The world has become slightly desensitized over the years, there is not much that actually shocks anyone anymore. When the internet took off and social media became a thing, it only got worse. Society is at the point where it believes there really is not anything we haven’t seen anymore. Especially when it comes to reality TV.
Reality TV was once a new concept, and it started with mostly game shows. Shows like Survivor and Big Brother were some of the world's first glances into reality TV, but it didn’t take long for producers to realize that they had a good thing going. Then came the reality shows that followed real people while they lived their lives. Of course, it couldn’t be just any family, there had to be some sort of catch. Something to make it appealing and a bit dramatic.
It wasn’t long until we were introduced to the Duggar family, the family living in Arkansas who is known for having a large family. 19 children to be exact, and hence the show was known as '19 Kids & Counting.' The show was a hit at first, as people became hooked to their TV set, trying to figure out how a family that big could live and survive.
The novelty faded off and people soon began to offer harsh criticism on the parenting, lifestyle and the incident. The incident involved the eldest brother was one of the biggest turning points and led to the show being ultimately cancelled. With the incident aside, there are still moments from the show that people still can not believe happened. We have 20 of them, one more than the number of biological children the Duggars have.
20 Good Mom? Her Kids Don't Come To Her For Help
Sometimes, things aren’t overtly noticed on the show, but fans see trends happening and they catch on very quickly when things seem a little weird. In most families, children will automatically and immediately flock to their mother when they are upset or need to be comforted. This is not noticed throughout many episodes of the show. Fans had already noticed that it appeared quite normal for mom, Michelle, to not really be seen parenting her children all that much. It was usually left to the older children.
Viewers also caught on to the fact that when the children were upset or in need of something, they very rarely ran to their mother. This seemed odd, and there are examples to prove this.
In one episode, Jackson got lost at the airport, and he ran straight to Jana for comfort. When Jordyn got her head stuck in stair rails, the moment she got out, she reached out for sister Jessa. Even when the youngest sibling, Josie, had dirty diapers, she was handed off to a sister and not mom.
The worst that was ever witnessed was when one of the younger children was not behaving properly, she was threatened with discipline from an older sibling and not from mom.
19 Good Dad? He Doesn't Let His Daughters Make Decisions
A dad’s job is to protect his children, well it is one of his jobs. Jim Bob has been called into question on his ability to be a ‘good dad’ after he has been seen making choices for his children when it comes to their own body. It is already common knowledge that the Duggar girls have to follow some strict guidelines when it comes to dating and modesty when it comes to dressing. This is seen in almost every episode and only recently has one daughter (Jinger) broken from this modesty dress.
What really got fans upset happened way back when the show first started. Jim Bob took his older daughters to donate blood. Donating blood is an important thing, and a lot of people are advocates for the importance of giving blood, so what is the problem?
Well the problem was being that Jim Bob did not ask his daughters if they wanted to donate blood, there was no choice. Some say that a dad should never take physical decisions away from their daughters, no matter the severity or if it is for a good cause.
This further adds fuel to the rumour fire that there is too much control on the children from the parents.
18 Josh's Wedding “Loyalty Song” When He Wasn't Loyal
A lot of the times reality shows will have spin-off episodes to show a special event or celebration. The same happened with the Duggars. Josh Duggar was the first child to get married, so he deserved his very own wedding special called ‘A Very Duggar Wedding’ which aired in 2008.
During the ceremony, Josh decided to sing a song to his wife called “The Loyalty Song” and it was very awkward. He sang a song about loyalty to his wife on their wedding day. This has become increasingly creepy and ironic considering the Ashley Madison incident that came to light recently.
Unfortunately, this has made a lot of viewers comment and reflect back on things that had since been seen on the show. Perhaps the song-moment only became an actual concern after all this was released. There is a chance that these actions and moments were seen as completely normal and acceptable until now. This is the chance everyone takes when it comes to putting your lives on display, you open yourself up for criticism. What can be said, is that the Duggars don’t seem bothered by what the media reports about them.
