10 strangest reality TV shows in the past decade

Cast members from the E! show, Botched
Botched is on our list of strangest reality TV shows. Pic credit: E!

Reality TV has become an obsession among viewers, and networks are forced to come up with more creative ideas.

However, the word “creative” might not be the best word when you think back on some of the shows that we’ve seen over the years.

Words such as odd, bizarre, bonkers, and strange would be better ways to describe many of them.

From parents and their adult kids who are obsessed with each other to a bunch of women getting scammed into thinking they’re competing for Prince Harry’s heart.

It’s not surprising that some of these creative endeavors didn’t last longer than a season, but some of them are still going strong today.

Here’s our list of the 10 strangest reality TV shows in the past decade.

1. I Love a Mama’s Boy 

Shekeb Sekander and his girlfriend, Emily Chu
I Love a Mama’s Boy. Pic credit: TLC

The TLC show aired its third season several months ago and turned up the cringe factor.

The show features five men with extremely close relationships with their moms.

One mother-son duo, Esther and Ethan, are downright inappropriate. They not only flirt and have creepy pet names for each other, but Ethan also slaps his mom on the butt and constantly talks about how sexy she is.

Another guy, Tre takes his mom out every Valentine’s Day instead of his fiance, Abbey, so it’s not shocking that the couple have since called it quits.

Now Tre and his mom can live out happily ever after without his pesky fiance trying to stand in the way of their love.

2. I Wanna Marry Harry

Matt Hicks from the reality TV show, I Wanna Marry Harry
Matt Hicks, star of I Wanna Marry Harry. Pic credit: FOX

In 2014, this seemingly normal dating show gathered a bunch of gorgeous single women to have them compete for the heart of a handsome bachelor. What could go wrong?

The twist was that the bachelor was Prince Harry, or at least that’s what they led the contestants to believe.

The producers — one of them being Ryan Seacrest, were deceiving the women.

What they did was pick a random, red-haired man off the streets and give him a royal makeover.

The bachelor in question was 23-year-old Matt Hicks– an ordinary guy with a British accent — who, by the way, looked nothing like the Prince. This one did not go over well with viewers because, well, it was an absolute scam!

3. Sexy Beasts 

Reality TV show Sexy Beasts
Sexy Beasts. Pic credit: Netflix

In 2021 Netflix introduced us to the strangest blind dates ever! The concept of Sexy Beasts was to help single men and women find their true love without focusing on the physical.

So, the singles must alter their appearances and transform into animals or rather beasts, with the use of elaborate makeup and prosthetics.

The pairs then go on a series of speed dates to test their chemistry.

The masks finally come off when the featured dater makes a selection based solely on personality, and then they continue to see if they still have a connection.

4. Born in the Wild

Born in the Wild show on Lifetime
Born in the Wild couple Linda and Lance. Pic credit: Lifetime

This reality TV show debuted in 2015 on Lifetime and took the concept of home birth to another level.

The one-season series featured couples who desired a natural birth experience, so instead of a hospital, they opted for the great outdoors.

The mothers welcomed their children in the wilderness without induction or epidurals and without a doctor.

One couple had their baby in the dead of winter, a few miles from the Canadian border, while another couple planned their outdoor birth in remote Alaska.

5. sMothered

Sunhe and Angelica from Smothered
Smothered star Sunhe and her daughter Angelica. Pic credit: TLC

Not to be outdone by mamas boys, TLC also has a show called sMothered that features super close mother-daughter relationships.

How close are they? Well, one mother-daughter duo Sunhe and her 34-year-old daughter Angelica enjoy taking baths together.

Another dynamic duo, Paula and her mom Francia not only live together but spend lots of time in bed together, naked!

In one clip, Paula told the cameras, “In a perfect world, I would spend all the hours of the day with my mom, naked and in bed.”

The show premiered in 2019 and recently aired its fourth season.

6. Skating with the Stars 

Skating with the Stars contestant Bethenny Frankel
Bethenny Frankel on Skating with the Stars. Pic credit: ABC

You know what they say if you can’t dance, then skate!

Actually, no one has ever said that, but producers felt the world needed a Dancing with the Stars spinoff, so they gave us Skating with the Stars.

The showed aired on ABC in 2010 and featured a few familiar faces, including musician Vince Neil, actress Sean Young and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Bethenny Frankel.

The contestants strapped on their skates and twirled around the ice rink for six painful episodes, but the series was promptly canceled after the first season.

Okay, Okay this was more than a decade ago, but it’s still fresh in my mind, so it belongs on our list.

7. Milf Manor

Mother and son compete on Milf Manor
Mother and Son duo from Milf Manor. Pic credit: TLC

Milf Manor debuted on TLC in 2013 and featured a house full of single older women aged 40 to 60 from all over the US.

The gorgeous gals stayed at a resort in Mexico and had a slew of handsome young men trying to win their hearts.

The twist, however, was that these young men were the sons of all the women on the show. Can you say awkward?

8. Botched

Herbert Chavez a patient on Botched
Herbert Chavez from Botched. Pic credit: E!

The show premiered on E! in 2014 and features Dr. Paul Nasif and Dr. Terry Dubrow as they attempt to work their magic and correct some major plastic surgery fails.

However, they’ve also had some quirky patients with bizarre requests.

One patient, Herbert Chavez, dubbed himself the Man of Plastic –much like Superman is the Man of Steel. He visited the doctors for a permanent abs implant, and that was after he had multiple chemical irritants injected into his body to dissolve the fat.

The show has also featured a man who wanted to go under the knife to complete his elf transformation and a woman who previously had eyelash surgery using hair from her pubic region.

9. The Masked Singer

Aloe Blacc on The Masked Singer
Aloe Blacc in a mushroom costume on The Masked Singer. Pic credit: FOX

The Masked Singer is a genius idea but a strange one nonetheless.

The concept is that two celebrities face off against each other in front of a panel of judges, all while wearing strange costumes.

The judges and the viewers are given small clues about the performers under the mask, and each week they sing their hearts out while we try to guess their identities.

The final reveals are often quite shocking, and the contestants have included Michael Bolton, Bella Thorne, Drew Carey, Melissa Joan Hart, and Selling Sunset alum Christine Quinn, to name a few.

10. My Strange Addiction

Cast member on the TLC show My Strange Addiction
Woman addicted to eating toilet paper on My Strange Addiction. Pic credit: TLC

My Strange Addiction premiered over a decade ago, in 2010, but it’s on our list because, well, it deserves to be.

The show featured a woman who ate toilet paper and a man who was sexually attracted to balloons, but that wasn’t even the worst of it.

One woman enjoyed chowing down on her dead husband’s ashes, and another ate pounds of rocks every day. Now tell me this show doesn’t belong on our list.

That’s it for the 10 strangest reality TV shows in the past decade, and what a weird ride that was.

Is there any show that we missed? Tell us in the comment section below.

Botched Season 8 premieres Thursday, August 3 at 10/9c on E!

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