Reality television is the guilty pleasure of our day, and family shows publicize issues that every family faces in some capacity, from gender identity crises, to divorce, to regular old sibling rivalry, and everything in between. But even with all the things celebrities and regular folks have in common, it is the celebs that the common folk love to hate.
There is something fascinating about other people's messed up families, and lives in general, that we seem unable to tear our eyes from. This fascination perpetuates the cycle, and those families become more famous and successful, and thus, probably, even more messed up. And we keep on watching.
Here are 13 of the most messed up families on television, from the glaringly obvious to the lesser-known choices still worthy of their spot on the list. Read on to learn more about these crazy clans, and maybe feel just a little bit better about your own!
13 The Duggars
12 The Gosselins
Jon and Kate Gosselin's brood includes eight children: a set of twins and a set of sextuplets. Having that many children at one time made them a prime candidate for their own show. That show, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight", eventually became just "Kate Plus Eight" after the two divorced in 2009, largely due to to Jon's multiple indiscretions. He said he'd married at 22 and never gotten to "sow his oats", as if that were an excuse. Now he sees his kids but never all at the same time (some refuse to see him), and he reportedly owes over $1 million to his former company Securus, who sued him.
11 The Chrisleys
This family is relatively new to the world of reality television, but are not without their share of problems. The show focuses on real estate mogul Todd Chrisley and the micromanagement of his family. In the three seasons they have been on air, there have been accusations of fraud, his being sued by his own employees for sexual harassment, reports that he is gay, and all the other expected drama that comes along with raising several teenagers.
While he butts heads in general with oldest daughter Lindsie and teenaged pageant queen Savannah, it is son Kyle who is most at odds with the patriarch. Kyle was caught with a married woman and subsequently shipped off to Samoa for nine months, and more recently, he assaulted his baby mama.
10 The Kardashians
9 The Thompson/Shannons
8 The Abrahams
Farrah Abraham of Teen Mom fame is arguably part of one of television's most dysfunctional families. She has had her share of hardships, including alleged abuse by her parents as a child, becoming pregnant at 16, being denied an abortion by her mother, the death of her baby's father while pregnant, and being a single mom so young.
But Farrah made two adult films, got a DUI in 2013, and started a feud with her late baby daddy's family over daughter Sophia. Now the family dynamic goes back and forth between shaky at best, and horrific. Farrah is just plain mean to most people, and it appears that Sophia is learning by example, as she frequently whines, insults people, and even hits without punishment.
7 The Browns
6 The Stanleys
5 The Hiltons
Paris may be the most infamous Hilton these days, but the family has long been a source of scandal, beginning with Conrad Hilton himself, who built a hotel empire (the first international hotel chain) from humble beginnings in Depression-era Texas. His first wife had an affair and left him with their three young sons, and his second wife was fortune-hunter actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, who failed to mention she was pregnant until they were divorced.
The present day scandals include the indiscretions of the youngest Hilton generation. Most infamous is party princess Paris, who shot to fame because of a sex tape, and kept in the limelight with her show "The Simple Life". Her DUI and numerous arrests were echoed when little brother Conrad was arrested after disrupting a commercial airliner in-flight, and was suspected, like Paris, of possessing marijuana.
4 The Hogans
"Hogan Knows Best" star Hulk Hogan is his own worst enemy, it seems, when it comes to being screwed up. The world-famous wrestler brought upon his own divorce from wife of 25 years, Lisa Hogan, when he cheated on her. She eventually became engaged to Charley Hill (a man one year younger than her own daughter), and though they spent an impressive several years together. In the end they called off their engagement.
3 The Spelling-McDermotts
2 The Osbournes
It is well known that Black Sabbath heavy metal rockstar Ozzy Osbourne has had his share of issues. Like many on this list, it is he, the patriarch, who causes much of the dysfunction. Drugs and alcohol were a huge part of his life, and led to him cheating on wife Sharon with two nannies, allegedly beating her, and even attempting to kill her one night (he did not even remember doing it the next morning, when he woke up in a jail cell and asked why he was there). Luckily, Sharon had not been home alone when Ozzy began choking her.
Sharon, for her part, has on more than one occasion sent feces to people she felt unreasonably criticized her family. She has been arrested for driving while intoxicated, and is a shopaholic.
1 The Harrises
Rapper T.I. and wife Tameka "Tiny" Harris have a family that is practically a breeding ground for drama: between them they have four children (ages 7-19) by three previous partners, and are pregnant with their fourth child together (the third was sadly lost at 6 months of age last year). The title of their show, "T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle", pretty much sums it up. It is a spectacle of the couple, their six children, and everything from fights, drugs, prison, affairs on both sides, and even a rumored love child by T.I.
Recently he completed an 11-month prison sentence for violating probation of his previous conviction in which both he and Tiny were arrested for possession of ecstasy. He has also been arrested for possession of a firearm, marijuana, the manufacturing and distribution of crack cocaine, and battery of a law enforcement officer. Add all this to two other baby mamas, one other baby daddy, teenagers, and the chaos this brings about even without all the illegal activity, I cannot wait to watch "T.I. and Tiny: The Next Generation"! Regardless of whether nature or nurture dominates, if these kids' parents are any indication, it will be even more chaotic!
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