Strong television characters influence so many fans to be their best selves by showing everyone it is always possible to achieve their ultimate goals! One such character deserving of all of the praise for strong TV characters, constantly showing the world it's possible to experience multiple hardships and still be able to persevere through life, is Fiona Gallagher. She's the headstrong firecracker eldest daughter of the Gallagher family, whose family life needs to be seen to be believed! Played by Emmy Rossum, Fiona takes care of her family while managing to keep a blueprint for her own life goals intact on the long-running series, Shameless!
From the first episode of Shameless, viewers immediately noticed how 21-year-old Fiona is superwoman. Fi's strong nature constantly keeps her going, despite being thrust into a surrogate mother role at an extremely young age! Not only does she take care of her five siblings, but Fiona also manages to live her own life by being a loyal friend and partner to her extended support system. Shameless fans understandably find themselves wondering if there's anything our Gallagher girl can't do after nine seasons of her seemingly endless admirable antics.
With every TV show or beloved television character, however, perfection is nearly impossible to achieve! Even though there are countless reasons to celebrate Fiona's character, some of her storylines raise a few eyebrows. Fiona has gone through so much but there are many instances in which she could've been a bit more "Shameless!"
20 Fi Was Able To Take Care Of An Entire Household
From the first episode of Shameless, there are two things viewers immediately notice: this isn't The Brady Bunch and Fiona Gallagher is so much more than Marcia Brady!
When we first meet Fiona, we're immediately aware she's so much more than the eldest Gallagher sister; she is the backbone of the Gallagher family and she knows her siblings' every need like the back of her hand. We love a boss babe, and Fiona's even more admirable when we learn she's only 21 years old.
How many 21-year-old people are equipped with life skills to manage an entire bustling household?
19 How She Had No Clue About Her Boyfriend's Double Life
From Shameless's first episode, it's easy to see how the Gallagher household remains chaotic! Watching Fiona run the house and stay on top of every aspect, it's easy to wonder whether it was possible for Fiona to catch a moment of serenity. Her moment of serenity waltzes into the Gallagher house every morning carrying enough coffee for the family: Steve Lishman.
After a period of reluctance, Fiona agrees to start dating Steve. The pair isn't dating for long before young Debbie discovers Steve isn't who Fiona thinks he is. How could she have no idea about his true identity?
18 Just How She Could Leave Frank Alone Long Enough
Despite Fiona's unwavering ability to keep an eye on every Gallagher, her father Frank is one Gallagher she can't keep up with!
Frank spends most of his time drinking at his favorite bar, The Alibi; at his part-time partner Sheila's house; and running from the law. Shameless fans quickly learn Frank is able to constantly find himself anywhere except in the safety of his own home.
In an episode in Season One, Frank ventures to Canada! The Gallagher family looks far and wide for him, but how could an all-knowing Fiona leave him long enough to escape the country?
17 The Whole Aunt Ginger Debacle
Frank Gallagher is no stranger to faux pas! If Papa Gallagher is in need of a dime, he'll stop at nothing to get it. He gets the brilliant idea to cash the social security checks of the family's aunt Ginger, but there's a problem: Ginger lives in another city!
In order to protect Frank, Fiona authorizes her best friend Veronica to borrow a patient from her nursing home job. "Aunt Ginger" is a sweet lady, who Debbie is immediately drawn to.
With her respect for family, it's confusing as to why Fi would take advantage of a very vulnerable situation!
16 How She Uses Her Family
When times are tough, Fiona knows exactly what to do in order to make ends meet, but unfortunately, her plans sometimes come at the cost of her family.
In Season Three, Fi returns to the club where she waitressed in order to promote a club night to keep the family afloat. Unfortunately, financial security comes at a cost so Fi knowingly doles out extra money to ensure her financial success comes first.
Even though Fi knew the family needed money, she still puts Lip at risk to earn the money. Where's the FI who wouldn't go for that?
