The BEST Episodes of Shameless

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2020

Network: Channel 4

Blisteringly funny, offbeat drama following the rollercoaster lives and loves of an anarchic family from Manchester. Meet the Gallaghers. Mum went AWOL years ago, Dad stayed at home with the six children only to hit the bottle. And sometimes the kids... The real head of the family is big sister Fiona (20), who looks after Carl (11), Debbie (9) and baby Liam (3). She is occasionally helped, more often hindered, by reluctant virgin 'Lip' (16) and the actively gay, but very private, Ian (15). Welcome to a hectic world of sexual adventures, triumphs, love, scams and a fair bit of crime on a rough Manchester housing estate, where wheel-less cars are the norm and the moving ones are stolen.

Episode 8

#1 - Episode 8

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 21, 2006

In preparation for her wedding to Frank, Sheila commissions the building of a conservatory in her back yard - but she suddenly remembers her first husband is buried under the patio. Veronica's last stab at IVF on the NHS fails, so she hatches a macabre plan to raise cash for private treatment.

star 8.46
114 votes
Writers: Paul Abbott
Episode 18

#2 - Episode 18

Season 8 - Episode 18 - Aired Sep 27, 2011

There's uproar in The Jockey when Frank pockets Cynthia's scratch card. And when Cynthia is assaulted, Frank becomes the prime suspect. Carl kicks off against the accusers, but Kelly shows Carl CCTV footage of Frank near the crime scene. Frank remembers nothing but scratch marks on his chest tell a different story. While Frank hands himself in, a distressed Carl seeks to prove his dad's innocence and phones Kev Ball, who returns to the Chatsworth like a knight in shining armour. New video footage jogs Frank's memory, but puts him in a stickier situation. Can a deal be made with gangster Growbag Macready? Frank's fate rests in his hands. Meanwhile, Mickey moves into the Jockey after a disagreement with Mimi, and Marty's presence continues to cause trouble between Shane and Kelly.

star 8.46
68 votes
Directors: Gordon Anderson
Writers: Paul Abbott
Episode 1

#3 - Episode 1

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 1, 2008

An emergency visit to the hospital results in Frank receiving devastating news, prompting him to embark on an orgy of drink and drug-fuelled mayhem, which culminates in a bizarre, drug-induced encounter with his younger self. Elsewhere, Lillian comes up with a surprising way to make money, and Lip's shady past catches up with him and leads to a no-holds-barred fight in The Jockey, with shocking consequences.

star 8.43
171 votes
Directors: David Threlfall
Writers: Ed McCardie
Episode 2

#4 - Episode 2

Season 9 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 10, 2012

Not everyone is pleased to see Carl after he shows up on the estate as a qualified policeman. Jackson finds himself being accused of falsely claiming benefits, resulting in the loss of his job which throws his marriage into chaos. Frank is given the job of becoming a double agent, so that he can get information from Carmen about the future plans for the estate. The residents end up agreeing to a deal with Carmen to save the estate. Kelly loses her baby.

star 8.42
77 votes
Episode 5

#5 - Episode 5

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 6, 2007

Debbie's glad to have her dad back at home, but Monica's not happy with all the attention Frank is giving her and tells her it's time she found herself a boyfriend. Also Ian catches the eye of someone he least expected.

star 8.38
168 votes
Episode 4

#6 - Episode 4

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 30, 2007

Ian gets more than he bargained for when a new person enters his life. Another death in the Maguire household causes Mimi to think the family may be cursed.

star 8.38
145 votes
Episode 16

#7 - Episode 16

Season 7 - Episode 16 - Aired May 4, 2010

Karen and Joe are holed up in the shop with the spectre of Jamie's revenge hanging over them. Joe is plotting their future away from Chatsworth, but Jamie has Connor in hiding and Karen isn't going anywhere without her son. Joe uses his dubious contacts to snatch Connor and drag his new family away to freedom, but little does he know he's carrying unwelcome baggage! When Maxine and Ian are mugged they viciously fight back, taking their attacker captive. At odds on what to do with their prisoner, the couple quickly realise their relationship is falling apart. Elsewhere, a dark cloud falls over the Maguire family when notorious gangster and psychopath Roscoe shows up. The brothers scatter for cover, leaving Mimi to suffer the intimidation along with a dose of extreme indigestion.

star 8.35
157 votes
Episode 3

#8 - Episode 3

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 23, 2007

Monica manages to seduce Frank and sink her claws back in, but he dare not tell Sheila that he and Monica have been sleeping together. Sheila proves to be a frightening adversary when scorned and Frank could be in real danger. But neither Sheila nor Monica want to share him and he has to decide on which wife he wants. But who will he choose?

star 8.32
175 votes
Episode 15

#9 - Episode 15

Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired Apr 8, 2008

While enjoying another secret rendezvous, Debbie and Tom are forced to come to the aid of an assaulted woman, but things go horribly wrong when Tom gets arrested on suspicion of being the attacker. Only Debbie can supply his alibi, but not without putting both of them in a compromising position. There's a gruesome showdown between Shane and Paddy over Shane's girl, leaving Mimi torn between her love for her husband and the love she feels for her son. When Norma wakes up in a stranger's jogging bottoms after a night on the tiles, she sets off on a wild goose chase to find out whoever it was she slept with.

