattooed on his forehead by his own mother, becomes a Neo Nazi in juvie without fully understanding what that means either, and by the time he is released his mother is in jail for attempted murder and the rest of the Gallaghers have little to no interest in taking care of him, which results in him briefly living on the streets during a Chicago winter! Then he gets attacked by a cougar. To his credit, he's still just as cheerful and carefree as he has always been.
- Catch-Phrase: "Are you my Dad?"
- Disappeared Dad: It’s unclear who his father is, with Sammi being his only present parent.
- Fat Idiot: He, er, isn't very bright. More than a few characters have openly speculated that he is retarded.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: No one except Sammi and Queenie gives a shit about him. When the Gallaghers are temporarily kicked out of their home in Season 6, they all completely forget to keep Chuckie in the loop, and he winds up homeless as a result.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: In Season 5, his mother tattoos a swastika onto his forehead to help him survive an impending stint in juvie. He winds up being taken in by the resident Neo-Nazi gang there and by Season 6, he appears to fully (if obliviously) follow their doctrine, and even does a presentation at school about Mein Kampf in which he describes Hitler as a "great American hero."
Portrayed by: Sherilyn Fenn
Sammi's hippie mother, who Frank knocked up and then abandoned when they were both young.
- Granola Girl: An aging version. She lives on a hippie commune, is obsessed with healthy eating and practices homeopathic medicine.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: She's still a catch even though she's a grandmother. No surprise that she gets Lip out of his, er, funk.
- High-School Sweethearts: Apparently she and Frank were this, until he knocked her up with Sammi and then left her.
- Really Gets Around: Appears to have slept with basically all of the men in her hippie commune, and on her first night after taking Frank, Chuckie and Debbie there, she has a four-way with Frank and two older men who live there.
Seasons 6-presentDebbie's baby daughter, who was born in the third-to-last episode of Season 6.
- The Baby of the Bunch: She's now the youngest member of the family compared to how Liam was in earlier seasons.
- The Cutie: Everyone thinks she's downright adorable.
- Disappeared Dad: Derek, her father, flees to Florida well before her birth, once he realizes that Debbie fully intends to keep their baby.
- Gender-Blender Name: During one of the many times Debbie is upset with Frank, she calls her daughter by her middle name, Harry, short for Harriet.
- Walking Spoiler: It's difficult to say much about this character without revealing a whole lot about Seasons 5 and 6.
Portrayed by: Joan Cusack
Frank's on-and-off-again girlfriend, an bubbly but neurotic agoraphobic with a pegging fetish.
- Altar the Speed: Marries Frank on his deathbed in Season 4.
- Covert Pervert: Seems like a relatively buttoned-up woman, even though Eddie remarks casually that she does like sex a lot. Then the handcuffs and giant dildo come out...
- Genki Girl: Is bright and full of energy, especially when she first starts to take steps outside.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: In Season 1 she was agoraphobic, but then Season 2 showed how much worse it can be with the stress of Eddie dying.
- Horrible Judge of Character: It takes her a long time to realize just how much of a bastard Frank is, and she still keeps giving him second chances once she does.
- Nice Girl: Only Peggy makes her drop her friendly and helpful demeanor, and Sheila even starts being helpful to her when it's revealed that Peggy is dying of cancer.
- Put on a Bus: At the beginning of Season 4, but comes back a few episodes later. In Season 5, she leaves permanently after Frank blows up her house and (yet again) reveals how despicable he is, and so far is yet to reappear.
Portrayed by: Laura Slade Wiggins
Sheila's slutty and sociopathic daughter, and Lip's main love interest in the first few seasons.
- Bi the Way: she casually mentions having experimented with girls in her big confession.
- Broken Bird: During and after Season 1.
- Bullying a Dragon: Really didn't think the whole antagonizing Mandy thing through.
- The Bus Came Back: Season 3.
- Characterization Marches On: She's initially much more of a Good Bad Girl type; she's promiscuous but sweet in her own way, and a talented student.Later on, she Took a Level in Jerkass, abandons her mother, manipulates Lip while playing Jody, drops out and runs away, loathes her own child, and is revealed to be a sociopath.
- Dramatic Irony: She is especially contemptuous that her son was born with Down Syndrome (mostly because it makes him undesirable for her to broker to rich families who would pay her), several times referring to Hymie as being "retarded". After being hit by Mandy, she is severely brain damaged and unable to form new memories.
- Fate Worse Than Death: After being ran down by Mandy, she has no short term memory and is very brain damaged because of it.
- Manipulative Bitch: Particularly with Lip, who continues going back to her well after its revealed what kind of person she is.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After calling her son with Down Syndrome "retarded," she gets hit by Mandy's car and becomes brain-damaged because of it.
- Look Both Ways: Purposefully run over by Mandy towards the end of Season 3, though she doesn't die.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of Season 2, and again in Season 3.
- Really Gets Around: She apparently started having oral sex when she was 13, and had vaginal sex in 8th grade.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 2.
- The Sociopath: Shows little-to-no empathy towards others(with the exception of her mother in the first two seasons), and generally appears concerned only with herself.
- Your Cheating Heart: Has frequent sex with Lip while in a chaste relationship with Jody.
Portrayed by: Joel Murray
Season 1Sheila's ultra-religious husband, who leaves her at the start of Season 1 after a meltdown over Karen's sexual exploits.
