Shameless: 20 Crazy Fan Theories That Change Everything

Shameless Fiona and Steve

One of the shows that have helped keep Showtime relevant in the current age of television, at its height Shameless was not only been a hit in the ratings but also won a number of awards. With the help of its stellar cast, the team behind the camera has managed to craft one beloved character after another.

Currently in the midst of airing its ninth season at the time of this writing, throughout the entirety of its run Shameless has been exhaustively discussed among fans online. As is the case with every show that garners a strong internet reaction, fans of this show have come up with various theories of what is to come and shared them among themselves. In some of those cases, their ideas have a strong basis in what has taken place on the show and would make fans view aspects of the series differently.

In order for a theory to be considered for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost needs to be related to the plot of the show Shameless in one way or another. On top of that, it has to have been suggested online by someone that is not involved in the production of the show, whether that is an everyday fan or article writer. Additionally, there has to be some possibility that it could still become a part of the show as of the time of this writing.

Here are 20 Crazy Shameless Fan Theories That Change Everything.

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Shameless Lip and Brad
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20 Brad is Lip From the Future

Shameless Lip and Brad

Shameless would suddenly have a sci-fi element to it if this came true. Still, no matter how hard it may to buy the idea that Brad actually is Lip from the future, there is something about it that is interesting to entertain. After all, as a Reddit user pointed out, when Brad gave Lip a job he was going really far out of his way to help out his new protégé.

Is it possible that Brad went that far in order to help his younger self out?

On top of that, just like Lip has in the past, Brad freaked out and went on a bender when his life was starting to look good. Of course, he is far from the only addict to do something like that

19 Fiona’s Building Burns to the Ground

Shameless Fiona Landlord

Among the most complicated main characters in TV history, Fiona was left to care for a group of children and in a heroic act, she definitely has given it her all. However, she has also had her moments of such complete irresponsibility that her youngest brother was sent to the hospital and she was arrested. The point is, even though she is far from perfect, Fiona tries to be a good person and supportive family member.

As a result, when her time on the show comes to an end shortly, it would be nice if she was happy. On the other hand, this Reddit theory suggests that won’t be the case since her building will be burnt to the ground because of her tenant who has huge electricity needs running a server farm that overheats.

18 The Show Will End With Frank Cleaning Himself Up

Shameless Frank job

Shameless is on its ninth season, and over all this time Frank has screwed up almost everything he’s touched. More than that, with the exception of a recent storyline in which he tried to go straight, Frank has shown little to no interest in attaining anything other than the money he needs to comfortably remain an addict. Despite all of that, this theory is all about him turning over a new leaf in a pretty big way.

Don’t get us wrong, we don’t expect him to suddenly start to act like Danny Tanner.

However, the idea here is that his character will clean himself up enough to actually be a help to his family and whatever friends he has left just before the show takes its final bow.

17 Fiona Will Leave the Show with Jimmy/Steve

Shameless Fiona and Steve

When Fiona and her first boyfriend on the show shared the screen the chemistry between them was simply electric. While this was fantastic at the time, it has actually been a problem for the show ever since because Jimmy AKA Steve is far more popular among fans than anyone else Fiona has been involved with. Sure, their relationship was toxic in a lot of ways but that that could be said about pretty much everyone else she has ever dated.

As a result, the idea that her character will end up running off with Steve/Jimmy makes a lot of sense, even as she is embroiled in drama with her latest man, Ford.

16 Liam is the Son of Frank’s Sponsor

If you are a big fan of Shameless then you will know that in season 1 of the show Liam got a paternity test that made it clear that in all likelihood he is the son of Frank. However, even if there was only a one in a million chance that a test like that could give a false positive, it is the perpetually unlucky Gallagher family that would have it happen to them. With that in mind, this theory suggests that Liam actually is the progeny of Frank’s old sponsor.

After all, in season 1 Frank brings up that Monica, the mother of the Gallagher kids, was close with the aforementioned sponsor.

Frank is the type of guy who wouldn’t notice them having an affair.

15 Monica Left a Scar on Frank You Can’t See

Shameless Monica and Frank

One of our favorite aspects of Frank Gallagher is that the show’s producers have seemingly put a lot of thought into the tiniest details of the character. Frank has explained that all of the scars on his body represent a woman whi has had an impact on him. For instance, the two scars on his abdomen came from Sheila, Sammi made an impact on his left arm and Bianca did damage to his right arm.

