TLC Knows How to Make ‘Em: Reality TV at Its Best

When it comes to reality TV, it seems like TLC does it best. They somehow manage to produce the most binge-worthy series ever. We’ve decided to compile a list of our favorite TLC shows, which of course, airs out all the dirty laundry of each family or couple on the shows. So, get ready for an all-encompassing compilation of reality TV goodness. What’s on the menu? Well, we have 19 Kids and Counting, Sister Wives, 90 Day Fiancé, Kate plus 8, Cake Boss, Here comes honey Boo Boo, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, Say Yes to the Dress. 

The Duggar Family / Whitney Way Thorn / Honey Boo Boo / Adam and Danielle Busby with their six daughters

Source: Twitter

These days, reality television has become incredibly successful. Perhaps it’s because there is something for everyone: Learn how to model on America’s Next Top Model, sing on American Idol, test your business skills on The Apprentice, or find love on The Bachelor. The choices are endless, but appearing on one of these shows can be your big break. Take the Kardashians, for example, or the One Direction boys who started on X-Factor. So, let us begin.

19 Kids and Counting

This show started as 17 Kids and Counting, but as the name goes to show, they kept counting. It changed to 18 before landing on 19 kids and counting. First of all, that is A LOT of childbirth. Second, it seems like TLC unquestionably loves to create shows that highlight hectic family dynamics.

Jim and Michelle Duggar stand with all of their children behind them.

Source: Twitter

19 Kids and Counting highlighted the trials, and tribulations of life in the Duggar household. Much like the Kardashians starting names with the letter K, the Duggars named all their children with J names. They are a devoutly Baptist family, which makes sense with all the procreation!

Even the Duggar Family Has Scandals

Sure, even the Duggar family would end up dealing with their fair share of heartache on national television. Michelle Duggar gave birth 17 times over a period of 21 and a half years, plus the next couple of children… no wonder why TLC wanted to capitalize on it!

The Duggar family, including spouses and grandchildren, pose for a family photo.

Source: Facebook

The family was involved in their state legislature in Arkansas, and even though their scandals were not quite political, they were met with some of the typical scandals you would expect to see with politicians. Later on, one of their oldest sons was accused of molestation and assault on set.

Meet the Duggars

19 Kids and Counting was a TLC reality show focused on a religious family with 19 children! If the fact that they are raising so many kids wasn’t intriguing enough, the Duggars brought their kids up in an unconventional way. Due to their religious beliefs, all the children were homeschooled and had to follow extremely strict guidelines when it came to dating and how they dressed.

A promotional photo of the entire Duggar family for their show “19 and Counting”.

Source: TLC

After a huge family scandal, TLC immediately canceled the show and replaced it with a spin-off titled Counting On. The new series followed the older Duggar kids navigating their adult lives and having children of their own. The Duggar family has changed and expanded since the show ended, and we got the scoop!

This is the family now, with some crazy facts about the show, rules the kids have to follow, and what it’s like dating a Duggar!

The Television Debut

Fans who have followed the show since the very beginning might remember that it started off as a one-hour special called 14 Children and Pregnant Again! It followed the Duggar family anxiously awaiting the birth of baby number 15- Jackson Duggar. But who discovered the family in the first place?

Family Portrait of the Duggar family standing outside and arranged by height.

Source: Twitter

On a fateful day in 2002, Jim Bob was involved in public matters. The New York Times got a hold of a photo of the supersized family heading to the polls. People were so interested in how a family of 13 made things work, so The Ladies Home Journal followed them for interviews. Little did they know that the family was almost double in size with 21 members if you include grandchildren and spouses into the mix.

Faith Must Be Emphasized

The interviews got a lot of attention and eventually caught the eye of executives at Discovery Health. That’s when the company offered to do a special about the family, and they agreed—as long as their faith was highlighted. Little did they know that the family would become so popular, leading to more episodes.

Promotional photo of the Duggar family for their Tv show.

Source: TLC

After the success of the first special, the family returned for another one entitled Raising 16 Children. It included the birth of Johannah, Duggar, child number 16! Three more specials came out after that: 16 Children and Moving In, On the Road with 16 Children, and the last one followed the family when the 17th Duggar kid, Jennifer, was born.

Sister Wives Stars Speak Out About the Marriage

When it comes to reality TV, the most interesting and successful ones are those that give us a glimpse into the lives and situations that most people don’t really relate to. That’s exactly what’s happening with TLC’s Sister Wives, which has been giving us monogamous folk a peek into what it’s like to live a polygamous life (since it started in 2010). The show centers on Kody Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn.

The Brown family posing together outdoors / Kody, Meri, Christine, and Janelle posing around Robyn holding her newborn baby in bed / Meri and Robyn sitting on the couch / Meri posing on a ledge made out of rocks

Source: TLC / Instagram / TLC / Instagram

51-year-old Kody is only legally married to one of those wives, though, which is why he calls the rest his “sister wives” – the term for polygamous wives – his “spiritual” wives. They have been living happily together for quite a while now. There’s no shortage of drama – there are 18 kids in total – which means there are some secrets to be kept (and thus revealed).

Kody and Robyn: The Bonafide Couple

41-year-old Robyn was the last wife to join the family and is currently his only legal wife. She joined the family in the first season of Sister Wives as the fourth wife, causing a lot of friction amongst the other women, especially with Christine who was super jealous. Kody has the most chemistry with Robyn, even though he initially wasn’t attracted to her.

Robyn and Kody Brown on their wedding day

Robyn and Kody Brown. Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

“She looked like a soccer mom,” he said on the show. “She had a van, three kids, and was divorced. I thought I didn’t need a van, a divorced woman, and three kids in my life — that’s just trouble.” Still, they legally tied the knot and became very close. Fans of the show can tell that Robyn is the favored wife.

Kody and Meri: The Broken Couple

Kody’s relationship with his first wife is the most dramatic and recently ended for good. Meri WAS Kody’s only legal wife until they divorced in 2014 (after which he married Robyn). They got married in 1990 and share a daughter together named Mariah. Being the “OG” of the sister wives unit, Meri had to deal with all the awkward jealousy of having new wives be added to her existing family.

Meri and Kody on their wedding day / Meri and Kody posing together

Source: Twitter / TLC

Meri is well-acquainted with polygamy, having been born into a polygamist family herself. She knew exactly what she was signing up for, but the reality of it was a lot different than what she expected going in. In 2014, after she and Kody divorced on paper so he could marry Robyn and adopt her kids, everything changed.

A Scandalous End to the Marriage

After the “switch,” Meri felt an emotional separation from her husband. “It’s the end of something that we had had, in a way, for 24 and a half years,” Meri said on the show. In 2015, she started a new relationship with a man she met online relationship named “Sam.” That Sam actually turned out to be a woman.

Meri Brown taking a selfie outdoors / Kody Brown during a TV interview with a man bun

Source: Instagram / TLC

You see, Meri didn’t realize that she was a victim of a catfish scheme. Meri discovered that who she thought was a male online lover was actually a woman who wanted to get details (secrets) about the Brown family. “I never met this person, and I regret being drawn into this situation, but I hope because of it I can help others who find themselves in similar circumstances,” Meri said.

The End of the Road

Despite the scandal, the embarrassment, and the whole catfish ordeal, Meri stated that the Brown family will stick together. Still, Kody was upset when he found out about it. He went so far as to admit on the show that he no longer wanted “to be intimate” with Meri. Kody and Meri tried to work things out, but all signs were pointing to the end of the road.

Meri Brown sitting on the couch looking upset

Source: TLC

On the most recent season, Meri admitted that their marriage is “over” and has been “pretty rocky for a while,” while Kody “regrets” their relationship. Kody said he feels as though he was “deceived into a relationship that was very different than what [he] expected.”

90 Day Fiancé

Fans just can’t seem to get enough of TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé, and, honestly, we can’t blame you. It’s the perfect mix of chaos, drama and, of course, love. I mean, who doesn’t love watching couples jump into a relationship before they’re ready? But with seven seasons (and seven spin-off shows!), it’s hard to keep track of everyone.

Source: Instagram / Twitter / TLC / Twitter

So, the question we’re all asking ourselves is, how many couples stayed together when the cameras stopped rolling? If you’re familiar with the show, you know that it’s hard for some of these couples to turn off the drama. We’re taking a look at our favorite couples from the 90 Day Fiancé franchise. Did your favorite make the list?

Angela Deem and Michael Ilesanmi

Status: Still Together

We first met this couple when Angela flew to Nigeria to meet Michael in person, and by the end of the trip, they were engaged. The couple is known for their crazy arguments, which makes for great TV, but there’s no denying that they truly love each other. Angela and Michael officially tied the knot in Nigeria in January 2020, but unfortunately, they still live on separate continents.

Michael and Angela excited on their wedding day

Source: TLC

A month after the wedding, the U.S. travel ban was widened to six more countries, including Nigeria, making it impossible for Michael to obtain a spousal visa, according to NPR. These two fan favorites need a miracle if they’re going to live in Georgia anytime soon. “Getting rid of him is not easy. Because that’s real love, you know,” Angela told Entertainment Tonight in 2020.

Eric Rosenbrook and Leida Margaretha

Status: Still Together

Eric and Leida were one of the most controversial and dramatic couples in the show’s history. The single mother of one and the divorced father of three met after Eric posted an ad on an international dating site. It was love at first sight for Eric and Leida, but not everyone was on board.

Eric and Leida posing on hotel steps on their wedding day / Leida and Eric taking a selfie on vacation

Source: Facebook / Instagram

Leida and Eric’s daughter Tasha DID NOT get along, which led to Leida filling for a four-year restraining order. Today, the restraining order has been dropped, and the two bonded over their love for cosplay. Despite Eric and Leida’s on and off-screen drama, including threats from the show’s fans, the couple is still married and living in their new home in Wisconsin with Leida’s son.

Paul Staehle and Karine Martins

Status: Still Together

After hitting it off online, Paul flew to Brazil to meet Karine, and the couple soon got hitched. However, it was far from happily ever after. With the combination of a language barrier, multiple allegations of cheating, and miscarriages, this couple experienced it all. In November 2020, Paul revealed that he and his family were stuck in Brazil as Karine’s green card was stolen.

Karine and Paul posing with their newborn baby

Source: Instagram / Paul Jason Staehle

However, fans believe this situation was convenient, seeing as Karine hated living in Kentucky. It was also reported that the couple officially left the TLC show. However, Paul insists they were not fired. He claims the network agreed to give the two their much-needed space to work out personal issues away from the camera.

Steven Frend and Olga Koshimbetova

Status: Broken Up

Just because a couple makes it to the end of a 90 Day Fiancé season together doesn’t mean they are meant to be together. Steven and Olga finished Season Six and even got hitched in August 2019, but it has since been revealed that the couple is no longer together.

Olga and Steven holding their marriage license posing for a selfie with their son

Source: Instagram

“People keep asking if Olga and I are [together], but the answer is we went into this super blindly,” Steven wrote on his Instagram story. He went on to explain that this journey taught them a lot, “but we’re better at being co-parents to our boy. We are both civil and cause no drama because our son’s mental health is the priority.” The two have yet to release the specific reason for their split.

Jon and Kate, Plus 8

In a world where people want to relate to the stars they see on television, reality television has found its calling. Reality television is a genre that cannot be easily defined. A reality show can be funny, it can be terrifying, it can be soothing, and it can also be anticlimactic. Fortunately, the TV gods are always cooking something different up.

Kate Gosselin / The Gosselin family / Kate Gosselin and her eight children

Source: Pinterest / People / Tumblr

Enter Jon and Kate Plus 8, a show about a family with too many kids to count. Well, not too many to count – just a unique family dynamic. Jon and Kate Gosselin started their family with twin daughters and later ended up welcoming a set of sextuplets – that’s right, giving the family a total of eight children. This is the story of their rise to fame and beyond.

How It All Began

Could you imagine running a home that is packed to the brim? No, I’m not talking about a hoarder’s house, but rather a home packed with arguably too many children. The Gosselin family, headed by Jon and Kate Gosselin, was overflowing with children after their first set of multiple children became so much more.

Jon and Kate Gosselin pose with their eight children wearing leis and dressed in white.

Source: TLC

The Gosselins became a family of eight children, ten people total, when they had a set of sextuplets – that’s six children in one womb. They slowly but surely became a family that created chaos on screen that wasn’t too uncommon on reality TV; they made it into their own beast.

Supportive Community

Jon and Kate Gosselin were not randomly discovered by TLC, even if that’s what you think happened. Living with eight children was hectic and a major adjustment. The couple relied on volunteers from their community to help keep their busy home afloat, and luckily the community came to their aid.

Jon and Kate are trying to take a sweet family photo with the kids while out at the park.

Source: US Magazine

The family started out with an hour-long special on Discovery Health, centered around life raising eight children and being a family of ten. There are so many details that go into raising a family with that many children, and as Discovery is known for nature documentaries, they ventured into a new kind of nature film.

Thanks, Discovery Health!

Of course, Discovery Health wanted to highlight the miracle of a family stretching themselves thin to take care of their family, even if it was more than they bargained for. Jon and Kate Gosselin were struggling with having a child on their own, so they turned to fertility treatments. This treatment led to the birth of their twins, Mady and Cara.

Mady and Cara Gosselin pose for a photo together.

Source: Facebook

Kate begged (and Jon emphasized the word “beg”) Jon for just one more child, and they received far more than they bargained for. When the couple appeared on Oprah with all eight of their munchkins in 2008, they opened up about their initial reaction to finding out just how many babies to expect this time around.

The Oprah Show

During their 2008 appearance on Oprah, Kate reflected on the moment she knew she was carrying more than one child. Five and a half weeks into her pregnancy, they were meeting with their doctors. She was already in the hospital because of complications that typically came with having multiple children at a time.

Jon and Kate, along with their eight children, go on Oprah.

Source: Oprah

Kate stated that she knew it was, at the very least, another set of twins. As soon as the ultrasound began, they could see more circles on the screen than they could count. The doctors continued to talk about it, but when they kept talking to each other instead of the couple, that’s when Kate knew something was up.

Cake Boss

For over ten years now, TLC’s Cake Boss has been giving us a closer look at the daily operations of Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. Buddy Valastro is the bakery owner and cake extraordinaire who took over the family business after his father passed away. He works with his mother, four older sisters, a bunch of cousins, second cousins, and brothers-in-law. As some of you may know, working with family is no easy feat. Things are bound to get complicated and create a lot of drama.

Buddy Valastro

Photo by Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

Carlo’s Bake Shop has grown immensely, expanding production to a bigger facility and opening up stores in other locations. If you watch the show, it probably took just one incredible cake to hook you and pull you in. However, you may be surprised to find out some of the sketchy things that go on behind the scenes.

Here is the truth about Cake Boss.

It’s a Struggle to Make Lobster Tails

If you are a fan of Cake Boss, you probably already know that one of Carlo’s Bake Shop’s signature pastries are lobster tails. However, that doesn’t mean the bakery employees feel confident about making them flawlessly every time. In fact, they are actually difficult to make and tend to stress out the bakers.

Joe Faugno making dough in the back of the Cake Boss bakery / The baked goods on display with lobster tails on the top shelf

Photo by The Washington Post, Getty Images / Walter McBride, Corbis, Getty Images

Nicole Vales, who deals with the bakery’s public relations, revealed in an interview that “Buddy himself has said working with it has brought many a man to tears out of frustration.” Yikes! It goes to show that nothing so perfect and delicious comes easily.

Not As It Seems

Although the thriving bake shop seems to get positive attention on the screen, not everything is how it seems. According to Tripadvisor, many of Carlo’s customers admitted that they had had negative experiences there.

Buddy standing next to a plate of cannoli’s and other pastries in the back kitchen / Buddy holding a birthday style cannoli blowing out the candle

Source: Twitter

One review said, “I wanted to taste the famous cannoli… What a waste of money. Tasteless filling, and the crust was not that good.” Another comment reads, “Ate an éclair and lobster tail. Both did not taste fresh at all – like they had been on the window for a week.” If my opinion matters, I had a chance to go to the bakery around Thanksgiving, and my pumpkin spiced cupcake was delicious.

Carlo’s Bake Shop Is Overrated

Another Tripadvisor review described the famous bakery as “extremely overrated.” I guess it’s tough to differentiate between some people’s personal tastes. Obviously, foods can be very subjective, and not everyone will agree on what tastes good, but good service is a whole other story.

Magic Johnson standing next to a five-tiered cake which Buddy made for him

Photo by Laura Cavanaugh / Time Warner Cable / Getty Images

Nevertheless, the review said,: “The cannoli was just totally DISGUSTING! Service-wise, you could not say the staff are pleasant or friendly, but I’m not sure they even get time as they are so busy. Being served definitely felt like being on a conveyor belt, no time to ask a question or anything, you had to have your order on the tip of your tongue.”

The Baked Goods Are Made in a Factory

Contrary to popular belief, the pastries are made in a factory, not on site. Considering the way it’s portrayed on the show, this one really surprised me. It appears as though the staff works together intensely to bake the goods without any outside help.

Two workers putting together cakes

Photo by Walter McBride / Corbis / Getty Images

But Heather, the blogger of Life in Leggings, talked about her experience in 2016. She wrote about how she toured the Carlo’s Bake Shop Lackawanna Cake Factory & Filming Studio in Jersey City: “Everything seen in the bakeries is made in the factory and then shipped to the bakery locations to complete the final touches in-store.”

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – A Reality Star

The sassy 5-year-old made her reality show debut on Toddlers & Tiaras and was immediately a fan favorite. Many people thought the excitement surrounding her would wear off, and so would her 15 minutes of fame. However, she was so popular that TLC created a reality show focused on the pageant queen and her family called, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. It followed the youngster navigating the world of pageantry, but the focus quickly shifted to the rest of the family. Like everyone in the public eye, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the family, but one specific scandal got the show canceled.

Alana

Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Honey Boo Boo went on to appear on even more reality shows. She was featured on her mother’s reality show, Mama June: From Hot to Not, where her mother lost an impressive amount of weight. She also starred on Dancing With the Stars Jr., and fans were so excited to see her on stage performing again. Growing up in the public eye comes with criticism, backlash, and haters. Sadly, the children aren’t excused from the trolls, and Honey Boo Boo has been a victim of cyberbullying. Whether it’s her spunky stage presence or her wacky family, people can’t seem to get enough of Honey Boo Boo.

Just a Toddler in a Tiara

With a perfect pageant smile, natural stage presence, and her love for chicken nuggets, Honey Boo Boo was America’s sweetheart. She made her reality television debut on Toddlers in Tiaras accompanied by her stage mom, Mama June.

Alana 'Honey Boo Boo' Thompson and her mother June Shannon standing on a throne as Alana is crowned “Little Miss Extra.”

Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

She won viewers’ hearts with her sassy attitude and, since then, she has become a household name with her own reality show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. With her significant role in pop culture, Honey Boo Boo seems to have it all: pretty dresses, fame, money, and a goofy family. However, her life isn’t as glamorous as it seems. There are some dark secrets in the world of this pageant queen.

Season One Controversy

When we first saw Honey Boo Boo on screen, there was no denying how entertaining she was. This girl was seriously reality show gold. However, fans were outraged to see that her high energy came from her special drink called “Go-Go Juice.” Mama June would give her this concoction of Mountain Dew and Red Bull to hype her up before she went on stage.

Little Honey Boo Boo is scarfing down some “Go-Go Juice.”

Source: TLC

But things got even worse in Season One of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo when a video was leaked of 6-year-old Alana Thompson dancing on a college bar for money. This is extremely inappropriate on so many levels, and the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services got involved. After an investigation, the case was eventually dropped.

Mama June’s Sketchy Past

Reality show lovers all over America couldn’t get enough of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and all the drama that came along with it. But it gave viewers an inside look at the Thompson family and all the skeletons in their closet. In fact, Mama June had quite the past.

TV Personality June Shannon attends the

Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images

In 2008, the stage mom spent time behind bars after missing a total of $634 in child support payments. She was only required to spend four days in jail at the time, but she was facing even more, jail time if she did not come up with all the money she owed.

Sugar Bear Isn’t So Sweet

Alana’s father, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson, is the comic relief of the family. He is quiet, comes off as passive, and doesn’t really say much, but when he does open his mouth, he’s usually making some hilarious comment. However, Sugar Bear isn’t as innocent as he seems; he actually served five years in prison.

Mike Thompson and June Shannon visit

Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

His jail time was more than a decade before the show aired, but fans still didn’t appreciate watching a criminal get all this attention on television, especially after the crimes he committed. In 1998, Sugar Bear’s true colors came out when he allegedly stole from various campsites and even set one unlucky camper on fire!

My Big Fat Fabulous Life

If you’re a reality television fan and enjoy guilty pleasure shows like “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” or “The Real Housewives,” you’ve probably seen “My Big Fat Fabulous Life.” After “The Hills” gave us a glimpse of what it’s like to live in Los Angeles and all the drama that comes with it, people couldn’t get enough.

Whitney Way Thore / Whitney Way Thore / Whitney Way Thore.

Source: TLC / Instagram, @withneywaythore / Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

While many shows like to showcase skinny girls, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” brought a little twist to the reality genre. In 2015, when MBFFL first premiered, Whitney Way Thore took center stage. She rose to fame with a radio show, but it wasn’t until she started uploading dancing videos that the internet fell in love with her.

Whitney Way Thore’s Truth

You may think you know everything about Whitney Way Thore thanks to “My Big Fat Fabulous life,” but there is still a lot you don’t know about the star. As it turns out, the reality icon always struggled with her weight, and for a reason. She was diagnosed with a health condition.

Movie still of Whitney talking about her health issues.

Source: TLC

She spent years battling polycystic ovarian syndrome. One of its main side effects is weight gain. It is unclear what causes a person to develop PCOS, but Whitney has been living with it since college. She was doing daily dance routines and still gained 200 pounds, so Whitney knew something was wrong.

