- 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.
- Actor Allusion:
- The season 2 episode, "A Bottle of Jean Nate", has Frank and Fiona conspiring to send Peggy (played by Louise Fletcher) to a psychiatric institution. Interestingly, Peggy could almost be a Distaff Counterpart to McMurphy.
- Gloria LeRoy (Aunt Ginger), a senile nursing home patient, also played a (lucid) nursing home patient on Malcolm in the Middle.
- It may or may not be intentional, but Monica states more than once that she loves teddy bears, and Frank exploits this fact. Chloe Webb wore a dress made of teddy bears to the Twins premiere in 1988.
- Also possibly unintentional, but Joan Cusack as a bride who's lost a considerable amount of weight might be a reference to her character in In & Out.
- This wasn't the first time Emmy Rossum and Justin Chatwin co-starred in an American remake of a foreign work.
- Lip makes fun of Karen's new boyfriend's name, Jody. Jody Latham portrayed Lip in the U.K. version of Shameless.
- Its funny that Ian dyes his hair black just before his Season 9 departure. One could interpret it to be a reference to something else...
- Award Category Fraud: An intentional genre variant. Due to the massive competition in the drama category, the series has recently been submitted as a comedy for the Emmys, even though the show's increasing Cerebus Syndrome makes calling it a comedy a bit of a stretch. This was most telling during the actor reel, where every other actor had a comedic clip and Macy's of Franknote was completely depressing.
- Casting Gag: In the Japanese dub, the Russian Svetlana is voiced by Sumire Uesaka, who speaks and understands Russian in Real Life.
- Couch Gag: The show opens up on a cast member as their character, telling you what you missed last week.
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Emmy Rossum and Justin Chatwin previously co-starred in Dragonball Evolution.
- The Other Darrin: Jane Levy played Mandy in season one, before departing the show for Suburgatory. Emma Greenwell replaced her starting with the second season.
- The Other Marty : Allison Janney played Sheila in the original pilot.
- Playing Against Type: Both William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum play characters almost diametrically opposite from what they were known for before.
- Retroactive Recognition: Jane Levy played Mandy for the first season before departing the show for Suburgatory.
- Dove Cameron portrayed Holly Herkimer briefly in season 2, before leaving the show for
Trivia / Shameless (US)