- Driven to Suicide: Drowns himself in a frozen lake once he sees the porno starring Frank and Karen.
- Jerkass: He isn't a very likeable man.
- It's All About Me: After Karen confesses her MANY sexual experiences to the Promise Keepers meeting, he calls her a whore and his only concern is that the embarrassment she's caused him.
- Overprotective Dad: Violently so.
Seasons 2-3Karen's baby son, who has Down syndrome.
- Put on a Bus: After Karen is left brain-damaged from being hit by Mandy's car, Jody takes her and Hymie across the country to faith healers that he believes can heal both of them.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: They are the single identifying factor that the Gallaghers aren't the most fucked up family out there.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: A common Milkovich family trait, although Mandy and Mickey are both more attractive and sympathetic than their siblings. Due to age, Terry himself is an exception and is more of a case of White Hair, Black Heart.
Portrayed by: Jane Levy (season 1), Emma Greenwell (seasons 2-6)
- The Beard: Ian's in season one.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: She begins to show a warming and loving side to Lip because he was the nicest guy she's ever been with, though it's thoroughly deconstructed.
- Broken Bird: Due to her horrible life, in particular being raped and impregnated by her inebriated father. Spends Season 4 and much of Season 5 with a very abusive boyfriend, and then becomes a prostitute in Season 6 after breaking up with him.
- Characterization Marches On: Possibly due to The Other Darren, but compare Season 1 Mandy who runs out of the house crying and launches a dramatic scheme due to a perceived slight by Ian to Season 2 Mandy, who is completely stoic when she's molested by her father.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: To Lip when Karen returns, to the point that she antagonizes Karen in the school hallway and freaks out over an old photo on social media. Turned Up to Eleven when she runs down Karen with her car.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Ian finds out who got her pregnant. Again when Kenyatta starts to abuse her and she refuses to let Mickey and Ian intervene.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: In Season 6, its revealed that she has become an escort.
- Kuudere: During her Emma Greenwell portrayal.
- No Accounting for Taste: A justified example, Mandy has such low self-esteem that she tends to pair off with cheaters, abusers, and criminals; thinking that she doesn't deserve any better. Lip's behavior towards her doesn't help her perception.
- No Sympathy: Unsympathetic towards Mickey about his rape by Svetlana and is angry at him for not going to be with her at the hospital when she gives birth. He points out that he doesn't even know if the baby is his.
- Perky Goth: When portrayed by Jane Levy.
- Put on a Bus: She's Put on a Bus multiple times, usually returning eventually, but she doesn't appear at all in Season 7.
- Really Gets Around: To the point where she likes the idea of having gay Ian as a "boyfriend" because all she does with the other guys she "dates" is have sex.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Ultimately is this to whomever Lip is seeing.
- The Stoic: Notice how calm and collected she plays it when she's impregnated with her father's baby after being molested.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Lip and Ian.
- Tranquil Fury: Calmly tells Mickey about having run down Karen.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: When she got a phone call from Karen about how Lip started sleeping with her again, Mandy ran her over with a car.
- When She Smiles: Her portrayal by Emma Greenwell doesn't smile nearly as often as her portrayal by Jane Levy, but when she does...
Portrayed by: Noel Fisher
A violent street thug and petty criminal who is also very deep in the closet. Ian's main love interest for much of the series, with the Will They or Won't They? tension playing a big part of their storylines in the first four seasons.
- Armored Closet Gay: No longer, as of episode 4x11.
- Badass Gay: Is pretty tough and definitely violent.
- Book Dumb: Considers finishing high school too much trouble since he would have to restart as a freshmen since he never passed any classes.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Don't...just...
- Coming-Out Story: Spectacularly in episode 4x11. With Terry out of jail, Svetlana relentlessly blackmailing him by threatening to reveal his relationship with Ian to Terry, and Ian literally walking out on him because he's "tired of being a mistress", Mickey breaks down and comes out to everybody at the Christening party at The Alibi. This results in a brutal Bar Brawl involving Mickey, Terry, Ian, and Terry's brothers.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: An indicator of his relationships. With Svetlana he doesn't care about her still working as a prostitute, even after they're married. But he reacts very badly to seeing other guys hit on Ian, especially in the course of Ian's work giving lap dances.
- Deadpan Snarker: Probably the only way he can keep his sanity.
- Gayngst: Understandable enough, given the culture he lives in and his father's outright psychopathic homophobia.
- Gayngster: Originally more of a petty criminal, but due to a well-intentioned but foolish mistake he now finds himself to be a pimp.
- Heartbroken Badass: When Ian left at the end of Season 3.
- It Doesn't Mean Anything: Early on he insisted that this was the case with Ian.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The list of people he genuinely cares about is really short, but when he does care, he cares deeply.
- Manly Gay: Basically looks and acts no differently than any straight thug.
- Morality Chain: Ian. Probably the only reason that Mickey is not as bad as, if not worse than, his father Terry is because he loves Ian and is increasingly finding himself having to behave less selfishly for the sake of their relationship.
- N-Word Privileges: Subverted. Mickey actually is more than a little homophobic, largely due to his upbringing by Terry. But it's not unusual for him to speak this way even when talking to his boyfriend Ian.Mickey: Those fudge-packers got so much snow up your beak you're tweaking like a little bitch.
- Put on a Bus: Is arrested for trying to kill Sammi at the end of Season 5, and by the start of Season 6 is serving a lengthy jail term for said crime.