Kids Can Be So Cruel

It’s easy to think Whitney Way Thore is one of the most confident people on reality television, but she didn’t always have such great self-esteem. In fact, it took her a long time to learn to love herself. There have been several examples of people blabbing about her size on MBFFL.

Whitney as a kid dressed up in blue feathers.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

Sadly, this wasn’t anything new for Whitney. In her memoir, the star confessed that people would call her “Baby Beluga.” The other kids at school would always make fun of her since she weighed 190 pounds before her growth spurt.

Her Secret Eating Disorder

We all know it’s better to ignore the bullies, but that is definitely easier said than done. Whitney Way Thore spent her entire life being made fun of; people would constantly talk about her weight and call her names. It’s no surprise that these hurtful words took a toll on her self-confidence.

CeCe Olisa, Loey Lane, Chante Burkett, Ashley Nell Tipton, and Whitney Way Thore are giving a lecture onstage.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

At a certain point, young Whitney tried taking control of her body and developed an eating disorder. For years, the future reality star was in an unhealthy spiral. She would restrict all her food and then eat everything in sight. In her late 20s, Whitney understood what it really meant to take control of her life and kicked the habit.

A Doctor Is Her Biggest Hater

Being in the spotlight means you have to hear everyone’s opinion on how you live your life; it comes with the territory. Whitney is absolutely no exception. Starring in “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” really gives people something to talk about. But all the years of criticism didn’t prepare Whitney for one particular letter.

Whitney is talking to the camera on one of her episodes.

Photo by: Pinterest

A Californian doctor wrote to Whitney about her “disgusting existence.” Yikes! Talk about harsh! But the doctor went on to tell her about how she needs to get control of her “extreme” obesity” and “get out of denial.” The star shared the mean letter on social media.

Say Yes to the Dress

The hit television show ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ has followed and documented many brides’ hunt for their dream wedding gown for almost 13 years now. It is based in Kleinfeld, an iconic bridal store with roots in Brooklyn, New York. Not it’s located in Manhattan after owners Mara Urshel, and Ronnie Rothstein moved in 2005. Kleinfeld has been attracting brides from all over the country for decades – and ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ has only increased its popularity.

'Say Yes to the Dress' featuring Kleinfeld consultant Randy Fenoli

Source: tlc.com

The binge-worthy show’s success can be attributed to several factors, such as the charismatic Kleinfeld consultants, the entertaining brides and their entourages, and – of course – the multitude of stunningly beautiful wedding gowns on show. However, there’s a lot of continuous hard work and long hours put in to create the show we know and love – and we’ve uncovered 40 of the best behind-the-scenes facts that reveal all.

Be Prepared for Questions

Being on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ doesn’t happen accidentally – you have to apply specifically, and it’s actually a fairly lengthy process. When you first register an interest in being on the show, you have to be prepared to answer a series of questions – and you’ll be held to account for them if you’re selected!

The producers are picky about who they let on the show, as they want to make good television

Source: Twitter.com

The questions that applicants are asked include: ‘Have you ever been convicted of a crime and, if so, can you elaborate?’, ‘Can you describe yourself in three words?’ ‘Who is paying for your gown?’, ‘Who is influencing your decision regarding your gown?’, and ‘Have you filmed for or appeared on another reality show in the last year?’

Like a Needle in a Haystack

However, completing the fairly intense questionnaire application doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the show – far from it, in fact. Apparently, ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ receives more than one thousand applicants per season – so your chances of getting picked are pretty slim, unfortunately. Typically, applicants wait roughly two to four weeks to find out if they made the cut.

Thousands of brides want a chance to appear on the show

Source: businessinsider.sg

“The production company very carefully vets the bride because everybody wants to be on the show,” consultant Randy Fenoli said in an interview with Good Housekeeping. “We have to make sure this is really a bride who is really getting married with a real story and not just somebody who wants to be on TV.”

Filming Only Happens on Certain Days

If you are lucky enough to be selected to appear on the show, you’ll have to free up a weekday, as ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ is primarily filmed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. That’s because Kleinfeld is likely to be quieter on those days compared with the weekend – plus, the consultants tend to have more availability.

Not everyone in the store is there for the show

Source: diply.com

It makes a lot of sense – although we’re not sure why Wednesday isn’t a good filming day! It also means all the brides that didn’t make the cut still have a chance to see the filming process during their own appointment – or even appear in the background – if they book on those days.

19 Kids and Counting – Getting Their own Reality Show

In 2008, the family finally got their own reality show. We watched the family take on New York City in episode one, and the rest of the series focused on Josh Duggar and his upcoming wedding. The show went on for 10 seasons before getting canceled due to a disgraceful scandal involving Josh.

Josh Duggar and his family sitting on the front porch.

Source: Facebook

The show wrapped up in May 2015, but fans of the show didn’t miss much. They returned to the screen that December with a spinoff show entitled Counting On, which focused on Jessa and Jill Duggar navigating adulthood. Season 11 of the show premiered in July of 2020.

Counting On and On

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar stopped having children after child number 19, but that didn’t mean more babies didn’t come into their huge family. Season 10 of their spinoff series showed viewers that there are so many kids and more on the way! There was a lot of baby-related content on Counting On.

Promotional Photo of the Dagger kids and their spouses for their new show Counting On.

Source: TLC

The show also included Jinger and Jeremy moving from Texas to Los Angeles, California. It also featured their Grandma Mary’s devastating death. If you are wondering about other members of the Duggar family and all their babies, we got them all right here for you.

Josh Duggar

On March 3, 1988, the eldest of the 19 children was welcomed into the world: Josh Duggar. He is an activist who is married to Anna Keller; we watched their union on our screens. The couple now has a total of six children together. Their fourth daughter, Meredith, was born on July 16th, 2005 – the exact day 19 Kids and Counting was officially canceled by TLC.

Josh Duggar posing with his pregnant wife, Anna.

Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

Josh Duggar got caught in quite a mess with scandals and inappropriate behavior. We’ll get into details on that later. He doesn’t appear on Counting On and seems to be lying low.

John-David Duggar

John-David came with a twin sister, Jana. The babies were born on January 12th, 1990, and their parents felt so blessed after dealing with a devastating miscarriage. John David tied the knot with Abbie-Grace Burnett after a whirlwind courtship. The couple had their first daughter on January 7th, 2020 and they couldn’t be happier.

John David Duggar embracing his wife, Abbie Grace.

Source: TLC

“We are on cloud nine about welcoming our own little Duggar into the world,” they revealed to E! News. “It really is amazing to think about being parents and having our child to raise. We are thankful that God has blessed us with this new life, and we look forward to taking on this new adventure!”

Jana Duggar

John-David’s twin is the beautiful Jana Duggar. Unlike her twin brother, she is not married. Being part of such a conservative family, she sticks out a bit, but she is seemingly happy on her own. She posted a funny picture with a sign reading “PLEASE FORM A SINGLE LINE,” with an arrow pointing toward her.

Jana Duggar sitting on a couch during a TV interview.

Source: TLC

“There have been different guys who have come along and asked, but they haven’t been, I don’t know, the right one. It’s like this weird in-between stage. I’m not a younger one, but I’m not older, married one with kids,” she shared. It looks like she’ll be ready as soon as Mr. Right comes along.

Jill Duggar

Fans were surprised when Jill broke the tradition of speaking out about other members of her tight-knit family. She exchanged vows with Derick Dillard. Jill admitted that they have been keeping their distance from the family. They now have two children.

Jill Duggar with her husband and two boys outside their home.

Source: Instagram/@jillmdillard

“The first few years of our marriage, we spent time and money working towards opportunities only to hit a dead end when we’d be told, ‘Well, you’re not allowed to do that,” Derick told People about the fallout. “We’ve had some disagreements, but we’re working towards healing definitely and restoration,” Jill explained on their YouTube channel. Yes, they have a YouTube channel.

Jessa Duggar

Fans have been speculating about whether or not Jessa Duggar is expecting a new baby. There hasn’t been an official announcement sharing the news, but there are some notable changes in her photos. In 2014, she walked down the aisle with Ben Seewald, and they couldn’t wait to start a family together. Their first child was born exactly four days after their first wedding anniversary.

Jessa Duggar and husband, along with their three boys on the swings.

Source: Instagram/@jessaseewald

In 2019, they had their second child, and fans can’t help but wonder if a new one is coming soon. Duggar followers noticed that Jessa’s Instagram pictures don’t show her body from the waist down, and the shooting angles were changed. I guess we’ll know in a few months.

Jinger Duggar

Jinger Duggar married ex-soccer player Jeremy Vuolo. The couple welcomed their first baby, Felicity, on November 5th, 2016. In May 2020, they revealed that Jinger is pregnant once again after experiencing a miscarriage last fall. Thankfully, their spirits are looking up.

A pregnant Jinger Duggar and husband Jeremy and their first child.

Source: Instagram/@jessaseewaldjingervuolo

“In those times when your faith is tried, you just run to God all the more,” Jinger explained to People. “It was such a hard time, but Jer just really supported me, and it was such a tremendous blessing to have many people who loved on us in that difficulty.”

Joseph Duggar

Joseph Duggar is Michelle and Jim Bob’s 7th child, born on January 20th, 1995. In 2017, he married Kendra Caldwell and the pair seem to be extremely happy together. So far, they have two children, one boy and one girl.

Joseph and his wife Kendra drinking hot chocolate out of big mugs in front of their faces that say mom and dad on them.

Source: DuggarFamily.com

But it won’t be that way for long. On August 19th, the couple revealed that a tiebreaker will be arriving in 2021. The exciting news didn’t come as a surprise. After all, this is the Duggar family. Do you think it will be a boy or a girl? We have to wait just a few more months to find out!

Josiah Duggar

Josiah Duggar is Duggar child number eight, born on August 28th, 1996. He and his wife share adorable photos on social media, but there are rumors surrounding his marriage. In 2018, Josiah exchanged vows with Lauren Swanson. They had their first daughter, Bella Milagro, in 2019. Before their engagement was announced, Josiah was dating another girl.

Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson holding their daughter before their house.

Source: Instagram/@ josiahduggarfans

Rumor has it that he only married Lauren because his dad forced him. Hollywood Gossip reported that, according to a source, Josiah may have agreed to the union to keep the money coming. Critics also claim that the pair lack chemistry and may split up soon. But only time will tell.

Joy-Anna Duggar

Born on October 28th, 1997, Joy-Anna Duggar is Michelle and Jim Bob’s 9th child. Joy got hitched to Austin Forsyth in 2017. The following year, they had their son Gideon. They had their second baby, Evelyn, on August 21st, 2020. The couple seems to be happily married, but there are always going to be haters out there.

Joy-Anna out in a field with her family a beautiful family portrait.

Source: Facebook

Joy isn’t bothered by the critics, though, and she figured out a way to respond to the critics. She just adds smiley faces to her sarcastic comments. No better way to get back at the trolls than not caring about their rude, judgy opinions.

No Kids Yet

Joy-Anna Duggar is the one who got hitched most recently. After her, there is another set of twins, Jedidiah and Jeremiah. The boys are enjoying their lives as bachelors. Jason Duggar is number 12 and is actually starting his own construction company. James Duggar was born in 2001 and is looked at as the “funcle” by his nieces and nephews.

A large family group photo of the entire Duggar Family in the backyard.

Source: Instagram/@duggarfam

Justin Duggar was born on November 15th, 2002. Last month, he went public with his girlfriend Claire, and his family fully supports his relationship. Jackson Duggar is still a youngster about to get his driver’s license while his little sister Johanna continues to make new friends. Can you believe little Jenny is a teenager now? And the youngest, Josie, had some complications at birth but is now happier and healthier than ever.

Sister Fights

All sisters fight, and it’s no different when it comes to the Duggers, even the closest sisters. Janna and Jessa’s feuds made waves because we all go to see it play out on their reality show as well as on social media. In their memoir Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships, Jana revealed the reason they two argued was that Jessa liked to challenge her big sister’s authority. Jana explained that she can get bossy at times and liked to tell her little siblings what to do.

All 4 of the Duggar daughters embracing one and the other for a promotional photo of the show Counting On.

Source: TLC

Since they are adults now, you would assume most of the feuding happens privately. However, when it comes to Jill and Jessa, the two have a tendency of following and unfollowing each other on social media platforms.

No Texting Significant Others

Ever since the rise of smartphones, dating has become much easier for kids with overprotective parents. You don’t have to worry about family members listening in on your phone calls or reading your messages (as long as you send everything through Snapchat). Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for the Duggar kids.

The entire Duggar family sitting outside with their instruments, a cute family portrait.

Source: TLC

The kids aren’t allowed to text their significant others (unless they are married). If they do, parents Jim Bob and Michelle must be included in the text chat. So basically, if they want to text a boyfriend or girlfriend, mom and dad need to chaperone the conversation. This way, the children will be on their best behavior and not be tempted with anything immoral.

Josh Duggar Was a Catfish

If you know anything about the family, you have surely heard about Josh Duggar’s two major scandals. Not only was he charged with inappropriate behavior (sexual harassment) towards his sisters when they were young. He also cheated on his wife quite frequently. If that wasn’t bad enough, Josh made some more damaging decisions.

Josh Duggar speaking before an audience.

Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

The oldest Duggar child created an Ashley Madison account so that he could find relationships outside of his marriage. He then proceeded to use other men’s pictures and catfish women. One of the men he used pictures of is a DJ in California who is currently suing Josh for damages and defamation.

There Are Technically 20 Duggar Children

As we know, the reality show is called 19 Kids and Counting because the family has 19 biological children. But in November 2016, Jim Bob and Michelle adopted Tyler – their 20th child. Before you think that the show missed something as big as an adoption, Tyler was already part of the family.

Tyler Duggar smiling for the camera next to a can covered in snow.

Source: Facebook

Tyler is Michelle’s great-nephew, and the family was granted temporary guardianship over him for two months before the adoption was official. His biological mother gave birth to him as a teenager and couldn’t support or take care of a baby. Sadly, Tyler’s first guardian suffered a stroke, and with no safe environment to grow up in, Aunty Michelle stepped in, and the family welcomed him into the clan.

The Wild Child

If you’re a Duggar kid, being dubbed the “wild child” isn’t a difficult task, and they are likely way tamer than the black sheep in an ordinary family. The Duggars don’t have to stay out past curfew or disobey their parents to be branded the bad seed; they just have to break one of the many rules. When Jinger Duggar got married and left her parents’ home, she started pushing the limits.

Jinger Dugger pushing a stroller in black and white checkered shorts/ Jinger Duggar caring her daughter on the street while wearing ripped jeans.

Source: Twitter

The daughters in the family are required to wear knee-length dresses or skirts in public; pants and shorts are forbidden. This rule is there so that the girls won’t tempt men when they are out and about. Jinger decided this rule wasn’t for her and has been photographed multiple times wearing pants.

The Single Twin

Since two of the older Duggar daughters are married with children, it makes sense that casual viewers of their reality show assume that all of the oldest children are married, especially since the family encourages marrying young and popping out babies.

Jena Duggar enjoying a sunny day on the lake.

Source: Instagram/@janamduggar

With that said, the oldest Duggar daughter, Jana, is 30 years old and “still” not married. There were courtship rumors surrounding her dating life, but she seems to be just fine on her own. Jana is a trained midwife and even worked as a firefighter volunteer. She loves to help people when she’s not taking care of her younger siblings and nieces and nephews.

The Crew Loves Them

As soon as someone is on a reality show and thrown into the spotlight, it’s only a matter of time before internet sleuths start digging up every negative thing that they can about them. But the Duggars got some positivity. One of the very first sources was the reality show’s crew, who spend a lot of time with the family.

The Duggar family sitting for a portrait, all dressed in red clothing.

Source: TLC

But the crew of 19 Kids and Counting only had good things to say about the Duggars. They even praised Jim Bob and Michelle for their patience and strength in raising 19 kids. The children even look at crew members as part of their family, kind of like extra aunts and uncles. The crew often helps out and even picks up extra diapers for them.

Why They Stopped Using Birth Control

If there is one thing the Duggars are famous for, it’s their belief that using birth control is a sin. I mean, nobody is popping out 19 kids while on birth control. Since they view pregnancy as a gift from God, they believe that it shouldn’t be prevented. Therefore, birth control is out.

young Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar posing for a studio photo.

Source: Duggarfamily.com

But what you may not know is that Jim Bob and Michelle did use birth control early in their marriage. They didn’t want kids until they were together for a few years and financially stable- which makes total sense. After Michelle had a miscarriage, the couple went to a doctor who (incorrectly) told them that birth control allows people to conceive but then aborts the baby. They immediately stopped using any form of birth control.

The Kids Having Kids

19 Kids and Counting has been off the air for a little while now. But big Duggar fans out there can catch the family on their spin-off show, Counting On. At first, it was just Jill and Jessa: Counting On, which followed two of the daughters navigating married life. To accommodate the other adult Duggar children who made appearances on the show, the title was changed.

A photo shoot the elder Duggar sisters did when they were all in different stages of pregnancy.

Source: TLC

It’s interesting to see the kids all grown up and hit big milestones – weddings, children, and the obstacles that all adults generally go through. Josh Duggar is noticeably absent from the spin-off show. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as he is the main reason the family’s original show was canceled.

Don’t Go Under the Knife

Since the Duggars have conservative values, it’s safe to assume they don’t want to go under the knife. These beliefs were passed down to their children, and the Duggar daughters went on record saying that they are against plastic surgery.

The Duggar Girls posing for a photo outside.

Source: Instagram/@@duggarfam

They claim that your nose, lips, and breast aren’t meant to be changed because that’s how God designed your body. But if you still decide to go through with the procedure, it’s better to pray before getting on the operating table. People think it’s unclear as to what is considered altering your body because the Duggar girls have pierced ears. To me, it’s pretty obvious that an earring and a nose job are two completely different things.

Follow the Duggar Blog

After Josh’s media storm got the family’s reality show off the air, Counting On only focused on the older Duggar children. But if you want to keep up with the younger kids and parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, you can turn to written media. Without the show, you can follow their lives online.

The entire Duggar family at home celebrating Christmas with an ugly sweater party

Source: Instagram/@@duggarfam

The whole family has a blog which is they update pretty regularly. That way, fans can see the little Duggars grow up. The blog includes recipes, media appearances, and some old episodes of the reality show if you’re feeling nostalgic. If you’re a die-hard fan and want some Duggar swag, there is a web store with merch!

The Reason Behind the “J” Names

One of the most notable things about the Duggar family is that all the kids’ names begin with the same letter. With the exception of their adopted son Tyler, all of the 19 biological children start with J: Josh, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, and Josie.

An older family photo of the Duggar Family from the early days of 19 and counting.

Source: TLC

There is no moral meaning behind the letter J. Michelle explained she wanted to give her first son a Biblical name, so she went with Joshua, and after the twins were given “J” names, it just kind of happened. They didn’t want any child to feel left out. I don’t think that would have been a problem since they had 16 more kids after their first set of twins were born.

Jim Bob’s Political Career

Jim Bob is known for his real-estate business, which helps him support 19 kids and allows the family to thrive (well, that and reality show money). What many people don’t know is that the family dad also had a short-lived political career in Arkansas. He was actually a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2002.

Jim Bob speaks at the Values Voter Summit with his wife, Michelle, beside him.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

His ambitions grew after that and he tried beating out incumbent Tim Hutchinson when he ran as a Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate. He lost the election and decided to go into real estate instead of returning to the Arkansas House of Representatives. Since then, he has been involved in politics, campaigning, and advertising for different candidates.

The Duggars Aren’t Quiverfulls

The Duggar family is publicly associated with the Quiverfull movement within Christianity. It’s basically a very small and very dedicated group. But the number of members grows every day.

A large group of the Duggar family sitting on the staircase posting for a family photo.

Source: Instagram/@duggarfam

The idea behind the Quiverfull movement is that children are a gift from God and weapons for God. In other words, you should have as many babies as possible so that your “quiver is full.” This idea seems to align perfectly with the Duggar family; however, they said they are not part of this hyper-Christian group. They are Baptists and belong to the Institute of Basic Life Principles.

Sketchy Homeschooling Program

Unfortunately, Josh Duggar’s scandal isn’t the family’s only connection to sexual assault. All the Duggar kids were homeschooled and followed a very specific curriculum, which was supposed to protect them from secular temptations and values. The homeschool program is called the Advanced Training Institute and seemed to be a perfect fit for the conservative Duggar family.

Jim Bob and his wife Michelle sitting with all their children around the dining room table and teaching.

Source: TLC

The Advanced Training Institute teachings suggest that assault is always the victim’s fault, which is extremely worrying, especially since all the Duggar kids were taught this… even the ones that were assaulted. Anyway, the founder of the organization had to resign in 2014 after he was accused of sexual harassment by thirty-four women! Good luck trying to get out of this one, buddy.

How the Josh Duggar Scandal Went Public

With all the harassment allegations coming to light in recent years after the #MeToo movement encouraged women to speak out, it seems like it’s just a matter of time until predators are discovered. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Since victims are often scared to come forward, the assaulters feel like they can get away with it. This was nearly the case with Josh Duggar.

Josh Duggar speaking before a room of people in a suit and tie.

Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

A friend close to the family knew about the situation and promised not to say anything. She journaled about it on some scraps of paper and left them in between pages of a book so no one would find them. That was until they loaned the book out, forgetting what was in there. The person who had the book wasn’t sworn to secrecy and blew his cover.

Michelle Was Pregnant for 12 Years

Okay, this is a really strange way to think about things, but here it goes. Since Michelle Duggar chose not to use any form of birth control, she ended up with 19 children. From the birth of her first child Josh to her last baby Josie in 2009, Michelle was pregnant for a total of 144 months!

Michelle Duggar holding her new born baby girl for the camera.

