People have some extreme thoughts on the notorious Duggar family. Some fans love and adore them. They aspire to live their lives more aligned to the famous fam's and applaud them for sticking to their views and beliefs even when they aren't all that popular.
Others criticize them and their dogmatic, regimented way of life, accost them for not urging their daughters to fight for ladies' rights, and want to shake them awake for being so close-minded, so afraid to step off the ledge and into the world of bathing suits and pants.
Whatever side of the fence viewers and spectators find themselves on, they can't deny that this family sparks curiosity and question. Fans saw the kids grow up on the hit television show 19 Kids and Counting and were stunned when scandal rocked the clan in ways they never imagined possible. Onlookers wondered if the Duggar girls would be able to pick up the pieces of their celebrity status and make their spinoff show, Counting On, as successful as its predecessor.
While the family still entertains audiences and is certainly continuing to grow now that the "kids" are having kids of their own, the jury is out on the show's real success and authenticity. Harsh critics claim that the Duggars stage their show and not all seen is true and real. Here are ten moments from the show thought to be fake and ten that fans and critics alike cannot deny are real.
20 All For Show: Car-Selling Spoof
In the second season of Counting On, Jinger Duggar tried her hand at fixing up an old car and selling it for a profit, or at least, that is what the show's producers would have us believe.
Viewers first struggled to see Jinger as an empowered, creative working woman out in the world making a dollar.
She did have to bring her bro along for "support." The car got sold, but not to a stranger in need of a new motor vehicle. Reports are circulating that the man who bought the car was hired by production to play the part of the interested buyer.
19 Totally True: Jinger And Hubby Heat Things Up
We wish the romantic Australian honeymoon cooking class between these two had been fake, but sadly the scenes were authentic... and a little uncomfortable and awkward. Even the chef was like, "Stop it you two!" After all of those months of side hugs, the couple was ready to move on to greener pastures. Good for them, but no one wants to have a front row seat to all that PDA. The instructor in the class was visibly uncomfortable at the display of love, but Jeremy and Jinger were in a world all their own.
18 All For Show: The Gloss-Over Of Jill's First Delivery
Jill's first delivery was way more serious than television made it out to be. The show did its very best to gloss over the fact that Jill had labored for seventy long hours and then ended up giving birth in the hospital. Fans of the clan know that home births are much preferred to the clinical, sterile hospital deliveries. Jill's labor was so stressed that she ended up undergoing a cesarian section to deliver Israel. Her second son also came into the world in this manner. Aside from a few random and slightly cryptic messages on social media, everything regarding Jill's birthing experiences looked just blissful to viewers. We think it wasn't so.
17 Totally True: Anna's Bathroom Baby
One thing that viewers see a lot of on both 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On is the art of giving birth. A whole lot of little Duggars have been born throughout the years, and many of those births have been shown on television. Anna and Josh have five children and their second kiddo was born at home. At one point Anna put herself in the bathroom to gain a bit of privacy and possibly go number two. The family is close with the camera crew, but perhaps not that close. It was in the bathroom, over the toilet, where Josh and Anna's second child was born.
16 All For Show: Staging Family Functions
Family members Jill and Derick are no longer show staples thanks to Derick's insensitive comments regarding gender and another TLC cast member's chosen life path.
When a fan asked if he and Jill still go to family functions, but are then merely edited out of scenes, Dillard alluded to the show being staged.
He told the fan that he and Jill are not invited to events if producers don't want them there. So while viewers see an all-inclusive family get-together, the guest list might be scripted by the show's producers, not the family who is building the guest list.
15 Totally True: Jessa's Live-In Boyfriend
Once upon a time Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald were just two crazy kids in love. These days the couple is married with two sons to their name, and they are showing no signs shutting down the baby making factory. But back when they were courting, Ben lived with the Duggar family so that he and Jessa could get to know each other better. At the time of cohabitation, the two lived pretty far apart, and they were struggling to find quality time to devote to each other before taking the next big step. Considering how strict the Duggars are when it comes to dating, it's surprising that the parents went to such lengths to make their daughter's relationship work out. But work it out it, because Jessa is now expecting her 3rd child!
14 All For Show: Big Baby Moment Set-Up
Joy-Anna is a proud mommy to a baby boy these days, but there is some doubt as to how authentic the birthing scene on the show was. In the scene where Joy-Anna has her son, her bro-in-law Ben looks as if he is hearing the news for the first time while sitting in the family room of the Duggar compound. He is even seen throwing blue confetti in celebration. In a later video, Jessa and Ben are seen telling viewers that Ben was in fact at work when Joy-Anna gave birth and Jessa had told him the news when he got home. This means that the confetti throwing family party was all for show.
13 Totally True: Jinger Goes Rogue
Jinger Duggar is often referred to as the black sheep of the family. She has grown up, gotten married, and is now a mother to a little girl and this Duggar is doing things her way.
The transformation of Jinger is not just for the cameras though.
She is becoming her own person and following her path, and that path includes things like high heels, pants and sportswear, and short-sleeved shirts. If we ever see a Duggar in a bathing suit, our money is on Jinger. She is breaking all the old Duggar rules and paving a path for her best life. Do you Jinger.
12 All For Show: Not-So-Spur-Of-The-Moment Proposal
Fans got pretty pumped when Jeremy Vuolo got down on bended knee and asked Jinger to be his wedded wife. It was a romantic moment full of love and emotion to be sure, but was it staged to show? Possibly.
If you look carefully at the scene where Jeremy asks Jinger to marry him, there are the letters "J" and "V" taped to the floor, letting the couple know where they should stand so that the camera crew could capture the best angles.
If these letters were guiding the pair as to where they should stand, they must have known what was about to go down.
