The L Word wiki
The L Word wiki

I guess I'm just meant to be alone. I believe everybody has a path. Everyone is set out to do something, and whatever I'm out there to do, I really think it's gonna be by myself. I make a great friend, I do. But I do not make a good girlfriend, or life partner, or lover, or whatever the hell you want to call it. I just don't have it in me.

Shane, Interrogation Tapes

Shane McCutcheon is a main character on The L Word and its sequel, The L Word: Generation Q. She is portrayed by Katherine Moennig and debuts in the series premiere.

Shane's androgynous good looks, devil-may-care attitude and numerous sexual exploits have earned her a reputation as the resident lothario and heartbreaker. Although she tries to steer clear of serious emotional entanglements, she has fallen for and committed to various characters, most notably Carmen, Molly, Jenny, and Quiara.

Shane was born in Austin, Texas, and grew up in the foster care system after being abandoned by her mother as a child. Shane has known she is a lesbian since she was 8; she has been sexually active since she was 14 and had already slept with around 1,000 women by her early 20s.[8] Shane was turning tricks on the streets of Los Angeles with her friend Clive, before cleaning up her act and becoming an assistant hairdresser. She was brought into Alice's social circle after Alice had her hair cut at the salon Shane worked at, and soon formed lasting friendships with Alice and Bette.

In The L Word season 1, Shane's sexual exploits catch up with her when she is harassed by her former fling Lacey. Shane's past also haunts her in the form of Clive who has returned to his old ways; Shane tries to help him but refuses to be sucked back into that life. Meanwhile, Shane finally opens her heart when she falls for the married Hollywood socialite Cherie, and the two begin an affair. Cherie's plan to help Shane open her own salon comes to an abrupt end when Cherie's husband and daughter find out about the affair. Shane is left heartbroken when Cherie refuses give up her lavish lifestyle to be with a nobody like Shane.

Generation Q season 1 begins ten years later, with Shane moving back to Los Angeles after selling her lucrative salons.


Early life[]

Shane was born in Austin, Texas.[4] Both her mother[3] and her father, Gabriel McCutcheon, were drug addicts, and Gabriel gave his daughter the name "Shane" simply because he loved the name.[9] Prior to The L Word, Shane had never met Gabriel[4] and grew up with her mother and her dog Remy.[7] She has known she is gay since she was eight years old, when she had a crush on a girl named Tiffany Gardner who lived down the street.[1] When Shane was nine, her mother abandoned her and she was sent into the foster care system.[7][4][10]

8-year-old Shane with her first crush.

When she was ten, someone told Shane that her mother had returned to Austin; Shane then ran away from her foster family to go to Austin to find her mother.[3] While there, she lived in a church shelter[3] where, unbeknownst to her, Gabriel would come watch her at the church playground. According to Gabriel, young Shane always looked pissed off.[9]

Shane has a criminal record from when she was young.[11] At some point, she befriended Clive and they turned tricks together on the streets of Santa Monica for six months. During this time, Shane was mistaken for a guy and she was only willing to give handjobs no matter how much her gay male customers offered to pay.[12][8] Shane cleaned up her act after she got a job at a salon, and she and Clive promised each other that they would never return to that old life.[13]

Shane met Alice Pieszecki when Alice went to get her hair cut at the salon that Shane worked at. Shane washed Alice's hair and Alice asked her out for coffee afterwards, hoping to get some gossip about the celebrities who frequented the salon. Although Shane didn't have any gossip to share, she agreed to the free drink because she was starving and broke at the time.[14]

Pre-The L Word[]

At the start of The L Word, Shane is an assistant hairdresser.[15] She has slept with 950 to 1,200 women since she was 14,[8] and steers clear of any serious relationships.[16] She lives in a one-bedroom apartment with three other roommates.[13] Shane is also aware that she has a half-brother, though she has never met him at this point.[7]

Throughout the series[]

The L Word[]

In between[]

Generation Q[]

Season 1[]

