TLC has long-established itself as one of the top channels for TV’s most compelling reality shows. The Learning Channel consisted primarily of reality programming by the late ‘90s and early 2000s, when they began airing shows like A Baby Story, A Wedding Story, and Perfect Proposal.
As the network found its niche, it grew with other shows like Trading Spaces, Jon & Kate Plus 8 (pre-divorce, of course), as well as the once very popular What Not to Wear. The expansion of the reality TV world was only more lucrative for TLC, as they already had a pretty significant grasp on the market.
Now, it has grown way beyond what viewers could have imagined. Series like Cake Boss, Little People, Big World, Long Island Medium, and Say Yes to the Dress are still wildly adored by viewers and the network shows no sign of changing things any time soon.
While audiences seem to be inundated with reality show content now more than ever before, it’s shocking to think that we’re still not being shown everything. For as much as we see, there’s a lot that we don’t, as scenes are edited to fit the storylines producers have in mind. Other things are cut for legal reasons.
For whatever reason, some of what happens doesn’t make the cut.
Here are 15 Deleted TLC Reality Show Scenes We’ll Never Get To See.
15. The American In 90 Day Fiancé Can’t Speak English
In six seasons, 90 Day Fiancé has spawned three successful spin-offs and several not as successful marriages. In a modern-day mail-order bride situation, the idea is to follow a couple as one travels to the U.S. with a special visa, where the pair has 90 days to figure if they want to get married or break up, leading to the foreign fiancé being sent home.
In season 2, we were introduced to Danielle Mullins and Mohamed Jbali. After meeting in an online chatroom, the May-December couple connected (her being 15 years his senior) and their odd relationship (partially) played out on the hit show.
One moment that didn’t make the cut was a scene that involved some poorly spoken English. Not from Mohamed of Tunisia, but from Danielle of Ohio – where she talked about “fingering” out their wedding location. Eventually, the pair tied the knot. They’ve since severed that tie.
14. Say “Maybe” To The Dress
Say Yes to the Dress takes viewers inside of every bride-to-be’s fantasy – a shopping experience at Kleinfeld. The popular Manhattan wedding hotspot has been pretty much the center of the series for 15 seasons. A look inside highlights the journey of finding that perfect gown; focusing on the bride, her family, and friends, as well as the people who work at the trendy New York shop.
Viewers like to think they get to be voyeurs who are remotely invited to be a part of the bride’s dress-hunting experience. They anxiously wait to see what the bride chooses, how much it costs, and of course, reactions from loved ones. But, the truth is, audiences are not privy to everything. If it doesn’t elicit a response (good or bad) it gets deleted from the episode. Turns out, you can say “yes” or “no” to dress, just don’t say maybe.
13. Meri Lays Down The Law For Her Sister Wives
In the wake of HBO’s Big Love, the drama series about a polygamist family, came TLC’s reality-based version, called Sister Wives. Beginning back in 2010, the nation became enthralled with the Brown family. Kody had four wives. Meri was the only legal union, while in later years he formed “spiritual unions” with Janelle, Christine, and finally Robyn, whom he married on the show – but only after legally divorcing Meri so he could adopt Robyn’s kids.
While they mostly got along, their differences were usually aired out on TV.
However, one scene that we never got to see, involved their children – all 18 of them. There was a deleted scene from season 2 that had Meri voicing her own concerns about wanting to provide rules and structure. Although it didn’t make the cut, she eventually did. Years later, she broke free from Kody and her sister wives.
12. Kate Plus Bodyguard
Jon & Kate Plus 8 began as a love story about a couple who ended up having sextuplets and twins. Following two successful specials, they eventually got their own series which found a home on TLC.
After its debut in 2007, it became one of the network’s highest-rated shows. Audiences were glued to their TVs, as we’d see the pair often bickering while learning how to parent eight children, in the end, finding comfort in each other. The only problem is, that’s not where the story ended.
In 2009, the Gosselins divorced and the family became shrouded in controversy during their bitter custody battle. The series was then renamed Kate Plus 8, and the storyline shifted to a divorced mother raising her children. Rumors later surfaced that Kate was dating her very-married bodyguard. This made his seemingly purposeful absence from scenes we know he was there for hard to miss.
