Fiona Gallagher is a main character and in the difficult position of being the oldest Gallagher child, so most of the responsibility and child-rearing falls on her young shoulders. This is due to the fact that her father Frank Gallagher is a drunk and doesn't have any responsibility or maturity and doesn't know how to be a father. This blossoming young woman takes it all in stride as she has clearly been doing it for a long time.
She is shown to be a hard-worker and has had a few dead-end, minimum wage jobs to bring in money to help support her and her family. She's generally responsible until the fourth season, honest and mostly loyal with a good personality. She's also shown to have a wild side and enjoys going out drinking and dancing with her sexy best friend and neighbor, Veronica. Fiona suffers from insecurity and feels less-than adequate when it comes to men, especially when they are from higher income than her. Once Lip gets older, Fiona begins making a series of reckless decisions that estrange her from most of the family over the course of Seasons 4 and 5.
Fiona Gallagher has olive-toned skin and dark-brown eyes. She has a very slim body and shoulder-length brown hair. Fiona is beautiful and has a very attractive quality about her, inside and out. She is played by Emmy Rossum.
Fiona Gallagher is usually wearing shorts and a regular tee during spring and summer, or a jacket and jeans during fall and winter. Her clothes are mostly hand-me-downs or clothes "borrowed" from the store (with the tags on). Fiona and Veronica share a lot of clothing too.
Fiona is a true South-side girl. She is scrappy, meaning she is good at finding ways to make money for her family. She loves to dress up and go out to have a few drinks with her friends. Fiona also isn't afraid to get in a fight. If you challenge Fiona, she'll definitely have something to say about it.
Fiona is also an incredible friend and sister. She is always there for her friends and siblings, willing to do whatever it takes to get them out of trouble until Season 4. Fiona is constantly getting into shenanigans to protect her loved ones or a boyfriend.
She is addicted to chaos and every time she finds a good boyfriend, she ruins it by cheating on him. She frequently abandons her family to spend time with other people once Lip is old enough to assist with the siblings.
Throughout the Seasons
We are introduced to Fiona's character in Season 1, where she is essentially head of the Gallagher family. Fiona makes sure everyone is fed, gets to school, and stays out of trouble because her deadbeat father, Frank, is too drunk or absent to care for his children himself.
Fiona goes to a club with her best friend, Veronica, when her purse gets stolen. Steve is watching her from a distance and runs after the crook to get her purse back. An interest sparks between the two of them and they start seeing each other shortly thereafter. Tony, a neighborhood cop who has known the Gallaghers for a longtime, also has his eye on Fiona. He asks her out and they sleep together on the first date. Fiona decides that good-boy Tony is not her type and she goes for bad-boy Steve.
When Monica, Fiona's mom, comes back into the picture to try and be their motherly figure again, Fiona leaves and moves in next door with Steve. Ultimately, she moves back into the Gallagher household to be with her family again.
At the end of Season 1, Steve has to leave the country because of a threat from Tony. He begs Fiona to go with him. The last scene of Season 1 is Fiona getting on the subway to go meet Steve at the airport, but turning back because her heart is really with her family.
During Season 2, Fiona runs a daycare to raise money for the "squirrel fund". While riding on the L Train, she finds a purse containing about $500 in cash. She looks around at first and does not lose sight of her goal, and simply calls a guy to get her out of her trouble. When the train stops at a station just as a man is about to leave, he warns Fiona about leaving the purse unattended, unaware that the purse belongs to someone else. She treats her family to a buffet of food with the money she finds and calls Kim, the true owder of the purse. Lip tells Fiona not to give the purse back without getting money in return. Fiona goes to return the purse, and Kim offers some money to Fiona as a reward, but Fiona returns. Kim insists, but finds no money. Fiona says there was no money in the purse in the first place, though she feels guilty after seeing Kim's situation, that she has many children to take care of. Kim says that Fiona is a good person for returning the purse, since most people would not have returned anything. Fiona comes back later to give Kim the money back, but when she arrives, Kim accuses Fiona of having taken the money (which she did). The two argue and Fiona leaves without giving the money back.
Around this time, Fiona sleeps with a guy from high school named Craig. He is married, and his wife Lucy Joe Heisner confronts Fiona at her home. She chases Fiona through the house and then into the streets. Some time later in the episode, Fiona and Debbie are shopping when a vehicle drives by and Lucy sticks her torso out of the vehicle and throws a chocolate drink at Fiona and calls her a slut. Debbie reacts by asking if she knew Craig was married. Fiona responds with saying "At least it's chocolate."
