Show business is an industry that has a lot of competition. Out of the millions of people who dream of being a famous musician, actor, or model, only a fraction of them actually succeed. There are many who experience moderate success but never achieve the worldwide fame of people like Jennifer Lawrence or Taylor Swift. It takes the perfect combination of talent, luck, and the right connections in order to get famous enough to sell millions of records, and be sought after for high profile film roles.
But then again, there are lots of people who manage to turn a fluke 15 minutes of fame into an empire (Kim Kardashian, we're looking at you). Is it because they have good business sense? Maybe. We can't really blame them for taking advantage of an opportunity that fell onto their laps, now can we? Reality TV is one thing that can make even the least likely person rich and famous beyond their wildest dreams. But that doesn't mean they earned it. At least not in the traditional sense.
15 Kylie Jenner
Sure, we can argue all day that Kim is the Kardashian that didn't earn her fame, but she actually took an opportunity that kind of fell onto her lap and ran with it, and we can't really deny that a lot of her business ideas have been a success. But Kylie Jenner, the youngest sibling of the Kardashian-Jenner clan was pretty much just born into a famous family. All she does is post a bunch of selfies, date a famous rapper, and change her hair every other week. While Kendall is modelling, Kylie is literally just rich and famous for being famous. After this young member of the Jenner/ Kardashian clan has a net worth of $5 million.
14 Courtney Stodden
This reality TV star gained fame after marrying 50 year old actor Doug Hutchison when she was 16 years old. The public mostly troubled by this union couldn't help but want to know more about them. They made appearances on various shows such as Good Morning America, E! News and then Couples Therapy when their relationship started to have issues. She is also known for posing nearly naked for many photo shoots as well as her plastic surgery procedures. As Stodden is an aspiring model and singer, she has had some work on music videos as well as released some songs and has decided to give her marriage another chance, the couple has announced they will be renewing their vows early next year.
13 Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt
These two are a package deal and would really be nothing without the drama their relationship generates. Heidi even let her relationship with Spencer end her friendship with Lauren Conrad, and their resulting feuds were what kept The Hills afloat for multiple seasons. But somehow, against all odds, Heidi and Spencer are still married, and Heidi manages to stay in the spotlight (sort of) because of her obsession with plastic surgery. They both piggy backed off Lauren Conrad's fame and used her to make a name for themselves.
12 Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton is considered one of the OG celebutantes. She was born into a rich family thanks to her great grandfather Conrad Hilton's hotel fortune. She did some modelling before landing a reality show with her friend Nicole Richie. The Simple Life got huge ratings for MTV by capitalizing on the fact that Paris and Nicole were spoiled rich kids with absolutely no idea how the real world worked. Now she's a resident DJ at Ibiza's Amnesia nightclub where she supposedly makes around $347,000 an hour, which is even more money than seasoned DJs like Deadmau5 and Nicky Romero make.
11 Scott Disick
Scott Disick has the Kardashians to thank for making him a household name. His nine year relationship with Kourtney has made him millions of dollars thanks to their reality show, and he's managed to make some money off club appearances too. He's a fan favourite on the show despite the way he treats Kourtney, the mother of his three children. They may not be together right now, but his struggles with substance abuse and his womanizing ways still keep him in the news. He may have been making money on his own but his rise to fame is definitely from his relationship with Kourtney and her family.
10 Kevin Federline
Former backup dancer and current baby daddy to six kids from three different mothers, Kevin Federline probably thought he'd hit it big when Britney Spears actually gave him the time of day. They were married for two years before Britney blind-sided him with divorce papers. He probably would have disappeared completely by now if it weren't for Britney's breakdown and the resulting custody battle for their two sons. Federline has done a little bit of acting and has appeared on not one, but two, celebrity weight loss shows since then.
9 Bristol Palin
18-year-old Bristol Palin's unexpected pregnancy was a PR nightmare for her mother, Sarah Palin's Vice Presidential campaign. But she wasn't going to let it ruin her chance at 15 minutes of fame. She used her pregnancy as a reason to become a high-profile advocate for abstinence. After the birth of her son, she appeared as a contestant on the eleventh season of Dancing With the Stars, coming in third place. She wrote a book called Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far which became a bestseller, and she returned for the All-Stars season of DWTS. She's managed to parlay her mistakes into relative success, but the fact remains that if her mother wasn't a politician, she would not be famous.
