Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (2023)

After giving Showtime more than a decade of content, Shameless finally leaves the airwaves following 11 seasons. Throughout the years, the Gallagher family provides viewers with an incalculable number of laughs and just as many tears.

RELATED: Shameless: 10 Ways A Revival Can Continue The Series

Now, it's all come to an end — assuming there's no spinoff in the works. Nevertheless, if the series finale is the last time fans will get to see any of their favorite and most shameless characters, it's a good time to reflect on one of the longest-running shows on premium cable.

Updated June 29, 2022, by Anthony Jeanetta:It's been over a year since the Gallaghers last graced the silver screen. Even if viewers never see the Gallaghers again, there are still eleven seasons of quality dramedy to soak up.


11 Season 8 - The One Where Ian Becomes Gay Jesus

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (1)

To this day, Season 8 of Shameless remains the show's greatest blunder. Several storylines fall flat because they aren't adequately fleshed out, miss quality storytelling opportunities, and lack depth in many aspects. Because of this shallowness, Season 8 felt like Part 1 of Season 9.

Many of Season 8's stories were left unfinished and didn't wrap up until the following season. The entire season felt messy and lacked a clear focus. Thankfully, even the worst seasons of Shameless all have at least one redeemable aspect. For this season, Lip's storyline remained as compelling as the previous season, as he tried to deal with alcohol addiction and reunite with Sierra.

10 Season 10 - The One Where Gallavich Gets Married

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (2)

Season 10 had the tall task of being the first Shameless season attempting to move on without its original lead character, Fiona. In the first Fiona-less season, there was a lot of pressure on the show's creator and writers. While they didn't knock it out of the park, they gave a valiant effort. Rather than try and have another member of the Gallaghers replace Fiona as the head of the house, the show worked to showcase why there could never be a "new Fiona."

(Video) Ranking Every Season of Shameless From Worst to Best (Part 1)

RELATED: 5 Shameless Characters Who Changed The Most

Still, Season 10 was a big adjustment for fans and not an entirely memorable one at that. To make up for Fiona's absence, the writers seemingly went out of their way to offer some fan service to those who stuck around. Gallavich shippers, specifically, got to see Ian and Mickey finally tie the knot. But for many fans, this marriage wasn't enough to save the season.

9 Season 9 - The One Where Fiona Leaves

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (3)

In Season 9, Shameless tried to compact several big ideas and themes into one season. This outsized season was a mixed bag and uneven at its best. On the one hand, Season 9 gave viewers Emmy Rossum's final episodes as Fiona, with the entire arc building towards her last scenes. There's also a whole subplot satirizing the political climate of the time and a separate storyline where Ian dubbed himself Gay Jesus and developed a cult-like following.

Additionally, Season 9 marked the show's 100th episode, which it celebrated with an especially zany chapter. Shameless worked to give each of these ideas their proper due. However, with the large scope of the story arcs, there's just a tad too much happening for viewers to track.

8 Season 5 - The One Where Debbie Gets Pregnant

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (4)

After Shameless' fourth season proved to be its darkest yet (and arguably ever), the fifth season seemed to return to the lighthearted side of things. This season accentuated an influx of wackier storylines and a wild ending featuring a Loony Tunes-style chase between a gun-toting Sammi and Mickey. In the end, Season 5 opened up several story arcs the show discarded as fast as they began.

For example, Frank's romance with a cancer-stricken doctor ended mere episodes after it started. Similarly, Fiona tied the knot with her guitarist boyfriend just one week after meeting him. Some fans argued these truncated storylines made the season feel rushed. Regardless, the season at least offered a heartbreaking, show-stealing performance from Cameron Monaghan.

(Video) Every Season of Shameless Ranked From Worst to Best (part 2)

7 Season 11 - The One That COVID-19 Delayed

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (5)

Season 11 was the most challenging season to film for those involved behind the scenes. The novel coronavirus pandemic forced a premature shooting delay three days before the show's scheduled start date. Showrunner John Wells admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that his team had to rewrite "the first six of seven episodes... on the fly." Even worse, they had to do these rewrites over Zoom.


There's no telling how it affected the final six episodes. Given its numerous hurdles and setbacks, the final season was still watchable. At times, Season 11 was even downright enjoyable. But when expectations from fans were so high — given it was the last season — Shameless could've been so much more if not for the state of the world.

6 Season 6 - The One Where Fiona Was Left At The Altar

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (6)

For many viewers, Season 6 is best remembered for Frank ruining Fiona's latest chance at marriage. This season becomes more of a blur when it comes to recalling what else happened. While the season ends on a high, memorable note during its finale, as a whole, it's rather forgettable.