After a party Sheila throws for Karen, Debbie tells Fiona that Steve's real name is Jimmy Lishman. At first, Fiona is not sure whether to believe her but she decided to test the truth and meet Steve. She calls him "Jimmy" to test his reaction and is hurt when she realizes he has, in fact, been lying about his identity the whole time.
Fiona takes a job position at a market store when she begins to slowly trust Steve. Eventually, she quits her position after requesting for a day off work when Frank pulls a scheme in hopes to get a room in the house after his kids threw him out. While her manager permitted Fiona to take the day off work to help her family, he informed her that he wanted a blow job in exchange. She had enlist Veronica to wear a "tit cam" to exposed him. After the children are taken away, she takes the time to look for them after the manager did not want to allow her do so. Fiona finds them eventually after an attempted at the social services office. She then asked the worker who called, and the worker due to violation rule only told Fiona that it was a man who called. The worker secretly let Fiona hear the tape. She found out it was Frank and is set to send him to court for a parental rights suit.
She fights for custody but decides to settle with becoming the legal guardian of the children. Frank has been banned from the house according to Fiona. She finds a job and settles into it. Things are going smoothly until Steve decides he wants to go back to medical school. Fiona gets a call on Jimmy's phone about a studio apartment in Michigan were Jimmy had decides to go back to to finish. Fiona gets upset, and the couple argues outside of Jimmy work site. Both went their separate ways. The next morning Fiona tries to cope with what happen with her and Jimmy, and despite her frustration she gets everyone ready for camp. While there she tries to have sex with her boss, but stops. She later decides to give a call to Jimmy and leaves a message.
She continues to call Steve and leaves him messages. She starts a new sales department and things seem to be going well at her job. She is then given a note from the guy who followed Jimmy. She tries to find out more but the guy drives off and leaves. It is also revealed that she wished Frank was dead when she went to visit him in the hospital, since her childhood was horrible because of Frank's choices. Her biggest fears is that Frank does not care about his own kids. Despite this, she throws a graduation party for Lip. She leaves a final message for Jimmy as the snow starts to fall telling him "bye". She never calls him again.
In season 4, Fiona begins dating her boss Mike. Mike openly admits to Fiona that he has trust issues and cannot be in a relationship filled with lies. Fiona agrees to this almost immediately, recalling Jimmy's betrayal. However, Fiona lies to Mike about what happened to her car's windshield, which had been bashed in by an angry commuter on her way back from a sales job. She and Mike have a fight, but they apologize to each other and continue on with their relationship. Later in the season, Mike's brother Robbie manipulates her into having sex with him, which they do multiple times. After a falling out with his family, Robbie admits to Mike that he has been sleeping with Fiona. Mike punches Robbie and tells Fiona she should leave.
Later, on Fiona's birthday, Robbie gives her some cocaine as a present, which Fiona does not accept, but Robbie leaves it on the coffee table while Fiona attempts to remove him from her home by means of force. Fiona is arrested when Liam ingests the cocaine at a house party and is hospitalized. At her hearing, her bail is posted at $100,000, which Lip says they cannot pay. Thankfully though, Mike pays her bail, saying that Carl called him. He drives Fiona home. There is no one in the house when she arrives as everyone, including a dying Frank, is at the hospital where Liam is being discharged. She avoids more jail time and is put on probation, but after a wild night with Robbie and his friends, she violates probation and is put an a facility for ninety days. She is released after only a few days due to overcrowding and gets a job at a diner, thanks to her parole officer.
Season 5 kicks off with Fiona working at the diner, Patsy's Pies. Fiona is finally finding a balance in her life - she has a steady job and is happy again. She has a crush on her older boss, Sean, and they flirt daily on the job. Fiona is on house arrest for a few months but after she pays her time, she gets the ankle bracelet off.
After swearing off men for several months, Fiona decides to go out with a hot musician who asks her out at the diner. When she shows up for the date, she finds out that the hot musician actually has a girlfriend. Fueled with anger, she makes out with his friend, Gus. They end up hitting it off and have a steamy one week relationship before impulsively deciding to get married.
