Change seems to be the optimum word when it comes to Showtime's Shameless nowadays. This is because the show's dynamics are about to shift drastically. Firstly, Emmy Rossum announced that she would be leaving the show once this current Ninth Season comes to a close. Then, more recently, Cameron Monaghan exit in the season's sixth episode. Although Monaghan's known for months, this latest cast departure felt particularly jarring. After all, what's Shameless going to be without two of the most significant members of the Gallagher clan?
Change is something we've dealt with before. Many major characters have been completely written out and the show has continued on as if they never existed. In short, if we're going to get future seasons of Shameless, we'll have to get used to Fiona and Ian's absence.
However, not every character that's been written out of Shameless has been one we've missed. In fact, often it seems like the creators of the show want us to disregard the inclusion of these characters. Some are those we miss, others are those we're thankful are gone, but in all cases, the show seems to want us to forget them. There are usually a few reasons why a show wants their audience to look past the involvement of some characters. The main reason usually has to do with casting departures, changes, and conflicts, but this list will focus more on characters that Shameless chooses to ignore for plot reasons.
Without further ado, here are 20 Characters Shameless Wants Everyone To Forget.
20 Sammi Slott-Gallagher
When it comes to characters the writers of Shameless want us to forget, Sammi Slott-Gallagher has got to be at the top of the list. What were the writers thinking when they introduced her and her strange, little son?
The Gallaghers definitely did not need an additional family member to complicate things.
Even series creator John Wells admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that they were continuously going over the same beats with her. This was the reason why Sammi was written out of the show completely. Since her arrest, she has seldom (if ever?) been mentioned. It seems like the talented minds behind Shameless realized that they made a mistake and are doing everything they can to correct it.
19 Chuckie Slott
The most interesting moment that Chuckie was involved in had to do with what was carved onto his forehead before he was sent to jail. Aside from that, Chuckie didn't affect the plot in any way. He was merely there to be a punching-bag for Carl, and occasionally his grandpa Frank. However, most of the distaste the audience had for his plotline had to do with his mother, Sammi. When the writers decided to eliminate Sammi, Chuckie was just collateral damage.
Having said that, Chuckie has never been included in any family events, even though he's living at a hippie camp with his grandmother not too far away. If the writers wanted him back, they could have easily moved him into the Gallagher house. Instead, they decided to turf him.
18 Jody Silverman
Although some fans seem to think that Jody's character was overused once he started to camp in front of Sheila's home, others disliked him from the start. This is mainly because he seemingly did bizarre things just for the sake of being bizarre. There wasn't a logical reason for his behavior. Regardless, he did serve a purpose at the start.
Soon, the writers didn't know what to do with him.
Once he stopped being a plot-device to alter the dynamic between Lip and Karen, he was uselessly put into Sheila's storyline. Then, one day, he disappeared, never to be mentioned again. The writers did such a good job of deleting this character from the universe that it's remarkable any fans remember him at all.
17 Karen Jackson
People love to hate Karen. After all, it's easy to. Not only did she spend most of her time ruthlessly manipulating Lip, but she's also responsible for taking advantage of Frank, as well as loathing her own child. However, she's still one of the most important characters on the show.
When she was written off of Shameless, it felt like she was meant to be forgotten. They even took her out of the otherwise unchanged opening credit sequence. Nowadays her name is never even uttered. It's like taboo. This is a shame since, like it or not, Karen is part pf the reason we were first endeared to Lip. Additionally, none of Lip's girlfriends have measured up to Karen's brilliant characterization.
When Trevor was brought onto the show, the internet cheered. Some claimed that the exploration of the unknown brought Shameless back to its roots. It was also one of the few times a trans actor got to portray a trans character in a naturalistic way.. However, after a few episodes, the problem became clear-- the show didn't seem to know what to do with him.
It's not that Trevor was a bad addition to the show, it's that he wasn't given anything of substance to contribute.
This is probably why he vanished before season nine. No character, including Ian, has mentioned him since. Nor did he receive a formal departure. For some reason, the writers really want us to forget about him entirely.
Amanda was part of why Lip's college career ended. Her jealousy for Lip's secret relationship with his college professor got the better of her and caused her to leak their private photos online. This shook up Lip's life and drove him further into his addiction. After this event, she disappeared from Shameless altogether.
