Even shows as well-written as Shameless are bound to stumble now and again. After more than eight seasons of storytelling, it's kind of expected. Just think about it; they have upwards of seven main characters at a time. Each one of these characters has their own unique backstories, personality traits, inner demons, goals, obstacles, stakes, and sets of context for each scenario that they get themselves into. In short, writing and shooting a show like this takes a lot of focus and skill.
That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be able to point out some of their biggest continuity errors, character inconsistencies, or story mistakes in hopes that they are corrected or aren't made a second time. Luckily for the show's creators, only the biggest fans tend to notice these things. Most viewers of Shameless don't actually pay attention to every single detail in the show. After all, there's a lot of Shameless. Instead, these viewers simply want to sit back, relax, and watch the latest outrageous and boundary-pushing scenario that the Gallagher family gets themselves into.
The most devoted fans, however, notice them. In fact, we even discuss them on online forums and around the water cooler at work. This list is comprised of some of the biggest mistakes that have been made throughout the eight seasons and counting of Shameless. In addition, there will be a couple of minor continuity errors that only the biggest fans would have noticed.
Here are 20 Mistakes In Shameless That Only True Fans Noticed.
20 Liam's Inconsistent Aging
Given the fact that the majority of the first three or four years of Shameless are supposed to take place within a fairly tight timeline (roughly 2 - 4 years), it's fair that the filmmakers have kept Liam so young. But after time started to move more quickly, it's hard to understand why Liam just didn't age.
In fact, he didn't really start to age until season 7, when the filmmakers stopped using young sets of twins and hired a slightly older actor, Cristian Isaiah. This was a welcome change since Isaiah is such an engaging actor, but it did bring up more issues surrounding the true age of the character. Liam's strange aging process tended to stand out against his older siblings, who aged far more traditionally.
19 Svetlana and Carol's Overlong Pregnancies
Two pregnancies on Shameless fudged the laws of nature in a quite obvious way. In season 3, both Isidora Goreshter's Svetlana and Vanessa Bell Calloway's Carol (V's mom) found out that they were with child. However, neither of them actually gave birth until early inseason 4. The break between season 3 and season 4 is about 2 to 3 months within the show's timeline.
It's easy to calculate their pregnancies being about 10 - 12 months long.
Of course, only the most devoted fans would be able to see that there was a mistake made here. And, at the end of the day, it didn't really matter as both pregnancies were important to the story in different ways.
18 The wrong airport
The romance between Emmy Rossum's Fiona and Justin Chatwin's Steve may not have always been healthy, but it was certainly engaging. In fact, it's somewhat legitimate to think that the two of them were destined for one another. Or, at least they were until Fiona really started to get her act together.
Before all that, Steve wanted Fiona to move down to Miami with him at the end of season one. He ends up purchasing a ticket for her and says that the flight with him is out of O'Hare Airport. When he ends up actually going to the airport, it's clear that he's actually not O'Hare, he's at Midway Airport. Though this could have been a story decision to show what a jerk he could be, it actually ended up being a glaring mistake.
17 Debbie's Birthday Confusion
Debbie may not have the same aging issues on the show as her little brother Liam does, but there is a bit of confusion surrounding when he actual birthday is. In one early episode, Fiona gets into an argument with Craig's wife. During which, Fiona attempts to talk to get out of it by talking about Debbie's upcoming birthday party.
Debbie points out that her birthday is actually in October.
However, in season seven, when Monica returns for the final time, she admits that she has never been happier since she was pregnant with Debbie in the summer. Debbie then corrects Monica, saying that she was born in December. It must be hard to get Debbie a gift, as it's apparent that she doesn't even know when her actual birthday is.
16 Youens Blowing A 1.8
In season eight, Lip's Professor, Clyde Youens, gets arrested after driving under the influence. It's said when he was pulled over, that he blew a "1.8"; which is an incredibly unrealistic number. Now, this could be police jargon, but in most locations including Chicago, a "1.8" actually means "0.18".
If he actually blew a 1.8 he would likely have passed away or, at the very least, would have been completely physically unable to move, let alone drive. As a simple Google search will show, the highest recorded number after a breathalyzer test is "1.48 BAC", which is, obviously, lower than a "1.8". Either way, this proved to be very challenging for Lip, who was sponsoring Youens at the time of this incident.
15 No Punishment From Canada
One of the best attributes of Frank is his willingness to go to any extremes to make money. Usually, this is in lieu of taking an honest job and almost always at the detriment of others. This is what happened in season Eight when he decided to smuggle people out of his country and into Canada. Frank took a few migrants through the wilderness until they could be safe amongst the poutine-loving Canadians.