- The Bus Came Back: In Season 7, he broke out of prison. He's right back on the bus after fleeing to Mexico.
- Satisfied Street Rat: More so than the rest of the characters, who are often reasonably Street Smart, but not as adapted to the way of life as Mickey is thanks to his upbringing within an actively criminal family. He can also fake being a Cowboy Cop (and has a badge he got from somewhere) and does so in episode 4x07 when looking for Ian.
- Shotgun Wedding: To Svetlana, whom he absolutely hates.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Fed up with her blackmail, he delivers a blistering one to Svetlana, literally too:"Five years from now you're going to be a used up, dried up old whore, sucking guys off on the sidewalk for $5 a pop."
- Tsundere: Big time with Ian.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Ian.
- Your Cheating Heart: On Ian, with a woman and then a man in the finale of the 5th season.
Portrayed by: Isidora Goreshter
A Russian prostitute who Terry Milkovich hires to have sex with Mickey in an attempt to "fuck the faggot" out of him. She becomes pregnant soon after, and Mickey is forced to marry her. In Season 5, she starts working as a bartender at the Alibi Room and becomes a close friend of Kev and V.
- Ascended Extra: When introduced in Season 3, Svetlana was just a random prostitute who Mickey was forced to sleep with and then marry, and had barely any lines of her own. Her screen-time and popularity steadily increased in Seasons 4, 5 and 6, and by Season 7 she has become a regular cast member.
- The Baby Trap: The only reason Mickey is married to her, and she is constantly using it as a reason why he needs to break up with Ian and be a devoted husband to her.
- Bi the Way: Has a girlfriend as of the Season 4 finale, and sleeps with V several times in Season 6. In Season 7 she even reveals she loves V, though her manipulation makes the truth of this unknown.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Stole the Alibi from under V and Kevin's noses after lulling them into a false sense of security.
- Citizenship Marriage: Between her and V in Season 6, which is shown to be invalid a season later when it's revealed she was married before she even met Mickey, her alleged first husband.
- Closet Key: To V.
- Cure Your Gays: What Terry tries to use her for with Mickey. It doesn't work, and she becomes increasingly frustrated that she cannot seem to get Ian out of the picture.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Although it was at Terry's direction, and she was just an available prostitute. But Mickey was not given a choice, a fact that is treated as having been less of a problem because she got pregnant and he had to marry her than the act itself.
- Fan Disservice: Dyeing her hair red like Ian's, and opening her robe to reveal her bare breasts and a rather large strap-on as part of her latest attempt to appeal to Mickey could be considered as Squick for the audience. It definitely was for Mickey, who literally flinched at the sight.
- Hidden Depths: Has savant-level skills when it comes to math, and she has a lot of smarts when it comes to personal finance.
- Hypocrite: Insists on a formal Russian Orthodox baptism for her baby and is quite pushy with the priest, which is ironic considering that she is a prostitute, and even if the baby is Mickey's, it was conceived in an incident of forced sex.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Given her profession, it is not really certain that Mickey is the father of Svetlana's baby. But due to his general shortage of money, a Daddy DNA Test is not something that would be as readily undertaken as would be the case with more affluent characters (even someone as broke as the Gallaghers, who got one for Liam), so the trope survives.
- Only Sane Man: Though she did steal it from Kevin and V, she's the only one running the Alibi who has any head for real business or financial wisdom.
- Opportunistic Bastard: Is totally improvising, but is trying to force Mickey to become a submissive husband, generally by threatening to reveal his ongoing relationship with Ian to Terry.
- As of season 7, she made Kevin and V sign away the Alibi to her under false adoption papers.
- Promoted to Opening Titles: As of Season 7.
- Sensual Slavs: A Russian prostitute, and a rather attractive one at that. Unfortunately for her, the one man she really wants to seduce is not interested at all.
- Suddenly Sexuality: Her revelation that she is bisexual/lesbian comes only after an extended period of trying very hard to get Mickey to become her husband in more than just name only.
Portrayed by: Dennis Cockrum
Mickey and Mandy's abusive and deeply homophobic father, he spends most of his time on the show in and out of prison.
- Abusive Parents: He isn't willing to raise his hand to teach his kids a lesson, but then we get this little tid-bit:Lip: He has this habit of molesting his daughters.
- It was not intentional, but what he did to Mandy...
- Is positively brutal towards Mickey over the latter's homosexuality, going so far as trying to kill him.
- Berserk Button: Homosexuality in general, but especially his son Mickey's.
- Heteronormative Crusader: In addition to beating Mickey for his relationship with Ian, he also forces Mickey to have sex with a prostitute (while Ian is made to watch at gunpoint) in order to "fuck the faggot out of him". He also boasts about beating up "queers" in prison.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: At the receiving end of one from Mickey and Ian during a Bar Brawl. To put the cherry on top, Terry is arrested again for getting in trouble not even four hours into parole.
- Offing the Offspring: Is more than willing to do this over Mickey's homosexuality.
- Parental Incest: Not on purpose, but drunkenness is not much of an excuse.
- Rape by Proxy: His solution to catching Mickey and Ian together is to beat Mickey until he is helpless and then have Svetlana come in to "cure" him by having her rape him.
- Villainous Breakdown: Mickey coming out in front of everyone at The Alibi sends Terry into a murderous rage.
Seasons 4-Svetlana and (allegedly) Mickey's son.
