The TLC network has kind of given reality television a bad rap thanks to the extravagant and downright outrageous television shows it has featured over the years. But there’s a reason the channel has been a success after all of these years following classics like A Baby Story and its counterpart A Wedding Story. For some reason, millions and millions of viewers continue to tune in to the entertainment that is often described as a car accident you just can’t seem to look away from; it is just that fascinating and enticing. On top of that, the off-screen drama that goes on when the shows aren’t even in rotation for that time of year can almost surpass the issues that we actually see play out when new episodes start to air.
TLC never lets viewers down when it comes to the unexpected and crazy drama that it provides. It might not make the evening news (at least anymore), but there are certainly moments that puts these very real people on these arguably authentic reality shows in the headlines. It even makes some of us give the network the side eye and wonder if what they are doing is even legal; but hey, maybe we can credit TLC for a lesson on the constitution as well. Either way, there are so many outrageous moments that the reality shows of this network have graced our small screens with that it was kind of hard to narrow it down at first. Still, join us and take a look at the top 15 craziest moments from TLC’s reality shows.
15. 19 Kids and Counting Claims
The idea of 19 Kids and Counting alone is enough to be an outrageous entry. But when you factor in all of the crazy issues the show has faced since it first hit television when there were only 17 children, it gets even worse. The fact that I have to say “only 17 children” is bizarre, but the Duggar clan made headlines, and maybe even history, when they made their big debut on TLC. Since then, there have been so many outrageous moments it’s difficult to pick only one. But one of the most talked about is when the oldest son, Joshua Duggar, was hit with sexual assault accusations. In fact, claims that he sexually abused a handful of girls, including his own sisters, is what possibly led to the cancellation of the show later that year after major advertisers like Pizza Hut, General Mills, Walgreens, and Sweet Leaf Tea pulled out of their support for the show. Needless to say, people definitely looked at this wholesome family in a much darker light after this.
14. Extreme Couponing Disasters
Extreme Couponing not only possibly caused viewers go out and subscribe to the Sunday paper just for discounts, but had a few unforgettable moments that made some think twice, or even three times, before taking part in the activity that should be considered a sport when it’s done correctly. And of course a few outrageous moments are inevitable when it comes to going to the extreme (pun intended) to save money. We can’t forget Cole, who was only 17 but didn’t let his young age stop him from diving into a dumpster in search of savings. And we can’t forget Judy, 40, who was stuck on making sure she had 120 rolls of toilet tissue. And she wouldn’t let a full bladder stop her from searching for deals in the paper. And Angelique’s baby bump often tagged along with her when she went on her extreme couponing missions. But hey, if it saves a pretty dollar, is it really that crazy?
13. My 600 LB Life Stars
The hit series My 600 LB Life not only stirred up controversy, but had so many crazy moments! The show, which launched in the winter of 2012, followed people who were so obese that their lives were at risk. But they had all made a conscious choice to somehow get back to where they were supposed to be when it came to their health. Their first step? Signing up for gastric bypass surgery. And while it might have been an answered prayer, there’s no denying that it was certainly considered a high-risk operation. One of the most talked about patients on the show was Melissa Morris from the first season. She weighed in at 653 pounds. But it wasn’t her children or her appearance that made her want to lose more than 200 pounds. She got her wakeup call when she couldn’t go see her mother at the hospital because of her weight. Now, she has a happy life that she says she’s certain she wouldn’t be able to live if it wasn’t for her weight loss.
12. Ex-Doctor Turned Hoarder
A man who guest starred on Hoarding: Buried Alive was a major part of the network being accused of crossing a very thick line when it came to reality television. Seymour of Philadelphia, who is a retired orthopedic surgeon, was fighting against a cockroach infestation in his home in one episode of the show. Apparently his hoarding habits started after his divorce, about 13 years before his episode aired in 2014. His son-in-law even discovered what could have been an entire family of cockroaches above the spice rack after they all fell down. That’s when he realized how “out of control” his father-in-law’s home had gotten. It got to the point that the former doctor was risking his life. Even the room that was once used as his examination room was now filled with junk just begging even more little critters to make their home in there.
