With the announcement that Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan will leave the series following the ninth season of Shameless, the Gallagher household is prepping for a major shake-up on the casting front. The creator of the Showtime series John Wells has remained open about a future Fiona return, though he has also stated that there are many more dysfunctional tales left to be told for the Gallagher clan.
For eight seasons, Shameless has remained consistent in the deplorable decision-making skills of its characters, though the series' depiction of a low-income family living below the poverty line has always been at the forefront. As the strong matriarch who single-handedly raised her siblings while her father wasn't around, Fiona's absence is sure to shift more focus towards the show's younger stars as writers hope fans will soon forget her. Ian's storyline in season 9 drove much of the action, so Monaghan's exit will surely leave a whole as well.
Whether they're dealing with the changing gentrification of their community or watching as another beloved character takes their leave, the Gallaghers have proven time and again that they can adapt better than anyone. From the show's debut back in 2011 until now, the stars of the series have been forced to mature, sometimes faster than they wanted to. Along the way, there have been many entertaining or even head-scratching subplots which have since been left behind. Although the changes are nothing new to the Gallaghers, they have left many questions up in the air for fans.
Join us as we take a look back at 20 Storylines Shameless Wants Everyone to Forget.
20 Frank and Bianca
After Sammi shoots Frank in the arm to teach him a valuable lesson about courtesy, she forces him to visit the hospital to have his wound checked. During his stay, he begins bonding with his distraught doctor Bianca, whose diagnosis of stage three pancreatic cancer has left her with a new lease on life. Attempting to persuade her to live life to the fullest, Frank offers to teach her how to live carelessly, which includes a copious amount of substance abuse.
Although Frank's time with Bianca was intended as a heart-wrenching moment which left him reeling the following season, it was never clear why the successful, young doctor would choose to spend her remaining days with him. With her money, she could seemingly spend her days anywhere. There's little reason to believe Frank would appear as an enticing option.
19 Lip's Sports Gambling Internship
With an exceptionally high IQ, Lip isn't the standard member of the Gallagher household, though his self-sabotaging personality has prevented him from achieving a legitimate career. Accepted into the University of Chicago, he threw away his future after an assault on a campus guard led to his expulsion. Following a stint in rehab, Lip secured an internship with a tech start-up, thanks to his friend, Professor Youens. Soon, however, he discovered the truth behind the company. His co-workers were using proxy servers to hide illegal sports gambling activities.
Although the crooked start-up appeared as a perfect match, nothing would come of it.
He temporarily used a wire fraud scheme to steal cash from the company, but in due time, the start-up went under and Lip was left without a career goal once again.
18 Kevin Discovers His Kentucky Heritage
Season eight concluded with a strange hodgepodge of storylines for Kevin, which included a search for self-identity as he tracked down his biological parents and found himself in Kentucky. Once he arrived, he was introduced to Aunt Ronnie and the rest of the family, immediately settling in and recalling his past as Little Barty. Unfortunately, V immediately sensed something wrong about the group, apart from their offhanded racist remarks.
As a small child, the low-income family struggled to properly raise Kev, resorting to abandoning him at a roadside gas station. He eventually learned to accept his heritage, although he seemed to quickly forget all about it soon after. Kev would have other moments of a self-identity crisis in season eight, including exploring his possible attraction to men, but his Kentucky lineage would ultimately become an afterthought.
17 Fiona Marries Gus, Then Immediately Cheats on Him
Speaking of his character on Shameless, star Steve Kazee said Fiona's former husband Gus Pfender "got a really raw deal" over the way his storyline ended. After meeting the eldest Gallagher sibling, the two went from strangers to married seemingly overnight.
When Jimmy's return visit catches Fiona off guard, she's faced with an ultimatum.
Either run away with Jimmy or stay with Gus, whom she's known for a few days. Her reaction is to throw away her newfound relationship for the temptation of her ex-boyfriend. She cheats on Gus then immediately regrets it, but by then it's too late. Her marriage to Gus is over and any remnants of it are completely forgotten by the writing staff.
16 Debbie Steals a Baby
Before Debbie was doing crazy things like stealing expensive baby strollers to support Frances or having Liam amputate her toes to avoid undergoing a pricey surgery on her crushed foot, she was just a lonely girl looking for a playmate.
In the episode "Casey Casden", Debbie grows tired of playing with a sack of potatoes decorated to look like a baby.
Rather than asking for a new doll, she takes matters into her own hands when she lures a three year old boy back to the Gallagher residence. The Gallaghers then spend the episode concocting a plan to call in false sightings of the child with the cops finally finding him with Debbie, who acts like she found him wandering around Chicago. Needless to say, it was a crazy storyline that the show's producers haven't attempted since.
15 Anything Involving Sammi or Chuckie
Frank's estranged daughter Sammi is first introduced in season four after Frank discovers his liver in failing. Posing as a Good Samaritan, he begins dating her to grow closer before dropping the devastating bombshell. Oddly enough, however, she's not disgusted at all by the news and even embraces her new father figure, despite his countless shortcomings.
