Season 1 Edit
In Season 1, Debbie has a very kind heart and is very persistent. She takes Liam to school with her in the pilot since nobody can take care of him, she uses him for show and tell, with a birthmark, and she looks really hard to find Frank when he's missing in Canada in episode 2, Frank the Plank.
In episode 3, Aunt Ginger, it is Debbie who cares for Aunt Ginger, who is really an elderly woman that Fiona and Frank borrowed from Veronica's nursing home. Following Ginger's return to the nursing home, Debbie steals little Casey Casden, a neighborhood boy who she takes after witnessing his father playing with him and his sister in their yard and she gets jealous. She is forced to return him to his home through a carefully devised plan to return him so nobody gets in trouble. She is a main pawn in the planning of Frank's fake funeral to outrun two men whom he owes $6,000, which is done successfully.
Next, in It's Time to Kill The Turtle, Debbie loves the new sober Frank, with whom she bonds with over sugar, which he uses to escape his need for alcohol in order to get $3,000 in a medical study. She's the one who ends up encouraging Lip and Fiona to "kill the turtle" as she put it, a misunderstanding to the reference that Lip had made about Frank previously. She decides to end his attempt at staying sober after he plans to slam holes in the roof through the attic for skylights with Carl.
When Monica arrives home in episodes 9 and 10, she's initially reluctant to accept Monica's apology, but she eventually does, until she gets serious about taking Liam, which is when none of the kids support her apology if they ever did to begin with.
In Daddyz Girl, she signs Monica up for her classroom mom's group, but since she has once again left the children she convinces Fiona to go, where Fiona befriends Jasmine Hollander. It is Jasmine who drives Fiona and Debbie to the police station when Lip and Ian are arrested driving a car Jimmy lent them, and the two spend the night sleeping in the waiting room of the police station.
She's the one who discovers Jimmy/Steve's double life, something she knows is wrong and pushes very strongly despite both Veronica and Sheila telling her she should leave Fiona to deal with her own relationships. Throughout most of the season, she is either looking into Jimmy's past, visiting his house, or harassing Jimmy about the lie he's living, frequently encouraging him to tell Fiona the truth about himself.
Season 2 Edit
In Season 2, Debbie has grown up a bit. She's running a full-fledged daycare out of her home on her own, with the money she earns going into the winter Squirrel Fund. She ends up with a stress rash, which she attributes to being from melamine-tainted laundry soap she bought at the Dollar Store. In reaction to this, Fiona forces her to throw a party, at which she invites Simon, a boy who has a crush on her whom she only invites so he'll invite Holly Herkimer, a girl several years Debbie's senior who is still in Debbie's grade and is said to have HPV, in addition to Lip, Ian, Carl, and Carl's friend Little Hank, who she has a crush on throughout most of the season, her first real crush. She goes to Lip and asks him about what he liked about Karen, so she knew what to do to make Little Hank like her. His response was that it was about pheromones, so she dressed in Fiona's clothes and went to Mandy for help with makeup.
Debbie also ends up obsessed with death after seeing the dead body of Aunt Ginger's boyfriend Harry at the end of episode 2, Summer Loving. After this traumatic event, she ends up thinking about it constantly for a whole episode and doing a hilarious rendition of "#1 Crush", by Garbage. When Grammy Gallagher returns in Season 2, Debbie is more than happy to keep her secrets after being handed a $100 bribe, and when Monica returns Debbie is more than happy to side with her. She even sneaks into the hospital to help Frank break her out of the psych ward when she signs herself in for a period of time.
Season 3 Edit
Season 3 is where Debbie seems to finally loose her liking of Frank when he crushes her school project that she is shown throughout the episode talking about. Frank says, "It was a piece of shit anyway." Debbie takes out a pillowcase that she filled with hard soap and starts hitting Frank with it while screaming that she hates him and "to get out of her house."