11. A Bride Who Was “Feeling Faint”
Nothing gets more outrageous than a bridezilla picking her dress on Say Yes to the Dress. The TLC series celebrated its ten year anniversary in January 2017, so it’s safe to say there are more than enough crazy moments to go around. One girl was “feeling faint,” which was also the clip of the episode that featured a girl who literally passed out (fainted) when she saw the price of her dress. Interestingly enough, this kind of shut down rumors that guests on the show received a free dress for their appearance. While the show has received lots of heat for not helping brides find the right dress, one girl went as far as taking legal action against the network because she didn’t want her episode to spoil the mystery of her wedding gown (in the photo above), considering it aired before her wedding date. The network refused to postpone her air date so she sued.
10. Cake Boss Meets Bridezilla
Things can certainly get crazy and outrageous when icing, frosting, and cake is involved! And that’s where Cake Boss comes in. The show follows Buddy Valastro and his family’s cake business in New Jersey. Interestingly enough, Say Yes to the Dress stars aren’t the only ones who have to deal with bridezillas. Cake Boss star Valastro dealt with one on his own. From tables being flipped over to heavy conversations that might have been too much for television, the drama with the bridezilla was so horrible that there was speculation that it was all fake. But something about this woman stood out despite Valastro saying he is used to seeing more than 30 brides every week. That’s a ton of wedding cake! It didn’t help that the bride and her overbearing mother wanted two completely different things, that is when they weren’t distracted and started talking about everything but the cake.
9. A Baby Story: Live
From weddings to babies, TLC covers pretty much every major moment in life. Remember A Baby Story? Well if you do, good news is the series made a comeback in 2016 after being a hit on TLC years earlier. But the show definitely came back with a bang, and even more babies, compared to its first installment. That’s because this one featured live segments on Facebook…including a live birth. And if you think no one is tuning in for that, tell the more than 250,000 people who watched the show’s second live birth last year.The SVP of TLC’s Multi-Platform Programming & Digital Media told The Wrap, “A Baby Story: Live is a great extension of TLC’s promise to bring real, raw and emotional content to all of our platforms. Being on the ground for the event with the team to capture more than eight hours of Facebook Live footage culminating in the miraculous moment of Baby Gabriella’s birth was truly remarkable. It was incredibly heartwarming to see all the encouragement and positive feedback from viewers across North America.” Well, baby births aren’t just for science class anymore.
8. 90 Day Fiance Breakdown
It doesn’t get too much bizarre than the outrageous moments on 90 Day Fiance. The show, which made its big debut in 2014, had a pretty crazy reunion and tell-all recap that aired in late 2016. Jorge and Anfisa were definitely the most talked about couple in what marked season four of the popular show. They went through so many dramatic moments from revealing that they have broken one another’s phones to her threatening to leave him if his financial woes ever cause him to go bankrupt. Interestingly enough, Anfisa herself got pretty emotional and even had a breakdown when she opened up about how people on social media have verbally attacked her. It’s not clear what she would expect after she continues to show that she still has lots of room to grow when it comes to fully committing to Jorge emotionally. It’s clear these two didn’t have a healthy relationship, but their moments at least offered up some outrageous scenes.
7. Trading Spaces Gone Wrong
A Trading Spaces experience went all wrong when one woman, Susie Molnar from Northampton, Pa. was not happy with her makeover. Granted, the baby blue paneling and carpet she had in her before pictures were not very appealing to the eye either. But she wasn’t here for the red satin curtains that designer Hildi Santo Tomas was convinced would be a better look for Molnar’s living room. Her thought instead was that it was better meant for a home where men can find…intimate experiences with women for money. The customer was also not happy with the concrete that surrounded her new designer area rug made of sisal, something that Molar said she could be allergic to. She accused Tomas of not even caring about the well being of her or her children, pointing out the concrete in a common area. Let’s just say Molnar confessed she “cried all night” and tried to negotiate so she wouldn’t have to pay to get it fixed.