- Who's Your Daddy?: Due to Svetlana being a prostitute, its unclear whether Mickey is actually Yevgeny's father.
Portrayed by: Shanola Hampton
Fiona's best friend and Kev's wife.
- Berserk Button: Do not call Kev stupid.
- Beta Couple: With Kev.
- Bi the Way: Sleeps with Svetlana several times in Season 6, which soon develops into a permanent menage-a-trois situation with Kev.
- Buxom Is Better: Kevin certainly thinks so.
- The Medic: She is knowledgeable about many medical needs, and is usually the one to patch the main cast members up.
- Happily Married: To Kev. However, come Season 5, they aren't so happily married. By the season's end, they're working on it.
- Hello, Nurse!: Played a stereotypical sexy nurse in some of the pornos she and Kev made.
- It's All About Me: Briefly gets this way in Season 5, where she admits to Kev that she never considered the idea of putting her children's needs before her own.
- Jealous Parent: Gets frustrated in Season 5 when Kev's energy is focused on the twins, leaving little time for her.
- Mama Bear: Is even called so by Kevin when she starts acting protective to Ethel.
- Ms. Fanservice: Is either wearing skimpy clothes, topless or nude in quite a lot of scenes. Applies in-universe as well, due to starring in amateur porn with Kev to pay the bills sometimes.
- Race Lift: Her UK counterpart was white, but the US version is black.
- Sassy Black Woman: Though her and Fiona are quite equal when it comes to sass.
- Suddenly Sexuality: Despite initially only being interested in men, Svetlana acts as her Closet Key and she can't get enough.
- We Used to Be Friends: She and Fiona drift apart in Season 7, though they more or less get back together by the end.
- Your Cheating Heart: Humps a stranger to orgasm after a house-husbanding Kev is sexually unavailable for her. Then tries to rectify the situation and even the score by demanding that Kev cheat on her in a similar fashion.
Portrayed by: Steve Howey
V's husband, and the bartender/owner of the Alibi Room.
- Berserk Button: Don't call him stupid.
- Beta Couple: Him and V.
- The Big Guy: He's a very tall, physically imposing guy - but is so sweet that you hardly notice.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Veronica seems to think so.
- Book Dumb: He is very street smart and has displayed a deep understanding of life, but can barely read due to being dyslexic and didn't do well in school.
- Bumbling Dad: Averted; V even admits to secretly hoping that he'd be this so that she would feel less guilty about not being a natural parent, but he ends up being incredibly competent and attentive.
- Catch-Phrase: "Fucking Gallaghers!"
- Early Installment Weirdness: In the first few episodes, he tolerated the Gallaghers at best. Eventually, he became one of their closest friends. He's also seen creeping on Mandy and mentions a father in prison, which is seemingly .
- Faux Yay: After Svetlana takes over the Alibi, he's desperate enough for work that he not only dances at Ian's old club the White Tail, but also lets men give him handjobs for money.
- Foster Kid: When he was younger, which encourages him to foster Ethel and her baby son.
- Gentle Giant: Kevin is a tall and imposing barkeeper, but he's actually one of the nicest people in the show. After all, he basically subsidizes the Gallaghers living expenses by paying for TV and the phone, they also borrow his appliances.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: When he finds out that V has been cheating on him with Svetlana, he's incredibly torn between feeling angry and aroused.
- Happily Married: To Veronica, even if their marriage is ‘’technically not legal because of an earlier marriage that was never annulled. However, come Season 5, they aren't so happily married. By season's end, they're working on it.
- House Husband: V mostly takes over bar duties during Season 5 while he tends to the children. Taken Up to Eleven when he becomes so fixated on the home that all he can talk about is his children.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: He oftentimes walks around the house completely naked, though it's less innocent and more "too lazy to put on clothes".
- It's All My Fault: Season 6 has him guilty of being responsible for their neighbor Yanis's paralysis when he cut the brakes instead of the throttle.
- Mistaken for Cheating: V thinks he's cheating when he's really just learning how to read.
- Nice Guy: One of the most good-hearted people on the show.
- Papa Wolf: Gets extremely protective of his children to the point where he accidentally puts them at risk when he fails to match gun ownership with gun safety.
- True Companions: Veronica, Kevin and the Gallaghers (well, the kids). He even says they're the closest thing he has to a family.
Portrayed by: Madison Davenport
A foster child taken in by Kev and V partway through Season 1, Ethel is a teenage mother who social services removed from a polygamous cult
- Blue and Orange Morality: Partially from growing up in a polygamous cult, partially from hanging around the Gallaghers. She does not consider what was done to her in the cult sexual abuse, and cheerily does almost all of the housework for Kevin and Veronica, something Veronica is fine with but Kevin is distressed by. She also, despite frequently quoting and believing in the Bible, seems to have no problem assisting the Gallaghers or Kevin and Veronica with their criminal schemes
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Again, from growing up in a polygamous cult where she was married to a 65 year old man when she was 11, who had enough sex with her to give her a son
- Foster Kid: Is being fostered by Kevin and Veronica, at first to get foster care money (and because Kevin himself was a foster kid and wants very much to be a parent), but later because they've become attached to her
- Green Thumb: She is very good at growing things, helping Kevin to start a garden in his backyard and also helping him to grow a massive marijuana crop in the basement of the Alibi Room
- Happiness in Slavery: She apparently did a lot of chores and housework in the cult, and is eager to help Veronica and Kevin out, something Kevin is rather disturbed by. She also sees nothing wrong with the essential state of sexual slavery she was in when she was in the cult.
