MTV introduced 16 and Pregnant to the world, and it became the phenomenon known as Teen Mom. Despite the fact that some people were already getting tired of reality TV, Teen Mom became a success and even launched two spin-offs, Teen Mom 2, and Teen Mom 3. Some of the show's cast members have actually achieved a lot of success, but it gets lost in the middle of the show's drama. Yes, over the years, Teen Mom has given us a variety of life lessons. Though sometimes we've learned these in a gentle way, we also learned from the mistakes of the cast members, and even some of their family members.
There's also the fact that reality TV is still TV. There are two ways to look at this. The first is to realize that any TV show relies on editing and has to condense a person's entire life into chunks that audiences can pay attention to. That's why it seems like a reality TV star's life consists solely of a bunch of drama.
But, this also means that many of the show's cast members have used social media and other methods to clarify things. The constant editing necessary in MTV's Teen Mom has left a few cast members unhappy over how they've been portrayed. At times, this has resulted in a few scuffles between them, and even the network. Of course, these clarifications are a part of the show's drama.
Here are 10 Things That Were Fake On Teen Mom (And 10 Things That Were Real).
20 Fake: Bristol Palin Isn't Lazy
Bristol Palin became a famous teen mom after her mother's famed Vice Presidential run. However, she was not an original cast member on Teen Mom.
Instead, she spent her first few years away from the spotlight. She joined the cast of Teen Mom OG. We're not sure what she was expecting, but she wasn't happy with how she was portrayed. She used an Instagram post to show the public that she works hard. This was a rebuttal to the way Teen Mom OG was portraying her—as lazy. Palin said that she does everything she can to make her family happy.
19 Real: Jenelle Burned A Gift She Received From Kailyn
Not all cast members get along, but some of them show this in strange ways. Teen Mom 2 star Kailyn Lowry gave her co-star Jenelle a gift. We get that they're not exactly friends, but Lowry was clearly trying to foster a peaceful environment between the two.
Instead of sending a thank-you note or just regifting the present, Jenelle Evans created a cinematic masterpiece showing how little she cares for the gift she received. Evans felt compelled to place the gift in a forest, make a few comments, and then burn the entire thing down. The video even features a country rap song.
18 Fake: The Way Chelsea Talked About Cole
Cast member Chelsea Houska noticed that a conversation she had about Cole wasn't portrayed as it truly happened. The start of Teen Mom 2 called out this portrayal on Twitter using the hashtag #RealityTVProbs.
The actual conversation is a bit unclear because we viewers only see the edited version of the show. Suffice it to say that Chelsea was having a conversation in one context, and she feels that one small sentence was added to a scene of another conversation. We get that this would irk her a bit. It's not the first time someone from the reality TV show notices this.
17 17. Real: Tyler Really Was Depressed
Tyler Baltierra is one half of our favorite Teen Mom couple. We've seen him and Catelynn go through so much that his mental health issues don't surprise us. Many fans appreciate how candid the couple has been about what it was like to be together for so long while caring for their physical and mental health.
Baltierra confessed to going through a dark period and revealed that he harbored dark thoughts when he was as young as 11. Thankfully he's still with us, and his revelation has been a big help to so many. He seems so happy we wouldn't have known judging by the show alone.
16 Fake: Isaac Wasn't Just Upset That Lincoln Would Stay With His Father
Kailyn Lowry has also had to clarify a few things during her tenure on Teen Mom 2. She once said that MTV worked to provoke Isaac so he would cry during a scene.
This was something that even fans said they noticed. It seems that there was a time when Isaac was being directed—except that this is a reality TV show and we don't expect directors of the genre to, you know, tell the cast what to do. At least the show's stars are able to use social media whenever they need to confirm storylines every now and then.
15 Real: Jenelle Really Was A Total Mess
The show's cast members are surrounded by film crews and other employees. Perhaps one of them might take it upon themselves to provide advice once in a while, right?
It follows that if you're on Teen Mom, you don't have to work hard to make yourself look like a mess. The drama will simply hang around and wait for the cameras to roll. Jenelle Evans is someone we've seen make a questionable decision or two. A Reddit commenter who claims to know her confirmed that she did live a disorderly life for a bit. Even the things that seemed fake were real.
14 Fake: Kailyn Isn't As Worried About Her Relationships
Kailyn Lowry seems pretty levelheaded, which is why she was unhappy with being portrayed as constantly worried about her relationships with male suitors. Lowry has said she wants teen moms to know they can stay in school. She's been on the dean's list, has managed to go to class, and feels the show should worry more about her achievements. This seems understandable.
Lowry feels the show unfairly focuses on who she's dating. Sure, fans want to know about this, but it's nice to know the star cares about being an example to other moms who want to chase their dreams.
13 Real: Amber's Extensive Makeover
Fans of Teen Mom have seen Amber Portwood change in many ways. Many of these changes have been internal. Though Amber isn't perfect, she's definitely changed her attitude and seems a lot more relaxed than when we first met her.
Of course, we've seen her change her appearance extensively. Earning several thousand in MTV money will do that to you, but Amber Portwood admits to having "gotten a lot of stuff done." It's her body and she owes no one any explanations, but good on her for admitting to this because it lets other moms know it's not in everyone's reach.
12 Fake: Amber And Farrah's Fight
Amber Portwood and Farrah Abraham haven't always gotten along. One episode of Teen Mom included footage of an altercation between the two costars. However, Abraham said MTV directed Amber to slap her. Farrah even goes as far as saying the crew removed as many people as possible before staging the scene. This includes asking the cast member's family and children to exit the set.
That definitely sounds like too much directing for a reality TV show. Abraham said these manipulations get in the way of portraying the cast member's true stories and gets in the way of their family dynamics.
