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Series / Shameless (UK)

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The main cast of the first two series
"Now nobody's saying that 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."
Frank Gallagher, Original opening monologue, Series 1, Episode 1. Variations of this speech are used up until the finale of series 4.

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.

A US adaptation of this series has been airing on the American cable network Showtime since January 2011, which is also shown in Britain under the auspices of Channel 4. Tropes and pages pertaining to that version of the show have been moved accordingly.

Now with a character page, which needs YOU.

Shameless provides examples of:

  • 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, old-style trade unionist father Neville, who abused Frank growing up and is shown, in true old fashioned 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!"
  • Accidental Pornomancer: Frank Gallagher due to his Kavorka Man tendencies.
  • 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.
      Alex: "I'm looking for Phil..."
      Liam: "Who's Phil?"
  • Alcoholic Parent: Frank, who is pretty much the show's defining alcoholic.
  • 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.
  • Alone with the Psycho: This is how Mandy Maguire meets her end
  • Ambulance Chaser: A pair of them get Frank to sue Yvonne, and when he drops the case out of peer pressure, he gets a bill from them for a thousand pounds.
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • 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.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Micky Maguire, at least at the beginning.
  • Artistic License – History: 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 .
  • As Himself: Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays appears, walking his dog, during an episode where Shane and Micky run a Madchester Tour scam.
    Micky: "What's that twat waving at?"
    • Ricky Hatton shows up in one episode in a post-credit sequence.
  • Ascended Extra: Kelly Ball, Norma (to an extent), the entire Maguire family.
  • Ashes to Crashes: Frank ends up throwing Mandy's ashes all over the pub floor for shits and giggles during her wake.
    • Kev's mother's ashes end up all over the Jockey's floor during a fight between Veronica and Roxy. Debbie manages to scoop up the majority of them with a crisp packet.
  • Attention Whore: Monica Gallagher is beside herself with anxiety when she isn't creating needless drama and hysteria.
  • Ax-Crazy: Kev's demented, knife-wielding estranged wife Roxy Ball.
  • 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.
  • Berserk Button: Lip flies off the handle and beats his father Frank to a bloody pulp in the middle of the street, after finding out about Frank and Karen's affair. He does it again later after realizing his mate Jack robbed the Cash and Carry.
  • 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.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Butch Lesbian: Norma - a big, black Geordie trucker who lives in a caravan on the Gallagher's front garden in series 4-6.
  • The Bus Came Back: Shameless enjoys killing off, forgetting the existence of, or otherwise disappearing much of its ensemble, but several old characters have returned at points:
    • 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.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    Frank: "PAAAAAAAARTAY!!"
  • 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.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Where sex is concerned, everybody fucks everybody without the least bit of restraint or guilt.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Plenty of examples of this throughout the course of the series.
    • 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.
  • Consummate Liar: Frank, after barely surviving his No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Lip that he earned from shagging Karen.
    Sheila: "Why, Frank! Why would he do this to you!?"
    Frank: "Because he's a bloody psycho! l told him straight, nice and reasonable..."You'll get your twenty quid when me Giro comes!" Next thing l know he's beating me to death!!"
  • The Clan: The Maguire family, who have a long, historical crime dynasty. See also The Irish Mob.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Sheila - a pill-popping, agoraphobic sex-maniac.
  • Coffin Contraband: In episode #8.14, a coffin is carried through the estate, supposedly with Paddy inside, but it turns out this was Paddy's way of smuggling guns to the rest of the Maguires.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Lillian is the only one celebrating when Patty is ousted as a benefits fraud.
    Lillian: "She can walk! Hallelujah!"
    • Lillian is a frequent abuser of this trope throughout the series.
  • Cool Car: Professional car thief Steve goes through several flash BMWs, 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.
  • Couch Gag: The show opens up on a cast member, as their character telling you what you missed last week.
  • 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.
  • Cultural Translation: The U.S. version.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Karen, after giving Dom a good bitchslap across the bar:
    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 only their half-brother and 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.
  • Dance Party Ending: Most series end with a party in the Jockey.
  • 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.
  • Delusions of Local Grandeur: Frank appoints himself the spokesperson on behalf of Chatsworth's people despite him just being an alcoholic drug addict.