- Happily Adopted: She's pretty happy being fostered to Veronica and Kevin, although when her husband is murdered in prison and her sister wives try to take her back, she is conflicted.
- Poor Communication Kills: she mentions casually to Malik that she hopes there's someone in prison to "take care" of her septugenarian husband Clyde. She meant it literally, but Malik thinks she meant it more idiomatically, and asks his dad to shank Clyde in the showers.
- Put on a Bus: Literally, as she runs away with Malik and their two children, and is last seen boarding a bus with the money she made selling the pot Kev buried in his yard.
- Rape As Back Story : She's a 13 year old girl removed from a polygamous cult where she was married to and raped by a 65 year old man named Clyde.
Portrayed by: Vanessa Bell Calloway
Seasons 1-Veronica's mother.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Still young enough to conceive and give birth to a healthy child, even though Veronica herself is in her twenties.
- Parental Sexuality Squick: Put to the test when she has to repeatedly have sex with Kevin in order to bear a child for him and Veronica. Ending in something of a threesome so that Kevin can stay aroused.
Amy and Gemma Ball
Seasons 4-Kev and V's twin daughters, who were born at the end of Season 4
Portrayed by: Justin Chatwin
Seasons 1-3, 4-5
- Consummate Liar: Goes in hand with being a Gentleman Thief. His last action during his return in Season 5 is telling Fiona that he called off his work in Dubai to be with her, when she later realizes that he was lying, and the work was called off for him.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Fiona, before they get together for real.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Despite his shady past, he is openly disgusted with Frank's actions. One particular example was when Frank broke Ian's nose for asking him about his shirt.
- Fingore: Had his finger broken by Estefania's father's right-hand man after trying to steal a car for profit.
- Gentleman Thief: In the past.
- I Have Many Names: Has invariably been known on the show as Jimmy, but everyone else knew him from his alias of Steve. When he returns in the Season 4 finale, he's calling himself Jack.
- Inter-Class Romance: He's from an incredibly wealthy family while trying to get with the paycheck-to-paycheck Fiona.
- It's All About Me: During his return in Season 5, he doesn't care about Fiona being married and is certain that she'll leave Gus to be with him.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Tries to be this for Fiona in season one, often trying to give her money to buy new appliances or pay bills, or take her away for nights off or eventually even take her away to Costa Rica, where she wouldn't have to worry about taking care of the kids anymore, an offer she ultimately turns down. Season 3 finds him getting increasingly irritated by the actual responsibilities that living with the Gallaghers calls for, and his reappearance in Season 5 proves how little he's interested in Fiona's development.
- Love at First Sight: Was attracted and interested in Fiona the moment he saw her, and remembers exactly what she wore that night, proving to her that he wasn't just making it up.
- Never Found the Body: Up for debate in the third season finale, but it was heavily implied throughout the episode that he was Killed Off for Real. Word of God was that Jimmy is dead, the lack of a death scene being due to filming complications. An added gunshot sound effect added to the Season 4 recap suggested he was indeed killed. However, at the end of Season 4 it is revealed that he was alive after all.
- Nice Guy: Yes, he can be a Jerkass but he is still a nice guy (compared to other people) and willing to start anew and become normal for Fiona, even going out of the way to buy braces for Carl with money he barely has. Not only that, he desperately wants to be Fiona's Knight in Shining Armor, if only everything wasn't fucked up for him and her. Illustrated perfectly when Monica slits her wrists, he was the first one to take action - say what you will about the guy but most people don't have the stomach to step up like that.
- Not Quite Dead: Revealed to be alive in the Season Four finale Stinger.
- Put on a Bus: Twice. Once at the end of the third season finale, and again in Season 5, after coming back into Fiona's life and then only leaving again this time by choice.
- Reformed Criminal: Although not by choice.
- Shotgun Wedding: To save his life, more then likely. He is married to Estefania, a Cartel leader's daughter.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After repeatedly trying to persuade Fiona in the first two seasons that he could fit in well with the family, Season 3 sees him chafe under constant family life with the Gallaghers. Even though he has far fewer responsibilities than Fiona and fails to even find a job, he complains that Fiona sees him as only good for "changing diapers," and he expresses his frustration about Fiona deciding to take on guardianship of her siblings without consulting him first. In his reappearance in Season 5, he's pretty much just a full-blown Jerk Ass.
- Your Cheating Heart: It's...complicated. On one hand, he's obviously in love with Fiona. On the other hand, he's legally married to Estefania. For the most part he lives with Fiona, but every now and then he sleeps with Estefania. It's hard to say which one he's technically cheating on.
Portrayed by: Pej Vahdat
A closeted gay Muslim man who was both Ian's employer and boyfriend.
- Armored Closet Gay: He is very deep in the closet, due to being both married and a Muslim.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: His reaction to Mickey taunting him by stealing a candy bar from his store right in front of him, minutes after catching Ian and Mickey having sex in the storeroom, is to shoot Mickey! Though he was already doubtlessly stoked with memories of Mickey hitting and robbing him, he's never moved to action until he catches them together.
- Karma Houdini: Gets away with it without any repercussions too, since Mickey was so scared of being outed that he went along with Kash's self-defense excuse and was sent to juvie.
- Jerk Ass: Soon after shooting Mickey, he abandons the store and his family, including his bed-bound and pregnant wife, to abruptly run off with a younger man.
