Jon & Kate Plus 8

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Jon & Kate Plus 8 TV Poster Image
Twins and sextuplets keep real-life parents hopping.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 83 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 55 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written bybeybi July 16, 2010


obozavam you have excellent
Adult Written byaltec September 29, 2009

So sick of this show..

I'm sick of it. everytime this is on I'll change my channel right away. I don't know why TLC is keeping this program.. So sick of it..Please take... Continue reading
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 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 lo... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality TV

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate