Back in 2012, the world was introduced to Alana Thompson – more famously known as Honey Boo Boo -- a toddler with ‘tude. The eccentric young girl had catchphrases galore and quickly took the Internet by storm.
Since her start on TLC’s outrageous show, Toddlers and Tiaras, Alana has become a sensation, prompting the network to give her and her family their own TV show: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. But after four seasons (almost five), the series was canceled due to controversy surrounding Alana’s mother, Mama June's shady romantic attachment to a criminal.
However, this was not the only source of controversy surrounding the unique family. As drama occurred on the show, typically the result of some controversial circumstance in and of itself, such as teenage pregnancy or poor parenting, their ratings soared, but it was tabloid headlines that really grabbed audience's attention.
Unsurprisingly then, for every bit of drama on-screen, there was at least two times as much off, which is why Screen Rant has compiled 15 Dark Secrets About Here Comes Honey Boo Boo You Had No Idea About.
15 Mama June Once Abandoned Her Eldest Daughter
Reportedly, the woman portrayed on TV as a loving, caring mother, Mama June actually abandoned her oldest daughter, Anna “Chickadee," when she was only an innocent eight years old.
There are claims Mama June left Anna at her grandmother’s house so that she could move in with her boyfriend at the time. To put her thought process simply, there was just not enough room in his trailer for both her and her daughter.
Soon enough, officials for child welfare services became involved with the situation and awarded her grandmother, Sandra Hale, sole custody of Anna "Chickadee," which was definitely for the best. Grandma's house was probably much better than any trailer Mama June and her boy-toy were living in.
14 Anna Moved Back In... For a Price
For years, Anna "Chickadee" stayed with her grandmother, Sandra Hale. However, according to multiple sources, Anna moved back in with the rest of the family only after Alana "Honey Boo Boo" and her mother nailed the TV show deal with TLC.
Mama June then reportedly bribed Anna with $500 dollars per month to secure her attendance with the rest of their family for the new, soon to be hit series.
However, as seen by viewers of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mama June was getting more than enough in return for her small, monthly payments to "Chickadee." Anna’s presence as a pregnant teenager provided the reality show with plenty of story lines to take advantage of and explore during its hit, multiple seasons run on TLC.
13 Child Services Almost Stopped Production In Season 1
During her television debut on Toddlers and Tiaras, viewers were exposed to Alana’s special “Go-Go Juice,” a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew. Although it certainly gave her energy for pageants, many rightly claimed such a concoction should not be given to any child.
As filming began for the 1st season of Alana’s own show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services reportedly nearly brought production to a halt. However, it was not for the consumption of sugary, energy-boosting juices; their presence was actually in response to a video of Alana dancing atop a college bar for money.
Fortunately for fans of the series, there were no charges filed, and the series went on for three more seasons. Yay.
12 Mama June Spent Time In Jail
Even before her start in reality television, Mama June was still a controversial figure - and was even in jail at one point.
According to Hollywood Life, Mama June was arrested and put behind bars back in 2008 for not paying $643 in child support. She stayed in jail for four days, facing up to 30 additional days if she failed to come up with the money. Luckily for June, she was able to come up with the child support money for her daughter, Anna, and was able to leave after the initial four days.
Additionally, an unconfirmed source for the National Enquirer claim that Mama June spent more time in jail after passing bad checks and stealing money from McDonald's while working there as an employee.
11 Alana Was Banned From Selling Girl Scout Cookies
There are plenty of famous people that use their celebrity status to their advantage – some for advertising purposes, some for political change, and even some for charity. But there is one industry that does not seem to appreciate it: the Girl Scouts.
Greenzingz.com reports that Alana "Honey Boo Boo" was banned by the Girl Scouts from selling their delicious Girl Scout cookies. After joining a troop, Alana decided to use her celebrity status and took to social media, asking her fans to buy boxes of cookies to support Georgia Troop No. 60373.
However, the Girl Scouts leaders saw this as online solicitation, which is something strictly prohibited for scouts. Of course, this rule-breaking lead to Alana being banned from all sales of crunchy Thin Mints, chewy Samoas, chewier Tagalongs, and even Do-si-dos!
10 Each Daughter Has a Different Father
For casual viewers of the series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, or even the diehard, repeat binge-watchers (believe it or not, they exist), this may not come as much of a surprise – considering the typical occurrences family drama featured on every episode – but each one of Mama June’s four daughters has a different father.
Now, in 2017, this predicament is not quite as scandalous as it may have been decades ago; however, it is worth noting in trying to understand the dynamics of family life in their strange, sometimes otherworldly household.
More interestingly -- and spoiler alert for this list -- it is worth knowing that of the four fathers, three of them have pretty serious criminal records, ranging from theft to sexual exploitation.
9 "Pumpkin" Almost Went Blind
During the filming of the 2nd season of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC almost stopped production entirely after an accident involving Lauryn "Pumpkin" and Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson.
Lauryn “Pumpkin” was reportedly almost blinded during filming. The incident itself was innocent enough; patriarch, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson simply tossed Lauryn a set of car keys, as most of us do to friends or family every day, but instead of catching or even avoiding them, Lauryn was hit by the keys directly in her eye.