Later on in Season 3, she is riding home from the grocery store on the bus with Fiona. She catches a full-grown man on the bus masturbating to her. She freaks out and Fiona calls the police after driving the man off the bus. While Ian, Carl, and Lip go to find a nearby pedophile to beat up, Mandy tells Debbie that she is going to teach her how to defend herself the Milkovich way - then gives her a weapon. While Debbie is practicing this outside, she meets Kevin's son, Dominik, and hits him with the weapon. He is shown falling down in pain and Debbie interrogates him into telling her who he is. He says he might be Kevin's son and then asks if he could find something to smoke around their neighborhood. They are later shown on the playground hanging out together while Dominik asks questions about his father and Debbie asks questions about sex and if she should become a nun and never have sex. He says she's too pretty to become a nun and kisses her - Debbie's first onscreen kiss.
At one point during Season 3, Debbie expresses her desire to go swimming at the city pool. Frank tells her it's a bad idea because "at the city pool there are city kids." Apparently one summer, these city kids ripped Debbie's bathing suit to which she says they were just trying to make it into a bikini. Frank then tells her that if those kids will do that to her while running through the sprinklers in her own front yard, just imagine what they might do with an entire body of water at their disposal. Ultimately, Frank will not allow Debbie to go to the pool until she is able to hold her breath for ninety seconds, saying that if she can hold her breath that long that it will be long enough for her to get out of any trouble (should she ever find herself in it). Debbie soon is able to hold her breath for over 100 seconds, ensuring her ability to swim at the city pool.
However, the type of city kids she runs into are not what Frank was expecting, they come in the form of young pubescent girls with whom Debbie attends school. They tease her for her childish one-piece bathing suit, ask her if she's a lesbian, and tell her she should "grow some tits." The next time Debbie goes to the pool she sneaks a white bikini from Fiona's drawer and adds extra padding on top with some socks. She bravely goes for a dip in the pool, and she comes back to sit at her chair and read a book. However, this moment of bravery was short-lived, as someone put ketchup on the chair Debbie was sitting at, and the girls scream at her, "Period! Period!" and everyone laughs. A humiliated Debbie rushes home and locks herself in her room and sobs. Fiona tries to console her by telling her, "Nobody fucks with the Gallaghers."
Debbie gets the courage to go back to the pool, and this is where her ability to hold her breath pays off. She fills two bags with sand which she uses as a weight to hold her down. As one of the girls who humiliated her is about to get out of the pool, Debbie grabs onto her leg and holds her underwater until she passes out. She's quite happy with what she accomplished and runs back to the Gallagher house, screaming, "That's right! No one fucks with a Gallagher!"
Season 4 Edit
In Season 4, Debbie has two friends, Holly and Ellie, who glamorize sexual promiscuity. Debbie meets Matt, a 20-year-old, at an arcade, whom she attempts to seduce only to have him reject her. Although upset, she agrees to become just friends. She finds out Matty has started to date a girl who works with him. She become jealous and tries to make the girl stay away from Matty by threatening her and putting a snake in her car.
Later, she is confronted by Matty's apparent girlfriend, who threatens her with a baseball bat to stay away from him. One day at school, a boy in her class starts to show interest in her. He asks if they can dissect the frog together. She accepts but her friends, who are interested in him, want to work with him, too. He shows her all the frog parts. Debbie is not grossed out, but her friends are very disgusted. When he gets to the frog's heart, he gives her it. Debbie is very flattered at this gesture.
They hang out more that day at school, and he even sketches a picture of her. He asks her if they can meet up after his basketball practice, she accepts. They then are making out and he takes off her shirt when suddenly a bunch of people pop up and laugh and take pictures of her. Matty's girlfriend is there and says that the boy that has seemed interested in Debbie is actually her step-brother and she paid him to do this. Debbie is shocked and majorly heartbroken.
Matty finds out and breaks up with his girlfriend. He asks Debbie to remain friends. She accepts but is secretly more devoted than ever to get him back as her boyfriend.
Season 5 Edit
In Season 5, Debbie launches in to the world of sex. Debbie has a party and when her friend Matt (who she always wanted to be more) passes out drunk, she climbs in bed beside him and, after seeing his boner, puts a condom on it and has sex with him - which is technically rape, but Matt won't do anything about it because he is 21.
After Debbie gets into a fight with Holly and is saved by Derek, she begins to show an interest in him. Debbie attends the gym that he goes to for boxing and keep fit classes, and then he starts to hang out with her more and begin to like her in the same way. They begin a relationship together after Debbie creates a scene in front of the Gallagher household. Debbie meets Derek's family and she learns about this girl his parents look after who is a teen mom. Intrigued by this, she also learns Derek's parents were childhood sweethearts and had a baby when they were not that much older than Derek and herself.
