Shameless Wiki

This page is about the US incarnation of Monica Gallagher. For the UK version, see Monica Gallagher.

Monica Jean Gallagher (née Darrgen, also Monica Jean Darrgen) was the estranged wife of Frank and the mother of Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam. After one final return in Season 7, it is revealed that she has brain damage. Her death is shown in Happily Ever After when Frank is trying to wake her up, unsuccessfully. After dying, she passed on $70,000 worth of drugs to her family, one final attempt at fixing the broken bond between her and them.

She is later buried in her wedding dress and with two pounds of crystal meth in her coffin.


Although Monica was not exactly a good person, it has been shown that she always means well for her family.

Due to her bipolar disorder and her addiction to drugs and alcohol, she is often unable to control herself, but at least tries to do what she thinks will benefit the Gallaghers. She also has a habit of portraying herself as the victim of her and Frank's disputes when she usually instigates them.

In spite of her faults, Monica loves her family and has come through for them. This was seen when she allowed Ian who left the army to stay with her, helped Debbie reclaim her child after being excited at having a granddaughter, attempted to make amends with her other children in her last return.


According to Frank, he met Monica at a concert when she was being chased by a man who raped her. They fell in love and married a week after dating. The two soon had a family though neither were attentive to their children because of their bad habits and their series of affairs.

Sometime later, Monica left her family prior to the series starting, something that all the Gallagher children resent her for to some degree (Fiona and Lip especially). At the time the older kids were 19 (Fiona), 15 (Lip), & 14 (Ian).

Throughout the Series

Season 1

After another of Frank's money-making schemes, Monica appears in But at Last Came a Knock and it is revealed that Monica is bisexual and dating a proud black lesbian called Roberta (but prefers to be called Bob). Roberta threatens the Gallagher clan with taking Liam to live with her and Monica as he needs to be raised by a black parent.

In Nana Gallagher Had an Affair, Monica takes over as a caretaker for the kids and scrambles at the stress of doing so. She and Bob later take Liam to a DNA clinic, where they do a paternity test on him and are shocked to learn that he is actually Frank's biological son, not some bouncer's as Monica had always thought. However, Bob told her all they need is to get Frank to sign over his parental rights. At dinner, she receives a greater shock when Lip and Ian tell her they did a paternity test on themselves. It is revealed that Ian is not Frank's son but the child of one of Frank's brothers from her drug fueled affair. Monica recalled the event but didn't know which one and argued with Frank before he kissed her, to her surprise as Bob broke it up. Much later, Fiona confronted her and told her if she truly loved the family then she would not take Liam but leave since they all have been hurt by her. In the end, Monica willingly gave up Liam because she couldn't bear to separate him from his family. Before she left, Fiona thanked Monica for being considerate enough to do so.

Season 2

Following the death of his mother Peggy Gallagher in Parenthood, Frank tracks her down and confides in her of this. Monica comes back to live with the family, saying she is back for good.

During Hurricane Monica, it is revealed that she suffers from bipolar disorder but does not take her medication. Her recent bad decisions and discontinuation of taking her medications lead to her attempting suicide but the family managed to get her to hospital in time to save her. When she was physically recovered, she was moved to a psychiatric ward, where Debbie attempted to break her out. The three Gallaghers, along with another patient who claimed to have shot her husband 26 times, managed to escape the hospital together. But once out, Monica and the other patient drove away alone, with Monica shouting her love for Debbie as she went.

Season 4

Monica is mentioned when it is discovered Ian has been staying with her after running away from the Gallagher home. They live in a old, damp, damaged house with an old woman. After Lip and Debbie arrive looking for Ian, they are told Monica no longer lives there with Ian anymore.

During this season, Ian begins showing mental health issues very similar to his mother which would explain his desire to find her again. 

Season 5

After hearing Ian has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she takes Ian on an adventure around Chicago and relates on her issues with it.