Source: Scott Enlow/TLC

It’s interesting to see it from that perspective. This means she literally spent 12 years of her life pregnant. Many women are known to get baby fever, but according to BabyGaga, Michelle is called “baby hungry.” Honestly, that nickname isn’t very surprising.

Jim Bob Controls Their Dating Life

It’s important for dads to have a good relationship with their daughters, and oftentimes, they become really protective of them. Jim Bob takes things a little too far. He has been referred to as his daughter’s “gatekeeper.” Before any guy can even get close to one of his girls, they need Jim Bob’s permission.

Jim bob sitting on a bench keeping a watchful eye on the couple sitting on the other side

Source: Twitter

So basically, he acts as their middleman and pushes the men he likes to date his daughters. In a way, I understand this; he only wants the best for his daughters. However, they need to make decisions for themselves… especially when it comes to marriage. And I thought I had a protective dad!

Dates Are Always Chaperoned

Dating a Duggar girl isn’t a typical romance. Don’t expect to go on a nice walk on the beach and have deep, intimate conversations getting to know each other. When one of these girls goes out on a date, either her parents or a few siblings tag along. Michelle and Jim Bob aren’t lenient about this rule.

The Dugger Kids on dates with their siblings as the chaperones.

Source: Duggarfamily.com

Because of their strong beliefs, every single courtship is chaperoned so that no “funny business” can happen. Michelle told TLC, “The chaperones have clear guidelines for what is acceptable and what’s not.” I can’t say I’m surprised considering the parents to chaperone their text conversations.

Learning from the Best

Here is another weird dating tradition in the Duggar family. Most of us learn to kiss from watching a cute chick flick, reading Cosmopolitan, or just practicing. Since the Duggar children don’t do any of that, they learn how to kiss their mom and dad. Yes, I’m serious.

Jim Bob, and Michell staring lovingly into each other’s eyes while out on a lake.

Source: Instagram/@duggarfam

Jessa revealed in an interview that her parents are good kissers and give her advice. This has got to be awkward. I mean, I cannot even imagine learning to kiss from watching my parents. Gross! Since they don’t date without their parents chaperoning, I can’t say I’m that shocked.

No Hugs Allowed

If you are a single Duggar, one of the rules is no front hugs! Receiving or giving them is forbidden. Only side hugs are allowed in this religious family. Jim Bob and Michelle believe that giving a front hug to a potential future partner invites too much physical contact.

The whole Duggar Family at home sitting on the couch, they never put their arms around one and another in photos.

Source: TLC

It must be difficult not to be able to hug the person you might marry until the wedding. Michelle explained, “We believe it’s best to save the physical part for marriage.” I understand that there are certain physical aspects that people save for marriage, but a hug?! To each their own, I guess.

Seriously Awkward Marriage Advice

One of the most special moments a mother and daughter share is when the child is finally old enough to talk to her mom about love and boys and get dating advice from the person who loves them most in the world. But like all things connected to dating, it’s different for the Duggars.

Michelle looking at her daughter Jessa on her wedding day in her dress.

Source: TLC

It’s not that Michelle doesn’t talk to her daughters about boys and marriage, but she gives them questionable advice. She teaches them that married women should make themselves available to the man, joyfully available at all times. Even if they are tired or don’t feel well. Yikes! Needless to say, her opinion is extremely controversial.

The Scandal That Changed the Family Image Forever

Okay, so we already touched on this a little bit, but I promised I would get into it. Chances are you heard about the Josh Duggar scandal unless you were living under a rock in 2015. Josh was involved in highly inappropriate behavior with five underage girls.

The Duggar siblings went on an ABC morning show after the scandal broke to talk about their new show.

Source: ABC

What makes this whole situation even more unsettling is that four of these minors were his own little sisters. Years before the incident made news, Michelle and Jim Bob knew what was going on. They believe their prodigal son “was just curious about girls.”

Jill and Jessa Defended Josh

It didn’t take long for Josh Duggar’s scandal to make headlines, and fans were shocked. I mean, this is an extremely religious family with incredibly strict rules when it comes to dating and touching. Jill and Jessa self-identified as two of Josh’s victims.

Jill and Jessa Duggar on Fox News defending their brother Josh.

Source: FoxNews

During an emotional interview, the girls admitted that they knew what he was doing was wrong, but they still defended their big brother. They just reiterated what their parents said about their oldest son being “a young boy a little too curious about girls.” The public wasn’t happy that they defended Josh’s behavior.

They Have a Safe Word for “Immodest” Women

Obviously, Michelle and Jim Bob work extremely hard to keep their children protected from the cruel evils of the secular world. However, since they live in a world where most people don’t agree with their beliefs, it’s hard to shelter them from everything.

The Duggar family visits

Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images

So, when the family goes out, they gave a way to protect the boys from impure thoughts and protection. Whenever they see a girl dressed immodestly, they yell out “Nike.” That is a strange safe word and kind of sounds like slut-shaming if you ask me.

Sister Wives – Escaping the Storm

It was becoming clear in recent years that Meri was planning her “escape.” Then, in the fall of 2020, Meri finally revealed that she’s “coming out of the storm.” The 49-year-old separated from her husband of 30 years after posting cryptic quotes on her social media and getting rid of her wedding ring. She also posted a photo of her with a new man, but nothing has been confirmed.

Meri and her new man posing together / Meri posing with a shirt that says ‘You do you boo.’

Source: Instagram

Meri snubbed Kody for their 30th wedding anniversary, as did he. She later posted a photo without her wedding ring on. Her caption: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do the thing you think you cannot do.” She also wrote things like, “I make my own choices, and I’m responsible for them.”

Kody and Janelle: The Platonic Couple

50-year-old Janelle was the second of the “spiritual wives,” who joined in 1993 when she was already both Meri and Kody’s friend. Meri admitted that it was this established friendship that kept her from feeling jealous of Janelle. “Janelle’s relationship with Kody, although they loved each other, it wasn’t romantic,” Meri said on the show in 2012. “So it was easier for me to accept.”

Kody and Janelle sitting awkwardly in a therapy setting

Source: TLC

Unlike the others in the home, Janelle is career-focused, logical, and seems to enjoy the practical side of being a sister wife. Robyn’s ex-friend, Kendra Pollard-Parra, revealed that Kody and Janelle are more like friends than a married couple, hence the unofficial yet very obvious “platonic” label.

Kody and Christine: The One-Sided Couple

48-year-old Christine met Kody and Meri in 1990 and apparently “fell in love” with them right away. Like Meri, Christine was also raised in a polygamist family and always knew she wanted to be a sister wife. She just didn’t want to be wife No. 2. Once she learned Janelle spiritually joined the unit, she rushed at the opportunity to be wife No. 3.

Kody and Christine taking a selfie / Kody and Christine posing with their children

Source: Instagram / TLC

“Kody has goo-goo eyes, and when he looks at you, they sparkle,” Christine said on the show. “When he turns those eyes on you, you’re the most important woman in the world. All other girls don’t compare. You are it!” While it was clear that she was ga-ga over Kody, it was more or less one-sided for a while. Christine was attracted to her husband from the get-go, but for Kody, it took longer for him to have those romantic feelings.

He Wasn’t Attracted to Her At All

“I was not attracted to Christine in any kind of physical sense,” he admitted in a tell-all episode. “I mean, I look back in retrospect and I wonder if that was fair. But I can’t even look there because we have children together, we have a life together, we have a relationship, and we found our sweet spot.”

Kody and Christine posing together dressed up in fancy clothing

Source: TLC

And once they found that “sweet spot” and went on to have six kids together, it was enough to make Meri jealous. Meri said she felt “threatened” by Kody and Christine’s newfound intimacy. But by the time Robyn joined the family, it was Christine’s turn to feel the jealousy. Although she’s the fan-favorite, Christine often struggles to get Kody’s attention. She’s expressed that not “having a voice” in the relationship is difficult.

Janelle and Meri: A Couple of Frenemies

During the early seasons of Sister Wives, it appeared as though the wives all got along. But that turned out to have just been for show as it was later revealed in their book, Becoming Sister Wives, that Meri and Janelle were actually feuding for years. According to Janelle, she felt unwelcome by Meri, describing her fellow sister wife as “frosty” and “overbearing.”

Janelle and Meri posing behind Kody when they were younger

Meri, Kody, and Janelle. Source: Instagram

Once Janelle and Kody had their first child, Meri became “harsh and furious.” Their relationship between the two got so bad that they couldn’t even ride in the same car together. On the show, the two started attending counseling together to work on their issues, but still, they are far from perfect.

The Four Sister Wives: A Messy Quartet

All the wives love talking about how great it is to be a sister wife, but the reality is that they tend to feel jealousy more often than not and aren’t very close. The wives lived in separate houses on a cul-de-sac, so they’re only together when Kody is around. “It’s worse than ever. The family is constantly arguing,” the ex-friend Kendra said. “They pretend to be happy for the show, but the family is a mess.”

Christine, Meri, Robyn, Janelle, and Kody Brown posing together

Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

Fans have obviously picked up on it, too. “My problem with the Brown sister wives is that most of the time they seem to not really like each other or hang out,” one fan wrote. “These are supposed to be your sisters, your best friends.”

The Wife He Sleeps with the Most

Kody might be “spiritually married” to his other wives, but rumors suggest that he shares his bed only with his current legal wife, Robyn – his favorite. Many people who are close to the Browns believe that Meri’s online affair took a toll on the large family unit and that Kody only wants to have a physical relationship with Robyn now.

Kody and Robyn posing together

Kody and Robyn. Source: Pinterest

He spends most of his nights with her. Then again, she is the most recent of the wives and still has the “new wife” appeal. How did these rumors start? Well, the woman who catfished Meri said that Meri complained about how Robyn got most of the attention in the family.

More Like Sister Strangers

On TV, the Brown family seems very close. Images from the show portray a family with members who are fond of each other. You know, you see the wives hugging each other, holding hands, and looking as if they are the best of friends. But the truth is they barely know each other.

All of their kids playing dominos at the kitchen table

Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

The wives are all so busy with their individual lives that they don’t make time for each other. It all came to light in the tell-all episode on the show when Meri admitted that they rarely see each other, even when they all spend time with Kody together. In fact, when Christine had to be hospitalized with dialysis, none of the wives visited her. Even Kody rarely visited her.

Polygamy is “Normal”

One of the reasons why the Browns agreed to expose their lives in a reality show is that they wanted to prove something. They wanted to show that a polygamous relationship can be “normal.” They also wanted people to see that they are happy. However, with all the drama that comes with plural wives, it doesn’t seem all that appealing.

Janelle, Christine, Kody, Meri, and Robyn posing together

Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

Kendra insinuated that the Browns are at each other’s throats. She also suggested that due to the drama from the three remaining wives, Kody is now in the market for a new spouse. She told In Touch Weekly: Kody is “definitely seeking another wife right now. He wants a younger female, basically what Robyn used to be.” According to Kendra, Kody even propositioned her for that position in front of Robyn.

Janelle Was Married to Meri’s Brother

With a husband, four wives, and simply too many children, the family tree starts getting really complicated. Polygamous families also tend to only spend time with their extended family, which means that sometimes, romantic relationships are built within. Before spiritually marrying Kody, Janelle was actually married to Meri’s brother. This fact was eventually exposed on the show, but it was kept a secret up until that moment.

Adam Barber with a photo of Meri in the left corner and Janelle in the right corner

Source: YouTube

The truth only came out once the court documents from Janelle’s divorce with Meri’s brother came to light. And to make matters even more cringe-worthy, Janelle fell in love with Kody when she was still married to Meri’s brother. Apparently, what happens in the Brown family stays in the Brown family.

They Got Kicked Out of Their Church

It came to a point when all these secrets and scandals began to pile up, so much so that the Brown’s local church, the Apostolic United Brethren, kicked them out. This occurred after one of the Brown kids, Mariah, came out as gay. Then there was the news about Meri’s catfishing incident, which didn’t help them.

Mariah Brown and her fiancé Audrey posing in the park / Mariah Brown and Audrey posing at a restaurant

Mariah Brown and fiancé Audrey. Source: Instagram

“From day one, Kody pitched the show as a documentary, but a lot of people in the faith think that this has become a straight-up reality TV show for ratings,” an unnamed source told Radar Online. “This has been brewing for a long time, and Meri’s catfishing scandal was the final straw. It was a huge kind of war in the church. The church elders told Kody that he would never be welcomed back, even if the family moved back to Utah.”

A Preference for His Sons

It can be said that Kody doesn’t only play favorites with his wives; that he does the same with his kids, too. Look, having 18 children makes it nearly impossible to spend time with all of them, but it looks like he’s very picky with who he chooses to spend time with. Kody reportedly hardly sees his daughters at all, preferring to spend most of his free time with his sons.

Kody posing in front of his four wives and their kids surrounding them

Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise considering that polygamy tends to be more on the male-oriented side. So while the girls are busy with all the household duties, pops is “roughhousing” with the boys. Viewers of the show can easily tell that his relationships with his daughters seem strained, and the girls rarely look comfortable in his presence.

Move to Vegas = Better Ratings

We all know that reality TV bends what “reality” really means. Not everything we see on screen is true. This seems to have been the case with the episode where the Brown family suddenly picked up everything and moved from Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada. Apparently, it was due to legal issues around them living as polygamists.

Kody sitting at a table tasting cake with his four wives

Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

But according to Christine’s aunt, Kristyn Decker, this was really just a move for better ratings. “They talked about moving to Vegas to escape Utah’s anti-polygamy laws long before they did,” Decker told Radar Online. “That was their plan, and they used the State coming after them for ratings. That’s my strong opinion.”

Is He Cheating On All of Them?

Dang, Kody, are four wives, not enough? It’s not that far-fetched to assume that Kody is the kind of man that would cheats. He pretty much cheated on all his wives whenever he gained a new one. And now with all the drama going on, particularly with the catfish affair, it looks like Kody might already be having an affair with a fifth woman.

Kody Brown sitting with Christine, Meri, and Janelle on the red sofa used during show interviews

Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

There are recent rumors about three of the wives ditching him, leaving him with just one wife – a sort of sister wife strike, perhaps? It’s likely, though, that none of them will actually leave because of the fact that a reality show is being made.

Will Robyn Stick Around?

With everything going on, it’s possible that Robyn will get fed up and leave. Despite the assumption that she’s the favored one, insiders believe she might file for divorce. But here’s one big problem: sources say Robyn is pregnant with her third child. “Robyn has been planning to divorce him for a long time,” Kendra told Life & Style.

Robyn and Cody sitting outside

Source: TLC

“Being pregnant has not changed her mind. She’s saved up enough money to retain a lawyer. This is really the end of Sister Wives.” Robyn is currently pregnant now, so time will tell if she makes the move to leave the family or not. Compared to the other sister wives, Robyn doesn’t have an independent income, making a decision to leave that much more complicated.

Banking In On the Fame

The first three wives of Kody tap into the Sister Wives fan base to generate their own income, but not Robyn for some reason. Meri, Janelle, and Christine all use their reality show fame to augment online sales of their products. Out of all five adults in the show, reports suggest that Meri generates the most online income as a top sales rep for a clothing company.

All four sister wives hugging for a photograph

Photo by Puddle Monkey Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

Christine makes money from her online sales of the same clothing that Meri peddles. Janelle also promotes products, but hers are more holistic-type products. Janelle and Christine also do fan-requested Cameo videos for a price. The three ladies make their fame work for them, but why hasn’t Robyn done the same?

Robyn Gets Bullied Online

Robyn has said in the past that the bullying online has gotten to be too much. She also acknowledges that she is generally seen as a homewrecker. But she claims that the fans misunderstand her. This homewrecker theme began as soon as the series started. This fan mindset lost some steam along the way, but it’s still hard to rid the label.

Robyn Brown holding a bouquet of flowers for a selfie outdoors

Source: Instagram

After all, Kody’s original three wives shared their marriage for a decade and a half before Robyn came into the picture. As the haters emerged, Robyn stays clear of them whenever she can. Perhaps choosing not to sell products or promote herself online is her way of not having to deal with the online bullying.

Finding a Way to get Robyn In

Kody admitted to suffering from financial problems when he got engaged to Robyn. He mentioned at the time that he needed to find the means to move her closer to their family. Before she joined them, she was living in Utah, about four hours away from the Browns home in Lehi – the house shared by the original three wives before Robyn showed up.

Kody posing on the red carpet with Janelle, Christine, Meri, and Robyn

Photo by Kcr / Shutterstock

Kody said he couldn’t support Robyn and the three kids who came with her (from her previous marriage). But he knew that God would find a way for him. Robyn also acknowledged the lack of funds, so it seems as though Robyn came into the marriage expecting to be supported by her husband. At the time, Kody was selling billboard advertising.

Need Money? Get a Reality Show!

The billboard gig wasn’t all that lucrative, but when he finally sold one, he used the money, along with Robyn’s tax return, to move her to Lehi. And this was before they got spiritually married. There was one point where the other three wives, Kody, and Robyn, sat down as Robyn tried to get them to help her with an online store.

Kody Brown posing with his family outdoors

Source: YouTube

It sounds like she had a rude awakening when she learned that everyone is expected to pull their own weight. The money that Kody prayed for came by way of their Sister Wives reality show gig. TLC helped pay for the things needed to make the show entertaining, like their elaborate wedding.

Special Treatment?

Even now, Robyn still doesn’t seem to be holding a job anywhere. She lives in a million-dollar home owned by her and Kody. Meanwhile, two of the original wives live in rental homes. Janelle’s home seems like a downgrade from Robyn’s Vegas house. The sister wives and Kody mentioned several times throughout the series that they all pool their money.

Robyn on a train with one of their daughters

Robyn Brown. Source: Instagram

But unless Robyn is secretly wealthy from an unknown source, what does she have to offer in terms of finances? Well, from what Kody and Robyn said years ago, Kody intended to support Robyn once she became his wife. Looks like she’s getting special treatment that other ladies aren’t getting.

Robyn Taught Them a Thing or Two

Although Robyn had a hard time acclimating to the marriage, with the other wives not being the most welcome, she did actually make a positive impression, at least on Janelle. Janelle says she admires Robyn, thanks to the important lessons she learned from her sister’s wife. In their book, Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage, Janelle wrote that the best part of bringing Robyn into the family was how she changed things.

Robyn and Kody on the couch during an interview

Source: TLC

“The most important thing Robyn has taught us is how to argue in a more effective and polite manner,” Janelle explained. “With such a chaotic household, there are going to be a lot of family discussions.” Since Robyn came along, there are fewer slammed doors and raised voices in the Brown house.

Facing Bigamy Charges in Utah

Although the sudden move to Nevada was probably fake, it is, in fact, true that the Brown family got slapped with a charge of bigamy in the state of Utah. The investigation into the charges began before their move between the two states. The charges, however, were eventually dropped. “I want to express our great relief for the Brown family that this long-standing threat has been finally lifted,” Jonathan Turley, the family’s attorney, said in a statement.

Kody and his four wives posing on a carpeted staircase

Source: TLC

“The family has spent years being publicly denounced as felons by prosecutors and had to move to Nevada to protect their family and children.” The Browns still plan on suing the state of Utah for the laws that they insist are infringing upon their rights.

Kody and Meri Filed for Bankruptcy

When Kody “only” had three wives, the family faced financial difficulties and was forced to file for bankruptcy. In 2005, the legally married couple claimed they only had $15 in cash to their names, yet they owed more than $200,000 to creditors. $40,000 alone was owed in credit card debt. They also owed lots to Sears, Home Depot, and Best Buy.

Meri posing with two dogs in a yard

Source: Instagram

The court ultimately closed their case in 2007 and ordered the couple to pay the $200,000 to trustees, attorneys, and creditors that they still owed. In those days, Kody was a sales representative, and Meri worked for a company that made engraved trophies. They had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.

Maddie and Caleb Finally Speak Out About Their Baby

Maddie, the daughter of Kody and Janelle, fell in love with Caleb Brush, the brother of Kody’s sister-in-law, Erica Brush Brown. The good news is that they’re not related by blood (phew). Maddie and Caleb have two children now, Axel and Evangelynn, making Kody and Janelle grandparents.

Kody and Janelle holding their grandchild

Kody and Janelle with their grandchild. Source: TLC

Maddie is another of the Brown children who purposely chose not to live in a polygamous relationship. But the couple’s adjusting to a family of four hasn’t been smooth. The pair opened up about their daughter’s rare medical condition. Maddie posted on Instagram: “Our beautiful baby daughter Evie has been diagnosed with FATCO syndrome… It’s a rare medical syndrome where bones in extremities do not fully develop.” The condition is extremely rare, with Maddie stating that there have only been 10 recorded cases.

Sometimes, the Apple Falls Far From the Tree

Although they have been raised with conservative polygamous values, the Brown kids don’t seem to want that for their own lives. Most say they prefer monogamous relationships. Mariah, Meri and Kody’s daughter who came out of the closet on the show, was one of the first of the Brown children to deny that lifestyle.

Kody, his wives, and children posing on the steps of a large building

Source: Twitter

“I think I’ve just grown a lot over the past few years and taken a step back and maybe thought more about what I want and how I want my life to turn out,” Mariah said. Aspyn, Kody and Christine’s daughter, was the second one to speak out: “I’m the same,” she said. “I don’t want to do plural marriage. I kind of feel bad that none of us want to, but it was just not what we were meant to do, I guess.”

Logan Won’t Be Practicing Polygamy, Either

The oldest Brown sibling, Logan, the son of Kody and Janelle, stepped out of the public eye. He told People that he got engaged to a girl named Michelle Petty in 2017, and since then, he’s left the spotlight. He also has no plans to be in a plural marriage.

