Like many people, I'll admit to having a soft spot for the dramatic moments that occur on reality television. Sometimes, if I have a weeknight to myself or am having a lazy Sunday afternoon, I can't help but want to watch a good reality show. And a lot of the time, I've watched MTV's Teen Mom.
The spin-off of 16 and Pregnant premiered in 2009 with four young moms who viewers knew from their individual episodes: Farrah Abraham, Maci Bookout (now Bookout McKinney), Amber Portwood, and Catelynn Lowell (now Baltierra). Like other fans who tuned into the show who weren't teen mothers, I could still find the girls' lives at least a little bit relatable. The truth is that we all can say that there are aspects of our lives that have turned out differently than we thought.
The show is known for some very dramatic scenes, and there are many moments that are honestly impossible to ever forget. We've probably all had the experience of watching an episode and wondering if that actually occurred. Since the cameras have followed these four young moms, their real lives are being filmed, and they really have gone through this stuff. Here are 25 things that really happened on Teen Mom.
25 Amber And Gary Passed The Point Of No Return
Teen Mom fans are familiar with Amber Portwood and her story, and one big part of her backstory is her relationship with her ex, Gary Shirley. It would be impossible to watch a few old episodes of the reality show and not know that Amber and Gary had a really dramatic relationship.
It was very unhealthy, and the camera filmed everything, including one big moment that fans are also familiar with. Amber and Gary passed the point of no return, and it was clear to fans that they wouldn't be reuniting after that. Their relationship problems really did happen. These days, it seems like they are co-parenting and their daughter, Leah, is doing well.
24 Maci's Ex Ryan Committed A No-No While Driving
According to In Touch Weekly, there was one big moment on Teen Mom OG that really did happen: Maci's ex Ryan fell asleep while driving.
If we saw this scene, we might have asked ourselves, "Are we actually seeing this?" It was worrisome and, of course, dangerous. This is one Teen Mom moment that really did happen, and since then, Ryan has been to a treatment center. He and his wife, Mackenzie, are no longer on the show, although Maci is often filmed talking about trying to co-parent with Ryan (and even trying to get him to respond to messages, which hasn't always happened).
23 Amber Really Did Have A Tough Time (And Served Time, Too)
Sometimes, we hear that there is no "real" on reality TV and that dramatic scenes are crafted from scratch. That's not the case with Amber's storylines. She really has had a very tough time, and she has served time, as well.
It definitely seems like those tough times are behind Amber and that she's had a new beginning. According to E online, Amber has said, "I think I've changed a lot. It's hard to think about my past because I can't remember half of it." She also said about her life with her partner Andrew Glennon and their baby boy James, "I have a really calm, chill life, and I'm happy for the first time, genuinely."
22 Farrah Actually Yelled At A Producer On Camera
If we've seen an episode of Teen Mom with Farrah, we can probably agree that she is often in a pretty bad mood. (Okay, that's kind of an understatement.)
The producers on Teen Mom are often seen chatting with the girls, either about what's going on in the scene or about their lives in general. In Farrah's case, she yelled at a producer once, and it was caught on camera. This is something else that really happened.
As Pop Culture says, "Abraham has a fraught relationship with the MTV production team, often exploding on them while filming. In a January episode of the show, a producer confronted her about her tendency to fly off the handle, saying, 'Out of nine moms, you're the only one that's the problem.' 'I'm not difficult!' she responded, to which the producer shook his head."
21 Farrah Getting Mad At Simon For Having Shoes On (Yes, Really)
Farrah is no longer on the show, but when she was, she definitely seemed pissed off in many scenes. For a time, she was dating a guy named Simon, and as Mtv.co.uk notes, she got mad at him for wearing shoes inside.
Yes. This really happened, even if it does seem like such a small thing. As Mtv.co.uk says, "Pet hates — we all have them! People chewing loudly, sneezing without a tissue, nail-biting — the list goes on. But for Farrah, it’s plain and simple: Do NOT walk in shoes on her rug. OKAY?" Simon even asked Farrah why she was so upset about it.
20 Amber Telling Matt She Wouldn't Marry Him After All
According to Mtv.co.uk, another big moment on Teen Mom was when Amber told Matt that she wasn't going to marry him.
When we tuned into an episode of Teen Mom OG and learned that Amber had a boyfriend named Matt, we were so happy for her. It seemed like things were finally going her way, and they seemed like a really nice couple (especially compared to her unhealthy relationship with Gary). But after a while, Amber realized that she and Matt had problems, too, and she said she wasn't "ready" to get married. Matt got really upset and said he would never be her husband. It was a rough moment.
19 Amber Learning That Matt Didn't Pay Child Support For 7 Kids
As we watched more and more episodes of Teen Mom OG, we learned something else about Matt: He had seven kids. And he had seven kids that he might not have paid child support for.
As someone posted on Reddit in a thread about "the most iconic episodes" of the show, this moment made their list: "Gary handing Amber the receipts for the 7 child support cases against Matt."
Talk about dramatic (and awkward): your ex telling you something like this about your current partner. Amber felt that this was way too much to deal with, and we can see how she felt that way. When you're a mom, you have to be careful about who you date (and marry).
