Blisteringly funny, offbeat drama following the rollercoaster lives and loves of an anarchic family from Manchester. Meet the Gallaghers. Mum went AWOL years ago, Dad stayed at home with the six children only to hit the bottle. And sometimes the kids... The real head of the family is big sister Fiona (20), who looks after Carl (11), Debbie (9) and baby Liam (3). She is occasionally helped, more often hindered, by reluctant virgin 'Lip' (16) and the actively gay, but very private, Ian (15). Welcome to a hectic world of sexual adventures, triumphs, love, scams and a fair bit of crime on a rough Manchester housing estate, where wheel-less cars are the norm and the moving ones are stolen.
The dysfunction Gallagher family returns, but all is not well on the Chatsworth Estate. Half of Frank's neighbours are evicted from their homes as part of Operation New Start, a multi-agency crackdown on the estate's benefits culture. Jamie and Karen become the reluctant leaders of the resistance when the evictees turn to them for help, but while things look bleak for everyone else, Jackson's future appears brighter than ever.
Not everyone is pleased to see Carl after he shows up on the estate as a qualified policeman. Jackson finds himself being accused of falsely claiming benefits, resulting in the loss of his job which throws his marriage into chaos. Frank is given the job of becoming a double agent, so that he can get information from Carmen about the future plans for the estate. The residents end up agreeing to a deal with Carmen to save the estate. Kelly loses her baby.
Mimi and Billy decide to have an open marriage. Patty and Lillian's funeral mourning brings them some unwanted attention. Kelly can't grieve and and ends up losing control.
Micky ends up becoming the victim of a gay bashing, leaving him mentally and physically scarred whilst enjoying a night out with the boys. Carl falls for Clem on the night out. Aidan has a new group of older friends, headed by gang leader Frasier Kane. Events end up spiraling out of control one evening on the estate and Aidan is faced with a life-changing decision. Ruby Hepburn shows up on the estate and is revealed as being Mimi's niece.
Somebody from Jamie's past arrives on the estate, looking for a favour to be returned. D.S. Brooks, is currently suspended pending some serious charges and Jamie doesn't know if he can go through with what he wants and the safety of his family ends up being in the balance. Aidan skips school after he is haunted with nightmares about his doing nothing to stop Frasier attacking his school teacher. After Frasier turns his attention to Letitia, Aidan ends up feeling like he has no choice but to act. Micky has to deal with a life-changing decision after a debt collection goes badly wrong.
Jackson agrees to help Shane on a robbery job at a supermarket. Gloria's brother Dominic, a whisky preist, causes mayhem on the estate. Chesney regrets making a comment about Carl's girlfriend Clem.
Everyone is really worried about Kelly. Marty is still grieving about the loss of the baby, Kelly is punishing herself physically and mentally and is spiralling out of control. Karen ends up making a bet with Dom. Avril becomes worried after she sees her colleague Calum dispensing incorrect medication at the chemist.
Times are difficult and Marty and Aidan attempt to redirect a power line to the Gallagher House so that they can use free electricity. The girls gather at the Maguire house and as the drink starts to flow, hidden truths are revealed. Jamie agrees to a lock in for the guys at the pub where Frank accepts the challenge to re-enact The Hare and the Tortoise. Chesney attempts to protect the shop but pushes himself too far in the process.
When Chesney arrives home from hospital, he finds his cousin Toof waiting there for him. After he reveals his plan to close the shop and take Chesney back to Bradford, Chesney refuses to agree to it. Chesney decides that it is time for him to strike out on his own and live life to the full.
Jamie and Shane come up with a plan to steal a stash of scratch cards from the Lottery rooms in Manchester. Frank ends up being recruited along with Aidan and Ruby but things don't go to plan. Letitia and her friends form a girl group. Karen is determined to prove to Mimi that she can handle the Maguire business in Jamie's absence.