17 Uncertified Couple's Counsellors To Their Own Uncomfortable Children
There is never anything shameful about receiving counselling. It is instrumental in helping people get through difficult times, whether it be with their own mental health or marital counselling. However, it is always important to make sure you see someone who is qualified and certified. So, it came to a shock to viewers everywhere when they saw Jim Bob offering marital counselling to his children without any type of formal education or training in the matter.
The loophole the Duggars seemed to have found is that they are acting from a spiritual capacity, meaning that they do not legally need any training to perform such tasks.
When Jill and Derick were getting married, viewers everywhere were incredibly uncomfortable as the parents decided to give them some last-minute counselling. Even Jill and her soon-to-be husband appeared very uncomfortable.
Michelle stated that they do this weekly with any of their children who are getting married to help them prepare for married life. There has always been concern that Jim Bob is too involved in his daughter’s life and seems to control a lot of their actions, so these counsel sessions have always appeared like a last attempt to have some say in their lives.
16 Josh's Jokes Weren't Funny Later
The TV show was not always named ’19 Kids & Counting,’ it changed and grew as the number of children did. Our first moment comes to us when the show was called ’17 Kids & Counting’ back in the year 2008. It also involved Josh Duggar, the Duggar who ruined it all. On the episode in question, Josh had arranged to take his then-fiancée Anna to the movies on a date. Part of the Duggar lifestyle is that the children are not allowed to go on dates unless they are chaperoned. This is to make sure they do not commit sin out of matrimony.
One of the younger sisters, Jinger, was supposed to chaperone but the problem was she was too young to get into the movie that they were trying to see. The solution was to ask his other siblings, Jana and John David, who were old enough and twins, to chaperone the date.
Josh then made a “joke” about it being a double date with his sisters and made some inappropriate hints that the family was from Arkansas. The joke was seen as harmless at the time, but once the incident came to light, people stopped laughing.
It wasn’t funny anymore.
15 Joy-Anna's Rushed, Teenaged Wedding May Have Been To Cover A Pregnancy
As the Duggar children have grown up, we have seen a lot of them enter courtships, get engaged, get married and even now have children. While 19 Kids & Counting may not be on the air anymore, they found a loophole. They started a new show called Counting On that would follow the oldest Duggar girls. However, it has still showcased and involved a lot of the original family. One of the daughters is Joy-Anna, and her engagement and wedding caused a lot of speculation and controversy.
The first reason is due to her age. Joy got engaged when she was just 19, which is hard for a lot of people to fathom, as she was seen as still a child herself entering a very grown-up world too early. Joy and her then-fiancé, Austin did not wait very long to get married. They were originally scheduled to marry in October, but their wedding was moved up to May.
Almost immediately after the 19-year-old's early wedding, Joy announced that she was expecting their first child, and this led many to think that the pair had broken some of the chastity vows, and that the baby was conceived out of wedlock which is why the date had to be moved up.
14 Regret Over Being A Parent?
Since we are so used to seeing them on TV, we often forget that before they were parents, Jim Bob and Michelle were just ordinary people. Michelle was just your normal teenager and was even a cheerleader in high school. She also had a lot of friends, and while most high school friendships end, there was one friend that Michelle always stayed in contact with.
In one episode of ’19 Kids & Counting’ Michelle takes two of her older daughters to go and visit this friend. The visit was televised, and fans everywhere could not help but feel very uncomfortable with the visit. Her friend tried to talk about their life in high school many times and Michelle spent the entire time awkwardly trying to change the subject. Leading fans to wonder and speculate what exactly happened during that time of Michelle’s life.
Viewers speculated that she clearly did not want her daughters, based on what they heard about the life she once lived before she got married and started having children.
The problem is when you don’t say anything, you are sometimes saying a lot and fans decided to assume the worst. It may have been better if she offered some insight into her past.
