In the TV show, Shameless Fiona who is the older sister is also playing the role of a parent, even though she is 21 and wants to be independent and go off on her own. She knows she can’t because no one else will take care of her siblings and she doesn’t want to see them turn out like their father or other. She pushes them to go to school and get jobs in the summer. She puts her siblings first and more times than not even before herself. She is constantly kicking Frank who is their father out of the house because he is such a bad influence always coming home drunk and urinating anywhere and everywhere he pleases. One point he retaliated by calling child services on the family and saying they were living in poor conditions. This caused the family to be separated and sent Fiona in a panic to get them all back and become their legal guardian. She even over heard the phone call from Frank which didn’t make things any better for him. Fiona does her best to keep the family together and it proves to be a very hard and stressful thing. She has her father trying to break up the family, people getting arrested, and the family doing some illegal things to keep their home and get an income.
The parents of these kids are Frank and Monica. Frank as mentioned before is the father who is never around but when he is he is usually drunk. He’s always causing trouble for the family and is no stranger to the local cops. Whether it be burying their dead Aunt in the back yard just to get social security money from her or calling child services on the family because Fiona kicked him out of the house. Frank is trouble all the time and can’t seem to do anything right. Monica his divorced wife doesn’t even come into the picture for a few episodes. Here we find out she is a drug abuser and has issues with leaving for no reason. Later in the series we are told she is bipolar as well.
Next on to Philip or Lip as he likes to be called is the oldest son and is the genius in the family. Fiona pushes him the hardest to go to school and college and to get good grades so he can do something with his life. He also helps Fiona the most with getting food and money for paying the bills. Once he goes off to college that’s when he starts to get into the most trouble because he thought it would be easy like high school. Well when he realized it was nothing like high school it was too late and he had already dug himself a hole. He starts failing classes and gets thrown into jail for smashing a couple of cars with a sledgehammer.
Ian is the second oldest boy in the family. As we find out from the show he is gay which tends to get him into trouble later in the series. He also turns out to be a lot like his mother Monica who is bipolar. When he finally does something right with his life and tries to get a job doing what he loves as a paramedic. He passes all of his exams just to find out that his mental illness won’t allow for him to continue as a paramedic. He rarely causes trouble for Fiona and is usually very helpful when he is around.
Debby is the youngest girl out of the children. She is mainly just a headache for Fiona and disobeys her countless times. Debby also has a sweet side and loves to help around the house and takes care of Liam a lot. Out of all of the children Debby is the only one that has respect for Frank. No matter what he does to the family she stays by his side and protects him whenever the other siblings attack him.
Carl is the other headache of the family. While in school he’s always getting into trouble and causing problems. Later in the series he begins selling drugs and also guns. With the money he earns from dealing he tries desperately to give it to Fiona to buy back the house. Fiona insists on not taking his money but in the end, he gives it to her any way so they have somewhere to live. As he gets older in the series he shows some maturity and begins to better himself.
Liam is the youngest of the Gallagher clan. He is African American which is odd because both of his parents are Caucasian. At one point Monica tries to take Liam but can’t because it isn’t her biological son. During season 4 Liam accidentally gets ahold of Fiona’s cocaine and this causes him to possibly suffer brain damage. Also, because he is the youngest in the family everyone feels very affectionate towards him.