Shameless, home of the dysfunctional family that we never wish to be a part of and led by the dad we’re glad we never had. It’s like you want their lives to get better, but if they did, there would be no show. The Gallagher clan, ran partially by father Frank (William H. Macy) and oldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum), have been through it all. Each episode leaves you wanting to see exactly how bad things can get and just when you think it can get no worse, BOOM!
Thugs, drugs, sex, and mental disorders only scratch the surface of what the show brings. While Frank spends most of his days (or weeks) in and out of bars, Fiona is the glue that holds the family together. Not the expensive kind of glue, the cheap glue that you have to keep applying over and over to get it to hold.
Other siblings Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam (who’s black, and not adopted by the way) each add their own stories and unpredictable antics to make this show the perfect mess. They may not be perfect, probably the furthest from it, but they depend on each other and make it work the best way they know how.
Shameless is the type of show you binge-watch on Netflix for days at a time, over and over again, just to make sure you didn’t miss anything the first time. There have been kidnappings, robberies, drug busts, evictions, and even shootings. Several shootings, to be exact. With that being said, here’s a list of 15 of the worst, most immoral Shameless episodes that have aired to date.
15. “Casey Casden” – Season 1 Episode 4
To start off our list, we’re hanging out with Debbie Gallagher. After “Aunt Ginger” left the Gallagher house, Debbie got lonely. So lonely, in fact, that she went out and found her own companion – a two-year-old boy. Yes, Debbie kidnapped a child. From a birthday party. She took the little boy Casey and dressed him up as a little girl, to have her own little play pal forever. When the rest of the Gallaghers found out, you would think they would call the police because that’s the right thing to do. Well, as we all know, nothing is right in the Gallagher home. Instead of calling authorities, they devised a plan to return the child to the home he was abducted from after an Amber Alert had been issued. This included false police reports and the help of the family’s friends Steve, Veronica, and Kevin. Fortunately, the plan went without mistake and little Casey was returned to his home. The family and their friends were so happy that they even rewarded Debbie with money for finding him. Oh, and how could we forget that Debbie lied to the cops when they asked her how she had found him. Kidnap a kid, cover it up, get paid for it, and lie to the cops. Just a regular day in the Gallagher household.
14. “Summertime” – Season 2 Episode 1
Frank Gallagher, being the money-hungry deadbeat dad that he is, overhears a conversation at the bar of a man who claims to have gotten tased twice and still managed to run away from the police. He calls BS and makes a $10,000 bet that the man couldn’t do it without soiling himself. Because Frank is Frank, he lost the bet and now owed the man, Baby, money that he didn’t have. While out panhandling for the money with baby Liam, Frank is kidnapped by Baby and his men. Baby demands his money or he’ll start chopping off Frank’s toes. Of course he doesn’t have the money so Baby takes Liam as collateral until he can come up with the money. Frank is out of options and the family starts to wonder where Liam is. In the end, the Gallagher children end up saving Liam and Baby comes out with their savings for the year and what seems to be more than enough money in marijuana plants. Oh, Frank. You’re supposed to protect your family, not lose them to a big, scary man that can take being tased twice and walk it off.
13. “Just Like The Pilgrims Intended” – Season 2 Episode 11
Thanksgiving, a day where family and friends come together to eat and be thankful and happy together. What started out as a fairly normal family get together turned into an attempted suicidal mess when Monica, mother of the Gallagher children, tried to kill herself in the kitchen while the family feasted. Earlier that day, Monica was in a bipolar funk and the family had a hard time getting her out. Frank literally carried her out of bed and that seemed to solve the problem, or so he thought. Everything was somewhat okay until she excused herself from the table to “wash her hands.” After a couple of minutes went by, and Debbie’s homeless friend Conrad made his appearance, a noise came from the kitchen and Fiona went to see what it was. The family followed and found a bloody Monica sitting on the kitchen floor with slit wrists and a knife by her side. We get it, it’s completely unfortunate and you never know what the next person is going through. But to do it in the room next to family and friends? On Thanksgiving? Come on Monica, think of the children.
12. “May I Trim Your Hedges?” – Season 3 Episode 3
This episode is actually a two in one. Frank the Scammer sees a child with incurable cancer receive a dying wish gift from a basketball team and decides he wants a piece of the action. It doesn’t work out in his favor but he does manage to get Carl into cancer camp. Of course Carl doesn’t have cancer, that would only make sense, but Frank tells him he does so he can ace the cancer interview complete with a poorly shaved head. Telling your perfectly healthy son that he has cancer for your personal gain, how low can you go Frank?
Part two of this episode has to do with Lip and the sexy pedophile teacher that goes for young boys. Lip pretends he’s younger than he is to seduce the teacher and to get her to move out of her home. His plan works and he has sex with her, but only after she shaves his pubes and then there’s some peanut butter involved? Exactly, weird. But you know, having sex with pedophiles and getting into cancer camp without actually having cancer are what makes this show great. Completely and totally wrong, but great nonetheless.
