"Now nobody's saying the Chatsworth estate is the garden of Eden... at least I don't think they are, but it's been a good home to us, to me - Frank Gallagher, and me' kids, who I'm proud of, cos every single one of them reminds me a little of me. They can all think for themselves, which they've me to thank for. Fiona, whose a big help, massive help. Lip, whose a bit of a gobshite which is why nobody calls him Philip anymore. Ian, lot like his 'mam which is handy for the others cos she's disappeared into thin air, and good luck to her! Carl, we daren't let him grow his hair for two reasons 1) it stands on end and makes him look like Toyah and 2) nits love it. Debbie! Sent by God, total angel - you've to check your change but she'll go miles out of her way to do you a favour. Plus Liam - little rock n roller, gonna be a star - once we've got the fits under control... A few things, see, are vital to a half-decent community. Space! You need wide open spaces where everyone goes mental! And neighbourliness! Fantastic neighbours Kev and Veronica, lend you anything, well, not anything. But, all of em, to a man, know first and foremost, one of the vital necessities in life is, they know how to throw a PARTEH!" — Frank Gallagher, Original opening monologue, Series 1, Episode 1. Variations of this speech are used up until the finale of series 4.
"Tickets this way to the Chatsworth Express! Come and watch pikeys making a mess of the lives they were given by Him upstairs! And kids, they're convinced aren't actually theirs... What sounds on earth could EVER replace...kids needing money? Or wives in yer face? 'Cause this, people reckon - and me included - is why pubs and drugs were kindly invented! To calm us all down and stop us going mental! These are Chatsworth estate's BASIC essentials! We are worth EVERY penny, for grinding your axes! You shit on our heads, but, you pay the taxes... Imagine Britain without Chatsworth buccaneers, who'd cum on your face for the price of a beer... Make poverty history! Cheaper drugs now! Make poverty history! Cheaper drugs now! Heh heh heh heh... scatter! Partaaay!!" — Frank Gallagher, Shameless opening monologue, Series 4 (Finale) - 7
Shameless was a British TV series produced for Channel 4 which ran for eleven seasons between 2004 and 2013.Imagine the ultimate Crapsack World. Nobody has a job or career. Kids have lost their parents, or the parents simply just don't care. The Police are corrupt and incompetent. The houses and streets are shoddy and derelict. Assaults and burglaries are endemic, drugs and alcoholism are rife, people barely have enough money for food, and each day is a struggle. Sounds grim? Well, in 2004, writer Paul Abbott and others at Channel 4 planned to create a very dark drama about life in a 'sink estate' in Manchester.However... at some point in the gestation process, the team realised that what they had been planning could ALSO work as a comedy. And the rest is history.Shameless tells the story of the Gallaghers - a family of brothers and sisters, abandoned by their mother, having not only to bring themselves up, but also effectively keep tabs on their alcoholic, drug-addled father Frank. It introduces the viewer to a whole world of people living in a place many people would think was incompatible with any type of humour other than Gallows Humour. And yet, it remains one of the funniest things on British television in the last thirty years. This is due to a combination of scripts, acting and direction that has you laughing with these people, rather than laughing at them or pitying them.Early seasons focus more closely on the Gallagher clan; later on, existing character roles have expanded, such as the notorious Maguire family, the local shop-owning Karib family, and seamstress turned pimp Lillian Tyler, and new ones added. Over time, many characters have come and gone, with oldest child Fiona leaving to be with boyfriend Steve, Frank's second wife Sheila going off to work on a cruise liner and the kids' mother Monica returning for two years before leaving again. And then coming back. And then leaving again. And then coming back again.It has been given a Foreign Remake by the American cable network Showtime, starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, which premiered in January 2011. The remake is also shown in Britain under the auspices of Channel 4.Now with a character page, which needs YOU.
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The original series
Acting for Two: This increases in frequency as the series goes on, and even includes several of the series' protagonists:
Karen Bryson, who plays Avril Powell (series 8-11), was in the first episode of series 5 as an alleged doctor who tells Frank that he's got aortic stenosis as revenge for her telling her ill husband to 'walk towards the light'.
Amusingly enough, Avril herself ends up actually working at the hospital.
Michael Taylor, aka Billy Tutton, originally played young chav Spider back in series 4. The character is pretty much identical to Billy in all but name, and the ridiculous face tattoos he sports.
Fans since the early series were rather perplexed when they saw Moya Brady, who plays temporary Jockey manager Cassie Western in series 3, playing crazy Muslim convert Ramona in series 11.
A similar timeframe saw Robert Pugh, first appearing in series 2 as scummy far-right politician Bernie Creme, returning in series 10 as seedy magistrate Malcolm.
Paul Oldham shows up as three different characters throughout the series; a bailiff, a Frank and a gangster, all three equally as horrible and unlikeable as each other.
Abusive Parents: Nearly every family on the estate is guilty of this to varying degrees.
The worst one turns out to be young Aidan's mother; a cold, selfish shell of a person who reveals her deep-seated hatred and resentment of her son, after he goes to the trouble of tracking her down.
Frank Gallagher's workaholic, trade unionist, old-style-Lancashire father, who abused Frank growing up and is shown, in true 1950s-60s Northern style, hitting him with a shoe for misbehaviour.
Neville: "Your mother was one of the finest trade unionists that ever LIVED. She wiped the floor with Vic Feather and he thought he was SOMEBODY! She worshipped you, and made the most PATHETIC excuses for you! I didn't realise you WEREN'T autistic! 'Till you called me a cunt in SUSPICIOUSLY FITTING CIRCUMSTANCES!"
Adventures in Comaland: Frank goes through several of these. In particular, after falling off his stool and cracking his skull open, he enters an alternate reality where he stumbles through life as a major celebrity, with Ian as his alpha male, heterosexual PR agent and proud son.
Aesop Amnesia: Frank, after wallowing in self-pity just after Stella and Liam are taken into care, promptly mans up and puts much effort into changing his ways to appear a good parent and get them back. A couple of episodes later he's back to normal because, well, he just wouldn't be Frank Gallagher if he'd stayed sober.
Affectionate Nickname: Lip Gallagher, so much so that his real name is practically forgotten by all of his friends and family.
Frank: "Lip, who's a bit of a gobshite which is why nobody calls him Philip anymore..."
Although it appears he does use his proper name at university.
The Alleged Car: Micky Maguire's "Executive Transport" business venture; a shocking pink ("IT'S FUSS-CHIAA!!") Cadillac limousine. A self-contained setting of many hetero and homosexual encounters, drug deals and temporary housing whenever people fall on hard times. Lillian even turns it into a mobile brothel at one point.
Kevin's clapped out old Ford Escort XR 3 is host to several amusing getaways and dramatic escapes, before the whole thing literally breaks in half one night.
Kevin: Billy! You told me that car you sold me wasn't a ringer!
Billy: Bought as seen!! And that was five years ago so FUCK OFF!
And, of course, the Gallaghers' camper van, which doesn't run for the first series and basically doubles as their spare room.
All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks: After losing her shop to a fire and a flood, Yvonne has trouble raising funds to rebuild her shattered empire and seeks help from Paddy Maguire. His aggressive actions cause her to sell the shop to Joe and flee to Spain.
One of Paddy's first appearances has him and two of the early Maguire brothers violently beating someone who owes him money. And laughing like a lunatic.
Frank regularly either falls off, gets punched off or gets shoved off his stool at The Jockey, often resulting in a faceplant and a few hours of unconsciousness. His nose also gets broken at least once per season.
Mimi scalds her son Micky by throwing a pot of boiling hot chilli all over his head, in a moment of madness.
Shane going to shake Billy's hand, only to leap up like a grasshopper and smash his nose with a well-aimed headbutt.
Babies Ever After: In the final episode of series 11, Frank arrives back from prison after several months to discover that Monica has given birth to their seventh child together (and Frank's tenth child overall). Mary Mae is also shown to be pregnant with Chesney's baby.
Back for the Finale: Fiona, Lip, Carl, Kev, Yvonne, and Monica returned for the finale in series 11. Passing references are also made to Steve, Ian, Debbie, and Liam, as a nice bonus and Continuity Nod.
