Monica Gallagher (née Dallimore) is the wife of Frank Gallagher and the mother of Fiona, Phillip, Ian, Carl, Debbie, Liam, Stella and twins William Gallagher (whom she aborted) and Ben Gallagher. She is bisexual and left Frank for a lorry driver named Norma Starkey.
Monica has a habit of portraying herself as the victim of her and Frank's disputes when she usually instigates them, and of never appreciating what people (such as Norma) do for her.
She returned to Chatsworth from Moston for a short time at the end of Series 1 and very briefly at the start of Series 3, but returned home for good at the beginning of Series 4 and resumed co-habiting with Frank. Although her intentions for this were unknown at first, a visit from her mother in Series 5 explained her backstory and a possible reason of why she returned to be with her children. Monica announced at the beginning of Series 5 that she was pregnant again, giving birth to Stella at the end of the series. However, in Series 6, the mounting pressure and her immature discontent over the lack of attention she was receiving drove her to leave again, in exactly the same way as last time: by telling one of the children she was going to buy a loaf of bread and then not returning.
After being absent for the whole of Series 7, Monica returned once more in Series 8, upon the news that her daughter, Debbie, has been killed whilst serving in the Army. She continued her hostility to any woman in between her and Frank when she met his new partner Libby Croker and it soon became apparent that the death was a hoax set up by Monica, who looked set to claim back her family, even going so far as to demand custody of her youngest children. It was soon revealed that a simple lie about her daughter's death was nothing to what Monica had in store. With the help of her new girlfriend, ward nurse Mildred, she had Frank committed as a mental patient under the pretence that the facts of his real life were delusions. Frank was taken at the end of his stag party, so everyone on the estate, including his family and Libby, thought he had run away from his upcoming wedding. Monica's scheme was eventually foiled when Karen Maguire met Frank at the hospital when she spent a day there to make sure her bipolar disorder was in check. Even after tracking him down, Libby was unable to get Frank released so he was forced to stage a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest style riot and escape.
When Frank and Libby were reunited, Monica admitted that the reason she returned was truly for Frank as he was the one and she would "always come back". However, Frank knew that she would leave again, as she had done on previous occasions and turned down her advances. While Frank had been in the hospital, Monica had taken Liam to live with her since Frank wasn't there to look after him. She has tried to take Stella too, under the pretence she wanted them to be with a parent but soon admitted it was to get a bigger flat from the Council Housing Association. Once Frank was out of the hospital and Monica's scheme revealed however, Liam was told he could come home but refused. He gave a short speech about how his mother did such terrible things because she needed to find love inside herself, and he wanted to "try and make her better".
Monica was also pregnant in Series 8, revealing that she was the surrogate for a lesbian couple and stood to make a few thousand pound when she gave birth.
Monica's eldest daughter Fiona hated her mother because of her selfishness and abandonment, when Monica first returned to Chatsworth, Fiona stormed out on her family because she was sick of cleaning up after her bad parents. She did this because both Monica and Frank offered little gratitude for all her hard work though she secretly made sure the children were all fine, sending instructions behind her parents backs.
On her return to Chatsworth "for good", Monica and her, then youngest, daughter Debbie began an endless feud with Debbie trying to make her mother leave and Monica trying to ruin Debbie's close bond with Frank. After hearing about Monica's unhappy childhood, Debbie softened towards her mother but it didn't last and Debbie hated her mother more than ever when she once again left the family.
Carl was the happiest of all when Monica returned, perhaps being too young when she first left to hold any strong feelings against her. When Monica returned for the longer period later he showed his forgiveness for her to be rooted in his hope of having his mother back. This hope for having some semblance of parental normality led to Carl despising Norma Starkey who he saw as the biggest threat against his possibly happy family. He was furious when he caught Monica having sex with Norma in the camper van during the fourth series but this event actually fixed his relationship with Norma when she "kidnapped" him and the two had a long talk. Carl's feelings for Monica changed somewhat as time went on, he went from almost hero worshipping his mother to being happy yet indifferent once he became accustomed to her.