By season five, Sammi has acquainted herself enough with the Gallaghers to move into the household, though she was never invited. When her son Chuckie is later arrested and sent to juvenile detention for possession, she blames Carl, later ratting him out to the authorities. As a result, a dispute breaks out which ends with Mickey locking her inside a shipping container and Sammi later shooting at him, presumably leading to her arrest and the end of her story.
14 Fiona Cheats on Mike with His Brother
With her recent investments in Patsy's Pies as well as a laundromat and an apartment complex, Fiona's newfound entrepreneurial spirit has only recent become a central part of her storyline. Prior to becoming a property owner, she was a down on her luck South Side girl who constantly found herself in failing relationships.
In season four, Fiona's downward spiral of relationships hit another low.
She was in desperate need of a rebound following Jimmy's disappearance. After securing a job at Worldwide Cup, she began having a fling with her boss Mike. When Mike's brother Robbie comes into the picture after his release from rehab, Fiona's attraction to danger takes ahold. Putting her career in jeopardy, she has an unwise affair which culminates in her arrest at the end of the season.
13 Frank Uses Liam as Collateral
Scouring Chicago for enough money to support his many dirty habits, Frank has attracted the attentions of enough bad guys that it's a miracle that he's manage to run around carelessly for so long. In the season two premiere, he again backed himself into a corner when he drunkenly bet a bar patron at the Alibi Room that he couldn't remain conscious after two taser blasts. After the customer manages to remain on two feet, Frank's $10,000 gamble comes at the expense of the Gallagher household.
Unable to come up with the dough, the patron threatens Frank with a blowtorch, to which he responds by offering up Liam as collateral. Luckily, the Gallagher clan rallies together to get him back. Frank would later develop a bonding relationship with his youngest son, completely erasing all memory of the incident.
12 Kevin and Veronica's Foster Child
With twins Amy and Jemma, Kevin and Veronica finally settled down to have children of their own after V became pregnant in season four. Prior to having their own kids, the couple were experimenting with parenthood in the form of a money scheme which saw them taking in a foster child in order to collect money from the government.
In season one, Kev and V welcome Ethel, a teen saved from a polygamist colony where she was married to an elderly man named Clyde.
They also took in Ethel's son Jonah, who was born as a result of the marriage. Over the course of her stay, she struggles to grow accustomed to the modern world, but eventually settles in, until she runs away with her boyfriend Malik in season two, disappearing forever.
11 Anything Involving Sheila
Remember Sheila? The agoraphobic housewife with a proclivity for cooking was a former love interest of Frank's, who welcomed him into her home to take advantage of her disability checks. For five seasons, she played the picture-perfect example of a housewife, though her repressed emotions would occasionally rear their ugly head.
Throughout the series, Joan Cusack would receive considerable acclaim for her turn as the wacky, subservient Sheila, earning an Emmy nomination for each season she appeared in. Although she would never receive more than a guest credit, her most memorable storylines would include dealing with her troubled daughter Karen, having an affair with Karen's boyfriend Jody, and marrying Frank. Her storyline came to a rather abrupt end after her house exploded in season five, resulting in her driving off in an RV, never to be seen again.
10 Frank Hires a Hitman
Always the deadbeat father, Frank experienced a slight morality check when he wasn't invited toFiona's wedding to Sean in season six. As a way to make up for all his shortcomings, he offered to pay for all of Fiona's wedding expenses. Everything came to a head, however, when Sean began sleeping over at the Gallagher residence, resulting in a brutal confrontation between Fiona's fiance and the lousy patriarch of the household. After days of Frank wearing Sean's underwear and drinking his milk, Sean's frustration boiled over, resulting in a fight between the two.
Frank is seen on a train attempting to pay a random guy to dispose of Sean permanently.
Although nothing would come of the exchange, the attempted assassination was out of the ordinary, even for the lowly Frank.
9 Debbie Purposely Gets Pregnant
The third youngest Gallagher, Debbie began the series as the well-intention, younger sister who still held high hopes for Frank and cared for her family, though she often found it difficult to socialize in school. In due time, she transformed from the innocent girl wise beyond her years to one of the most troublesome characters on the show, using her hardened attitude to deceive her way to whatever she desired.
In season five, Debbie's manipulative personality crossed a line when she became enamored with Derek, a boy who taught her how to box. Wanting a perfect life with her newfound boyfriend, she purposely lies to him about being on birth control in order to become pregnant and force him into a marriage. Unfortunately, her plans fall through when Derek leaves to live with his grandmother, leaving Debs a single mother.
8 Frank Tells Carl He Has Cancer
As the delinquent troublemaker whose interests include weapons, explosives, and various money-making schemes, Carl has proven to be the most like his dear deadbeat father Frank. As a faithful member of the Gallagher family, he's the unfortunate product of a dysfunctional upbringing, but none of his regrettable actions were deserving of the scare Frank gave him in season five.
After seeing a cancer patient receive an autographed Bulls basketball on television, Frank decides to extort the Make-A-Wish Foundation by giving them a sob story.