Interestingly enough, you may have noticed his greatest love, Monica, was not included on that list. Well, if a Reddit user is correct, she left a scar on his liver since he has said he would go on a bender anytime she would act out.

14 Svetlana Only Took Over the Bar In Order to Stay With Kev and V

Shameless Svetlana Kev and V

When Svetlana left the show many fans rejoiced because they did not like seeing someone screw over Kev and V. That said, if a Reddit user is right, the reason Svetlana tricked those two and took over running their bar is that she loved them.

This may be a hard pill to swallow, but if you actually listened to the things Svetlana said it makes a lot of sense.

After all, it is known that Svetlana had a hard past and wanted nothing more than stability. She was so much better at keeping the bar afloat. On top of that, she also said that she thought it would be better for all three of them and she spoke of wanting to be a throuple with Kev and V again.

13 Frank Developed a Brain Tumor

Shameless Frank Border

Throughout his career, William H. Macy has played a lot of characters that have shown off his incredible range. On the other hand, he has spent several years starring as Frank on TV. While he has been fantastic in the role, the character has been pretty much exactly the same throughout his run.

Well, that was the case until recently when Frank suddenly underwent a massive change in personality as evidenced by him working a retail job and his seemingly sincere desire to go straight. This has been partially explained away by his bad health of late, but one Reddit user suggested that maybe a yet-undiscovered brain tumor has altered the chemistry of his mind and is responsible for the new Frank.

12 Debbie is Bipolar Just Like Ian and her Mom


As a member of a family that forces children to grow up pretty fast, just like the other Gallagher kids, Debbie brought herself up in a lot of ways. She's been left to find her own place in the world with little to no guidance. As she has become a young woman, viewers have seen her jump from one situation into another. This is the kind of thing a lot of people her age do, but a Reddit user has another theory.

What if she also inherited her mother's bipolar disorder?

After all, if you really think about all of the things she has suddenly passionately cared about only to be totally abandoned an episode later, it is awfully similar to how Ian acts when he is off his meds.

11 Lip Will End Up Just Like Frank

Shameless Lip in Court

Currently, it seems like Lip has the least in common with Frank of all of the Gallagher kids. After all, instead of having a legion of kids he leaves to raise themselves and one another, Lip recently tried to become the legal guardian of a child he thought needed him. However, who’s to say that Frank wouldn’t have done something similar to that at an earlier stage in his life?

Both of them had a rough upbringing, addiction issues, and left college due to a relationship-- since Lip was removed after an affair with a teacher and Frank left school for Monica. With all of that in mind, it seems very easy to imagine Lip as another Frank after giving in to his addictions.

10 The Show Will End With Frank Meeting his Demise

Shameless Frank Sick

Early on it seemed like William H. Macy’s Frank was destined to be Shameless' main character. However, it soon became pretty clear that he was such an inconsistent presence in his kid’s lives that his eldest daughter Fiona played a much more central role. Of course, at the end of the current season, Fiona will be leaving the show so it seems likely that Frank will become the lynchpin of the show for the first time.

If the show truly does end up revolving around him, it will end with his character getting closure.

We’ve already touched on the idea that he will get a happy ending, but the theory that the series will end with him taking his final breath is just as easy to believe.

9 Carl Can’t Be Frank’s Son

One of the coolest parts of the modern world, science now allows us to know who we are better than ever before. For instance, you can send a DNA sample off and learn everything there is to know about your genetic makeup. Ina  perfect example of that, Carl never got a paternity test but when he had his blood drawn and sent off it was revealed that he is part Native, and has no black lineage.

As pointed out by a Reddit user, during the process of Liam getting a paternity test, it was revealed that Frank is part black, so if there isn’t a trace of that in Carl, how could they be blood -related?

8 Frank Was An Absentee Father For His Kids' Own Good

Sammi and Frank Shameless

Obviously a horrible father, Frank Gallagher is a terrible role model for his many kids. However, a Reddit user suggested that, in his mind at least, some of the decisions he has made as a dad actually are selfless. We think there is something to it.

Say what you will about Frank, but at various times it has been very clear that he truly does love his kids, but he expresses it in his own way.

As such, it is baffling that he has allowed them to raise one another instead of taking an active role in their lives. However, it is easy to imagine that he knows how bad he is as a father, so he has chosen to take a backseat role so someone better at it, like Fiona, could be more responsible for raising his kids.