Liam didn't remember Monica at all when she first returned to the family. He was closest to his sisters Debbie and Fiona, but Liam had a generally positive relationship, if only because he didn't suffer from the trauma that his siblings did. When Monica walked out again in Series 6, this might have affected Liam more than he let on (he had taken to sleeping in the same bed as his father Frank). When Monica returned briefly in Series 8, having deceived her family into thinking that Debbie had been killed in action abroad, Liam confronted his mother on her abandonment. But Monica merely told him to "give it a rest", saying that her relationship with his father was "above right or wrong". When she tried to take Liam and Stella with her, Liam forced Monica to take only him, as he considered Libby a better mother than Monica could ever be. Although he initially intended to stay with his mother until she got her house from the council (which was the real reason she wanted her two youngest children back) Liam eventually elected to stay with Monica, saying in a letter to Carl that if he could love her, maybe she would learn to love herself.
Norma was Monica's girlfriend of three years at the beginning of the series. Norma was hugely protective of Monica and hated Frank, both for what Monica had said about him (claiming that Frank used to hit, which shocked Frank when he was accused of this), and for being a rival for her affections. In the first series, Norma decided to help Frank escape his creditors by faking his death. When this was successfully pulled off, Frank later realized that being officially dead made him unable to claim his dole or child benefits. An enraged Frank then got into a fight with Norma. Which he lost.
In Series 4, Monica returned to the Gallagher home on Lip's nineteenth birthday, claiming that she had just left Norma. But as Debbie later discovered, Norma, who was working abroad, was not aware of this. Norma returned to the UK to take Monica back, but she refused to return to Moston. Norma would from then on squat in the Gallagher's Dormobile (a small camper van in the garden), living there for several years.
However protective and caring Norma was to Monica, Monica often repaid Norma's love with ingratitude and indifference. Norma would sleep in the Gallagher's Dormobile for several years, since Monica decided to move back in with her family. Norma remained with the Gallaghers for several months after Monica's second departure, although she would eventually leave during the nine-month interim before Series 7.
In the online virtual Tour of Chatsworth, it is revealed that Norma leaves a letter to Monica, declaring that she still loves her and will always keep the same number on her mobile phone for Monica to contact her.
Monica's marriage with Frank has always been highly dysfunctional. They had been very unfaithful to each other throughout the span of their relationship, with Frank (unbeknownst to Monica) once having sex with her mother soon after they met in the late 70's. Frank confessed this in a recorded message (Episode 501) mentioning that Monica's unnamed younger half-sister is his daughter. Monica, on her own part, cheated on Frank with her boss, Gary Bennett, who owned an off-licence shop where Monica worked during the late 80's. It would be discovered years later that Ian, their third child, was in fact Gary Bennett's son (Episode 207). Monica would unexpectedly leave her six children under Frank's (de jure) care roughly three years before the events of Series 1.
Elliot Tittensor posted a comment on his Twitter, on the 8/1/13, saying that he may be returning to Chatsworth for the final series, along with Monica's actress Annebel Apison. An article on Digital Spy confirms their return, along with Lip Gallagher, Fiona Gallagher, Kevin Ball, and Yvonne Karib. No other characters returns are known of, or confirmed, at this time.
Monica appears in Episode 1113 when a gunman comes to the Chatsworth Estate looking for Frank, due to his antics with the Gastric bandits. It appears that Monica is no longer living with Mildred Fletcher (see Series 8). And it can be inferred, when Monica claimed that she wanted to see her seven kids, that her son, Liam, has also left her sometime after the events in Series 8. By the end of Episode 13 of Series 11, Monica appears to have moved back in with Frank and Stella.
In final episode of Shameless, Episode 1114, Frank returns from prison for benefit fraud, some several months after the events of Episode 13. While in prison, Monica informs Frank that she is pregnant. Frank vehemently tells Monica to get an abortion. However, Monica was pregnant with twins, so only one of the embryos was aborted. Shortly upon Frank's release, Monica goes into labour at The Jockey, with Karen present to help with the delivery of Frank and Monica's eighth child, whom they name Ben. But Monica is depressed over the abortion of one of her unborn children, naming it 'William' and contacting her other children to come for the 'funeral'. Of her six older children, only Fiona, Lip and Carl arrive. Fiona was led to believe that Monica's child had died after birth, while Lip and Carl were worried that their "dead brother" was either Ian or Liam. Nevertheless, they duly attended the 'funeral' for Monica's aborted embryo, where she buried a shoebox with the name William scrawled on the lid. Shortly afterwards, Fiona gave Lip some money to distract them at the Jockey, as she feared that Frank and Monica were neglecting their two youngest children.
- Monica has appeared in most series of Shameless excluding Series 2, Series 7, Series 9 and Series 10.