The TLC network hit the jackpot when they pitched the idea of following one eccentric, polygamist family through life's trials and tribulations. When it came to drama, excitement, and intrigue, the Brown family hit all of the requirements.
We first met Kody Brown and his three wives back when they were all living under one roof in Lehi, Utah. It was interesting to see how this big family made things work, how they approached marriage, child-rearing, and life in general. Viewers couldn't get enough of them, and they couldn't get enough of being reality television stars.
Kody, Meri, Janelle, and Christine added a fourth wife to the mix along with her three children and made a dramatic move to Las Vegas. Things immediately got messy, and we could not turn away. Years later, the clan is still together, trying to work the ever-present kinks out of their intricate, intertwined, and often confusing web of relationships. No matter what the family is facing in any given season, one thing is for sure: there is never, ever a shortage of drama to be seen from the Browns.
Check out these 20 things that happened on the hit television show Sister Wives.
20 The Catfishing Heard Round The World
Meri has always been the only wife legally hitched to Kody; the other wives are in what is known as a "spiritual union." When she decided to formally divorce Kody and urge him to marry Robyn so that he could adopt Robyn's kids from her former marriage, Meri went through struggles that she never saw coming. Her loneliness led her to the Internet, where she struck up an online relationship with a man named Sam. Sam turned out to be a vindictive, deranged woman and Meri's house of cards came crashing down around her almost bringing down the entire family.
19 Divorce And Remarriage
Anyone who watches Sister Wives can tell you that Kody is not currently locked away because, technically, he is only ever legally married to one wife at a time. He was married to Meri on paper, while his unions with his other wives were spiritual. That all changed when he and Meri formally divorced—but stayed married spiritually—and married his last wife, Robyn. This shift rocked some of the sister wives' worlds for sure. Meri's reasons for doing what she did were selfless, Robyn's kids needed to belong to the Brown family legally should anything ever happen to Robyn. Nevertheless, the shift in unions was not something that Polygamist families often do.
18 Running From The Law
When the Browns were living in Lehi, Utah, things got pretty sticky with the law. The cameras caught the family peeping out their windows, looking for police enforcement and mainly living in unease of persecution. Their kids came home from school on a Friday, the parents sat the young children down, and told them that they were not returning to school and instead would be packing up their lives and moving to Las Vegas. This announcement was almost like telling them that they would be moving to the moon. There was yelling, there was confusion, and there were plenty of tears shed. It was sad to watch. Those poor kids!
17 Not So Friendly Off Camera
The wives at cordial in the very least when the cameras are rolling. When the cameras shut off, however, these ladies apparently keep to their own. The drama between wife number one, Meri, and wife number two, Janelle, is long-standing and rocky at best. Christine has forever fought jealousy issues when it comes to her husband, and Robyn is looking to become the Queen Bee in the Brown Family. She has even pulled the plug on Kody's possible desire to add more ladies to the family. With all these issues, it's a miracle that at least a few of the family members have not called it quits by now.
16 Bed And Breakfast Drama
First wife Meri is always the one stirring the pot. When everyone else gets on board with something, it's Meri who digs her heels in deep. She is a tough cookie at times, and we can imagine that living with her as a sister wife isn't always a picnic.
Last season we saw Meri, who pretty much functions as a family outsider these days, decide that she wanted to go ahead and purchase a family home and run a bed and breakfast... in another state. This idea created havoc in the already fragile family unit and frankly watching the Kody-plus-wives living room conversations was uncomfortable.
Every one of them was full of misreadings, tip-toeing, and tears. In the end, Meri scored the bed and breakfast, but only time will tell if it ends up being a good investment or a doozy.
15 Plenty Of Proposals
With so many children in the family, and the vast majority of them now entering adulthood, it's no wonder that every season seems to give us at least a couple of marriage proposals. The Brown children don't mess around when it comes to matrimony. They set their sights on their partner, and within months we get a proposal and a glimpse into the wedding planning phase with four opinionated mothers. Weddings sure make for good television ratings.
So far, Maddie, Mykelti, and Aspyn have tied the knot. Eldest son Logan is right behind them. He is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Michelle Petty. Thus far, none of the second generation Browns have jumped on the Polygamy bandwagon. According to People Magazine, Meri's daughter Mariah also recently became engaged to her girlfriend Audrey.
14 The Family Welcomed Their First Grandchild With Cameras Rolling
Weddings aside, viewers even got a front row seat to the birth of the Brown family's first grandchild. Maddie and her husband Caleb endured a grueling, and extremely long homebirth before finally welcoming little Axel into the clan. Her journey to parenthood was caught on camera from start to finish, and we have to admit, there were times during the birth where even we had to look away. Her delivery experience jarred even her parents, who claimed never to have seen something so intense. That is saying a whole lot considering how many children most of the Brown wives have birthed!
13 So Much Therapy
At least the Brown family knows when to call in the support. After leaving their home in Lehi, moving into rental homes that were not exactly close by each other, getting used to a new wife and more children and trying to transition all of those kids into Las Vegas life, it's no surprise that the spouses needed intense marital therapy! Meri and Janelle had longstanding issues to work out. Christine and Kody had been on the fritz since Robyn came along, and Robyn and Christine had some personal issues to bang out. Nevermind the entire catfishing fiasco that befell Meri. Professional help was desperately needed.
12 Kody Told The Family They Were Flagstaff Bound
Kody Brown likes to tell the world that when it comes to family decisions, his wives call all of the shots. They certainly outnumber him in votes, even though the Browns abide by a patriarchal religious structure. One thing he made clear though was regardless of what the mommies thought, their family was never staying in Las Vegas for the long haul. Kody finally let the gang know that their imminent move would be happening sooner than later during this current season.
