‘Shameless’: Taking a Look Back at the Top 10 Greatest Moments

The insane world of “Shameless,” the Showtime dramedy series, has been shaking America to its core since 2011. With only two episodes remaining, it’s hard to believe the show is coming to an end after eleven wonderful seasons. The series finale of “Shameless” is set to air on Showtime on April 11.

For those unfamiliar, “Shameless” follows the Gallagher family—which consists of Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy), an obnoxious alcoholic and a neglectful father, and his children Fiona (Emmy Rossum), Lip (Jeremy Allen White), Ian (Cameron Monaghan), Debbie (Emma Kenney), Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) and Liam (Christian Isaiah)—who live on the South Side of Chicago. It also follows their best friends and neighbors, Kevin Ball (Steve Howey) and Veronica ‘V’ Fisher (Shanola Hampton), as well as numerous other memorable characters and guest stars who have come and gone. Unfortunately, since all great things must come to an end, it is time to say goodbye to these beloved characters. But before we do, let’s take a look at some of their finest—and most outrageous—moments.

10. Debbie accuses Frank’s cousin, Patrick, of molestation to keep the Gallagher home.

While this might not be a brag-worthy event, it did show us the Gallaghers’ dedication to each doing their part and helping each other out—no matter how vile it may be. This is perhaps a turning point for Debbie as she stands up and finally does something to help the family. She truly came into her own in this moment. To break it down, there was a problem with the house, and Frank was useless and Monica (Chloe Webb) was off being her estranged deadbeat mother. While Cousin Patrick (Brent Sexton) is out trying to get away with everything, Debbie thinks fast and knows that blackmailing him—by threatening to tell the cops he touched her—will allow them to keep the family home.

9. Frank ruins Fiona and Sean’s wedding.

While we were all rooting for Fiona’s happiness, it was about time something, or in this case, someone came and messed it up. In the season six finale, Fiona was due to be wed to her current fiance, Sean (Dermot Mulroney). However, at the wedding, Frank blurts out that Sean had been using heroin again. While this was true and needed to be said, the way it happened could have gone down differently. This lead to the wedding being called off, Fiona being inconsolable, and Sean leaving Chicago for good.

8. Mickey and Ian say goodbye at the border.

While I’m in favor of all things “Gallavich,” I’m trying to keep their moments to a minimum. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to mention that special moment when the two have a brief reunion as Mickey escapes from jail and wants Ian to run away with him. This reunion leaves us on the edge of our seats as we don’t know what will happen. Ian is a sucker for Mickey, while Mickey wants nothing more than running away with his one true love. In the end, Ian ends up backing out. He can’t leave everything behind, even for Mickey. My heart was worried this was the end of the road for these two—I’m glad it wasn’t!

7. Debbie has a baby at fifteen.

We talked about Debbie coming into her moment, now it’s time to throw some shade at her. Any avid “Shameless” watcher knows that Debbie loves her daughter, Franny (Presley Schrader), very much. However, the way she entered the world wasn’t ideal. This is, without a doubt, one of Debbie’s worst moments. It all started when Debbie lied about being on birth control to purposely get pregnant by her boyfriend, Derek (Luca Oriel), in order to keep him around. In true Shameless fashion, her plan backfires and Derek skips town to get away from her.

6. Karen has sex with Frank.

Before Debbie’s wild days, there was Karen. Karen (Laura Slade Wiggins) was a wild one all on her own, but there was one particular moment that just amplified it. In response to her father’s inappropriate comments, she fights back by calling upon Frank and seducing him. She even filmed the whole thing for everyone to see. Not only does Karen rape Frank, but she also does it in such a twisted way. Karen is someone that does the most outrageous sh*t just for shock value. 

5. Mandy hits Karen and leaves her paralyzed.

Some might forget that before Lip was the family man we all know and love today, he was in a vicious love triangle with Karen and Mandy (Emma Greenwell). With Karen disappearing after her drama, Lip and Mandy start dating. It isn’t until Karen comes back that Mandy starts to lose it from jealousy. Karen convinces Lip to leave Mandy, Mandy reacts, and boom, she hits Karen with a truck and leaves her paralyzed.

4) Sheila.

Sheila (Joan Cusack), who is Karen’s mom and a character that I miss deeply, was indeed a major icon of this show. She never left her house due to her agoraphobia, but she had a strong need for control that extended to her sex life (dominating her boyfriends with toys). Sheila began as Frank’s love interest he used for shelter, food, etc., yet ultimately proved to be more complex. Let not forget when Karen brings Jody (Zach McGowan) around and he end up forming a “special” relationship with Sheila. Every time this mother-daughter duo is together, it is truly insane. 

3. Mickey confesses his love for Ian.

I know Mickey and Ian’s relationship had its toxic moments, but I couldn’t help but always root for them. I mean come on, we all have our problematic favorites, right? While Ian is getting tired of being some hookup, he is tired of being the mistress and proceeds to leave, but in a weird yet fantastic turn of events, Mickey comes out to the whole bar and lets everyone know how he feels. It was great to see Mickey finally come to terms with his sexuality, even if the aftermath wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies.

2. Lip goes to college.

Unlike the other Gallaghers, Lip was the only sibling to attend college. He had such a knack for school, that he even went as far as taking the SATs for money. From sleeping with a professor to smashing cars, Lip is not one for the typical college experience. This is ultimately where Lip hits rock bottom. He gets so close to becoming the first Gallagher to get a college degree, but it doesn’t work out in the end. It wasn’t all bad though, he did form a close bond with one of his professors.

1. Bridezilla Mickey and the Gallavich wedding.

Mickey going complete bridezilla over wedding chairs was something that I would never have expected, but nonetheless enjoyed. When we first met Mickey back in season 1, he had the hardest exterior of anyone on the South Side, and here he is throwing a fit over chairs. Following that, after Mickey’s father tries to sabotage it and they run into issues with homophobic restaurant owners, they are finally able to tie the knot. It was incredible to see the character development between Ian and Mickey and watch their relationship grow over the seasons. The good, the bad, and the ugly, everything lead them to that moment—and it was everything!

“Shameless” airs Sunday Nights on Showtime at 9/8 central.

By Megan Yamrich

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