13 Where Is Cousin Amy?
If anyone is a long-time viewer of 19 Kids & Counting, they may have noticed that there was always an extra kid hanging around, and she did not quite fit in. It was like a game of ‘one of these things is not like the other ones’. This was their cousin Amy. Amy Duggar was the daughter of Jim Bob’s sister and she spent a lot of time with the Duggar children. The Duggar’s family has always been known to stay close to family, so it is no surprise that Amy hung out with all of them.
Amy stuck out because she did not life the same lifestyle that the other Duggars did.
She was often seen as a breath of fresh air to many viewers and they often wondered how exactly Jim Bob and Michelle felt about this influence on their children.
One season, viewers noticed that Amy was missing from the scene, and it was quite the Duggar news story. Amy had completely left the family and moved to Nashville to try and pursue a career in country music.
It is always shocking when a Duggar moves away from home because they are always known to be very close and they don’t tend to stray too far.
12 Homes That Were Nowhere Near Big Enough
Everyone can probably imagine how much space you would need for a family the size of the Duggars to be able to live comfortably. There are so many factors to think about beyond just places to eat, play and go to the bathroom. I lived with a family of 5 with one bedroom, and the bathroom was even then a precious commodity. If we go way back, before there was a regular show, TLC used to do specials on this family. Highlighting their life, and in one of those specials ’16 Children and Moving In’ viewers watched as the large family moved from a tiny rental house to a larger one.
The rental house was small, very small and viewers were shocked at how a family of 18 people were all living in there. The rental house only had a few small bedrooms and the house was only meant to house an absolute maximum of 5 people.
The Duggars were almost triple that number. If the small space wasn’t enough to make everyone cringe, a comment was made that had a lot of people cringing even more. Josh Duggar stated that there was not even enough room for everyone to have their own bed, they had to share beds.
11 A Weird Defense Of Josh
I have tried to stray away from the accusations made against Josh Duggar, because I think the world has heard enough about it, and it almost seems weird to highlight something like that. However, there was one moment that shocked viewers so much, that it needs to be mentioned, and it actually was not something that Josh did or said.
What shocked a lot of fans of the show, was when some of his sisters or his victims, publicly defended him. Not only did they defend him, but they dismissed it as if it was nothing. Viewers felt this was doing a disservice to victims everywhere.
They gave a lot of excuses for Josh and this ranged from the fact that he was just a young boy and that he was just a little too curious. They also revealed that they had forgiven Josh, which is not a bad thing, forgiveness can help people move on and heal, but that is only if it is true forgiveness. This was not, as they all stated many times that they were told to forgive him by their parents. They also revealed that after the incident happened, they put locks on the bedroom doors of the girls which further enraged fans.
10 Medical Problems For A Little One
Michelle showed everyone the possible dangers a woman can face after having so many children. The last little girl that the couple had was born three months premature. She had a lot of health concerns and had shown from a very early age that she was prone to febrile seizure. A febrile seizure is a seizure that is a result of the body temperature raising too fast. There is normally nothing a parent can do to prevent it because it happens that fast.
On an episode of 19 Kids & Counting, Michelle and Jim Bob were out of town, and Jana and the Duggar grandma was at home caring for the children. Josie then suffered a febrile seizure that was aired, and it was quite difficult to watch.
There are videos of the episode on YouTube if you would like to see the moment. What concerned viewers was that Jana seemed more concerned than her parents did, however, there was not really anything to pair could do as they were in another state. Josie was taken to the hospital and was completely fine, but it was a scary moment and a moment that a lot of people felt did not need to be aired for the world to see.
9 Michelle Isn't Allowed To Say No, According To Her
It probably goes without saying that there is a fair amount of ‘adult time’ in the Duggar household, the number of children tells us that, so it is not a shocking admonition. The Duggars have extremely strict values and morals and one of them includes that premarital relations is a big no-no. They make sure that their children are not partaking in anything intimate until they are married. Couples can not even share a kiss until they have taken their vows.