With blood covering half her face, Lauryn was rushed to the hospital and kept overnight for a scratched cornea and a cut just underneath her eye, which was the source of the blood, not the eye itself.
8 Mama June is Legally Blind
Speaking of eyesight, the matriarch of TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mama June, is actually legally blind.
Back in July of 2013, it was reported that Mama June suffers from poor vision due to childhood cataracts that were not treated properly. Unfortunately, any sort of operation on her eyes may worsen her vision as well, so she will never be able to see clearly again. Because of this Mama June holds the status of being legally blind, meaning she can never obtain a driver's license.
Even on the show, her sight became an issue when the entire family wanted to take some go-karts for a spin in celebration of "Sugar Bear's" birthday; June admitted to being afraid of driving one of the carts because of her blurry vision.
7 Mike "Sugar Bear" Also Spent Time In Prison
Unlike Mama June's short stay in jail for just four days, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, the father of Alana "Honey Boo Boo" and patriarch on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, spent five years in prison over a decade before the TLC series began production.
According to the Daily Mail, "Sugar Bear" was sentenced to five years in Montgomery Prison. But unlike Mama June, who potentially stole but most definitely mismanaged money, "Sugar Bear" was involved in much more heinous crimes. In 1998, he robbed multiple campsites and supposedly set fire to one of the campers.
That is not the nicest way to get a picnic basket, Yogi -- uh, "Sugar Bear!" You have to come up a cleverly-crafted scheme! You cannot just set people on fire!
6 Anna "Chickadee" Sued Mama June
Of all the dynamics between the family members on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the most interesting is undoubtedly that of Mama June and her oldest daughter, Anna "Chickadee."
Unfortunately, as previously shown in this list, it has not always been a pleasant one, and it seems like it never is. For moving back in with the family for the show, Anna was promised monetary compensation. However, it did not come until Anna "lawyered-up" against Mama June.
There are reports that Anna sued Mama June for $300,000, claiming it was owed to her for joining the cast of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and staying for each episode. However, Anna only received $15,400 from Mama June - not her goal but is not bad chunk of change either.
5 Uncle Poodle Has HIV
As an openly gay man, Mike "Sugar Bear's" brother Uncle Poodle, who was named by Honey Boo Boo herself, of course, is a proponent of safe sex as well as STI testing.
According to US Weekly, Poodle got checked regularly. However, in May of 2012, he received dreadful results; his test came back as HIV positive. But just a fews months before -- in March -- he had tested negative for HIV as well as any other STI. Quickly, Uncle Poodle realized his boyfriend at the time was to blame, and though he was hesitant, he pressed charges against the man, who is now serving a five year prison sentence.
Though, despite this unintended consequence, Poodle just wishes that his boyfriend had been honest and upfront with him at the time.
4 Jessica's Father Spent Time In Prison
Like most of the adults featured or even just mentioned on TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Jessica "Chubbs'" father, Michael Anthony Ford, also spent some time behind bars before the family gained reality star fame.
According to reports, Ford spent two years in prison for the sexual exploitation of a child through the Internet in 2005. Additionally, the source stated that he scammed Mama June by writing more than a few bad checks as well as shoplifting from his then employer, Walmart.
The reports went on to mention that Ford claims to pay his child support for Jessica "Chubbs"; however, the source also stated that Mama June will not allow him to see her or her daughter.
3 No One Will Let Caleb Clark Take a Paternity Test
As previously mentioned, Anna "Chickadee" was reportedly sought out for the TLC series because of her teenage pregnancy, and while it did provide some drama during filming, the real story happened when the cameras were off.
Caleb Clark, who dated Anna in high school, wanted to take custody of their baby, Kaitlyn. However, as he told the National Enquirer, both Anna and Mama June have barred him from doing so. He stated, that he wants to get the baby "out of that house and away from that family."
Apparently though, this was not always the case; Caleb had planned on marrying Anna. But when she revealed that she had been cheating on him around the time she became pregnant, it threw a wrench in those plans.
2 Sugar Bear Cheated on Mama June - With Men and Women
As noted in other points on this list, the father of Alana "Honey Boo Boo," Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, is an interesting fellow -- to say the least.
Soon after Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was cancelled, the "Boo Boo duo," Sugar Bear and Mama June, found themselves on the 6th season of WE tv's Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. There, amongst other reality star couples from TV shows like Basketball Wives LA, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Dancing With the Stars, and The Bachelor, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson admitted not only to cheating on his partner Mama June with other women, but with some men as well.
However, Sugar Bear went on to mention that being with men was most definitely not his "cup of tea."
1 Mama June Dated A Criminal who hurt her daughter
This last secret may be somewhat familiar -- since it was the bombshell that ended the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo series. But it is without a doubt the darkest!
Before the 5th season of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was ready to hit the air, TLC canceled the show following the trending news that Mama June was dating her ex-boyfriend: a sex offender named Mark McDaniel.
According to the Daily News, McDaniel spent 10 years behind bars for one of the worst crimes imaginable, child molestation, and back in 2004, he was also accused of molesting Mama June's eldest daughter, Anna "Chickadee."
Disturbing court documents obtained by US Weekly noted in graphic detail what McDaniel had done. We can only hope Anna is moving on and recovering.
Do you have any secrets to share from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Leave them in the comments.