These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In the first episode following baby Stella's birth, there is a storyline which involves her communicating telepathically with Frank and Monica. Random, stupid, makes no sense even in context, and after that one episode nobody mentions the incident again.
Broken Base: Nearly everyone agrees that the plotlines of Shameless get worse as the series goes on and eventually the new writers have missed the point of the original series'. The point where it becomes unwatchable however, is hotly debated: common turning points cited include the end of series 2 (where Steve and Fiona leave the series), series 4 (where the series has a reboot, the Maguires join the cast as regulars, and many more major characters leave), series 6 (where the series suffers from Cerebus Syndrome and crosses the line into dark dramedy, as well as more characters leaving), and series 8 (where overarching plotlines are done away with, humour becomes cheap, character development reaches new levels of inconsistency, and the vast majority of the original cast have left).
Critical Research Failure: When Frank is ranting about his children having been a burden to him in the last episode of series 11, he uses Socrates, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Leonardo Da Vinci as examples of men who were not 'stupid enough' to have any kids'. All of them had either biological or adopted childrennote Socrates had three sons; Alexander the Great had a son, Alexander IV; Caesar had two biological children, a son and a daughter, and an adopted son, the future emperor Augustus. Even Da Vinci had an adopted child..
Ensemble Darkhorse: Lillian, a support character who is incredibly popular with fans despite her limited screentime.
Hollywood Genetics: Little Katie is blonde haired and blue eyed, while both her parents Lip and Mandy have dark brown hair and brown eyes.
Illegitimate son Ian bears a greater resemblance to adoptive father Frank than any of Frank's actual, biological children.
Moral Event Horizon: In series 2 Frank agrees to take care of an expired friend's dog. Cut to him on a bridge luring it into a sack with some meat
Throughout series 2 episode 1, where Frank's dad Neville makes an appearance, he persistently belittles Frank and puts pressure on him to man up to his responsibilities as a father and do something with his life. Fair enough, you'd think. Then he beats Frank, and its heavily implied he did it regularly while his son was growing up. Well, Frank DID neglect said responsibilities again to go drinking and partying in the pub by himself at midday... Maybe it's excusable... a bit. But then he finally crosses this by shaking a ladder that Frank was on, saying he wished he'd killed Frank at birth.
Monica is a terrible person. She left her children and caused Frank to become the mess that he is now (not to mention apparently was abusive towards him prior to leaving), and acts selfish and self serving, as well as giving terrible advice to her children. However, she doesn't truly become an irredeemable person until the beginning of one episode in the later seasons when, after the rest of the family hide Liam's trip to Blackpool to star in an add, she takes their pet mouse and sticks it in the microwave and threatens to turn it on until they tell her. When they begin to do so, she still edges towards pressing the button just to get more detail.
Nightmare Fuel: Jamie digging up Joe's dead father's corpse and dumping it outside his shop at the end of series 7.
Paddy Maguire being tied to a bed for days on end and being turned into a heroin addict.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Kelly Ball started life off as Kev's annoying sister. After annoying the hell out of everyone in one episode per series (2-4), she was promoted to the main cast as Shane Maguire's girlfriend and has shed her previous image.
Seasonal Rot: Critics and fans alike agree that Shameless gets shakier and declines in quality as it goes along. See Broken Base above.
Strangled by the Red String: Kelly and Marty barely speak to each other in the early series, yet by series 9 when Marty returns, he suddenly announces he loves her and even stranger, she seems to return the feeling despite being married to Shane for years.
Prior to that, we had Tom and Debbie's relationship. Tom had an episode which seemed to be building a relationship with Mandy; instead, he reveals in the last few minutes that he has a girlfriend, who's revealed to be then-underaged Debbie, the two both saying how much they love each other. This was to set up a storyline where the two break up and, his very poor reaction to it leading to him eventually being dismissed from the police and having to leave in order to avoid punishment.
Tear Jerker: A few here and there but none as heart-breaking as Jamie Maguire singing 'The Last Rose of Summer' at his sister's funeral.
The Woobie: Fiona. Forced to grow up and take care of her family because her parents were either physically or emotionally neglectful, all the while being picked on at school for being dirt poor. Eventually she falls in love with Steve, but he's forced to leave her when they get engaged due to accidentally killing a drug dealer in self defense and being tied to the scene, her family then has to deal with legal troubles, including having every penny they have stolen by a corrupt cop. She gets pregnant from a one night stand, resulting in her having to pick between running off with Steve and living with the baby's father. At least she got to leave Chadsworth.
