Over the past nine seasons of Showtime's hit comedy-drama series Shameless, the Gallaghers and their closest friends have been a part of countless exceptionally dysfunctional relationships. Family patriarch Frank and his ex-wife Monica failed to set a positive example for their six children, so they went through life unable to figure out how to seek out healthy relationships and have repeatedly found themselves dating people who are completely wrong for them. Ian Gallagher recently managed to earn a slightly happy ending in jail with his Season 1 boyfriend Mickey Milkovich, but there doesn't seem to be much hope for his siblings or other loved ones.
The many characters of Shameless never seem to stay single for long, but more often than not, they fall for partners who make their already-difficult lives even more stressful and chaotic. Fiona can't help sabotaging every positive relationship in her life, Lip always seems to mess around with women who have a laundry list of issues, and Debbie tricked one guy into getting her pregnant and pretended to love another just so she could have a free babysitter.
Kevin and Veronica seemed to be the most normal couple in the series, but even they nearly fell apart once Svetlana entered their lives. The list of unstable couplings is far longer than the number of likable pairings fans have seen on the show, and when break-ups inevitably happen, Shameless' writers just move on and try to keep viewers from remembering the ridiculous relationships ever happened.
Here are 20 Couples Shameless Wants Us To Forget.
20 LIP AND KAREN
Karen Jackson was the neighborhood bad girl, and when Lip Gallagher became her science tutor, the two rebellious teenagers instantly became friends with benefits. Karen was attracted to Lip's intelligence and Lip enjoyed how willing Karen was to satisfy his every desire. Their relationship was fun and fairly normal when Lip and Karen were just messing around without assigning any labels to their dynamic, but once Lip started developing actual feelings for Karen, everything went downhill.
Karen's father couldn't accept his daughter's decisions and thirst for independence, and his resulting cruelty towards her sent her in a downward moral spiral. She became increasingly resentful and manipulative, and Lip's attempts to change her and make her happy only seemed to make things worse. She was Lip's primary love interest and one of the show's main antagonists for a while, but ever since Season 4, Shameless has just pretended she never existed and expected viewers to forget all about her.
19 FIONA AND ROBBIE
Fiona spent years hung up on Jimmy, even though he spent the majority of their relationship lying to her about who he really was. When she started dating Mike Pratt, it seemed like she was finally getting her life on track and figuring out how to be with someone who actually treated her right. Mike was great with her siblings, was always honest with her, and he had a job that didn't constantly put him at risk of going to jail. Unfortunately, Fiona went and screwed everything up by messing around with Mike's brother Robbie.
Robbie was irresponsible and careless, but Fiona found herself attracted to his refusal to live a boring life with an office job. She knew it was wrong to do that to Mike, but Fiona couldn't stop herself from repeatedly fooling around with Robbie. He made her life significantly more difficult, then just disappeared.
18 DEBBIE AND DEREK
Debbie Gallagher spent her entire childhood seeing her older siblings jump from partner to partner, so when she finally became old enough to start dating, she didn't quite understand how to enter into a normal relationship. She slept with Matt Baker while he was intoxicated even though she knew he only viewed her as a friend because of their large age gap, and when that didn't grant her the affection she desired, she moved on to Derek Delgado.
She and Derek seemed to genuinely like each other, but Debbie messed everything up by lying to Derek about being on the pill so she could trap him into staying with her by having his baby. Derek immediately broke up with Debbie upon finding out about her manipulation and deceit, and he's only been seen a few times since. It's clear that Shameless wants fans to forget the twisted way Frances Gallagher was conceived.
17 CARL AND DOMINIQUE
Carl Gallagher spent the majority of Shameless' sixth season trying to win the heart of his classmate Dominique Winslow, but their relationship seemed to be nothing more than a stepping stone the show's writers used to get Carl to give up on his thuggish, rebellious ways after his release from juvenile prison and introduce him to the man who'd inspire him to attend military school.
Carl started to develop into a more upstanding, rule-abiding young man during his time trying to impress Dominique's father and earn his approval. As soon as he won over Mr. Winslow, however, Carl discovered that his girlfriend was also with a college student and that she clearly didn't like him as much as she pretended to. This betrayal seemed out-of-character for Dominique, but her immediate removal from the show kept viewers from really thinking about this relationship after it ended.
16 IAN AND KASH
When viewers were first introduced to Ian Gallagher, he was having a controversial relationship with his married convenience store boss Kash. He and Kash would mess around in the back of the store as soon as Kash's overbearing and stern wife Linda was out of sight, and their relationship continued even after Linda caught them in the act via one of her hidden cameras.
Kash's wife told him he could do whatever he wanted with Ian so long as he gave her another child, but when Ian started exploring a relationship with Mickey Milkovich, Kash decided it wasn't worth it to stay trapped in his loveless marriage and just left Ian and his family behind.
