To the outside world, Lip Gallagher has everything it takes to make it out of the Southside of Chicago. He’s smart, resourceful, and determined, all attributes one needs to make a good life for themselves. Except for every good thing he has going for him there is an equally powerful force pulling at him to continue down the path laid out for him by the generations that came before him. Namely, his own stubbornness and refusal to believe there might just be a better life for him beyond the Southside.
Of course leaving the home he knows and loves means leaving his siblings behind and that isn’t something Lip is prepared to do, at least not yet and maybe never. While Frank and Monica may be a drain on Lip, his brothers and sisters aren’t. They love and support him and have been with him through all of life’s difficulties. Lip knows better than anyone that when you have that kind of love and support you don’t and you can’t just leave it behind.
Even if leaving means that, you have the chance to find something better. Because what if what is out there is worse? What if he goes and gives it everything and he still fails? What if it turns out he is no better than Frank or that all he is made to do is leave like Monica? Better to stay in a world you know you can succeed in then to venture out into a world where there are only more questions and no answers. For Lip, there are no easy answers and there never will be.
Out of all of the Gallagher kids Lip is the one most like Frank. They are both capable of greatness and yet they are both their own worst enemy. However, unlike Frank, Lip has Fiona, Ian, Debbie, Carl, Liam, Kevin, and Veronica in his corner to knock sense into him when he thinks that he doesn’t need it. Lip has something better than two parents that love him he has a whole family that would do everything in their power to help him. They may not always get along, but Lip knows that when the crap hits the fan his siblings will be there for him.
Now if only he had that kind of luck when it comes to the women in his life. The first girl he falls in love with ended up being a narcissistic bitch who abandoned her child and spent most of their relationship making everyone around her miserable. The second girl he was seriously involved with started out to be no more than someone to have sex with that quickly cascaded into a relationship he was neither ready for nor wanted. Karen treated him like crap and he will probably never stop loving her. Mandy, on the other hand, lived and breathed for Lip, almost to the point where she was suffocating him.
There is no denying that Lip didn’t have a normal childhood and that he had to do more growing up in 18-years of living than most people do in 40-years, but there is also no denying that Lip has a lot of growing up to do. Maybe he isn’t ready to leave the Southside and perhaps he never will be, but one thing is certain he will never leave the Gallaghers behind.
Most Shameless Moment: Selling drugs and alcohol to kids out of an ice cream truck.
Least Shameless Moment: Taking the SATs for other kids for money.