8 Nadya Suleman
We first heard of Nadya Suleman when she was interviewed by Ann Curry, and eventually Dr. Phil. She was given the nickname Octomom because she'd just given birth to octuplets, and she quickly became a media sensation. It wasn't long before the truth came out about who she really was. She already had six kids through IVF and carried the octuplets to term despite doctors advising against it. She insisted she could support all fourteen of her kids on her own, but soon admitted that she was actually unemployed and on welfare. She's admitted it might have been selfish to have so many kids and she's pretty much disappeared from the public eye now. But not before she starred in an adult video called Octomom Home Alone.
7 Amber Rose
Before she was Kanye West's girlfriend and then Wiz Khalifa's wife, Amber Rose was a stripper from Philadelphia. She appeared in some music videos and did some acting, and even has a book coming out later this month entitled, How To Be a Bad B!tch. Earlier this month she attempted to bring women together and bring awareness to social stigmas that women face. She's been working hard to get people to forget about how she entered the spotlight, but her erratic behavior, social media posts and red carpet outfits make it hard to forget.
6 Farrah Abraham
Another "celeb" who's used her pregnancy to get famous is notorious teen mom Farrah Abraham. Appearing on 16 And Pregnant to bring awareness to the struggle of being a teenage parent is one thing, but everything she did after is going above and beyond. She released a pop album and a memoir, both called My Teenage Dream Ended, but when those weren't keeping her in the spotlight, she filmed an adult movie with adult film star James Deen, and tried to pretend it was a private sex tape released without her consent. Backdoor Teen Mom was a huge hit, but where will her "career" go from here?
5 Kim Zolciak
Real Housewives of Atlanta original cast member Kim Zolciak wasn't even married when she joined the show. She was dating a mysterious public figure she referred to as Big Papa. Sounds like a sugar daddy to us. But in the middle of the third season, Zolciak started dating Kroy Biermann, an NFL player. The couple got their own spin off show called Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding (now Don't Be Tardy...) which has been on the air for four seasons. Zolciak has also been pursing a country music career since the beginning of her reality TV career. Needless to say, it hasn't exactly taken off.
4 Teresa Giudice
Even if you've never watched a single episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, you probably still recognize Teresa Giudice's face. After appearing on six seasons of the show and publishing three cookbooks, Teresa and her husband filed for bankruptcy. They were then charged with a variety of different kinds of fraud. Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in prison which she's serving right now. Her husband was sentenced to 41 months in prison and will serve his time after Teresa gets out. Not surprisingly, Teresa is pretty open about how she's dealing with raising her four daughters from prison. She's a reality star at heart, after all.
3 Mike Sorrentino
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino made millions getting drunk, going to the beach, and looking for girls to hook up with over six seasons of MTV's Jersey Shore. He partied hard just like a lot of other people his age, but because he was on a reality show, he became famous for his drunken antics and fights with her housemates. Once he became famous, The Sitch seemed to have trouble with substance abuse, later going to rehab and blaming his bad behavior on his addictions. He has had small bits on reality TV including Season 11 of "Dancing With the Stars and Marriage Boot Camp. Even though trying to remain famous, it seems as though the public has lost a lot of interest on this Jersey Shore cast member.
2 Honey Boo Boo's family
Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo) rose to fame as a cast member on Toddlers & Tiaras. Her over the top personality and the fascinating world of child beauty pageants helped her and her family land their own spin-off show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Considering Alana was only six when the first season aired, she didn't have much a say over how she was portrayed. Her family latched onto her fame in order to get into the spotlight, and the show has been called "child exploitation". It was cancelled after it came out that Honey Boo Boo's mother, Mama June was dating a convicted child abuser.
1 Kate Gosselin
Yet another mother who got famous by exploiting her children is Kate Gosselin. TLC aired a couple specials about the Gosselin family before committing to a series called Jon & Kate Plus 8. The show followed the day to day lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their kids, twins and sextuplets. Unsurprisingly, their marriage fell apart, and Kate continued as a single mother in Kate Plus 8. She's been accused of using her kids to get rich, and people have questioned how healthy it is for the kids to be filmed 24/7. Kate is probably more famous for her signature hairstyle than anything else.