15 FRANK AND SHEILA
Sheila Jackson was one of the sweetest and most innocent characters on Shameless, so it was awful watching Frank Gallagher repeatedly manipulate her throughout their relationship. He convinced Sheila he cared about her just so he could have a roof over his head and food in his stomach, and did everything he could to make her agoraphobia worse so she'd stay in her house and never find out from the people in town what kind of person he really was.
Sheila quickly fell for Frank because he allowed her to be as dominant in the bedroom as she always wished she could have been with her ex-husband Eddie, and she seemed to really enjoy taking care of her derelict new lover. Over time, however, she realized the truth about Frank and put an end to their relationship.
14 MONICA AND BOB
Monica and Frank really did seem like soulmates. Monica was always at her happiest when she abandoned all of her responsibilities, stopped taking her medications and just went off on another misadventure with her ex-husband. But most viewers have forgotten that when she was first introduced on the show, Monica was actually in a seemingly healthy relationship with a woman named Bob.
Monica and Frank may have been made for each other, but the only time viewers saw Monica acting like an actual mature adult was when she was with Bob. The couple wanted to adopt Liam and start a family together, but after Monica and Frank found themselves back in each other's arms yet again, Bob realized that she was better off without Monica and just completely gave up on her partner of several years.
13 JIMMY AND ESTEFANIA
Jimmy Lishman's marriage to Estefania was strictly a formality so she could legally live in the US. Jimmy was forced by Estefania's father to pretend to be her loving husband, but it was clear that he was still very much in love with Fiona Gallagher. Estefania had her own side relationship with Marco, but whenever Jimmy and Fiona got into an argument, she and Jimmy slept with each other.
Jimmy and Estefania's relationship was purely physical, and made viewers extremely uncomfortable. Fans initially wanted Jimmy and Fiona to work things out, but it was hard to continue rooting for them when Jimmy was leading a double life. Jimmy came back to the show in the next season, but Estefania hasn't been heard from since she was deported.
12 MICKEY AND SVETLANA
Svetlana Yevgenivna spent most of her time on Shameless complicating Kevin and Veronica's relationship as the third member of their "thruple," but her first relationship on the show was with Ian Gallagher's boyfriend Mickey Milkovich. Mickey's dad forced him to be with Svetlana after he found Mickey and Ian together, and when Svetlana became pregnant, Mickey was pressured into marrying her.
Immediately after they got married, Mickey realized he loved Ian too much to stay in the closet anymore, so he publicly announced his true feelings. He and Svetlana stayed together for a while so he could help raise his child, but since he and Ian dated throughout their brief marriage, their relationship quickly became forgotten.
11 IAN AND CALEB
Ian and Mickey's relationship is a fan-favorite, but it was never particularly healthy as the two lovers always got in trouble when they were around each other. The only time Ian truly seemed to have his bipolarity in check and his life on the right track was when he was dating Caleb, the fireman from Season 6.
Ian spent most of his young life seeking casual encounters with other men, but Caleb immediately expressed his desire for something more serious. Ian finally got the chance to go on real dates with a significant other, and Caleb helped inspire him to become an EMT and help other people. Their relationship was really great up until Caleb started messing around with girls, something he felt no guilt for because he felt being with women shouldn't be considered being unfaitful. He and Ian broke up, and Ian fell right back into his old habits.
10 LIP AND EDDIE
Only the biggest Shameless fans even remember Eddie, one of Lip's coworkers at the bike shop during the series' eighth season. The writers didn't give her any real character development or provide viewers with a reason to care about her, so when Lip entered into an awkward casual relationship with Eddie, it was difficult to stay invested in their future together.
Lip repeatedly complained about how his lack of action with women was hindering his work ethic, so Eddie started messing around with him just to shut him up and help him focus on his job. She took complete charge in their encounters, often hurting and bruising Lip in the process. At the end of the season, she just split with a random man and disappeared from Lip's life without even saying goodbye.
9 FRANK AND QUEENIE
Before Frank Gallagher married Monica and started a family with her, he dated a woman named Queenie Slott and they had a daughter, Samantha. Their relationship didn't last because Frank didn't think he could handle raising a child, but when Queenie came back into Frank's life several decades later, they realized they were still attracted to each other and briefly resumed their relationship.
Queenie was actually a positive influence on Frank's life, as she was willing to cook and clean for him and help him reconnect with his children. Frank probably would have been far better off with her than he was with Monica, but since Frank is more entertaining when he's a drunken mess, the writers just made Queenie disappear and hoped fans would forget all about her.
8 FIONA AND TONY
Throughout the first season of Shameless, Fiona struggled to choose between dating Jimmy Lishman, a charming but deceitful car thief, or Tony Markovich, her sweet and innocent police officer neighbor. Tony had a massive crush on Fiona for years, and since the Gallaghers frequently needed his help getting them out of legal trouble, Fiona constantly strung him along. She was with Tony for a very short period, but she never seemed to actually care about him.
