Karen Jackson is the only child of Sheila and Eddie Jackson. She is Lip Gallagher’s first real girlfriend. Her mother Sheila became agoraphobic sometime during her childhood, which at times can negatively affect their relationship.
Karen explains that she lost her virginity when she was 11 years old, and has been sexually active ever since. Her manipulative actions towards Lip and other people in her life including her own mother and child.
In Season 1, Karen is a sexually ambitious girl who is best friends and lovers with Lip Gallagher. Karen seems bored with life and only finds interest in sleeping around. Karen takes care of her mom and tries to protect her from her dad and the outside world.
In Season 2 and 3, Karen’s personality changes for the worst. She becomes more bitter and resentful. She starts to use people, lie, and take advantage of them to get what she wants.
When she called Mandy Milkovich who was dating Lip at the time, to talk shit about Lip Gallagher and how “she’d be down for all of them to fuck,” Mandy texted Karen from Lip’s phone to meet her at the park – where Mandy hit Karen with a car, leaving Karen with brain damage.
Karen is a sociopath, so much so that Lip even thought she was possibly faking part of her brain damage after her accident and thought the “real Karen” was still in there. But she said she isn’t able to feel anymore and didn’t know who hit her after she was told. Karen only makes appearances in Season 1, 2, and 3.
Portrayed by: Laura Slade Wiggins