5 Fan Favorite Shameless Characters Who Saved The Show (& 5 Who Hurt It)

Shameless is an incredible TV series that has been on the air for a whopping eight years. Its kitschy depiction of a dysfunctional family unit on the South Side of Chicago has seen cast members come and go like musical chairs. Some of these characters are wildly loveable while others made us want to quit watching Shameless altogether due to how dislikable they were.

RELATED: 15 Episodes That Saved Shameless (And 5 That Hurt It)

Because The Gallagher Family is so big, many people have entered and left their lives within a blink of an eye. Who were some of the best and worst characters to come and go on Shameless?  Read the list below to find out!

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Sheila (Joan Cusack) was easily one of the best characters in Shameless history due to her many quirks and offbeat personality. Being an agoraphobic, Sheila suffers from the fear of leaving her house, which is honestly pretty understandable since she lives in one of the most violent areas on the South Side of Chicago.

Her fears and anxieties are juxtaposed by her desires to dominate in the bedroom, which is perhaps the only place where she feels as though she can have total control. Her character represented a sprinkle of benevolence in the tough-spirited South Side, and when she officially left the show, fans were devastated to see their favorite character go.


Say what you want about Karen Jackson and how she makes the Devil seem like a swell guy in comparison. Despite her malicious ways and how much she ultimately broke Lip's heart to pieces, you have to admit she added a whole lot of interesting flavor to Shameless that a goody-two-shoes Mary Sue type just wouldn't be able to offer.

Her character was one of the very few who was actually able to actually do a number on Lip, a.k.a the kind of dude who only wants what he can't have. Of course, since Karen is far from emotionally available, he follows her around like a lapdog. Kev even tells Lip, "I think Karen messed you up bad." Poor Lip!


Monica is the matriarch of the Gallagher family despite the fact that she's almost never around to actually mother her children. Because Monica was always off somewhere causing trouble, Fiona had to step in and play the role of the mother to all of her siblings before she was even old enough to wear training bras.

RELATED: Shameless UK vs Shameless US: The 10 Biggest Differences

Monica is the reason the Gallagher's are as tough as they are because they had to learn how to make it in the real world all on their own. Monica couldn't possibly help her kids because she could barely help herself. She truly added a hefty amount of drama to the show and made us appreciate the kids even more for everything they went through without her.


It's hard not to love Mickey as Ian's love interest on Shameless. He is the ultimate tough guy who refuses to serve to anyone (except perhaps Ian). His hard-as-nails attitude resorts to mush whenever he's with his man, and Mickey ends up serving as Ian's caretaker when his bipolar disorder starts to act up to the extreme.

RELATED: Shameless: 20 Things Wrong With Ian We All Choose To Ignore

Mickey's iconic persona made it all the more heartbreaking for fans when he left the show for several seasons. His cameo in "Face It, You're Gorgeous" as he shares a romantic moment with Ian while Frank Ocean plays in the background is so epic that we can't imagine a better wrap-up for Mickey and Ian's romance.


Svetlana was a hilarious addition to the Shameless cast with her business-savvy persona and cold Russian accent. She made The Alibi more fun to hang around, and she added an additional spark to Kev and V's relationship.

Ultimately, she provided an interesting dynamic to the show back at a point when it was desperately scurrying for ideas. Luckily, the series has picked back up again in season 9, but at a point when it was rather dull for a show that boasts excitement and crass, Svetlana seemed to be the singular ingredient necessary in order to keep that excitement alive.


Fans of Shameless were downright willing to give up on the South Side series they once loved so much, simply because of Ford. He is easily the most boring character in the history of Shameless. Wet carrots have more personality than this guy, and the scenes involving him are so uninteresting we'd rather watch a commercial break than a scene with Ford Whateverhislastnameis.

The writers must have picked up on our dislike towards the baldy because they eliminated him in season 9. Fiona has had her fair share of dull boyfriends, but none are as lifeless and dry as this guy.


Sammi, unfortunately, did no good for Shameless during a time when the series was starting to make its way downhill. Fans were not happy with Frank's long-lost daughter being added into the mix, feeling as though her character was not only annoying but also out of place.

RELATED: 10 Myers-Briggs® Personality Types Of Shameless Characters

Many people felt as though Sammi was an unnecessary addition to the already-oversized cast of characters and no one seemed to find her interesting enough to want to follow her storylines. Like Ford, the writers must have picked up on the world's disdain for Sammi Slot because they ended up getting rid of her by locking her behind bars.


Trevor played Ian's love interest for a good couple of seasons on Shameless. Although there was nothing ultimately wrong with the character, he was just too bland in the personality department for us to miss him after he left the show.

We knew little about him other than his career as a social worker at the LGBTQ+ center, and he ultimately seemed more like a prop for Ian's storylines than a fully fleshed-out character. Plus, any person who tries to replace Mickey Milkovich as Ian's number one love needs to sit down.


Sierra played Lip's love interest for a brief period on Shameless, and we're glad it was brief because she had nothing new to add to the show. We knew nothing about her other than the fact that she worked at Patsy's Diner and had a young son, along with a lame ex-boyfriend who kept on getting in the way of everything.

Why the writers would mistakingly think that Lip would go for someone as flat and uninspired as Sierra is beyond us. At least Karen and Mandy kept things exciting. Sierra, on the other hand, made us want to flip the channel on Shameless for good.  Luckily, she was eliminated from the cast after Lip decided he needed to concentrate on himself rather than put his energy into a relationship. This didn't last for long, though, because not too long after he ended up in another relationship with...


Fans are not happy with the writers' inability to create a decent love interest for Lip since, like, season 2. Tami and Lip have little to no chemistry, and her character as a whole just seems forced. She seemingly came out of nowhere, and although there is more depth to her than Sierra, she is a cringe-fest to watch. With a baby on the way and Lip hoping to step up and become a father, it doesn't look like they'll be breaking up any time soon, but with a show like Shameless, you never know.

That does it for our list. Who is your favorite and least favorite character on the show?

NEXT: Shameless: 20 Things That Don't Make Sense About Lip's Relationships

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