18 Maci Had A Loss
According to Wetpaint, Maci talked about having a loss in a January 2018 episode of Teen Mom OG, and she really did go through this tough experience. Moms who have unfortunately gone through this can relate to Maci and her journey.
People says that in the episode, Maci said to her husband, Taylor, while they were having dinner, “We are not having another baby. You really want another child?” He said, “I love kids. I wouldn’t be mad about it."
Maci has three kids: ten-year-old Bentley (who she shares with her ex Ryan), three-year-old daughter Jayde, and two-year-old son Maverick.
17 The Incident Between Farrah And Her Mom
We know that Farrah didn't get along with the producers, and we might have heard that she wasn't besties with the other girls on the show, either. She has also had a tumultuous relationship with her mom, Debra.
As the Ledger-Enquirer wrote about the first episode of the second season of Teen Mom, there was an incident between Farrah and her mom. This also happened: "Farrah takes a job at a restaurant. Her dad wants to bring Sophia over to see Farrah's mom. Farrah agrees, and her mom gets emotional when she's reunited with Sophia. Farrah wants to talk about the social worker's recommendations, but her mom isn't feeling it. Farrah's dad, meanwhile, is too busy being overly emotional. The whole scene is a little sad."
16 Ryan Wasn't There For Maci When Bentley Was Born (Or Bentley, Either)
When Maci had her son Bentley while still a teenager, she had a stressful experience for more reasons than just the fact that she was a teen mom.
Maci and her boyfriend at the time, Ryan, had many relationship problems. Ryan wasn't there for her and the baby at all. He was often shown going out, he was never home, and Maci was raising the baby alone. This led to their breakup.
This was shown on the cameras, but this was also something that really took place in real life. Now, Maci is happily married to Taylor and they've created a beautiful family.
15 Farrah Saying She Would Definitely Fire Simon If She Was His Boss
According to Mtv.co.uk, one of Teen Mom OG's "most dramatic relationship meltdowns" was when Farrah told Simon that if she was his boss, she would fire him.
Can we imagine saying something like this to our husband or boyfriend? Definitely not, right? This doesn't even seem like a phrase that we would say if we were trying to be funny.
This really happened, and we can tell that Farrah and Simon's relationship didn't work out. Even after they officially broke up, she still hung out with him and he was often still filmed as part of the show. There was always a lot of tension.
14 Catelynn Has Gone To A Few Treatment Centers
Fans give Catelynn tons of credit for always talking about the sad stuff that she has been through. It's true that some people would sweep it under the rug and refuse to talk about it, especially if they were in the public eye. But that's not Catelynn (or her husband, Tyler, either).
We first learned about Catelynn's honesty when MTV cameras filmed her and Tyler giving their baby, Carly, up for adoption when they were only 16. And since then, Catelynn has been in a few different treatment centers as she has had many struggles. This is her real life, and the cameras have shown her leaving Tyler and their daughter, Nova, to go get help.
13 Gary Once Said Amber Would Have To Stay Away From Their Daughter Leah Forever
According to C. Sheet, Gary once told Amber that she wouldn't be able to see their daughter again. The publication explains, "Ok! Magazine reminds us of one finale episode where Gary seemed jealous over Amber’s blossoming relationship. After Amber was excluded from her daughter’s birthday party thrown by Gary, an intense argument ensued over custody of the child. It ended with Gary screaming that he was never going to let Leah, their daughter, see Amber ever again."
This is definitely dramatic, but it's also something that really happened. Amber has been open on the show about wanting to have more time with Leah since Gary has had full custody.
12 Catelynn And Tyler Really Were Step-Siblings For A Time
When we talk about the early days of Teen Mom and some older episodes, we can't help but mention this one fact: For a period of time, Catelynn and Tyler were actually step-siblings.
We might think that a teenager couple becoming step-siblings because their parents got married sounds like the plot of a movie or novel, but this really did happen to them. Catelynn's mom, April, and Tyler's dad, Butch, did tie the knot while Catelynn and Tyler were young. They often say that they had already been in a relationship, so this was just their reality. Once their parents split up, it didn't even matter anymore.
11 Catelynn And Tyler Have Been Living Apart Recently
We look to Catelynn and Tyler as a couple who have been together for a really long time. Any of us in a long-term relationship knows that it can be the best of times and there can also be some really low moments.
Lately, Tyler and Catelynn have been living apart. They talked about this on the show, and it's been a reality of their relationship right now.
As Fame 10 says, Catelynn talked about this to one of the show's producers, Kerthy, and said, “We’ve been together for so long that it’s like who are you as a person, by yourself?” Tyler responded, “That’s why I said, ‘I want to live separately.’ I just felt like it was the best place to bring it up, I guess."
10 Tyler's Dad, Butch, Really Has Relapsed A Few Times
While some reality shows such as The Real Housewives franchise or Jersey Shore focus on the core cast, Teen Mom has always delved into each girl's family life and background. One person who has been a staple on the series is Tyler's dad, Butch.