11 Real: Ryan Is In Recovery
Everyone has issues they need to deal with Ryan Edwards, Mackenzie Edwards's partner, has been battling addiction for a while. He's in recovery and wanted to be portrayed in this manner on Teen Mom.
Ryan said that the network only wanted to show him as an angry person who isn't doing anything to get better. However, he's mentioned that he cares very much about getting sober. He even took to Instagram to vent his frustrations about the way he's being portrayed. Needless to say, he and Mackenzie decided not to return to Teen Mom in upcoming seasons of the show.
10 Fake: Many Fights Between Debra And Michael
Farrah Abraham has been outspoken in her criticism of Teen Mom producers and the ways they sometimes fabricate scenarios to provoke more drama. Though we've seen her instigate some of this drama on her own. She's also spoken out about how producers have snitched on her to her parents just to get them to argue.
Sure, arguments between Debra and Michael provided us with entertainment for days. Still, these wreaked havoc on Farrah herself. She even alleges that she was unable to talk to her late partner shortly before his death thanks to the network's meddling. Now that's definitely hurtful!
9 Real: Chelsea's Baby Shower
Teen Mom 2 star Chelsea DeBoer had a lovely baby shower. That sounds sweet and innocent enough until you realize the theme was a "diaper keg party."
Though Chelsea stayed away from booze, other guests drank from baby bottles and everyone ate some of the cute cupcakes she had ordered. Overall, it seems like everyone had a grand time. It also shows that Chelsea is like the rest of us. Most people have a certain degree of drama in their lives. If we go by Teen Mom standards, we'd have enough drama in our lives to have a coronary bypass by age 30.
8 Fake: Ryan's Anger Issues
Ryan alleges that he's gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to his portrayal. Contrary to how his appearances are, he says he's not really an angry guy. Some fans are more apt to take the network's portrayal of him because they love Maci Bookout. Ryan states that most simply take her word about who he is.
Things got so bad that Ryan and Mackenzie decided to leave, but his parents will stay on the show. In addition, some people suspect that Bristol Palin was added to the show's cast so Teen Mom could pursue a different type of storyline.
7 Real: Ryan Was Struggling To Stay Awake While Driving
MTV did add a warning that people may feel disturbed when seeing this scene. The thing is, Mackenzie was in the car with him, and this behavior is not only illegal but very dangerous. Viewers naturally freaked out and voiced concerns. Mackenzie was forced to try to keep him awake in a variety of ways. She even asked him if he'd taken anything before they got into the car.
6 Fake: Mackenzie's "Family Meeting"
Welp, it seems like Mackenzie Standifer and her boyfriend are getting a lot of attention on this here list. They've certainly racked up a few good reasons why. Standifer went on Instagram to mention that a "family meeting" didn't actually happen as MTV said it did. The network used a cut of a child with a woman with a camera crew around them.
Standifer then announced that this footage was fake. It's not easy to tell when the footage was taken, but Mackenzie has had a lot of grievances throughout her time at Teen Mom. This was one contributing factor in her departure.
5 Real: Amber And Matt's Unhealthy Relationship
Amber Portwood always stood by her man—whoever it was at the moment. Some people may feel her choices haven't been that great, while other fans think she's a hero for always falling in love so deeply.
Though she seemed to play off the rumors of the flaws in her relationship with Matt Baier, Amber came clean about it later on. She even went as far as calling him a "pathological liar" eventually. This was among other accusations she had of him after their relationship with him was over. Sometimes it takes hindsight to see that someone just wasn't for you.
4 Fake: The Intensity Of Kailyn's Breakup With Jordan
Kailyn Lowry was famously unfaithful to her boyfriend Jordan. Their breakup was pretty dramatic once it was filmed, but things were far more muted in real life. Lowry actually mentioned that Jordan knew about her indiscretion prior to filming. As such, they both already knew the relationship wasn't going anywhere.
Sources say that a lot of the things we see on Teen Mom aren't exactly true to life. To top it off, a crew member even answered questions about the show on Reddit. This person later deleted their profile, but the things he said had people talking for a good while.
3 Real: Farrah Just Thinks Of Teen Mom As A Job
With everything they've been through, you'd think the cast of Teen Mom is friends, right? Some of them are. Farrah Abraham is a bit more pragmatic about this. She told Cosmopolitan that she thinks of the show as her job. Abraham also mentioned that the crew and cast are not her friends. She claims this is because she knows how the real world works.
This might sound hurtful or ungrateful, but it's actually smart. It also explains why she's been the one who is least likely to be there to make friends. At the end of the day, a mom has to hustle.
2 Fake: Lack Of Chemistry Between Leah And Her Ex
Leah Messer has been known to speak out about how Teen Mom doesn't always have the best relationship to truth-telling. She once mentioned that she went on a date with her ex, Jeremy Calvert.
The footage made it seem as though she was the only one who was feeling the chemistry. According to her, the goodwill was actually mutual. She said the difference between the footage and her experiences made her feel her story isn't enough for the show. Messer has also sounded off about how thinks whoever is cutting the show together can't possibly feel good about their job.
1 Real: Messer's Struggle
It's not to say that Messer's mental health issues were untouched throughout Teen Mom, but they were definitely real. Leah Messer has confessed to struggling with suicidal thoughts.
This was compounded by the feeling that she wasn't doing enough to be a good mother, wife, and individual. She's even spoken about how she had to recover. Messer even encourages her children to motivate themselves so they can be happy too. She also mentioned that she wants fans to learn from her journey with depression. Considering the stress mothers of all backgrounds feel sometimes, we're glad she's using her experiences to do good for others.
What do you like about Teen Mom? Let us know in the comments!