Is Debbie Gallagher Ruining ‘Shameless?’

Because Debbie Gallagher received $50,000 from Fiona to take care of the family, it unofficially made the young sibling head of household. Viewers have interpreted it to mean that Debbie will now fill Fiona’s shoes as the oldest Gallagher moved to New York City.

However, fans claim Debbie is the “downfall” of the show because she’s an “irredeemable” character, and they “struggle” watching her scenes.

Emma Kenney
Emma Kenney | Rachel Murray

Debbie Gallagher in Season 1 through Season 9 of ‘Shameless’

When Debbie was introduced in the first season, she’s the main one taking care of Liam when everyone else seems to forget about him. She then decided she wanted to be a mother and stole a baby from a park before being forced to return the child.

In Season 5, The Gallagher sibling began showing an interest in sex, and she got a 20-year-old named Matty drunk to take advantage of him and lose her virginity. Then, Debbie started seeing a boy from her school, Derek, and she lied about being on birth control when they became physical.

She ended up getting pregnant and chose to keep the child. The young Gallagher wanted to prove she could raise her baby, Franny, on her own, and refused to take anyone’s help. The stress of not sleeping and studying for school caused Debbie to crash, and she dropped the baby.

In Season 7, Debbie continued to struggle to raise Franny on her own and almost abandoned her. Instead, she began stealing strollers and selling them to hire a nanny so she could go back to school. However, the scheme ended when she took a stroller that had a baby in it.

Debbie then started stealing from stores to make money before Svetlana advised told her to find a “weak, desperate man” who will take care of her. Therefore, she began dating a man who used a wheelchair named Neil and left Franny in his care while she continued to try to get money.

In Season 9, Debbie got a welding job and raised awareness of the pay gap between men and women. She also began exploring her sexuality more as she thought she could be a lesbian.

Finally, Fiona left Debbie $50,000 to take care of the family as she moved to New York City. According to some fans, that decision ruined Shameless because they don’t think Debbie should be head of household.

Why fans are annoyed with Debbie Gallagher

Throughout the seasons, Debbie’s emotions have been all over the place that it’s almost hard to follow. Additionally, they believe the Shameless writers are attempting to turn her into Fiona 2.0, and it’s not working because Debbie doesn’t have the same empathy her older sister did.

Last season, she made nine-year-old Liam sleep outside because he couldn’t pay rent. While Fiona did urge her siblings to start taking responsibility, the oldest sibling would never have any of them sleep outside, especially a child.

Debbie’s past also makes it hard for her to be a likable character as she stole a baby, tricked a guy into giving her one, and then used a person with paraplegia to help her raise the child.

Additionally, the young Gallagher technically raped a man, and it was brushed over, whereas if Debbie were a guy, it would have been a more significant situation.

In Season 10, she didn’t give anyone else their share of the money, while she blew hers on clothes and shoes she planned on returning, even though Lip has a baby.

Most importantly, fans don’t feel that Debbie is a strong enough character overall to lead the show. However, others don’t believe her role has ruined anything as the show still focuses on so many others. Watch Shameless Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Showtime.