Butch has had many personal struggles, and he has relapsed a few times. This is often discussed on Teen Mom, as Tyler will find out that his dad has relapsed. We've seen this happen a few times, and then Tyler has had to deal with all of the emotions that he feels as a result. This is really what Tyler has had to face within his own family.
9 Farrah Is Mean To Her Mom Debra With Her Daughter Sophia Right There
We might wonder how Farrah can be mean to her mother, Debra, with her daughter Sophia right there. This wasn't made up for the cameras, this has really happened. If we've been watching the show since the beginning, we're pretty used to their dynamic.
According to Ranker, "Abraham brings her mother to tears while lecturing her on how to watch Sophia for the weekend, dropping in the b-word frequently. Sophia seems to have more sense than her own mother. At the end of the confrontation, Sophia tells Abraham she has a bad attitude. Abraham defends herself by telling her daughter she simply wants her taken care of."
8 Ryan Didn't Show Up To Pick Up Bentley On Time
Anyone who has had to co-parent knows that even when you set up a schedule, things can still go wrong. You wonder how that's possible because you're allowing your ex to see your kid and you feel like you're doing everything within your power to be friendly and fair. But, still, mishaps happen.
In the case of Ryan and Maci's co-parenting journey, there was one scene when Ryan didn't show up to pick up Bentley on time. Maci was really upset, which is totally understandable. Mtv.co.uk mentions this as one of the most dramatic moments, and we would have to agree.
7 Catelynn And Tyler's Parents Had Thoughts On Them Giving Their First Daughter Up For Adoption
When Catelynn and Tyler appeared on 16 and Pregnant, they were on a different page than their families about giving Carly up for adoption. The teenagers knew that this was what they had to do. They were too young to raise her on their own and they knew that it would be way too difficult.
It was an incredibly wise and mature decision, but their family members didn't actually see it that way. And it turns out that Tyler's dad still felt that way, even years and years later. According to Wetpaint, Tyler's dad, Butch, has said that he still doesn't support it.
6 Amber Thinks That Matt Stole $120,000 From Her
According to Pop Culture, Amber said on Teen Mom OG that she thought that Matt stole $120,000 from her.
It seems like this was one reason why the two split up and didn't end up getting married. It's definitely true that their relationship was just as dramatic as hers and Gary's, although for different reasons. While people talk about reality shows raking up the drama for ratings and to get people watching each episode, this was something that really happened. Amber and Matt's relationship started falling to pieces, and this was just one example of why they went their separate ways.
5 Tyler Told His Mom The Toughest Part About Parenting
Mtv.co.uk mentions a scene when Tyler told his mom that he was really upset about the state of his life and relationship. He was having a tough time as a new dad and helping Catelynn with her struggles. In the scene, he said, “I can’t do this for the rest of my life … This whole first year of being a parent — it’s so the opposite of what I thought.”
This was Tyler's real life, and it's a scene that was totally true to what was going on. While sometimes we expect guys to stay silent about the negative feelings that they're experiencing and anything that they're struggling with, it's amazing to see Tyler be so open.
4 Farrah Did Her Daughter's Makeup (And A Lot Of Makeup)
How do we feel about letting our daughters wear some makeup? Many moms agree that putting on a ton of beauty products isn't what little kids should be doing. While our daughters are always interested when they watch us put on lipstick and blush, we don't exactly want them to copy our routine.
According to Wetpaint, there's one scene on Teen Mom when Farrah does Sophia's makeup, and it's honestly a lot. The website explains, "That same episode shows the controversial star giving her 6-year-old a full face of makeup. While prepping for that infamous, aforementioned visit to grandma’s house in Iowa, Farrah is seen putting lipstick, eyeshadow, and possibly even eyeliner on her little girl."
3 Farrah Had A Tape And Clashed With The Show
Fame 10 mentions that once, Farrah had a tape, and this made her clash with the show. We can totally see why the network wouldn't want this to happen.
Before Farrah officially left Teen Mom, there was a lot of talk about when she would leave or if she ever would. Fans knew that there was a lot of conflict between her and the producers. There were definitely many instances of her squabbling with producers, and those moments were caught on camera. Farrah has always been ambitious and has had many different work projects on the go, and even though she's not on the show anymore, we know that she has a lot going on.
2 Some People Didn't Like One Of Maci's Parenting Moments
According to Too Panda, some fans didn't like one of Maci's parenting moments.
It's inevitable that if your life is filmed for a long-running reality series, fans might see something that they disagree with. There are so many different ways to be a mom, and people are just doing what they feel is the best thing. This seems like the only time that fans have said something like this about Maci, as otherwise, people love following along with her journey and they enjoy seeing photos of her adorable family and watching her and Taylor run their own cool clothing business.
1 Tyler Has Had His Own Struggles
According to Fame 10, Tyler has had his own struggles, and he has talked about having depression.
Anyone who has experienced the same thing can be grateful to Tyler and Catelynn for talking about difficult things on Teen Mom. Even though they could definitely pretend that they haven't ever gone through anything hard and they could put on a pretty face for the cameras, they never do that. They're always open books and fans like that about them.
While almost every moment of Teen Mom is dramatic, everything is for real, and the young moms are living their lives in front of the cameras and letting fans see what it's really like to have kids while still in high school.