The girls are taught that their role is to find a husband, marry and have children. It has always been presented as if that is their main duty and nothing should get in the way of that. This has been seen on the show, but it has never been so apparent as it was during an interview with Michelle Duggar, the Duggar matriarch.
Michelle took part in an interview with Today and she stated that her biggest lesson about marriage was to never say no to her husband, when it comes to doing the deed. She stated that there was never a reason to say no, even if you are not feeling well.
By saying no, you would be hindering the relationship. Probably explains why they have so many children.
8 Eldest Daughter Jana Is A Real-Life Cinderella
A lot of little girls and boys grow up reading fairy tales, they enjoy them. The story of a princess who is being rescued by a prince will always have a certain amount of charm to it.
The Duggar family may be hiding their very own Cinderella in the home, and she took to the TV show to remind everyone about that. Jana is the eldest Duggar sibling, and is not married and therefore still lives at home.
She is often seen on the show taking care of the house and the younger children.
Jana has a huge fan base, as she seems the sweetest of all the girls, and is well-liked. She also has been noticed to never complain about anything, she just goes about her day without fussing over the work she has to do. In one episode of the new spin-off show Counting On, Jana gave fans a subtle reminder that she was indeed still at home. She stated that it has been neat to see how connected she has become to the younger ones. Fans took this as a silent plea for help. Was she complaining in a nice way? We may never know, but fans have been interpreting everything Jana says as a cry for help.
7 A Trip To Remember
A lot of families take vacations, that is normal. Whether they be extravagant Europe trips or just to the local campsite, it is a common occurrence among families.
So, it is not shocking to hear that the Duggar family has taken some trips themselves, and their trips are always more extravagant just because of the number of children they have to bring along.
The head of the family decided to take a trip to San Francisco to celebrate their anniversary.
When you are dealing with a trip on a reality show, it is always somewhat scripted or planned, it has to be because it will air on TV. The pair ended up running into a couple and they started up a conversation about how this city seemed to be a ‘party city’. The woman explained that the whole area was a party place, for which Jim Bob stated his whole house was a party house with all the children they had in it. They were near a store that sold various objects that one would use to partake in a then-illegal substance, for which Jim Bob stated were “funny-looking glassware.” He then proceeded to say he has never taken part in anything like that.
6 Lots Of Births Happened On Air
We have reached a time when a lot of the Duggar children are growing up and starting their own families. We watch as each daughter, and some sons, have children of their own and the numbers are rapidly growing for this family. Due to them being on a television show, we often get to watch a lot of these births happen. One of them was a little different than the rest. Most of the Duggars strive for a natural, home birth with midwives. There have been cases of having to be transferred to the hospital or having to have a C-section, but they all aim for a home birth.
Josh Duggar’s wife, Anna, was the first to bare grandchildren, and things got a little uncomfortable for the birth of one of her children. She laboured at home, and she felt the urge to go to the bathroom, something that is quite normal and happens to a lot of women. You use the same muscles to push out a baby after all.
Anna was so worried about having an accident where she was delivering, she went to go sit on the toilet, and you guessed it. She ended up giving birth on the toilet.
5 Jessa's Boyfriend Moved In
Everyone is familiar with the modesty lifestyle the Duggars live, the dress code, the courtship rules and everything else that encompasses. This meant that viewers were very shocked when patriarch Jim Bob allowed something completely out of the blue. Jessa, one of the older siblings and the third to get married, was in a courtship with her now-husband, Ben.
Viewers were shocked when Jim Bob allowed Jessa's boyfriend Ben to move into the Duggar house, to live under the same roof as his girlfriend, as the pair were not even engaged yet.
This was done because Ben lived many miles away from Jessa, and the pair did not get to see each other very much or spend quality (courted) time together. This meant that Jessa only saw Ben every other weekend, which is not ideal when you are trying to build a relationship. The whole idea of courtship is that it will lead to marriage. Jim Bob let Ben move into the family home so that the pair could spend more time together. Ben, of course, had to get his parent’s blessings to move into. Once he did, he packed his bags and immediately moved into the home. It must have worked, because the pair are now married with two children.
