Easily one of the most controversial “reality” shows to ever hit the air, once all the discussion about Teen Mom’s merits subsided fans were left with a show that they loved. Spawned from the previously popular show 16 and Pregnant, in the years since Teen Mom first began airing in 2009 it has done well enough to spawn several spin-offs.
A franchise that has chronicled the lives of several young mothers, the series has even made stars out of people like Farrah Abraham and Jenelle Evans. If that doesn’t say enough about the show’s importance, when Farrah left the series in its 7th season, she was replaced by Bristol Palin, the daughter of Sarah Palin. Still, no matter how things may seem when you turn into the show, a lot goes on behind the scenes that a lot of fans have no idea about. With that in mind, it is time to look at 20 details behind the making of Teen Mom we still can’t get over.
In order for a piece of information to be considered for possible inclusion in this list, it must, first and foremost, relate to the making of the Teen Mom or its spin-offs in one way or another. On top of that, something about it needs to be astonishing enough that it is amazing when you really think about it. Of course, it should be noted that every person’s knowledge base is different, so huge fans may be aware of some things to come.
20 Crew Members Are Forbidden To Get Involved
Have you ever found yourself watching some pretty extreme drama happening during an episode of Teen Mom and wondered why someone isn’t intervening? Well, you are not the only one, let us assure you. It turns out there is a straightforward reason for this, there are very strict rules against crew members of the stepping in.
In some ways, this rule makes a lot of sense, since the whole point of the show is to capture what is happening in the lives of the stars.
That said, it should be noted that during production there are security people to keep everyone safe, though this mostly concerns any potential incidents with fans.
19 Most Of The Stars Don’t Have Other Jobs
A role that millions of people have poured all of their passion and energy into, there is no doubt that being a parent keeps people busy enough for it to be their full-time job. On top of that, the pressure on young parents like the stars of Teen Mom is even more intense.
Fortunately for the young mothers who star in this franchise, they make enough money that they can afford to get by without taking on outside work.
Still, that did not stop Chelsea from finding a job. On top of that, several of these ladies also work outside the home, as many of them have opted to go back to school.
18 One Of The Stars Almost Quit Due To The Way She Was Portrayed
No matter how well you think you understand the stars of Teen Mom, the fact is the show provides an incomplete view of who they at best. After all, for each episode hours of footage is filmed before it is edited down to fit the time constraints of a particular time slot. For that reason, it is fairly common for “reality” show stars to complain about the ways they are depicted.
In fact, it almost seems like every Teen Mom star has made comments about feeling that way.
Probably the best example of this, Kailyn Lowry was so upset that the show made it look like she’d cheated, something she vehemently denies and likely did not do, that she nearly quit Teen Mom altogether.
17 Treating The Camera Crew Well Is The Smart Way To Go
First off, it should go without saying that treating everyone in your life with kindness is always going to be the right thing. That said, when emotions are frayed it can be difficult to keep them in check. However, for the stars of Teen Mom, it pays to treat the camera crew as respectfully as they possibly can.
This is the case because camera operators have the ability to shoot the Teen Moms from angles that will make them look their best and the exact opposite also is true.
Of course, they are professionals who shouldn’t let their personal feelings interfere with how they shoot things but they are only human so making them angry is not a good idea.
16 The Stars Of Teen Mom 2 Don’t See Each Other Often Outside Of Reunions
As many big “reality” TV fans can tell you, many stars of this genre have gone on to become close friends with their co-stars or veterans of other series that are similar. At first blush that may seem weird, since many of them have very different personalities. However, when it comes to the stars of Teen Mom 2, it makes sense that many of them would become friends since so few people could understand the kind of things they’ve gone through. Unfortunately, they do not live close enough to one another to get together very often, which is why they for the most part only get to see one another at the show’s reunions.
15 They Sometimes Get Made Up Prior To Filming Their Everyday Life
If there is one thing that is very clear about the Teen Mom franchise it is this, producers are not afraid to show their stars when they are not exactly at their best. That said, if you have watched any behind the scenes footage of the show it becomes clear that when the stars have concerns there are people there to listen to them.
