With all the anarchy in the Gallagher household, it can be challenging to keep track of how old the characters in Shameless are from the beginning to the end of the show. So, what are the main Shameless characters’ ages? When the comedy-drama series debuted on Showtime in 2011, all of the Gallagher kids (except for Fiona) were still minors. By the time the series wrapped up with the season 11 finale in the spring of 2021, all except Liam were adults with jobs and — in some cases — kids of their own.
The Shameless characters’ ages are somewhat hard to nail down. There’s a distinct division between the younger and older Gallagher siblings, with Fiona, Lip, and Ian being in the older tier, and Debbie, Carl, and Liam in the younger. However, this apparent split does nothing to actually nail down the actual Shameless character ages outside of giving audiences an abstract idea of what stage of life each of them are in. Regardless, throughout Shameless‘ 11 season run, some hints and clues are given about the ages of the Gallagher children, so every one of their ages can be explained.
How Old The Gallagher Kids Are At The Beginning & End of Shameless
Working out the age of the Gallagher family in Shameless can be difficult thanks to the show’s somewhat muddy timeline, but it’s not impossible. The ages of the characters in Shameless can be worked out thanks to the introduction of Debbie’s daughter Franny in season 6. Since Franny was born when Debbie was 15, and celebrates her fifth birthday when Shameless season 11 ends, it’s possible to work out the ages of the Gallagher family at the start and end of Shameless using Franny’s season 6 birth as a starting point. The Shameless timeline isn’t set in stone, and about 9 years pass during the show (it’s not a one-year-per-season set-up). Here’s the age of every member of the Gallagher family in Shameless in season 1 and season 11.
- Fiona Gallagher is 21 in Shameless season 1, which is set in 2010 – putting her birth year around 1989-1990. By the series Shameless season finale — set in 2020 — she would have been around 30.
- In season 1 of Shameless Lip Gallagher is 16, making him about 25-26 by the Shameless season 11 finale. He would have been born around 1994.
- Ian Gallagher is 15 in Shameless season 1, a year younger than his older brother, and probably born sometime in 1995. Ian ends Shameless 24 years old.
- She has Franny at age 15, but the highly problematic at points Debbie Gallagher is 10 years old, almost 11, in Shameless season 1 — a big source of the show’s overall timeline confusion. Debbie Gallagher was probably born sometime between 2000-2001, as she’s 20 years old at the end of Shameless season 11.
- Future conflicted cop Carl Gallagher was 9 in Shameless season 1, and states in season 11 that he’s “19 going on 20″. This also created a bit of confusion around the timeline and the ages of the Gallagher kids in Shameless, as in season 10 it seemed he’s only just turned 18. Since Carl is around a year younger than Debbie, it’s safe to assume he was born at some point during either 2002 or early 2003.
- Liam Gallagher is 18 months old in Shameless season 1, and 11 during the Shameless season 11 finale. Liam’s age was one of the most inconsistent throughout the show, but it’s likely he was born 2008-2009.
How Old Other Shameless Characters Are
By the end of Shameless season 11, the Gallagher family got even bigger. Mickey Milkovich is around the same age as Lip Gallagher, which would make him around 25 years old when the story ends in regards to the Shameless character ages. Debbie’s daughter Franny is five years old, having been born on the Gallaghers’ kitchen table in season 6. Lip’s son, Freddie, was born in the first episode of season 10 and therefore must be at least a year old by the series finale, since Ian and Mickey are celebrating the first anniversary of their wedding from the end of season 10. Fred is probably about the same age in the finale as Liam was at the start of Shameless season 1. That essentially brings the Gallagher household full circle regarding their ages, as another generation is born.
Moving next door, Kevin and Veronica’s ages are never explicitly given at any point in the series, but they appear to be in their mid-to-late 20s in Shameless season 1. That puts them in their mid-to-late 30s by the time they pack up and get ready to move to Louisville in Shameless season 11. Their twin daughters, Amy and Jemma, were born in the season 4 finale, and Franny was conceived just a few episodes later, which means that Kevin and Veronica’s twins are about 6 years old by the end of the series.
The Timeline On Shameless Is Loose
Explaining the Shameless character ages is complicated. Monica Gallagher had six children before walking out on the family and leaving Fiona to take on the brunt of the parenting (even more so than she already had). In a rant in season 1, Frank helpfully spells out the age differences between the kids, saying that Monica left when Emmy Rossum’s Fiona was 14, Lip was 11, Ian was 10, Debbie was seven, Carl was five, and Liam was four months old. Of course, this being Frank, there’s probably some room for error in his calculation of the kids’ ages. Other clues in the show indicate that Emmy Rossum’s Fiona is actually around five years older than Lip, not three.
The Shameless timeline, and subsequently the Shameless character ages, are notoriously riddled with continuity issues, which often makes it difficult to track how much time passes between seasons and how old the various characters are. In an interview with EW, creator John Wells joked that the show is written on “Shameless time,” with some characters’ storylines taking place over a few days while others take place over several weeks. However, thanks to mentions of their age in dialogue, it’s possible to pin down their ages when the story begins, and how old they are when things wrap up in the Shameless season 11 finale.
Is Shameless Over? Why The Show Ended After 11 Seasons
After 11 successful seasons, Shameless is officially over — which seems bizarre considering there’s no real reason for the show to end. After Emmy Rossum’s season 9 exit, people wondered if the series could survive without Fiona Gallagher. However, Shameless season 10 held its own, proving that the show could live on in the wake of her absence. Besides this, the British version of the series had numerous exits throughout its run, revealing that the premise just provides engaging content overall.
It was a genuine surprise when Showtime announced that Shameless season 11 would be the show’s last, and the only excuse given was that all good things must come to an end. In an interview with Variety, executive producer John Wells explained that one could only follow someone’s life for so long, and that’s why the series came to an end.
Shameless season 11 left off somewhat open-ended, leaving plenty of room for a 12th installment. Frank finally bit the dust in the final episode, succumbing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lip’s story has the loosest ends. No one knows if his girlfriend is pregnant again, or if he sells the house. Debbie also got a raw deal, as her arc leaves her considering whether she’ll move with a woman who held her at gunpoint.
Shameless characters Ian and Mickey got the best ending, moving into an apartment together and considering parenthood. Carl got a fitting end: he considers buying the Alibi and making it into a cop bar. Liam, on the other hand, didn’t get much of an ending at all. The one thing that strikes odd about the Shameless series finale is that, despite the heavy amount of flashbacks, Fiona doesn’t make an appearance. One would think that with all of the life changes the siblings are going through, she’d at least show up in the last episode.
After 10 Years With The Gallaghers, Shameless Deserved A Better Finale
The Shameless character ages may not have been airtight, but the series could’ve worked that out had it gone on longer. Many weren’t happy with the way the Shameless ended, and it’s completely understandable as to why. Audiences stood with the troubled Gallagher family for over ten years, similar to its UK Shameless counterpart. However, most of the major characters’ arcs, like Lip’s and Liam’s, weren’t properly wrapped up, leaving more questions in their wake than answers. In the end, the Gallagher family deserved a better finale than they got.
While Emmy Rossum couldn’t make the Shameless finale due to scheduling conflicts, the series did nothing to honor her long-running presence on the show. In addition, characters like Lip and Debbie, who underwent some major positive changes throughout Shameless, found themselves right back where they started when it came to dysfunction. The only relatively fitting endings were that of Frank Gallagher and Ian and Mickey. Otherwise, Shameless really did the Gallagher family a disservice by ending things the way that the show did.
This story originally appeared on Screenrant