19 Kids and Counting

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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They've had at least one more kid since this picture was taken.

A TLC series which ran from 2008 to 2015, featuring the lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, an ultra-religious family from Arkansas, and their children: Josh, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy Anna, Jedediah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn, and Josie.

Sensing a theme here?

Other family members include Grandma Duggar (Jim Bob's mother), Cousin Amy, and Anna Duggar (nee Keller), Josh's wife.

The show follows the Duggars as they explain their unusual lifestyle raising 10 boys and 9 girls; the family is very religious, the children are homeschooled, do not dance, the girls wear long skirts rather than pants, and they don't even kiss before marriage (holding hands is okay)[1].

The Duggars are very controversial. Edit with care...

Tropes used in 19 Kids and Counting include:

  • Alliterative Family
  • Artistic License: Biology: Evolution is "unscientific"
    • According to Jim Bob, the entire population of the earth can fit in Jacksonville, FL.
  • Artistic License History: While traveling in the British Isles, Jim Bob pointed out the building where King James wrote the King James Bible.
  • Artistic License Medicine: In the episode in which most of the children get chicken pox, Jim Bob tells them that they should be thankful because "getting the chicken pox now means you won't get shingles."
  • Artistic License Statistics: Jim Bob claims that A) Overpopulation is a myth, and B) The entire population can fit into Florida.
    • Also, Jim Bob claims that he and Michelle spend more one on one time with their 19 children individually than a family with two children ever will.
  • As the Good Book Says...: More accurately, as Bill Gothard says what the Good Book says.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Averted.
  • Black Sheep: Amy, in context. She wears jeans and listens to rock music.
  • Blatant Lies: The family says they use plastic and glass during meals. Actually, they only use paper plates, and claim that their carbon footprint is way lower than the average family's.
  • Bowdlerise: According to Anna's father, Jesus turned water into grape juice.
  • Bowling for Ratings: "Duggars Bowled Over."
  • California University: Real-life example. In an effort to keep the college-aged children at home, work around the show's shooting schedule, and respond to criticism that the parents weren't letting the kids pursue higher education, the Duggar children "attend" College Plus--a program that provides tutors and study guides so they can earn college credits through CLEP tests.
  • Censor Box: Michelle asked for these to cover her knees in a clip of her water-skiing.
  • Cool Car: The Duggars travel in a giant bus, not unlike a campaign bus or touring bus for a band.
  • Cool House: They put a lot of effort into one.
  • Day in the Life
  • Due to the Dead: Grandpa got a really nice funeral.
  • El Spanish-O: During a mission trip to El Salvador, Jim Bob tried to get a group of children to move by saying, "Back-o out of the way-o."
  • Every Girl Is Cuter With Hair Decs: Many of the younger girls wear headbands sporting large flowers.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: For the parental controls.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The titles for each special.
  • Family Theme Naming
    • Josh and Anna might continue their own theme-naming with Mackynzie and Michael.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Michelle miscarried their 20th child before the 9th season aired, however a lot of the 9th season shows them going to prenatal doctor visits.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: As well as any form of birth control.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Oh, yeah.
  • Hollywood Atlas: This family travels a lot.
  • Idiot Ball: The girls choosing to wear flip flops instead of hiking boots in South America. You know, that place with the dangerous snakes and spiders? They also wear them to hike up a mountain.
    • Another case occured in the second episode when Jim Bob and Michelle allowed Jackson (who was three at the time) walk to the washroom in the airport by himself (and yes, he got lost).
  • Idol Singer: Amy. She's good, but not as fantastic as the family says.
  • I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: The boys are warned about this.
  • Jerkass: The girls were very condescending towards the women wearing immodest wedding dresses at Kleinfelds (they didn't say it to their faces, but they obviously looked down on them)

"That's a dress? Hahaha, *eyeroll*"

    • Also Jackson, who constantly interrupts his sister during interviews.
    • Josh stands out to some viewers who also watch his Twitter and Instagram.
    • John-David, who thinks women can't drive buses.
  • Jesus Saves: Also, this is what Joshua's name means.
  • Massive-Numbered Siblings
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: The reason for the modest dress code and the "no dancing" rule. YMMV on how well this actually works, especially in the very early specials.
  • My Nayme Is: Jinger. Pronounced like "ginger."
  • Name's the Same: Jedidiah Robert and Jeremiah Robert.
    • Joshua James and James Andrew... two sons of James Robert. Some viewers have also pointed out how similar Joy-Anna and Johannah's names are.
  • New Media Are Evil: Except where schoolwork is concerned. Also, the kids need a chaperone to see anything that isn't on a pre-approved list.
  • New Season, New Name: The show started out as 17 Kids and Counting, then became 18, and then 19.
  • Odd Name Out: Michelle.
  • One of the Boys: Joy-Anna, who can rock climb while wearing a skirt.
  • Opening Narration
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Jim Bob's full name is James Robert, but he's gone by Jim Bob since he was young.
  • Promotion to Parent: The "buddy system", where each new child is assigned an older sister to look after it, is a example of this trope. Also an example of a Double Standard.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: Jana is three minutes older than John David.
  • Sibling Team: Invoked with the buddy system.
  • Similar Squad: The Bates family.
  • Snowed In: "Duggars on Ice" and "Duggars' Big Thaw."
  • Standard Snippet: Amazing Freaking Grace is an important song to this family.
  • Stay in the Kitchen
  • The Quiet One: Joseph doesn't talk very much.
  • The Talk: Jim Bob gave this to eldest son Josh on his wedding day. It involved Legos.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Johannah and Jennifer, Joy Anna and her older sisters.
  • Trademark Favorite Foods: Dill pickles, Tater Tot Cassrole. Grandpa loved ketchup.
  • Two First Names: Jim Bob, John David, Joy Anna, and Jordyn-Grace.
  • Urban Legend: There's a rumor going around that they have declared their home to be a church so that they don't have to pay taxes, and also that they get free healthcare for life because of Jim Bob's terms in the legislature. It's hard to tell if these are true or not, since they have been silent on the subject.
  • Wedding Day
  1. With parental permission, of course