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The 5 most cringeworthy Duggar moments that made it on the show

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar in TLC confessionals.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have led some of the most cringeworthy moments in the family. Pic credit: TLC

The Duggar family has been on television for well over a decade.

Viewers have watched as many of the Duggar children have gotten married and started families of their own. From childbirth to extravagant weddings, everything has been caught by the TLC cameras and aired accordingly.

Their reality television claim to fame isn’t always glamorous, though. There have been several WTF moments, sad moments, and some very cringeworthy moments through the Duggars’ journey over the years.

From their TLC specials to Counting On, there are a lot of special moments that feature the Duggars. While Jim Bob and Michelle are at the helm, some of the older children have also made their marks in the reality television world, and not all in a good way.

These are some of the most cringeworthy Duggar moments from their time in the world of reality TV.

1. Jim Bob Duggar humping Michelle while chaperoning Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald

Jim Bob and Michelle chaperoning Jessa and Ben.
Jim Bob Duggar getting wild while at the mini-golf course with Jessa and Ben. Pic credit: TLC

This is one of the biggest “yikes” moments from the Duggars. What could be worse than seeing your dad hugged up behind your mom while joking about bending your knees? Maybe watching as he mocked humping her from behind.

Another reason it is one of the most cringeworthy Duggar moments is that it happened while they were mini-golfing with Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald. This was at the beginning of their courtship, and the tension could be cut with a knife.

Their awkward smiles and faces made the scene that much worse. Jessa was smiling uncomfortably and Ben was probably just as mortified by what he was witnessing.

Ironically, Jim Bob was talking with the young couple, and the cameras, about the importance of no touching while courting. He was literally being overly sexual with Michelle in front of his adult daughter and the equivalent of her boyfriend while preaching to them about what not to do.

It was likely a moment both Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald would like to forget. Unfortunately, it was caught on camera and aired.

2. Anna Duggar giving birth in a bathroom

Anna Duggar and baby Michael.
Anna Duggar with Michael Duggar. Pic credit: TLC

Childbirth is something the Duggars are widely known for. In fact, it is one of the reasons they have a reality show and have become this famous.

With the number of children they have, and the number of grandchildren that are adding up, if viewers haven’t seen a birth special or footage from one of the many Duggar births, they are probably living in a cave.

Since Anna Duggar was the first in-law to join the show, she was also the first to be put in front of the camera when it was time to deliver.

When it came time to have Michael (Josh and Anna’s second child), things got incredibly weird for viewers and Anna Duggar. The film crew, Michelle, Anna, Josh, the midwife, and one of the sisters were all there waiting for Michael to be born.

It was very clear that Anna wasn’t comfortable being filmed, and she had to use the bathroom. Realistically, no one would want to poop while being filmed, so no one faulted her. She ended up having Michael in the bathroom after Michelle wanted to know if she needed to “potty” and took her into the room.

Homebirths are the norm for many of the Duggar children — only a few of the adult Duggars have given birth at a hospital. It wasn’t cringeworthy that Anna gave birth at home, it was the bathroom drama that really did it for viewers.

This cringeworthy moment is still talked about nearly 10 years later.

3. Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth and the sparkling water

Austin and Joy having dinner in Switzerland.
Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth were unsure about the sparkling water. Pic credit: TLC

After Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth tied the knot, they were off to Switerzland. They filmed some of their honeymoons, and it was interesting to see the sheltered Arkansas natives experience a whole new country and culture.

From the dress-up they played with the traditional outfit to the food choices they were given, there were plenty of firsts for the couple to experience as newlyweds.

One cringeworthy Duggar moment was when Joy-Anna and Austin were eating a meal out together. There was sparkling water on the table. If thoughts could have appeared in thought bubbles, viewers can only imagine all of the pop-ups there would have been.

Drinking alcohol is a big no-no in the Duggar family. They abstain from any and all unless they have broken away from strictly following the family rules like Jill Duggar and her pina colada at dinner.

The newlyweds were convinced it was sparkling wine, and the whole situation was incredibly awkward and cringeworthy. There were also some awkward feelings about the fondue, but that was less interesting than the response to the sparkling water.

4. Jim Bob talking to Jeremy Vuolo about money

Jeremy Vuolo getting grilled by Jim Bob Duggar.
Jeremy Vuolo had an awkward meal with Jim Bob Duggar. Pic credit: TLC

An awkward dinner with Jim Bob Duggar is a common occurrence for the men who want to date his daughters. He vets them pretty well, including allegedly giving them a very in-depth questionnaire.

When he and Michelle sat down with Jinger, Jeremy Vuolo, and his parents and questioned him about his money situation, it was cringeworthy. Not only did he insinuated that a pastor’s salary wasn’t going to cut it for his daughter Jinger, but he also made it known he wasn’t too fond of him for her in general.

If looks could kill, Jeremy Vuolo’s parents would have pierced Jim Bob Duggar.

As Jinger’s father, Jim Bob had some pretty high expectations. Viewers have watched as he grilled Derick Dillard, Ben Seewald, Jeremy Vuolo, and Austin Forsyth over the years. He wasn’t as hard on his other sons-in-law as he was on Jeremy Vuolo.

Perhaps that is why Jinger moved straight away to Texas and is dubbed the “rebel” Duggar daughter?

5. Jessa Duggar using the couch that she gives birth on

Jessa Duggar laboring with Ivy Jane Seewald.
Jessa Duggar gave birth on the couch. Pic credit: TLC

Homebirths are popular among the Duggar women. Jessa Duggar was all set to have her third baby in a hospital setting until she went into labor early.

Ivy Jane Seewald was born on Jessa and Ben Seewald’s couch in May 2019. The whole thing was filmed for Counting On, including Jill Duggar’s presence there. Jessa needed medical attention, again, after delivering her little girl.

This wasn’t the first birth on the couch, which makes it that much more cringeworthy. The birthing couch is still residing in Jessa’s living room, and it is often featured in Instagram photos with her kids jumping and playing all over it.

Let’s hope that Jessa at least had it cleaned before letting the kids play all over it, but if not, the cringe factor goes way up!

After being on reality television for so long, the Duggars have had some pretty wild moments. Being cringeworthy isn’t fun, but these are some of the most extreme circumstances that viewers still talk about even years later.

Tiffany has been working as a writer for a decade, with a focus on soaps and reality TV. She has been watching ABC soaps since... read more
Tiffany Bailey

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