7 Debbie Isn’t Frank’s Daughter

Shameless Debbie and Frank

Earlier on this list, we touched on the fact that Liam got a paternity test, but we left out that he was not the only Gallagher to have done this in the past. In fact, Ian also got tested and the results revealed that he is not the biological son of Frank. That fact alone throws into question whether or not any of the other Gallagher kids are Frank’s offspring.

On the face of things, it seems to have little to do with Debbie. However, she is the only other redheaded Gallagher, as pointed out by a Reddit user, and that gene has to come from both parents, so there is a decent chance she has the same parents as Ian. This theory is also easier to buy since Debbie was the next Gallagher born after Ian.

6 Nessa Was Sent to Watch Over Fiona by Jimmy/Steve 

When a new character is given lots of screen time only for fans to realize they serve no purpose, it is infuriating. The most recent example of that to pop up in Shameless, Nessa was introduced as a friend of Fiona’s season 8 and at the time it seemed like their relationship was building to something. Instead, by the time the season ended, Nessa never did anything but serve as a sounding board for Fiona.

So far in season 9, she seems even less relevant.

Thankfully, one Reddit user brought up a theory that would make her character not only worth it, but downright awesome. Could she be in Fiona’s life to spy on her for Jimmy/Steve? Please make it so, Shameless.

5 Liam Will Become the Most Successful Gallagher

Shameless Liam School

The youngest Gallagher sibling, Liam’s childhood has been wildly inconsistent. After all, early on Fiona played a motherly role in his life but as of late she has all but abandoned her siblings. As for his other brothers and sisters, they all seem to come and go as they please, and at various time, they and their father have helped guide him.

While that inconsistency may hinder his development, it could also be argued that none of them have been around long enough to taint his views. Instead, when they are there for them, he observes and absorbs their ingenuity and once they go he can see their failings from afar and learn from them too. As a Reddit user points out those experiences could combine to make Liam the king of all Gallaghers when it comes to success.

4 The Gallagher Kids Get Their Character Traits from Famous Musicians

Shameless Gallaghers

The most elaborate entry on this list, the Reddit user that came up with this one really thought it out and that is a good thing.

Suggested over a year ago, the basic concept is that the Gallagher kids got their names from musicians who they share traits with.

Most convincing when it comes to Ian, the suggestion is he got his name from Ian Curtis, the lead singer and lyricist from Joy Division, since both could be very intense and have a mental disorder. Other examples include Lip equaling Phil Collins, Fiona coming from Fiona Apple, Liam being like Liam Gallagher, Debbie being a reference to Debbie Collins, and Carl being like one of The Beach Boys.

3 Mickey Left the Show So Abruptly Due to a Last-Minute Script Change

Ian and Mickey Shameless

Seemingly brought back for one final appearance halfway through the 9th season, many fans were overjoyed that Mickey was reunited with Ian in the latter character’s final episode. This was by far the most popular relationship Ian was ever a part of, so it was pretty heartbreaking when the couple was torn asunder in the 7th season. This was made all the worse by the fact that Mickey’s departure at that time felt extremely abrupt.

A pretty compelling theory for why he disappeared so quickly soon popped up online. If true, producers tried to negotiate with the actor that plays Mickey, but that fell apart so late that they only had time to alter the script for his final episode, which necessitated him leaving out of nowhere.

2 Frank Is as Smart as Lip

Shameless Lip and Frank

Let’s face facts: if you asked the average Shameless fan, they would tell you that the recent seasons are not as good as the early ones. One thing we really miss is the glimpse into just how brilliant Lip is. Even as an element that is now all but gone from the show, it may be the best evidence to support this theory that Frank is as smart as Lip.

After all, Frank may not seem brilliant on first blush, but Lip almost never shows that side of himself anymore.

On top of that, Frank uses a lot of big words and he clearly is incredibly crafty since he constantly comes up with schemes that almost always work, even though he isn’t clear-headed.

1 The Various Other Ways Fiona Will Leave the Show

Shameless Fiona Leaving

As most Shameless fans know, during the 9th season, two of the show’s main characters are making their exit for the foreseeable future. While Ian is already gone, Fiona will be leaving at the end of the season. She is such a huge character that most of the show’s fanbase has wondered about what her final episode will look like online. There are so many theories that this entry is about three of them.

Among the ideas that have gained the most traction, she may be sent to prison, leave the state for a business opportunity, or travel the world with Ford. Amazingly enough, all of those theories popped up weeks ago, but the most recent episode as of this writing has moments that could set up any one of them.


What's your favorite Shameless fan theory? Let us know in the comments!

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