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The Shameless Scene That Had Fans In Tears

The lives of the Gallagher family are typically determined through heartache. Through the impressive 11 season run of the show, the Gallaghers fought through alcoholism, mental illness, and imprisonment. It is at times difficult to identify with Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) and his disregard for his children. His alcoholism makes him an unfit parent, and that only begins to cover some of the worst things Frank has ever done. The responsibilities fall on Fiona (Emmy Rossum) to take care of her five siblings.

This dynamic results in heartbreaking consequences. All six children have suffered because of Frank's selfishness: Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) is a delinquent, Ian (Cameron Monaghan) continues to struggle with his own mental illness. While fans likely remember that "Shameless" was full of moments that were hard to watch, through all of the pain and turmoil, there is one scene in particular that brought many fans to tears.

You were my mother too

The line "you were my mother too," continues to resonate with fans, a decade after it was uttered on the air. While Frank Gallagher has done his best to ruin his children's lives on occasion, the Gallagher matriarch Monica (Choe Webb) is arguably the most toxic. After battling with mental illness, Monica left Frank and all six of her children. She returns in Season 1 Episode 9 to reclaim her youngest, Liam. Monica argues that he is her child and she has a right to keep him and start her own family.

What is so devastating about the scene is how Fiona has reached adulthood alone. She has had to handle Frank's alcoholism as well as essentially being a mother herself. Fans are unanimous about how heartbreaking this is. "11 seasons later, hundreds of other shows watched and this single sentence is still one of the most heartbreaking thing I've ever heard," one Reddit user named u/frdlyneighbour wrote. 

Redditor u/pinkdietmountaindew agreed, writing: "I watch that scene when I need a good cry." In the scene, Fiona sobs as she recounts everything she did to raise her siblings. While she was the one that grew up without a mother, Monica is choosing to pick one child over all the rest. This is at the root of Fiona's childhood trauma and a wound that never goes away.