Season 7

She returns in "Ouroboros", but is rejected by Frank and Fiona. Camping on the Gallagher Household, Monica meets with Debbie and helps her get Frances back after getting excited at being a grandmother. She destroys the Delgado House with a bat before Debbie grabs the baby from Tanya and running off after they threaten to call the cops. As thanks, Debbie allows her to stay with her and her boyfriend Neil Morton, which delights her. Monica is later seen trying to gain Frank's attention after hearing that he was with another woman (the senile old lady Etta) but is ignored. She tries making amends with Lip and Ian but neither warm up to her though Ian does so after being swayed by his boyfriend Trevor. Monica talks with Fiona about things such as Debbie's child and Carl's acceptance into military school, but the latter ignores her. Monica soon goes with Debbie and Frances to the DCFS meeting in order to gain custody of Franny. In the end, the official grants Debbie continued custody of her daughter provided she and her family don't terrorize the Delgado's again. Monica is pleased after the official tells Tanya and Mrs. Delgado not to try to steal the baby again and are granted visitation rights, which they begrudgingly accept. She later connects with Frank and tells him that she has a brain aneurysm that she may have gotten from an infected needle and is dying.

During Ride or Die, Monica has reconciled with Frank and they resume doing their old habits once again. Later on, they pester their kids with plans of renewing their vows.

In Happily Ever After, they go through with renewing their vows but ultimately argue and fight. They later reconcile and continue on, inviting their kids in the festivities and sharing a good time. The next day, Frank tries to wake her up but realizes that she has died and begs her to wake up, as the kids notice this.

In Requiem For a Slut, the family take her to the hospital and are told she died of her aneurysm. Everyone had mixed feelings, but Frank took it harder as he fell into a depression at losing his true love. Later on, Frank discovers she left 70 pounds of meth for the children and Frank. Afterwards her father Bill Darrgen arrives at the Gallagher Household and attacks Frank for supposedly ruining his daughter. Bill also paid for the funeral services, since her mother would have wanted that. Fiona later cursed her corpse while calling her mom one last time and placing the meth left to her and Liam in the coffin. At the funeral, the children spoke for their mother and Frank also had moving words to say about her describing her as the love of his life and calling her strong.

After the funeral, Frank and Carl graffiti a wall with her name as a way of honoring her memory.

Season 8

Despite being dead, Monica still affects the family as Frank decided to change his ways after smoking most of her meth.

In God Bless Her Rotting Soul, the children had sold most of the meth but this causes her old partner Eric Stark to go after them and threaten them for his money. Luckily, Frank defends his family while telling Eric of Monica's fate and threatening him to never come near them again or else he'd bury him with Monica.

Frank also sought to be a better parent and be more fatherly to Liam who was his last chance at doing so.



  • She is a military brat, due to her father being in the Navy.
  • It is implied if Frank had not met her, he would have been an upstanding working man had he stayed in college.
    • It's ironic that during her appearances in season one that while she was defending her choice of leaving Frank and the kids by saying he "ruined her" and that he was going to "destroy her", when in truth she's the one who ruined Frank and turned him into the alcoholic, drug-addicted, failure of a father that he is today.
  • She always thought Liam was not Frank's son, but he turns out to be his, while Ian was not Frank's.
    • However, the fact that Carl has some Apache heritage and both Frank and Monica must have african DNA to produce Liam and Carl has none, it could be that Frank isn't Carl's biological father; just like Ian. This is not surprising as Monica was said to have had multiple affairs.
  • Frank mentions in God Bless Her Rotting Soul, that Monica once nailed him to a cross as a sexual act.
  • She lived long enough to meet her granddaughter Frances Gallagher.
  • Carl did not see her in her final return.
  • According to Frank, Debbie took her first steps at Monica's release from booking.
  • She was never seen interacting with her mother-in-law Peggy Gallagher.
  • She never met her step-daughter or step-grandson.
  • She was never seen interacting with her father.
  • She never met her grandson Freddie Gallagher and her unnamed grandchildren.