Everyone On Shameless Has Changed So Much Since Season 1 — Well, Almost Everyone

Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Shameless fans have been following the shenanigans and emotional ups and downs of the Gallagher family and friends for over 8 years and 103 episodes. It’s not quite the length of the viral #10YearChallenge, but the Shameless cast has certainly changed since the show premiered in 2011.
The Showtime drama returns for the final seven episodes of its ninth season on January 20. But, be warned, you might need a box full of tissues for the final episodes. Viewers will have to say goodbye to Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher, the tenacious matriarch of the family, in the season finale which will double as Rossum’s farewell. Rossum surprised Shameless fans by announcing her upcoming departure before the season began. Shortly after, Cameron Monaghan also revealed this season would include his last appearance as Ian Gallagher.
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Before we have to experience the pain and loss of losing an incomparable television character and another beloved Gallagher, let’s look back at the Shameless cast and their journeys from season 1 until now and remember all the crazy storylines they have been through.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher: Season 1

When we first meet Frank Gallagher, he is a drunken mess. He is barely taking care of his children and is trying to make money illegally. He definitely wasn’t winning any Father of the Year awards.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher: Season 9

Fast forward to where we left Frank before the break in season 8 and he isn’t completely reformed. That said, he puts more effort into taking care of himself and his family. Frank is trying to build his new relationship with Ingrid, played by Katey Sagal. Perhaps some more Gallaghers could be on the way?
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher: Season 1

Fiona’s storyline in the first season focused on the start of her on-again, off-again relationship with Steve (Justin Chatwin). The show also introduces her to the audience as the caretaker of the Gallagher brood, struggling to keep the house and the people in it somewhat functioning.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher: Season 9

Fiona’s actions so far this season suggest that Rossum’s character will not have a pleasant sendoff. We last saw her boozing and struggling with money problems. Hopefully she can turn things around before she has to say goodbye to her family in the season finale.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Jeremy Allen White as Lip Gallagher: Season 1

Lip, the second eldest Gallagher child, was still in high school when the show premiered in 2011, but that didn’t stop him from coming up with schemes to make money for his family. His season 1 troubles foreshadowed Lip’s continued academic problems in future storylines.
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Jeremy Allen White as Lip Gallagher: Season 9

Despite some obstacles along the way, Lip is turning his life around in the most recent season; he cares for a young girl named Xan and also becomes a sober coach. Lip lives at home but that might change when he questions his lifestyle choices. Also, there might be romance on the horizon...
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Photo: Showtime/Everett Collection.
Ethan Cutkosky as Carl Gallagher: Season 1

The character of Carl Gallagher was around eight years old at the start of the show and already following in siblings footsteps of leading a troubled life. Carl had issues at school and displayed somewhat violent behavior, but he also helped show the best side of Frank through their strong bond.
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Ethan Cutkosky as Carl Gallagher: Season 9

Even though he is only 16 years old in season 9, Carl is already a married man(!). Like most young marriages on television, this relationship doesn’t work out and Carl is studying to enroll at West Point.
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Photo: Showtime/Everett Collection.
Shanola Hampton as Veronica: Season 1

From the moment we met her, we knew we would love Shanola Hampton and her portrayal as the best friend everyone wishes they had, Veronica. The series tackled fertility problems head-on in the first season and the issue has played a major role in Veronica’s character development.
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Shanola Hampton as Veronica: Season 9

Although they have had some rough times, Veronica and her equally funny partner, Kevin (Steve Howey), are still together in season 9 and considering having more children. Veronica also juggles running the bar with Kevin while learning what it means to be a good parent.
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Photo: Showtime/Everett Collection.
Steve Howey as Kevin Ball: Season 1

One half of the Gallagher’s neighbor couple, Kevin, tries to help out the family and Frank by taking on a few of the father’s responsibilities. Kevin, a child of the foster care system, starts the series taking in a foster daughter with wife Veronica.
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Steve Howey as Kevin Ball: Season 9

As mentioned, Kevin and Veronica are discussing have another child this season, with Kevin being the one who wants to extend the family and have a son. The show also taps into Kevin’s more sensitive side as a father raising two daughters.
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Emma Kenney as Debbie Gallagher: Season 1

Debbie starts off not as reckless as her older siblings and seemingly a little more mature. She proves to be rebellious as the show progresses and battles with adult responsibilities before high school.
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Emma Kenney as Debbie Gallagher: Season 9

Like her brother Carl, Debbie is still a teenager in season 9 but being a member of the Gallagher family means you have to grow up very quickly. Debbie attempts to take over responsibilities for her older sister, Fiona, while also working as a welder. Of course, since this is Shameless and she is a Gallagher, Debbie has time for some romance. Debbie gets close with fellow welder named Alex.
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Cameron Monaghan as Ian Gallagher: Season 1

The first season of Shameless tackles Ian’s coming out story and the young teenager revealing his sexuality to his family. Ian also begins his long, complicated relationship with neighbor Mickey Milkovich, played by Noel Fisher.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Cameron Monaghan as Ian Gallagher: Season 9

Gone but not forgotten. We couldn’t make this list without including the former fiery haired Gallagher. He was given a sweet send-off by his family in the sixth episode of season 9 before beginning his two-year stint in prison. Although Monaghan has officially left the show, let’s hope that he will return in the future for another appearance.
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