Jon & Kate Plus 8 TV Poster Image

Jon & Kate Plus 8



Twins and sextuplets keep real-life parents hopping.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series aims to show how two dedicated parents cope with the daily demands of such a large family -- but they often respond to stress by arguing and picking on each other. In the 2009 season, infidelity and divorce become major issues.

Positive role models

Varies depending on the season. Both Gosselin parents started out being clearly devoted to their kids and committed to each other. But over the course of the show, as their marriage deterioriated, things changed a lot, and both adults often ended up looking more childish than their kids.


Nothing physical, but plenty of verbal sparring.


Brief mention of the fertility treatments that resulted in the Gosselins' two sets of multiples. Jon is accused of infidelity.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults occasionally drink wine when they're enjoying a kid-free dinner out.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that because the 2009 season of this reality show brings infidelity and divorce front and center, we increased our recommended age. The accusations and their consequences have spawned a media frenzy, with each parent looking terrible. Otherwise, the show remains focused on how the parents (especially mom Kate) often respond to chaos-imposed stress by bickering and picking at each other. While adult viewers will probably empathize with their tense emotions, young kids may not understand the context of the heated comments and could be upset by them -- especially since infidelity is a subject that kids under 12 won't be able to grasp, and divorce is one that is likely to upset them. Even then, this show is best reserved for older viewers.

What's the story?

Jon and Kate Gosselin and their boisterous brood -- twins Cara and Mady and sextuplets Hannah, Alexis, Leah, Collin, Joel, and Aaden -- have spawned a mini-industry of "multiples" reality shows. The early episodes proved that when it comes to managing a hectic family life, where there's a will, there's always a way. But the 2009 season polarizes the parents' relationship with accusations of infidelity and a fall-out that includes filing for divorce. While the bulk of what you'll see will still revolve around birthday parties and seasonal outings, the series does somewhat exploit the daily ups and downs of life with two energetic sets of multiples. Expect to see plenty of footage of the physical and emotional challenges of balancing the children's individual needs with the struggle for harmony at home.

Is it any good?


We can't imagine why kids would want to see this show. But we can see how parents might get some enjoyment out of it, since they can relate to many of the issues Jon and Kate face (if on a slightly smaller scale). But some parents may be turned off by the frequently snide comments that Kate makes about Jon, both in his presence and out of it. ("He takes longer to get ready than I do, and that's really irritating," or "Can you please help me instead of playing with toys?") Her seeming negativity, while understandable in her situation, often becomes the focal point of the show, and young viewers won't fully understand the stresses that lead the adults to talk to and about each other the way they do.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media portrays families. Is there a "standard" family type in today's TV shows?

  • We recommend that parents who do let their kids see this show talk about the issues is raises and inject their wisdom and experience into the scenes the show portrays.

TV details

Premiere date:April 10, 2007
Cast:Jon Gosselin, Kate Gosselin
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus June 16, 2012

Really good!

This used to be my favorite show. Then it went downhill when they got divorced and the show turned into "Kate Plus 8".
Teen, 14 years old Written byAlinaW. March 19, 2010

Good -> Bad

Honestly, three years ago, I loved this show. It was my reality show that I watched every Monday, and the episodes were epsecially good around the time where each kid got their "special day" out with Jon or Kate. It was even kind of funny to watch Kate pick on Jon and the kids mildly, and to be thankful my parents aren't like that . . And then . . . It got worse. Way worse. The parents were picking on each other and the kids, and then divorce and cheating came into the picture . . . Honestly, I would watch it again for an episode if it ever came on again just to see what's happened to it, but no more then that. It just kind of stinks now.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written byBieberFreakinFever December 16, 2011


John And Kate Plus 8 gives you a great look into what it is like raising 8 kids at ounce. The show is fun, entertaining, and somewhat interesting to watch. I love it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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