The Worst Reality TV Shows Ever Created
If you’ve ever clicked on the TV after a long day in search of a junky show, you’re not alone. Whether you're addicted to The Bachelor or Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you just can’t seem to get enough of the guiltiest of guiltiest pleasures: reality TV.
Sometimes, the whole "reality" part gets a bit confusing, of course, but that just seems to make it even better (or worse?). Tune in to these 30 worst reality TV shows ever created to enjoy some laughter, some disgust and every emotion in between. Some are no longer on the air, but that’s what streaming is for!
Rock of Love
Whether you love hair bands or not, Bret Michaels isn't exactly an A-list celebrity anymore. However, that didn’t stop dozens of young women from vying for his attention on Rock of Love. Created in July 2007, the former lead singer of Poison literally made women jump through hoops for him.
My Super Sweet 16
When you turn on the TV and switch to MTV's My Super Sweet 16, you're carried away into an alternate world of privileged teens with too much money and too little time to spend it. (Must be tough, right?) With famous celebrity parents, these teens are lavished with expensive gifts like new cars and intimate backstage passes to meet their favorite artists.
Toddlers & Tiaras
Toddlers & Tiaras will forever go down in history as one of the most controversial reality TV shows of all time. Starring young girls dressed up in fancy clothes and heels and sporting pounds of makeup, this show focused on the age-old tradition of child beauty pageants. Featured from December 2008 to October 2013, this TLC show spent years on the shelf after its first season.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo single-handedly changed America during the early 2000s. Aired by TLC, this child beauty pageant show followed the lives of Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and her family. Of course, Honey Boo Boo originally got her start on the show mentioned above, Toddlers & Tiaras.
The Real Housewives
Premiering in March 2006, The Real Housewives franchise first entered the scene with its flagship show, The Real Housewives of Orange County. Documenting the so-called "real lives" of several ultra-wealthy women, this hilarious show quickly expanded to include women in New York City, Atlanta and New Jersey.
Released in late 2010, you can thank A&E Network's Storage Wars for showing the world how valuable your boxes of junk could really be. Here's how it goes: When someone fails to pay on their storage unit for several months, the items inside are auctioned to a hungry crowd of vulturous buyers.
Wife Swap was recently renewed for its 11th season, which is further proof that America has super low standards when it comes to entertainment. ABC's Wife Swap first shocked the world in 2004 with its morally questionable premise: Two families from completely different backgrounds swap wives and mothers for a period of two weeks.
A weekly indulgence for many, Cheaters is an American reality TV show with a hidden camera twist. Investigating the shady lives of supposed cheaters, host Bobby Goldstein's entire job is to catch adulterer's in the act of cheating on their spouses. Currently airing on The CW Plus, Cheaters is fueled by angry partners who are convinced their significant others are sneaking around behind their backs.
Another hidden camera reality TV show, Punk'd originally starred Ashton Kutcher as a master celebrity prankster in 2003. Shown on MTV, this Candid Camera knockoff featured Kutcher pulling the wool over the eyes of multiple celebrities, including Beyonce.
Big Brother is quite possibly the creepiest, most intrusive reality TV show ever aired. Originally filmed in the Netherlands, this up-close-and-personal program shows contestants who live in a remote house, completely cut off from the rest of the world. As if that's not creepy enough, they're constantly monitored 24-hours-a-day by cameras and microphones that are just out of their eyesight and earshot.
RuPaul's Drag Race
For those who are unaware, RuPaul's Drag Race is a hot mess of a show starring famous drag queen RuPaul and his colorful contestants. During the show, RuPaul mentors wannabee drag queens on the art of being fierce and fabulous. Every week, a panel of judges, including Santino Rice and Michelle Visage, judge the drag divas on how they walk, talk and rock the runway.
90 Day Fiancé
Proving that there's truly no such thing as "happily ever after," 90 Day Fiancé is part documentary, part reality TV show. Featured by TLC, the show follows random couples who are forced to marry each other within a super tight timeline in order to fix their visa issues. Incredibly, some of the unlucky couples only have five days to get to know each other before walking down the aisle together.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
This goes without saying, but Keeping Up with the Kardashians is one of the most pointless shows to ever air on television. Starring scandalous reality TV star Kim Kardashian, this show started off following the vain members of the Kardashian family and now follows Kim's marriage to Kanye West and her relationship with family members like Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian.
Starting in early 2005, Love Island became a staple gossip reality TV show in the United Kingdom. Starring washed-up celebrities on a stranded island, the show was filled with competition, drama and — you guessed it — drunk, sloppy love. This was just what America ordered, and CBS quickly demanded an American version of the show to be released in late 2018.