Logan Brown and his fiancé Michelle posing after their engagement / Logan and Michelle toasting with a beer

Logan and Michelle. Source: Instagram

The young couple has kept their relationship private, but according to CheatSheet, Logan has left the Mormon Church. Whether or not this true, one thing’s for sure: Logan hasn’t been seen on episodes of Sister Wives for a long time. It’s entirely likely that he is refraining from living such a lifestyle, and it looks like he might need some space from his family.

The Other Brown Children Who Don’t Want to Follow the Same Path

Mykelti Brown Padron, Kody and Christine’s daughter, married Tony Padron in 2016. Tony’s job in the banking industry limits how much he can appear on the series, according to Kody. The couple has no interest in a plural marriage, as monogamy always felt right for Mykelti.

Mykelti Brown Padron and Tony Padron posing together on a bridge

Source: Instagram

One member of the family who has chosen to focus on a career instead of marriage and family life is Paedon Brown, the son of Christine and Kody. He joined the US Army. He appears to be single and has noted that polygamy just isn’t for him. He and sister Mariah had a public feud over politics recently, and it looks like they’re not on speaking terms.

Leaving the Family, the Show, and the Church

The Brown children didn’t sign up for the hoopla of a reality show. For one, Garrison Brown, the son of Kody and Janelle, stepped back from the family, the show, and even the faith. According to his Instagram page, he’s going by his first name, Robert, and appears to have joined a different church — one that strongly opposes polygamy.

Kodi’s son Garrison posing in a Hawaiian shirt in the desert / Garrison posing with his girlfriend on his back

Garrison and his girlfriend. Source: Instagram

Garrison told cameras during the tell-all special that “one’s enough for me,” referring to how many wives he wants. Garrison (Robert) has also joined the National Guard. As for Kody’s other children, he said, “I really just don’t expect any of my children to be in plural marriage.”

90 Day Fiancé – Ashley Martson and Jay Smith

Status: Broken Up

The couple first met when Ashely flew to Jamaica for a wedding. She returned six months later, and by the end of her vacation, she and Jay were engaged. But just three days after their Las Vegas wedding, Ashley caught Jay using dating apps. The couple reconciled and then broke up so many times that it’s hard to keep count.

Jay and Ashley posing on their wedding day / Jay and Ashley laying in a hammock on vacation

Source: KSS Photography / Instagram

Despite Ashley forgiving Jay for his indiscretions in March 2020, Ashley now says the couple is over for good. On September 19, 2020, Ashley uploaded a picture of a quote that read, “Sometimes things just don’t work out, and it’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just the way things are.” In the caption, Ashley informed fans that the couple was broken up “for good” this time.

Kalani Faagata and Asuelu Pulaa

Status: Still Together

Kalani was on vacation in Samoa when she first met Aselu, the activities director at the resort she was staying at. After getting pregnant with their first son Oliver, the couple tied the knot in September 2018. Fast forward to today, and the couple is married with two children.

Kalani and Asuelu on their wedding day posing with their son / Asuelu and Kalani in the hospital with their two children

Source: Pinterest / Instagram

Fans were left wondering if the two are still together, especially after the 32-year-old shared that she didn’t want to be married anymore. Kalani, however, put the rumors to rest in October 2020. She shared a picture with Asuelu and the couple’s two kids, revealing that she and her husband are “trying” to mend their relationship. Let’s hope that this fan-favorite couple finds a way to work everything out!

Brett Otto and Daya De Arce

Status: Still Together

After Brett’s previous marriage ended in divorce, he joined an online dating service. That’s where he met his Filipina flame, Daya. The couple got married in 2015 and welcomed their daughter, Isabella, two years later. The couple has had their ups and downs, especially since Brett’s family wasn’t exactly supportive of the relationship.

Daya and Brett on their wedding day / Daya pregnant and sitting on Brett's lap in the park / Brett and Daya taking a selfie in bed

Source: Instagram

While Brett and Daya prefer to stay out of the spotlight, they did appear on an episode of 90 Day Fiancé: Self-Quarantined in May 2020. Daya and Brett are still living in Washington with their daughter. The episode showed Daya working nights as a medication technician at an assisted living facility to make ends meet, while Brett remained at home out of work.

Fernanda Flores and Jonathan Rivera

Status: Broken Up

Jonathan and Fernanda fell in love really quickly and got divorced even quicker. While their Season Six romance had very little ups and downs, the couple’s age gap bothered fans. At 32 years old, Jonathan is nearly 12 years older than his teenage love interest, who left her family in Mexico to follow her heart.

Jonathan and Fernanda posing in front of the water after they got engaged / Jonathan and Fernanda dressed up taking a selfie in front of the mirror

Source: Instagram

But when the cameras stopped rolling, their relationship quickly crumbled. Since their divorce in March 2020, Fernanda has been living it up in Chicago. After casually dating Bachelor in Paradise star Clay Harbor, Fernanda is reportedly single. Jonathan, on the other hand, has moved on with sports marketing agent Janelle Miller. In June 2020, the couple announced their engagement.

David and Annie Toborowsky

Status: Still Together

David and Annie may just be the fans’ favorite couple. During a soul-searching trip to Thailand, David met Annie (who is 24 years his junior) at a karaoke bar, and the rest is history. Despite their large age gap, financial issues, and accusations of infidelity, the couple packed up and moved stateside to get married.

David and Annie taking a selfie on vacation / David and Annie pose smiling while walking

Source: Instagram / David Toborowsky

Today, David works as a part-time English language teacher, while Annie put her brilliant cooking skills to great use. She now has a Thai catering business and also offers virtual cooking classes. Rumor has it that the couple might open their own restaurant sometime soon! It’s nice to see that everything is going well for David and Annie.

Nicole Nafziger and Azan Tefou

Status: Unknown

Fans didn’t think that this Season Five couple was going to last. Nicole, a single mother from Florida, left her young daughter at home when she flew to Morocco to meet her dating app flame, Azan. After multiple comments about her looks and dealing with cultural differences, Nicole and Azan pushed off their wedding twice.

Nicole and Azan posing with their hands intertwined / Azan and Nicole posing back to back while looking over their shoulders

Source: Instagram / Pinterest

Then, in October 2020, Nicole shared an article on Instagram insinuating that Azan had died. Fans were furious, to say the least. The Florida native later shared that she gets paid if people read the article and that Azan is, in fact, alive and well. That same month, rumors began circulating that Azan is already married to someone else. Nicole, on the other hand, refutes those claims. I guess with time, the truth will reveal itself!

Russ and Paola Mayfield

Status: Still Together

Russ and Paola are one of the most talked-about couples from 90 Day Fiancé. While living in Colombia, Russ met his future wife and instantly fell in love with her. Paola moved to Oklahoma to live with Russ and his parents before they got married. The couple didn’t last long there and are now currently living in Miami, where Paola runs her own company, Super Pao Fit.

Russ dipping Paola in a pose on their wedding day / Russ and Paola posing with their baby and dog in front of a lake

Source: Andi Bravo Photography, Twitter / Instagram

The happy couple welcomed their first son, Axel, in early 2019. Despite staying out of the limelight, the pair finds a way to grab viewers’ attention from time to time. In November 2020, the couple made headlines after Paola uploaded a revealing picture of the couple. Fans were divided about the pic, to say the least.

Big Ed Brown and Rosemarie Vega

Status: Broken Up

After meeting online, Big Ed traveled from San Diego to the Philippines to meet his 23-year-old girlfriend, Rosemarie, in person. However, it wasn’t the happy meeting the couple was hoping for. Ed criticized Rose for her bad breath, her leg hair, and her family’s poverty (on national television, no less), among other things.

Rosemarie and Big Ed posing on vacation / Big Ed modeling when he was younger / Big Ed and Rosemary smiling while being interviewed

Source: Instagram / Twitter / TLC

At the end of the season, Rose left the relationship, and Ed went home alone. Today, Rose keeps fans up to date with her YouTube channel, and after a few recent photoshoots, it’ll hardly be a surprise if she ventures into modeling. Aside from his new merchandise company (that doesn’t seem to be going too well), there’s no new news regarding Ed’s relationship or career status.

Alan and Kirlyam Cox

Status: Still Together

Fans know Alan and Kirlyam since the show’s first season, and while their relationship has had its fair share of ups and downs, the couple is still going strong today. The pair first met when 20-year-old Alan flew to Brazil on a Mormon mission trip. There were no signs of romance between him and Kirlyam, who is eight years his junior.

Kirlyam and Alan holding up their marriage license on their wedding day / Kirlyam and Alan holding their newborn son in the hospital

Source: Twitter / Pinterest

It wasn’t until the pair crossed paths at a mutual friend’s wedding that then-20-year-old Kirlyam fell in love with Alan. While the couple received backlash for their age gap (mainly due to fans’ misunderstanding of their first meeting), this remains their only controversy on the show. Fast forward to today, and the couple is happily married, living with their three-year-old son Liam.

Deavan Clegg and Jihoon Lee

Status: Broken Up

Deavan and Jihoon had a hard time on 90 Day Fiancé. In fact, they struggled so much that they announced their breakup before the season ended. Fans were shocked to hear that Deavan and Jihoon threw in the towel so early, but as details emerge from their spiraling relationship, it sounds like this was the best decision for everyone.

Deavan and Jihoon on their wedding day / Deavan and Jihoon posing for a selfie using a filter

Source: TLC / Instagram

Deavan claims that she receives no help from her ex, nor does he respond when she sends him pictures of their son. The mother of two has since moved on with actor and vlogger Christopher Park. Jihoon took the news hard, writing on Instagram, “It happened without my knowledge. There’s no divorce on paper right now. Do you really know how it feels?”

Mike and Aziza Eloshway

Status: Still Together

While most 90 Day Fiancé relationships tend to fall apart over time, Mike and Aziza are going six years strong. The pair first met on a language-learning website and, surprisingly, were only friends for some time. It wasn’t until Aziza’s work permit was denied that the two developed romantic feelings for each other.

Mike and Aziza posing in their living room / Mike and Aziza holding their baby in the back yard

Source: Instagram

But even after the two had feelings for each other, they took their relationship very slow, mainly due to the awkwardness of sharing their feelings in front of a camera crew. But as the saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race.” Fast forward to today, Mike and Aziza are now a family of three with their baby Olivia Joan.

Evelyn Cormier and David Vázquez Zermeño

Status: Still Together

The couple first met on Facebook after David found Evelyn’s band’s page and decided to message her. Little did he know that one message would result in him leaving his home in Spain to marry Evelyn stateside.

David and Evelyn on their wedding day / David and Evelyn taking a selfie in front of a fountain at a park

Source: Instagram

Recently, fans speculated that the pair have since called it quits, especially since Evelyn has been photographed without her ring. However, the singer and model were quick to set the record straight. “I’m in the water, I’m on the beach, I’m wherever,” she said in an IGTV video, “and it looks out of place!” Since the rumors, the two have been on a posting spree, proving to fans that they are still going strong.

Jorge and Anfisa Nava

Status: Broken Up

Drama, prison, and lots of disagreements—Jorge and Anfisa’s relationship sure made for some great TV. Like many of the show’s couples, Jorge and Anfisa met online. Unfortunately, their relationship was doomed from the start. With explosive fights and endless agreements, the duo had a hard time making it work.

Jorge and Anfisa taking a selfie at the park / Jorge and Anfisa taking a selfie on vacation

Source: Instagram

But the final nail in the coffin was when Jorge landed in prison for two and a half years for marijuana possession. Jorge claimed that Anfisa cheated on him during his time behind bars, and he filed for divorce as soon as he was released. Newly single, Jorge shed 128 pounds, launched a streetwear brand, and found love again. Anfisa is now an Instagram influencer and is currently single.

Danny and Amy Frishmuth

Status: Still Together

Danny and Amy met and fell in love during a Bible study trip to Australia. After the trip, Amy left her native South Africa to be with Danny in his home state of Pennsylvania. But the relationship wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Danny’s father disapproved of the interracial relationship; however, Amy handled the situation with grace.

Amy reaching up and touching Danny's face at the alter on their wedding day / Danny and Amy with their baby

Source: Twitter / Instagram

His father has since changed his views and now supports the relationship. Today, Danny and Amy are a family of four (soon to be five!). “We both want at least five kids,” Danny told TLC. “I want to have a ton of kids. I want to have as many as I can.” It looks like the couple is heading in the right direction.

Chelsea Macek and Yamir Castillo

Status: Broken Up

Chelsea and Yamir’s relationship was something out of a teen movie. The Illinois native met popstar Yamir when she attended a concert featuring his boy band, Myla Vox. She noticed him; he noticed her, and the rest is history, well, that is until 2016. Chelsea filed for divorce from Yamir after coming out of the closet.

Chelsea and Yamir on their wedding day

Source:

“It was during the marriage I just knew that something wasn’t right,” she said in 2016. “It wasn’t him, and it was nothing that he had done. It was something inside of me.” Fast forward to today, and Chelsea is living in Colorado Springs, while Yamir is still in the Windy City working on his music career. They may be broken up, but there are no ill feelings between the two.

Danielle Mullins and Mohamed Jbali

Status: Broken Up

After Mohamed moved from Tunisia to be with Danielle in Ohio, things took a turn for the worse. Their relationship was incredibly rocky and let’s just say that the cops got involved multiple times. Two months after receiving his green card, Mohamed left Danielle, and the two haven’t seen each other since.

Mohamed and Danielle posing on their steps / Mohamed and Danielle on their wedding day

Source: Instagram

Danielle told US Weekly that he reached out earlier this year, and the two have been chatting here and there. “We have forgiven each other, and we’re building a friendship,” she said. Mohamed is still in America working as a truck driver and has continued to keep fans up to date about his life on the road. Danielle, on the other hand, has been struggling financially and briefly started a GoFundMe, which has since been deactivated.

Emily and Sasha Larina

Status: Still Together

Fans weren’t so sure about this couple. Viewers were shocked to learn that Sasha had been divorced twice already (and a father of two), despite being only 27 years old. Other fans were worried about his off-putting comments about Emily’s postpartum body. On top of that, Sasha’s first ex-wife claimed he was unfaithful during their marriage.

Emily and Sasha take a selfie on vacation / Emily and Sasha with their baby

Source: Instagram

Emily, however, has repeatedly defended her husband by praising him as a provider and a good father to his sons back in Russia. Sasha lost his personal training job due to the pandemic but is currently working at UPS, according to his wife. The couple lives in Oregon and told Entertainment Tonight that they are “stronger than ever.”

Loren and Alexei Brovarnik

Status: Still Together

Alexei was working as a medic for travel groups in Israel when he first met Loren. But after she went back home to Florida ten days later, Alexei was unable to secure a Tourist Visa. So, the couple opted for a K-1 Visa instead. Since their 2015 wedding, Alexei has become an American citizen, and Loren gave birth to a baby boy, Shai, in April 2020.

Loren and Alexei on their wedding day / Alexel holding Loren's baby bump

Source: Twitter / Instagram

While having a newborn during the lockdown has proved to be challenging, it looks like the couple is happy as a family of three. “I can honestly say that Shai has made our relationship that much stronger,” Loren said in her Instagram story. “We’re so much more in love, we’re so much more patient, we communicate more, and we’re just all around happy.”

Molly Hopkins and Luis Mendez

Status: Broken Up

Molly and Luis’s relationship is another vacation romance story that didn’t end too well. Molly first met Luis while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. Despite Molly’s family’s suspicions of her new boyfriend, the two decided to get married in secret during Luis’ K-1 Visa period. Everyone—her family, friends, and TLC producers—was left in the dark.

Molly and Luis posing in front of a barn door / Molly and Luis taking a selfie while out and about

Source: TLC / Instagram

Shortly after their wedding, Molly says that Luis began accusing her of practicing witchcraft because of the Buddhas and candles she had on display. Things went downhill pretty quickly after that. Five months after their divorce, Luis was already married to another woman, who also happened to be from the Dominican Republic, leading Molly to believe Luis used her for a visa.

Kyle and Noon Huck

Status: Still Together

At 25 years old, Noon met 29-year-old Kyle online while he was researching an upcoming trip to Thailand. A relationship blossomed, and the two were soon engaged after meeting for the first time fact-to-face during Kyle’s trip.

Two selfies of Kyle and Noon at the park

Source: Instagram

Years later, fans will be happy to learn that the two are still married and happier than ever. After relocating briefly to Thailand to care for Noon’s father, the pair settled in Portland, Oregon. Although Kyle and Noon are looking to start a family, Kyle worries that the rising costs in the city will make having a baby difficult. In the meantime, the two have a pet cat to keep them company.

Melanie Bowers and Devar Walters

Status: Still Together

Melanie was vacationing in Jamaica when she first met Devar. It didn’t take long for Melanie to fall head over heels for the lifeguard, who filed for a K-1 visa to spend more time with her in the States. While Melanie’s family didn’t trust Devar’s intentions, the two got married anyway.

Devar and Melanie with her son Hunter at a restaurant

Source: Instagram

When the two got engaged, Melanie told Devar that her son Hunter (from a previous marriage) was her top priority. He not only accepted Melanie’s wish, but he also treated Hunter as if he was his own son. The couple is still happily married, and in 2017 they welcomed their daughter Avah into the world. While not much is known about the couple, we do know that they are still together.

Fernando and Carolina Verdini

Status: Still Together

Fernando and Carolina seemed like the perfect match. The two first met in Colombia while they were on dates with other people. But by the end of her trip, Fernando proposed, and the rest is history. However, things may not be going as smoothly as fans might have predicted.

Two selfies of Fernando and Carolina

Source: Instagram

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Carolina suggested that Fernando has a side piece. “And when your husband has another person in his life to say I love you, this is the end of everything I can no longer fight, I am already defeated,” she wrote. Fans sadly weren’t surprised, especially after Fernando’s confession of being somewhat of a playboy in the past. Despite these accusations, it seems that the couple is still together.

Matt Ryan and Alla Fedoruk

Status: Still Together

Fans first met Matt and Alla on Season Four of 90 Day Fiancé. The pair met years ago through an online dating service. However, the relationship fizzled out, and Matt married his third wife. But when they divorced a few years later, he and Alla reconnected. After speaking online for six months, Matt flew to Ukraine to meet Alla face-to-face for the first time.

Matt posing with Alla and her baby bump / Matt, Alla, and one of their children

Source: Instagram / Twitter

Although their family and friends didn’t think the relationship would work out, the two got married and are still happily together. The family of four (Alla has a son from a previous relationship) live in Cincinnati. Matt temporarily lived in a motor home outside of his car dealership to avoid exposing his then-pregnant wife to the virus.

Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio

Status: Still Together

Fans had mixed opinions about this couple, especially because of their age gap. Michael, who was 42 years old at the time, introduced himself on the show as a wine entrepreneur with a high-flying lifestyle. He first met Juliana, a 23-year-old Brazilian model, at a yacht party off the coast of Croatia. After she was denied a tourist visa twice, the couple filed for a K-1 visa instead.

Michael and Juliana during an interview on 90 day fiance / Michael and Juliana toasting with champagne on their wedding day

Source: TLC / Instagram

Michael accused TLC of creating unnecessary drama by amplifying the drama between him and his ex-wife Sara. But when Michael and Juliana finally did tie the knot, Sara officiated the wedding, putting an end to the made-up drama. It’s nice to see that exes can get along after a divorce.

Mike Youngquist and Natalie Mordovtseva

Status: Still Together

Mike and Natalie sure went through the wringer during the first season of the show. Besides a difference in cultures, the couple had completely different views on religion, relationships, and family values, on top of a language barrier. In the final episode, Natalie even admitted that she didn’t love Mike.

Mike and Natalie taking a selfie together on a park bench

Source: Instagram

But while fans thought the couple was done for good, cameras caught Natalie arriving in Washington to visit her ex. While the couple has stayed out of the spotlight, we do know that they ended up working out their differences and tied the knot, according to the local newspaper. It’ll be interesting to see if their marriage will work out. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

Jon and Kate, Plus 8 – Shocking News

Both Jon and Kate were completely thrown off when they learned they were having sextuplets. At first, Kate mentioned that Jon, who was typically strong for both of them in cases of high pressure, looked like he was going to cry. Jon did not deny these allegations and met them with a smirk.

A sonogram of sextuplets in utero.

Source: The New York Times

His next move was to crouch down to the floor. He felt dizzy like he was going to fall. How could anyone react differently to finding out that you do not have one baby, but six? That is a wild realization and must have hit the couple like a ton of bricks.

“How Will We Do This?”

The couple had their immediate concerns: How will we afford to care for that many children? How will we be able to afford to do anything? They were scared and distressed about what they would soon have to be dealing with. They were getting far more than they had bargained for.

A very pregnant Kate shows off her belly.

Source: Pinterest

That first year was extra difficult, even after the children were born. Jon lost his job, and they had gone from a financially stable couple who had recently bought their Pennsylvania home to share with two, maybe three children, to a family with no income and eight children. Things were rough.

Starting Their Lives Together

Jon and Kate met on a company picnic back in 1997. Within two years, they were married and starting their life together. They joined in holy matrimony in June 1999, when she was 24 years old, and he was 22. They were a young couple when they started putting their family together.

Jon and Kate Gosselin on their wedding day.

Source: Reddit

The twins, Mady and Cara, were born on October 8th, 2000. Today, the girls are spritely young college students attending separate universities – New York University and Syracuse University. The girls were excited to have a baby brother or sister, but they really did not expect to get six of them!

The Gosselin’s Early Days

After the family welcomed their new six babies and a camera crew into their home, the world was able to see inside their chaotic household. They learned that the family depended on paper plates and paper towels, going through 1,200 paper plates every other month.

Kate and Jon sit on the couch as they hold their sextuplets.

Source: Reddit

Viewers also learned about the constant cleaning necessary to make such a huge household run smoothly. Kate ran the dishwasher two to three times a day, had to prepare meals for ten people multiple times a day (plus clean up), and did anywhere from two to five loads of laundry in a single day.