Bad Humor Truck: The Maguires use an ice cream van as a front for dealing drugs and give Frank a job on it. ("If someone asks for a smartie...give them a pill. If someone asks for a polo...give them a pill.") Backfires somewhat when Frank takes some himself and ends up giving pills to an old woman who wanted some actual smarties.
The Beard: Mandy and Ian pose as a young, happy couple to keep Ian's sexuality a secret. To add authenticity, Lip steps in and starts having regular, loud sex with Mandy in their bedroom while Ian hides in the wardrobe.
Yvonne is also this to Kash of course, however she doesn't find out for quite a while.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Carl laps up the chance to have a secret sexual affair with the hot, slutty mother of his girlfriend. He promptly gets into big trouble when she ditches her shotgun-wielding, mentally unstable husband to be with him.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Karen and Joe during their affair behind Jamie's back. Karen can't resist shagging Joe any moment she can, but keeps trying to break it all off immediately afterwards out of confusion and fear. Joe on the other hand doesn't mind this, and simply enjoys dominating and fucking with Karen's emotions as much as possible.
Possibly the least-conventional coupling ever, but eventually, they do finally admit their feelings for each other, leading to them skipping town with baby Connor.
Big Badass Rig: Norma drives an enormous blue road-train. In particular, she rather amusingly chases Kev's Ford Escort down the M62 in it, nose-to-tail.
Big Damn Heroes: Tony the copper has a moment in series 1 where he calmly scares off two baliffs threatening Fiona and the Gallagher children.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: A very surreal moment towards the end of the series 6 finales has Frank address the audience by knocking on the camera lens and talking about fairytales beginning and ending. Its set in black and white and is a very strange and out there moment.
It's repeated with Mandy's...ghost or angel I guess during her funeral.
In the last episoder of series 11, when Frank goes to leave his family, the camera style changes and he addresses us directly, like he does in the openings of each episode, with him philosophically ranting about his children.
Bribe Backfire: In one episode a cop is accusing Lip of assault, so they try to bribe him. He takes the bribe to drop the charge of bribing a police officer.
Broken Bird: Kelly Ball, former hobo, junkie and now prostitute.
Butch Lesbian: Norma - a big, black Geordie trucker who lives in a caravan on the Gallagher's front garden in series 4-6.
Kash returns from his faked suicide as a destitute, completely unlikeable dickwad, ready to destroy Yvonne's life out of spite. His appearance is brief, when he comes off second best in a violent, emotionally charged encounter with his son Chesney.
Marty returns to Chatsworth in series 8, to drive a wedge between Kelly and Shane, and Kelly falls head over heels in love with him despite them barely speaking to each other when they were both together in the early seasons.
Kev returns for the 100th episode in series 8 as a one-off, to help Carl get Frank out of trouble. He's shown to now have a steady construction job in Nottingham; however, his time in prison is not explained, and Veronica's existence is only very briefly alluded to.
Monica Gallagher comes in and out of the estate multiple times, after leaving for extended periods.
Many of the major characters from earlier series come back for the last episode, including Monica (from the penultimate episode onwards) Yvonne Karib, Fiona, Lip (who had already appeared a few episodes earlier), Carl and Kev (again).
Bus Crash: When a destitute Marty returns to the estate after a long absence, he's carrying Carole's ashes.
Subverted. Debbie leaves to join the army at the end of series 6, and later sent a letter saying she was in Afghanistan. In the first episode of series 8 an army officer tells Frank that Debbie was killed in action, but it turns out to be a malicious prank by ex wife Monica.
Butt Monkey: Chatsworth is practically a village full of them.
Micky and Shane, aka Scooby and Shaggy according to Mimi, or Pongo and Coco to Paddy.
Carl spends his early teenage years reviled, patronized and ignored by all of his siblings, even the younger ones. Eventually, he grows into an alpha male family patriarch as more of the Gallaghers leave.
The Casanova: Dom Meak - priest in denial, serial philanderer and ladykiller of women of all ages, including teenagers. Not only is he handsome, but he's also extremely intelligent, upper-class and an effortless seducer.
Lip is also shown from day one as a womanizing sex maniac, and he becomes even more reckless in his sexual pursuits after getting screwed around by Karen. Paddy disparagingly refers to him as "Philip 'Shagger' Gallagher".
His younger brother Carl eventually lives up to Lip too, with series 3-8 chronicling Carl's evolution from Casanova Wannabe to Chick Magnet.
Casanova Wannabe: Rare in Chatsworth - casual sex is a very common occurrence for most everybody who grows up there. The best examples below are all police officers from outside of the estate:
Tony, who has a massive crush on Fiona Gallagher - a single photo of the two of them together at some party is plastered all over his house multiple times. He also continually hits on her without success, and deeply resents her boyfriend Steve for this reason.
Tom can't stop perving on hot fellow officer Carrie, and turns into a total creepster stalker after Debbie fucks him off.
Stan is an old romantic and a loser in love, making several highly embarrassing proclamations of love to Yvonne. Unlike the other two, Yvonne actually gives him a chance, and the two become a happy, long-term couple.
Cerebus Syndrome: Series 6 marks the beginning of a very noticeable transition from relatively light-hearted comedy to dramedy. Community loyalty to one another becomes non-existent, and some very dark storylines are explored, such as Paddy's forced heroin addiction and Karen's bipolar disorder.
Chained to a Bed: The main feature of Frank and Sheila's sex life, played for comedy.
She also ties copper Tony to the bed and gives him forced handjobs.
Used much more chillingly when Paddy is chained to a bed, deprived of food and forcibly injected with heroin, over several torturous days, by psychotic nurse Maureen.
Cheshire Cat Grin: Frank pulls the biggest, most deviously shit-eating smile ever, when he catches Patty lying about her disability. Almost happier than he's ever been in his entire life beforehand!
Christmas Special: but a very weird one - Lip and Kev steal a load of knock-off meat to sell on the cheap, then it turns out the meat is a biohazard, so the Military quarantine the entire estate.
Maxine Donnelly, after becoming a major protagonist during series 7, just disappears into scotch mist after the series ends, which is quite jarring. Nobody ever mentions her again. Her brother Bruce, popular bartender and football team manager, also vanishes at the same time with no explanation or obvious replacement.
Donny and Joey Maguire. OK, they never had much screentime, and all they ever did was hang around looking menacing, but you still can't help noticing that they just dropped off the face of the earth after series 4. In future episodes, whether their existence is acknowledged or not zigzags Depending on the Writer.
Norma makes several overblown, emotional yet failed attempts to leave the Gallagher family and Chatsworth, but keeps coming back as she cares too much about them. She promptly disappears after series 6, with no exit scene or explanation, and is never heard from again.
Mark, handsome and charming student of (implied) one of the Manchester universities, who becomes Debbie's boyfriend in series 6, does not return for series 7, which makes sense: with Debbie in the army, there was no need for him to hang around a rough sink estate.
Lillian is a frequent abuser of this trope throughout the series.
Cool Car: Professional car thief Steve goes through several flash BM Ws, Mercs and Jeeps, which always look incredibly suspicious when parked anywhere near the Chatsworth estate.
Corrupt the Cutie: Chesney's cute cousin Sita starts off as a frigid, devoted Muslim, but soon discards her religious principles for tits, make-up, glamour and sex, mostly thanks to Carl The Casanova.
Council Estate: The entire show is set in the murky, declining Chatsworth estate, with its identikit 60's social housing, crumbling pavements, graffitied walls and ugly tower blocks dominating the skyline. And of course, chavs, thugs and old drunkards at every turn.
Counterfeit Cash: The Maguire boys hold up Roscoe and steal thousands of pounds from him, only to find out it's all fake and that Roscoe himself unknowingly got ripped off.
Frank also gets routinely sold mints instead of Ecstasy tablets, which proves to be a good thing when young Katie swallows one.
Country Matters: Especially when Frank is around. At least four of his kids utter the simple-yet-devastating "You're a cunt" at him at various stages, all out of utter frustration and anger at what a useless twat he is.
Crapsack World: Virtually everyone in the Shameless universe is corrupt or just nasty in general, particularly in the later series; police, priests, soldiers, doctors, the Women's Institute... Families like the Gallaghers and Maguires seem normal in comparison. Everybody gets shat on from a great height at some stage, and Karma Houdinis are non-existent.