- Put on a Bus: Disappears after Season 2.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on his wife with Ian, and later abandons her for a young man.
Portrayed by: Tyler Jacob Moore
Seasons 1-2, 4, 6A young police officer who is a family friend of the Gallaghers and regularly looks out for them.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Jimmy/Steve's Veronica.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After season 2, he only makes a few token appearances, and aside from a brief cameo in Season 6, he complete disappears afterwards.
- Fair Cop: He's quite a handsome man.
- Nice Guy: For the most part, although the enmity between him and Steve brings out his Jerkass side.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A good and reliable cop. After Sheila kidnaps Karen's baby, he and his partner see how horrible a person Karen is and how much Sheila loves the baby, and let her keep him, much to Karen's chagrin.
- Suddenly Sexuality: Despite his apparent infatuation with Fiona back in Season 1 and his girlfriend in Season 2, when he makes a cameo appearance in Season 6, he is now openly gay.
Tommy & Kermit
Portrayed by: Michael Patrick McGill and Jim Hoffmaster
Seasons 1-presentTwo of the barflies at The Alibi who are (reluctant) acquaintances of Frank.
- The Alcoholic: Both, though downplayed to an extent, as they're not nearly as bad as Frank.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tommy is always snarking about whatever drama Kevin or Frank is currently involved in.
- Disappeared Dad: Tommy is implied to be this.
- The Eeyore / Perpetual Frowner: Kermit.
- Gag Penis: During Fiona's bachelorette party, the Alibi men (Kevin, Tommy, Kermit and Billy) dance on stage. Kermit's the only one to do the "full monty" and reveals he's packing quite a bit down below.
- Hidden Depths: Kermit occasionally reveals himself to be very knowledgeable on a variety of subjects, such as politics and science.
- Tommy is a skilled construction worker and immediately takes control of the project to renovate the laundromat.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tommy's a crass, heavyset construction crew manager, though he's cheerful enough to offset these negative traits, and for a week's worth of free beer he easily takes control to help Fiona's laundromat restoration.
- Those Two Guys: They're often seen sat by the bar together.
Portrayed by: Zach McGowan
A recovering sex addict that Karen starts dating in Season 2 after they met in Sexaholics Anonymous. They break up mid-season, after which Jody hooks up with Sheila: Karen's mother.
- Dumb Jock: He is not a smart man.
- Likes Older Women: Has a relationship with Sheila, who is about twenty years older then him, and they raise Karen's baby together once she abandons it.
- Mr. Fanservice: It’s easier to list the amount of times he ‘’wasn’t’’ naked.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest guys in the series.
- Promotion to Parent: With baby Hymie.
- Put on a Bus: In Season 3, with Karen and Hymie.
- Really Gets Around: He is a recovering sex addict, and mentions having had sex 12 times per day in the past.
- The Rival: To Lip, for Karen's affection. Lip wins, though they both soon agree that Jody "dodged a bullet" once Karen reveals herself to be a total sociopath.
Portrayed by: Jake McDorman
Seasons 3-4Fiona's boss, the manager of a company that makes paper cups, who she soon starts dating.
- Betty and Veronica: For Fiona, Mike is the Betty to his brother Robbie's Veronica.
- The Dutiful Son: Unlike his brother, he cares about his family and responsibilities.
- The Generic Guy: A self-aware example. He's nice, holds down a job, but is fairly vanilla. He lampshades this in his breakup conversation with Fiona, apologizing for "not being more interesting".
- Nice Guy: Unfortunately for him, Fiona's not really into that.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: The Nice Guy to Robbie's Jerkass.
- Uptown Girl: A genderswapped variant, with Fiona the poor half of the relationship and Mike the yuppie.
- Wealthy Yacht Owner
- White Sheep: Is this to his brother's Black Sheep.
Portrayed by: Nick Gehlfuss
Season 4Mike's brother, a recovering alcoholic who soon starts an affair with Fiona.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Is a pretty horrible and selfish person, but Fiona finds herself attracted to him anyway.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Mike's Betty, as far as Fiona's concerned.
- Black Sheep: He's let his family down a lot and takes advantage of the leeway they give him. He even dresses in black all the time.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Has betrayed his family a lot in the past, making him a Black Sheep, though his parents still hold out hope for him changing for the better.
- Functional Addict
- It's All About Me: Robbie doesn't seem to give a shit about anyone but himself.
- Jerkass: An absolute douchebag.
- The Millstone: Manages to almost completely screw up Fiona's life in Season 4.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Whereas Mike is a nice and responsible boyfriend, Robbie is selfish and manipulative.
- Troubled, but Cute: Still pretty handsome.
Portrayed by: Nichole Bloom
Lip's college roommate's girlfriend, who soon starts up a semi-open... thing with him, which eventually becomes more serious. They break up at the end of Season 5, after Lip begins an affair with one of his professors.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: To Lip in the Season 5 finale, after he had supposedly gone to his professor late at night. Amanda does not take it well and slaps the everliving shit out of Lip.
- Asian and Nerdy: She even lampshades this: "I'm even a Math major", and notes her parents expect her to be a doctor. She's adopted, so her parents are actually a upper class white couple
- Best Served Cold: Takes revenge on Lip pretty much dumping her for his professor by leaking the nude photo of her, which leads to the Helene's career tanking, her relationship with Lip ending, and Lip going haywire.