11. “Civil Wrongs” – Season 3 Episode 10
I think this show has a theme: Frank and his scams. Remember when Frank became the face of the gay rights movement? He was living the life in a hotel, getting paid to do seminars, and basically just being Frank, but gay. He started to catch the attention of a bunch of people, including an anti-gay group that wanted to “fix” him. In Frank’s mind, it all made sense. He could scam both groups, have sex with women, and get double the pay. What could go wrong? Everything Frank, everything could go wrong. He got caught having sex with a woman by the gay rights leader and kicked out of his luxurious life after he didn’t prove himself gay by having sex with two men. I’m not sure what’s worse, pretending to be gay or pretending to be gay and then “pretending” to be straight to have sex with a bunch of women. (which actually ended up only being one woman that he wasn’t attracted to, but hey. Vagina.) Of course though, like 99% of Frank’s schemes, this one ended in complete failure.
10. “Strangers On A Train” – Season 4 Episode 4
Finally, things are looking up for Fiona. She has a great job, a great boyfriend, and her family life… doesn’t suck. It’s no shock when Fiona ruins her perfect relationship with Mike by sleeping with his brother Robbie after a night of drinks. Why can’t the Gallaghers ever get it right? Not only does she sleep with him while his brother is in the other room throwing up all the liquor from the night, but she does it again and again after Robbie calls her an addict. Robbie even follows Fiona on a train and pleasures her while they sit there next to each other. She realized that Robbie was right, that she was an addict and couldn’t stop herself from having sex with him. Finally, she could take it no longer and goes to his house to break it off… and then they have sex again. She gets upset when he says he has to take a call from his girlfriend. How could he, right? Things finally come to light in the next episode and the situation gets as worse as it can.
9. “There’s The Rub” – Season 4 Episode 5
Literally, the next episode Robbie gets into a fight with Mike at dinner and tells Mike about his affair with Fiona. Well that’s that for Mike and Fiona, and also Robbie and Fiona. Or so we thought. Robbie shows up to Fiona’s to party and brings her a bag of coke as an apology. She kicks Robbie out but the coke stays. After realizing how awful she is, and, oh yeah it’s her birthday, Fiona starts doing lines of coke with Veronica and Kevin. Lip and Debbie come home to them partying hard and Debbie goes to the kitchen to find Liam not breathing with coke on his face. He’s rushed to the ER and Fiona is arrested while waiting. She admitted when the medics came that it was her coke. Liam’s blood pressure is elevated and the doctors tell the Gallaghers that he could possibly have permanent brain damage. Child endangerment, in one of the worst ways possible. If you’re going to do hard drugs, how about keeping it away from the children Fiona? You know, so they don’t get sent to the hospital? Just an FYI.
8. “Liver, I Hardly Know Her” – Season 4 Episode 10
Back story: Fiona is let out on probation and you know what she does? Becomes an upstanding citizen and the best big sister her siblings could ask for! Or not. She fails at getting a job because of her criminal record and goes to Robbie’s to lash out. Present time: Robbie has a party filled with drugs, alcohol, sex, and Fiona. She’s partying and things are moving fast and then slow. She passes out while dancing and her ankle monitor is going off. She wakes up to find out that she had been doing ecstasy and passes out again. This time she wakes up in a van full of strangers including a girl with a really annoying voice. Where are they going? Fiona doesn’t know. Her siblings are looking for her and end up at Robbie’s to find her shoes and coat. This doesn’t look good. They eventually find her and she cries and apologizes and all that mushy stuff. Who gets out on probation and ruins their opportunity to right their wrongs? Fiona Gallagher, that’s who. Honestly, we hoped she would get it right this time.
7. “Tell Me You F**king Need Me” – Season 5 Episode 7
Could the show have done without crazy Sammi and her weird little chubby kid Chuckie? In my opinion, yes, but they did make an interesting story for a few episodes. In this episode, Sammi begins to realize her role in the Gallagher household and also realizes that Frank doesn’t appreciate the things she does for him. She apologizes for withholding his meds and expects an apology back. Frank pretends to be asleep. Later that day, the family is gathered and Frank tells them they can’t depend on each other and how it comes off as needy and desperate. After telling Frank to get out of the house, Sammi pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot him. He dares her. She shoots him! Who saw that coming? She finally flew over the cuckoo’s nest.
To add insult to injury, Sammi wants Frank to tell her he needs her while holding salt in her hand. Frank tells her not even she’s that crazy. Oh, but she is. She literally pours salt into his wound and Frank quickly obliges. She’s happy again. “Oh, dad” she exclaims with a smile. It’s like you want to say “poor Frank” but it’s kind of like karma for everything that he’s ever done. All in all, Sammi’s psychotic crazy and she’s not even bipolar Monica’s child.