So Many Specials

Their initial hour-long special for Discovery turned into a second hour-long special. Those two years of filming allowed the family to feel comfortable with cameras around, knowing that they would be fine if the cameras continued for just a bit more. This is where TLC entered the picture.

Kate is sitting on the floor of the playpen with her eight children all over the place.

Source: YouTube

TLC approached the Gosselin family after their first two specials were deemed a success. They wanted to showcase the crazy lifestyle of such a huge family, and the family wanted people to capture the memories that they did not have enough free hands to capture on their own.

The Start of It

With the creation of the TLC show, the whole family was put on display. Following their Discovery specials in 2005 and 2006, their reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 premiered. Initially, the first two seasons came out on Discovery Health before TLC took over and moved the show to their network.

Jon and Kate pose with their twin daughters as all of the sextuplets sleep in baby carriers.

Source: People

If the family were having problems before they started sharing the screen, their problems would only get worse as the series progressed. Sure, we watched the family grow and watched some of the cutest moments from children you’d ever see. However, we also watched a marriage crumble on national television.

What Happened to Jon & Kate Plus 8?

The simple answer is that Jon & Kate Plus 8 ceased to exist under that title following the couple’s divorce a few seasons in. The show dropped the name Jon and continued to highlight Kate’s crazy household without him. Nonetheless, we aren’t quite there yet – we still have so much to talk about!

Kate Gosselin and Jon Gosselin attend an event.

Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage/Getty Images

Jon & Kate Plus 8 lasted for a couple of seasons before the couple filed for divorce in 2009. You know that saying, “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”? Well, it seems that Jon and Kate couldn’t handle each other, so things got a little too heated… now, they’ve both left the kitchen!

Hawaii, Here We Come!

Though the world was watching their relationship crumble on television, they also watched the couple pack up their crew and fly across the world to the beautiful Hawaiian islands – all to renew their vows. The family gathered on the beautiful island of Maui to reaffirm their love for each other.

Jon and Kate pose in front of a waterfall in Hawaii after the ceremony.

Source: Twitter

Even though the episode was about recommitting to each other and their family, they spent the following year getting ready for another huge step: They would soon be getting a divorce. Within a year of their vow renewal ceremony, the couple filed for divorce and thus marked the beginning of the end of their show.

Goodbye, Vows!

In an interview with Meredith Vieira, Kate Gosselin shared the intimate details of what was happening to the family and more details on her separation. “You know, I go back very often to our vow renewal in Hawaii. I think very often of it, and at that moment, I meant those vows,” she said.

Jon and Kate are doing an interview and looking rather unhappy.

Source: TLC

“And there was no option for us other than to be together. And so much has changed.” On the June 22nd, 2009 episode, the couple announced that they were separating after ten years of marriage. It is widely believed that the couple met their demise when they signed an agreement to appear on the show.

Co-Parenting Disputes

So much of the content we watched on Jon & Kate Plus 8 revolved around the couple and their fights over how to raise their eight kids. Naturally, different people have different styles of parenting the same children. However, this couple had a unique twist – they had cameras following their marital problems.

Jon and Kate have a dispute in the parking lot as they drop off the kids at school.

Source: Reddit

It only took a couple of years for their entire marriage to blow up as a result of camera crews getting into the deep details of their lives. The couple had a spotlight on them, and they knew that their marital problems would only be amplified if they continued in the public eye.

Jon Stepped Out

No shock here to learn that the Gosselin family nanny came forward and alleged that she and Jon had an affair throughout her time working for the family. This was not the only allegation against Jon, at least at the time. There were other allegations that did not make him look good.

The Gosselin Nanny with one of their daughters.

Source: US Magazine

In 2009, Us Weekly let the world know that Jon was allegedly having an affair with a third-grade teacher in his area named Deanna Hummel. People in her life spoke out against the affair, questioning if she was doing herself any favors by getting involved with Jon.

Details of the Affair

Deanna Hummel’s brother Jason spoke to Us Weekly about his thoughts on his sister’s affair. “This isn’t healthy for her. But she is refusing to help herself, so here I am, trying to help her myself. I hope this clears the air,” he stated. Even if that wasn’t totally necessary, that sounds like a brother who cares!

A photo of Deanna Hummel.

Source: Pinterest

Though Jon admitted to using “poor judgment” (um, DUH), he still denied the allegations. Hey man, if you didn’t do it, then what was there to use poor judgment on? Jon was not a fan of the attention that his martial missteps got him, and all there was left to do was own up to his mistake!

What Happened to Kate Plus 8?

With Jon and Kate legally separated and waiting for their divorce to be finalized, Kate continued the show – but dropped her ex-husband’s name. That did not work out well for the former couple, as Jon bit back at his ex-wife and dragged her as much as he was possibly able to.

Kate and her eight children are in the kitchen making cookies.

Source: TV Guide

The couple no longer appeared together on television, and the show was promptly renamed Kate Plus 8. Kate and her eight children remained in their home in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. The couple rotated in and out of the home until Jon was out for good.

Time for Divorce

When Kate filed for divorce in June 2009, less than a year after they renewed their vows, she made it clear that she wasn’t happy becoming a statistic. In a May 2009 episode of the family’s TLC series, Kate got candid and emotional – spitting some information that might be true – but might not be.

The Gosselin family is celebrating the sextuplets birthday.

Source: Facebook

“Parents of multiples have triple the divorce rate,” Kate said emotionally on a May 2009 episode of their TLC series. “I was thinking we were going to beat that. I don’t know if I can say that anymore.” I’m not sure if that statistic is accurate, but either way, that’s a tough situation for them to be put in!

Changing the Show’s Name

What Jon Gosselin could not stand was seeing his name dropped from the show. Whether or not he admits to it, it clearly ignited a fire within him that he could not put out without feeling that he had been heard. While their divorce was being finalized, Jon spoke out on Larry King Live.

Jon Gosselin speaks at a press conference.

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Jon claimed that he had an “epiphany” and used it as his reasoning to try and pull his children from the TLC show. He suddenly was not OK with having his children on national television every week – probably because he was not happy about the show becoming simply Kate Plus 8.

Contract Disputes

Jon was not having it – and neither was TLC. The network filed a breach of contract suit against him in October 2009. Jon thought that two could play that game, so he fought back by filing a countersuit against the company for abusing child labor laws in the state of Pennsylvania – or so he claimed.

John and Kate Gosselin pose in front of a TLC poster.

Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images

Jon and the network managed to come to a settlement in February 2010, but this certainly would not be the end of Jon and Kate ringing the network for all it was worth. Part of TLC’s agreement was that both parents would refrain from talking smack about the other publicly – something that Jon and Kate both loved to do.

The Divorce Proceedings

After a long, public battle and divorce, the couple finally made it official. Their divorce was finalized in December 2009, and while they were granted shared physical custody of their eight children, Kate had full legal custody over their clan. Did she want to take down her ex-husband in the process?

Kate and her kids pose for a photo on the stairs at home.

Source: Tumblr

Not only did Kate get full legal custody, but she also got their house. She planned to stay in their marital home, by herself, as a single mother of a small army. Kate must have celebrated having such a big bed all to herself, even if it was going to be alone for the first time in a decade.

Harshest Critics

Jon continued to slam Kate publicly whenever he could. Just months after their divorce was finalized, Jon felt it was necessary to file an emergency petition for primary custody of his children. Why on earth did he feel the need to be so dramatic so soon? The reason is absolute buffoonery…

Kate is rolling her eyes during an interview with dance partner Tony Dovolani on “Dancing with the Stars”.

Source: Reddit

Jon felt it was totally necessary for him to file a suit against his ex-wife for neglecting her children… because she appeared on Dancing with the Stars! If you watched her performances, that was embarrassing enough for her. Now you’re going to slap this extra suit on her? He referred to her as an “absentee mom” Ouch, Jon!

Moving On Romantically

When the couple initially split, Jon was reportedly linked to a long list of women. Some of those women include Kate Major, who went on to marry Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan’s father. Jon was simultaneously linked to Hailey Glassman, who was just a young 20-something at the time.

Kate Major / Hailey Glassman / Morgan Christie

Photo by Amanda Edwards, FilmMagic, Getty Images / Gilbert Carrasquillo, WireImag Getty Images / Jerritt Clark, WireImage, Getty Images

After his fling with Hailey Glassman fizzled out, Jon was seen cozying up to Morgan Christie, who was 25 years old at the time. They met snowboarding in Utah, and the two traveled together over the holidays. At the time, he kept that more on the down-low because he didn’t want to publicize it too much.

Kate Dated, Too!

Kate Gosselin managed to move on romantically as well, even if it wasn’t quite as quickly as Jon did. For a while, Kate was romantically linked to her bodyguard, Steve Neild. Did she really need a bodyguard, or did she just want to connect herself to someone strong who was hired to protect her?

Kate Gosselin and her bodyguard Steve Neild leave after having lunch.

Photo by James Devaney/WireImage/Getty Images

After she cut romantic ties with her bodyguard, Kate was rumored to be dating millionaire Jeff Prescott. Prescott made his millions after founding Dreamstime, an online stock photo database with a ridiculous number of photos available for use. However, Kate claimed they never dated. He says differently…

Kate’s Ex-Boyfriend Didn’t Like Her Denial

Of course, everything ends up being a case of he said, she said when it comes to, well, anything. A report for Entertainment Tonight back in 2015 revealed that Kate and Jeff Prescott were, indeed, dating and that things were far from casual. Things were heading toward serious!

A photo of Jeff Prescott.

Source: Facebook

Prescott had a lot to say about her denial of their relationship’s existence. They were rumored to have talked about moving in together! “She can say she didn’t date me, but how do you qualify that if I was supposed to be on her show as her boyfriend?”

Cake Boss- Some Cakes May Not Be Edible

Apparently, in some cases, the incredible cakes that Buddy and his talented team create are inedible. Given the extravagance of their cakes, it doesn’t come as a big shock that you can’t eat everything that’s on there. One example is the cake that Carlo’s Bake Shop made for Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday.

Buddy standing next to the Chicago Cubs cake

Source: Twitter

Apparently, Chicago Cubs spokesperson Julian Green noted that the magnificent cake was “mostly made up of non-edible material,” according to ESPN. Meanwhile, the edible pieces of cake were left on display for quite a while, so the team decided not to serve it.

Closing Bakery Locations

In 2019, Carlo’s Bake Shop announced that it would, unfortunately, be closing two of their locations, in Morristown and Ridgewood. So, what was the reason for the closures? Nicole Valdes, the bakery’s spokesperson, released a statement to NJ Advance Media:

Buddy leaning on a display case with cakes inside and a two-layered cake on top

Photo by The Washington Post / Getty Images

“The leases at the two locations ended, and the company chose not to renew.” Before these two stores closed their doors, the company shut down a few other locations. As disappointing as it was, they closed at the perfect time. Little did they know that 2020 would bring a global pandemic that would severely impact these types of businesses.

Bakery Staff Complain About Management

Reportedly, the staff working at the bakery complain about their management. You would think they have it so well. I mean, who doesn’t want unlimited cupcakes? Well, the company does, in fact, have “poor management,” according to a former customer service associate.

Workers fooling around in the back room of the Cake Boss bakery

Source: Twitter

“They do not respect set schedules and keep on changing them as they wish. The managers do not know how to manage hours. Do not care about their staff. There isn’t even a place for the staff to take a break.” A former baker wrote, “Carlo’s bakery is so unorganized, and they tend to put their foot right on the legal line. Such an unethical company and managers are so shady.”

He wasn’t Always the Cake Boss

Several reports and reviews of the bakery claim that it is extremely rare to find Buddy himself in any of the store’s locations. Maybe it’s because he is way too busy taking care of everything behind the scenes. The best way to catch a glimpse of him is when the camera crew is around.

Buddy showing off a pink piped rose made of frosting

Photo by Amy Sussman / WireImage / Getty Images

Buddy spoke with Baker’s Journal back in 2015 and admitted that before the show started, he never used the nickname Cake Boss. In fact, the show came up with the name. He also said, “I was skeptical at first. I didn’t want to come off like a jerk – like I was better than everyone else – but it shows who I am in a true light.”

Buddy Was Sued for Using His Famous Name

In 2010, rumors started circulating that Buddy was dealing with some legal issues and was sued for using his famous nickname. NBC New York reported that Valastro and TLC’s parent company Discovery Communications were the subject of a complaint filed by Masters Software, Inc.

Buddy standing in front of a sign that says ‘Rock out with your cake out’

Photo by JP Yim / Goldbelly / Getty Images

The company owners claimed to have been selling a business management program called “CakeBoss” since 2007. Buddy’s show didn’t air until 2009. According to Master Software Inc.’s lawyer, the two companies ultimately entered a “confidential settlement agreement.”

The Duff Goldman Feud

Many viewers thought it was just for the show, but it turned out that Buddy did, in fact, have a feud with Duff Goldman, baker and Food Network star. During an interview with TV Insider, Goldman recalled the first meeting he ever had with Cake Boss:

Buddy and Duff Goldman at an event

Photo by Mike Coppola / Discovery / Getty Images

“I remember I held the door open for him as he was bringing in a sheeter – this massive piece of equipment that rolls fondant for you – and I was making fun of him. Like, “Why are you bringing a sheeter to a cake competition? Just use a rolling pin!”

Claudio’s Italy Wedding Was Fake

During an earlier season, there was an episode where Claudio, Buddy’s second cousin, was getting married. In honor of the special occasion, Buddy, his brother-in-law Mauro, their families, and the late Mary Valastro flew to Altamura, Italy.

Buddy placing green fondant around a cake

Source: Twitter

According to Fame 10, one visitor to Carlo’s Bake Shop claimed, “I have been to Carlo’s Bakery (the bakery from Cake Boss). While we later learned that the “wedding” they were shooting in Italy was totally faked. They never actually tied the knot. Kind of ruined the experience for me.”

Buddy Fired His Own Twin Sister

As you might assume, working with family tends to be difficult and comes with a lot of drama. However, it usually doesn’t get to the point where someone fires a family member from their job. Well, at one point, that is exactly what Buddy did.

Mary Sciarrone at an event in 2012

Photo by Neilson Barnard / WireImage for Jelly Belly / Getty Images

In one Cake Boss episode, Buddy decided that he and the bakery had enough of his sister Mary Sciarrone and her big mouth. That’s when he decided to pull her aside and fire her. Don’t worry, though; Mary was eventually hired back. At the end of the day, you got to stick with family.

Cousin Anthony’s Rude Comments

If you have been following Buddy and the rest of his talented family on TV throughout the ten seasons of the show, you definitely recognize Anthony “Cousin Anthony” Bellifemine. He is the one who played pranks on Buddy and the bakery staff while he worked on the cakes.

Cousin Anthony posing with his arms crossed

Photo by Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images

In 2013, following the Boston Marathon bombing, he took to Twitter, where he thought it would be acceptable to refer to immigrants as “animals.” As you can imagine, his comments created a lot of backlash. But despite all the criticism, Cousin Anthony stuck to his ignorant rant.

Cousin Anthony Made an Unexpected Exit

But that wasn’t the only time Bellifemine did something shocking. He also stunned Cake Boss fans when he suddenly decided to leave the show at the end of Season Six. According to all accounts, his exit was abrupt, and Buddy even claimed that Cousin Anthony never spoke to him about leaving before making the decision.

Cousin Anthony with Mauro and Joey posing in the back of the bakery

Source: Pinterest

After finding out that Bellifemine moved to Florida with his family out of nowhere, Buddy commented, “I put my heart into training this kid. To see him throw it away, after all these years, I don’t know, man. I really want success for him.”

Buddy’s Alleged Mafia Connections

As it turns out, it’s not only celebrities and other VIP circles that Buddy runs with. The Cake Boss also apparently has some Mafia connections. During an interview, Buddy was asked if he knew the Mafiosi and replied, “Absolutely. Everybody does.”

Buddy serving customers from behind the counter

Photo by The Washington Post / Getty Images

However, these reported remarks are the only evidence pointing to Mafia connections. Other than that, there have been no sightings of Buddy hanging out with known Mafia families. Let’s just hope, for his sake, that Buddy cut all ties he might have had with the Mafia.

Buddy’s DUI Arrest

Buddy was driving in Manhattan, New York, back in 2014, when he was arrested on DUI charges. According to a report from NBC New York, police stopped Buddy near 10th Avenue after following him in his yellow Corvette for a little while.

Buddy with his lawyer laughing in court

Source: LA Times

Reportedly, he seemed “unsteady on his feet” as soon as he stepped out of the vehicle. His eyes were bloodshot, and his face was flushed, so it seemed obvious that he was under the influence. After he failed a Breathalyzer test, the Cake Boss was taken into custody.

Do You Know Who I Am?!

Even after he failed a Breathalyzer test, Buddy seemed confident that nothing was going to happen to him. He thought he would get off with no real consequences for his actions. During his arrest, Buddy reportedly mentioned, “I had a couple drinks. You can’t arrest me! I’m the Cake Boss.”

DJ Khalid and Buddy with a money gun

Photo by Johnny Nunez / WireImage / Getty Images

There is nothing that makes me want a person to get arrested, like when someone pulls the celebrity card. It shouldn’t give him a free pass to endanger someone else’s life. The prosecutor said that Buddy insisted, “I’m a good guy. Can you just put me in a cab? I don’t have to be arrested; I’m not a bad guy.”

Buddy’s Brother-in-Law Is in Jail

If you have been watching the show for a while, you may remember Remigio “Remy” Gonzalez, Buddy’s brother-in-law. As it turns out, Remy was arrested for sexually assaulting a minor. The New Jersey Star-Ledger obtained the arrest affidavit, which said the arrest came after two detectives met with two witnesses.

Buddy with Remy Gonzalez

Buddy Valastro and Remy Gonzalez. Photo by Mike Stobe / New York Red Bull / Getty Images

Both witnesses claimed that Gonzalez confessed multiple times about assaulting the 13-year-old girl. We don’t need to speak much about his despicable crimes. But you may be pleased to know that he has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Accused of Being Transphobic

As it turns out, Buddy’s DUI wasn’t the only time Buddy found himself in hot water. A 2012 episode of Cake Boss also provoked controversy when a beautiful transgender woman named Carmen Carrera was flirting with Cousin Anthony. They two hit it off, and he even asked Carmen for her number.

Ralph, Anthony, Danny, and Frank posing on the red carpet

Photo by Mike Pont / Getty Images

But during an interview, Buddy couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He said, “That’s a man, baby.” As you can imagine, Carmen was offended. She came on the show under the impression that she “signed on to do this episode of Cake Boss to promote EQUALITY.” Ouch!

He Was an Arsonist

As a child, Buddy was a bit of a bad boy who dropped out of high school due to unfortunate and uncontrollable circumstances. His parents put so much time and effort into the bakery that there was no one to watch over the future Cake Boss. After school, Buddy would just hang out at the bakery so his parents could keep an eye on him.

Buddy’s father standing behind him on his first birthday

Buddy with his father. Source: Twitter

But when left to his own devices, Buddy would get out of control. When he was 11 years old, he and his friends were always up to something, most notably, starting fires in the woods. To keep Buddy under control, his dad made him work at the bakery on the weekends. He spent his first day cleaning toilets.

12-Hour Thanksgiving Shifts

Thanksgiving is a busy time for Carlo’s Bakery, but customers don’t come in for their famous cakes. Instead, they come for the pies, or should I say the 20,000 pies. A team of 5-10 employees is required to work 12-hour days to bake these sweets for the Thanksgiving rush.

Buddy standing in front of a turkey cake / Buddy’s pumpkin pie with others behind it

Photo by David Livingston, Getty Images / carlosbakery.goldbelly.com

The pies, which include apple, cherry, lemon, peach, or pumpkin flavors, are handmade and follow Buddy’s father’s original recipes. Although the crew takes the time to bake these pies with their bare hands, the customers don’t need to use their hands at all. The holiday treats can be delivered straight to their doors.

Taking the High Road

With so much talent and success, it’s only natural to become a target of industry rivals. In 2012, this happened with Ace of Cakes’ star Duff Goldman who railed against Buddy after his own show’s cancelation. He said he doesn’t like being compared to the Cake Boss and sees it as an insult rather than a compliment.

Buddy putting his hand in with other kitchen works before starting a project

Source: Twitter

He went on to say he is not friends with Buddy. According to Buddy, they’ve never even met. But when he was asked to respond to the shade, Buddy maturely insisted that he has nothing negative to say about Duff and wishes him success on all his future projects. Since this feud, the two have reconciled and even have their own show.

Makes Sure His Customers Can Afford His Cakes

Of course, Buddy loves when rich customers spare no expense at his store, but he tries to keep an eye out for his less fortunate clients. He wants to make sure people are only buying cakes they can afford, especially when it comes to soon-to-be-married couples. One bride had her cake vision since she was a child, but it included expensive sugar flowers.

Jessica decorating a colorful unicorn cake

Source: Twitter

Buddy could tell that the couple was stressed over the cost of the cake, so he made a suggestion: Use real, less expensive flowers. The couple were thrilled by the idea and were able to save a lot of money.

Some Questionable Clients

Buddy tries not to judge anyone who walks through the doors of his bakery, even if they’ve spent time in the slammer. Buddy made a cake for Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano’s inauguration in 2009. Three weeks later, the former mayor was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges and stepped down from his brief position.

A Tribeca Film Festival cake / A Tuna cake in the shape of the starkest mascot

Photo by Slaven Vlasic, 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, Getty Images / Taylor Hill, FilmMagic, Getty Images

When asked about the situation, Buddy had nothing to say and made no comment at all. He did claim that the cake wasn’t an actual endorsement but also wouldn’t say anything negative about Cammarano: “I always stay politically neutral,” he said.