The writers probably want us to forget about her character because she hadn't been engaging since she was introduced in season 4. Sure, she was involved in some important plotlines for Lip, but she never felt multi-dimensional. On top of it, it was clear that Lip never truly had feelings for her, so we weren't asked to truly immerse ourselves with her to begin with.
14 Robbie Pratt
There's a boatload to dislike about the character of Robbie Pratt. However, his inclusion was completely necessary for the development of Fiona's character. In fact, he is the catalyst for her downward spiral into oblivion.
Nowadays, it's all about how Fiona is on top of the world.
She is successfully running her own business and maturing in her relationships. Instead of arguing about typically Shameless things, Fiona and Ford bicker about art exhibitions and being supportive of one another. This means there's absolutely no place for the past storylines that involve her bad behavior. Moreover, there's no place for Robbie.
Unfortunately, Shameless merely used Estefania as an object. The only thing of substance that the show had her do was come between Jimmy and Fiona, as well as deepen Jimmy's involvement in the underworld. Otherwise, she was there as a comedic punching bag.
It makes sense that the show would want us to forget about her character after she was deported. Perhaps they wouldn't have wanted this if she had been as multi-dimensional as Fiona. This would have caused legitimate conflict within Jimmy, who was forced to be engaged to her. Instead, it was just a strange way to keep Jimmy and Fiona from being together.
12 Lloyd "Ned" Lishman
Although Ned took part in an engaging plotline, it seems like the writers want Ian (as well as us) to erase that part of his history. After all, he was mostly a blip during a pretty unhealthy time during Ian and Mickey's relationship.
If you don't recall, Ned was the older, closeted man that Ian became romantically involved with briefly before and after Mickey got arrested.
To complicate the matters, it turned out that Ned was actually "Lloyd Lishman," Jimmy's father. Aside from this creepy reveal, the storyline Ian come to terms with himself, even if it was just by showing him what not to do. As soon as Mickey came back into the picture, the writers threw Lloyd/Ned away completely.
11 Derek Delgado
Fans never liked Derek Delgado from the start because the writing never seemed to take much of an interest in him. The character was severely underwritten and, with the exception of one episode, disappeared entirely once Debbie gave birth to their baby.
In a way, the show can get away with causing us to forget about him because it's true to life; sometimes young parents leave and never see their babies again. Shameless has always been about pushing boundaries while shedding light on the darkest, most primal aspects of human nature. Additionally, the choice to wipe our memories of Derek also strengthened Debbie's role as a single mom-- at least, at first.
10 Franny Gallagher-Delgado
How often has Franny been seen in the later seasons of Shameless? The answer is: only a handful of times. Although the character is still present, it appears as if Debbie has forgotten about her. Therefore, it's clear that the writers want us to as well.
The choice to make Debbie a single parent was an interesting one, but it soon wore out its welcome.
The writers started putting Debbie in more typically "Gallagher" scenarios instead. This includes the recent choice to have her date a woman. Doesn't she still have a child? What is this child doing? Although Franny does pop up occasionally, one would think that a baby would be more present in a mother's life. Then again, having Debbie raise a baby isn't nearly as funny as her throwing a female revolution at work.
9 Sheila Jackson
Joan Cusack's Sheila Jackson was easily one of the most lovable characters on the show. Although she was downright wacky at times, the writers easily found ways to endear her to us. It was a sad day when Cusack left Shameless at the end of Season Five.
After Karen split, and Sheila was free of previous romantic partners, it made sense for her to finally beat her crippling agoraphobia and travel the world. Not to mention, Frank blew her house up. It was a fitting end to her character. However, it's kind of strange that practically all memory of her has been wiped from Shameless. She's never mentioned, nor does she ever send a postcard-- something that would feel right for her character.
8 Mandy Milkovich
Mandy Milkovich was a big part of Shameless. Other than Karen, she has been Lip's main love interest for the majority of the series. First, there was the recasting incident, with Jane Levy departing and being replaced by Emma Greenweell, and then, over time, she appeared on Shameless substantially less.
Since Greenwell took a role on The Path, Mandy hasn't reappeared in Shameless.
For a character who was such a large part of Lip's life, and whose family members still pop-up on the show, it's strange that the Shameless has cast her aside.