Karen: "Click your fingers at me again, and you'll be tickling your prostate with them!"
Cute Kitten: When Debbie goes on strike, Lip tries to win her over with a box of super-cute kittens.
Debbie: "What am I? Six?"
Daddy DNA Test: The Gallagher siblings are stunned to work out, from routine blood tests, that Ian is actually not Frank's biological son. Frank and Monica themselves knew all along though; they just couldn't be arsed to explain it.
Averted. Joe waves an envelope in Jamie's face, claiming it contains DNA results proving he is blood related to baby Connor. It later turns to be a gas bill he was using to bluff and taunt Jamie.
Connor's true parentage is never explicitly proven or tested, and is more or less buried completely after Joe's death.
Dawson Casting: Played straight in several cases and interestingly used in another. An adult plays a 14/15 yr-old boy, but the audience, like a certain character, is led to believe he is a young adult, with his true age being a shock. In-universe, he's Younger Than He Looks.
Death Glare: Kelly gives plenty of these when a rival brothel opens up across the road from Lillians.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Tough matriarch Patty starts thinking about how badly she treated her estranged daughter Libby, and while wondering where Libby is now she begins to shed tears. The trope is even lampshaded by Frank.
Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: All six of Frank's older children go through this phase at some point or another, culminating in every single one of them eventually ditching Frank and Chatsworth for a better life elsewhere.
The Dog Bites Back: Shane Maguire has some sort of dramatic face-off with both his father Paddy and his elder brother Jamie, who regard him as a clown. The former beats him to a pulp, but issues a grovelling public plea for forgiveness afterwards. He succeeds in shooting the latter in the foot, as well as generally fucking with Jamie and his businesses.
Easy Amnesia: Ian suffers amnesia in series 6 after getting ran over in the street by a gangster, and spends a few episodes rediscovering his identity. He's more or less back to normal by the end of the series though.
Evil Debt Collector: Two of them rock up in the earlier series and make the Gallaghers' lives absolute hell, as they trash the house and take furniture while Frank evades them at every turn.
Extreme Doormat: Micky allows his parents and his brothers to boss him around, belittle him and saddle him with menial tasks every single day. He even takes full time care of baby Cilla, while trying to deal drugs and collect debts at the same time.
Establishing Character Moment: When Frank first appears in episode 1, he's a wasted and passed out corpse, being carried into the kitchen by police officers at an ungodly hour of the morning.
Fair Cop: The very good looking Sergeant Carrie Rogers. Her ridiculous obsession with her job makes one wonder if she actually gets off on it.
Frank goes through several of these after going missing during many a heavy night out. At one stage, a matching body is found floating in the canal, to the horror of the Gallagher family, but it turns out to be a poorly received anti-drugs prank by the Police.
Mandy's one-off romeo Dex dies after ingesting a few too many pints and Ecstasy pills during sex. He was Not Quite Dead and returns after Mandy and Karen haphazardly dispose of his body in a ditch.
Local priest Father Craig is poisoned with horse tranquilizers by Billy and presumed dead. He suddenly springs back to life, just as the Maguires are about to hand his body over to a local sausage factory.
Faking the Dead: Frank and Kash both fake their deaths to avoid debts, in unrelated incidents.
Family Business: The Maguire family run a highly illegal business dealing in drugs, guns and other hot contraband throughout the estate. The business allows them to be as powerful as they are throughout the series.
Big bosses Mimi and Paddy also look down severely on any of their sons attempting to break away from the business, which all three of the Maguire brothers do at some point or another.
Fat Bastard: Played straight with drug dealer Mimi Maguire in the early series, but after the Maguires became 3-dimensional main characters as opposed to just nasty antagonists (resulting in more sides to Mimi's character being shown), this trope didn't apply as well.
Especially as actor Tina Malone went on to lose a shit-ton of weight from series 6 onwards, which itself is lampshaded.
Fat Woman: "How do you get from the size of a bus, to the size of a bus stop?"
Mimi: "The shake diet."
Fat Woman: "What's that?"
Mimi: "Every time you're offered food, shake your head, you fat TWAT! NOW DO ONE!"
Flanderization: Monica Gallagher, for the most part, is portrayed as deeply confused, mentally damaged and manic depresssive, and wanting of love from Frank and her children, despite everything that's happened. By the time she returns in series 8, she is a cold, shameless, emotionless sociopath who sees what's left of her family as purely a meal ticket for monetary gain. She doesn't even try to hide it.
Frank undergoes a similar development as the series goes by. He's portrayed as a feckless, lazy, workshy, and selfish alcoholic from day 1, but it's clear that Frank is a lot brighter than he seems, and that there might be reasons for his behaviour and lifestyle. His abusive relationship with his father, in particular, suggests that he might've turned to alcohol and dossing about at least in part because he never believed in himself or felt part of the system. He also shows a more sympathetic side when dealing with his kids: its clear that deep down, he does love them, even if most of the time he's drinking their child benefits down the pub. He saves Liam from being taken into care in series 2, is there for Debbie in times of emotional distress, and assures Ian that he loves him even though he's not biologically his father. Essentially, the Frank of series 1-7 is incompetent because he is self-indulgent and unconcerned. From series 7 onwards however, Frank's bitter, lazy, and selfish traits are maximized: he's cursing the sight of his kids and by series 11 actively ranting about how they've slowed him down his whole life. Although this may be a bit of Fridge Brilliance: as his children leave, he becomes more despondent as he realises there's nobody left to leach off/wipe up his messes.
There's also another dimension to Frank: he starts off as a scummy, alcoholic pub parasite with too much to say, taking cheap shots at those in power (such as Tony Blair) to get attention and more often than not is completely hypocritical. However as the series goes on he becomes far more like some unsung working-class hero poet, versed in many different socio-political-economic-historical topics and able to deliver rousing speeches to stir up both the audience and the people of Chatsworth into raging against the system.
Frank: "I wandered lonely as a cloud, necking mushrooms rarely found, this green and pleasant land of ancient times... Yak yak yak yak yak yak! It's not THEIRS anymore! This is OUR England now! PARTEEEHHHHH!!!"
Sheila's voice and mannerisms become much more exaggerated after series 1. However this can also be attributed simply to her deteriorating mental state as the series goes on.
Marty goes from a psychotic, unhinged criminal with some mother issues (although who wouldn't have some with Carol as a mum) in the early series, to an overgrown baby with a mental age of 6 when he returns to the estate in later series.
Friendship Moment: Plenty of these abound, mainly concerning Frank, who, once in a blue moon, actually does express true, unconditional love for his kids. He has a thing for hugging his sons in celebration after they've headbutted him and broken his nose.
Subverted with Carl when he leaves the estate for good. Carl and Frank sorrowfully hug and embrace each other, with tears streaming down their faces, all while swearing at and professing their utter hatred for one another.
There's also various episodes where Frank overdoses on random combinations of spirits and unknown pills, with disastrous results all around.
Gentleman Thief: Steve is a dapper, highly educated, upper-class car thief, who prides himself on stealing from people who deserve it, as well as never having committed a violent crime. His upbringing is about as far away from crime and the lower classes as you can get.
Geographic Flexibility: From series 5 onwards, the series was filmed on a pre-built set instead of on-location, leading to a massive change to the Chatsworth Estate. The interiors such as the houses and The Jockey remain basically the same, but the changes to the exterior locations are jarring:
The back of Windsor Gardens, which previously opened up onto an alleyway and then a road, now leads straight onto a road, which never has any traffic on it, ever. Passing cars become non-existent.
Everything suddenly becomes a lot closer together; the roads seem really narrow, and the pavements look kind of fake.
The estate lacks any obvious transport links to the rest of Manchester, and feels claustrophobic and gated off.
The shop, previously being in the middle of a spacious, open parade, is now suddenly close to housing. The shops neighbouring the Karibs general store such as the chippy 'The Chatsworth Fryer' also suddenly close down and are never seen open again.
We never see the front of the Gallaghers' house again, and Sheila's considerably nicer house on Eldon Way vanishes.
Lillian goes from living in a nice semi-detached house similar to Sheila's (which can be seen in the episode where Frank pretends to be a window cleaner to avoid the wrath of his father Neville) to a rundown council house that later becomes the brothel.
The row of semi-detached housing where the Gallaghers and the Maguires live drops from 4 houses to 3.
