Carl Francis Gallagher is a main character. He is the second youngest Gallagher child. When he was younger, he shared a room with his older brothers Lip and Ian. Carl is seen as a trouble maker in Season 1, after almost facing expulsion. In Season 2, his love for selling drugs starts when his grandmother Peg convinced him to get prescription drugs to make meth. We don't see a lot of the bad side of Carl in Season 3, but he does end up shaving his head due to Frank convincing him he has cancer. We see Carl's first love interest, Bonnie, who lives in a van with the rest of her family, but their relationship ends when Bonnie's family leaves. In Season 5, he uses his nephew, "Chuckie", to deliver drugs but gets caught when Sammi notifies the police. In his trial, Fiona wants Carl to grovel, but he instead insults the judge and doesn't name his drug dealer, which lands him a year in juvenile prison.
Throughout the Seasons
In Season 1, Carl plays a minor role. He is shown to be a bit of a delinquent, as he frequently gets into trouble at school and possibly faces expulsion.
In Season 2, Frank's mother, Peg, comes to visit. Peg has ulterior motives other than just visiting her son and his family, but Carl ends up striking a relationship with her. She teaches him to play poker, buys him things from department store, even wants to help him learn a skill... making meth. She takes Carl with her to the local drug store to ask people going in if they could buy certain medications for his sick grandma, a young boy being a perfect cover. They get the items they need and head back to the Gallagher house and set up in the basement with their meth making operation. Peg needs to leave and asks Carl to keep an eye on the cooking. He ends up causing an explosion, rocking the entire house.
Carl has his head shaved during the third season by Frank, who convinced him he had cancer because he wanted to extort the Make a Wish Foundation. Instead, the Foundation sends Carl to cancer camp. Before leaving, Frank gives Carl an unmarked bottle of antacids and tells him they're pills to cure his cancer. Carl hates the camp, as everyone is treated with "kid gloves" and made to participate in wholesome activities. He gets to know another kid and decides to defy the rules set by the camp. A pretty female counselor notices that Carl is unhappy and tries to help him have more fun, but her activities don't live up to Carl's expectations. At night, Carl tries to break into a cabinet with a new friend and another female camper, when the female counselor catches them in the act. Upset that she has failed in her duties as a counselor, she begins crying and asks Carl and his friend how she can make their camp experience more fun. In response, Carl tells her he wants to see real life boobs before he dies (still believing he has cancer). The counselor complies and shows Carl and his friends her breasts, but is caught by the other counselors, and ultimately fired.
Carl also has an unhealthy fixation with death, and goes so far as the attempt to kill his cousin Patrick using rat poison in the middle of the third season (after Patrick tries to evict them from the family home). Fortunately, he survives, and Carl's biggest offense is attempted murder, rather than first-degree murder.
Since Carl is still a kid, he has no understanding of sex and sexuality, but has a strange fascination with homosexuality and what exactly it entails. Often in the third season he asks members of his family, and his friend Little Hank about gay sex, simply out of curiosity. Ironically, he and Liam are later placed in a foster home with two gay men interested in adopting them. While staying at the foster home, Carl discovers the couple's gay porn collection and is caught watching it in the couple's bedroom, to which he asks "why do they all have mustaches?'
Carl eventually returns back to the Gallagher home later in season three after Fiona is granted full guardianship of the kids. Later, in an attempt to bond with his father Frank, Carl uses the security code he was given to break into his "Foster Gays" house with Frank and rob the place. After Mickey's wedding, Lip and Ian come home to find a police officer arresting Carl for the crime. In a shocking stray from character, Frank appears at the scene and confesses to the crime, forcing the police to let Carl go.
Carl's interests include drinking, weapons, explosives, and death. Deep down, Carl is actually a good kid messed up by a completely dysfunctional childhood. He cares deeply about his family, especially Frank, despite Frank's complete and utter failure as a parent and role model.
In Season 4, when Frank's liver fails, Carl takes it on himself to find him an organ donor. Carl later meets a girl named Bonnie, who lives with her family in a van. They scheme together to gather money for Bonnie's family, and Carl slowly falls for her. He denies this however, when she asks him about it, to which she replies she doesn't want him to love her. The next day, the van is gone, and so is Bonnie, In a final episode of the season Fiona doesn't want to give her liver to Frank, so he goes and sees his eldest daughter.