Debbie then convinces Fiona that she should go on birth control. While attending the clinic, the nurse tells Debbie that if she is planning on having sex in the next few days, she should still use a condom because the pill will not work until that long. That same day, Debbie goes home and she is with Derek. He goes to put on a condom before having sex. She says, "It's okay; I'm on the pill", and they have sex.
In the final episode of the season, Debbie has an altercation with Fiona and she says she is pregnant. She tells Fiona she wanted to get pregnant, and she knows who she loves and she knows what she wants.
Season 6 Edit
Fiona hates that Debbie is pregnant, so she tries to convince Debbie to get an abortion. Fiona soon finds out that she, too, is pregnant. Debbie is excited and says that they can raise them together. Fiona tells her that they can instead get abortions together and have babies when they are both ready. Debbie is outraged and storms off.
She later goes to the clinic with Fiona, but doesn't get an abortion. She lies to Fiona, telling her that she got one. Fiona finds out that Debbie lied when Derek's parents come to the house to discuss the baby. Debbie believes Derek will stay with her, but then Debbie finds out that Derek moved to Florida to live with his grandparents because he doesn't want to be a dad yet. Debbie continuously tries to contact Derek, but he disconnects his phone preventing that from happening.
She still decides to keep the baby. Fiona does not approve of Debbie having this baby, and tells her she will not support her when she gives birth.
Debbie decides she has to find a place for her and her baby to live. With the help of Frank, she becomes a live-in nanny for a couple, since the mother was dying of cancer. Encouraged by Frank, she tries to seduce the husband of the dying woman so they won't fire her. He rejects her advances. Frank takes the dying woman to The Alibi to give Debbie some time to seduce the husband. There, Frank finds out that the dying woman used to be a lesbian. Frank tells Debbie this and suggests that she try to seduce the dying woman. Debbie dislikes the idea, but still spends time with the dying woman.
One night, Debbie is in her room when someone enters and gets into bed with her. Debbie, thinking this is the husband, says, "I was hoping you'd come". When she turns around, she sees it's actually the dying woman. Later on, the dying woman finds out she isn't dying anymore, and the cancer is almost gone from her body. Frank tells Debbie she must start sleeping with her, or else she won't have anywhere to live. Debbie tries to sleep with her, but then stops before anything happens, telling the woman that she is actually 15, not 18, and she isn't a lesbian.
On the episode Grandma Queenie to the Rescue, Debbie is shopping at a baby store when she meets a man who asks her opinion on a gift he is buying his sister. She tells him her opinion. He tells her thanks and says his name is Larry. They then meet again that same day, and he asks her out for lunch.
While they are deciding what to get, he starts moving his foot against her leg. She then says, "You know I'm pregnant, right? 7 months". He tells her he is fine with it. After they are done with their date, it seems as if they are going to kiss, but he kisses her baby bump instead. Debbie looks confused by his action.
The next day, Debbie is going to her Lamaze class when she sees Larry. She asks him, "How'd you know I'd be here?" He tells her that he didn't, and says he is there with somebody else, pointing to another pregnant woman. Debbie is very confused and he tells her that he has a baby bump fetish, where he is attracted to baby bumps on women. Debbie is disgusted, telling him that "she can't believe she fell for him". He tells her they can still date. Debbie asks what happens after she gives birth. Larry responds saying that they won't date anymore, but they can be friends. She also finds out that he his dating several other pregnant women but she is his only 7-month-er. She says he is a sick person and leaves the class.
Grandma Queenie, Frank, Chuckie, and Debbie move to Queenie's commune where Debbie gets her own birthing tent. However, living at the commune is not all that it is cracked up to be, as Debbie goes into labor and discovers that the midwife had not delivered a child in over 10 years. While labor progresses, Debbie gets more and more anxious, and eventually she and Frank flee the commune and go back to Chicago. Debbie delivers her baby on the kitchen table in the Gallagher house. Debbie named her child Frances Harriett, Franny for short, after her father Frank. After the birth, the EMT arrives and Debbie and Franny leave in the ambulance alone after Fiona tries to join
After her daughter was born, Debbie tries to prove that she does not need any help in raising Franny. Frank's crying disturbs everyone in the house. Fiona wants to help, but Debbie refuses any help or advice. Lip hypothesizes that Debbie may suffer from postpartum anxiety. She stays up all night with Franny and takes her to school too. Debbie realizes the struggles of being a teen mom when she is not allowed in class with Franny. Debbie's teacher tells her that she should go to the guidance counselor to see how to continue her studies at home, and suggests next time to use a condom.