The Browns decided to settle in Flagstaff, Arizona, but getting everyone to get there was exhausting to watch mentally, so we can not imagine how exhausting it was to be a part of the actual process.
11 Kody's Flirtatious Ways
The Kody Brown wives call their husband out on all sorts of things. Some of them he lets roll off his back, but others get him worked up. One of the things that they forever badger him about is his propensity to flirt with other ladies. Whether it is his daughter's future mother-in-law or wife Robyn's friend, we think it is fair to say that Kody has some game when it comes to the ladies. Meri even called him out recently for openly flirting with his wives in front of each other. It seems his friendly smile and jovial personality get him in a whole lot of trouble at home, flirting or not!
10 Mariah's Liberating Announcement
The Browns consider themselves pretty traditional when it comes to courting, aside from that whole Polygamist thing, of course! They expect their children to remain pure as snow until their wedding day. Alternative lifestyles aren't exactly accepted with open arms by people in the Browns religious community. Kody, Meri, and the other wives had to open their minds and their hearts when daughter Mariah revealed that she was living an alternative lifestyle. Watching the heartfelt revelation brought tears to our eyes. Mariah was so brave in sharing her life with her conservative family and they, in turn, have grown to love and accept Mariah and her now-fiance.
9 Most Of The Wives Are More Than Okay With Sharing Their Man
Sure there is jealousy lurking throughout this complicated relationship. How could there not be? The wives get snarky when Kody spends too much time on one woman, but all matters aside, they seem pretty chill about sharing one man between them. Many of them have stated over and over that they were attracted not only to Kody but to the whole sister wife experience. Not having to attend to a man every single night doesn't shake these ladies. They prefer to the monogamous demands of marriage. The concept of sister wives was even a greater pull of some of the family members than the romantic link to Kody. Wives like Christine had a bigger picture in mind from the very beginning.
8 Former Sisters-In-Law
To say that wife number one Meri, and wife number two Janelle, have a complicated history would be a gross understatement. Aside from being married to the same man, these two have some other interesting and nonconventional connections to each other. In Touch Weekly reported that before Janelle got hitched to Kody Brown, she was the wife of Meri's brother. So before she became a sister wife, she was a sister-in-law! She fell for Kody while she was still married to Meri's brother, but didn't enter a spiritual union with him until four years after meeting Kody for the first time.
7 Brown Financial Woes
Kody Brown has faced plenty of money issues over the years, and many of them have been televised. Kody and Meri stared down financial downfall in 2005. According to Radaronline.com, they had but five dollars to their name at one point! They owed substantial lump sums of money to just about everyone that they knew and for a while there, it looked like there would be no digging themselves out of the giant hole of debt. Sister Wives turned that whole thing around though and allowed the family to rake in way more money than they had previously become accustomed to. Kody is doing much better when it comes to money because he supposedly paid over $800,000 for property in Flagstaff, Arizona.
6 One Woman Man In The Bedroom
Many moons ago, Kody Brown was a busy guy behind closed doors. Many of the family's older children are very close in age, meaning several of the wives were pregnant at the same time. Go ahead and do the math here. These days the initial three wives are well beyond the baby years. Christine was the last one of them to birth a baby, and Truley is almost nine years old now. Kody's fourth wife Robyn has had a couple of babies in recent years, and according to Soapdirt.com, she is the only one that is supposedly getting down with Mr. Brown.
5 Booted From Their Church
A couple of years ago, Radar Online broke the news that the Brown family had been abandoned by their beloved church. This dismissal was a significant blow to the Browns, who have always considered themselves devoted followers of their chosen faith.
The Apostolic United Brethren decided to distance themselves from the high profile family due to the Brown's inability to live more privately. They aren't big fans of reality television. These days the family practices their faith in the comfort of their own home. It seems like the only way that they can have their on-camera lives and their religion at the same time.
4 The Next Generation Is Not Following In Their Parents' Footsteps
The next generation of Browns is getting married at warp speed. So far, none of the married or betrothed Browns have expressed a calling towards a life of Polygamy. They have all been pretty vocal about not wanting to share their spouse with anyone...ever. The husbands all seem fine with that decision, too. There are still a lot of little Browns coming up the pipes, and many are years away from ever being someone's husband or wife. We will have to wait and see if the little Browns go in the way of their parents, or choose the path of their older siblings.
3 Sister Wife Jealousy
Sure the sister wives all felt a calling to a life of Polygamy and make it a point to tell viewers and fans that they always focus on the larger picture, which helps them avoid jealousy issues. Try as they might to ward off those feelings of "hands off my man," the sister wives do get jealous on occasion. We saw this come out after. Christine gave birth to her last child, all while her husband was courting another woman, Here she was, all postpartum, and her hubby was on his honeymoon. Yeah, we can see how jealousy might be unavoidable here.
2 Janelle Flew The Coup
Second wife Janelle strikes us as even keel and stoic, but that was not always the case. Years ago Janelle found herself battling a common postpartum problem and feeling like there was nowhere to turn. As her depression worsened, she decided that leaving the family would be the best option for everyone. With a herd of little ones underfoot and financial woes plaguing the family, Janelle packed the kids up and headed to her mother's home. Thankfully, the family was able to rejoin each other and make things work. We sure are glad they did, we can't imagine this family without Janelle.
1 The Strangest Portrait On The Planet
Robyn has a vastly different history with Kody than her sister wives do. Her three oldest children are from the marriage before Kody. This fact grates on Robyn, so much so that she had a pretend portrait fashion for her man of him and her three children. What made the image so bizarre is that it was of a younger Kody with Robyn's three children in their much younger years, back when Robyn didn't even know who Kody was... So it was mainly made up, kind of like a teenage girl would make of her and Justin Bieber. Kody loved it, but we all thought it was strange.