- Bi the Way: Has a casual thing going on with a clingy lesbian named "Muff" while she is dating Lip. It doesn't go too well.
- Brainy Brunette: Cute, and with an obvious social life, and good taste in clothes.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Amanda does not take it well at all when Lip's affair with his college professor gets serious, and in Season 6 succeeds in driving them apart and doing serious damage to the professor's career by leaking a photograph of her lying nude in his dorm room) onto Twitter.
- Her own bit on the side, Muff, is just as bad, refusing to accept it at all when Amanda ends things between them.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Part of her attraction to Lip.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Is pretty cool and standoffish to Lip until he brings in Liam, who she immediately fawns over.
- Ethical Slut: She's saving herself for her future husband, but, hoo-boy, she's ready for lots of other stuff all the time. Makes sure to put plenty of "BJ Break" time on Lip's schedule. By Season 5, however, she's totally in love with him and doesn't mind losing her virginity at her parents' place.
- Genki Girl: As Lips' roommate points out, the only way to get her to be quiet for a couple of minutes is while she gives a blowjob; though she's less excessively over-the-top energetic than some examples of this trope.
- Meaningful Name: Has the same name as Lip's last interest "Mandy", though goes by the fuller/more formal version, highlighting her uptown status.
- Nerd Glasses: Sports some big glasses.
- Put on a Bus: Leaves school during Season 6 after getting harassed for the photo leak.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: She's not only a math major at an elite school, but a talented artist.
- Uptown Girl: The rich girl to Lip's poor guy.
Portrayed by: Dermot Mulroney
A parolee and former heroin junkie who gives Fiona a job at his restaurant in the Season 4 finale. After a lot Unresolved Sexual Tension, they finally get together at the end of Season 5, and they then get engaged in the second half of Season 6. However, on their wedding day, Frank reveals that Sean is using heroin again (and is actually high at that very moment), and the wedding is cancelled.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was heroin addict, after all, and was jailed for killing someone while he was high.
- Hot-Blooded: Generally fairly calm and collected, but prone to serious anger at times. Frank in particular is very good at bringing this out.
- May–December Romance: Sean is roughly twenty years older than Fiona.
- Office Romance: Has an obvious crush on Fiona, his employee, which eventually blossoms into a full relationship.
- Off the Wagon: Briefly starts using again in the middle of Season 6. In the Season 6 finale, its revealed - on he and Fiona's wedding day, no less! - that he has in fact fully relapsed and is back to regularly abusing heroin.
- Recovered Addict: At first.
- Sleeping with the Boss: The boss to Fiona's employee.
Portrayed by: Morgan Lily
Season 4Carl's first girlfriend, who he meets in detention. She is a troublemaker like him, and also a homeless girl who lives in a van with several other siblings.
- Birds of a Feather: With Carl.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Implied. She mentions to Carl that she doesn't like sex, and it is later mentioned it had something to do with one of her mothers boyfriends.
- Delinquent: Like Carl. Her ideas of fun include raiding vending machines and armed robbery.
- Pet the Dog: Her relationship with Carl, and the fact, she is taking care of several other siblings.
- Shadow Archetype: To Fiona. Both the eldest sisters responsible for several siblings. However, the state of Bonnie's family is worse considering they live in a van.
Portrayed by: Regina King
Season 4The probation officer of Fiona Gallagher, after the latter is arrested for child endangerment when Liam accidentally sniffs cocaine.
Portrayed by: Steve Kazee
A musician who meets, hooks-up with, and then marries Fiona in very quick succession during Season 5. The marriage soon ends after Fiona is unfaithful on several different occasions, and they eventually get officially divorced in Season 6.
- Butt-Monkey: Spends the majority of his marriage to Fiona being cheated on.
- The Cast Show Off: Steve Kazee has a very good singing voice, and has won Tony awards for his performances in Broadway musicals.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Marries Fiona after knowing her for only a few weeks.
- "The Hero Sucks" Song: Writes a blistering one of these about Fiona after they break up, called "The F Word."
- My Own Private "I Do": He and Fiona's sudden marriage is this.
- Nice Guy: And as usual, Fiona doesn't know how to handle it.
- Satellite Love Interest: Has relatively few scenes apart from Fiona.
Portrayed by: Bojana Novakovic
A young doctor who treats Frank during one of his many hospital visits. She soon reveals that she is dying of cancer, and gets Frank to help her fulfill a bucket list of sorts before she goes.
- Adult Fear: Spending pretty much your whole life working and studying only to find out that you have late-stage pancreatic cancer, and you'll die before you have a chance to live out your dreams? Yikes...
- Deadpan Snarker: Has her moments, especially when she first meets Frank.
- Driven to Suicide: Takes her own life by swimming out into the ocean to avoid a slow death from cancer.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: Averted; their relationship doesn't start blossoming until they're out of the hospital.
- Hospital Hottie: She is a very attractive doctor.
- Ill Girl: Doesn't really show it, since she refuses to go through any sort of chemotherapy treatment, but she has terminal cancer.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Played with. Frank certainly sees her as this, but much of it comes from Bianca's attempts to deal with her cancer and live life to the fullest before she dies. In a way, he's also sort of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl for her.
- Ms. Fanservice: Has quite a few nude scenes.
Portrayed by: Luca Oriel
Season 5-6Debbie's first real boyfriend and the father of her daughter. He takes off after she tricks him into getting her pregnant.