Fiona and Gus have an intimate wedding at city hall, but Fiona decides to keep the marriage a secret for the first few days because she is still unsure if it was the right decision to marry someone she barely knows.
Out of the blue, Jimmy shows back up in Fiona's life again. He professes his love for her and tries to win her back, after he left her for years. Fiona caves and ends up sleeping with Jimmy. She tells Gus about sleeping with her ex, which of course blows up in her face. Fiona tells Jimmy that it's over - forever.
She tries to patch things up with Gus, but her poor decisions over the course of their brief marriage cause his bandmate to tell her it's best to leave Gus because he's too nice for her.
Deep down, Fiona knows that her feelings for her boss, Sean, are turning into love as she spends more time with him.
Fiona gets a promotion at Patsy's Pies to Assistant Manager, after Sean pushes her to accept the job. Fiona accepts it, even though the pay is worse because she won't get tips. She struggles with managing the wait staff. She is also sleeping with Sean while married to Gus.
Fiona finds out that Debbie is pregnant and Fiona strongly urges, or demands, that Debbie get an abortion. Fiona adamantly does not want to raise another baby in the house, and she and Debbie fight throughout the season. Suddenly, Fiona finds out that she herself is pregnant with either Gus, Sean or Jimmy's baby. The hormones affect her emotional state but she ultimately decides, with no hesitation, that she wants to abort the baby.
The Gallaghers receive an eviction notice on their house because Patrick took out a loan that he never intended to pay back. Fiona then has to get a mortgage from the bank to bid on the house at an auction. She loses her bid to another family, so the Gallaghers move everything out of the house and disperse. Fiona moves in briefly with Sean and tries to connect with his son, but the son is not open to having a new mom.
The family that bought the house discover what bad shape the house is in, which gives Fiona the opportunity to buy the house back from them. The Gallaghers get to move back in. Sean decides to make it official and move in with Fiona.
Fiona also officially gets a divorce from Gus, which gives Sean the opportunity to propose. They decide to have a wedding, white dress and all, which Frank insists on paying for. When Fiona tells Frank he can't walk her down the aisle, he ruins the wedding and tells Fiona that he saw Sean doing drugs (even though he is a recovering drug addict). Fiona's heart is broken and the wedding is off.
Sean is completely out of Fiona's life, even at Patsy's Pies, which Fiona is left to run by herself. The owner of Patsy's gives Fiona full responsibility, which leads Fiona to fair the flaky wait staff that Sean hired. She hires new girls and tries to revamp the diner completely- having themed nights, opening the diner for 24 hours, giving the waitresses new uniforms, and even creating a nightly speakeasy where people can secretly drink out of mugs. The diner starts making a bigger profit from Fiona's efforts, which gives her a sense of pride and confidence in her future ability to run a business.
Throughout the season, Fiona experiments with Tinder. She decides that she is over having a long term relationship, since her past relationships haven't worked out. She has a bunch of one night stands instead.
Fiona finds out the Wendell's, the laundromat across the street from Patsy's Pies, is up for sale. The owner of Patsy's tells her that the only way to really make money is to own property. Fiona decides to take out a loan and buy the laundromat. She struggles to make a profit, but with the help of Kev and the Alibi regulars, Fiona whips the place into shape and completely revamps it.
Fiona receives an offer to sell the laundromat and ultimately Fiona accepts, making a 100% profit after much negotiation. Fiona decides that buying and flipping property might be her new future. At the end of Season 7, Fiona buys an apartment building from a contact she met at a networking event.
The season also ends with the death of Fiona's mom, Monica. The Gallaghers mourn Monica, even though Fiona is resistant to shedding a tear for the woman who abandoned her as a child.
In the 8th season, Fiona like always complains about having to look after her siblings as a mother.
Behind the Scenes
- Emmy Rossum has said that playing Fiona has "brought out her ballsier side," and she can also relate to Fiona's need to take care of everyone. Emmy Rossum also likes that she does not have to be "all glam" on the show Shameless.
- Emmy Rossum has also said "I love her fierce loyalty to her family. I love the extremities of the situations that this family is in and the outrageous stuff that they let us do. We're lucky enough to be on a network that encourages that. I loved the opportunity to work with Bill [William.H.Macy]. I love that the character shows such duality. She's so strong, but has this vulnerability underneath. I thought she was very much a modern woman."