He Endorsed Chris Christie

Buddy endorsed beach-loving, bottle-throwing Trump hostage Chris Christie. Christie is the Governor of his home state, and he is loyal to New Jersey. But you would think Buddy would think twice before supporting the Governor, considering all the headlines that came out about him.

Buddy decorating a cake

Source: Twitter

But Buddy has been friends with Christie for years, long before Buddy’s endorsement. He baked an inauguration cake for his good friend and praised him for his efforts cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy. But then, during the New Jersey flooding a few years later, the angry Governor yelled at a student to mop up the mess. Maybe Buddy should stick to his “politically neutral” ways.

He Refuses to Make an Ugly Cake

Cake Boss will go the extra mile to make their customer’s dream cake, but even Cake Boss has its limits. Sure, the customer may always be right, but Buddy has no problem telling them if he thinks they are very wrong. If he thinks some flavors won’t taste good together, or if a bride chooses a cake that shouldn’t see the light of day, he tells them.

A cake in the shape of a brick oven with Carlo’s Bake Shop written in the back and decorated for Christmas

Source: Twitter

But when the customers are too stubborn, Buddy tries another tactic. Instead of telling the client that he won’t make their cake, he pretends that he isn’t available to make the cake during the requested time frame. Smooth.

High School Drop Out

Although he dropped out of high school, Buddy turned out quite well. He didn’t leave school by choice, but because his father passed away when he was just 17, leaving him to take over the family business. Once he stepped into the kitchen, Buddy developed his skills to make more elaborate cakes.

Buddy placing a slice of cake on a plate / A cake with a whale sticking out of it and coral all around it

Photo by John W Ferguson, WireImage for Chase, Getty Images / Source: Twitter

He garnered attention from the local press, which eventually led to opening more restaurants and a long-running reality TV show. Buddy attributes all his success to his father’s work ethic and good influence. Buddy believes that by working hard, anyone can achieve the American dream. Whether they have an education or not.

Keeps His Faith Close

After Buddy’s father passed away, the business struggled for a little while. Buddy told his barber that he was worried about losing the bakery, and the barber contacted the Baptist church to help the struggling family get the business back on its feet. The family is actually Catholic, but from that day forward, his family would attend the Baptist Church.

Buddy with his wife and kids posing outdoors

Photo by Bobby Bank / Getty Images

But Buddy is loyal to his Catholic roots. Carlo’s Bakery donates loaves of bread to the St. Anthony’s feast at the Hoboken St. Francis Church every year. He also donates Zeppoles (fried dough) to Saint Joseph’s Church in Jersey City. Buddy’s father started the tradition of donating bread, and Buddy plans to continue it forever.

He Once Got Lost at Sea

One summer night in 2014, thick fog was covering the New York Harbor, and Buddy had to call the Coast Guard. He was sailing with his family, including terrified children under the age of 10, when he got scared as well: “I’m thinking it’s dark… We wind up going into this deep, deep fog where you couldn’t see 10 feet in front of you,” he explained.

Buddy and his family posing on a boat / Buddy with an office on the boat after being rescued

Source: Twitter / Instagram

Everyone calmed down once a fire department vessel met Buddy and his family on a 32-foot Boston Whaler and made sure everyone was safe. Police confirmed that the Cake Boss was completely sober and simply got lost. He also promised to bake a thank-you cake for his saviors.

The Injury That Almost Ended His Career

September 2020 ended up being an eventful month for Buddy and his family. He was spending some quality time with his kids at their in-home bowling alley. “I was trying to fix my bowling alley in my house,” he explained during an interview.

Buddy lying in the hospital bed with his arm propped up and in a cast

Source: Twitter

“I have a pinsetter, and it was stuck. I went back there, and I dozed off for a second, and it caught my hand between a fork, and it just went ‘Boom!’ It blew through my hand, and then it rolled it.” Valastro was impaled in his hand three times with a long, inch-thick metal rod. He described it as around eight inches long.

His Children to the Rescue

This accident was definitely terrifying for the entire family. They released the security footage from their front door camera when his wife Lisa made the 911 call. She was so scared to see Buddy in such a bad state that she wasn’t able to go downstairs. Their children ended up cutting him out of the machine using a power saw so they can drive him to the hospital with the spike still in his hand.

Buddy standing behind Lisa in the kitchen / Buddy piping frosting with his left hand with his kids

Source: Twitter

Buddy has found a fantastic surgeon since then and is on his way to recovering. While he doesn’t have complete control back, he is slowly regaining movement, and his non-dominant hand has been stepping up to the plate. There is still some work to do on getting full control back, but he was able to thank his surgeon by creating a cake for her.

Road to Recovery

Buddy’s family has been there for him every step of the way. He is now working on a new season of his tv show with his once “rival”, Duff, called “Buddy vs. Duff.” Recently, he launched a new cake-slice vending machine which has been blowing up. His recovery was also documented on TLC’s ‘Road to Recovery.’

The Carlo’s Bake Shop vending machine filled with cake slices / The menu on the vending machine with five options remaining for the day

Source: Reddit / Twitter

There have been a variety of things placed in vending machines lately, but this one is intriguing. The machines are temperature-controlled and are re-stocked every day. They sell many options like rainbow, carrow, red velvet, vanilla confetti, and more, and they cost about $9 each. For the size of the slice and reputation of the the Cake Boss, it’s worth every penny.

He Hates “Naked Cakes”

Buddy refers to undecorated cakes as “naked cakes.” They are just plain cakes with no decorations, and the Cake Boss can’t stand this trend, as you probably know from his extravagant cakes. He believes naked cakes are boring, and they need some sort of decoration in order to stand out.

Buddy decorating a tiered cake with icing

Photo by Foto24 / Gallo Images / Getty Images

That being said, he thinks brides should keep it simple. Buddy strongly believes in a classically designed wedding cake. Some brides want crazy elaborate designs, but the Cake Boss recommends they consider something a little classier. However, that doesn’t mean he wants to see a plain, dull bridal cake.

World Record for the Most Expensive Cake

Although the Cake Boss believes wedding cakes should be simple, Buddy goes all out if that’s what the customer wants. Socialite Devorah Rose wanted the most luxurious and expensive cake for her diamond gala, and Buddy promised to make it happen. He certainly didn’t disappoint.

Devorah Rose in front of the camera with the expensive cake behind her

Source: Pinterest

The cake ended up breaking the world record for the most expensive cake baked. Before Buddy’s socialite stole the crown, the most expensive cake on record was baked in China for $315,000. The cake is decorated with jewels and decorations. For that hefty price tag, I hope it’s also made of gold.

The Cakes Are Not as Impressive in Real Life

There is no denying how amazing and impressive the cakes on Cake Boss turn out. All the detail and creativity definitely make for an unbelievable cake, but maybe there is a reason they are so unbelievable. Good lighting, clever camera angles, and decent editing do a lot.

A carousel which works and is also a cake / Buddy and another woman working on a cake which looks like a bag of flour and sugar being poured into a bowl from above

Source: Twitter

Apparently, these magnificent cakes really aren’t that impressive in real life. In fact, many customers have said that it’s quite disappointing to see the cakes up close. Apparently, a lot of the designs they add are created just to make it look better on camera. Sneaky, sneaky.

Wedding Season

Obviously, the reason Cake Boss is so popular is because of Buddy’s ability to create glorious cakes, many being wedding cakes. Usually, each episode is dedicated to documenting the creation of one or two cakes. However, there is much more going on in the bakery. When wedding season rolls around, the bakery makes 40 cakes a week. To keep up, they’ve created a teamwork system.

Buddy piping delicate designs into a white four-tiered wedding cake

Source: Twitter

Five people work on baking the cakes, another team focuses on the fillings, and a different group handles the decorating. The staff said the most difficult cake to make was the one of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The 6-foot-tall cake took 35 people to complete.

Mighty Mike Gator Cake

If you want the coolest cake in town to celebrate any occasion, Cake Boss is the one to call. The New Jersey Aquarium was getting ready to send their star alligator Mighty Mike down south. They wanted a send-off cake as big as he is – 14 feet!

Kitchen staff working on the long alligator cake / Buddy Valastro working on the alligator’s head

Source: Twitter

Buddy’s crew designed and created a replica of the gigantic reptile. According to TLC YouTube, it weighed over 1,000 pounds more than the actual alligator. But a 1,000-pound cake isn’t extreme enough for Cake Boss, so the team built a mouth that can be opened and closed! How realistic?!

Happy Birthday U.S. Army

When the 237th U.S. Army rolled around, Buddy and his crew baked a 500-pound treat! They constructed a huge cake shaped like a tank, and it was cut in Times Square during a ceremony in front of a recruiting station that, according to the Army News Service, had been there since 1946.

Buddy with soldiers taking a sword to the tank cake at Times Square

Photo by John Moore / Getty Images

Eight Cake Boss employees worked on the culinary behemoth for three days and then transported it to Times Square. After the enormous cake was cut, General Odierno, who led the ceremony, swore in 16 new enlistees. The impressive tank cake was certainly an appropriate tribute to the U.S. Army.

Aquarium Fantasy Cake

Buddy didn’t keep it simple when his niece Bartoline’s 16th birthday came with a theme: Under the Sea. He made her a humungous aquarium cake with edible coral reef and hand-painted fish, and a very realistic-looking blue lobster popping out!

Two close-up photographs of the fish tank

Source: TLC

The hand-textured, airbrushed coral was amplified by ice-mold sugar corals in this three-dimensional masterpiece. The coral reef cake was made to surround a real fish tank. An aquarium with real fish had another pieced of cake on top that had two hand-painted fish on it. Buddy referred to it as “the best cake ever!” It’s a shame they ate it.

Atlantic City Casino Cake

Every important birthday needs an amazing cake. So, when Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City turned 30, Buddy didn’t mess around. The crew made a cake perfect for any gambler to love. The cake literally looked like it came off the casino craps table. There was a slot machine cake on top and a bunch of hand-painted chips.

Buddy standing next to the Casino cake

Photo by Tom Briglia / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Many Cake Boss fans came out to celebrate Bally’s birthday and to see the incredible cake. Two huge dice cakes were the cherry on top of the entire cake, and edible playing cards were painted on all four sides of the slot machine. Like most of Buddy’s cakes, there was plenty to go around.

Sesame Street Perfection

When it was time for Carlo’s Bakery to celebrate Sesame Street, details were definitely something they paid attention to. Of course, Buddy planned a larger-than-life cake featuring the iconic buildings we all recognize from Sesame Street. But the various characters stole the show.

The sesame street cake sitting

Source: TLC

There was so much attention to detail that Cookie Monster’s cookie boxes featured teeny tiny Carlo’s Bakery logos. The Sesame Street signs were replicated perfectly, and it really takes me back to my childhood. Buddy Valastro declared that he was pleased with how the cake turned out.

Cake Is Ice Cream’s Best Friend

If you’re looking for good ice cream, look no further than Häagen Daz. To celebrate the ice cream brand’s 50th anniversary in its first New York Location, Cake Boss was called in. He did a marvelous job decorating a three-flavor-based cake. Then, he kicked it up a notch with three vertically stacked ice cream “pints” made out of pound cake.

Buddy standing in front of the Haagen Dazs cake

Photo by John Lamparski / WireImage / Getty Images

Even though it was cake and not ice cream, it looked convincing to me. The cake and icing flavors used matched the flavors of vanilla, coffee, and strawberry ice cream. The top of the cake was decorated with real strawberries, hand-crafted vanilla flowers, and real coffee beans! Yum!

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – Sisters From Different Misters

Although Alana was the star of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the hilarious show was made up of the non-beauty pageant members of the Thompson/Shannon/Cardwell family too. The reality show wouldn’t have been the same without Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon, and Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell.

Alana and her family are sitting on the front stoop of their home, looking all disheveled.

Source: TLC

The sisters seem pretty similar on TV, but they are very different in real life. Sure, they all like cheese balls and have goofy, silly personalities. But every single one of them has a different father. Believe it not; Mama June got around…

No More Girl Scout Cookies!

It’s not uncommon for celebrities to use the “do you know who I am?” card to their advantage. Who can blame them? Their status can certainly help them get what they want, and it’s no different when it comes to Honey Boo Boo. While filming the show, Alana joined the Georgia Girl Scouts and helped sell their famous cookies.

Alana is carrying more cookie boxes than she can handle.

Source: TLC

But after she went on social media and urged her fan and followers to buy the delicious treats, she was banned from selling cookies. She wasn’t allowed to sell the Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos, the Tagalongs, or the Chewy Samoas anymore. Awkward… She was only trying to help…

Season Two Was Nearly Canceled

As we mentioned, Season One nearly came to an abrupt end thanks to a visit from the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services. But Season Two was almost canceled as well.

A selfie of Alena and her sister Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon laughing together.

Source: Instagram/@Honeybooboo

When cameras started rolling at the Honey Boo Boo household, the family had to rush to the hospital. Why? Because Pumpkin was almost blinded. Apparently, Sugar Bear innocently threw her his car keys, but she didn’t catch them. Instead, they hit her eye and scratched her cornea. Luckily, it missed her eyeball, but not by a lot.

Mama June Is Legally blind

If you have kept up with every episode of Honey Boo Boo, chances are you have heard Mama June make comments about her lack of eyesight. What you probably didn’t know, however, is that she is legally blind. It was confirmed that as a child, Mama June contracted cataracts, but her eyes were never operated on, and the condition was never treated.

TV personality June

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Unfortunately, Mama June has struggled with her sight ever since. At this point, corrective surgery would only make her eyesight worse. Because of the circumstances, Mama June has no choice but to deal with her poor vision. She won’t have a driver’s license for the rest of her life.

“Chickadee” Sued Her Mama

It’s obvious that Honey Boo Boo is the favorite in the Thompson household. But once the reality show aired, it’s fair to say that many people tuned in to watch the shaky and dramatic relationship between Mama June and her oldest daughter, Anna (“Chickadee”).

Anna Cardwell and her husband.

Source: Reddit

From the beginning, things were tense between Mama June and Chickadee, and the firstborn only agreed to move back home with her family and appear on the show if she was heavily compensated. As you can imagine, the money never materialized. Anna ended up suing her mother for $300,000! Ultimately, Mama June gave her $15,400.

Parenting Scandal

Sadly, this wasn’t the only time Chickadee felt like her mom didn’t have her best interest at heart. On Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mama June comes across as a caring and loving mother- despite how crazy she seems. But that wasn’t exactly the case, especially when she was younger.

June Shanon and her husband Mike on the back of an ATV in camouflage clothing.

Source: Facebook

The National Enquirer reported that Mama June abandoned Chickadee as a baby so that she could run off with a boyfriend. After this irresponsible incident, Chickadee’s grandmother, Sandra Hale, was given sole custody of the youngster. Custody wasn’t returned to Mama June until after filming Here Comes Honey Boo Boo started.

A Dollar Makes Her Holler

If you’re a Honey Boo Boo fan, you have probably heard the phrase “A dollar makes me holler” once or twice. But did you ever wonder where exactly this term comes from? It appears as though the saying stemmed from the amazing paychecks the family was getting from TLC.

Alana in full pageant dress, hair, and makeup at the young age of 5.

Source: Reddit

After the first season of Here Comes, Honey Boo Boo was a huge success, and the network decided to give the family a well-deserved raise. They were making an amazing $50,000 an episode! Needless to say, the once struggling family was not complaining about their new-found cash.

Watch Out, Kardashians

Honey Boo Boo and her family were so popular that it even scared one of the biggest reality TV families – the Kardashians. Reportedly, Kris Jenner was scared that Mama June and her family would take their top spot, especially when more seasons of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo were commissioned by TLC.

The entire family of Honey Boo Boo standing in front of their house on Halloween dressed up as the Kardashian family.

Source: TLC

Lucky for the Kardashians, they aren’t as dysfunctional as Honey Boo Boo and her family. When their on-screen drama poured over into real life, the reality series was canceled for good. Despite the show’s success while it was airing, it didn’t steal the reality TV crown from Kris.

Two Thumbs Up

As we all watched Alana Thompson and her Honey Boo Boo persona take over our television screens, the little quirks and even strange family tendencies have proved to be extremely unusual. They aren’t like the rest of us, to say the least.

Anna’s newborn daughter being held, she has her hand to her face, and you can see her thumb mutation.

Source: Facebook

With all the family drama going on, fans were pleased to hear that Anna (“Chickadee”) was pregnant at just 17 years old. All fans wanted was for Anna to welcome a happy and healthy bundle of joy into the world. But they were a little taken aback when Kaitlyn was born with two thumbs.

Uncle Poodle’s Skeletons

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo mainly focuses on the women in Alana Thompson’s life. But that doesn’t mean that the male figures in her life don’t make an appearance once in a while. One of the smaller cast members is Uncle Poodle, who actually chose Honey Boo Boo’s name.

Alana and her uncle Lee Thompson on stage during a beauty pageant.

Source: Pinterest

Throughout the show, Uncle Poodle clarifies that he is part of the LGBT community, but in 2012, he received terrible news when he found out that he was HIV positive. After discovering this life-changing diagnosis, he pressed charges against his ex-boyfriend, who hid his own diagnosis from him.

Coming to an Abrupt and Drastic End

Initially, TLC intended for Here Comes Honey Boo Boo to be a long-term reality show. However, in 2014, filming came to an abrupt end, and the family drama was a huge part of the reason. The news came out about how Mama June got back with an ex-boyfriend, Mark McDaniel, who was convicted for inappropriate behavior toward an 8-year-old child back in 2004.

Mama June spotted with Mark McDaniel.

Source: Twitter

Mama June firmly denied these claims. But things quickly took a huge turn for the worst when Anna “Chickadee” confirmed that she was the child in question. Because of the circumstances, TLC decided it would be best to cancel the show.

Not Everyone’s a Fan

When Here Comes to Honey Boo Boo first hit our screens, it engrossed an incredible 2.2 million watchers, and the number only continued to grow. But it’s fair to say that some people didn’t understand the public fascination with the family and the show’s entertainment value.

Alana and her family having a lively dissolution as part of an interview.

Source: Reddit

Even Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine famously stated that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo represents what he referred to as the “decay of Western civilization.” He also expressed his opinion about how he thinks that the way Mama June treats her daughter is “despicable.”

Unhealthy Lifestyle

It doesn’t really come as a surprise to learn that the family doesn’t lead the healthiest lifestyles. With their “Go-Go Juice,” TV dinners, and even dunking pacifiers in Mountain Dew, it’s safe to say health isn’t at the top of the family’s priority list. We have even watched them eat microwaved pizza covered in butter and ketchup.

The entire family is sitting outside at the Thanksgiving table.

Source: TLC

We can’t see a full picture of their nutritional consumption on TV, but a source close to the family discussed their diet with The National Enquirer, and it’s not great. The source revealed that for breakfast, instead of cereal, Alana would usually eat cheese puffs. She would also reportedly “brag about how they cook roadkill for meals.”

The New and Improved Mama June

Despite the cancellation of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mama June and her family still managed to stay in the limelight. Even though she got her family’s reality show, Mama June landed her own television show called Mama June: From Not to Hot.

Alana Thompson and June Shannon attend the

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

The show takes us on her weight loss journey and her aspirations of becoming the next big name in the adult pageant world. In 2017, the hopeful pageant queen showed off her unbelievable 300-pound weight loss, and the world was stunned at her amazing transformation. But not everyone was convinced…

Haters Gonna Hate

If you’re in the limelight, you can’t avoid the haters, but when Mama June revealed her impressive, slimmed-down body on Mama June: From Hot to Not, she didn’t accept the hate that followed. Fans couldn’t deny that she had lost weight, it was the show and her reliability that people didn’t trust.

June Shannon post weight loss smiling to the camera.

Source: TLC

In fact, many folks believed that she was wearing a fat suit on set in order to make her weight loss seem even more dramatic. According to the critics, the fat suit and prosthetics could be seen peeling off at several points throughout the show.

Inspiring Her Daughters

Incredibly, Mama June’s staggering weight loss transformation not only impressed her fans but motivated her daughters Alana and Pumpkin. In fact, even Honey Boo Boo shed a few pounds after being inspired by her mama.

Pumpkin is showing off her weight loss while endorsing a weight loss drink brand.

Source: Instagram/@annamarie35

Thanks to her mother’s lifestyle changes that include diet and exercise, her daughter jumped on the bandwagon and started losing some of her own weight. In 2017, Mama June claimed Alana “lost about seven pounds” and Pumpkin “lost about four.” It goes to show that healthy lifestyle habits begin at home.

Who Is Jennifer Lamb?

Honey Boo Boo fans everywhere were heartbroken when news broke that Mama June and Sugar Bear called it quits. But it didn’t take him a long time to find another woman named Jennifer Lamb. Lamb soon became a huge part of Alana’s life – to her mother’s dismay.

Jennifer Lamb and Sugar Bear in their home.

Source: Facebook

As Sugar Bear’s relationship with Lamb was growing, the next natural step was for her to finally meet the star of his family, Honey Boo Boo. They chose to do so behind Mama June’s back, but like most lies, she eventually found out, and let’s just say she was not happy about it.

Mama June vs. Jennifer Lamb

It should come as no surprise to find out that Mama June and Jennifer Lamb didn’t exactly get along very well, and they didn’t try to hide it either. After her weight loss transformation and trying to encourage her daughter to follow, Mama June seemed to be on a wonderful path.

Alana and her mother are sitting on the couch.

Source: WE!

However, Jennifer didn’t like that Mama June was trying to force her diet on Alana. So, what did she do? Sabotage Mama June’s efforts. Whenever Honey Boo Boo would want unhealthy snacks, Lamb gave them to her behind her mother’s back.

Jennifer Lamb and Sugar Bear tied the knot in 2017 and are currently still married.

Honey Boo Boo – Trust Fund Kid

Okay, let’s be real; trust fund kids are extremely lucky. I mean, my life would be a whole lot easier if I had money in an account waiting for me. Usually, it’s not a lifetime supply of money but enough for college, or maybe it’s saved for a rainy day.

