Trivia: Shameless

  • 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.
    • American Series: 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.
  • Couch Gag: The show opens up on a cast member, as their character telling you what you missed last week.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • American Series: Emma Greenwell replaced Jane Levy as Mandy after the latter was cast in Suburgatory.
  • Retroactive Recognition: The actor who portrayed Steve is now known to international audiences as the younger Professor X.
  • Romance on the Set: On the British series, James McAvoy (Steve) and Anne-Marie Duff (Fiona), reflecting the romance between their characters. They married after leaving the show and have a son together.
  • Star-Making Role: For James McAvoy within the UK.
  • Talking to Himself: In one episode of Series 5, Sean Gilder played not only Paddy but also his estranged gay twin brother Noel, the characters often conversing in the same scene.
  • What Could Have Been: The British series: It looked like they were setting up Mark and Debbie to be another great Shameless romance ala Steve and Fiona: they even had them having sex in exactly the same spot that the aforementioned couple did in the very first episode of the very first seasons. Presumably series 7 was to feature the trials and tribulations of this new relationship that they'd spent so long in series 6 dramatically building up. Unfortunately Rebecca Ryan left to join the cast of Waterloo Road, making those plots a pipe dream.