The looming 60's tower blocks behind Windsor Gardens, a defining trait of any British council estate, completely disappear from the skyline.
Get Rich Quick Scheme: Most of the estate's residents spend their lives doing this in various ways, only to end up bitterly disappointed most of the time. Shane Maguire in particular does nothing but get rich quick schemes; varying from ripping off brothel punters, to clamping cars, to filming and distributing pornography, to reselling stolen, expired food products to schools abd finally, homebrewing alcohol.
The Glasses Gotta Go: When Frank is prescribed glasses for his failing eyesight, he becomes vain and self-conscious and attempts to hide it as much as possible, causing the regulars at The Jockey to laugh even harder at him when he puts them on. His irrational vanity, in spite of the fact he stinks of piss and has been wearing the same clothes since 1993, is frequently lampshaded.
Great Escape: Marty breaks out for his sisters wedding, and gets sent back shortly afterwards.
Handsome Lech: Steve Mc Bride, who is very obviously a womanizing jerkass at first glance. He does succeed in winning over Fiona Gallagher though, after a metric fuckton of effort.
Heroic BSOD: Marty collapses into a sobbing heap and stops responding to everyone around him after Kelly cancels their wedding. Actually quite a sorrowful scene - it then turns into a Thousand-Yard Stare where he fantasizes about setting everything on fire.
When Frank loses his coat (part of his Limited Wardrobe) during a riotous pub lock-in, he suddenly plunges into a manic depressive identity crisis and completely loses the ability to party.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Shane and Jackson form an unlikely long-term partnership and enterprise, selling expired food stock to various local businesses.
Frank: "Nice to see a Chatsworth lad making something of himself, unlike the rest of you inbred, lazy fucks!"
Ignoring By Singing: Tony turns around, sticks his fingers in his ears and starts merrily humming to himself while the Gallaghers discuss their tax evasion and lack of MOT. It's implied that he routinely does this.
I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Carl accidentally kills Brendan Tyler, in the most embarrassing way possible, when a gun he's carrying goes off after he trips over and faceplants.
Poor Ian. He finally finds Mister Right, and then, he finds out that they're half-brothers. Oh, and this was after they'd had sex.
Letitia and D, who turn out to be half-siblings thanks to a mistake daddy Jackson made a few decades ago.
Dom and Gloria Meak. The tragedy being that the chemistry between the two is perfect, but the odd nature of their relationship means they have to keep it hidden. This leads to Gloria walking out on Dominic and disappearing from Chatsworth permanently, out of confusion and anguish.
In the first series Lip earns extra money by filing out fake insurance claims for people.
In series 6 after the Kash & Karry burns down Yvonne deliberately floods the stock room so she can claim extra insurance.
Steve and Fiona setting fire to their own house in the series 1 finale.
Internal Homage: In the last episode of series 6, Debbie finally falls for Mark, and they end up stripping off and having sex up against the kitchen cupboards, in the same spot Steve and Fiona did aaaaall the way back in series 1. Debbie even grabs hold of an open drawer exactly like Fiona.
The show's first opening sequence - with the Chatsworth residents partying and boozing around a burning car, before all scattering and running off to evade the Police - is repeated in the final moments of the very last episode, along with Frank's dialogue about the most vital necessity in life.
Invisible President: Chesney's granddad - master patriarch and bank-roller of the Karib family and its businesses. We never find out his name and he is never seen, but he is mentioned in several episodes as Chesney battles to run the shop independently.
Kelly: "Running a brothel's illegal anyway, you mental BITCH!"
Lillian: "Who you calling illegal!?"
It's All About Me: Everyone's a little selfish to some degree, but this is Monica's defining trait. She abandoned her children and didn't even so much as send a birthday card, then when she returns she whines repeatedly because they don't want her there (with good reason, she did leave them after all), and then begs for sympathy when they forget her birthday (despite the fact that she never cared about their's and had been gone for so long they didn't know when her birthday was), then during the 'love triangle' between her, Noorma, and Frank, she basically just goes with whichever one buys her things. When Noorma mistook (or at least she claimed) Frank's attempt to steal from her as rape, Monica ignores and brushes off Noorma's trauma, telling her to go make her some food and let her watch the rest of her show, then when Frank is clearly distressed at the possibility of going to jail for a crime he didn't commit, she tells him off for whining about his troubles and acting as if its all about him. One has to wonder what Noorma sees in her, or why she was so determined to win her back.
Kavorka Man: Frank Gallagher is a filthy, selfish, violent alcoholic, a pathetic, degenerate waste of space. The worst, most feckless father in the world, with a criminal record, no job and not a penny to his name. Despite this, he effortlessly snags three different wives who all fall head over heels in love with him, and has many drunk, drugged up sexual trysts with various women in and out of the estate.
Not to mention procreating and spreading his genes ten different times of course.
As demented as Monica, Sheila and Libby may all be, they do eventually realize that he's a useless waster after spending enough time with him. Still, it's pretty shocking that Frank gets so far in the first place.
Ladykiller in Love: Despite unfettered access to gorgeous, wealthy college students, Lip becomes disinterested with them, and falls in love with the jobless, lower-class Mandy.
Laser-Guided Karma: After Patty is ousted as a perfectly-healthy benefits fraud, she spends only a few days out in the open, freely walking and running around, before slipping down the stairs and breaking her spine, leaving her disabled for real.
Love Triangle: This really takes off during one episode in series 7, where Ian shags Micky in his house, and Maxine blows Carl in the Jockey toilets. Ian and Maxine then cast off their admirers and start having an affair, culminating in Ian receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Carl.
Also Frank/Sheila/Karen, Frank/Sheila/Monica, Frank/Libby/Monica...
Lower-Class Lout: The entire premise of the show, although most of the main characters are portrayed fairly sympathetically, until the last few series where the universe becomes a funhouse.
Mass "Oh, Crap!": First one occurs when the Army storm Chatsworth and lock the whole estate down, with everyone inside. Second one is when Carol grasses up Lillian for benefit fraud, word gets out, and Jez lets slip in the Jockey that 'half the fucking estate' is fraudulently claiming benefits, leading to a mass invasion of DSS personnel and subsequent mass panic. Third one is when housing officers invade the estate and serve eviction notices en masse, forcing mass refugees into The Jockey.
May-December Romance: 15 year old Debbie Gallagher embarks on a secret romance with the 27 year old PC Tom O'Leary, which predictably ends in tears.
16 year old Lip also gets regular action from Lina, a nurse at least twenty years his senior.
And of course, the happily married couple Mimi and Billy Tutton, with over 25 years difference between them. Elicits the same question multiple times from various pubgoers:
Micky: "What's the opposite of a paedophile!?"
Frank: "A paedophobe?"
15 year old Karen and 44 year old Frank have a torrid, sexually-charged affair behind everyone's back in the first series.
Mr. Fanservice: Handsome, toned and muscular Carl Gallagher. Along with his physique, the amount of topless shots he gets throughout Shameless is way out of proportion compared to everybody else.
Ms. Fanservice: The three Maguire girls - Mandy, Karen and Kelly - aren't at all bad looking for council estate untermensch.
My Local: The Jockey, a filthy, derelict shithole of a pub where most of the main characters hang out or work, and find themselves heading to at least once per episode. The biggest amenity on the estate, next to the shop and the brothel.
Name's the Same: Liam Gallagher, unfortunately named after the loudmouth Oasis frontman apparently.
Billy Wilson: "Really? Liam Gallagher? You'll never live that one down, lad..."
There are also two very, very minor characters in the early series named Paddy and Micky, before the Maguires became prominent.
Naughtyby Night: Sheila. By day she's a sweet agoraphobic and germaphobic housewife. But at night she is very very into pegging filthy alcoholic Frank.
Never My Fault: Frank is a lifelong shirker who defines this trope. In particular, when Liam and Stella are snatched and fostered off by social services, Ian, Carl and Debbie are left devastated and heartbroken. However, Frank remarks 'Fiona would've kept it together!', jerkassedly blaming the three of them personally, for failing to prevent social services from gaining a foothold, rather than his own failure to actually be a parent.
Lip delivers one to his own father Frank, for having an affair with Karen.