A young Honey Boo Boo in full pageant attire, looking directly at the camera from behind her sunglasses.

Source Twitter

But Honey Boo Boo has a pretty impressive trust fund. That’s right. Mama June decided that she would take her daughter’s TLC money and put it in a trust fund for her, which was a great idea. The exact amount is unclear, but with Alana making between $15,000 and $20,000 per episode, it’s safe to say she will be comfortable when she turns 21 and gains access to the fund.

Off the Air

Despite his devastating diagnosis, Uncle Poodle has tried to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. He even walked down the aisle with Alan Stevenson in 2015. Their special day was filmed by the TLC crew who film the family’s reality show.

Uncle Poodle is warping his arms around his husband Alan on the family’s front porch steps.

Source: Facebook

If you’re wondering why you didn’t see it, don’t worry, you didn’t miss it. The network couldn’t air the end product. Apparently, Mama June celebrated a little too hard, and her behavior was inappropriate for television. I really want to see the footage now! How bad could it be?

The Prodigal Child

Over the years, the Shannon family has certainly made a name for themselves, and, unfortunately, it’s not always for positive reasons. That’s why, in 2015, Mama June knew she had to brag when her daughter Chubbs became the first member of the family to graduate high school!

The whole Thompson/Shannon family at Chubb’s graduation.

Source: Facebook

The proud mom was even more delighted when she went on to college to study nursing. So, what do you think? Will Honey Boo Boo follow in her big sister’s footsteps? I sure hope so!

Dreaming Big

Right now, Honey Boo Boo is perfectly content and seems like a happy kid enjoying her time in the spotlight. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t thought about her future and what she wants to be when she grows up.

Alana

Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

During an E! News interview, Honey Boo Boo revealed that she has more than one dream job. I guess some of her pageant childhood stuck because she wants to become a hairstylist. She also wants to be a nurse and hopes to become a “mama” one day. She also expressed that she wants to become a manicurist and work at McDonald’s. The sky is the limit for this little one.

Social Media Sensation

As a public figure, in reality, shows Toddlers & Tiaras, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and Mama June: From Not to Hot, Honey Boo Boo has become a social media star! During her years in the limelight, the pageant queen has built up an amazing fan following and currently has over 815,000 followers.

Honey Boo Boo taking a selfie in a bathroom mirror with the flash on.

Source: Facebook

She updates her Instagram frequently and loves to share selfies of herself and her friends. She also posts videos with her wacky family and promotes her slime account. Yes, the girl makes and sells slime, so you should definitely place an order.

Rap Career

So, calling her a rapper may be a bit of a stretch, but Honey Boo Boo did show off her rap skills for a wider audience. Back in 2015, the reality show sensation and her family released their own song and even made a music video for their masterpiece.

A Young Honey Boo Boo recording her song in a studio.

Source: Youtube

The song was called “MOVING UP,” and Honey Boo Boo performed with Pumpkin, Sugar Bear, and her Mama June. They filmed the video in the basement, and I recommend you check it out. For the chorus, Honey Boo Boo gets a solo rap! What do you think? Does she have a shot at becoming a famous rapper?

Sugar Bear’s Health

Throughout his life, health was something Sugar Bear always struggled with. He always tried to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, but something always got in the way. Like, sometimes, throughout the day her randomly collapses for no reason.

Sugar Bear and Honey Boo Boo smiling for a photo from Sugar Bear’s hospital bed.

Source: Facebook

Needless to say, he has been to the hospital a number of times to get it checked out. After various checkups and tests, doctors believe he may potentially have an undiagnosed neurological disorder. It should be noted that he never confirmed or denied this. Either way, we just hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.

One Thumb on Each Hand

We mentioned that baby Kaitlyn was born with two thumbs on one hand. If you were wondering, it has since been removed. Yes, the little one went under the knife to get rid of the extra thumb, but it wasn’t so easy. Her recovery process was strict and long in order to make sure it heals properly.

Kaitlyn is sitting in a car seat while showing off a big smile and her pink cast.

Source: Instagram/@annamarie35

Kaitlyn was required to wear a cast for a whopping six months! Half a year in a cast is hard for anyone… let alone a toddler! Her process will be monitored and documented for the next few years to see if she develops any other conditions.

Arrested for Possession

In March 2019, Mama June was arrested for drug possession. You might have forgotten about this little detail, but one thing about Mama June is that she has struggled with illegal substances. According to Café Mom, the reality star and her boyfriend Geno both got arrested.

June Shannon’s Mug shot.

Source: Macon County Alabama Sheriff

Mama June’s daughter Pumpkin explained that she appreciates the fans supporting them during this difficult time: “We’re sharing our story in hopes that it helps another family, and I sincerely want to thank our fans for always being there and loving and supporting us.”

Drugs Not Hugs

According to CNN, June Shannon explained that she ran out of money and was forced to put her house on the market. Whenever a family needs to put their house up for sale, it’s never easy on their kids. Sometimes there is a good reason for it, but not in this case.

June Shannon Talking about her addiction in an interview while showing off her damaged teeth.

Source: WE!

According to CNN, Mama June spent an unbelievable $2,500 a day to feed her substance addiction. This goes to show how serious addiction is and how easy it is to spiral out of control. It’s sad to see how much was wasted on this unhealthy and dangerous habit.

My Big Fat Fabulous Life – Don’t Mess With Whitney

If you have ever watched MBFFL, you know that Whitney Way Thore is one of the sweetest people on our screens. But believe it or not, she has a dark side like the rest of us. Whitney says she only lets her feelings and emotional side out when dealing with the haters.

Whitney is looking down at her phone.

Source: Facebook

The reality star makes a constant effort to ignore the bullies and avoids reading negative comments about her online… but sometimes, it’s almost impossible not to. In order to keep herself surrounded by love and positivity, she blocks all haters on social media.

No One Knows What Her Parents Do

Just because Whitney Way Thore is a reality television star doesn’t mean everyone in her life doesn’t get their share of attention. MBFFL has welcomed several fresh faces onto our screens. You may recognize Whitney’s parents, Barbra and Glenn. They have popped up on the show plenty of times.

Whitney is sitting on stage with her parents; her mother is holding her hand.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

But have you ever wondered what they do for a living? Despite their daughter’s reality stardom, they seem to keep their personal lives private. It’s really hard to find details about them. However, according to Life and Style, Glenn used to work as a manager for Millenium Print Group.

Some Scenes Are Staged

As we know, reality shows tend to be far from reality. It’s pretty common knowledge that producers need to stage some scenes in order to stir things up and make the show more interesting, and people certainly think MBFFL is no exception. In fact, there are some specific scenes people pointed out.

Whitney is running down the street during a workout

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

Do you remember the 8-kilometer run in Season Four? A random stranger showed up and suddenly decided to help Whitney, who feels like she can’t compete in the intense race. One fan noticed that you can see the marks of a microphone if you look at his shirt, even though he’s made out to be just some guy walking by.

Looking for Plot Holes

After that, fans and sleuths started re-watching hours and hours of the show, hoping to find more examples to prove it’s fake. After all, most people don’t like feeling like they are being deceived. Sure, MBFFL shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of Whitney’s life, but were some things staged?

Whitney is taking a selfie and her friend popping up from the side.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

It didn’t take long for fans to expose a scene from Season Three. When Whitney went to the Pride Parade, someone had some rude things to say to her… at least that’s what it looked like on TV. Apparently, that guy was also wearing a mic even before he got close enough to give her that uncomfortably fake insult.

Buddy Bell’s Secret Past

Whitney wasn’t the only one to win over audiences on MBFFL. Many of the people in Whitney’s life have joined her on screen, including her best friend and former roommate, Buddy Bell. He was a huge part of her life for years… but Buddy may not even be his real name.

Friendly smiley selfie of Buddy and Whitney.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

That’s right; his actual name is Luby Bell. But that’s not all. According to Radar Online, in 2014, Buddy was arrested for a string of offenses: assaulting a government official, disorderly conduct, second-degree trespassing, and resisting a public officer. He ended up with 45 days of probation and a $380 fine.

If That’s Your Real Name

One of the things that keep audiences hooked is Whitney’s journey to find love. Sadly, it seems like Whitney has been let down over and over again. But there was a time when it looked like the star had it all when she was with Lennie Alehat. The couple showed off their romance on the reality show.

Selfie of Whitney and Lennie dressed for a night out.

Source: Pinterest

The pair was over the moon when they found out they were having a baby but was heartbroken to later discover it was a non-viable pregnancy. Fans were devastated but even more infuriated when they learned he wasn’t always telling the truth on the show. He also used a fake name which didn’t help his case; his real name is Nathaniel David Lee.

Lennie’s Criminal History

It’s not rare for reality stars to get in trouble with the law. Lennie Alehat is another one that Radar Online found dirt on. The publication knew he wasn’t entirely truthful about his past, so they went digging. They quickly discovered that back in November 2008, he got arrested.

Close up on Lennie’s face.

Source: Pinterest

He was driving in North Carolina when police stopped him for going three times above the speed limit. To make matters worse, documents claim that he got into a scuffle with the cops as he “refused to stop spitting on police equipment.” That’s one way to get yourself behind bars for the night. No wonder no one on the show speaks of Lennie’s past.

He Can’t Stay Out of Trouble

Despite his departure, Lenny Alehat left a huge impact on the show, and fans couldn’t wait for his next chapter. They didn’t need to wait long to see what he was up to — getting himself back in trouble. In February 2017, police discovered that the convicted criminal had violated his probation.

Whitney and Lennie are having a serious conversation.

Source: TLC

If things weren’t bad enough for the reality star, he soon had two warrants out for his arrest. This was also because of a charge from July 2016, where he threatened to “drag” and “kick” two people out of a store. Although he wasn’t meant to be with Whitney, he seems to be on a better path now.

Did Chase Severino Cheat on Her?

Chase Severino swept in like Whitney’s knight in shining armor. He whisked the reality star off her feet, and the happy couple seemed inseparable. That’s why it came as a huge shock when they announced their breakup. The news came shortly after their engagement.

Whitney and Chase are getting closer on their trip to France.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

At the start of the 2020 lockdown, Whitney opened up about it. She confessed on social media that “Chase reconnected with a woman” he used to know. Whitney admitted that the two of them were living apart, which already took a toll on their relationship. His affair “resulted in a pregnancy” and that “Chase will be a father in October.”

Whitney and Chase’s Fake Relationship

If there is one thing super fans love to do, it’s digging up any information they need. Everyone wanted to know who this mystery woman was. They also wanted to know how he had kept her a secret this whole time. Some folks claim that the woman in question’s name is Sara.

Selfie of Chase giving Whitney a sweet kiss on her cheek.

Source: Pinterest

That was just the beginning. Many people were left wondering if Chase and Whitney even actually dated. Sara uploaded a picture of Chase and her dog in a situation that looked like a date. The picture was uploaded when Chase was supposedly dating Whitney back in July 2019.

A Clue From Piper, the Dog

The least expected creature to crack the case was none other than Piper, the dog. This furry companion was the answer everyone was looking for as they started noticing more and more pictures of Chase, Sara, and Piper. Chase and Piper were photographed at The Flying Machine Brewing Company.

Chase is posing as if Piper, the dog, is about to drink the beer sitting on the table.

Source: Instagram/@SaraJackson

This is interesting because the company also posted its own picture of Piper on its Instagram page. The Flying Machine wrote that Piper loves going to the brewery “with her mom and dad.” Why would they refer to Chase as Piper’s doggy daddy if he wasn’t with Sara? This was when fans started putting the pieces together.

Was That Even His House?

With the internet and social media, it takes just a few minutes for people to figure everything they want to know about you. This was certainly the case for Chase, especially when the world found out that he was apparently cheating. Some sleuths think they even found proof that Chase didn’t own the house on the show.

Whitney and Chase are having a conversation in the couch.

Source: Pinterest

Remember the house he asked Whitney to move into with him? Many people believe he lives there with his actual girlfriend, Sara. This was because of the welcome home banners with a feminine touch that didn’t fit Chase’s personality on the show. But if that were the case, could Whitney really not have known about the other woman?

The Perfect Fake Engagement

Most girls dream of the day their partner will get on one knee and pop the question. It’s such an exciting time, so there is a good chance the lovebirds can’t keep their hands off of each other once they get engaged. What if they flew you out to the City of Love for a once-in-a-lifetime proposal?

Chase is showing off the engagement ring he gave to Whitney.

Source: YouTube

Initially, that appeared to be the case with Whitney and Chase enjoying their beautiful engagement in Paris. But people on their plane said the couple sat in different rows on the way home. If that wasn’t enough, they reportedly collected their suitcases separately and pretty much ignored each other at baggage claim.

Whitney and Ryan Met on a Dating App

It’s easy to forget that Whitney Way Thore met Ryan AnrDeas on a dating app long before the show. The relationship blossomed, and the couple almost took things to the next level. It really seemed like Whitney had finally found her match, but the couple didn’t have their fairy-tale ending.

Whitney and Ryan ready for their boxing routine.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

From the moment they met, they connected more as friends than as lovers, but that didn’t mean they weren’t going to hang out. Ryan was actually the one who introduced Whitney to Chase Severino. However, their friendship went downhill when Ryan and the rest of the world found out about Chase’s affair.

No One Took Chase’s Side

Dealing with a breakup is never fun, let alone when you’re the star of your own reality show. The rest of the world thinks they have a right to get involved in your business and wants all the details of what went down. When Chase and Whitney’s relationship ended, it was all the gossip of MBFFL.

Whitney at a hotel in Paris where she was supposed to be with Chase, putting her make-up on.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

Even though it was supposedly Chase’s fault that they broke up, no one was prepared for the emotional scenes that came with the news. Chase was apparently upset that no one took his side. Things reached a telling level when Ryan Andreas said he was “Team No One” in the drama.

Whitney’s Ride or Die Friends

Many of us believe our friends will always have our back, but it takes something major to see who really sticks around when you need them. After Whitney and Chase’s breakup, the reality star really learned who her friends were based on their reactions. She had no idea how people would take the news.

Whitney and Heather 17 years ago at the beginning of their friendship.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

Luckily, it looks like all of Whitney’s friends stood by her and even unfollowed Chase on social media – which apparently proves their loyalty. Chase even claimed to be getting numerous hateful messages. Sure, he screwed up big time, but he just wants people to hear his side and know the full story.

Buddy Is Her Best Friend

As you probably know, Whitney and Buddy Bell have always been great friends. Their friendship might even be the strongest one we see on screen as the two always seem to have each other’s back. Although fans love seeing them hang out, things weren’t always easy for these two.

Whitney and Buddy on a cruise on a sunny afternoon.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

Buddy was there for his best friend when her engagement ended, and he told Life and Style that Whitney is “the toughest woman” he’s ever seen as he watched her throughout this difficult time. He gave his friend extra love and attention and was with her almost every night as she was getting over her heartbreak.

Did Buddy Get Between Whitney and Chase?

Okay, let’s face it; everyone gets a little jealous in their relationships. I mean, how would you feel if your partner was super close with their best friend? Whitney and Buddy’s friendship was a little more than two besties who tell each other everything. They are often seen holding hands and even kissing to cheer one another up.

Whitney is kissing Buddy on the cheek during their trip to Alaska.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

While some of you may think you would have no problem with that, it could bring out the worst in others. Several fans noticed their friendship was a little too close for comfort. Maybe this was part of the reason her relationship with Chase didn’t work out? Maybe it was just too much for him.

Is Whitney to Blame?

When a relationship comes to an end, many people try to find the root of the problem. It’s not always the best idea to find something to blame, but it’s only natural to want questions answered in order to get closure and move on. Fans were wondering if Buddy was the reason their romance fizzled.

Whitney is posing for the paparazzi at a TLC event circa 2019.

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Many fans believe Whitney is always the one starting things with her bestie. One fan stated that “99% of the time, she is the instigator.” Furthermore, they accused the reality star of being “disgustingly touchy-feely” with Buddy when Season Eight started.

Fans Didn’t Like How Whitney Treated Buddy

It certainly seemed like Whitney was on top of the world when she was with Chase, had a ring on her finger, and a new chapter of her life ahead. But if we’ve learned one thing, it’s that good things have a way of crumbling down, especially in reality television.

Whitney is sitting on a white couch at an event in New York.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

During this new life transition, Whitney and her best friend Buddy Bell grew a little distant, which is totally normal. Then, the pair planned a trip away, but many fans weren’t impressed with how things went down. Many people accused Whitney of not treating Buddy kindly or fairly on the trip for no apparent reason. Buddy ended up leaving the trip early.

Nobody Knows if They Worked It Out

Although Whitney Way Thore and Buddy Bell are nothing more than best friends, people wonder if it will ever blossom into something more. Or will their friendship always get in the way of her romantic relationships? In one episode, the two of them sat down and discussed moving in together.

Buddy and Whitney are dancing together and laughing.

Source: Instagram/@whitneywaythore

It seemed like Whitney really wanted Buddy around, and he initially agreed… but withdrew just a few seconds later. Whitney was so excited about the move that she called all her friends to tell them the news. The problem? Buddy said he wasn’t moving anywhere, especially now that he has a new girlfriend.

She Lost a Friend – Probably…

Things haven’t been easy for the star of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” lately. Other than calling off her engagement and finding out that her ex just welcomed a new baby, Whitney also lost a significant person in her life. No, not Buddy Bell. But remember Ryan Andreas?

Whitney and Ryan are standing in the fields.

Source: Instagram/@ryanandreas_

It looks like their relationship went sour as well. The two friends decided to go into business together. Ryan was working as Whitney’s personal trainer when she came up with the idea. It looked like their friendship was strong enough to get through anything. Boy, was she wrong…

Mixing Business and Friendship

“My Big Fabulous Fat Life” has always been about inspiring other people. Whitney just wants everyone to love themselves and embrace who they truly are. She took her motivation and passion for dance and embarked on a new path with a new business. She created No BS Active. The BS stands for “body shaming.”

Whitney and other women on stage at an empowering event for women against body shaming.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Welcoming Ryan Andreas into her life opened a lot of doors for the star and opened up a subscription company with her new friends. They performed the same workouts at different levels to encourage people to get up and get active. Whitney ended up moving so that she could be closer to Ryan and their business.

No BS Active’s Announcement

Thanks to the global pandemic, companies all over the world had to adapt. No BS Active also had to figure out a new way to share content during quarantine, especially since they had to follow the new social distancing rules under lockdown. To start, Ryan and Whitney worked with each other.

Whitney is speaking on stage in a No Body Shame event.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

That was until a strange message was posted on the company’s page stating that they were taking “a one-month hiatus.” No BS Active went on to apologize for the inconvenience, but it needed to happen in light of the “current circumstances.”

Ryan’s Possible Replacement

Things got even more confusing when No BS Active continued to raise more questions than answers. Their fans noticed that all their previous content was suddenly deleted with no warning. All the pictures and videos were replaced with three posts that didn’t include Ryan.

Whitney is posing as she looks back towards the camera.

Source: Pinterest

But there was a new recognizable face instead: Jess. If you watch “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” you probably remember Jess, who previously worked as Whitney’s PT. Based on the little information we do have, many people believe that Jess came in to replace Ryan, who completely vanished from the company’s site.

Unfollowed: Now It’s Official

If there wasn’t enough drama-filled juice, here some more news: Whitney unfollowed Ryan on social media. Naturally, this fueled the rumors because, in 2021, unfollowing someone is a pretty big deal. Supposedly, Whitney was really hurt by Ryan and felt like he knew a lot more about what really happened with Chase.

Whitney is posing in the streets wearing a red sweater.

Source: Pinterest

She even said that Ryan made her feel uncomfortable. This obviously goes against everything Whitney tries to preach on her show, so it comes as no surprise if she axed him from her life. But people are still worried about Ryan and think he never got the support he deserved.

Say Yes to the Dress – Revealing All the Details

Applicants are also asked to list the people that they want to bring shopping with them and to reveal a bit about their personalities, their likes and dislikes, and their relationships with the other members of the proposed bridal party. This may seem slightly strange, but there is, in fact, a good reason for it.

The show has some influence over who accompanies the bride

Source: thethings.com

According to ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ bride Courtney Wright in an interview with 417, the producers choose who they want to accompany the bride based on the answers provided in the application. This is usually up to three people, but the show has been known to accept more – if the producers think the guests will make good television.

They’re Not Afraid of Some Drama

You may be wondering exactly what this ‘good television’ entails. Well, it’s safe to say that ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ conforms to the usual rules of reality TV – the bigger the drama, the higher the viewing ratings. And, according to Courtney Wright, the directors and producers aren’t afraid to cause drama if necessary.

The show's producers love a bit of drama between brides and their entourages

Source: onedio.com

In fact, they’ll directly make statements or ask questions that they feel may be provocative – all while the cameras are rolling. In the same interview with 417, Courtney said: “You can tell that they want to stir up some drama. If someone says something that could potentially cause a disagreement, the director asks you questions about it.”

A Long, Lengthy Process

Apparently, according to Courtney, the whole process also takes an excruciatingly long time, even though each episode of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ is only 30 minutes long. Recording, Courtney said, took approximately eight hours on the day that she went to look for a dress. She also said that she was only allowed to try on four dresses, but each took an hour.

The whole process takes hours

Source: YouTube

This is because the entire process has to be filmed, then they have to discuss it on camera, plus do interviews afterward. And we’re not just talking about the bride – this includes the consultant and the bride’s entourage too! “I wasn’t expecting all the questions,” Courtney said, “I thought it was just like, “Alright, go.”

Stripping Down and Baring All

Fans of the show will know that each bride that appears on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ has to get changed into the gowns in a fitting room in front of both the consultant and the camera operator. This, of course, often means completely stripping down, which could get a little awkward at times.

