Quints by Surprise

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Quints by Surprise TV Poster Image
"Big family" reality show is more appealing than most.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will learn a little about what it's like to care for so many small children.

Positive Messages

The show is mostly about taking what life gives you and rolling with it, as well as focusing on what's truly important -- like family and love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The parents are mostly good role models. They're very focused on their children, and the family is very supportive of one another. Dad Ethan can be a little more pessimistic, but overall, he's focused on the good things that he has, and while he's worried about his family and supporting them, he remains confident that he can keep everything going. There's some traditional gender role reinforcement, with the women being primarily responsible for taking care of the babies, although Ethan is active, too.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking; in one scene, one of the babies goes after mommy and daddy's beer -- but they're good at keeping it out of inquisitive little hands.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's little here that isn't age-appropriate for even very young kids -- though it's likely to have more appeal for tweens and up. The quints are babies, so they do fall down and get hurt, and they cry a lot. And people do step in poopy diapers (and with five toddlers, there are plenty of diapers), and you'll see the occasional naked baby backside. But it's all taken in stride, and the show's overall messages about appreciating family and love are very positive.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byProbiotic October 4, 2019


What a bunch of whiny unhappy children. I cant stand to listen to this show. All the kids do is cry!
I do not recommend this show unless you like listening scr... Continue reading
Parent of a 6 and 13-year-old Written byheathered72 October 1, 2010
Teen, 14 years old Written byDogcat June 4, 2020

Really good.

Ok so,my grandma put this on because there was nothing else on tv. This is a cute show that kids on all ages can watch. It’s sort of like The Little Couple and... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bystripesanddots April 6, 2011
I love this show! The family is very real and realatable and it's totally clean.

What's the story?

QUINTS BY SURPRISE centers on the Jones family -- dad Ethan, mom Casey, and their kids. Ethan and Casey had fertility issues; they had one baby, a girl, by in vitro insemination. Once she got older, they decided to try it again ... and ended up with quintuplets. Then the recession hit. Now, Ethan and Casey are still married and loving each other, but things have been tough of late. As a contractor, Ethan has had a hard time getting enough jobs to get the bills paid, let alone keep five toddlers in diapers. Meanwhile, Casey stays at home to take care of the kids.

Is it any good?

Shows like Quints by Surprise are a dime a dozen these days. But something about the Jones' story is very appealing. They're worried about surviving.  They had bought their oversized house thinking they could sell it relatively easily, only to be caught by surprise by the quints' birth. Now, they have to sell it because they can't afford it.

But while the Jonese may be down, they're definitely not out.  Anyone would be worried in their situation, but they stay pretty optimistic and look for ways to make everything work. And the show's storytelling is fast paced enough -- and poignant enough -- that you're willing to watch them do it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how real the show is.  Do you think the family acts the same way when the cameras aren't there?

  • Do you think it's a good idea for the kids to be on TV like this? What do you think will happen to the kids as they get older?

  • What would you film for a TV show about your own family?

TV details

  • Premiere date: August 30, 2010
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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