11. Kat Von D’s Departure From LA Ink
After leaving Miami Ink and moving to Los Angeles, TLC gave us LA Ink and 2007 proved to be a pretty good year for Kat Von D. The reality series lasted four entertaining seasons. World records were broken and a whole lot of drama went on both on-screen as well as off.
In the midst of the tattoo artist’s very public relationship with Jesse James, she decided to leave the show, prompting the network to announce its cancellation. Von D then called the network out for trying to capitalize on the couple’s breakup.
The artist made statements claiming that the network re-edited events which didn’t actually take place during the filming. “I have no regrets and am very proud of the original footage. In my opinion, any attempt to compromise the honesty of that would be an insult to my fans and viewers,” she told People.
10. 90 Day Fiancé’s Rollercoaster ride
Once again, a portion of Danielle and Mohamed’s footage surprisingly found its way onto the cutting room floor. The shocking part is not that something was cut out; it’s what was cut that makes this deleted scene different.
While the majority of this couple’s relationship played out like a roller coaster ride, the irony here is, that was the very literal thing we didn’t get to see. This instance showed the couple taking the kids to an amusement park and seemingly enjoying themselves. No drama, just the two actually having a good time.
Apparently, it wasn’t entertaining enough, as it never made it onto the episode. In the end, it turned out just to be a fleeting moment of fun, as what followed came in the form of fraud, adultery, and divorce.
9. Sarah Palin’s Alaska Scenes Deleted
After former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin failed to secure the role of Vice President in the 2008 election, she went on to lock in a role of a different kind, as star of her own reality show. In 2010, the short-lived phenomenon managed to survive one season as Sarah Palin’s Alaska.
Whether you agreed with her politics or not, the travel documentary-style series was hard to take your eyes of off – pretty much for all the same reasons Palin provided during her race to the White House. The premiere brought in record viewership for the network. At one point, deleted scenes from the only season were leaked (via transcript) claiming that they were cut because it didn’t match the Palin “brand.” It had Sarah confusing the word “grandiose” with “gramtoast,” wanting to drop grenades on animals from a helicopter, and a questionable comment about not recognizing her own offspring drinking Drano.
8. Cake Boss Doesn’t Serve To Everyone
For 11 seasons, fans have gotten a look into Carlo’s Bake Shop; a family-owned bakery, located in Hoboken, New Jersey. Since 2009, Cake Boss has managed to provide Buddy Valastro and his siblings with a booming business. But, behind the scenes, it would appear the charming Italian-American baker might not be as sweet as one would hope.
On top of several scandals, in 2012, Buddy made some transphobic comments on-air, after his cousin Anthony was filmed with transgender reality TV personality Carmen Carrera.
Carrera had appeared in RuPaul’s Drag Race two years prior and she had since been living as a woman. After Buddy told his cousin that he was on a date with a “man,” Anthony stormed out and took to Twitter with some harsh words. Although a public apology was made, it was too late to take back. The offensive remarks were later cut from re-runs.
7. Breaking Amish Breaks The Law
In 2012, Breaking Amish broke a whole lot of rules when it came to observing what happens in the highly-religious, self-sustained, commonly clandestine community. The premise was to follow a group of teenagers around while on Rumspringa, which is the time when the Amish get to experience life in the outside world, in order to decide if they want to continue observing the traditions they grew up with.
Episodes were filled with drinking, parties, relationships, and big city experiences. However, they weren’t exactly showing us everything. Claims soon surfaced that much of what we were seeing, while it had elements of truth, was greatly distorted.
Also, there turned out to be a few big factors left out of the final cut. One involved Kate getting arrested for a DUI during the show’s first season. They also omitted that prior to the series she had been pursuing a career in modeling.
6. Most Of Honey Boo Boo Season 5
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo… or, maybe not. In 2012, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, “Mama June”, and “Sugar Bear,” became the reality TV personalities most of the country associated with child beauty pageants. Their outrageous attitudes often prompted claims of exploitation and certainly gave people a brand-new current-day stereotype of families you’d likely find living in the South.