Another highlight from Season 6 is showcasing Lip's breaking point. His deteriorating relationship and work struggles push him deeper into alcoholism, turning him into a spitting image of his old man. Even so, the show doesn't adequately address this story arc until the following season.

(Video) Ranking All 11 Seasons of Shameless

5 Season 1 - The One That Started It All

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (7)

In 2011, there was no other show like Shameless on either premium or network television. Shortly after its pilot episode aired, it felt as if many TV series in America attempted to duplicate its characters' lewdness and gray morality — qualities the show borrowed from the original UK Shameless.

Ten years later, it's easy to see why audiences were so captivated by the series early on. Much of what aired in 2011 seemed to have held up strongly a decade later. Today, countless series have adopted many of Shameless's attributes, but few reached their heights.

4 Season 3 - The One Where Frank Broke The Family Apart

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (8)

Shameless, Season 3 may be the series' most dramatic and heart-wrenching season. The season begins heavy, with Frank calling Child Protective Services on his family after they kick him out of the house. This ousting is a turning point for Frank as he goes from a jolly intoxicated father figure to a dangerously toxic figure.

What follows in Season 3 includes several somber scenes. These tragic moments include Terry beating up Mickey and Ian after discovering them having sex. Additionally, Karen becomes physically disabled after getting hit by a car. This darkness makes the season hard to watch, yet it's hard to look away.

(Video) The BEST And WORST Episodes Of Shameless RANKED..

3 Season 2 - The One Where Grammy Bullies Frank

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (9)

The sophomore season of Shameless had the unenviable task of following a debut season that exceeded expectations as a surprise hit. Suddenly, Season 2 had unexpectedly high hopes. Shameless met these expectations by expanding on open storylines from previous seasons and introducing memorable characters like Jody and Grammy.

In addition to delivering laughs, the second season heightens the dark drama and highlights just how dreary Shameless was willing to get in later seasons. For example, Monica's story arc from this season established a new dramatic standard for the series and proved an excellent way for Shameless to tug at the audience's heart strings.

2 Season 7 - The One Where Monica Died

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (10)

Whereas the previous Shameless season focused on the Gallagher's drifting apart, Season 7 was a significant positive turning point for the family. All the Gallaghers ended the sixth season in a dark place — Frank abandoned, Fiona alone at the altar, Lip living with alcoholism, etc. The seventh season went out of its way to give everyone a fresh start while seeking some form of redemption.

RELATED: Shameless: 10 Ways Frank Has Changed Since The First Season

The Season 7 finale ends with the family in a better place as far as reconciling with one another. Additionally, this ending introduces hope for each of the Gallaghers and the futures they're striving to realize. It's a satisfying finale to a season and closes major storylines dating back to the first season. Season 7 arguably offers a more robust, more satisfying conclusion to multiple characters' journeys better than the series' final season.

1 Season 4 - The One Where Frank Almost Died

Shameless: Every Season, Ranked From Worst To Best (11)
(Video) Top 10 Shameless Plot Holes That Make No Sense

In its first four seasons, Shameless established a steady balance between real-world drama and lighthearted — albeit often dark in itself — comic relief. Still, the fourth season was easily the show's bleakest. Season 4 began with a suddenly self-destructive Fiona landing herself in jail for cocaine. Later, her baby brother Liam discovered her stash, which results in his hospitalization.

But Liam's life isn't the only one in danger in Season 4. Frank nearly dies from a bad liver. Meanwhile, Mickey grapples with coming out, Ian lives with his bipolar disorder, and Mandy seeks to separate herself from an abusive relationship. These events make this season one of the series' darkest yet most affecting. In the end, these storylines make Shameless all the more compelling.

NEXT: 10 Most Likable Characters In Shameless


What's the worst season of Shameless? ›

As noted, no season of Shameless was flat-out bad but season eight is arguably at the bottom of the barrel. This was when Fiona became the landlord of a building and started a relationship with Ford, who many agree is the least interesting romantic partner for her in the series.

What is the saddest season of Shameless? ›

Shameless, Season 3 may be the series' most dramatic and heart-wrenching season. The season begins heavy, with Frank calling Child Protective Services on his family after they kick him out of the house.

What is the highest rated episode of Shameless? ›

With Shameless (2011) (Sorted by IMDb Rating Descending)
  • 9.4. ...
  • 9.3. ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

What season is the F word in Shameless? ›

Shameless - Season 6 Episode 3, The F Word | SHOWTIME.

