A quote from each main character that sums up their personality
There are few series like Shameless, which takes an unflinching look at American poverty and the many strategies the Gallagher family develops to deal with it. Like any great high-end cable drama, a big part of the show’s appeal and long-running success is its cast of characters, each with a personality and rich arc of their own.
Over its long run, these characters have enjoyed great dialogue, and many of their quotes perfectly encapsulate their core personalities.
“Love isn’t meant to be cute. Love is meant to be raw and destructive.”
Frank Gallagher is one of William H. Macy’s best roles. Chronically unemployed and a peddler of phenomenal ability, Frank is the kind of person who lives life on his own terms and has absolutely no regrets. However, he also believes himself to be a bit of a philosopher, as he demonstrates with this quote. What’s most disturbing is that despite the many irresponsible actions he does, he also possesses a kind of wisdom infused with his experience.
“I know you want to punish me, and I get it. I want to punish myself.
Fiona is one of the friendliest characters in Shameless, especially in the early seasons. For a time, she sacrifices much of her own happiness so she can provide the stability her siblings desperately need. However, the truth is that she’s constantly sabotaging her own life, and this quote shows that, on some level, she knows that’s what she’s doing. She’s a complex and contradictory character, which is precisely what makes her so endearing.
“Bullying is bad for society. It hurts people and makes them feel bad. It needs to be stopped.”
Being one of the youngest members of the Gallagher family, Carl sometimes struggles to find his footing. However, he has his own kind of cunning intelligence, and he clearly takes after his father, as this quote illustrates. While on the surface it appears to denounce bullying, right after it does exactly what it condemns.
It’s a perfect distillation of his character, and it shows just how much he resembles his father Frank and the less savory members of his family.
“I have a fucking reach.”
V. is another of the best characters in Shameless, and as Fiona’s friend, she often finds herself drawn into Gallagher’s drama. She has an irreverent and sometimes caustic approach to life, including her own pregnancy. When she discovers that she has triplets, for example, she exclaims that she has a “litter”. It’s a hilarious line, sure, but it also shows how V. is able to greet almost any situation with a humorous one-liner.
“Nobody likes to hear a grown man whine. It’s like the verbal equivalent of a guy wearing Uggs.
V.’s husband, Kevin, isn’t as smart as his wife, but he still has his own form of earthly wisdom. In fact, he’s responsible for some of the show’s best one-liners, most of which reveal he knows more about what’s going on around him than he likes to let on. In particular, he’s not afraid to tell people when he thinks they’re behaving stupidly, and he clearly has a way of setting up a metaphor.
“I want to tell you something, but I don’t really want to talk about it, because I’m not sure how I feel about it, and I don’t want anyone to tell me how I feel.”
Debbie can sometimes be one of the most unpleasant members of the Gallagher family, and she’s done some bad things during her time on the show. However, as this line shows, it also has depths. Like many others, she sometimes struggles to put her feelings into words or deal with them in a healthy way.
At the same time, she is also a very rebellious spirit who chafes at the restrictions that others, including Fiona, try to place on her.
“Things just happen sometimes.”
There’s no doubt that Lip is one of the smartest characters in Shameless. However, he also has a tendency to get in his own way, and his actions are sometimes almost indescribably stupid. At the same time, he has a deeply philosophical way of looking at the world around him and he tends to be able to take matters into his own hands. As this quote shows, he has the ability to shrug his shoulders in the face of terrible things and keep moving forward in his life rather than being overwhelmed with regrets.
“Sometimes we get so caught up in getting what we want that we forget to ask ourselves why we wanted it in the first place.”
Ian is one of the most compelling characters on the show and he has many struggles throughout his story. He struggles with his sanity and finding a romantic partner he’s truly happy with, and he’s arguably one of TV’s best LGBT characters. He’s also deeply introspective at times, and it’s clear from this quote and his actions during his time on the show, that all he really wants is to find a measure of happiness, even if he doesn’t know how to do it. .
“Not everyone can say how they feel every minute.”
Mickey, Ian’s boyfriend – and eventual husband – has an even more upset relationship with his sexuality, made worse by the fact that his father is both homophobic and violent. As this quote shows, he’s also very candid about how he feels, and he’s not afraid to tell Ian that he’s privileged to be able to talk about his feelings. Despite his prickly nature, he remains one of the best and most likable characters in the series.
“Sometimes when people love each other a lot, they need time apart, so when they get back together, their love is even stronger.”
Joan Cusack has played many great roles, and Sheila Jackson is one of them. Although she only appears in the early seasons of the show, she still manages to make quite an impression. She is prone to deep pits of emotion, as this quote shows. Like so many other characters in this series, it’s clear that what she just wants is to be happy, even if she doesn’t always know how to go about achieving that goal.
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