Tom. As revealed, he grew up without any parents in an orphanage, became attracted to his co-worker only for her to use his feelings to manipulate him a few times, was able to track down his birth mother only to discover she'd already died, he fell in love with a girl who was too young, and once she was old enough she broke up with him when he asked her to move in with him. To top that off, he spent the rest of the season being called a stalker or creep whenever he ended up in the same room as Debbie and her friends, before being fired after his prank on Stan as payback for Stan's own pranks leading Stan to claim compensation, and him having to leave to avoid being punished for all this.
Fridge Brilliance: Frank and Monica are generally portrayed as terrible parents for the Gallagher children to have, due to their neglecting tenancies, extreme selfishness, and not being above deserting the family home and children when a better offer comes their way. But when you start to look at it from another angle, Lip and Liam have high IQs, and Fiona, Debbie and Ian are extremely giving and proactive. Carl can be seen as the black sheep, because he's fairly dumb and lazy more than not. But eventually, in time, all of the Gallagher children were able to leave the Chadsworth Estate hellhole, and find other opportunities outside. You can't help but wonder if they would have had the motivation to push themselves on like that, had their family home been 'too welcoming and homely'. I mean sure, Frank and Monica are terrible parents, but it was their terrible parenting that ironically led to their children all being far more independent and proactive than they otherwise could be, simply because they had no choice but to fend for themselves.
The whole above paragraph is lampshaded by Lip in the final episode after him and Fiona begin to acknowledge that leaving their younger siblings with Frank and Monica might not be so bad after all.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Lip returned towards the end of series 11 for an episode, and they seemed to be building up a plot about how he was struggling to raise and provide for Katie despite the "new life" he thought he'd eventually achieve by going to university (and for those who graduated in the past 15 years or so, especially after the recession hit in 2008, this is an all-too familiar story). However, the episode focuses more on Lip's strained relationship with Frank and that side plot just fizzles out.
What Could Have Been: 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.
The American Series has examples of:
Best Known for the Fanservice: Emmy Rossum has expressed annoyance at how often interviewers bring up her (admittedly frequent) nudity on the show.
Bullying a Dragon: Svetlana's entire relationship with Mickey, but especially her attempts to force him to break up with Ian. Her only real leverage in dealing with him is the threat of outing him to Terry. Even if she did successfully split Mickey and Ian up she would be stuck married to an angry, bitter, closeted gay guy with limited control over his violent impulses. Terry has made it clear that he feels little real affection for her beyond his belief that she is keeping Mickey "straight". If Mickey started beating her it is highly unlikely that Terry or anyone else would come to her aid.
Frank has done pretty bad things for money but using a dying women who need a new heart to get her pension is low even for Frank. Later he destroys her chances to get a new heart and help her killing herself by having sex with him. Granted this is Black Comedy though.
This troper may be alone here, but my feeling was that Dottie (Butterface) had in that moment decided to take her life anyway and that essentially Frank had the option of either leaving her and letting her kill herself by some conventional method, or screwing her to death for $2000 and a flat-screen. I suppose he could have stuck around and comforted her and talked her out of suicide, but that's not exactly in his nature. It was certainly inspired by greed, and was not good, but I would certainly rank that below ransoming out Liam to Monica and Bob. Emmy Rossum would seem to disagree though.
Frank though seemed to be pushing it even further when he attacked Ian for no good reason in the season finale of Season 2, after saying the beer was his. However, going by the previous scene before with Monica had just left for the umpteenth time, Frank's action of wanting to go and get drunk is reasonable but hitting and trying hurt Ian was still heinous.
Of course, Ian really should have expected what was coming, trying to take away beer(that legally can't be his in the first place) from his emotionally unstable alcoholic father. Frank's reaction was uncalled for, but Ian did instigate the physical confrontation, and really, he could have defended himself if he had chosen to.
By Season 3, its really hard to root for Frank anymore. After a drunken bender, he crashes at the house where he messes up things with some of his drunk or high "friends", and then crashes in Debbie's that results in a fight and Debbie's Abraham Lincoln log cabin project to be ruin and dismisses it as being stupid, leading to Debbie losing her shit and attacking Frank. And if that's not bad enough, after he had been tossed out of the house, Frank then calls up social services and reports on his own family. It really says a lot when one of the bartenders tells him that he "hit a new low even for him".
Terry Milkovich has crosses the line so many times, its hard to target the precise moment of his MEH. Beating his own son up because he was gay, forcing a hooker to have sex with him, and later, its established he screwed his daughter one night in a drunken state, causing her to become pregnant counts. However, the real kick in the ass happens in Season 4's Emily where he outright tries to murder Mickey after he came out of the closet. If it wasn't for Ian, his father would have surely murdered the kid.
The Scrappy: Karen, for being an overall nasty and selfish bitch.