Is Shameless season 5 GOOD? ›

Critic Reviews for Shameless: Season 5

Sunday's fifth-season launch is pure Shameless -- an evisceration of all that's good and decent in the world, and fans will love just about every second. Many of the characters haven't really evolved or learned from their mistakes.

What is the funniest episode of Shameless? ›

Shameless: 10 Best Episodes, According to Reddit
  • "Summertime" (Season 2, Episode 1) ...
  • "Pilot" (Season 1, Episode 1) ...
  • "A Yurt Of One's Own" (Season 6, Episode 9) ...
  • "A Night To Remem... ...
  • "The Sins Of My Caretaker" (Season 3, Episode 5) ...
  • "Iron City" (Season 4, Episode 6) ...
  • "There's The Rub" (Season 4, Episode 5)
Aug 25, 2022

Who is the most Shameless in Shameless? ›

Frank Gallagher

Think of the most shameless person you know, then multiply their actions by 100, that's Frank in a nutshell. The list of his transgressions is so extensive that the few we've picked are only the tip of the iceberg.

Is Shameless kid appropriate? ›

Expect graphic depictions of sex, full-frontal nudity, and occasional drug use (including pot, cocaine, and abuse of prescription drugs), along with ongoing alcohol abuse (by kids and adults). Kids engage in iffy, illegal behavior that doesn't typically result in negative consequences.

When did Shameless go downhill? ›

When did Shameless go downhill? In its first four seasons, Shameless established a steady balance between real-world drama and lighthearted — albeit often dark in itself — comic relief. Still, the fourth season was easily the show's bleakest.

Does Fiona have a mental illness? ›

Is Fiona bipolar in Shameless? Fiona suffers from long-term agoraphobia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Despite this she was determined to complete her face-to-face Certificate IV in Mental Health.

Does Fiona become a drunk? ›

Faced with her old reality, Fiona begins drinking heavily, becoming a reflection of the father she despised. She loses her job at Patsy's, doesn't pay her share of the bills, and is constantly getting into fights. At one point she even gets into a chase with the cops.

What episode is the saddest in Shameless? ›

These are eight of the most emotional episodes from the show.
  • 8 There's the Rub - S4E5.
  • 7 NSFW - S6E6.
  • 6 Just Like the Pilgrims Intended - S2E11.
  • 5 Order Room Service - S3E11.
  • 4 Emily - S4E11.
  • 3 Refugees - S6E5.
  • 2 Father Frank, Full of Grace - S11E12.
  • 1 But At Last Came a Knock - S1E9.
Sep 18, 2022

How many hours would it take to watch every episode of Shameless? ›

It would take 5 days and 14 hours to complete Shameless for the US version.

Who is the oldest on Shameless? ›

Fiona is in the difficult position of being the oldest of the Gallagher children, so most of the responsibility and child-rearing falls on her young shoulders.

What season is drugs actually in Shameless? ›

S5:E11 Drugs Actually. Frank grows concerned as Bianca's behavior becomes increasingly more erratic and dangerous - but he'll do just about anything to show her a great time.

What episode does Kenny say the F word? ›

"The F Word" is the twelfth episode of the thirteenth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 193rd overall episode of the series, it originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 4, 2009.

What was Shameless 100th episode? ›

Dean Lennox Kelly returns for the landmark 100th episode of Shameless, as Mickey give Mimi an ultimatum: either the new boiler goes or he does; and suddenly Micky finds himself on The Jockey sofa.

Is Shameless season 7 GOOD? ›

In a nearly perfect tearjerker of an episode. The seventh season begins in a strong place not because it's breaking new ground, but because it leans into a stable foundation that can be productively tested in the weeks that follow. [The] seventh annual Shameless souffl... should be shared with people you love.

Is Shameless Season 11 any good? ›

Critic Reviews for Shameless: Season 11

I love this show, messy flaws, brazen outrageousness, frenetic pacing, offensive story lines, hyper-farcical turns and all. It's not a Breaking Bad or a Mad Men, a pair of near-perfect specimens, but it has the kind of humanity that inspires my devotion.

Who is the drunk in Shameless? ›

On "Shameless," William H. Macy plays the world's most deadbeat dad. He stars as Frank Gallagher, a boozy, shiftless grifter whose brood of six mix-and-match offspring (do any of them share the same mother?)

Who does Lip have a kid with? ›

Tami Tamietti is a main character of U.S. Shameless. She first appears in the first episode of season 9 and becomes a romantic partner to Lip, and by the end of the season, becomes pregnant with his child.