star 8.30
96 votes
Episode 3

#10 - Episode 3

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 17, 2006

Mandy goes into labour after a run in with a masked robber inside the corner shop. Lip desperately wants to visit his new daughter, but will Mandy's parents allow the visit? And if not, just what will it take for Lip to prove himself to them...?

star 8.29
224 votes
Episode 21

#11 - Episode 21

Season 8 - Episode 21 - Aired Oct 18, 2011

Mickey channels his' inner drama queen' at the community service with a difference. Ray's skill with numbers does not go unnoticed by Mickey, and a trip to the casino seems on the cards. But Ray's only got one thing on his mind, and it's not the jackpot! The community service cast are unhappy with their leader, Michelle and the play. So when Michelle has a timely accident and the centre is shut, Mickey takes the lead, bringing Christmas to Chatsworth early. Meanwhile, Mimi might wear the trousers in the family, but it's time Billy pulled his weight, so Mimi sets a profitable challenge to test his manhood.

star 8.29
62 votes
Directors: Lawrence Till
Writers: Ian Kershaw
Episode 8

#12 - Episode 8

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 27, 2007

Learning of the death of his three ex-cell mates is sending Paddy round the bend. With the three of them taken out one-by-one in suspicious circumstances, could this mean he's next in line?

star 8.24
157 votes
Episode 14

#13 - Episode 14

Season 11 - Episode 14 - Aired May 28, 2013

After spending months in jail, Frank returns to Chatsworth hoping for a welcome home party. However, he discovers Monica has took up residency at the Gallaghers - and is expecting his tenth child, and the return of a few faces from his past heralds the end of an era. Meanwhile, it's business as usual at Chesco's, as an old face re-instates herself.

star 8.24
38 votes
Episode 10

#14 - Episode 10

Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 23, 2010

Shane is devastated to discover he's 'firing blanks' and while he frets, Kelly is reconciled to their future without children. The Maguire men refuse to let one of their own be struck down so decide to take matters into their own hands and get their heads together to come up with a sticky solution. Although Shane is keen to take up their offer Kelly refuses, and with Liam's help, both realise the answer to their problem lies closer to home. Carl and Chesney return to the Chatsworth and live undercover in Joe's storeroom. When Maxine discovers the boys are back, she risks her relationship with Ian by secretly concocting a plan to get them out of trouble. Carl prefers a more direct option, which puts all the Gallaghers in danger. While others choose to turn a blind eye, including Paddy, Shane refuses to stand by and do nothing, teaching Jimmy and his gang a lesson they will never forget. Meanwhile, Libby's attempts to set up a book club backfire when she, with Frank's encouragement, becomes an unwitting modern-day Robin Hood.

star 8.21
142 votes
Dead (Part 2 of 2)

#15 - Dead (Part 2 of 2)

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Feb 24, 2004

Monica and Norma are ruling the roost at the Gallagher household after Fiona moves in with Steve, but none of the Gallagher kids are happy by their mother's return. Frank is desperate to make contact with his estranged wife, but first, he must deal with his growing debts, two debt collectors watching his every move, the threat of homelessness for his entire family, and Monica's aggressive girlfriend, Norma. However, it's his new rival Norma who comes up with the perfect solution: fake his own death so his debts die with him, but Monica and Norma may have an ulterior motive for offering to help. Meanwhile, Sheila tries to overcome her agoraphobia with Debbie's help, whilst harbouring a life-changing secret, and it seems Steve's days as a free man are numbered when a jealous Tony discovers the source of his fortune.

star 8.19
353 votes
Directors: Dearbhla Walsh
Writers: Paul Abbott
Episode 7

#16 - Episode 7

Season 7 - Episode 7 - Aired Mar 2, 2010

Frank's romantic interest, Libby, returns and her time away has only increased her ardour. Armed with just a mobile library she is determined to bring knowledge to the people and rekindle her romance. Libby's romantic delusion is only punctured when she witnesses the 'real' Frank, leaving her Elizabeth Bennett without the Mr Darcy she craved. But overwhelmed by his desire, Frank strains every sinew to win her back using an unfamiliar weapon, honesty. Jamie focuses all his energies into giving his Madam, Michelle, whatever she wants in order to pay off Karen's debts. But his unusual behaviour rattles Karen's delicate disposition and raises Paddy's suspicions and when Michelle makes it clear she wants more than Jamie can give, the pressure mounts. Risking the fury of a woman scorned, but with everything he cares for at stake, Jamie has no choice but to find a way out. Meanwhile, Lillian invests in a new HD television to keep the punters happy, but soon realises she has purchased a conduit to the afterlife.

star 8.17
191 votes
Episode 2

#17 - Episode 2

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 16, 2007

Frank’s desperate to keep the fact that he’s still married to estranged wife Monica from Sheila, and Monica’s not making it easy for him. But Sheila can see that she has competition for Frank and sets about trying to reunite Monica with her estranged lesbian lover. But is Monica still a lesbian?

