After eleven successful seasons on the air, Showtime’s Shameless was able to retain the majority of its core cast. Some characters left along the way, while new ones joined and became part of the ever-growing Gallagher clan. With such a large and diverse cast, there are bound to be many different personality types butting heads.
The Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator is a useful tool to help identify what personality type each person –or TV character–is. Of course, no two people are the same, which is definitely true of the Gallagher family. At first glance, most of the characters seem to have similarly unapologetic and shameless personality types, but when they’re on their own, they reveal their true natures.
Updated on July 21st, 2021 by Svetlana Sterlin: Shameless recently concluded after eleven seasons on Showtime. Though some fan-favorite characters, like Fiona and Mandy, aren’t around for season 11, most of the Gallaghers and their friends are still scheming as usual. Some new faces also join the cast and characters who start out as supporting members grow to become more involved in the story, like Mickey and Liam. Each of the Shameless characters’ personality types is completely unique, which makes them such an enjoyable and dynamic group to watch onscreen.
Fiona – ISTJ
Fiona may not seem like an introvert, but when she has the choice, she usually prefers to keep to herself. She’s grown to be dependable and systematic like a true ISTJ, mostly because of circumstance. Her family relies on her just to survive.
Fiona is also sensible, consistent, and practical when she needs to be – though she makes mistakes like any human, and she’s just as shameless about her errors as she is about intentional plans. Like many ISTJs, Fiona sometimes abandons her own rules and values. When things get tough, she spirals and loses sight of her priorities. In the end, she finds her footing again and decides to put herself first.
Ian – ENFJ
Ian is a natural leader who loves a challenge, though he sometimes backs away from the confronting moments he gets himself into. Sometimes, he sabotages his chance at a steady future. For instance, he ruins his shot at a military career with his reckless actions. Similarly, he cuts short his time as an ambassador for the queer community.
Ian’s extraverted and feeling nature is what gets him into these roles in the first place. He loves helping others, which is why he becomes an EMT. ENFJs have strong values and ideas, and Ian isn’t afraid to share his with other people. He’s an idealistic person who sometimes feels like he needs to serve a greater purpose in life and leave a positive impact on the world.
Kevin – ESFP
Kevin is one of the most likable characters in Shameless. As an ESFP, he’s fun-loving, vivacious, optimistic, and resourceful. Even when faced with the gravest of scenarios, Kevin manages to lighten the mood.
ESFPs tend to gravitate toward public settings and jobs that are centered around other people, which makes running a bar the perfect choice for Kevin. He may not be the smartest character, but he’s good at dealing with people and their emotions. Kevin also demonstrates the ESFP’s tendency to overindulge, as seen in his relationship with Veronica and Svetlana.
Mandy – ENTJ
Mandy has a strong, decisive personality, which makes her an ENTJ. In her relationship with Lip, she takes charge and provides structure to his life. Lip shamelessly sabotages their relationship by resisting her support, which ultimately leads to their breakup. This is probably for the best, given their contrasting personality types.
Like many ENTJs, Mandy often succumbs to loneliness easily. In stressful situations, she can be pushy, emotionally unstable, and domineering. All in all, she loses control on several occasions, like the time she runs Karen over with her car.
Liam – INTJ
INTJs are known as the “Architect” type. Introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging, INTJs are quick-witted and analytical people, like Liam. He’s known to be precocious, good at planning, and great at spotting intricate details in everything around him – usually, these details are flaws.
For instance, as a child, he recognizes that his family neglects him and that he might be better off living with other people of color. He doesn’t feel emotional about this; he simply views the situation through a critical, objective lens, and decides to take his own actions. Liam is highly rational like most INTJs are.
Frank – ESTP
Frank is nothing if not extroverted and energetic. Nothing ever gets him down, and the family often refers to him as a cockroach. He’s an expert at navigating whatever problems come his way – usually by way of swindling others. In any case, ESTPs are known to be observant, actionable, and opportunistic.
One of Frank’s overlooked traits is his social nature. He may be annoying to most of the people he encounters, but he’s good at talking. He’s also not bad at convincing others that he’s correct and trustworthy. Frank may be a negative example of an ESTP, but this personality type is often known to be friendly and cheerful.
