Every reality TV family struggles to perfect the same tricky balancing act:
How to share enough information with the world to make for compelling viewing, while at the same time, not giving away too much of your personal life?
This is particularly difficult in the case of the Duggar clan, as their carefully-curated public image is based almost entirely on secrets and lies.
That’s how we wind up with so many episodes based on scavenger hunts, and craft projects, and other boring crap that’s clearly staged for the cameras.
But every once in a while, the Duggars let their guards down and allow an honest, unscripted moment to make it to air.
And that’s how we wound up with these cringe-worth scenes.
Enjoy, and try not to die of second-hand embarassment!
A Family Tradition
The Duggars have been on TV since the days when George W. Bush was in office. And while the faces may have changed, the family’s ability to humiliate themselves has remained constant.
If you grow up on camera, it’s inevitable that some of your more awkward moments will be shared in front of an audience of millions.
No Getting Around It
And when your family is as cringe-inducing as the Duggars … well, some of those moments might be the kind that will follow you for the rest of your days.
Josh on the Spot
So let’s kick off our list of the most awkward Duggar moments with a little weirdness from the most despicable member of the 19 Kids and Counting clan. We’re talking, of course, about Josh …
Josh and Anna’s engagement was the first one that was witnessed by viewers, and boy, was it one weird occasion.
They Did What, Now?
For some reason, Josh decided to surprise Anna at a birthday party, where she and her mom were dressed in matching clothes. Afterward, Josh and Anna sat and furiously rubbed each other’s hands, as they weren’t allowed to touch anywhere else yet. Super awk!
Just the Beginning
Obviously, there were many, many more embarrassing moments to come in this marriage, but thankfully, most of them didn’t make it onto TLC.
Josh Sings to Anna
As you may recall, Josh sang a little tune called “The Loyalty Song” to Anna on their wedding day. Ironically, he was later caught trying to cheat on her with anyone who would give him the time of day. So much for loyalty!
Sadly, There’s More …
But if you thought Josh was the only Duggar with musical aspirations, you were sadly mistaken …
Shortly after Ben Seewald and Jessa Duggar welcomed their first child, Ben tried his hand at producing a Christian hip hop track. Don’t feel guilty if you blocked that scene from your memory — Jessa probably did, too!
A Brief, Legendary Career
Thankfully, these days, Ben seems to have hung up his mic for good, but you never know when the urge to spit some rhymes might overpower him once again.
A Living Legend
And when it does, we can only hope that the cameras are rolling!
The Talent Never Ends!
Of course, Jim Bob wasn’t about to let Josh and Ben have all the fun! He might not seem like the type to show much interest in the arts, but it turns out JB was once bitten by the acting bug!
Not Much of a Stretch
Jim Bob recently decided to portray the ass in his church’s nativity play. It’s the role he was born to play!
What an Ass!
Jim Bob’s career as a jackass was short but memorable. He wound up taking quite a bit of flak for allowing children to “ride” him up and down the aisles, particularly as a few of the youngsters were reportedly a bit too old for such activities.
Keeping It Crazy
The Duggars are hardcore conservative evangelicals, which means they adhere to beliefs that the rest of society abandoned long ago. In order to ensure that the cycle of ignorance continues through the generations, they need to teach their kids some profoundly idiotic things.
Back when the show was still called 18 Kids and Counting, the Duggars took their children to the Creationist Museum Ark in Petersburg, Kentucky.
It was one of the family’s most defiantly stupid episodes, and it resulted in a whole lot of cringe.
The Hits Just Keep on Coming!
Obviously, that’s not the only time the family’s ignorance was on display. Far from it, in fact!
Remember when Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth revealed that they don’t know the difference between sparkling water and wine? Thankfully, the moment is preserved forever on video!
Keep Austin Weird
Hopefully, Joy and Austin wouldn’t make the same mistake again now that they’re a few years older. But who knows! The number of alcoholic drinks they’ve had between then and now remains exactly zero!
How about the time Jinger and Jeremy took a cooking class during their honeymoon in Australia, and they almost got kicked out of the kitchen for getting handsy?
Some Sound Advice
Pro tip: If you don’t wait until your honeymoon to express physical affection in any form, you won’t be so pent up that you almost get arrested in a foreign country!
C’mon, Jim Bob
Of course, no discussion of awkward Jeremy moments would be complete without a mention of the time that Jim Bob lectured Vuolo on finances (and the importance of supporting Jinger’s shopping addiction) in front of his parents!
A Master of the Form
No wonder Jim Bob’s kids are capable of being so awkward on camera! They learned from the best!
But to wrap this list up, we have to turn to Captain Awkward himself — the man, myth, the walking cautionary tale, Josh Duggar … and we’re afraid we have no choice but to revisit his most uncomfortable televised moment.