Starring the surprisingly lackluster host Chris Harrison, The Bachelor is another reality TV show that just doesn't make any sense. Every season features a grossly ineligible bachelor having the time of his life choosing from a bevy of beauties willing to fight for him when they don't even know him. Sure. The worst part? The couple rarely stays together after the cameras stop rolling. That’s what you call time wasted.
Paris Hilton's My New BFF
Paris Hilton's My New BFF is dedicated to lonely souls who feel like a superstar best friend is a must-have. Created in 2008, this tacky reality TV program followed 16 girls and three boys as they competed to become Paris' right-hand confidante. Paris added a host of irrelevant guests like Benji Madden, Perez Hilton and Dirt Nasty to the show as well.
The Anna Nicole Smith Show
First of all, rest in peace to Anna Nicole Smith. Remembered as a prescription-powered diva, Anna Nicole's failed attempts to stay relevant were documented pretty accurately on The Anna Nicole Smith Show. In fact, this early reality TV show was so bad that critics called it "an obscene trainwreck."
Okay, raise your hand if you became obsessed with this disastrous show when it first aired in December 2009. As a spin-off of 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom gave the world the gift of more time with Farrah Abraham, Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell and Amber Portwood. Together, America cringed as these young girls fumbled through the rites of adulthood and parenthood with the whole nation watching.
In case you didn't know, Jersey Shore was one of the most entertaining reality TV shows of all time — for all the wrong reasons. Starting in December 2009, this train wreck of a show ran all the way until 2012. In the meantime, America fell in love with original cast members like Snooki, Vinny, Jenni, Pauly D and Mike the Situation.
Born in the Wild
If you’re familiar with the concept, you can probably agree that Born in the Wild is the most dangerous reality TV show ever filmed. If not, the whole premise of the show revolves around sending an expectant couple into the wild to have a "natural birthing experience" with Mother Nature as a midwife. With no medical experts or modern medicine on hand, the couple is forced to successfully deliver their baby in the middle of nowhere.
Britney and Kevin: Chaotic
If you missed Britney and Kevin: Chaotic in 2005, you're not alone. The amazingly short-lived series only lasted for five episodes. If you're wondering who to blame for this terribly tasteless reality TV show, you can thank director Anthony E. Zuiker.
For the Love of Ray J
There's a reason so many viewers tuned in week after week to watch For the Love of Ray J. Similar to Rock of Love, I Love New York and Flavor of Love, the show supposedly centered around Ray J falling for the love of his life.
My Fair Brady
For those who haven't seen this corny show yet, Christopher Knight of The Brady Bunch falls in love with his much younger wife, Adrianne Curry. While it was arguably another gold-digging celebrity marriage, Knight and Curry attempted to show the world their love was real when they first met on another reality TV show, The Surreal Life.
Dating Naked is a scandalous VH1 show that debuted in 2014. Centered around contestants who spend their days completely in the nude, the program features rugged participants surviving on an island in a remote location. As if this wasn't strange enough, the show was expanded to a second season in the Philippines. Called Dating Naked: Playing for Keeps, the second season was filled with more — you guessed it — unabashed nudity.
Are You Hot? The Search for America's Sexiest People
If you haven't seen Are You Hot? The Search for America's Sexiest People, you're in for an incredibly narcissistic treat if you watch it. Hosted by questionably attractive judges Randolph Duke, Rachel Hunter and Lorenzo Lamas, the show paraded hopeful contestants across the stage for America to cruelly critique.
The Moment of Truth
The Moment of Truth is truly one of the most embarrassing reality TV programs ever created. Based on the Colombian show called Nothing but the Truth, the American version made awkward contestants answer a series of increasingly personal questions in pursuit of a cash prize.
I Wanna Marry Harry
You know and love Prince Harry, of course, but this show didn’t feature the real British royal. Starring a red-headed lookalike named Matthew Hicks, the show led the brainless contestants to believe that the imposter was the real Prince Harry. After four ridiculous episodes, ABC pulled the show from the air.
House of Carters
Think about it: Aaron Carter and Nick Carter basically ruled in the early 2000s in the pop music department. So, maybe it's only natural they would decide to create a joint reality TV show called House of Carters. Part documentary, part digital junk food, this E! show gave us a behind the scenes look at former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and his life with his family in Los Angeles.
Flavor of Love
Flavor Flav's monstrous show, Flavor of Love, was equal parts entertaining and horrifying. Starring aging hip hop star Flavor Flav as an object of affection, several women tried to outdo each other to catch his attention and, ultimately, his heart.
The Ashlee Simpson Show
Don't worry if you don't remember watching The Ashlee Simpson Show. Starring pop singer Jessica Simpson's little sister, the show mostly documented Ashlee shopping and singing her heart out. Unfortunately, Ashlee Simpson just didn't have much going for her in terms of musical talent.