Shameless

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The main cast of the first two series
"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're worth every penny for grinding your axes... You shit on our heads, but, you pay the taxes! Imagine Britain without Chatsworth buccaneers, who'll 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! Partay!"
Frank Gallagher, Shameless opening monologue

Imagine the ultimate Crapsack World. No one has a job, kids have lost their parents, or the parents simply just don't care. The police are corrupt and incompetent, crime is rife, people barely have enough money for food and each day is a struggle. Sounds grim? Well, in 2004, write Paul Abbott and others at Channel Four planned to create a very dark show about life in one of the 'sink estates' in Manchester.

However...

At some point in the gestation process, the team realized that what they had been planning could ALSO work as a comedy. And the rest... is history.

Shameless tells the story of 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 humor 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 pitying them or laughing at them.

Early seasons focus more closely on the Gallagher clan; later on, existing characters role 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.

Currently airing its ninth series, Shameless is a British TV series produced for Channel 4. It has recently been given a Foreign Remake by the American cable network Showtime, starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, which premiered in January 2011.

The big break of James McAvoy


Tropes used in Shameless include:

The original show provides examples of:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • 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.
  • The Alcoholic: Frank Gallagher.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Frank.
  • 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.
    • And one of Paddy's first appearances has him and two goons 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 he gets a bill for a thousand pounds.
  • Ascended Extra: Kelly Ball, Norma (to an extent), the entire Maguire family.
  • Badass: Yvonne Karib - uses her baseball bat to threaten or attack anyone who messes with her shop including debt collectors and armed soldiers.
  • 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.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Sheila raping Frank with a dildo in the second episode. Though that seemed to be the show's general treatment of their sex life.
  • 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 fairy tales 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.
  • 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.
  • British Brevity: Averted. The Shameless series are getting longer with average of 8 episodes for Series 1-4 and then doubled to 16 episodes for Series 5-7. Further more 22 episodes are confirmed for Series 8 in 2011.
  • 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, such as Kash returning from his faked suicide as a completely unlikeable dick-wad ready to destroy Yvonne's life out of spite, only to apparently be allowed to burn/choke to death in a shop fire rather coldly by Chesney later in the episode and Kev and Marty, who will apparently be returning for an episode in the 2011 series.
    • Kev and Marty both return in separate episodes in the later series. Marty returns to drive a wedge between Kelly and Shane and Kelly falls for him despite them barely speaking to each other when they were both together in the early seasons. Kev returns for the 100th episode as a one-off; his time in prison, Veronica's whereabouts, and how he could afford to move to Nottingham and start a new life, or even why exactly he's brought back, are explained.
  • Bus Crash: 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.
  • Butch Lesbian: Norma - a big, black Geordie trucker who lives in a caravan on the Gallagher's front garden in Series 4-6.
  • Chained to a Bed: The main feature of Frank and Sheila's sex life, played for comedy. Used much more chillingly when Paddy is chained to a bed and forcibly injected with heroin by psychotic Maureen.
  • Christmas Special: But a very weird one - Lip and Kev steal a load of meat to sell on the cheap, then it turns out the meat is a biohazard, so the Military quarantine the area.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Donny and Joey Maguire. OK, all they ever did was hang around looking menacing, but you still can't help but notice that they just vanished into thin air half way through Series 4.
    • Dialogue in earlier seasons reveals that the Maguires had seven children in all; however, by the later seasons, this is suddenly changed to them having had five children with no explanation given whatsoever as to having forgotten the birth of two of their children.
      • Retconned back to seven (eight including Mimi and Billy's daughter) children as of Episode 8 of Season Nine.
    • Which is all the more confusing when you wonder how the Maguires can effectively control the estate after Paddy leaves - with only Mimi and 3 brothers (Jamie, Shane and Mickey), rather than the large crime family we're meant to believe they are.
  • The Clan: The Maguires, who have a long history of being a crime family.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Sheila - a pill-popping, agoraphobic sex-maniac.
  • Country Matters: Especially when Frank is around.
  • 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.
  • Cultural Translation: The U.S. version.
  • Cute Kitten: When Debbie goes on strike, Lip tries to win back her favor with a box of cute kittens. Debbie's response? "What am I? Six?"
  • Dance Party Ending: Most series end with a party in the Jockey. With arguably the best one being the post-funeral "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" number by Dropkick Murphys.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him: Lip had a soft spot for call center worker Nadia- until Ian informed him that 'she' was in fact a male transvestite.
  • Everybody Smokes: See No Smoking below.
  • Faking the Dead: Frank and Kash both fake their deaths to avoid debts, in unrelated incidents.
  • 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.
  • Foreign Remake: The American version.
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: A frequent occurrence. It is set on a Council Estate after all.
  • Gayngster: Mickey Maguire.
    • From the more recent series, Paddy's gangland rival Roscoe.
  • Gentleman Thief: Steve is a middle-class car thief who prides himself on stealing from people who deserve it, as well as never having committed a violent crime.
  • Great Escape: Marty breaks out for his sisters wedding, and gets sent back shortly afterwards.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Kelly Ball. This troper's heart melts every time she shares a scene with Liam.
  • Incest Is Relative: 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.
  • Insurance Fraud: In the first series, Lip earns extra money by filing out fake insurance claims for people. Also in Series 6, after the Kash & Karry burns down, Yvonne deliberately floods the stock room so she can claim extra insurance.
    • And then there was Steve and Fiona setting fire to their own house in the Series 1 finale.
  • The Irish Mob: The Maguires.
  • Kavorka Man: Frank, despite being a scruffy, selfish alcoholic with a violent streak, manages to be a bigamist (almost a trigamist), as well as pulling countless other women. Granted, nearly everyone he's with realizes his personality traits after spending awhile with him, but maybe this is one occasion where the book should definitely be judged by its cover.
  • Last Supper Steal: The dinner scene at the end of the first series Christmas special.
  • Likes Older Women: Billy Tutton.
  • Lower Class Lout: The entire premise of the show, although most of the main characters are portrayed fairly sympathetically.
  • My Local: The Jockey, where most of the main characters hang out or work.
  • Name's the Same: Liam Gallagher. Named after the Oasis frontman, who demanded who know why.