7 Helene Runyon
Helene Runyon was the quintessential type of woman that Lip has a thing for; completely unreliable and unattainable. This married college professor clearly only wanted her fun with Lip, but he had something deeper in mind. However, their relationship came to an abrupt end once photos of them were leaked on campus, causing them both to be removed from their jobs.
This was a dark period in Lip's life that Shameless has wanted to move away from. Instead, they've focused on a far darker addiction issue that Lip struggles with. This is not only more engaging, but stole focus away from an inappropriate relationship with a noticeable power-imbalance. Perhaps this is the reason why Helene has been removed from Lip's mind and the minds of the audience.
Losing Jimmy/Steve from Shameless was a large loss. Fiona is a stronger character without him around, as she has gained more emotional freedom and confidence. However, none of Fiona's love interests have come close to being as likable as Jimmy. The audience is constantly comparing them to him because he was first, and he was the greatest. Jimmy was instantly likable, charming, and a totally terrible person-- which made him fun to watch. His complexity hasn't been topped, especially not by Fiona's current beau, Ford.
Shameless has been committed to trying to get us to move on from Jimmy with every new Fiona love story.
It's proven harder than expected. Here's hoping that Justin Chatwin reprises his role before Emmy Rossum leaves the show.
5 Holly Herkimer
This Shameless character has been portrayed by two different actors, both of which the show would love us to forget. The first Holly Herkimer was played by Disney Channel star Dove Cameron. The first incarnation of her character was a popular girl at school that Debbie bribed into attending her birthday party. What did she bribe her with? All Holly wanted was time alone with Lip.
The second version, portrayed by Danika Yarosh, briefly helped Debbie transition out of childhood and into adulthood. This guidance was short-lived and frankly, just as uninspired as the character's first appearance. The writers seemingly knew this and stopped using her after season four. If we had to guess, Holly is still roaming the South Side somewhere.
4 Frank's Twin, Jerry
Although Frank has two other siblings we've hardly seen, it just seems strange that his identical twin brother Jerry has only appeared once. This brief appearance was in a season one episode, when Lip and Ian attempt to retrieve money from him. After a comedic introduction, he quickly slams the door on their face, never to be seen or heard from again.
Realistically, due to Jerry's proximity to the rest of the Gallaghers, he would have shown his face throughout the series.
Perhaps the writers thought that giving Frank an identical twin brother, also played by William H. Macy (obviously), was a silly decision to have made. This is probably why only the most dedicated Shameless fans even remember that Jerry exists in the universe.
3 Kevin's Kentucky Family
In season eight, Kevin ends up meeting his entire family in Kentucky. He hadn't seen any of them since he was a little kid, abandoned at a gas station. Although Kev was understandably upset about this, he quickly adopts the "Kentucky way" of life, much to V's chagrin. However, this plotline vanished completely after a single episode.
Perhaps the writers worried that if Kev continued having a relationship with his real family in Kentucky, he would spend less time in Chicago and therefore less time part of the main plot. Otherwise, there's really no reason why Shameless has wanted us to forget Kevin's entire Kentucky family like this. Regardless, this storyline feels unresolved.
Although Eddie could have ended up being an interesting character, she was little more than a plot device. Initially, it felt like Shameless introduced Eddie to be a memorable background character at Lip's job. Occasionally, she even got to toss out a funny retort. Essentially, she acted like the patrons of the Alibi Room. In the show, but barely. Eventually, she was mishandled as a love interest who came between Lip and Sierra. She wasn't nearly as likable as the wounded Patsy's Pies waitress.
She abandoned her niece with Lip, seemingly leaving the country forever.
It's apparent that the show wanted the character gone. He departure was sudden and unmoving. Even her niece didn't last long on the show. This is definitely a case where Shameless wants us to forget any of this ever happened.
There probably isn't a more disrespectful way of erasing a character on a television show than the way Shameless cut Kassidi. Of course, many fans have no issue with this; she was one of the most annoying characters ever. We must give props to actress Sammi Hanratty though; she nailed the crazy girlfriend trope. Shameless knew she over-stayed her welcome. Although she was a significant part of the eighth season, she was taken out off-screen by one of Carl's military underlings.
Shameless didn't even give her a final word or arc. They simply deleted her.
After the fact, Carl completely forgot about her, as did all of the other characters. This is probably a sign that we should too.
Which character do you feel the writers of Shameless want us to forget the most? Let us know in the comments below!