15 How She's Okay With Frank Using The Kids
Frank Gallagher wouldn't be Frank Gallagher if he weren't running through life aimlessly and fooling everyone he knows, but what about the countless times Frank uses his kids as chess pawns in his game of life?
Frank taking advantage of his kids isn't anything new, but the concept of Fiona being oblivious to his shenanigans is! Surely she would've noticed and caught wind of the time Frank claimed Carl was seriously ill in order to see a free basketball game, for example?
Sure, Fi was distracted with her own problems, but really?
14 Her Relationship With Craig
Fiona is an independent woman; she'll stop at nothing to figure out what she needs in order to achieve success! Fi's had her share of relationships which have hindered and helped her along the way, but her brief relationship with her high school flame, Craig, belongs in the former category!
Fiona tracks Craig down in order to ease her pain over a love triangle, but she hits a snag in the plan. Craig's married. For an empathetic person and champion of family, it doesn't add up how seemingly loyal Fiona could risk breaking up a marriage!
13 Her Relationship With Steve's Wife
When you do something you're not proud of, it's common to hear someone tell you you've got to "reap what you sow" and that's exactly what happened to Jimmy at the end of the first season. He tries to persuade the woman of his dreams, Fiona, to join him for a romantic vacation, when he was really trying to escape the law.
Jimmy eventually returns to town with his dream girl on his mind, but he has another woman in tow. He's married! Unfortunately, jealousy gets the best of Fiona and she treats Estefania poorly, which seems totally unlike Fi!
12 Her Relationship With Jasmine
There's a reoccurring theme in Shameless where Fiona gets a glimpse into how "the other half lives." One of her earliest glimpses is through the introduction of Jasmine, a woman with lots of wealth who Fiona meets in an unlikely setting: a PTA meeting at school!
Jasmine and Fiona's relationship starts out with Jasmine taking Fiona under her wing, as though she were her little sister. As they get to know one another, Fi starts taking advantage of Jasmine's glamorous life. Fi is normally grounded, so getting swept up isn't her style!
11 The Whole Harvard Thing
Part of Jasmine's influence allows Fi to meet other wealthy people and find herself surrounded by a lot of her high-class friends, which moves her social life into a higher gear. She starts meeting men who are the complete opposite of Steve and fills her calendar with fancy social engagements, which drives her to create a whole identity in order to woo her new man!
When Fi accompanies her new man to a wedding, she tells him she's a Harvard alumna. She never altered her life story to impress Jasmine, so why did she feel she had to lie to him?
10 Jumping From Jobs
Fiona's role as a caretaker for all her siblings and her father understandably keeps her around the homestead most of the time, but she manages to occasionally have a job she enjoys to the point where Fi can feel like she has a sense of individuality. In the early seasons of Shameless, Fiona waitresses at a nightclub where she has a great time having a few hours to herself, but life gets in the way for her. She continuously has to be rooted to the Gallagher reality.
She's never allowed to enjoy her earnings! How is it fair?
9 How She Seems To Keep Liam Afloat
Shameless fans have to hand it to our boss babe Gallagher sister. In the earlier seasons, she's able to manage the younger members of the Gallagher clan with flying colors; Debbie's smart and well-rounded and Carl still has a heart of gold under his mischievous exterior. But what about little Liam?
At the beginning of the series, Liam is a tiny little munchkin who's already seen more in his short life than many of us do in one lifetime! Fortunately, Fi is able to keep Liam unscathed and afloat. We never find out Fi's formula for baby-whisperer success! What gives?
8 Managing Lip When He Leaves School
Phillip "Lip" Gallagher mirrors Fiona in his headstrong nature, so much so that he refuses to follow through on the deal he strikes with Fiona which states that he'll return to school if his sister gets her GED.
Lip falls on difficult times during his relationship with Karen during Season Two, as TV Line reports. Despite splitting time between the Gallagher household and Karen's house down the street, he's still technically living in the Gallagher house which is under Fiona's strict rule. Despite Lip practically being of age, Fiona falters on her "family first" attitude when Lip leaves the Gallagher homestead for a while.