Wilson: Really? Liam Gallagher?.

    • There were also two very, very minor characters in the early series called Paddy and Mickey, before the Maguires became prominent.
  • Naughty by Night: Sheila. By day, she's a sweet agoraphobic and germaphobic housewife. But at night, she is very very into pegging filthy alcoholic Frank.
  • Noodle Implements:

Paddy to Mimi: "Remember those blokes who came round with the salmon?"

  • No Smoking: From 2007, smoking is 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 has one of these moments, surviving a heart attack that had been previously implied to be fatal.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat
  • Older Than They Look: Lip discovers on his 18th birthday that he's actually 19, because Frank forgot to register his birth for an entire year. When Lip angrily asks what they were doing that was so important they could have forgotten:
  • Oop North: The series is set in 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.
  • Paedo Hunt: Frank rouses one up after Debbie steals someones' baby.
  • 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, mustache 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.
  • 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.
  • Promotion to Parent: First Fiona, followed by Debbie and most recently Liam.
  • Put on a Bus: Carol leaving for Megaluf with a couple months of the Jockey's takings somewhere after Series 4 and before Series 5.
    • Shameless is actually pretty bad for this. Kev, Veronica and Sheila's departures were all explained and depicted on screen, but they happened suddenly, had no real fanfare leading up to them and after the characters had gone, they were seldom mentioned again. Debbie also left suddenly in the recent series.
      • Interestingly, Kev and Veronica would be out of prison by the end of Series 8 so they could potentially be brought back in Series 9, if only for an episode or two. It would be a brilliant call back and a great chance to see how much things have changed.
    • Ian left the show driving off to dump a body at the end of Series 7 and has not been seen since. It seems unlikely that he'll get real closure as Gerard Kearns has shown no intention of returning to the show.
  • 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 I can't remember right now.
    • Liam has shown frequent hints of this behavior 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, and cheated on her boyfriend with his Father (who was also her Mother's partner). She calmed down a lot as she got older though, and eventually got married.
  • Reformed Criminal: Jamie Maguire - spent ten years in prison for murder, now runs The Jockey and refuses to have anything to do with the family business.
  • 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.
  • 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 bars taff 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.

  • Take That: Never Forget played at Karen and Jamie's wedding.
  • Tourette's Shitcock Syndrome: Marty, but later learns to say things like spongecake and buttermilk instead of swearing.
  • 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.
  • Zany Scheme: All the time. Fake Deaths, car chases, terrible disguises, random robberies. You name it, somebody's tried to do it in order to avoid attention from the Authorities.

The American series provides examples of:[edit | hide]

