Shameless Lessons from Frank Gallagher


If you haven’t seen the show Shameless on Showtime, it’s also on Netflix, then you are missing out on an outrageously….well…shameless show.  (It is pure smut, and stupid situations in a drama format) The show revolves around a family in southern Chicago named the Gallagher’s.  Fiona is the oldest daughter and the glue of the family, but Frank her alcoholic, welfare stealing, father, who is always hustling, is the star of this blog today.  (The show is not even close to being family friendly with nudity, violence, and creative profanity, so you have been warned.)

Let’s get this straight, Frank is the world’s worst father, husband, boyfriend, employee, and basically a terrible human being.  But, for some reason you can’t help but like him.  He is always scheming to get more drugs, get more money, and always to get a bar tab running, any place.  He abused old people’s social security, put his cancer free son into cancer camp to get a signed Bull’s basketball to sell on Ebay, gave a baby with down syndrome valium, and claimed to be a baby whisperer to get a place to stay for free.  He refers to all these crazy stunts as “the family business.”  He even teaches his kids how to get a job and get hurt to collect workers compensation.

So here are some shameless lessons that Frank has taught me so far while watching the show. (I’m not done with all the Netflix seasons, so there could be more lessons I haven’t seen yet.  At the end of season 3 of 8)

  1. Frank is never down and out!  Frank has woken up under feet of snow, had guns to his head, and owed the wrong people money.  He has even ended up in a drunken stuper in both Canada and Mexico without a passport.  No matter what happens Frank finds a way to turn lemons into lemonade.  He always finds money, food, booze, and can get out of any trouble because he is constantly looking for opportunities, and uses them to his advantage.  Frank is a man who can handle hardships and makes them his advantage.  Bad times always end if you persevere.
  2. Frank lives life to the fullest and he seems very happy!  I know he is mostly on something in the show, but he seems happy with his life for the most part.  He is seeking things that bring him happiness, even if he is shamelessly selfish.  This selfishness harms his family, but Frank is a man that knows how to bring happiness into his crappy life.  Frank can find happiness in a dumpster, in the form of a half eaten sandwich.  He also enjoys buying drinks for everyone at the bar, creating some much needed happiness for others.  This man somehow just lives!
  3. Frank is a master networker!  It seems that no matter what happens in Franks life, he knows someone or someone who knows someone.  He actually listens to people and knows what everyone around him is doing.  While ranting at the bar, he is also getting to know all the local news, problems with others, and this networking at the Alibi Bar brings him opportunities to fill needs in peoples lives.  He hears of break ups, deaths, jobs, master plans, and how to manipulate a situation to his advantage through his bar networking.
  4. Money is literally everywhere!!  Frank can turn water into wine on the show (not really, but he can make money).  He uses his infant son Liam for collateral after a bar bet goes bad, the bad guy gets paid later by Fiona, which seemed to be his plan all along.  He knew how to pay the bet off, by manipulating others to pay it for him.  He also, dated Dottie from the bar, for her city pension money, but ultimately killed her by having sex with her.  Her bad heart gave out (he broke her heart), and he robbed her once she died (that was their agreement).  There are millions of ways to make money legally or illegally on the show, and Frank is a master at the side hustle for sure.
  5. Frank points out the flaws in our welfare system, and openly mocks them with his exploits.  There are times when after an episode I have to go online and see if Frank just exposed me to a welfare loophole.  It turns out our welfare system is probably being abused, lots of needy Americans could loose certain benefits if it isn’t cleaned up.  Also, the welfare workers are over worked and underpaid, so if we are serious about making a difference in the lives of these good people, then we need to stop the people like Frank.  He is showing us the problem, now we need to fix it.  Thanks Frank!!

So, yes, Frank is a terrible person, but he does show us some good financial options for hustling, and he is teaching us what to look out for.  He does childish things, sometimes their funny, sometimes its calling CPS on his own kids (I wanted to kill him), but you can learn a lot through failure.  Frank gives us lots of failure to learn from, and in the end Frank Gallagher is teaching a lot about money too.  His resourcefulness should be commended, and his exploits should be condemned.  It’s a fun show to watch, and as I finish the remaining seasons, I can’t wait to see what Frank is up to next in his side hustles.

*All the characters are born side hustlers and there are many ideas for making money on the show, from renting a room to a pregnant lady, to hospice care, to charging contractors for volunteer workers, and the list goes on.


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