Having a camera in the fitting room can get slightly awkward

Source: jasonrubin.me

While this is part and parcel of the show and its usual filming process, producers have tried to ease the situation somewhat by using female camera operators whenever possible, in the hope that this makes the atmosphere less awkward and the bride to feel more comfortable. Also, no images of women in their underwear are ever aired on the show.

Pnina Tornai Strikes Again

If you’re a regular viewer of ‘Say Yes to the Dress,’ you may have also heard of the name ‘Pnina Tornai.’ It’s thrown around a lot during the show, and it seems as though every single bride that sets foot in Kleinfeld ends up trying on a gown by the Israeli designer at some point.

Wedding gown from the Pnina Tornai collection

Source: jewishjournal.com

That’s because Tornai is, in fact, one of Kleinfeld’s primary vendors – and she’s the only designer with an in-store boutique. As a result, there’s a huge variety of her dresses in stock all of the time, which means it’s more likely that the brides featured on the show will try one on during their visit.

The Store Really Isn’t That Big

‘Say Yes to the Dress’ is filmed in Kleinfeld in Manhattan, which looks nothing short of grand – and almost a little overwhelming too, some might say. However, this is simply the power of television magic, as the store is, in fact, a lot smaller than it seems on the screen.

Kleinfeld isn't actually as big as it looks on television

Source: goodhousekeeping.com

It comes as a result of creative camera work and wide angles, which make the small-yet-charming boutique store look spacious. However, it’s worth noting that it still has to be a decent size to fit everyone in – after all, there needs to be enough space for at least a bride, her entourage, the Kleinfeld staff, and a small production crew.

Packed In Like Sardines

As a result of Kleinfeld’s being a lot smaller than it seems on television – as well as the store being hugely popular, partly because of the show’s huge popularity – it is, more often than not, packed full of people. In fact, it’s not unusual for brides to have to wait to try on dresses and even hang around waiting to see themselves in a mirror.

The camera work makes it look like there aren't many people there

Source: diply.com

It’s been reported that it’s pretty common for 20 or so brides that aren’t on the show to want to try on the same dress at the same time – as well as the fight over access to mirrors and platforms. Apparently, even brides with long-standing appointments are asked to leave after just 90 minutes of trying on dresses.

With Roots in Brooklyn

The owners of Kleinfeld are Mara Urshel and Ronnie Rothstein – although they mainly operate behind the scenes, they have appeared on the show a fair few times. Before they bought it, Kleinfeld – at that time, situated in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – already had a name for itself, drawing in brides from all over the country.

People were – and still are – prepared to wait for hours to get into Kleinfeld

Source: thethings.com

During their annual sale, hundreds of brides and their entourages would be known to queue for hours outside the store waiting for it to open in the hope of a chance to get their dream gown at a discounted price – and it was renowned for sometimes even involving physical altercations! By 1999, however, Kleinfeld was on the brink of collapse after changing hands twice.

Enter Mara and Ronnie

This was when Mara Urshel and Ronnie Rothstein took over, with the former stating: “I thought, ‘I think I want to buy this company.’ I just felt the name was great, iconic. I thought, ‘that is what you buy, something that is already there.’ I had an image of what I wanted Kleinfeld to be, which was not a retail store; it was more like a hotel.”

What Kleinfeld currently looks like

Source: huffingtonpost.ca

And that is the vision she worked with to transform Kleinfeld into what we see today in ‘Say Yes to the Dress.’ Currently, although almost 80 years old, Mara frequently travels to various fashion shows to check out the new trends in bride couture. Ronnie is also heavily involved and keeps up to date with everything that goes on.

Feeling Like the Only Bride in the Store

This goes as far as giving the brides their personal contact details. In a 2016 interview with Brides magazine, Mara said that each and every Kleinfeld bride receives both her and Ronnie’s personal telephone numbers. “At Kleinfeld,” she says, “The staff works diligently to ensure that the customer feels that she is the only bride in the store.”

Mara and Ronnie, who strive to provide impeccable customer service

Source: diply.com

“Every step of the way,” she continues, “The bride receives personal one-on-one attention, from a personal bridal consultant to her fitter who she will work with for the next few weeks until the gown fits perfectly! Ronnie and I give our cell phone numbers so brides feel they can reach us at any time, day and night.”

The Customers-Turned-Consultants

The consultants that work at Kleinfeld can be seen on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ helping their brides through every step of the choosing and fitting process are professionals that have been carefully chosen for several reasons. However, there are a couple featured on the show who were, in fact, customers at first.

Some Kleinfeld consultants started out as customers

Source: goodhousekeeping.com

‘Say Yes to the Dress’ Kleinfeld consultants Keasha and Camille originally went to the store as customers – Keasha with her cousin to help her find a wedding gown and Camille in search of a dress to wear to her son’s wedding. The latter happened to bump into owner Ronnie Rothstein, who told her there was a job opening – and the rest is history!

A Match Made in Television

Although the consultants that feature in ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ really do work in Kleinfeld’s full-time, the way that they’re assigned to brides isn’t entirely random. As you may have guessed, producers of the show have a huge say in who’s paired with who – and it comes down to what’s likely to make the best television.

Consultants and brides are matched according to what the producers think will be most entertaining

Source: weddingown.net

For example, in one episode, consultant Valerie Bowman was paired with a girl named Robin – a sweet, blond-haired Southern belle – purely because she was brunette and not Southern. Apparently, the contrast made for more compelling television than if it were two similar girls. This way of thinking is applied constantly – nothing is by chance.

Everybody Loves Randy Fenoli

Randy Fenoli is one of the most loved consultants on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ – by customers, co-workers, and viewers alike. He’s also been dubbed a ‘bridal gown whisperer’ by customers and is widely sought after – in fact, he’s the most requested consultant working in Kleinfeld. Now, however, he’s stepped into the world of design with his own bridal collection.

Randy Fenoli. Darcy Miller's 'Celebrate Everything!' book launch party

Randy Fenoli. Photo By Efren Landaos/WWD/Shutterstock

Aptly named ‘Randy Fenoli for Kleinfeld’, it’s showcased in the Manhattan store – and Randy couldn’t be prouder. His first collection – the Spring 2018 collection – was made up of 25 dresses in total and was presented at the Bridal Fashion Week in the same year, where it received positive reviews.

Capturing Brides’ Diverse Tastes

Moreover, Randy’s designs are much more reasonably priced than the majority of the other designer dresses featured in Kleinfeld (brides frequently spend $10,000 or more on a gown, with the most expensive being a Pnina Tornai gown priced at $37,000), but each dress in Randy’s collection costs between $1,500 and $3,000. As far as wedding gowns go, that’s a very fair price without compromising on quality.

Randy Fenoli and some of his wedding gowns

Source: parade.com

Talking to US Weekly back in 2018, Randy said that his bridal line captures the diverse tastes of today’s bride, whether she wants to look romantic, chic, bohemian, sexy, ethereal, traditional, fashion-forward, or like a fairy-tale princess on her wedding day. This collection offers something for every bride looking for her perfect dress.”

The Hardest Job on the Planet?

While it may seem to some like an exciting, interesting, and glamorous job that almost anyone could do, not everyone is cut out to be a consultant at Kleinfeld. This was exemplified by Kelly Ripa, who filmed a show spending the day as a consultant. The television host’s verdict? “This could be the hardest job on the planet.”

Kelly Ripa appeared on the show as a consultant and found it extremely challenging!

Source: TLC.com

The show saw Kelly running around in search of dresses to please her customers, lugging them back from the storeroom and almost buckling under the weight of some of them, and trying to keep cool, calm, and collected throughout the entire day. As it turns out, it’s not as easy as it may look on-screen, with Kelly claiming it was, at times, “overwhelming.”

They Don’t Do It for the Benefits

Kelly didn’t get it wrong, either – in reality, being a bridal consultant is a demanding, fast-paced job that’s not for the faint-hearted. First of all, you’ll likely be working on commission, so there’s the competitive aspect to contend with. Then, there are difficult entourage members – not to mention the bride herself, who you have to aim to please, of course.

Robert Verdi and Gretta Monahan

and Gretta Monahan. Source: Facebook

Next is the subject of salary – including health benefits. Unfortunately, even at a world-renowned store such as Kleinfeld, consultants – as well as people working in operations, shipping, and customer service – claim that health care is “too expensive.” However, the perks of the job are cited as an exciting work environment and travel.

Setting the Scene for Viewers

There’s another familiar character that is featured on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ – apart from, this time, it’s someone the viewers never see. It’s Roger Craig Smith – the man who does the voiceover that guides us through all of the processes. He sets the scene and fills viewers in on the bride’s background, plus narrates all the action as the show plays.

Roger Craig Smith

Roger Craig Smith. Source: amahighlights.com

He’s been a part of the show since 2007 – and some of you may actually recognize his voice.

That’s because Roger Craig Smith has also done voiceovers for a multitude of cartoons and video games, including the popular Resident Evil. Apparently, he’s never been particularly interested in appearing on-screen.

Going in Totally Blind

Interestingly, Roger Craig Smith doesn’t actually see any of the episodes – or even the individual scenes – of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ before he records his voiceover. Instead, he gets his script sent to where he lives in California – the other end of the country to Kleinfeld itself – and then speaks with the producer, who tells him what’s happening.

Roger Craig Smith, 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' film premiere

Roger Craig Smith. Photo By Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock

Although this may seem like a strange process to some, Smith claims it helps him to connect to the material better – and, therefore, produce a better narrative overall. Although he might be an expert in talking about wedding gowns, he admits he wouldn’t know where to begin if someone asked him for advice, saying: “The first thing I would say is run for the hills — you would wind up in a burlap sack.”

Squeezing a Lot in a Small Space

We know that Kleinfeld is actually a lot smaller than it seems on ‘Say Yes to the Dress,’ but there are still a lot of dresses kept in store – after all, approximately 10,000 are sold every year, so there’s got to be a place to keep a lot at one time.

Kleinfeld stocks a huge number of bridal gowns

Source hips.hearstapps.com

It’s estimated that there’s an absolute minimum of 1,500 in-store at one time – and some of those are extravagantly big. Therefore – and, to be honest, like any business based in busy and bustling New York City – the Kleinfeld team has had to get creative when it comes to space-saving. Luckily, they managed to come up with a few solutions that have done the trick.

The Space-Saving Tricks of the Trade

Firstly, gowns that are waiting to be picked up by their new owners are kept in the ceiling, believe it or not, and are rotated by a machine. Secondly, to help to keep stock selling and moving, sample sales are held regularly – these bring in hundreds of brides-to-be at the same time, which is reminiscent of the store’s old days in Brooklyn.

Kleinfeld has to keep some of its dresses in a sample studio across the street

Source thelist.com

There’s also an ingenious ‘Sample Studio’ just across the street from the main store – this stocks more than 200 gowns, and brides can just turn up and walk in to look without having the pressure of booking and sticking to a full 90-minute appointment. It also offers discounted prices, as brides don’t receive the complete Kleinfeld customer service.

Too Many to Choose From?

The majority of the dresses that are kept in Kleinfeld are stored in the stockroom – consultants can often be seen on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ searching for a specific design in an incredibly long line of gowns. Of course, some samples are kept on the floor for brides to look at, but inevitably, consultants will have to go in search of more.

MarchMadDress Fit to Flare

Source: Facebook

However, this does have its downfalls sometimes. Unfortunately, multiple brides over the years have expressed their disappointment and frustration at the fact that because there are so many gowns to choose from, they’re limited to trying on just a few. One review in New York Magazine said: “Kleinfeld…told me I could try just FOUR dresses (big inventory, but you’ll never see it).”

Tailoring a Dream Dress

Finding your dream wedding gown is not always just a matter of choosing the one that you like the most and wearing it as it comes. Sometimes, it’s also about tailoring and altering it until it truly becomes the gown you envisaged – and this is not always an easy or stress-free process for anyone involved.

Kleinfeld has a whole separate room dedicated to beading

Source: Facebook

On average, brides return to the store between two and four times for fitting sessions – but if they’re making drastic changes to the dress, it can be a lot more than that. If they’re adding beading and other ‘bling’ to their gowns, even more work is required – as a result, there’s a whole room in Kleinfeld devoted to adding beading to a gown.

Adhering to Religious Requirements

Most of the wedding dresses in Kleinfeld are strapless – and if you want to add sleeves to any design, it’s going to cost a lot of money. That’s if it’s even possible, as some designers do not allow their dresses to be modified in any way. However, some ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ brides don’t have any choice in the matter because of their religion.

In some cases, a dress needs to be altered for religious requirements

Source: Facebook

In cases where the bride requires a dress of a certain style due to religious requirements, such as Orthodox Jews and Mormons, Kleinfeld has a specific member of staff who is more than capable of dealing with these requests. Her name is Rochel Leah Katz.

Underrated Traditional Great Service

Rochel has been working at Kleinfeld’s for more than 10 years now – and it’s no wonder that she’s a permanent fixture. She says that she understands that it’s usually not just a matter of finding a dress and altering it in a certain way. Often, the alteration process is much more complex, as it involves changing the overall structure of the dress.

Being part of the Kleinfeld team requires a lot of hard work

Source: huffingtonpost.ca

Her expertise and impeccable customer service have been appreciated and recognized all over the world. As Chana Schwartz once wrote for Mode-sty.com: “It likely is the underrated traditional great service, which Rochel Leah gives to each bride that makes her so sought after — even in London, from where she procured three appointments a short while ago.”

Not Sticking to Tradition

‘Say Yes to the Dress’ doesn’t just stick to the ‘traditional’ idea of a bride. In an episode that aired in 2016, Precious Davis became the first transgender bride to appear on the show (although this was ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta’). In March 2017, Gabrielle Gibson became the first transgender bride to appear on the New York-based ‘Say Yes to the Dress.’

Gabrielle Gibson, the New York-based show's first transgender bride

Source: TLC

Gabrielle, who brought her mother and some of her friends to the appointment at Kleinfeld, later told People magazine: “I just wanted to have an experience, and to show that we, as trans people, can love, and be loved, in a normal setting, and do things that are not out of the norm.”

Loving the Offbeat Brides

In fact, although most brides featured on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ want the traditional long, white, princess dress, the producers and crew love to break the mold and work with a non-conforming bride with a unique vision. A perfect example of a bride like this was Stacey, who later featured in a piece by Offbeat Bride.

although most brides want a very traditional dress, others are a little more offbeat

Source: eBay

When she arrived at her appointment, Stacey made it immediately clear that she wanted a silver dress and had no interest in trying on white gowns. Despite her fear that she’d be made to try on “fluffy white princess dresses,” Randy worked his magic and ended up finding her a gold dress that she loved for only slightly out of her budget.

Tired of TV Brides

Additionally, it turns out that ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ doesn’t try to ‘mainstream’ any alternative brides. “They were tired of the TV brides who all want a white princess dress, beach curls with a low bun, and natural makeup,” Stacey said. “Even the makeup artist and the hairstylist were excited to do something new.

Wedding Dress Model from Say Yes to the Dress Show

Source: Facebook

“One of the camera women kept telling me, ‘We did a steampunk bride last year, and it was so cool. I wish we could film more brides with theme weddings, or like a goth wedding or something,'” she continued. Apparently, it turns out that every single member of the team was enthusiastic about Stacey’s non-traditional requests.

Breaking Contracts and Breaking Ties

Unfortunately, ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ – as well as Kleinfeld itself – have had some legal problems over the years. This started back in 2013 when Kleinfeld started a lawsuit against a designer named Mark Zunino. The store claimed that Zunino violated an agreement to “not engage in any design activities that would conflict or compete” with Kleinfeld.

Mark Zunino with models wearing designs from his new Atelier label.

Source: wwd.com

According to the store, Zunino broke that contract by designing bridal gowns for one of Kleinfeld’s competitors, Nolan Miller Inc. This severely dampened relation between Zunino and Kleinfeld – and although Zunino’s collection, Mark Zunino for Kleinfeld, was showcased at the 2016 Bridal Fashion week, he is not noted as being a designer for the store on the website.

Trouble in Bridal Paradise

In 2016, it was ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ that was at the epicenter of the legal troubles, rather than Kleinfeld. A bride who had filmed for the show named Alexandra Godino sued when she learned that TLC planned to air the episode before her wedding day. Judge Nancy Baron stated that Godino had signed a contract, so there was nothing she could do.

Alexandra Godino appearing on the show

Source: TLC

Apparently, the contract did not mention anything to do with the dates of the airing being negotiable or flexible, so Godino lost her legal battle, and the episode aired on television as scheduled in March, two months before her May wedding. Attorney Jim Hollis clarified that the show did not, at any time, agree to hold the episode.

An Unfortunate Year for Kleinfeld

The year 2016 seemed to be particularly unfortunate for Kleinfeld, as the store was involved in another legal dispute with a customer. This time, it was with a woman named Randi Siegal-Friedman, who claimed that she received the wrong size gown from the store a few months before her wedding, despite having being measured properly during her appointment. She also said it was the wrong fabric.

Randi Siegal-Friedman on her wedding day

Source: Imgur

Kleinfeld, however, disputed this and refused to refund the cost of the dress to Randi – which totaled more than £12,000. Consequently, Randi sued the store for the same amount of money. According to her, on her wedding day, she ended up wearing a sample dress that she purchased elsewhere.

Going Above and Beyond?

As can be expected, Kleinfeld has refused to comment on the lawsuit. However, the store’s current return policy states: “If you are not satisfied, we accept returns for a refund or store credit! The standard return policy for special occasion dresses is ‘no returns,’ but we love our customers and want to go above and beyond. Most of our products are returnable for a refund or store credit.”

the royal wedding review with the crew of Say yes to the dress

Source: Facebook

Although it would seem the whole process doesn’t work out on every occasion, considering how many thousands of customers Kleinfeld has each year, having only one or two disputes and dissatisfied customers over decades of business is acceptable – although it’s a shame the store doesn’t appear to be more helpful if a mistake is made!

No Obligation to Say ‘Yes’

Although it may seem as though every single bride featured on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ does, in fact, say ‘yes’ to the dress, they’re not actually required to by the contract that they sign before filming commences. The bride’s budget is discussed with consultants ahead of time, and the best efforts are made to stick to it.

A Wedding Dress model from Say Yes to the Dress

Source: Facebook

The bride is then shown a few select gowns based on her budget, preferences, and taste, but she is in no obligation to make a purchase, according to author Valerie Bowman, who appeared on the show herself in Season 6. Instead, she says, they can say ‘yes’ to saving money by not buying a gown!

Cementing a Fairy Tale Feel

Despite this, however, it’s not uncommon for brides to be shown gowns that are significantly out of their price range – apparently, according to the producers of ‘Say Yes to the Dress,’ it helps to cement the ‘fairy tale’ feel of the show. Whether it’s the intention or not, this sometimes makes brides feel as though they need to spend more, thereby breaking their budget.

The Kleinfeld experience is like no other

Source: Imgur

On a lighter note, one bride that appeared on the show said that she had a fairly low budget and that all the dresses that she had no way of affording were moved to different storerooms so that she didn’t see them – and, apparently, the doors stayed firmly shut and no filming took place there.

An Ever-Expanding Franchise

Thirteen years since its start in 2007, ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ has had a total of 18 seasons featuring countless brides and their search for their dream wedding gown. Its success has led to several spin-off series being launched – these branch out from Manhattan, New York, to the rest of the US, as well as internationally.

'Say Yes to the Dress Promo

Source: Facebook

The first was ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta’, which started in 2010, showcasing a bridal shop in Atlanta, Georgia, called Bridals by Lori. This, in turn, led to two more spin-off series: ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids’ (which focuses on the bridesmaid department of Bridals by Lori), ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Monte’s Take’ (a podcast providing wedding tips) and ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss’ (a version focusing on plus-size models).

Randy’s Spin-Off Series

‘Say Yes to the Dress’ fan-favorite Randy Fenoli has also managed to land himself a couple of spin-off series focused mainly on him. First was ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best,’ which ran from April 2011 to August 2013 and saw Randy using past clips from the show and his expertise to share pointers on a variety of bridal topics.

Randy was so popular, he was given two of his own spin-off shows

Source: Facebook

Next was ‘Randy to the Rescue,’ which ran from June 2012 to August 2013. It showed Randy traveling across the US to give lucky brides-to-be special consultations, which included tips for all aspects of their big day. Although neither spin-off show ran for that long, they both enjoyed a fair amount of success – arguably, because Randy is so well-liked among viewers.

Branching Out and Becoming International

In 2016, ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ became international, with a spin-off show based in Australia featuring designer Adam Dixon. Soon after came versions in the UK, Ireland, and Asia (with the latter filmed in Malaysia but featuring girls from all over Southeast Asia), closely followed by a BeNeLux edition. But it didn’t stop there – ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ producers wanted to maximize the show’s success as much as possible.

One of the show's spin-off series

Source: Instagram

‘Say Yes: Wedding SOS’ is a makeover series that focuses on transforming couples that have ‘let themselves go’ over the years, and ‘Say Yes to the Dress: America’ is a 10-episode series featuring couples representing each US state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. The latter culminated with a mass wedding for all 52 couples in New York City that was officiated by Randy Fenoli.

A New Bridal Store in Town

Lastly is a Canadian version of the show – of course, called ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Canada’. Brides are filmed during their appointments at an exclusive bridal boutique in Toronto called Amanda-Lina’s. However, there’s another new bridal store in town – Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay – although there are no plans as of yet to switch the show’s location.

A new branch of Kleinfeld has just opened in Toronto

Source: Facebook

Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay publicist Jessica Mulroney, says that it’s meant to be “more inspired by than a copy of the New York store.” With more than 20,000 square feet filled with wedding gowns, shoes, and accessories, it has been described as a ‘wedding wonderland’ that guarantees brides will receive the full ‘Kleinfeld experience.’