Jamie Maguire delivers one to Joe Pritchard for beating Mandy, violating his parole. His mother Mimi later takes the rap to prevent him from being sent down again and gets sent to prison herself for GBH.
Carl lays the smackdown on Ian, after finding out that Ian and Maxine are in love with each other, almost ruining Carl and Ian's relationship for good.
No Smoking: From 2007 smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces. The first episode of the series started with everyone partying outside The Jockey (with their own beer) until they decided to flout the ban. A good proportion of the shows adults are seen smoking. Truth in Television, as smoking is still very common in urban communities, despite the efforts of governments across the world to outlaw it.
Not Quite Dead: Frank's Father Neville Gallagher has one of these moments, miraculously surviving a heart attack that had been previously implied to be fatal.
Doesn't count as a Fake Kill Scare, as Frank is the only person around when Neville collapses - he coldly leaves Neville to die in the freezing cold rain, content and happy in the belief that he'll finally be rid of his dad forever.
Not So Different: In universe, Frank's opening monologue from series 11 reveals he thinks beneath the class and wealth differences he situation isn't a million miles away from... Her Royal Highness.
Oh, Crap: After The Jockey is looted and ransacked by the pubgoers. Frank's jaw drops a mile:
Frank: "The fine people of Chatsworth have appointed me spokesman on their behalf. People don't like the way that you're running the Jockey. It's not just a pub, a place of ale - it's a second home to most of us, first for some! We need that beer flowing...."
Karen: "Well, you can communicate to the fuckwits of Chatsworth that unless this public house is full of furniture and running smoothly by tonight, they're fucking closing me fucking DOWN!"
Frank: "...You're shitting me!!"
Paddy has an Oh Crap moment upon realizing that Maureen has lured Mandy into a trap. His life is never the same again afterwards.
Older Than They Look: Lip discovers on his 18th birthday that he's actually 19, because Frank et al forgot to officially register his birth for an entire year. When Lip angrily asks what they were doing instead that was so important to make them forget:
Only One Name: Jockey landlady Jez. Also copper Tony, whose surname we are never told.
Oop North: The series is set in a sink estate in deepest, darkest Manchester.
Oops I Forgot I Was Married: Kev proposes to Veronica while drunk. It takes a while for him to confess to her that he never divorced his first wife, Roxy, who was a violent alcoholic who is in prison for GBH but still very much in love with him. Veronica is actually fine with this and they have a fake wedding just so they don't disappoint Veronica's mother and more importantly get wedding gifts, particularly Veronica's dad's money which would help them pay off most of their house in a right-to-buy scheme.
The Other Darrin: Surprisingly little for a cast this large. The only proper example is Liam Gallagher; played by Joseph Furnace as a toddler for a couple of seasons, then Johnny Bennett as a growing lad.
Donny and Joey, the two (named) Maguire sons when they were mainly antagonists in series 1-3, were played by a variety of actors and extras. Then they disappeared off the face of the planet.
Carl also technically counts, as real life twin brothers Luke and Elliott Tittensor both took it in turns to play his character in series 1. You'll be damned if you can tell the difference between them though.
Meena is portrayed by a different actor for the 10 minutes of screentime she gets at the tail-end of series 4. She was re-cast for series 5 onwards when she became a more prominent regular character.
Overprotective Dad: Lip breaks his ankle, jumping out of an upstairs window to escape the wrath of Karen's furious father Eddie, after he catches her sucking Ian off under the dining table.
Lip, once again, has seven shades of shit beaten out of him by Paddy Maguire, when it emerges that Lip is the father of Mandy's baby.
Pac Man Fever: Played straight in early seasons where characters are seen playing with Xbox controllers with sound effects from Donkey Kong. Averted in later seasons with characters playing more up to date titles with Xbox Live's voice chat even being used to find Liam when he gets taken into care.
Pædo Hunt: Frank rouses up a dangerous, rather hysterical lynch mob on the estate after someone's baby is stolen (by Debbie of all people).
Frank: Hey! Lad's have just kicked a confession out of Ice Cream Alec. He's admitted to dipping his knob in the tubs!
Sheila: He took little Jody!?
Frank: We don't know till he comes out of theatre!
Paper-Thin Disguise: In series two, Veronica gets a temporary bar from the Jockey and tries to sneak back in in disguise on two separate occasions. The first time, she wears a wig. The second, she dons a flat cap, moustache and big coat and masquerades as an old man. On both occasions she gets caught, but not as quickly as she would have done in real life. Frank also escapes some debt collectors by dressing very unconvincingly as a woman.
A Running Gag here is Frank routinely dressing up as the late Brendan Tyler to satisfy benefits officers.
Parents as People: Most all caregivers in the show, but Frank, Monica, and Sheila might as well be the poster children for this trope.
Perpetual Poverty: The Gallaghers - in one episode Frank steals paint from a road crew putting down yellow lines.
The whole estate - the first series really goes to great lengths to show just how poor the Chatsworth is, although in later seasons with the introduction of wealthier families like the Maguires and the Powells, and the fact that the whole sink estate vibe being long established, this fades away.
Precision S-Strike: Yvonne isn't very impressed when Frank fails to notice that she's been gone for three years.
Yvonne: "You really are a pig ignorant piece of shit, Gallagher!!"
Yvonne is also very frequent and very good with Precision F-Strikes in general, thanks to her harsh northern accent and her vicious Rottweiler personality.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: For all his massive, unavoidable flaws, Frank Gallagher became rather popular with Channel 4 viewers, and his flanderization to some kind of unsung political prophet/working class poet, especially towards the end of the series, reflects this.
Put on a Bus: So many with Shameless that it's best to divide them up into a few categories.
Each of the 'original' Gallagher children leave as they grow older and find opportunities outside of the estate:
Fiona flees at the end of series 2 to live with Steve on the run in Amsterdam, taking her and Craig Garland's baby with her.
Lip leaves at the beginning of series 5 to attend university in Nottingham permanently, when it becomes clear he can't reconcile his home and university lives. Off-screen, he later moves to London to train as an architect, and daughter Katie goes to join him after Mandy's death.
Debbie joins the army off-screen between series 6 and 7 and is apparently sent to Afghanistan.
Ian vanishes at the end of series 7 while driving off to dump Joe Pritchard's corpse and is never heard from again.
Liam leaves Chatsworth in series 8 to live with Monica, to prevent her getting her hands on and ruining baby Stella's life. He later writes a poignant letter to Carl, stating that he does not plan to return.
Carl successfully graduates as a police officer in series 9, and leaves the estate not long afterwards to live with his girlfriend Clem.
Series 11, especially the finale, finally gives some (limited) closure to all of these exits. Fiona, Lip and Carl return; it's revealed Fiona and Steve are living back in the UK with their son, and things have presumably calmed down a bit with Steve being a gangland target and all. Lip works as a surveyor's assistant for the council, struggling to raise Katie as a single parent with a pithy income. Carl is still plodding along in the police force. The fates of the remaining Gallaghers are also mentioned briefly: Ian is 'marrying a tranny' having presumably got away with Joe's murder, Debbie is still in Afghanistan, and Liam is now 'getting his act together' (although from what exactly is not explained) by becoming a practicing Buddhist.
Kev and Veronica are jailed in series 4 for attempting to buy an orphaned baby in Romania. Marty smuggles said orphan back to Chatsworth, and he also leaves the estate with Sue to raise it. Kev eventually returns, apparently a free man, on separate occasions in series 8 and 11, although Veronica is only alluded to and its not really made clear whether they're still together or not. Marty returns with Carol's ashes after years living in Spain and having split up with Sue.
Sheila goes to work on a cruise ship and takes Nigel and Delia with her.
Monica comes and goes from Chatsworth numerous times.
Yvonne has to leave Chatsworth in series 7, when she owed Paddy Maguire money, but came back finally in the last episode of series 11, presumably able to come back now since Paddy is long gone; we don't see Stan with her, so it's unknown if they are still together.
Meena never gets a proper sending-off scene and is practically forgotten about after series 6, however it is assumed she fled to Spain with Yvonne and Stan. Her name is signed in a card Yvonne sends to Chesney later on.
Jockey landlady Jez abruptly goes on maternity leave in series 4, and never returns. Her replacement, Carol, is only there for the short-term before also disappearing, with pub takings, never to be heard from again. Neither character gets a proper exit or goodbye scene.