In Season 5, the Gallaghers find out Ian is bipolar. Carl teams up with a gang of drug dealers and spends his time dealing small amounts of drugs for money. Carl is eventually given the task of transferring some heroin to Michigan, and seeks advice from Frank about how to do so. Frank warns Carl that he may be easier caught than someone like Chuckie. Carl agrees, and Frank gives him the money to cover the bus fare to Michigan. Carl, having earlier convinced Chuckie to do things for him in exchange for protecting him at school, takes advantage of Chuckie and straps pounds of heroin to his body using duct tape. Chuckie isn't fully aware the bags contain drugs, and agrees to accompany Carl on his trip to Michigan. The pair arrives at the bus station and as Chuckie sits down, Carl spots a security guard with a detection dog and leaves Chuckie behind. The dog begins to bark and Chuckie is caught and arrested.
Sammi later shows up at the Gallagher household and accuses Carl of forcing Chuckie to assist him. Carl repeatedly denies her accusations and eventually, the police show up. Carl's siblings tell him to run, to which he bolts out the back door and down the street before getting caught by the police. Back at the house, Sammi admits she told the police it was Carl, and she also told Chuckie to tell the police that Carl made him do it. Carl is held at the police station several hours for questioning. The next day, Sammi confronts Carl while he is being held and threatens him, to which he replies, "Bring it, bitch." Sammi attacks Carl and punches him repeatedly. In court, Chuckie is sentenced 120 days in juvenile prison, or 60 on good behavior. When asked if Carl regrets his decisions, he simply admits he only regrets trusting Chuckie with the job. The judge is appalled and tells him he will end up in juvie, and follows by asking if that's what he wants. Carl replies, "Yes, please" and humiliates the judge with a vulgar comment. She sentences him to the maximum time of one year in juvenile prison. Carl arrogantly tells his siblings he intends on making juvie his bitch and is taken away. Season 5 concludes with Carl and Chuckie on the verge of a gang war.
In season 6, Carl is released from juvie a few months earlier than expected on good behavior. On his way home he befriended an older boy named Nick, who had been in juvie since he was a child but was released due to his eighteenth birthday. Carl allows Nick to stay at the Gallagher house, much to Fiona's dismay. Carl returns to school and brings Nick along with him. The two smuggle a backpack filled with a cache of weapons into the school and begin running a business selling them. Teachers quickly catch on including the school principal and a math teacher who approach Carl and to his surprise, ask to purchase guns of their own. Carl also takes interest in a classmate, Dominique.
Carl and Nick find a bike which they buy for Nick. Nick tells Carl how he had a similar bike when he was younger but his dad traded it for crack. Nick's bike is stolen, and as Carl, Nick and Debbie are in a car driving to Debbie's baby's gender party, they see a kid on his bike. Nick attempts to go get his bike but Carl tells him that it's not worth it. When Nick leaves the party unexpectedly, Carl realizes and follows him. He finds Nick sitting on the kid's porch with a bloody hammer. Carl walks up the porch and sees the dead body of the kid. Nick tells Carl to leave because the cops are coming, so Carl reluctantly leaves. After Nick is taken to prison, Carl decides he no longer wants to be in the drug business.
He is pistol whipped by one of G-Dog's men, when he attempts to stay out of a deal. He goes to Veronica to get stitches, and reluctantly ends up telling her what happened. When Fiona finds out, he tells her about how Nick killed the boy and how 'he doesn't want to see that'. Carl and Sean later confront G-Dog and his men, resulting in the last of Carl's drug days.
He gets closer to Dominique, and continues to stay away from the drug business.
As of the seventh season, Carl still dates Dominique, but they do not have a good sex life, as Dominique refuses to perform oral sex on Carl, due to his being uncircumcised. Carl asks Lip and Ian if they are circumcised, to which they say yes. Carl checks Liam's genital organ and sees that even he is circumcised. He makes it a problem and confronts with Frank.
When Dominique gets Gonorrhea, her father blames Carl. But Carl finds out that Dominique contracted the STD with someone else. He takes a picture of them together, and gets a test done to prove to Luther, Dominique's father, that he didn't give her the disease.
Carl later grows a bond with Dominique's father who helps him get into military school. He gets in by taking a test which shows he is part Apache, and Dominque's father is descended from Puritans.
Since he originally states he is part black, but the test shows he is not, it is possible Frank is not his biological father, but this is not elaborated on.
In the season 8, Carl seems like he will be the next soldier-guy of the Gallaghers.