Tony viewed Jimmy as his competition for Fiona's heart, and was the reason Jimmy was forced to leave Fiona at the end of the first season. But when he reappeared several years later, Tony revealed he was actually gay.
7 SVETLANA AND VERONICA
The Gallaghers never stay with their significant others for very long, but the family's neighbors and closest friends Kevin and Veronica have remained a couple throughout all nine seasons of Shameless. Kevin was supportive of his wife's decision to become a webcam model and V always stood by her boyfriend whenever he was having financial issues or struggling to figure out what to do with his life, so it didn't seem like anything could tear them apart. Then Svetlana came into the picture and turned the couple into a "thruple."
Veronica initially couldn't stand Svetlana, but over time, she became attracted to Svetlana's dominance and fell in love with her. Svetlana was able to use this to repeatedly manipulate V. Luckily, Kevin eventually figured out what she was up to, and their bizarre relationship came to an end.
6 DEBBIE AND NEIL
Debbie started out as a fan-favorite Gallagher due to her intelligent and kind-hearted nature at such an early age, but over time, she became the most twisted and despicable member of her family. Her siblings have done some pretty awful things over the past nine seasons of Shameless, but nothing really compares to the way Debbie tricked Neil into thinking she cared about him just so she could live in his home and use him as an unpaid babysitter.
After Debbie realized she wouldn't receive support from Derek or Fiona upon giving birth to Franny, she desperately searched around for someone else to take care of her child. She tricked Neil into proposing to her, and then just continuously left Franny in his care so she could go off and flirt with other guys until he finally figured out what she was doing and dumped her.
5 SHEILA AND JODY
Sheila and Jody were definitely two of the loneliest and most tragic characters on Shameless, so it was actually really nice to see them find happiness with each other for a short period of time. Jody married Sheila's daughter Karen, but soon realized that she didn't actually have any real feelings for him. Sheila was similarly starting to figure out that Frank's feelings for her weren't genuine, and she had just gotten out of a miserable marriage in which she never really got to do anything she wanted in the bedroom, so she and Jody were a perfect match.
Unfortunately, after Karen was hit by a car and lost her memory, Jody went back to his wife and they moved to Arizona together to help her recover. Sheila spent the next two seasons searching for someone to love, but since that never happened, she simply left the town to explore the world on her own.
4 MONICA AND WALTER
When Ian Gallagher found out that he shared his mother's bipolar disorder and Mickey started to pressure him to get it taken care of through medication, Ian briefly decided to leave his life in Chicago behind and live with his mother instead. Monica was thrilled, and couldn't wait to introduce her son to her "fantastic, fabulous, incredible" boyfriend Walter.
Walter wasn't quite as happy about their houseguest, and he and Ian got into a shouting match after Ian discovered that Monica and Walter were running a crystal meth operation out of their trailer park. Ian left, Monica didn't chase after him, and Walter was neither seen nor mentioned ever again.
3 LIP AND AMANDA
Lip should have known not to get involved with Amanda, but his inability to deny himself of any pleasure kept him from ever thinking with his brain throughout his casual relationship with her.
Amanda started out as Lip's roommate's fling, and she and Lip seemed to strongly dislike each other at first. Once Amanda saw how good Lip was with his younger brother Liam, however, she became attracted to him and randomly climbed into Lip's bed while he was sleeping. The two students started messing around on a daily basis, and while Lip made it clear that he was in love with his professor Helene, Amanda grew increasingly obsessed with him. When Lip stopped paying attention to Amanda, she posted pictures of Helene found on Lip's phone online to ruin their secret relationship.
2 CARL AND KASSIDI
After Carl successfully helped an addict detox through use of tactics he learned in military school, he went into the business of using those boot camp tactics to reform the troubled children of wealthy families. He was asked to help change Kassidi, a young woman who pointed out that none of the families who had hired him had actually paid him and convinced Carl to hold her for ransom.
Carl fell for his rebellious captive and they began to date. When Carl revealed his desire to go back to military school, however, Kassidi's obsessive nature came out. She forced him to marry her and handcuffed him to their bed so he couldn't leave. Once Carl broke out, she traveled all the way to the school to be his personal cheerleader. Carl asked a friend to take care of her, and it was implied that Kassidi was literally eliminated and won't ever be seen again.
1 IAN AND TREVOR
Ian learned a lot about the LGBTQ community during his relationship with Trevor, but fans never took a particularly strong liking to the transitioned social worker. Trevor always came off as condescending each time he taught Ian something new, and fans were livid when they found out that Trevor often enjoys the company of overweight men to feel better about himself any time he's feeling down.
Trevor started out as a positive influence in Ian's life, but the more viewers got to know him, the clearer it became that he wasn't quite the role model he tried to appear to be. Fans rejoiced when Trevor broke up with Ian upon finding out he'd briefly run off with Mickey, and viewers were even happier to see Ian and Mickey wind up as cellmates together in their final episode on Shameless.
Are there any other Shameless couples that the show probably hopes viewers will forget? Let us know in the comments!