Marty, who burns down part of the pub, a car, a hearse (complete with coffin and body), his mums house, and probably other stuff.
Liam has shown frequent hints of this behaviour after Marty left the cast, with boxes of matches and lighter fluid been found regularly in his bed.
Really Gets Around: Karen, at least in the earlier series, in which she gave blow jobs to practically anybody for no real reason. In particular, she has a sexually-charged affair with Frank - not only the father of her boyfriend Lip, but also the boyfriend of her own mother Sheila.
She calms down a lot as she gets older and eventually gets married. She still cheats on Jamie with Joe though, and is visibly entertained and curious at the thought of sleeping with Dom, until he fucks up with Ruby.
Reformed Criminal: Jamie Maguire, after spending ten years in prison for murder, acquires an honest job working behind the bar at The Jockey, and resists having anything to do with his family's business, despite their peer pressure.
Remember the New Guy: Dominic and Gloria Meak - two characters first seen in Series 9, who are meant to have been there all along, and known to all the other people in the Chatsworth.
Micky and Shane fall under this too, since they both start randomly appearing, and named, around series 3 and 4 as if they were just one of the other previous Maguire brothers that routinely appeared. They are never introduced as new characters, in the way that Jamie is. Instead, it's treated as if they had been following Paddy and Mimi the whole time.
Replacement Sibling: Fiona, the oldest of the Gallagher children, plays the role of matriarch and promoted parent for the first two series. As time progresses and people leave the estate, this role filters downwards to Ian, Debbie and eventually Carl.
Rogue Juror: Frank becomes one when he discovers he can claim extra benefits as long as he is on jury service. From that point onward, he tries to drag the deliberation for as long as possible, continually reversing his opinion whenever he cleverly convinces everyone to see things his way.
Frank's 'data not information' speech in Series 2, during which he convinces the social workers that him being recorded as dead is a computer error and that Liam is being properly taken care of by Fiona, preventing him from being taken into care.
Frank's opening monologues from series 5 onwards also count.
Running Gag: Shane headbutting, punching and/or slapping Billy every time he makes even the most veiled reference to his sex life with Mimi.
Sanity Slippage: When Mimi continually taunts young Ruby about her junkie father, she has an out of character Villainous Breakdown; proceeding to hold a knife to Mimi's throat before binding and gagging her and taking her hostage upstairs.
Ruby: "I've hated you my whole life, you fat, thieving, drug-dealing, murdering, abusive Scouse slag."
14 year old Carl is routinely ridiculed and berated by his brothers for his sexual frustration and neediness. When he eventually pops his cherry with a local chavette, he is finally ingratiated by Lip and Ian, who pat him on the back and share a spliff with him in celebration.
Subverted with Debbie, who isn't an overtly sexual person, but is peer pressured into shagging random, ugly lads on the street by her rubbish mum Monica. Unlike Carl, there are no celebrations to be had when she loses her virginity to paedo policeman Tom.
Actually, she loses her virginity to oddball religious freak Luke (or at least it's heavily implied), but the Tom storyline is definitely her first real relationship, and probably the first time anyone seriously considers Debbie having... hooked upa power coupling.
Sibling Rivalry: The three Maguire brothers, in particular, Shane and Micky's clownish attempts to live up to their superiors Jamie and Paddy within the business. It's gradually revealed over time that Shane and Jamie actually deeply resent and disrespect each other, which leads to Shane trying to scalp money on Jamie's own turf, including clamping cars to piss him off.
Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Jackson starts off as a proud, middle-class, highly educated high school teacher. After losing his job in the midst of a finance audit, he resorts to becoming a scummy, unemployed street hustler working expired food scams with Shane Maguire.
Smoking Is Cool: Shane Maguire smokes like a chimney throughout the whole series, and is especially adept at blowing smoke rings, flicking butts and lighting up at a ridiculously fast pace.
Spot of Tea: The only thing anyone drinks that isn't booze.
Sticky Fingers: Most of the characters shoplift whenever they get a chance - at one point Frank steals (among other things) a charity collection tin. Or when the barstaff get trapped in the cellar by a broken door by the time they get out the stools and tables are gone.
Frank delivers one to God himself when he falsely believes that Liam has cancer.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Debbie during her storyline with Tom. After breaking up with him she constantly assumes the worse of everything he does, accuses him of being a stalker (though in fairness, he may very well have been stalking her), and in general becomes far more easily annoyed and selfish then previously.
Uncertain Doom: Chesney knocks out his dad Kash, just as the back of the shop erupts into flames. He leaves his dad's comatose body and escapes from the shop. It is assumed, but never actually confirmed, that Kash died in the fire.
Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Teenage Ian becomes a marked man on the estate when Mandy Maguire sets her ferocious brothers on him, after he turns her down for sex.
Villainous Breakdown: Shane takes a pop at his dad Paddy, but promptly gets punched in the face and knocked to the ground. He doesn't give up though, and keeps getting up for more. With each punch Paddy throws at his son, in full view of all the pub patrons, the more he despairs at his actions. After a bloodied, battered, dying Shane is carted off to hospital, he finally loses his sanity and scream bloody murder at all the astonished pubgoers.
Paddy: "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ALL LOOKING AT!! AAAARGH!!!"
Wham Episode: Several of these throughout Shameless, usually the last of any particular season. The Series 10 finale ends with Ruby murdered and buried in a shallow grave, Patty committing suicide at a freezing cold beach on the Mersey, and Jackson walking out on Avril for good.
Who's Your Daddy?: Ian's parentage is come into question when Debbie looks at the blood types of the family, leading him on a hunt for his real father and possibly an escape from the Chatsworth Estate. Turns out his dad is exactly like Frank, only he also owns the pub he constantly gets wasted at.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Psychotic killer gangster and patriarch Jamie Maguire is deathly afraid of clowns; being reduced to a shivering, crying wreck when Karen tries to make love with him dressed as one.
Kev and Veronica gear up for an epic holiday to Ibiza, only for it to be stopped in its tracks because Kev's afraid of flying. Veronica attempts to help him conquer his fear by having sex near the airport, but Kev completely freaks out and pisses his trousers at the sight of a low-flying airplane directly overhead.
Written-In Absence: Ian goes on sabbatical for several episodes during series 6, after recovering from a savage assault.
Zany Scheme: All the time. Faked deaths, car chases, terrible disguises, random robberies. You name it, somebody's tried to do it in order to either as a Get Rich Quick Scheme, or simply to avoid attention from the authorities.
A notable example in the early series, when young Debbie steals a baby, sees most of the Gallagher family plotting out timed phone calls and planned drop-offs with almost military precision.
Frank's mother. And FRANK - headbutting Ian, general neglect...
Both of them pale in comparison to Mickey and Mandy Milkovich's father Terry, who raped and impregnated Mandy in season 2. In season 3 after walking in on Mickey and Ian having sex he gives both boys a severe beating and then by gunpoint he forces Mickey to have sex with a prostitute in front of Ian.
Debbie's temporary foster guardian. Runs a sweatshop that forces child labor, and "sees all". Holy crap. No wonder Debbie superglues her eyes shut for all the shit she and the other kids there went through.
Acting for Two: William H. Macy played both Frank and Jerry Gallagher, identical twins. Its greatly subverted when the character is never seen again after the first season, but is referred and talked about.
A Day in the Limelight: Carl gets his own day in the limelight when he goes to cancer camp, as part of another one of Frank's schemes. Carl's time there goes about as well as you'd expect.
Advertised Extra: Liam Gallagher is always present in advertisements due to being a member of the Gallagher despite not having a role outside being a toddler.
The Alcoholic: Frank Gallagher (yep, still a drunk). Lip also seems to be following this route during season 2. Like father, like son.
Mandy's response to Lip having sex with a female pedophile (he was pretending to be younger as part of a self-directed "sting operation") is to get two of her brothers to start digging a grave in the woman's yard and tell the woman to leave before they finish, or else she's going in it
Beauty Equals Goodness: The show goes back and forth on this, in the Gallagher family, it's a pretty straight example with the virtuous Fiona being contrasted with the scumbag Frank and in the Milkovich family, with Mickey and Mandy being terrorized by Terry a balding, fat, tatted up gangster. But otherwise pretty much every character is attractive, even monsters like Karen.