How old was everyone when Shameless ended? ›

By the time of the series finale, Fiona is 30, Lip is 25, Ian is 24, Debbie is 20, Carl is 18, and Liam is 11.

Who becomes the most successful in Shameless? ›

Nevertheless, one character manages to turn things around and break his family's downward cycle--Carl Gallagher. Once believed to be destined for failure, Carl Gallagher's character arc makes him the best developed character in Shameless.

Who does Frank love the most? ›

But out of all of Franks' relationships, Bianca seems to be the one that thawed his heart the most.

What is lips IQ in Shameless? ›

Originally Answered: What is Phillip Gallagher's (Shameless) IQ? I would say between 160 and 170 because of the episode when he tried to re-enroll into college. Professor uens said he was greatly gifted and that a mind like his comes only once every ten years.

Is Shameless okay for a 13 year old? ›

Children under the age of 13 probably shouldn't watch it yet, but 13 and up is a good age because they need to learn about this kind of stuff, how drugs can affect you, sex, etc. things that they will probably be going through in the next year or 2. Overall, it was a very good show! 1 person found this helpful.

How old is Ian Gallagher in Season 1? ›

Ian Gallagher is the third oldest Gallagher sibling and is aged 15 at the beginning of the first series in 2004. He is the son of Monica Gallagher (Annabelle Apsion) and Gary Bennett, revealed when his blood group was found to be incompatible with the rest of his siblings'.

Is Episode inappropriate for 12 year olds? ›

Sex, drugs, and alcohol are everywhere in Episode.

The stories in the Episode App are full of adult themes, with teenagers sexually active, scantily dressed, getting drunk, going to college frat parties, and using foul language. The app store age rating is way too low, as 12-year-old girls will flock to this app.

Which Shameless is the original? ›

Series 1 (2004)

The first series of Shameless ran from 13 January to 24 February 2004, and consisted of seven episodes. It chronicled the life of the Gallagher family and their neighbours. David Threlfall was cast as an alcoholic father, Frank Gallagher, living with his children in their neighborhood.

Was Shameless canceled? ›

Why is Shameless ending after season 11 on Showtime? Fans of Shameless are currently enjoying watching the 10th season of the hit show on Showtime. However, the network has now confirmed how the next season will be the final outing for the popular series.

Was there a time jump in Shameless? ›

Putting these details together, it appears that around nine years pass between the start of Shameless season 1 and the end of season 11. By the time of the series finale, Fiona is 30, Lip is 25, Ian is 24, Debbie is 20, Carl is 18, and Liam is 11.

What mental illness does Debbie have? ›

Abandonment Anxiety (Portrayed by Debbie Gallagher)

Is Carl Gallagher a sociopath? ›

In a subtly wrenching scene played between Emmy Rossum and Ethan Cutkosky, it's clear that Carl has fully shed his baby-bully status and is now a full-blown sociopath.

Why did Fiona get written off? ›

Due to scheduling conflicts and time restraints, it simply wasn't feasible for the production and Rossum's schedule, so Fiona couldn't return for the Shameless finale.

Who gets Fiona pregnant? ›

Fiona, upon becoming pregnant by Craig Garland in Episode 208, told Veronica that she was the only girl in her school year who didn't become pregnant before receiving her GCSE's.

Did Fiona ever get pregnant? ›

Plot. Fiona struggles with work at Patsy's Pies after being promoted to assistant manager. Though she is still married to Gus, Fiona has begun a sexual relationship with Sean. When Fiona unexpectedly finds out she is pregnant (and does not know who the father is), she ultimately decides to get an abortion.

Does Fiona get bipolar? ›

30 years ago, Fiona was diagnosed with bipolar after four years of untreated depression. Although now retired, she explains how she has self-managed her symptoms and has maintained a long, successful working life.

Who has the saddest story in Shameless? ›

Fiona Gallagher (played brilliantly by Emmy Rossum) had some of the saddest plotlines in Shameless. She was raising 5 kids, sacrificing her own life to put food on the table, earning money any way she can, and trying to ensure they get the best lives possible.

Who was the emo girl in Shameless? ›

Emma Greenwell was born in the United States but raised in London where she studied acting at the prestigious Hurtwood House and LAMDA. Shortly after graduating, Emma moved to Los Angeles where she booked the role of Mandy on the critically acclaimed series SHAMELESS.

Is Carl A Virgin in Shameless? ›

Chloe was a brief friend of Carl Gallagher's in Series 3. Carl lost his virginity to Chloe in the Gallagher's attic.