Over ten years after Jenny's death, Shane moves to Los Angeles, where she is reunited with Bette and Alice. It is revealed in dialogue that she previously opened but sold hair salons in Paris and New York, and has bought a house in Los Angeles. She is also married to Quiara, but they are estranged. On Bette and Alice's insistence, Shane allows Sarah Finley, one of Alice's employees, to help assemble her new furniture. Finley does not charge Shane for the favour, and in return, Shane allows Finley to move in with her. After Bette's mayoral candidacy is threatened by one of her previous sex scandals, Shane gives Bette her support, and is initially against Bette appearing on Alice's talk show to explain her side of the story and win back the people's faith, but relents. In the process, Shane has a one-night stand with the flight attendant from her plane to Los Angeles. Later, after ignoring most of Quiara's messages, Shane is finally sent divorce papers. In her depression, she goes to a bar run by lesbian lovers, Lena and Tess. She buys it and turns it into a local gay bar, "Dana's", putting Tess and Lena in charge. Shane begins a romantic relationship with Lena, meaning Lena is cheating on Tess. When Tess finds out, she break up with Lena and is angry at Shane for cheating with her former girlfriend. Shane finally answers a text message from Quiara, her estranged wife. Shane later celebrates her 40th birthday but does not seem enthusiastic, especially when she finally signs the divorce papers. At the birthday party, however, Quiara attends, to Shane's shock. Though Quiara is aware that Shane has signed, she tells Shane that she is pregnant, and still wants to be with Shane even if it means that she will have sole responsibility of bringing up the child. Along with their friends, Shane attends Angelica's school play and notices that Angelica appears to have a crush on her friend, Jordi. She subsequently gives Angelica advice on how to admit her feelings, which results in Jordi returning them and the two of them sharing a kiss. Touched by the moment, Shane agrees to rekindle her relationship with Quiara, and kindly asks Finley to move out. Later on, Shane goes with Quiara to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time, but Shane later claims that she felt no emotion whatsoever, which frightens her, though Quiara assures her that it will be fine. However, Quiara later suffers a miscarriage and loses the baby. Though devastated for Quiara, Shane expresses surprise when Quiara does not grieve and casually states that she will get inseminated again as soon as possible, leading Shane to realize that Quiara only got inseminated to get her to resume their relationship out of obligation and guilt. Shane's reaction leads Quiara to believe that Shane was relieved at the baby's death. Realizing that Shane will never truly accept parenthood, Quiara leaves Shane for good and returns her wedding ring. In her depression, Shane adopts a homeless dog.

Physical appearance[]



Have you ever noticed that every time Shane walks into a room, someone leaves crying?

Bette, "Pilot"

Notable relationships[]

Episode appearances[]

The L Word, season 1
Episode Appearance Status
Let's Do ItAppears
Lies, Lies, LiesAppears
Losing ItAppears
Listen UpAppears
Luck, Next TimeAppears
Looking BackAppears
Locked UpAppears
Limb from LimbAppears
The L Word, season 2
Episode Appearance Status
Life, Loss, LeavingAppears
Lap DanceAppears
Loneliest NumberAppears
Lynch PinAppears
Lagrimas de OroAppears
Late, Later, LatentAppears
Land AhoyAppears
Loud & ProudAppears
The L Word, season 3
Episode Appearance Status
Labia MajoraAppears
Lost WeekendAppears
Light My FireAppears
Lone StarAppears
Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the WayAppears
Losing the LightAppears
Last DanceAppears
Left Hand of the GoddessAppears
The L Word, season 4
Episode Appearance Status
Legend in the MakingAppears
Livin' La Vida LocaAppears
Lez GirlsAppears
Luck Be a LadyAppears
Lesson Number OneAppears
Lexington and ConcordAppears
Lacy Lilting LyricsAppears
Little Boy BlueAppears
Literary License to KillAppears
Long Time ComingAppears
The L Word, season 5
Episode Appearance Status
LGB TeaseAppears
Look Out, Here They Come!Appears
Lady of the LakeAppears
Let's Get This Party StartedAppears
Lookin' at You, KidAppears
Lights! Camera! Action!Appears
Lesbians Gone WildAppears
Lay Down the LawAppears
Liquid HeatAppears
Lunar CycleAppears
Loyal and TrueAppears
The L Word, season 6
Episode Appearance Status
Long Night's Journey Into DayAppears
Least LikelyAppears
Leaving Los AngelesAppears
Litmus TestAppears
Lactose IntolerantAppears
Last Couple StandingAppears
Last WordAppears
Generation Q, season 1
Episode Appearance Status
Let's Do It AgainAppears
Less Is MoreAppears
Lost LoveAppears
LA TimesAppears
Loose EndsAppears
Lose It AllAppears
Lapse in JudgementAppears
Generation Q, season 2
Episode Appearance Status
Late to the PartyAppears
Lean on MeAppears
Luck Be a LadyAppears
Lake HouseAppears
Lobsters, TooAppears
Love ShackAppears
Launch PartyAppears




  1. 1.0 1.1 The L Word, 1x11: "Looking Back".
  2. Generation Q, 1x04 "LA Times".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The L Word, 2x08: "Loyal".
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The L Word, 3x01: "Labia Majora".
  5. The L Word, 4x04: "Layup".
  6. The L Word, 5x07: "Lesbians Gone Wild".
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The L Word, 2x11: "Loud & Proud".
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The L Word, 1x12: "Locked Up".
  9. 9.0 9.1 The L Word, 3x12: "Left Hand of the Goddess"
  10. Generation Q, 2x04: "Lake House".
  11. The L Word, 4x09: "Lacy Lilting Lyrics".
  12. The L Word, 1x06: "Losing It".
  13. 13.0 13.1 The L Word, 1x05: "Lawfully".
  14. The L Word: Interrogation Tapes.
  15. The L Word, 1x13: "Limb from Limb".
  16. The L Word, 1x03: "Longing".

External links[]