Fiona had to choose between bad boy car thief Steve and nice guy police officer Tony. For some time, she chose neither but chose Steve/Jimmy at the end of Season 2.
Lip also had Karen and Mandy in the later half of Season 3, and in Frank The Plumber he tells Karen that he chooses Mandy, saying that she's good for him and that Karen is not, officially breaking it off with Karen. Although, seeing that in the next scene of the same episode Mandy hits Karen with her car and leaves her for dead, it's left in the air for now on whether Lip will stick with his decision.
In Season 4, Fiona has her Nice Guy boss Mike and his exciting bad boy brother Robbie.
Beware the Nice Ones: Two older girls at the pool are mean to Debbie. So what does she do? She fills two bags of sand to weigh herself down, then jumps on one of the girls when she's in the pool and holds her under, nearly drowning her. You do not F with Debbie Gallagher, indeed
Big "NO!": Frank has one of these in Episode 11 of the first season
Black Comedy Rape: Sheila raping Frank with a dildo in the 2nd episode. Though that seemed to be the show's general treatment of their sex life.
Blatant Lies: Everything Debbie tells the police after she returns the little boy she kidnapped. However, the Gallagher family seems to run on this a lot, especially Lip.
Blue and Orange Morality: Ethel, due to being raised in a cult. She's sort of a fundamentalist Christian and is very prim and proper, but is totally OK with adults having sex with underage girls (which comes with being 13 years old and having a child), growing pot, and taking money from a purse left on the El. Those last two are probably thanks to her living with Kevin and Veronica and near the Gallaghers, though
Calling the Old Man Out: Happens from time to time with Fiona yelling at her mom for trying to take Liam away from them, but Frank does this to his own mom in Can I Have A Mother, yelling at her that he was sick of the way she was treating him. She doesn't care.
Comically Missing the Point: When Frank quits drinking he becomes a great Dad to Debbie and Carl. Lip tries to warn them that he won't always be like this by relating their situation to a pet turtle the kids forgot about and accidentally killed. Carl takes it to mean that Frank is buying them a new turtle.
Season four is even darker than this, with Frank becoming terminally ill and needing a liver transplant, Liam almost dying after eating cocaine that Fiona left out on the table, and Fiona becoming a convicted felon as a result.
Dead Man's Chest: When Aunt Ginger died (before the start of the series) Frank buried her in the backyard, and began collecting and cashing her social security checks for years after. However, in Season 3 when the city has to dig up the yard to fix the water pipes, the kids have to dig up Ginger's body before the city does lest they face charges.
The first time Sheila and Frank have sex, he tells her repeatedly to stop, then ends up limping for the rest of the day, which is supposed to be hilarious.
The show's treatment of Karen raping Frank. It even comes back in Season 2's Father's Day, when Sheila had found out and consoled Frank after Karen told the "truth" to a detective who was looking into Eddie's death and found the video of Karen and Frank online, wanting to arrest him for having sex with a minor.
Jimmy and his in-name-only wife. She puts his hand under her skirt, despite his repeated objections. Then, when her father's dragon scolds him for cheating on Fiona, he insists he never moved his hand while it was underneath. The dragon doesn't care and continues to act as if Jimmy's a cheating jerk rather a person who was just sexually assaulted.
When Mickey's father comes in and sees that Mickey and Ian are having sex, he beats them up and forces Mickey to have sex with a Russian hooker under threat that he will literally shoot him and Ian. The next day, both Ian and Mickey are shell-shocked. Played straight in that nobody subsequently treats it as rape, even though Mickey is forced to marry the prostitute, Svetlana, when she becomes pregnant. In a bit of surprising hypocrisy, Mandy is even angry with Mickey when he doesn't want to go be with Svetlana when she gives birth, and he points out that he doesn't even really know if the child is his.
Happens again with Lip and Mandy, after he had learned she had run Karen down and crippled her. He objects and Mandy doesn't listen because they hadn't done it in a week.
When Lip, Ian and Mickey discover that a female pedophile has moved into the neighborhood, Lip wants to drive her out of town. Ian defends her because he thinks Carl would be "lucky" to be targeted for sex by an adult woman, whereas a man of the same age going after Debbie would be "different." It's ultimately averted here when Mandy helps Lip get rid of the woman.
Fanservice: Fiona, big time. And there has to be some reason Ian is shirtless all the time. Lip, Steve, Kevin, Veronica, and Estafania apply to this too occasionally.
Fille Fatale: Karen and Mandy. Holly Hickemer thinks she's this but she's still too young to actually be sexual.
Foreshadowing: In one episode, it seems that a grocery checkout clerk goes berserk because Debbie was insisting on using multiple coupons, all while the manager keeps telling her to go on her break. The next episode reveals that these "breaks" are when the manager is expecting to get blowjobs
Generation Xerox: Fiona and Lip are beginning to show similarities to their dear old dad, particuarly some shades of selfishness. Fiona slept with a married man even though she knew she would regret it. Lip is especially showing signs with attempting to break Karen and Jody up by sending Mandy to their house so Mandy would sleep with Jody. This trope is even lampshaded in "A Beautiful Mess."
Frank: Why do you have to be such an asshole?
Lip: The apple fell where you left it.
In series four, Ian begins to show signs of bipolar disorder, just like Monica.
Genki Girl: Though she may be a a bit older than most examples, Sheila Jackson when she's not in a rough patch.
Kevin usually grows a few marijuana plants in the basement, mostly for his own consumption. In season two he has a great growing season and ends up with a basement full of high quality weed worth thousands of dollars. However, if caught, he now faces some serious prison time for trafficking. Veronica makes him destroy most of it
At the midpoint of the season, Kevin reveals that he didn't destroy all of the weed but rather, buried it; Ethel and Malik later dig up the buried weed and sell it to leave town together.
Shelia grows bored with her and Jody's sex life, what with being a dominatrix with a pegging fetish and Jody being a recovering sex addict who can only have sex missionary style without losing control. Shelia enlists Frank's help in convincing Jody to be more adventurous in bed. Jody warns them both that should he start, he won't be able to stop, and they won't like what happens. Eventually they wear him down, and it takes all of a week for his fetishes to blow past Shelia's comfort zone.
Harmful to Minors: Everything and everyone on the show pretty much, which is kind of the point. Even the somewhat conscientious Fiona accidentally leaves cocaine where Liam can get to it! These kids see more harmful stuff than many small town cops would! Extends all the way down to Mickey's newborn son, who is being raised by prostitutes.
Has a Type: Ned, as lampshaded by Lip in "There's the Rub"
Insurance Fraud: Frank is supposed to have a car torched for the insurance money but stops for a drink first and it is stolen instead. Since the car was not insured against theft, he owed some gangsters a lot of money... until he faked his death.
It's All About Me: Frank and his mother and also Karen is getting into this territory.
Jerkass: Normally its Frank, but as of Season 2, Lip.
Monica's girlfriend Bob is rude, psychopathic (she tries to run down Frank and Kev with her 18-wheeler), and basically announces that she's going to take Liam because he needs to be raised by a black person
Karma Houdini: Frank. Though its subverted to hell and back in Frank's case. One moment he's in deep shit, then the next he's off the hook somehow. Actually getting a liver transplant near the end of Season 4 almost borders on Jumping the Shark.
Kuudere: Mandy. The only people who ever see her soft side are Lip and Ian.
Last Name Basis: Mickey always refers to Ian as just Gallagher for much of the first three seasons. Eventually he starts using his first name instead as their relationship develops.
Law of Inverse Fertility: Karen and Mandy both end up pregnant as teens when they have no interest in being parents, but Veronica very much wants to have a baby and can't get pregnant. Reality Ensues: Veronica quips that she's "had so many abortions, the next one's free." Complications during abortion can cause infertility, and the risk goes up with multiple procedures. While that is true, Veronica tells Kevin in one Season 3 episode that an STD (most likely chlamydia, which doesn't present symptoms in women until serveral weeks later. By that time, significant damage to the reproductive system has been done) she got from a rapper when she was a teenager is the culprit behind her infertility.