After the disastrous day at school, Debbie finally lets Lip hold Franny at the bar when she goes pee. After another night of no sleep for the Gallagher family, Debbie is awake and perky, offering to cook everyone eggs. Lip believes that she is going to have a major crash soon. Sure enough, while Debbie is feeding Franny and studying, she falls asleep and Franny falls onto the ground.
At night, Debbie is found hiding under the staircase while Franny is crying. Debbie professes to Sean and Fiona that she is a terrible mother and dropped Franny. She states that she cannot get Franny to stop crying and she cannot feed her enough. Fiona feels Debbie's head and tells her that she has clogged ducts and that warm water and ibuprofen will help out. Debbie reluctantly goes to Fiona's wedding to Sean, stating that she wants Franny to be in the photos.
Season 7 Edit
Debbie nearly abandons her daughter, but she has second thoughts. She takes her to a park with Franny and tries to talk to a fellow mother, who sees that she's a teen mom and ignores Debbie. Debbie then turns around and steals the mother's luxury stroller and flips it on Craigslist, selling it for $1,500. With the money, Debbie hires a night nurse to take care of Franny and begins to attend school again. This is short-lived after Debbie accidentally steals a stroller with a baby in it.
Debbie is not too surprised to see that Frank is still alive after surviving his fall when his family dumped him in the river for crashing Fiona's wedding. Like her siblings, she wants nothing to do with her father after this, even having her daughter go by her middle name, Harriette ("Harry") to distance herself. However, she still cares about him and soon goes back to calling her daughter Franny.
After this point, Debbie begins to steal from clothing stores, stealing hundreds of dollars worth of baby and mommy clothing at a time. After a few successful rounds, Debbie is soon caught stealing and Fiona is called. Fiona gets Debbie out of the mess by saying that Debbie is "special". Debbie is incredibly insulted, but plays along in order to avoid jail and the ploy works. Fiona chastises Debbie for being so stupid and careless, claiming that she's not thinking of Franny.
Fiona tries to emphasize to Debbie that if she is caught doing this again, her daughter will be taken away from her, and that in order for Debbie to be a good mother, she needs to be there for Harry. Fiona later lays down house law by stating that everyone in the house, except for Liam, needs to contribute money in order to live in the Gallagher house. If no one wants do that, she will sell the house and move to a smaller one. Additionally, Debbie has to contribute more because of Harry's living expenses. Debbie argues that this is not fair, but concedes, seeing she has no other place to live. She has great struggles making money since she is a teen mom without any form of graduation or classification.
Seeing no alternatives, she asks Frank and Svetlana. Frank advises her to take advantage of people's pity by begging on the streets, while Svetlana suggests to find a "weak, desperate man" who could provide for her. Her attempts at finding a partner and begging both fail miserably.
She eventually finds a solution: marriage to a brain-damaged man she found in Fiona's diner, since he has an apartment and money. She drops out of school, but gets her GED a day later and tries to make peace with Frank long enough for him to give consent - although he refuses, since marriage is big deal. She goes to Fiona, but the latter is too busy to help her.
Debbie is reunited with her mother, who helps her in reclaiming her daughter from Derek's parents before she is told that Monica is dying. She makes peace with her father, along with her siblings, to come together. She meets her grandfather, Bill Darrgen, though the latter is disappointed by her being a teen mother.
Season 8 Edit
After Monica's funeral, Neil begins to think Debbie lacks interest in him, so he tries to make himself appeal to her. However, nothing works since Debbie mostly leaves her daughter in his care. Debbie has one of her friends, a nurse, care for him. In God Bless Her Rotting Soul, Neil falls in "love" with this nurse and breaks up with Debbie, calling her an awful person. Debbie tried to warn him that the nurse was using him, though Neil said Debbie did that to him, and asks her to leave while calling her an awful person.
