Shameless US: 10 Quotes That Prove Frank Was A Horrible Father

Bigoted, often drunk, and wildly neglectful, Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) has proven to be one of the absolute worst TV dads during his decade-long run on the hit drama Shameless. Due to his indifferent and irresponsible deadbeat lifestyle, Frank is often detested by his own children, leaving the eldest sibling Fiona (Emmy Rossum) to take care of the family on the south side of Chicago.

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Now that Shameless has officially ended its ten-year, eleven-season run, it's worth reliving the bittersweet moments where Frank proved what an awful parental figure and poor role model he was to his six children.

Perhaps Frank's most brazen piece of advice, he waxes poetic about the value of being bullied. He does so in defense of his son Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) who has gotten in trouble in school for harassing another student.

Frank finishes the line by doubling down and saying "Bullying is like getting inoculated. It's a vaccine." Although defending his son, Frank's sentiment is thoroughly flawed. Of course, children should be taught resilience, but it should be in a safe and supported manner - not experiencing physical and verbal abuse at the hands of others.

From Frank's lips to God's ears, the poor patriarch makes a glaring admission that proves just how thankless his fatherhood is in the Gallagher household. Frank is lucky to stay overnight in his own home, often passing out in bars, alleyways, random houses, or spending the night in jail.

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Indeed, anytime one of his children catches Frank passing out in the house, they either throw him out, berate him, or, in the case he's in pain, flat out ignore him. He's long worn out his welcome in his own home, which is quite telling.

It's worth noting that, for as crude, crass, and neglectful Frank is as a father, he is one of the best Shameless characters who always supported Ian's sexuality. Yet, in a rather curious quote, Frank doesn't reprimand Ian for his criminality but instead gives him a backhanded compliment of sorts.

It's the "spoken with love, son" addendum that really comes off as snarky and sarcastic, proving that Frank is more concerned about sexual indiscretions than he is son breaking the law.

Throughout Shameless, Frank doesn't even seem to know how many children he has. However, when he reunites with Monica (Chloe Webb) in season 7, he begins to reflect on their time rearing children before exacting one ridiculous Frank Gallagher scheme after another. Yet, all it takes is one bad word from his kids and he flies off the handle.

The quote signifies how flippant Frank is and how ephemeral the lives of his children could have been. Half-threat and half-ingratitude, the quote shows how carefree and even careless he can be as a father, despite how well the advice may have suited him with Frank's greatest lovers on the show.

In a sarcastic quote uttered in the imitated voice of his children, Frank articulates the exact opposite of what his family feels about him and his contributions to their wellbeing. Frank wishes this is how his children felt about him but he knows deep down he doesn't deserve such glowing plaudits.

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The truth is, Frank is neither a badass nor an essential member of the family. His constant neglect has left his family in dire financial straits and delegates all of the responsibilities to Fiona and Lip (Jeremy Allen White).

In an uncouth rant about the future of America, Frank launches into a racially-charged missive that comes off as quite defeatist. While he isn't wrong about the widening gap between the haves and have-nots, he takes little personal responsibility for his grandson's future.

Shameless fans already knew Frank was an atrocious father, but here he also proves to be an unhelpful grandfather as well, low-key labeling him as a loser in life before he's even begun.

Frank's penchant for booze and drugs is what fuels his poor parenthood, and this quote couldn't prove his insatiable urges any stronger. Frank not only helps Carl run drugs at one point, but he voices what a proud father he is after ordering the juvenile to break the law and procure illicit substances. If it isn't one of the worst things Frank has done, it's up there.

The thing is, Frank isn't kidding when he utters the ridiculously irreverent line. He truly means it. Frank would be much prouder of Carl for copping a bag of dope than scoring the winning touchdown. It's truly Father of the Year stuff.

According to Frank's fatherly guidelines, bullying fosters resilience, and neglect breeds self-reliance. The backward life lesson is really meant to make Frank feel better about his own parental negligence, assuaging years of buried guilt as an ignorant father.

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Neglect fostering self-reliance is not only a terrible philosophy but the latter part of the quote is also hypocritical. Frank argues that it's not Lip's fault that his girlfriend was "careless" and fell pregnant, but fully condones Lip himself being even more careless and leaving Karen (Laura Slade Wiggins).

In a rare admission of his desire to be loved by his children, Frank does so at the callous expense of their sobriety. That is, Frank has no qualms about his children getting high (he often joins them), he just doesn't want it to interfere with how lovingly they look at him.

The line shows that Frank's parental priorities are once again way out of line, unconcerned about his underage kids consuming illegal substances and more worried about how they make him feel.

When Frank was admitted to the hospital in need of a liver transplant, the children faced the prospect of losing him for good. Unwilling to change his self-destructive ways, Frank put a spin on the theme that bullying teaches resilience and neglect fosters self-reliance. Now, tragedy breeds toughness.

Frank's willingness to die rather than change for his children proves how self-centered he is and what an atrocious role model he is as a father. Thankfully, his sendoff speech in the series finale somewhat atoned for all his misgivings.

NEXT: 8 Low-Key Villains On Shameless



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