- Disappeared Dad: Is gone long before his daughter is born.
- Rescue Romance: Debbie gets a crush on him after he rescues her from a fight she started.
- Satellite Love Interest: The vast majority of his scenes are with Debbie.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: His reaction when when he realizes that Debbie intends to keep their child.
Professor Helene Robinson
Portrayed by: Sasha Alexander
One of Lip's college professors, an attractive older women he who soon begins an affair with.
- Ambiguously Gay: Not her, but her husband.
- Mrs. Robinson: Lip is apparently far from the first twenty-something guy that she's had an affair with.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: At one point, seems to suggest that Lip murder her husband. It's very ambiguous as to whether she was joking or not.
- Stacy's Mom: She may be old enough to be Lip's mother (and has a son his age), but that doesn't make her any less attractive.
Portrayed by: Alan Rosenberg
A college professor and mentor of Lip's.
- The Alcoholic: To the extent that Lip tends to regularly run classes that Professor Youens is too intoxicated to attend. It's also what makes him so determined to help Lip with his own struggles with alcoholism.
- Cool Old Guy: Continues to look out for Lip, even after Lip smashes up his car in a drunken rage.
- Determinator: Refuses to give up on Lip.
- Dirty Old Man: Frequently leers at girls over half his age.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Frank. Both are intelligent, middle-aged alcoholics who have been father figures to Lip. However, while Frank threw his promising future down the toilet, has no intention of over stopping his drinking, doesn't give a shit about his kids and actively encourages their own substance abuse, Youens has a distinguished career, makes regular attempts to sober up, and goes out of his way to help Lip and encourage him to quit drinking.
- Parental Substitute: Has become this for Lip, to a degree.
Portrayed by: Jaylen Barron
Carl's girlfriend, who he breaks up with after she cheats on him.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Revealed as this in Season 7, when she cheats on Carl.
- Blatant Lies: Refuses to give oral sex to Carl because he's not circumcised, leading to him blowing all of his money to get a painful circumcision... Only for him to find out later that she has no issue with other uncircumcised boys.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Initially, she regarded Carl and his gangster act with nothing but disdain and amusement. After he escapes the gang life and drops the tough guy facade, she begins to fall for him.
- Manipulative Bastard: Intentionally makes Carl pop his circumcision stitches for her own amusement, and later tries to get him to abandon military school to wait for her — until her father reveals to Carl that she's already seeing someone else.
- Morality Pet: For Carl. His feelings for her are a big part of what motivates him to stay on the straight and narrow. This changes in Season 7.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 7, she goes from being the thoroughly nice girl and Morality Pet for Carl that she was in Season 6 to callously manipulating and repeatedly cheating on him.
- Your Cheating Heart: When she gets gonorrhea, both her father and Carl assume that Carl infected her - at least until Carl gets tested and discovers that he doesn't have it. Turns out she was cheating on him with a college student.
Sergeant Luther Winslow
Portrayed by: Peter Macon
The overprotective cop father of Carl's girlfriend Dominique.
- Badass Baritone: Has a very deep, intimidating voice.
- Papa Wolf: He lets Carl know he doesn't like or want to like him. Eventually does grow to like Carl and even says he feels a sense of responsibility towards him in Season 7.
- Parental Substitute: Seems to be becoming this for Carl.
- Scary Black Man: Even once he starts to soften around Carl, he still has to capacity to easily frighten him.
Portrayed by: Ruby Modine
Season 7-presentA single mom and employee of Fiona's, who Lip starts dating in Season 7.
- Berserk Button: Flips out when Lip says that she's "good for [him]," telling him that she's not around to help him fix his problems.
- Mama Bear: She's very protective of her son, Lucas.
- Ms. Fanservice: Gets more than a few nude scenes, and her work uniform is pretty tight-fitting and revealing.
- Nice Girl: An easygoing, friendly employee and good girlfriend to Lip.
Portrayed by: Elliot Fletcher
Season 7Ian's new boyfriend.
Portrayed by: June Squibb
Season 7The elderly owner of Wendell's Laundromat.
- Crazy Cat Lady: An old lady with dementia and cats? Check.
- Eating Pet Food: Due to her dementia, she has no problem with eating cat food, much to Fiona's chagrin.
- Put on a Bus: Fiona has her put into assisted living.
- Scatterbrained Senior: Not only has she forgotten that Fiona bought the place, but she also eats cat food and starts splurging her money on luxuries like a large TV, a hot tub and a wine rack.
Portrayed by: Zack Pearlman
Season 7Sierra's handicapped and brain damaged brother.
- Brutal Honesty: He has no filter between his brain and his mouth due to the brain damage, requiring Sierra and Debbie to let him know it.
- Flopsy: He partakes in one of Frank and Monica's scams to rob a casino bus full of elderly people by falling in front of a bus.
- Hidden Depths: Used to be a talented athlete before his accident.
- Nice Guy: Even with his Brutal Honesty, he's sweet with Franny and tells Debbie that she's a good mother.
Portrayed by: John Aylward
Season 7Monica's long estranged father and maternal grandfather to the Gallagher kids.
- Due to the Dead: He pays to have a proper funeral service for Monica while Fiona would have been just fine cremating her.
- Last Episode, New Character: He makes his debut in the Season 7 finale.
- Papa Wolf: Soon as he's let into the house, he makes a beeline for Frank, holding him responsible for corrupting Monica as well as her death.