Not too long after this, she and her siblings go to Fiona for help when they are attacked by thugs, led by a man named Eric Stark, who owned some of Monica's meth. The men threaten the family for Eric's money. Though reluctant, Debbie and the others apologize to Fiona for not listening, and all except Carl and do so. After Fiona decides to help, Frank (who had decided to change) also volunteers to help, and she has him use his job to get tools. Debbie and her family are forced to dig up Monica, since Fiona put her share of meth in the ground with her. They arrive at the storage unit and pay Eric, but the payment is still not enough. He threatens them as Debbie quickly guards Liam. Fortunately, Frank steps in and she watches as he successfully threatens Eric to accept the payment or be faced with death if he comes near the family again. Debbie is surprised by her father's actions and leaves the area with her family.
During Fuck Paying It Forward, Debbie continues her job, but is sad that she is missing out on her daughter's first steps. She later helps Fiona with her situation with Sean and tries to tell her sister to forget about him. She and Carl watch as Frank bonds with Liam. They see that Frank is still trying to change himself, although both remain unconvinced by their father's change. However, they humor him since he is putting in the effort. At the end, Debbie watches as her daughter walks to Frank. She is happy at this sight.
Season 9 Edit
Debbie continues her job at welding. She is angry that she is paid less than a man because of her need to use the restroom. She creates a makeshift diaper to help her out and, though she gets the money, she learns that it's because she is the victim of sexism after she find out she's being called "Jugs".
Debbie tries to stand up for her female rights. She meets a worker named Alex, who reveals herself to be a woman who has to hide her gender. They get along, and Debbie sleeps with her and moves in with her, beginning to think she is a lesbian and tells Ian about this, although he tells her that she isn't. Indeed, Alex breaks it off after hearing her complain about men and labeling her straight.
Debbie returns home and complains about her venture as Carl does about his own. However, they stop when Liam's classmate Sissy decides to move in with him after telling him, she's supposedly pregnant with his child. Debbie and Carl are confused by this display before they intervened by telling Liam that he didn't impregnate Sissy, due to the timing. Debbie goes to Fiona's tenants and asks about lesbians' acts. She is aroused by Mel kissing her and flashing her. Debbie leaves, amazed by the experience.
Afterwards, she attends Ian's hearing and watches as he admits to being bipolar to get the insanity plea and shorten his time in sentencing. Later on, she and Carl have Lip, who was told about Liam's situation with Sissy, help by kicking Sissy out, drugging her and bringing her to a clinic.
Debbie tries to reconcile with Alex by inviting her to lunch. but sees Alex is no different from her with women. She leaves while letting Alex pay for the large bill. Debbie goes home and dines with her family and an actress Lip was watching as a sobriety watcher. and the latter even kisses Debbie. She is later present when Ian goes to prison for two years. She, sadly, hugs her brother goodbye and wishes him luck. After Ian is gone, a strange noise wakes Debbie up at 2 a.m. She and her brothers investigate the sound in the attic, and see it's an alarm with a picture of Ian. They realize that he left them a memento, and smile at the gesture.
Debbie speaks with her brothers about living arrangements, and mentions that their father needs a room. Debbie calls Fiona, but she doesn't answer. Debbie goes to her apartment and finds the bruised Fiona, who informs her of her situation with Ford and her debts. Debbie takes Fiona to get her wrist treated and helps with the car by having her friend investigate it and gives them tips to collect money from the damage by saying it was stolen. Debbie watches Fiona leave, but tells her friend to help her with something and goes back home where she informs her siblings of what's occurred. She lets Lip handle Fiona.
Debbie goes to Alex for more help, and tells her about Ford. She states that Ford did worse than the men they humiliated, and she intends to punish Ford. The trio plans to build something that would symbolize revenge. Debbie arrives home and takes Fiona and everyone else to Patsy's. She reveals she had her friends help in getting revenge on Ford by hanging him from a large sign with his pants around his legs. Debbie is congratulated by an arriving Lip before she watches Ford begs for help to get down. Fiona shoots a paint gun at his rear end and is amused by the act, thanking her family for giving her the chance.