Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp



Positive messages about motherhood, plus publicity stunts.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series highlights some of the challenges Bristol Palin faces as a single mother and as a daughter of a well-known politician.

Positive role models

Bristol Palin is young, but a responsible and caring mother, sister, and daughter. The Palin family is supportive and loyal to each other. Palin family members occasionally admit ignorance about political topics. References are made to Levi's minimal role in Tripp's life.


Idle threats are made to punch people. Rifles are shot at a shooting range.


Bystanders sometimes publicly yell insults like "whore." References are made to strippers and homosexuals.


Words like "bitch," "piss," and "crap" are audible; curses like "f--k" are bleeped. Rude gestures are blurred.


The series is a promotional vehicle for Bristol Palin. Bristol Palin's memoir, Not Afraid of Life is occasionally shown; references are made to Levi Johnson's book about the Palins. The Help the Children logo and web address is prominently featured. North Face, Dell, Apple, Chevrolet, and other product logos, as well as local L.A. haunts like the Saddle Ranch, are also visible. References are made to YouTube.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol is visible at bars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp is a self-promoting look into the life of Bristol Palin and her life as a single mom during a short stay in Los Angeles. It contains some positive messages, but these are sometimes overshadowed by her mother, Sarah Palin's, political activities. Expect a few insulting sexual references, strong vocab ("bitch," "piss"; occasional curses bleeped), and occasional mild sibling rivalry. Logos for Apple, Chevy, and other products are occasionally visible, as are references to Bristol's book.

Kids say

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What's the story?

The reality series BRISTOL PALIN: LIFE'S A TRIPP stars Bristol Palin as she spends a few months living in Southern California with her son Tripp. The 21-year old single mother and Dancing With the Stars finalist moves to Los Angeles with her son and younger sister Willow to volunteer with the Help the Children Foundation, and to expose her son to another part of the country. But adapting to life in the City of Angels without her big, supportive family and her friends isn't easy, especially when she comes face-to-face with people who are angry about her mother's conservative politics. Coping with the tabloid media can also be challenging. But luckily Sarah Palin is only a phone call away to give her advice when she needs it.

Is it any good?


The series offers a voyeuristic look into the unique life of a young woman whose private life became national news as a result of her mother's political career. Much of the focus is on the challenges she faces as a young, single mother, and the cultural differences that exist between her Alaskan upbringing and the value systems of other people in a different -- and less conservative -- part of the country. Ironically, it also shows how she struggles with the media attention.

The series paints a sympathetic and very family-oriented picture of the Palins, which, regardless of whether it is accurate or not, makes the show feel like a publicity stunt. Scenes of Sarah Palin in action and references to Tripp's father, Levi Johnston, and his alleged inappropriate behaviors only adds to this. As a result, while the show sends a positive message about family and motherhood, one is left wondering about the real reasons why Bristol has opted to willingly place herself and her son in the reality limelight.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the reasons why people agree to appear on reality television. Is it for publicity? Money? Or the need to be in the limelight? What are some of the drawbacks of allowing cameras to show your private life to the world?


  • Is it fair to criticize the media for violating people's privacy when people are allowing the media to come into their homes?

TV details

Cast:Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin, Willow Palin
Network:Lifetime Television
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Brothers and sisters
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

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Parent Written byfeathers June 20, 2012


This should have been called life is tripe. I am amazed at the three star rating. This show was boring, badly acted, whiney, and really stupid. No one can learn aything from this except how to be a hypocrite. I need my family- so I moved to CA from AK. Tripp doesnt see his daddy, so I moved him from AK to CA. People look at me too much-so I went on a reality show, I love my son, so I leave him alone to go to bars and go shopping. I don't care about clothes and image, so I buy sexyclothes and get plastic surgery, Whine whine moan moan, poor me poor me. Stomach turning. Oh yeah, helping the poor? She went to skid row and would not get out of the car. That's not helping, that's slumming and sight-seeing. Pathetic
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism


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