7 Her Lack Of Female Friendships
When you have a best friend like Veronica who is always loyal and has your back through situations only the Gallaghers would find themselves in, who needs more friends?
Veronica may be all Fiona needs in a BFF, but why is she the only woman in the history of Shameless who Fiona can get along with? Her friendships and interactions with other women seem to fall by the wayside, and she is rarely able to make a friendship work.
Fi's no stranger to seeing good in people she meets; why is it so hard for her to have a squad?
6 Fi's Relationship With Monica
Once upon a time, Frank and Monica Gallagher gave birth to the Gallagher family until Monica decided she needed more from life and left. Monica's decision to leave the Gallaghers causes Fi to become the primary caretaker of the Gallagher house, and understandably Monica and Fiona's relationship isn't reminiscent of Lorelai and Rory's relationship from Gilmore Girls.
Monica spends the series moving in and out of the Gallagher house, but there was a period in Season Two where Fi slowly warmed up to her mom. Knowing what she's always known, normally headstrong Fi wouldn't find herself in such a vulnerable position.
5 How Fi Keeps Getting Back Together With Jimmy
Out of all the relationships featured on Shameless, perhaps the most appealing and mythical relationship is between Fiona and Jimmy "Steve" Lishman. Through the years, the duo endures and experiences relationship issues which would normally cause any couple to head for splitsville, especially with a history as extensive as theirs.
Sometimes attraction can't be explained, but Fiona's sharp mind should let her know Jimmy is incapable of a happily ever after, no matter how unconventional it would be.
From Jimmy's introduction to his criminal past, Fi should've seen the red flags. But alas, here's to love!
4 How She Can't Catch A Break
It doesn't take long for Shameless viewers to comprehend Fiona is hardly able to catch a break and is only allowed a few moments of bliss before another situation takes hold of her happiness.
There's never a storyline in which Fiona comes out with a positive outcome; she is always on the brink of being rewarded for always remaining positive and of good nature despite the daily misgivings from Frank and the universe!
In any other universe, Fi would be rewarded somehow for absolutely never giving up and continuing to weather endless bouts of hurricane Frank! Fi's outcome never adds up!
3 How She's Able To Maintain Frank
Frank Gallagher is no Mike Brady; he won't be qualifying for father of the year anytime soon! However Frank and Fiona manage to show glimpses of a close father and daughter pair! A relationship between Frank and Fiona seems sweet in theory, but how is it possible for Fiona to fall for these fleeting moments with Frank?
Despite Frank's reckless treatment of his kids, Fi occasionally shares a bonding moment with Frank in the midst of his countless shenanigans, as Decider reports. There's still love between the two, though. Despite everything Frank has ever done, Fi never cuts off their relationship for good.
2 Fi's Whole Transformation
The Fiona Gallagher of Shameless's first season is completely unrecognizable from Fiona's final season! Shameless perfectly addresses that life happens, but Fiona's initial character appeal is her ability to stand up to the endless injustice she encounters.
Midway through the series, Fiona makes some unfortunate decisions which are very unlike who we thought Fiona was. She experiences the consequences of her negative choices, but her out-of-character choices just don't add up to the Fiona we knew and loved.
Fi's transition into harder times isn't completely without a trace of vintage Fiona. She carries herself with her classic headstrong demeanor intact!
1 How The Show Will Go On Without Her
The idea of Shameless without Fiona's presence really doesn't add up! Will there ever be another voice of reason within the Gallagher household?
After nine seasons of Fiona holding down the fort, Emmy Rossum announced Fiona's presence in the Gallagher house would be no more. Emmy will always hold Fi in her heart, though, much to the delight of Gallagher enthusiasts!
According to Pop Sugar, Rossum revealed, "Being ensconced in that messy Gallagher family love is something I'd always dreamed of. But even off set, it feels real."
Shameless still has another season to go, but who are the Gallaghers without Fiona?