6. “South Side Rules” – Season 5 Episode 10
Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. I hate to say it but you’re one of my least favorite characters of this show and I’ll tell you why. You don’t make good choices. So, yeah. Debbie had been seeing beau Derek for a while now and they decided to have teenage sex. Normal, I suppose. Debbie does the adult thing and goes to get on birth control. Good Debbie. The doctor lets her know that the birth control won’t go into effect until 48 hours later, so to use a condom. Cool. Debbie goes to hang out with Derek’s family and his sister-in-law tells her how she had a baby and the family accepted her instantly. So the wheels turned in Debbie’s head and she decided that she, too, would like to be accepted into Derek’s family. Later that night, Debbie and Derek are about to get it on and Derek reaches for the condom. Debbie tells him she’s on birth control so they don’t need it. Bad Debbie. Bad, bad Debbie. Of course, if you’re an avid watcher of the show you know that Derek splits and forces Debbie to raise the baby without a dad. Oh well, Debs. You should make better choices, like not lying about being on birth control to trap your boyfriend. For shame.
5. “#AbortionRules” – Season 6 Episode 2
As we begin to wind down our list, again we come across probably the most immoral person on the show: Frank. After the “love of his life” Bianca passed away from terminal cancer, Frank sets out to find other women with incurable cancer to mooch off of. He calls it being a “cancer concierge.” Frank, you’re pathetic. But if you weren’t so pathetic, we probably wouldn’t watch the show. So after searching the cancer wing, Frank finds a willing participant, Hilary, who doesn’t have long to live. She tells Frank that she hadn’t been touched in 15 years after he suggested having sex on train tracks, like he did with Bianca. They leave the hospital to go to the tracks. Frank tells her not to worry and hands her a crack pipe to loosen her up. She hits the pipe and falls over. He checks her pulse and realizes she died in his lap. He runs, leaving her dead cancer ridden body by the side of the train tracks. Seriously, Frank. Have you no shame? Of course not, that’s why the show is called Shameless.
4. “Be A Good Boy, Come For Grandma” – Season 6 Episode 8
What a weird episode title, but what’s not weird about this show? In this episode, Lip is having troubles in the sex department because of his Helene situation coming to an end. He decides to leave college for a few and heads on home to the Gallagher house. In walks Queenie, Sammi’s mom. Her and Lip get to talking and if you know anything about this show, you knew something weird was about to happen. Queenie tells Lip about his chakras and starts to give him a foot massage. He doesn’t believe in it until she reaches a certain spot on his foot and… this is so gross. He starts to feel all tingly inside and then Queenie literally says “Be a good boy, come for Grandma” and he does. From a foot massage. By an old lady. No thanks, feet were already gross but this is just disgusting. Yuck. Or yay, depending on what you’re into?
3. “Familia Supra Gallegorious Omnia” – Season 6 Episode 12
Wedding bells are ringing: Fiona’s getting married! Fiona finally found the man she can’t live without, that puts her and her family in their places and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. She’s in love with Sean. The kids love Sean. Frank hates Sean. He hates Sean so much that he hires a guy to kill him but that backfires so he plans to do it himself. Frank followed Sean and found out his dirty little secret. What a better time to call him out on it than at his daughter’s wedding ceremony. Frank shows up, high and unwanted, to the church and snaps on everyone, saving Sean for last. Sean, a recovering addict, had been using again. He even used the morning of their wedding. Frank called him a junkie “through and through” and said he was surprised they weren’t friends because they had so much in common. What goes around, comes around and Frank is thrown into a freezing river. Did he deserve it this time? Who knows. Either way, so long Sean and Fiona’s last attempt at love.
2. “The Defenestration of Frank” – Season 7 Episode 6
How many times has Frank been homeless? Too many to count. How many times has Frank stolen from people? Again, the number is high. But how many times can we say that Frank sank to the lowest of the lowest of the low and stole from homeless people? Once, and that’s all it took. “Daddy” Frank helped a bunch of homeless people by finding them a home. That was actually really nice of him, but we know Frank and he’s not a nice guy. After finding the home, Frank started to receive donations from local groups to help shelter and feed the people. Along with this, he started a panhandling organization to help “keep the lights on.” But Frank the scammer decides to grease his own pockets and steals the panhandling money and sells some of the goods that were given to the shelter. He had a good game going until he was found out and exiled from the shelter. To steal from people with nothing but the clothes on their backs is immoral, which might as well be Frank’s middle name.
1. “Requiem For A Slut” – Season 7 Episode 12
In the last episode of Season 7, it’s time for Monica’s funeral. While the family thinks her death was drug related, she actually died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Frank is devastated and Ian and Carl both head back home to be with their families. Carl returns from military school and Ian comes back from the border where he left Mickey to cross into Mexico alone. While going through her stuff, the Gallaghers find a key. The key ultimately leads to a storage unit where Frank finds Monica’s legacy to her children: meth. Frank divides up the meth amongst them all and Fiona tells him that she wants nothing to do with it. Monica’s dad Bill comes to the home and beats up Frank for killing his daughter. Frank loses at it and tries to find the drugs that Debbie hid from Bill, hurting Debbie and Fiona in the process. In the end, Fiona takes her share of the drugs to the final meet for the funeral arrangements and stuffs them into Monica’s casket, under her body, and ends it all with a big “F you mom” and starts to punch her dead body. Wow. I get that she hated her but that’s just mean Fiona, even for you. Poor, dead Monica.