What is the longest binge watch ever? ›

If you thought you had mastered the art of binge-watching TV, think again. A 25-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, has secured the Guinness World Record for the longest television binge-watching marathon this week, with a jaw-dropping 94 hours.

Is Shameless based on a real family? ›

Nope, it's not. The Gallagher family isn't a real family — well, the one in the show at least.

Where did they film Shameless? ›

Shameless was shot in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Gallagher House was located at 2119 S Homan Ave, Chicago. Chicago, IL, USA.

How much older is Mickey than Ian? ›

He's one or two years older than Ian.

Who is the youngest in Shameless? ›

Liam Fergus Beircheart Gallagher is the youngest of the Gallagher siblings. He was initially a recurring character but becomes a main character in Season 8 and remains so in the seasons after.

Who is the youngest girl on Shameless? ›

Emma Rose Kenney (born September 14, 1999) is an American actress. She has portrayed Deborah "Debbie" Gallagher on Shameless from 2011 to 2021, and Harris Conner-Healy in the tenth season of the family sitcom Roseanne and its spin-off continuation The Conners.

Is Shameless season 10 GOOD? ›

Shameless is still more than good enough this season to take up space in existing fans' hearts. "We Few, We Lucky Few, We Band of Gallaghers!" proceeds confidently in this new world, yet it succumbs to the typical faults that plague Shameless.

Is Shameless season 3 good? ›

Shameless had a very good third season that was ultimately one of the show's best. These are the IMDb ratings for each installment. After two absolutely brilliant seasons of drama, Shameless returned with expectations soaring high.

Is Shameless OK for kids? ›

Expect graphic depictions of sex, full-frontal nudity, and occasional drug use (including pot, cocaine, and abuse of prescription drugs), along with ongoing alcohol abuse (by kids and adults). Kids engage in iffy, illegal behavior that doesn't typically result in negative consequences.

Did Shameless finally end? ›

After 11 seasons of debauchery, drinking, and downright denial, “Shameless” and the Gallagher crew said farewell in the April 11 series finale, “Father Frank, Full of Grace” with an expected ending and more than a few lingering questions about the surviving characters.

Does Shameless get sad? ›

Shameless is a very well-rounded, dynamic dramedy. It's funny and full of iconic moments, but the show isn't just all laughs. The poverty, tragedy and poor choices the Gallagher family often has to face are downright heartbreaking in some episodes.

What season did Fiona leave Shameless? ›

Macy), Fiona acted as a protagonist for the majority of the series. Though a favorite character to many, Rossum's character, unfortunately, didn't see Shameless through to the end, permanently exiting the show at the end of Season 9.

Is Shameless season 12 coming out? ›

The 11th season of Shameless averaged a 0.13 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 576,000 viewers. Compared to season 10, that's down by 47% in the demo and down by 32% in viewership. Find out how Shameless stacks up against other Showtime TV shows. Shameless has ended so, there won't be a 12th season.

Is Shameless a masterpiece? ›

Is Shameless a masterpiece? To put it simply, “Shameless” is a brilliant masterpiece which will add to Showtime's impressive television resume.

Why was Ian gone in season 4? ›

Ian contemplated fleeing to avoid jail time but he decided against the idea and, instead, confessed to being bipolar. He was sentenced to two years in jail and disappeared from Shameless. Monaghan planned to leave Shameless in 2017, but the exit wasn't revealed until season 9.

Is Shameless season 1 GOOD? ›

Although Shameless attempts to jam a lot into one hour, the show's tremendous cast, smart pacing and fresh storyline keep it engaging. This one's not bad - nothing that follows the original so closely could be bad. At a time when TV drama is so flush with riches, Shameless plays like a poor relative.


1. The most overrated TV shows of all time
2. The Shameless Scene That People Think Went Too Far
3. 10 “BEST” & “WORST” Triceps Workouts Ranked From Worst to Best! | Tamil
(Tharun Kumar)
4. even more shameless scenes i cannot stop thinking about
5. Top 10 Shameless Characters That Deserved Better
6. 'Shameless' Cast Reveals the Most Uncomfortable Scenes They Had to Shoot
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aron Pacocha

Last Updated: 02/04/2023

Views: 5321

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aron Pacocha

Birthday: 1999-08-12

Address: 3808 Moen Corner, Gorczanyport, FL 67364-2074

Phone: +393457723392

Job: Retail Consultant

Hobby: Jewelry making, Cooking, Gaming, Reading, Juggling, Cabaret, Origami

Introduction: My name is Aron Pacocha, I am a happy, tasty, innocent, proud, talented, courageous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.