Perhaps that is why, in some cases, makeup teams are brought in to work with the ladies before they are filmed.
While that is pretty obvious when it comes to things like the reunion specials, that same behind-the-scenes footage reveals that the makeup team sometimes is brought in for regular days of filming.
14 Kailyn Lowry, Reportedly, Is The Most Level-Headed
One of the most popular destinations on the internet, Reddit is visited by millions of people daily, some of whom take part in Ask Me Anything question and answer sessions. Fortunately for fans of Teen Mom 2 that want to know more about what it is like working on the show, an anonymous cameraman who was confirmed to have worked on the show took questions once. As a part of that process, he was asked his opinions on the stars of the show and he had positive things to say about Kailyn Lowry. Revealing that in his opinion, “Kale is the most level-headed”, it was pretty great to read that about her.
13 Producers Talk To The Stars More Than You’d Think
As virtually any “reality” TV fan can tell you, these shows make it seem like producers are on hand but for the most part, they mostly are there to work with the crew members. That very well could be the case with the vast majority of shows from this genre but behind the scenes footage makes it clear that at least in the case of the Teen Mom franchise, that is not the case.
Instead, it is quite obvious that producers have lengthy conversations with the franchise’s stars about their plans for filming days.
On top of that, they also have a lot more personal conversations, similar to the type of workplace gossiping that is present in most workplaces.
12 A Crew Member Was Fired For Spending Time With One Of The Star’s Friends
From one entry about people on the production staff interacting with the subjects of the show to another, this time around it is time to look at the time a crew member lost his job.
A show that is worked on by professionals, it should be pretty obvious that the production crew is staffed with adults. For that reason, when a crew member chose to hang out in a hot tub one-on-one with a friend of a Teen Mom star, it deemed as inappropriate.
Brought to the attention of his bosses, he was rightfully fired,
which goes to show that the people in charge of this show are serious about making sure the crew treats the stars of the show properly.
11 The Crew Can’t Help But Laugh Sometimes
Not exactly a show that could be categorized as a comedy, Teen Mom shows its stars having happy times but it is best known for its dramatic moments. Despite that, the cast and crew spend so much time together that there are bound to be lots of moments that virtually anyone would find the humor in.
Of course, as is the case with every show, when the crew films something amusing, they need to keep themselves in check in order to make sure they capture the moment.
However, at times they can be overcome by a moment and break down laughing. A great example of this, there is footage of crew members laughing hard at Adam’s frustration with his mom’s inability to shave his back properly.
10 Security Guards Are Very Helpful
As we mentioned in a previous entry, since Teen Mom has made all of its stars famous the production team has long employed security personnel to keep them safe during shooting days. However, for the most part, that job entails the guards being on hand if something dangerous rears its ugly head, which rarely happens.
Thankfully for everyone involved, when they are not fending off anyone wishing to do the ladies harm, the security guards are all too happy to lend a hand in a variety of ways.
For instance, they are known to do things like entertain the kids and load things into cars. However, the best example of a security guard lending a hand is that one of them named Andre officiated Janelle’s wedding.
9 One Of The Stars Quit….And Then Returned
If there is one thing that is imperative to the success of the Teen Mom franchise it is this, the young woman that star in it. For that reason, it is very fortunate that almost all of the stars have continued to be a part of the show over the years.
However, in 2015 Maci Bookout actually quit since she reportedly was worried about her son being associated with some aspects of the show that she saw as being too seedy.
Of course, as any fan of the show can tell you, she remains a part of the show today, because producers managed to coax her back, reportedly by offering her a raise.
8 Janelle Tried To Hide Her Second Pregnancy From Producers
Probably the biggest sacrifice that comes with starring in a “reality” TV show, any time you want to keep something a secret there is a very good chance that it will end being discovered. Certainly, a lesson that Janelle learned when she became pregnant for the second time, her efforts to keep her impending child hidden from producers failed miserably. Discovered because she and the baby’s father talked about preparing for their child’s arrival while in the car, they never explicitly said Janelle was pregnant, but their discussion made it incredibly obvious.