He was eventually caught by the Mounties.
What didn't make sense about any of this was the fact that we saw no repercussions. One could assume that he was forever banned from the country, but he served no jail time or was given no visible fine. In fact, it was never brought up again.
14 Weather changes between snow and rain
The revelation that Frank had an older daughter from a previous relationship was one that many fans didn't like. But none-the-less, in season 4 we were introduced to Sammi Slott, Frank's first born. In one scene, Frank and Carl are scoping out Sammi and her funny little son, Chuckie as they pop in and out of their trailer. As Frank and Carl watch them, they experience a strange change in the weather.
Though it begins as rain in one shot, the next shows snow, and then rain again.
This is more than likely due to the fact that the scene was shot outside over a long period of time where weather could change. I n the show, where it appears to be happening in real time, this looks like a mistake.
13 How Can They All Afford Phones?
One thing that made no sense about the Gallagher family during the first few seasons of Shameless was the fact that they all could afford phones. In some cases, the characters were gifted iPhones, like Fiona in season one or Lip in season four, but even before that, they had flip-phones.
Sure, their earlier phones were cheap in comparison to the iPhones they use now, but they still had to pay for their plans. When a family is stealing food in order to survive, it's kind of hard to imagine how they could afford these plans. Even Debbie and Carl had iPhones before either of them got jobs that could actually pay the $200 for the phone, or the $40 plus/month plan.
12 The Opening Credits Cut
One of the things that's stayed consistent throughout Shameless' nine-season run is the opening credit sequence. This opening, featuring "The Luck You Got" by The High Strung, followed the entire cast as they used the same washroom throughout the day. Even though all of these characters have aged or have even been recast, like Liam, the show has maintained the credits sequence. However, they did make one rather strange cut: Karen.
For the first two seasons, Karen was actually included in the opening sequence but was replaced by Ian and Lip wrestling for season three.
Although this decision was purposeful, it does seem a bit strange that they would go to all the trouble to take Karen out and not make other changes.
11 Fiona Abandoning Her Children
In season eight, Fiona ends up moving into her very own place to better manage the building she runs. Eventually, Ford practically moves in with her, and the two live life like adults without major responsibility aside from their jobs. But as discussed earlier, Fiona actually had another massive duty: she is still her younger siblings' legal guardian.
Before moving out, Fiona gives the responsibility to Lip, who does rise to the occasion as he believes he should. But Lip would have to legally take over that role for it to work. Technically, Fiona has abandoned her youngest siblings as her mother and father did. This could be a thought-out decision on the part of the writers, but it does feel pretty wrong.
10 Fiona's Missing Dog
After finding out that one of her tenants had passed away, Fiona decides that she will take responsibility for the tenant's cute little dog who, due to icky circumstances, will otherwise certainly be put down. This dog becomes a major responsibility, as well as accessory, for Fiona and sticks around for much of the eighth season of Shameless. However, come to the end of the season, as well as the ninth season so far, the dog has completely vanished.
It's possible that the dog ran away, passed away, or is simply being watched by Debbie somehow. So far there hasn't been any information on the animal's whereabouts. It may as well have been teleported to another planet.
9 Southside Is In LA, Not Chicago
Most television shows and movies aren't actually shot where they are set. For instance, Ethan Hawke's Chet Baker biopic, Born To Be Blue, was shot in Sudbury, Ontario during a harsh winter when it was supposed to be set in a particularly hot LA. Shameless is no different, even though it practically makes Chicago's Southside a character on the show. While it's true that the actual Gallagher house, as well as Kev and V's home, exists in the very location it says it does, much of the show is actually shot in Los Angeles.
This is with the exception of most exterior shots, which are shot in and around Chicago.
Almost all of the interior shots are done in L.A., and that includes everything for Kev's famous Alibi Bar.
8 Ian Suddenly Taking His Medication
Ian's bipolar storyline has added much progression to his character, but there have been a few glaring story issues that have come with it. One has got to be his decision to go back on his medication in season six.
Ian was once adamant about not taking his medication, which proved to have heartbreaking repercussions.
The biggest conflict that this decision caused was with his boyfriend, Mickey. In fact, Ian actually broke up with Mickey because he didn't want to be pressured into taking his meds. However, after Mickey left, Fiona had an argument with Ian about not taking his meds which actually caused him to change his mind. It felt pretty unrealistic that Fiona could change Ian's mind if Mickey couldn't for so long.