Law of Inverse Paternity: Liam turns out to be Frank's son even though everyone assumed that he was not. Similarly Lip hoped that he was not Frank's son but turned out to be his. However, Ian is not actually Frank's son but his nephew. Likewise, Lip wanted badly to be the father of Karen's baby, despite Karen explicitly stating at least twice that it may not be his. He continues being involved with Karen's pregnancy, even going so far as to help her look for potential parents to adopt her baby after it is born, and making a videotape for the parents to give it when it's older. However, when Karen gives birth, he realizes it is not his when the baby turns out to be Asian. In season 3 Mickey winds up getting the hooker his father forced him to have sex with pregnant. This leads to a forced marriage organized by his abusive father and destroys his relationship with Ian.
Little Brother Is Watching: Ian and Lip (in the US version) make their little brother Carl wear earmuffs at night so they can talk about various illegal activities openly. However, Carl is naturally more sociopathic than either of his older brothers.
Mistaken for Cheating: Veronica thinks that Kevin is cheating on her with another woman and follows him to her apartment. After Kevin leaves she confronts the woman but realizes that the woman is just teaching Kevin to read
Mafia Princess: Estafania, though she isn't exactly part of the mob as her father is a high ranking Cartel leader.
Mood Whiplash: Heavily used and how. One moment the show is all dramatic, then the next moment something greatly funny happens.
Never Learned to Read: Kevin has severe dyslexia and since he spent his childhood being shuffled from foster home to foster home, it was never addressed. He can read enough to get by in his job as a bartender but has problems with more complicated writing. He's been attending special tutoring sessions so he can finally learn to read and write properly.
Nice Guy: Jody does not seem to have a selfish bone in his body. He puts up with Karen's tantrums and her rampant cheating. He takes care of a sick Peggy Gallagher even though she threatened him with a gun during his wedding. He wants to take care of Karen's baby even after Karen dumps him and it is clear the baby is not his. However, by the end of season 2 even he can not be nice to Karen anymore.
Oh Canada: After his usual drinking session, Frank wakes up the next morning in Toronto. The scene features a gratuitous use of a Mounty on a horse wearing full ceremonial uniform in downtown Toronto.
Perpetual Poverty: Frank gets his money by abusing the worker compensation system but he spends it all on alcohol and paying for the damage he causes while drunk. As Lip points out they could easily pay their bills with that money. Instead Fiona, Lip and Ian have to work and steal enough to cover the bills and pay for food. Whenever the kids manage to save up money for the future, Frank finds it, steals it and spends it on booze.
Ethel, Malik, and their children. They literally did leave on a bus.
Karen leaves the Jackson household at the end of Season 2, and comes back mid-way Season 3, apparently reformed. Then, at the end of Season 3, she once again leaves, though this time with Hymie and Jody, as Jody is taking her to Arizona where he knows people who he believes can try and heal her..
At the end of season 3 Ian leaves on a bus having stolen Lip's identity and joined the army. The Bus Came Back shortly into season 4.
Promotion to Parent: Fiona, without a doubt. It gets heavier when she is legally promoted to her Gallagher siblings legal guardian in Season 3's "A Long Way From Home".
Rape By Proxy: In Season Three, Terry catches Mickey and Ian having sex. He then forces Mickey by gunpoint to have sex with a Russian prostitute while Ian watches.
When Karen calls the cops because Sheila and Jody took the baby from the hospital, the officers who arrive listen to the story, realize what a jerkass Karen is and then decide that the baby is going to be much better off with her loving grandmother than being left in the hospital and ultimately ending up in the foster care system. They refuse to arrest Sheila, ignore Karen's protests and decide to go get some Thai food.
The judge presiding over the legal guardianship hearing quickly recognized Frank's bullshit for what it is and concludes that the children would be much better off with Fiona as their legal guardian. His main concern is that the strain of assuming guardianship might be too much for Fiona who would be committed to spending the next 15 years of her life taking care of the kids.
Sexless Marriage: Mickey and Svetlana. Unsurprising given that he's gay and the one time they did actually have sex was case of "correctiverape" orchestrated by Terry. Svetlana seems genuinely frustrated that Mickey just isn't into her, eventually reaching the point where she attempts to increase her allure to him by dyeing her hair red like Ian's and presenting herself to Mickey wearing a strap-on.
Sibling Rivalry: One begins between Lip and Ian in season 2; Lip has an inside for Ian to get into Westpoint, but his plan backfires, and Lip is the one who is offered recruitment instead. Ian becomes so furious because of this that he even refuses to speak to him afterward, not until a second No-Holds-Barred Beatdown won by Ian did get the two back on speaking terms.
Sleeping with the Boss: Fiona gets a low-paying job at a supermarket, and soon learns that most of her co-workers have been pressured into having sexual relations with the boss, Bobby. When she gets them all together to talk about it, some of them even defend it.
Social Services Does Not Exist: Subverted. They definitely exist and pop up quite regularly. However, the sheer dysfunction of the Gallagher household should by all rights result in everyone being shipped out to foster care. Rationalized by the system being overextended, which is to some extent Truth in Television.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Ian insists that Mickey loves and wants to be with him and Mickey doesn't deny this. However things outside their relationship: Mickey's homophobic father, a forced marriage and Mickey's total inability to be out in the environment he was raised in is what drives them apart and nearly ends their relationship on several occasions.
Take That Kiss: After Ian points out that Mickey is too afraid to kiss him.
Take You Aside Talk: When Ian's gay porn folder is exposed, Fiona assumes it belongs to young Carl, and takes him aside for a talk.
Carl: "That's not mine! It's gay!"
Tangled Family Tree: The Gallaghers, especially with the reveal that Ian is one of Frank's brother's sons.
Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Lip had a soft spot for call centre worker Nadia- until Ian informed him that 'she' was in fact a male transvestite.
Villainous Breakdown: Frank is not a nice person, but when shit goes down that has him in it, he starts to really lose it.
We Want Our Jerk Back: When Frank signs up for a medical study and has to stay sober for two weeks in order to get paid he becomes much nicer. However, he also becomes hyperactive and his attention span starts getting shorter. This starts out as endearing, then becomes disruptive and ends up as destructive. When he starts to break down walls with a sledgehammer and wants to cut a hole in the roof for a skylight, the kids have enough and knock him out with a stun gun and pour liquor into him. They don't actually want their abusive father back but know that he is not actually serious about staying sober and prefer to end this before he causes a disaster.
Season 1 ended with Eddie Jackson's suicide and the fact that Fiona wasn't going to run away with Steve.
Season 2's A Beautiful Mess ends with Karen telling Lip off by staying away from her, Jody (her fiance), and their unborn baby.
Season 2's Parenthood ends with Frank going back to Monica after his mother died.
Season 2's "A Good Cause" featured the savings that Fiona had been building up for her entire life being wasted by the unstable Monica. Then, in "Just Like the Pilgrims Intended," Karen gives birth, but the child doesn't belong to Lip or the Red Herring that she visited earlier in the season, and Monica attempts suicide.
In season 3, a trio of Whams come back to back of each other, "The Sins of My Caretaker" has child protective services coming in during a chaotic night at the Gallagher homestead, with "Cascading Failures" picking off with the siblings off to different homes while Fiona tries to get them back, even learning that it was Frank was the one who called child protective services. Finally, "A Long Way From Home" ends with Fiona not only becoming the other legal guardian to her siblings, but Karen returns after her son had been taken away by his father's mother.
Then with "Frank The Plumber", Karen is hit by a speeding car driven by Mandy and being left for dead, after being lured out by a false text message sent by Mandy. And also Mickey and Ian break-up.
The drama continues in the penultimate episode of season 3. Mickey gets married to a woman, Mandy finally figures out that her brother and Ian are sleeping together, Karen has brain damage, and Jimmy is most likely killed by Estefania's father.
Season 4's "There's The Rub": Liam accidentally ingests cocaine left on the kitchen counter after Fiona and Kev use some, and Fiona is later arrested.
The season 4 finale "Lazarus": Jimmy turns out to be alive, only he's going by Jack now, and he is seen being driven past the Gallagher home. This was a surprise even to most of the cast, who had no idea Justin Chatwin even showed up to shoot this scene.
Monica Gallagher did a lot of drugs while married to Frank and does not really remember what she did during those times. There is a fair chance that some of her kids might not be Frank's. Turns out Lip and Liam were Frank's sons but Ian is actually the son of one of Frank's brothers.