Lip Gallagher

Lip Gallagher

Photo Credit: CBS Press

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… with his five siblings in the volatile Gallagher household in in the south side of Chicago in Canaryville.

Profession… student and tutor. Lip is the most academic of the Gallagher family, with a 4.6 GPA, genius-level IQ, and a myriad of skills, all squandered by his self-destructive tendencies. Instead of applying his intelligence in conventional ways, he often uses is brainpower to hatch illegal (but profitable) schemes. He inherited his father’s penchant for self-sabotage, making his life difficult when he’s clearly poised for success.

Interests... having a good time and taking care of his family. While Lip is extraordinarily intelligent, he’s far from a typical intellectual. Drinking, drugs, and casual sex all rank high on his list of favored activities – meaning he’s more likely to wind up in jail then on the Dean’s list. When Lip isn’t indulging his hedonistic tendencies, he tries to help his sister Fiona look after the other siblings. As the second oldest (and most intelligent) Lip feels that he’s in a position to offer his troubled siblings guidance, and if need be, protection. 

Relationship Status... unstable. Like most teenagers Lip has no idea what he wants to do with his life, and no idea who he might be compatible with. However, while he may lack clear direction, Lip knows he’s interested in at least one thing – sex. But as he tumbles from one fling to the next, it seems inevitable that he’ll eventually stumble into something deeper. But while he might be headed for something deeper, his penchant for self-sabotages make it doubtful that he’s headed for anything healthy.

Challenge… protecting his younger siblings while figuring out what to do with his future. Lip will go to great measures to stand up for the younger Gallaghers, at times resorting to violence despite his less-than-stellar physique. He’s ambivalent about leaving Canaryville. He knows it’d be the best for him, but he’s never really cared what’s best for him, and it’d take him away from his siblings when they’re desperately in need of guidance. Desperate to live up to his potential, but unable to escape his families legacy, Lip seems like he might be on a path to relive his father’s mistakes.

Personality… loyal, pragmatic, and reckless. Lip is often his brother’s accomplice in their small-time crimes, where he always covers for Ian because he doesn’t want to ruin Ian’s chances at West Point. He’s a cynic to the core, and critical to a fault, often letting his smart mouth get him into trouble. He’s a literal genius, but too wild to put his extraordinary abilities to good use.


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