Clearly, they momentarily forgot about the cameras, which was an understandable slip of the mind.
However, things became comical when they briefly continued to deny Janelle was pregnant after they were shown footage of the conversation.
7 The Teen Moms Are Paid Very Well
Obviously one of the best aspects of starring in the Teen Mom franchise, it provides the opportunity to make a great deal of money. For instance, Farrah has made a fortune by taking part in a variety of business ventures, including things like releasing several books. However, even if the girls have no interest in finding outside means of pay, starring in the show alone is extremely financially rewarding.
In fact, the ladies are said to be paid as much as $350,000 for each season of the show they appear in.
A far cry from what they received initially, in the beginning, they were only paid $10,000 at most per episode.
6 The Stars Are Even Filmed While Preparing To Be Filmed
A simply staggering idea to think about, when you really consider how it would feel to be filmed at all hours of the day it is extremely intimidating. After all, even if you are at your best almost every day of the week, something that you react poorly to is bound to happen eventually. With that in mind, during shooting days, it must feel really nice whenever the cameras are turned off. Unfortunately, even as the ladies prepare to film anything for the show, including a regular taping day or a reunion special, they are recorded doing things like talking with producers or having makeup applied.
5 Jenelle Claims She Will Be A Bore In Seasons 9
Of all the current stars of the Teen Mom franchise, it is pretty easy to argue that Jenelle Evans is the one that seems to have the most complicated relationship with her role. Oftentimes captured on camera angry at various decisions made by the show’s producers, she has still signed on to appear on the show year after year.
Currently in the process of filming the upcoming season of the show, she isn’t exactly happy with how it is going. Writing about it on Instagram, she claims she will be a “prop in the background.”
According to writers at The Ashleys Reality Roundup, she feels this way because producers are forcing her to film something but she can only appear alongside a small group of people.
4 Some Crew Members Use A Porta Potty
A much harder job than a lot of people realize, working on the crew of any major TV show can involve extremely long and often tedious days. Considering you are expected on set for hours at a time, at some point nature is bound to call. For the crew that has worked on Teen Mom, in most cases, they can simply make their way to the bathroom and relieve themselves.
However, for those that were assigned to film at Farrah Abraham’s home, that was not the case since she didn’t allow crew members to use her washroom.
Instead, a Porta Potty would be brought to her property for everyone working on the show to use.
3 The Directors Have A Heavy Hand
An idea that isn’t exactly surprising at this point, “reality” shows having elements that are manipulated for TV is pretty common knowledge. Still, most viewers would like to think that at the very least the reactions that the stars of a show like Teen Mom have to situations are completely their own. However, according to the aforementioned Teen Mom crew member that took place in an Ask Me Anything question and answer session, that is not the case.
Asked if the show is scripted, he denied that but said that an episode’s “storyline is heavily produced by the director.”
On top of that, he also claims “it gets to the point where the director is feeding them lines”.
2 The Girls Get Bonuses For High Ratings
As a previous entry on this list made clear, the stars of the Teen Mom franchise receive an extremely healthy salary for being a part of the show and they can find outside opportunities too. However, there is another thing that can result in them making even more money — their shows doing well in the ratings. Another piece of information revealed during the Reddit Ask Me Anything question and answer session, the ladies receive bonuses if the show is watched by enough people. A wise move by producers, this gives the ladies motivation to help their part in the show as entertaining as possible.
1 The Ladies Often Monitor The Way They Are Talked About Online
Let’s be real here, the Internet is a wonderful tool that has made the world smaller and connected people from every region together but it can also be very toxic. In fact, it is hard to think of a single long-running show or successful movie that doesn’t have people that vocally love or dislike it. Especially true when it comes to the sometimes controversial show Teen Mom, online the stars of the show are dissected by people on both sides of the argument.
However, everyone that discusses this show should know that many of the ladies are watching.
In fact, at one point Chelsea from Teen Mom 2 even claimed that she reads what people write about her on Reddit daily.