7 Vee Getting Pregnant Despite Being Incapable Of It
For the first four seasons of Shameless, through trial and error, it was made abundantly clear that Shanola Hampton's Veronica was completely incapable of having a child. This absolutely broke her heart as she wanted to raise children with her beloved Kev, played by Steve Howey.
V even got her actual mother, Carol, to be a surrogate for her and Kev's child. Although that did end up happening, it was revealed that V suddenly was able to become pregnant as well. This wasn't really a poor story decision. It was actually due to the fact that Shanola Hampton got pregnant in real life and it, therefore, had to be worked into the show.
6 Seeking Terry Milkovich's Help
One of the most memorable episodes involved Lip's relationship with a person who had been deemed a "predator." After finding out that a person who targets young children has moved into the neighborhood, Lip decided to gather the forces to go and confront this person who turns out to be a very attractive woman.
One of the people Lip recruited, with the help of Ian, Mickey, and Carl was Terry Milkovich. Now, everyone knows that Terry is an all-around bad guy, but they should also remember that he himself was a predator.
He targeted his very own daughter, with whom Lip was having a romantic relationship at the time.
Given that this is something that Lip was well aware of, it makes no sense why Terry would be included in this escapade.
5 Carl's Out-Of-Character Comment
It took a particularly long time for the writers to do anything meaningful with Carl. With a few heartwarming exceptions, Carl usually came across as an immature boy who took pleasure in harming other living things. However, this changed when he started taking an interest in the army and went off to military school. As soon as he came back from a break, he turned into a far more responsible and grown-up kid, even though he retained his Gallagher qualities.
However, in an early episode of season 9, Carl made a sincere comment about his love of harming living things when being asked where he'd like to intern. This choice made zero sense in relationship the man that Carl has become, and even went against what Carol chose to do after: rescuing dogs.
4 Nessa and Melanie Did Nothing
When Jessica Szhor's Nessa first appeared in Shameless in season 8, it seemed like her character would be involved in important storylines moving forward. After all, Jessica Szhor (Gossip Girl) was a fairly big "get" for Shameless. As time went on, it became clear that she, as well as her on-screen girlfriend Melanie, were only there as filler.
In fact, both Nessa and Melanie did absolutely nothing to affect the plot in any way. Nessa was merely there for Fiona to talk to, and Melanie was there to sort of get in the way of that. This can't help but feel like a mistake on the part of the screenwriters, who no doubt grabbed both of these actors expecting them to fulfill a bigger role in the season. Instead, they were left behind.
3 Fiona's Landlord error
After her younger siblings were taken from her, Fiona is able to gain legal guardian status; a role she's essentially been playing her whole life.
In season 7, Fiona, like a landlord would, demands rent from her younger siblings unless they want to find themselves on the street.
Of course, Fiona needed to do this in order to survive, but it's also illegal if she's the legal guardian of someone under 18. Lip and Ian were the only two characters who Fiona could have actually charged rent to. This particular entry could be seen as either a mistake on the part of the writers or a negative character trait on the part of Fiona. For Fiona's sake, let's say it was a writing error.
2 Ian's "Spartacus" Moment
Regardless of whether or not Ian's current storyline is playing out in a way that the fans have hoped, there is no excuse for mistakes as blatant as the one in season eight. Ian's "Church of Gay Jesus" begins to get popular, as well as being advertised on social media, Ian begins orchestrating various protests that lead to violence and destruction. Eventually, the police corner his allies and demand for the arrest of Ian. The only problem is, they don't know what he looks like. This leads to a "Spartacus" moment where all of Ian's supporters claim that they're him.
How is it possible for the police, who know to arrest Ian, don't know what he looks like?
This is the 21stcentury, and his face has been documented online and even on t-shirts!
1 Lip's Time In College
Boy, did Lip mess up a good thing. His time in college seems to be everyone's dream. Not only did he manage a coveted teacher's assistant position, but he also got to live as the only guy in a sorority house. However, both of these story details are highly improbable, if not completely unrealistic.
First of all, at the time of Lip's position, he was a sophomore undergrad. No college, especially an elite one, would hire a sophomore undergrad to be a teacher's assistant. It simply wouldn't happen. As for moving into the sorority house, well, it's highly unlikely that a boy would be allowed to move in. But, hey, it did make for a good story.
What other mistakes did you catch in Shameless? Let us know in the comments!