15 Times Fiona Gallagher From 'Shameless' Was Everyone's Big Sister

fiona gallagher shameless big sister
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Fiona Gallagher from Shameless arrived on our television screen eight years ago and became the big sister who taught us valuable lessons in times of uncertainty.

Last year, actress Emmy Rossum, who plays Fiona, announced that the ninth season will be her last. The announcement left longtime fans deeply saddened by the news because Fiona was basically the glue that kept the Gallagher family together.


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Fiona is undeniably the only mother figure her younger siblings grew up with on the show. After the departure of her biological mother before the first season started, Fiona basically became the head of her household — while still figuring her life out as well. Though she took over as the mother figure to her siblings, she understood when to turn off the maternal instinct and switch to being their “big sis.” 



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Case in point, Fiona would do anything for her siblings as demonstrated many times throughout the show. If the Gallaghers were stuck in the desert with only a cup of water left, Fiona would make sure her siblings got to drink before her.  Through Fiona’s wittiness, bravery, and empathy, the character has truly dug itself deep into all of our hearts.

In our darkest moments of family troubles, coming of age dilemmas, and peer pressures, Fiona taught us right from wrong and that there is always a solution to our problems if we look hard enough. Just like how Fiona is a beacon of hope for the Gallagher family, she is also one for the millions of viewers.

In celebration of Fiona’s upcoming exit from the show, here are 15 times Fiona Gallagher was everyone’s big sis.


1. When Ian came out.

After Ian confessed to Fiona that he is gay, Fiona replies with “I know," which means she knew his secret all along and didn’t treat him any differently. In fact, she was understanding enough to wait until he was ready to tell her on his own terms. Fiona taught us that love knows no boundaries.

2. When she attended Carl’s parent-teacher conference.

After Carl’s behavior in school became a major issue, his teacher and principal called for a parent-teacher conference. After Frank, their father, refused to go, even though Carl might get kicked out of school, Fiona stepped up and did everything in her power to make sure Carl continues to get a proper education.

Fiona assured us that there is always someone who is looking out for us, even if we don’t know it.

3. When Fiona and Lip made a proposition.

Lip, the boy-genius of the Gallagher family, decided he wants to quit school to make ends meet for the family. Fiona tried to convince Lip that staying in school is be better for him and the family. As her advice went in one ear and out the other, Fiona made a proposition that if she obtains her GED, Lip will stay in school.

Fiona taught us how important education really is.

4. When she comforted a distressed Debbie.

After Debbie was outcasted and bullied for not being “pretty” enough at the public pool, Fiona showed Debbie how to stand up to her bullies.

She taught us that bad things happen to good people and that even though it’s unfair, it doesn’t mean we have to take their sh*t.

5. When she gave a speech at the court hearing.

Frank battled Fiona for custody of the Gallagher children even though he provides “no money, no support,” according to Fiona. She made a dramatic and heart-wrenching speech about why she’s more suitable to take care of her siblings. She always took care of them, provided a roof over their heads, looked out for them even at her darkest moments, giving us all a lesson or two on unconditional love.

6. When Fiona bid Ian goodbye.

The Gallagher family and Mickey finally convinced Ian to enter the psych ward to treat his bipolar disease. Fiona made sure to show up and support Ian as he entered the facility, despite going through her own crisis (probation and stress) at the time.

Fiona taught us that showing support, even in the smallest forms, can mean so much to a person.

7. When she supported Debbie through her "unwanted" pregnancy.

After finding out Debbie is pregnant, Fiona also confessed she is expecting. She told Debbie that she is not alone and suggested they go through the “unwanted” pregnancies together. Instead of abandoning Debbie and giving her careless advice, Fiona tried to provide Debbie a safe place and showed us all that we don’t have to go through tough things alone.


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8. When she got stern with Debbie.

After Debbie confessed that she purposely got pregnant, Fiona explained the reality of teenage pregnancy and the hardships that come with it. Fiona taught us that having a baby is not a game and that we need to take certain things very seriously.

9. When Fiona reconciled with Debbie.

Fiona initially said she will not help Debbie in raising her newborn because she is a child herself, but after seeing Debbie struggle with taking care of the baby, Fiona stepped in and offered Debbie her support.

She taught us that sometimes we must set our differences aside and provide love and support when someone needs it the most.

10. When Fiona lended Carl a shoulder to cry on.

Carl, who rarely expresses his emotions, confided in Fiona about seeing a dead body as part of his criminal job. Instead of lecturing or reprimanding him, she hugged Carl and told him everything will be okay.

Fiona showed us that sometimes the best thing you can offer someone is emotional support and a hug.

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11. When Fiona said no to dealing meth.

Monica left the Gallagher siblings a final will (70,000 dollars worth of meth), which they began to sell. Fiona advised her siblings to discard the drugs and find money elsewhere, teaching us that greed will only lead to suffering consequences.

12. When Fiona fought for Liam.

After Monica tried to take Liam and start a new family, Fiona set her foot down and told Monica she can’t abandon her old family and start a new one whenever she feels like it.

Fiona taught us how important it is that brothers and sisters stick together, even when our parents are not there for us.

13. When Lip came home.

After Fiona finally got her GED and Lip graduated from high school, Fiona welcomed him back with open arms.

She proved that you can always find a home a safe place within your family.

14. When Fiona and Veronica made up.

After a heavy season of fighting, Fiona and Veronica finally made up and mended their friendship. Fiona set her pride aside, knocked on Veronica’s door, and apologized.

Fiona taught us that sometimes we all have to set our pride aside and admit that we’re sorry if we want to save a valuable friendship.

15. When Fiona stood up for Ian.

Since the very first episode, Frank had a certain level of animosity towards Ian, who often becomes Frank’s punching bag when he is mad. After failing to secure money from Frank for a school field trip, Fiona took matters into her own hands and obtained the necessary money for Ian, proving big sisters are truly a blessing.


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Amy Le is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.