  • 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.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Micky has this face-off with former lover Ian, after being the butt of his jokes for too long.
  • 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.
  • Everybody Smokes: see No Smoking below
  • 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.
  • Fake Kill Scare: This happens an awful lot on the Chatsworth estate!
    • 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 depressive, 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.
  • Finger in the Mail: A rival gang to the Maguire's sends their son Fergel's severed hand in a box to send a message.
  • Forced Addiction: Paddy Maguire is chained to a bed for days, deprived of food, and forcibly injected with heroin by a mother who blames him for her daughter's addiction and death. She eventually lets him go, but he becomes addicted to his own product.
  • Foreign Remake: The American version.
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: A frequent occurrence. It is set on a Council Estate after all.
  • 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.
  • Gayngster:
    • Micky Maguire.
    • Paddy's gangland rival Roscoe.
  • Gargle Blaster: Frank drinks an entire bottle of dodgy bootleg vodka, only to go almost completely blind the next morning. Contrary to what you'd might think, his family and friends all find this absolutely hilarious.
    • 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 and 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.
  • Guy on Guy Is Hot: Ian and his assortment of male lovers.
  • Handsome Lech: Steve McBride, 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.
  • Hollywood Tourette's: Marty, but later learns to say things like spongecake and buttermilk instead of swearing.
  • Homage: The whole storyline involving Sheila's deceased ex-husband Sheldon is a massive homage to Brookside's infamous body-under-the-patio storyline. It even gets a Shout-Out from Frank.
    Frank: "Dig him up!? It's not Brookside, he's a dead person!"
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Kelly Ball. Hearts melt every time she shares a birds-and-the-bees scene with Liam or Aidan.
  • Hypocritical Humour: This is Frank's specialty, often overlapping with Never My Fault.
  • 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.
  • Insurance Fraud:
    • 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.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One:
    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 theirs and had been gone for so long they didn't know when her birthday was), then during the 'love triangle' between her, Norma, and Frank, she basically just goes with whichever one buys her things. When Norma mistook (or at least she claimed) Frank's attempt to steal from her as rape, Monica ignores and brushes off Norma'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 Norma 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.
      • Actually eleven: he fathers a child with Monica's mother at one of Monica's birthday parties.
    • 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.
  • Known by the Postal Address: The Gallagher family resides at 2 Windsor Gardens on the fictional Chatsworth Estate, a deprived council estate in Stretford, Greater Manchester.
  • 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.
  • "Last Supper" Steal: The dinner scene at the end of the first series Christmas special.
  • Likes Older Women: Billy Tutton
  • Limited Wardrobe: Frank wears the same crappy raincoat and blue jeans for what seems like decades.
  • Long-Runners: Eleven series. That's an awful lot for a British TV show (compare British Brevity) and puts it closer to Last of the Summer Wine than most (although of course that is a very different kind of show.
  • 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.
    • Ian Gallagher gets several sex scenes with different men, complete with nudity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Noodle Implements:
    Paddy: "Remember those blokes who came round with the salmon?"
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Often, especially when the Maguires are around.
    • 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" Remark 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.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Social services, school inspectors, some of the less understanding police...
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Kev and Veronica are given money for their wedding, which they hope to use to buy their house outright, but Marty messes it up by setting fire the the Jockey's toilets. When they get a horseracing tip, Frank sneaks a look at Kev's betting slip, then sells the information to get enough money for the initial stake, dropping the odds from 9/1 to even money.
  • 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.
  • Promotion to Parent: First Fiona, followed by Debbie and most recently Liam.
  • 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.
  • Pyromaniac:
    • 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.
  • Rousing Speech:
    • 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."
    Mimi: "I'm not fat. I'm a size ten."
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Did you expect anything less from a sink estate like Chatsworth?
    • 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 up a 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.
  • 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.
  • Take That!:
    Frank: You hit me in the face with a pan of porridge. I went to casualty looking like Ann fucking Widdecombe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Just what happened to Kash after he was left for dead in Yvonne's shop?
  • 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 due to Gerard Kearn having another commitment.
  • 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.