  • Abusive Parents: Frank's mother. And FRANK - headbutting Ian, general neglect...
  • The Alcoholic: Frank Gallagher (yep, still a drunk). Lip also seems to be following this route during Season 2. Like father, like son.
  • Anything That Moves: Lloyd, the father of Steve/Jimmy.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Happens to Lip from Karen in "Can I Have A Mother".
  • Artistic Title: The opening (which chronicles a day in the Gallagher's bathroom) really does nail the tone of the show.
  • Ax Crazy: Carl.
  • The Beard: Mandy for Ian.
  • Betty and Veronica: Fiona had to choose between bad boy car thief Steve and nice guy police officer Tony. For some time, she choose neither but choose Steve/Jimmy at the end of Season 2.
  • Big No: Frank has one of these in Episode 11 of the first season.
  • Black Best Friend: Veronica.
  • 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.
  • Broken Bird: Holy hell, Karen Jackson. Less so during the majority of Season 1, but it was during the stuff between her and her Dad that messed her up royally.
  • But Not Too Gay: For a show this hedonistic, Ian has yet to be seen having sex with another man onscreen. But since Cameron Monaghan didn't turn 18 until the middle of shooting Season Two, it makes sense.
  • 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.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Implied by Steve, when talking about Estafania's father.
  • 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: A lot of the show's Dark Comedy is derived from highly unlikely events happening to the characters.
    • Shelia has almost conquered her agoraphobia when a wheel falls of a plane and lands right in front of her.
    • Carl wants an air-rifle so a criminal tosses a machine pistol out of a car and it lands in front of Carl. Carl uses it to kill a BALD EAGLE.
    • Ian spends the night with some random older guy he met at a nightclub. Who turns out to be Steve/Jimmy's father.
  • Couch Gag: The show opens up on a cast member, as their character telling you what you missed last week.
  • Downer Ending: Rarely if used, but "Just Like The Pilgrims Intended" ended with a very high downer note.
  • Driven to Suicide: Eddie in the Season One finale.
    • Monica at the end of Season Two, but her attempt is unsuccessful.
  • Dumb Blonde: Monica, Jasmine, Holly Hickemer.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Peggy Gallagher genuinely cared about her children and grandchildren. Except for Frank.
  • Expy: Amy Smart is basically playing the same character she plays in Crank Up to Eleven.
  • Faking the Dead: Frank, though it seemed to bite him on the ass.
  • Fan Service: There has to be some reason Ian is shirtless all the time. Lip, Steve, Kevin, Veronica, and Fiona apply to this too occasionally. Fiona, big time.
  • Fille Fatale: Karen and Mandy. Holly Hickemer thinks she's this but she's still too young to actually be sexual.
  • Generation Xerox: Fiona and Lip are beginning to show similarities to their dear old dad, particularly 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 Jodie up by sending Mandy to their house so Mandy would sleep with Jodie. 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.

  • Genki Girl: Though she may be a a bit older than most examples, Sheila Jackson when she's not in a rough patch.
  • Gone Horribly Right: 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.
  • Informed Ability: Ian supposedly knows how to kill people in a hundred different ways, is a good marksman and trains karate, but even armed with a tire iron, Mickey managed to get the upper hand of him easily and most of Ian's problems have been solved by either diplomacy or sex, so there's no much support for his alleged skills.
    • Then again, Ian beats the living crap out of his brother, proving he does show these fighting abilities but just chooses not to.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: The two characters that are closest to being considered as their season's respective main antagonists, Eddie Jackson and Peggy Gallagher, have both been killed off.
  • 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.
  • Mafia Princess: Estafania, though she isn't exactly part of the mob as her father is a high ranking Cartel member or leader, or at least someone with ties to the Cartel.
  • 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.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: When Eddie is found dead, people assume that Frank did it.
  • Mood Whiplash: Heavily used and how. One moment the show is all dramatic, then the next moment something greatly funny happens.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Steve/Jimmy, Lip, and Ian.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Fiona, Karen, Veronica, Mandy, and Estafania.
  • 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.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Frank's mother, big time.
  • 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.
  • Out of Focus: Ian in Season Two for sure, especially in comparison to the rest of the Gallaghers.
  • Pair the Spares: Shelia and Jody, after Karen ends her relationship with Jody and Frank goes back to Monica.
    • Seems that it will happen with either Lip and Estefania, or Lip and Mandy, at the end of Season 2.
  • Parental Abandonment: Monica Gallagher left her husband and six children almost two years ago. Frank stuck around but has been completely useless most of the time. When he actually moves out, it actually makes things easier for the kids.
  • 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.
  • Promotion to Parent: Fiona, without a doubt.
  • Put on a Bus: Ethel, Malik, and their children. They literally did leave on a bus.
    • Karen leaves the Jackson household at the end of Season 2, but it's possible that she will be back for Season 3.
  • Rape Is Okay When Its Female On Male: 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.
    • However, it's averted as Sheila is upset and apologizes to Frank for what Karen did.
      • Though zigzagged since Sheila is the only one who considers it rape.
  • Reality Ensues: And how.
  • Really Gets Around: Karen, Lip. Fiona in the first half of Season 2.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: When Karen calls the cops because Sheilla 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 Sheilla, ignore Karen's protests and decide to go get some Thai food.
  • Running Gag: "CARL!!!" Or rather Carl's antics.
  • 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 after a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown between the two.
    • Though they did have a round two and Ian did win, and they're back on speaking terms.
  • The Sociopath: Frank's mother definitely, she really didn't care at all about those 2 college kids that died in the meth lab explosion that got her jail-time.
    • Karen seems to be falling under this route.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The Gallaghers, especially with the reveal that Ian is one of Frank's brother's sons.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Lip and Karen in Season 2.
  • 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.
  • Wham! Episode:
    • 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.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: 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.
    • Now played with Karen's child, as it could be Lip's or someone else's. Though in her own words, its Jody's because real dads are overrated.
    • It turns out that neither Lip nor Jody is the father of her baby, but rather an Asian guy Karen was having sex with on the side.
  • The Windy City: Takes place in the south side of Chicago.