11 Totally True: Therapy Sessions To Save A Union
Anna and Josh have had to put some serious work into salvaging their marriage after Josh admitted to doing some not-so-proper things outside of their marriage. After he sought treatment for his personal issues, he and Anna headed to couples' counseling in hopes of rekindling the fire that once was. Years later they two are still in therapy, working out problems that won't seem to go away. It seems like Josh and Anna are willing to do just about anything so that they can continue to raise their children together. Only time will tell if it is going to be enough.
10 All For Show: The Duggar Girls' Show Is Full Of Re-Shoots
Duggar brother Josiah spilled the beans when he told viewers that his sisters' show Counting On was full of exhausting scene retakes. He said that the family is no longer able to walk through a door when they want to get from point A to point B. Sometimes they have to walk through that door several times before the camera crew gets that one particular shot that they are looking for. Stuff like this makes us wonder what else is having to be redone for the sake of the perfect scene. That doesn't sound like reality television to us.
9 Totally True: Jinger's Birds & Bees Convo With Her Father
Sadly, the scene where Jinger, Jeremy, and Papa Jim Bob discuss Jinger's plans to consummate her relationship was entirely true. Jinger probably wishes that whole fiasco was made up, but sadly Jim Bob is an integral component to these conversations with his grown daughters and their partners. Ew and no. We can't imagine sitting down with our betrothed and our ultra-conservative father while discussing the acts of marriage. Some things aren't meant to be shared between a father and his daughter, no matter how close they are! Besides, wasn't the birds-and-bees convo a bit late at this point anyhow?
8 All For Show: Flourishing Professional Pursuits
We see the Duggars be frugal, but we don't see them necessarily struggle. According to Duggar daughter Jill's outspoken husband, the Duggar daughters (and sons) are not paid the mad cash that viewers might expect them to rake in from television and magazine appearances.
He even claims the kids make no money from the show, even though they are all seen constructing and buying homes and starting up lucrative businesses.
If they aren't making money from TLC, then are they, in fact, doing as financially well as the show portrays them to be? We have seen the brood take on so many professional paths; we aren't even sure which were real and which were for ratings.
7 Totally True: Pricey Trips To The Grocery Store
One thing that isn't faked or stretched when it comes to the Duggars is their massive grocery bill. With so many mouths to feed, the clan spends more money on weekly meals than most people make in a month! Things have changed a bit now that many of the older Duggars are grown, married, and living in their own homes.
But back when there were 19 children living under one roof, Michelle once told Today's Savannah Guthrie that she usually spent somewhere around three thousand dollars a month on food alone.
We can't imagine! Think of how long that receipt is when the family decides to all get together and eat now!
6 All For Show: The Perfect Wedding Shot—Finally!
Jinger's wedding scene had to be shot several times because Josh was in the background on the first few. TLC has a hard line in the sand when it comes to Josh Duggar appearing on camera. His presence is a big old no-no. The wedding scene where Jinger and Jeremy are leaving to start their lives together had to be reshot because Josh kept finding his way into the shot. It has to be a royal pain for the people behind the scenes to have to edit Josh Duggar out of the show constantly. It also has to be exhausting for the cast members to reshoot everything because Josh can't manage to make himself scarce.
5 Totally True: Jana's Constant Maternal Side
Jana Duggar is the one daughter who is getting a bad rap for staying single. Known by many as Cinderella Duggar, Jana is currently still living at the family compound, taking care of all those little Duggars who are still underfoot.
We don't feel bad for Jana because she hasn't landed a man—not everyone has to get married and pregnant before they can legally drink—but we do feel bad for her having to bear a maternal responsibility for so many kids that she didn't even birth.
Critics are forever bringing up the fact that Jana seems like more of a mom than Michelle to the younger kids, and her responsibilities might be misplaced just because she is still living at home.
4 All For Show: Charity Moments Are Scripted
Back in 2015, when the show was still known as 19 Kids and Counting, the family visited a local donation center with boxes of food for needy families.
It is said that producers of the show guided the family in need as to how they should act and what they should say.
The Duggars were seen bringing boxes of food to the families, putting them in their cars and then when cameras shut off, they took the stash of food out of the car and left with them! That is not a good look for this family.
3 Totally True: Jessa And Ben's Public Intent
Nothing like having the most critical question in your life asked with your parents hovering over you and videotaping the whole thing.
Most of us would find this notion embarrassing, but Jessa and Ben Seewald seemed not to mind it at all.
Their pledging of love turned into a family event, with parents and video cameras directly over their shoulders. You would think that something like that would destroy the mood, but in this family stuff like this happens all the time—the Duggars kind of struggle with boundaries.
2 All For Show: Anna Duggar's Ten-Year Marriage To Josh Is Still Strained
Ten years, tons of kids, a worldwide scandal, and the long road back to love and trust might make viewers believe that Anna and Josh have an unbreakable bond. Not so! Josh and Anna Duggar are still married, but that doesn't mean everything is peachy keen between the pair.
After Josh's publicized issues shook Anna to her core back in 2015, many thought that divorce was imminent.
How could Anna ever move on from what her husband had done? Somehow she has managed, and the two even welcomed another baby into their family, but sources claim that there is still hurt and pain in the marriage.
1 Totally True: Skydiving Mom And Daughter Date
Oh, the things we mothers do for your children's happiness. Back when Jessa Duggar turned eighteen, she made a special request of mom Michelle. No, it wasn't a fancy birthday cake or a new party dress—it was a trip up to the friendly skies. Jessa wanted to take her mother skydiving. Viewers could barely believe their eyes when they saw the conservative mother of nineteen fling herself out of an airplane all for the sake of celebrating Jessa's birthday request. It was one of those moments that didn't hurt the ratings, but really was done with authenticity, so far as we know.
Sources: In Touch Weekly, Romper, Celebrity Insider