4 OMG! A Full Hug!
There are a lot of rules when it comes to courting. A lot of the couples make their own guidelines and have slight variations in what they are allowed or comfortable to do or not do until marriage. They are all very similar, and we rarely see these rules broken, except this one time. Jill and Derick are one of the higher profiled couples in the Duggar clan, and that is mostly because of the trouble Derick has gotten into on social media. Long before this, the pair was just a normal couple who were courting.
Some of the normal rules that a Duggar couple would have would be no kissing, no unchaperoned dates and no full hugs. They can only partake in side hugs until they are married.
Some couples will allow hand holding, but that is still not usually until they are at least engaged. Derick was on a missionary trip for some time and when he was due back home, everyone was excited, but maybe too excited. Jill and the rest of the Duggar family went to the airport and met him with balloons and streamers. When he appeared, Jill forgot about the rules and gave her partner a full-on hug. She quickly realized what she had done and pulled to a side hug instead.
3 Extravagant Wedding(s)
Weddings happen every day all over the world, and some of them are more extravagant than others. This largely depends on the size of a family and the culture of the couple. It is not a shock to know that the Duggars have large weddings, they have a large family. When I got married, I had about 120 guests and I found that a lot, overwhelming and expensive. The Duggars are even bigger.
Jill and Derick tied the knot in front of over 1, 000 guests. About ten times the size of an average wedding guest list.
When weddings are that large, there is a lot of preparation that goes into it, and viewers watched as dozens of church volunteers worked very hard to get everything ready for the big day. They also had a ton of food to prepare. They had to make more than 600 cupcakes, 3,000 chocolate-chip cookies and 3,000 root beer floats. There was a sweet and salty food station with even more food set up for their guests. It is also noticed that couples tend to get married very quickly once they are engaged, so they are usually working with just a few months to get this all organized and prepared. Plus, with 20 children, they will have to do this many times.
2 The Loss Of #20
Josie may have been their 19th child, but there was supposed to be one more. Michelle was pregnant with her 20th child when the family experienced a loss.
Even the harshest critics can feel for a family who suffers a miscarriage or stillbirth, or any form of infant loss. It is heartbreaking. The loss was captured on an episode of 19 Kids & Counting titled ‘A Duggar Loss’. The episode followed Michelle through the loss and then went on to show Jim Bob talking to each child as he broke the news to the siblings. Fans found this very awkward and inappropriate.
This was a very touchy subject as some did see how this could help people going through the same thing. The more we talk about topics that are uncomfortable or hard, the less stigma will be attached to it. Miscarriage and infant loss still has an air of stigma around it, it is something people don’t want to talk about because it is painful and uncomfortable. They felt that this episode, and ones like it, would help people talk about it more. Then there were those who felt really uncomfortable and felt that this was a private moment that did not need to be aired on television.
1 Sometimes What We Don’t See Is More Shocking!
Reality TV may be exciting and entertaining, even if you consider it a guilty pleasure for you and don’t like to admit you watch it. However, we all truly wonder how much of it is ‘reality’ and not scripted. This means that sometimes what we don’t see on air can be a lot more shocking and surprising. Something that shocked fans of the show was when Jim Bob and Michelle admitted that they do not allow their children to have any privacy. All parents worry about what their children do when they are not around, but most understand that it is important to give them some space.
Jim Bob and Michelle have openly admitted to listening to their children's phone calls, checking their e-mails, text messages and even snooping through their belongings.
A lot of people felt this is too far, especially when the children have not done anything to make the parents think that they are up to something bad. The privacy issue even reached the crew behind the cameras. When the show started, Jim Bob was reported to hover over the crew wanting to know everything that they were doing, and in his own words he stated that he ‘watched them like a hawk.’