6. Diva Toddlers on Toddlers & Tiaras
Toddlers & Tiaras might have been the series that sparked the career of Alana Holler, also known as Honey Boo Boo, and her now famous family, but it had enough crazy moments of its own on the TLC network. Let’s just have a small breakdown of some of the most talked about moments. We definitely can’t forget little Mia, who was only two-years-old when she ripped off her white robe to reveal two little cones where her chest would be. And she’s not the only one as Paisley once rocked a two piece outfit that was complete with an electric blue mini skirt and thigh high boots. Maddy Jackson might have been a little bit more covered up when she wore a long pink gown and a big huge wig, but it didn’t help when she tooted her little hiney in the air and was compared to Dolly Parton. And the mothers were not only for it but would shut down anyone who had a problem with it.
5. Kate Plus 8 Goes Cray
The crazy moments from Kate Plus 8 didn’t end just because Kate Gosselin’s now ex-husband Jon Gosselin was no longer on the show. Yes, the two had a very public divorce which ended with Jon & Kate Plus 8 being turned into Kate Plus 8. But the new single mom had enough struggles with the eight children as she tried to hang on to what was left of her career as a reality television star. She outdid her own children in one episode when they went to go visit Sarah Palin in Alaska back in December 2010. She was literally the only one who was crying and wining about the food they had, or lack thereof, to eat. Apparently caribou was not enough for Kate as she cried about the food and the cold weather. It’s not really clear what she expected but she made it clear she was wearing nearly two dozen layers of clothes and complained that she was “frigid” and had reached her breaking point. So she had a screaming match with herself before she complained about having to feed her kids peanut butter and jelly.
4. Sister Wives Body Shaming
Many men clapped it up for Kody Brown, the husband on TLC’s Sister Wives, who had four wives and 17 children combined to go along with it. And of course there were some outrageous moments to go along with their story line, and most of them surround the now infamous man of the hour who is apparently living the dream and even has the nerve to speak on his wife’s, as he calls it, unappealing and unattractive physical body when they first met. Fans might remember the episode when Kody admitted he was not a fan of Christine in their earlier days and even called her a “little chubby.” It’s amazing that he has no shame in well, body shaming, but at the same time refuses to let their daughters have any close, physical affection with a guy because he doesn’t want them to be in a serious relationship. Didn’t see that coming!
3. My Big Fat American Gypsy Fight
Many reality shows have aired unforgettable wedding ceremonies over time. But nothing compares to this moment on TLC’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. The episode that aired in April 2015 ended with a crazy fight that was compared to Game of Thrones and Hunger Games in many headlines. And the crazy thing is what actually sparked the fight: it was all because of the lackluster reaction a groom had to seeing his bride. Her family thought he didn’t look excited enough to be marrying a woman of that caliber. The mother got into her own feelings and took it out on the closest member of the groom’s family who happened to be nearby. It didn’t take long before glasses started flying through the air and the decor was completely destroyed. But then one of the groomsmen definitely took the cake, no literally, he fell into the wedding cake! As for the bride? She remembered her big day as “the wedding from hell.”
2. The Lifestyle Of The Amish
TLC has the ability to shed light on a lifestyle that many have always thought was interesting but never really got to see on the regular, take Breaking Amish for example. The show revealed that Amish teenagers, at least the ones featured on the show, weren’t really too much different despite speculation that they were far removed from society. One hot tub scene that aired in October 2012 could actually compete with the big dogs and be compared to other shows with very risqué scenes like VH1’s Love & Hip Hop franchise and ABC’s The Bachelor. It turned out that Kate was the only one not taking part in sexual activity. The idea that this type of behavior occurred on Breaking Amish is what makes it so outrageous. It’s nothing that the eyes of reality television haven’t seen, but it was certainly unexpected as far as the stereotypes of the Amish lifestyle is concerned.
1. I Am Jazz Makes Waves
The network tapped into the life of a transgender teenager, who now goes by Jazz Jennings, in the reality show I Am Jazz. One of the most outrageous moments to date is when Jazz was extremely real about the struggle of true identity. She was called a “tranny freak” by two boys who were dining at the same restaurant as her in one episode. Jazz’s mother, who is still dealing with Jazz’s grandparents’ reaction to the transition, hurried into mother bear mode and nearly attacked the guys, like any mom would. But Jazz lets her know, “They’re not worth it.” To see the day to day struggles of a teen such as Jazz certainly tells of the times we live in; and while Jazz’s grandparents are still a little more traditional and offer up outrageous moments of their own, Jazz’s story is still being told through her show on the small screen.