Debbie – ESTJ
Debbie changes drastically throughout her time on Shameless. She begins as what Frank describes as “an angel sent by God”. Over time, she becomes more critical and judging rather than feeling – however, these are necessary traits to ensure her family’s survival after Fiona’s departure.
Like many ESTJs, Debbie is a stabilizing force in her family. She deftly takes the reigns, even if she’s a little too controlling and manipulative, and values her dignity. These are some of the most identifiable traits of an ESTJ, along with their strong observational skills.
Carl starts off as a troubled young boy who isn’t really sure of who he is or wants to be. This becomes an important part of his arc, and by the time he’s a young adult, he’s a clear “Defender”, or ISFJ. Carl becomes observant and tries to help out around the neighborhood with no desire to take the credit.
Carl is able to take action and remains focused on his goals, whether he’s dealing on the streets, pursuing one of his romantic partners, or getting into the right military school, Carl is relentless in the pursuit of his goals. He’s efficient and responsible, which marks a clear path of growth from his worrying childhood tendencies.
Monica – ISFP
Monica’s unpredictability makes her a little hard to pin down, but across her mood swings, several character traits remain consistent. Her presence is always powerful and palpable, and given how little she appears on screen, Monica is easily one of the best characters in Shameless. Being bipolar, her own family doesn’t know which version of her they’re going to get on any given occasion, but she almost always acts out of love and care – even if this doesn’t come across in the best way.
Monica is caring, tolerant, and gentle. Every time she returns to Chicago, she tries to win Fiona’s heart, help Ian feel wanted, and show Debbie that she still has a mom. Unlike Frank, Monica is able to show her children deep affection. Her flightiness aligns with the introverted part of an ISFP’s personality.
Veronica – ESFJ
Veronica is known to be loud and extraverted, but she’s also tender and loving. ESFJs feel deeply, but they’re also judgemental. Veronica cares for virtually everyone around her, but she draws a line when it comes to adoption or foster care. Her morals are a little questionable in her place at the aged care home, but the fact is that she’s a good nurse when she needs to be.
In her relationship with Kevin, she demonstrates many of the key traits of an ESFJ: she encourages him in his endeavors, lifts him up, and tries to be positive about their life together. This Myers-Briggs® type is known as the “Consul” – someone who is well-liked and brings people together. Veronica does just this for the Gallagher and Ball families. Many of the Gallagher kids come to her when they need help or even company.
Jimmy/Steve – ISTP
Jimmy is another elusive character, but he demonstrates many trademark ISTP qualities. He can be highly tolerant, like when it comes to Fiona’s need to prioritize her siblings, or Debbie digging into his family life, or even dealing with life on the South Side, which he isn’t used to.
On the other hand, Jimmy tends to be overly critical when put under stress, which is clear when he found himself working in the criminal underworld. All in all, like many ISTPs, Jimmy is adaptable and adventurous. This comes in handy when he needs to come up with new fake identities, which he seems to find no trouble at all.
Mickey – ENTJ
ENTJs are known as the “Commander” type. Mickey certainly exudes this sort of aura in everything he does. ENTJs are also known for their lack of hesitation, and Mickey’s reckless actions sometimes land him in a lot of trouble – or even prison. He’s also very confident in himself once he learns to embrace who he is.
One of Mickey’s most prominent traits is his ruthlessness, especially when it comes to rationality. This is something ENTJs are recognized for, but it serves them well when they set their minds to achieving a goal.
Lip – ENTP
As an ENTP, Lip struggles with boring work and mundane tasks. This Myers-Briggs® type craves independence, and, like Lip, is often outspoken and assertive. Lip prefers an intellectual challenge rather than a physical one, but when he really needs to, he’s willing to accept grunt work. He also uses it as a means of sabotaging his own potential after getting kicked out of college.
ENTPs tend to be drawn to romantic partners who can confront or even battle them. Lip likes the challenge of back-and-forth with people like Karen, Mandy, and even Tami. This is probably why Lip’s list of romantic partners is so long, and many of them share the same traits.
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