The show had crazy catchphrases and a good deal of controversy which eventually led to its cancellation in 2014. Unfortunately for fans, that meant nearly an entire season of unaired, unfiltered Honey Boo Boo moments that they’d never get to see.
Finally, in 2017, it would seem the Honey Boo Boo stigma was far enough removed for the network to air a small portion of that. Last April, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: The Lost Episodes came in the form of a two-hour special.
5. Cash Cab Pre-Interviews
Discovery Networks (the company behind TLC) recently brought back Cash Cab, introducing a whole new generation of viewers to a onetime popular rendition of a former UK quiz show. From 2005-2012, comedian Ben Bailey was at the wheel picking up contestants in New York, offering “unsuspecting” passengers a chance to win money. While some were chosen at random, some were also pre-screened, which was a part of the show that was always conveniently edited out. While producers do inform viewers of this in the credits, at one point, multiple contestants went on record claiming that they were approached in Union Square to be on a show about travel and tourism in New York City. People say they were quizzed, some say they corresponded with producers over email, and in the end, they were all eventually duped into a cab – which turned out to be the Cash Cab.
4. Toddlers & Tiaras Cuts Food
Prior to Honey Boo Boo and other shows like Cheer Perfection, Toddlers & Tiaras introduced us to a unique and often frightening look inside the world of child beauty pageants. Starting in 2008, the TLC reality television series garnered controversy around the things that they would show: questionable costumes, chest padding, and fake cigarettes all made the cut, leading viewers to voice their opinions about what was happening.
But it was actually how things were edited that may have been a more concerning issue. One thing conveniently left out of the final package were shots of the little girls eating. Temper tantrums and stage moms got more air time than most things, however as a pageant representative pointed out, on almost every episode they make it seem like the kids don’t eat, when in actuality, they do.
3. Contestants buy clothes that don’t fit
In TLC’s early “unscripted” years, 2003’s What Not to Wear came out as a hyped-up version of a makeover show, focusing specifically on people’s wardrobes. Hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly were extremely vocal and held nothing back when it came to comments about their subjects – sort of like what happens over social media today, except in the form of a TV show.
While it earned the reputation as being mostly authentic and truly helpful to people, with a 10-year run, things were bound to be left out. Although London and Kelly were never ones to edit themselves, there were a few things back then we never got to see on camera.
A lot of the clothes on the show needed to be tailored, which was usually done in the participant’s hotel room. The cutting and sewing wasn’t shown on camera, and neither were their fancy accommodations.
2. Trading Spaces Leaves A Homeowner In Tears
In the era of emerging home design shows, Trading Spaces ruled the world. From 2000-2008, the series literally took viewers inside the homes of two neighbors, who, with the help of some cash and a few experts, would get to redecorate a room in each other’s houses.
Paige Davis was the main face behind the series. She’d often welcome experts to crossover from other TLC shows, like carpenter Andrew Dan-Jumbo (While You Were Out), who would assist with the home improvements. It was also, in its truest form, an actual reality show, meaning the responses were authentic, and did not always lead to a happy ending.
One honest moment early on showed a couple who was so disappointed with the redesign, the wife left the house in tears. While their reaction was revealed, the visual behind it never was. Viewers only got hear what happened thanks to a well-placed microphone.
1. Josh Duggar Deleted From Family Specials
Before 19 Kids and Counting became a thing, there was 18 Kids and Counting, and even before that, there was 17 Kids and Counting. The fact that Jim Bob and Michelle kept having children became somewhat of phenomenon as people often pondered just how many kids one family could raise at once. We eventually witnessed Josh, the eldest child, go on to get married and raise a family himself, but by 2015, everything would come crashing down.
News of Josh’s extramarital affair became public, which was followed by accusations of abuse; two of which were made by his sisters. After that, Josh retreated from the public eye. TLC canceled the show and rebranded with Counting On, starring the elder Duggar sisters.
Josh is now so removed that TLC even went back and edited him out of previously-aired specials; particularly the scenes where he talks about his female siblings.
Do you know of any scenes from TLC reality shows that didn’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments!
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