Shaving Carl's head, he convinces him that he has cancer and tries to get him an autographed basketball of his own, that he can later sell for a profit. Instead, Carl is offered a free summer away at a camp for cancer patients, ruining Frank's plans and giving Carl his own mini vacation.
7 Carl Marries Kassidi
As a way of coming up with enough cash for military school in season eight, Carl sets up his own rehabilitation center in the basement of the Gallagher home, hosting neighborhood addicts for days of withdrawal. It's here where he first encounters Kassidi, a seemingly sociopathic teen who concocts a plan to extort money from her rich father to pay Carl's expenses.
Soon after sparking a relationship, Kassidi's wildly chaotic personality begins threatening Carl's career goals. As she wanders about Chicago's South Side doing things like Snapchatting drive-by shooting victims, Carl becomes more wary of her actions, which makes it all the more confusing that he marries her at the end of the season. The season nine premiere seems to have ended her story, however, as the character's recent disappearance suggests that she may now be deceased.
6 Mandy Hurts Karen
As the manipulative former girlfriend of Lip, Karen was the incessantly rude daughter of the agoraphobic Sheila, who would go to extreme lengths to get her way. After she stops seeing Lip due to her marriage to Jody as well as the birth of her down syndrome son Hymie, Karen decides to start things back up with her former lover, only for Lip rejects her for Mandy.
After brazenly attempting to meddle with Lip and Mandy's relationship, Karen receives a rude awakening when she receives a text from Lip, which is later revealed to be Mandy using Lip's phone. Showing up to a park to meet, Karen is struck by an SUV driven by Mandy, leaving her permanently brain damaged, effectively ending her story on the series.
5 Frank Has a Twin Brother
With so many siblings running around and Frank constantly inviting himself in with his various trouble-making shenanigans, it's impossible for the Gallaghers to keep track of everyone's comings and goings. That's why the existence of more Gallaghers seems completely absurd, but as the early seasons have shown, there are more family members out there.
Of all the odd Gallagher members forgotten from the early seasons, none were crazier than Jerry, Frank's twin brother.
Ian and Lip visit Jery after their grandmother Peggy claims he owes the family $5,000. Looking just like Frank, he threatens to shoot his nephews shortly after realizing they're after money. Since his appearance, little mention has been made of Frank's twin or of Frank's other siblings Clayton and Wyatt.
4 Jimmy's Return
First appearing as Fiona's love interest in season one, Jimmy introduced himself to the Gallagher household as Steve, a hotshot businessman who comes from money. Soon afterward, his real personality begins to shine through as Fiona discovers that he makes his money through various illegal activities. In due time, he gets engaged to the daughter of a crime lord, which leads to his supposed demise in the season three finale.
Jimmy returns at the end of season four, becoming a recurring cast member for a brief time.
In an attempt to flatter Fiona, he tries to persuade her to leave her husband Gus for him. Although his return answered questions about his fate, it still left his future up in the air, leaving many to believe his story should have ended with the season three cliffhanger.
3 Frank Lies to Butterface About Her Heart Transplant
Of all the lowdown plans Frank has concocted, perhaps nothing is more despicable than the time he began hanging out with Dottie, a former good-time girl with a heart condition. Nicknamed Butterface for her less than stellar looks, Frank discovers that Dottie is in serious need of a heart transplant, rewarding him the opportunity to weasel his way into her good graces and work his way into her will before she passes away.
Although Frank's decision proves to be flawed, he fully commits to the scheme. While Dottie is in the shower, she gets a phone call telling her a new heart has arrived which could save her life, only Frank decides to tell the hospital that Dottie has already passed away. Later, Dottie loses her life during an intimate moment with Frank, making his actions even more awful.
2 Kev has a Baby with Veronica's Mother
As the Gallaghers' longtime friends, Kevin and Veronica are often the supporting comic relief of the series, though they have also proven to be the strongest lasting couple. In season three, after repeatedly failing to have a baby, V enlists her bubbly mother Carol to act as a surrogate. When Carol also fails to become pregnant, Veronica to suggests her mom and Kevin actually get intimate with each other to possibly improve their results.
In due time, Carol warms up to the idea, becoming pregnant with Kevin's child. By happenstance, Veronica soon discovers that she too is pregnant, with twins. Nine months later, the couple are the proud parents to three newborns, only Carol decides to single-handedly raise her child on her own. After a few brief appearances, Kevin and Carol's child is forgotten and never shown again.
1 Everything Positive About Ian and Mickey's Relationship
As a violent street thug, Mickey Milkovich is the antithesis of the gay stereotype. Ian, whose storied history with Mickey makes up a large portion of his story in the early seasons, is the more sensitive of the couple, but his rebellious nature and struggles with bipolar disorder make him an equally multi-dimensional character.
As one of the best-written gay relationships on television in recent memory, Ian and Mickey's story was at times chaotic.
After his imprisonment at the end of season five, Mikey escaped from prison and fled to Mexico, tearfully leaving Ian behind. Since then, the positives of their relationship have been largely dismissed and Mickey's absence has left a void on the show which has yet to be filled.
What other storylines does Shameless want to bury? Let us know in the comments!