star 8.13
209 votes
Episode 5

#18 - Episode 5

Season 9 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 31, 2012

Somebody from Jamie's past arrives on the estate, looking for a favour to be returned. D.S. Brooks, is currently suspended pending some serious charges and Jamie doesn't know if he can go through with what he wants and the safety of his family ends up being in the balance. Aidan skips school after he is haunted with nightmares about his doing nothing to stop Frasier attacking his school teacher. After Frasier turns his attention to Letitia, Aidan ends up feeling like he has no choice but to act. Micky has to deal with a life-changing decision after a debt collection goes badly wrong.

star 8.12
77 votes
We're Going to The Moon

#19 - We're Going to The Moon

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 20, 2004

After Karen's father Eddie attacks Frank in The Jockey, Frank returns home and attacks his son, Ian, and Fiona's boyfriend, Steve. Certain he's got a family he doesn't deserve, a vengeful Steve kidnaps a drunken Frank and dumps him in France without telling anyone. While Frank lands himself in trouble with the French authorities, a body is found in the canal at home, and everyone assumes it is Frank. Will the feckless patriarch ever make it home? And how will Fiona react when she discovers what Steve has done? Meanwhile, Karen's agoraphobic mother, Sheila Jackson (Maggie O'Neill), finds a new man, Kev (Dean Lennox Kelly) and Veronica Ball (Maxine Peake) fall out over money, and a local copper PC Tony (Anthony Flanagan) has fallen in love with Fiona.

star 8.10
592 votes
Directors: Jonny Campbell
Writers: Paul Abbott
Episode 10

#20 - Episode 10

Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 31, 2009

Norma steps into Monica's shoes to help Liam's parents appear conventional in front of his head teacher, but Frank looks set to spoil his son's place on a scholarship. Meanwhile, Paddy is increasingly agitated by Mimi's efforts to wean him off drugs, and Karen sacks Jamie - only for Joe to propose taking his place. Lillian gets a surprise visit from her son Rodney, and Kelly recruits Meena to do Shane's physiotherapy

star 8.09
106 votes
Episode 6

#21 - Episode 6

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Feb 7, 2006

The Gallagher clan can't believe it when Carl starts to bring money into the household - but his mini-enterprise involves growing cannabis for the Maguires and the police are quick to bust him. Lip is jealous when Mandy gets a new boyfriend and he later discovers that she was the brains behind Carl's business.

star 8.09
228 votes
Episode 16

#22 - Episode 16

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired Apr 15, 2008

When Manchester experiences an earth tremor, Monica's waters break and she goes into labour. On the other side of Chatsworth, the same tremor knocks Frank off of his barstool and puts him in a coma. Monica's refusing to have the baby unless Frank is present, but how long can she keep her bun in the oven? While he's out cold in his hospital bed, Frank experiences an alternative world: a life where he is a success, where Ian isn't gay and Debbie looks like she'll never leave home. It's the world as Frank would have it; or is it? Carl is finding new success with girls by posing as a single parent. It's all going very well until his latest target runs off with the baby. Meanwhile, Shane has a proposal to put to Kelly.

star 8.05
101 votes
Episode 16

#23 - Episode 16

Season 6 - Episode 16 - Aired May 12, 2009

Patrick continues to loose his grip on his marriage and his family.

star 8.01
93 votes
True Love

#24 - True Love

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 8, 2005

Fiona's life is turned upside down when Steve returns to Chatsworth, on the run, to persuade her to flee to Amsterdam with him, but she is torn whether to leave her family and Chatsworth forever, not to mention the father of her baby, Craig. Meanwhile, when Lillian Tyler's (Alice Barry) husband, Brendan, is killed, Frank sees a way to make some money and also manages to win him and Sheila the trip of a lifetime. However, he is forced to look after Lillian's irritating dog, Sadie, who proves to be quite indestructible. Elsewhere, Carl makes a shocking confession during a Gallagher family bust-up: he killed Lillian's husband Brendan. Can the Gallaghers cover up Carl's shocking crime?

star 8.01
194 votes
Directors: Dearbhla Walsh
Writers: Paul Abbott
Episode 12

#25 - Episode 12

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Mar 18, 2008

When Stan gets caught in the crossfire between Yvonne and her kids, a full-blown row puts their relationship on the rocks. Things go from bad to worse when Yvonne finds herself held at gunpoint in the shop. Stan comes to the rescue but any hopes of this leading to an easy reconciliation are thwarted when the gun goes off and Stan lies bleeding amongst the cut-price yoghurts. Monica starts to panic when she discovers that the delivery date for her baby could be sooner than she thought. Faced with the unbearable last weeks of pregnancy and dreading maternal failure, she concludes that the only way through is to face her fears, bring on the birth and get it all over and done with. Carl announces that he's going to join the army. After all, there are some good perks: lots of travel, learn a trade and the girls love a guy in uniform. But can he really put himself up as canon fodder?

star 8.00
111 votes
Directors: Lawrence Till
Writers: Malcolm Campbell