The Worst Teen Mom Scandals Of All Time Ranked

The Teen Mom franchise has been around for over a decade, and while certain cast members have faded into the background over time, others have become known for their involvement in some serious scandals. Established in 2010, as a follow-up to 16 And Pregnant, the original Teen Mom series (later renamed, Teen Mom OG) has sparked the creation of more shows, including Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom 3, Young And Pregnant, and most recently, Teen Mom: The Next Chapter. While viewers have watched the kids featured on Teen Mom grow from babies to teenagers, they’ve also seen some of MTV’s biggest stars evolve from ordinary teenagers into well-known adults, including Kailyn Lowry, Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra, and HGTV’s upcoming star, Chelsea DeBoer.

Although the original purpose of 16 And Pregnant and Teen Mom was to highlight safe-sex education, while showing the struggles of young motherhood, the franchise is now known for its high drama level. Due to fighting with their families, friends, significant others, and even one another, Teen Mom‘s cast members are the opposite of non-confrontational. In addition, their status as reality television stars means that their personal lives are quick to be publicly criticized, such as when Kailyn announced her third and fourth pregnancies with Chris Lopez.

With chaotic home lives, relationships, and public perceptions, it’s become common for Teen Mom franchise stars to end up in trouble with MTV, whether they’ve refused to film, physically fought (like Briana DeJesus and Ashley Jones), or been fired. While some cast members’ transgressions have been relatively minor, and therefore forgiven by the network and viewers alike, others were so major that they’ve continued to make an impact, despite how much time has passed. Here are some of the worst scandals that have rocked the Teen Mom franchise over the past decade:

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6. Teen Mom’s Leah Messer Cheats On Corey Simms

Leah Messer and Corey Simms were a fan-favorite couple on Teen Mom 2, and despite Leah becoming pregnant with twins Aliannah “Ali” and Aleeah just weeks into their relationship, many thought that they were perfect for one another. The two married in October 2010, but divorced months later, in June 2011. In an emotional episode of Teen Mom 2 in 2012, viewers were shocked when Leah admitted to Corey that she cheated with her ex-boyfriend, Robbie Kidd, two weeks before their wedding. Corey has been with his second wife Miranda Simms since 2013, while Leah is now engaged to Jaylan Mobley, after marrying Jeremy Calvert in 2012.

5. Teen Mom’s Farrah Abraham Joins The Adult Industry

Farrah Abraham Former Teen Mom posing in yellow dress

Viewers initially sympathized with Farrah on 16 And Pregnant and Teen Mom, due to her tragic backstory and unstable home life. However, as Teen Mom continued, her behavior became more aggressive and erratic. Although her attitude rubbed many people the wrong way, it was her decision to enter the adult entertainment industry in 2013 that really stirred up criticism, particularly from co-stars like Maci Bookout McKinney. Farrah released two explicit tapes and an unsuccessful album while on Teen Mom, but by 2016, she was refusing to film, and infamously fought with producer Larry Musnik on-camera. Executive producer Morgan J. Freeman eventually fired Farrah from Teen Mom in 2017, due to her adult content. However, she made a small appearance on the spin-off, Teen Mom: Family Reunion, in 2020.

4. Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood Goes To Prison

Amber Portwood from Teen Mom wearing a black top

Amber Portwood and her ex-fiance Gary Shirley were a blatantly troubled couple, that frequently argued on 16 And Pregnant and Teen Mom. They often clashed in front of their daughter, Leah. In 2010, Amber was filmed physically abusing Gary on several occasions; in the clips, she hit, kicked, and choked him. Hundreds of concerned viewers contacted CPS, which led to Amber’s arrest for domestic battery (and later drug possession) in 2011. Amber was granted probation, provided she would agree to attend rehab and maintain sobriety. However, she failed a series of drug tests, and was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012. It’s surprising that, despite being arrested again in 2019 for domestic battery against ex-boyfriend Andrew Glennon (and recently losing custody of their son James), Amber is still a Teen Mom cast member.

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3. Teen Mom’s Jenelle Evans Pulls Out A Gun While Driving

jenelle evans jace evans teen mom 2 in car road rage

Jenelle Evans’ quick temper is nothing new among Teen Mom fans, as her legal problems and multiple arrests dominated early seasons of Teen Mom 2. While Jenelle has engaged in some dramatic physical and verbal fights on-camera, one of her most shocking moments occurred in 2018, when she was cut off by another driver. During that incident, her first son Jace was also in the car. Jenelle was filmed angrily following the driver to his house before brandishing a gun at him. She not only left the gun unattended with Jace afterwards, but accused her child of lying when he told his grandmother Barbara Evans what happened. Infuriated viewers immediately condemned Jenelle for lying, gaslighting Jace, and threatening his safety, especially since she has routinely fought Barbara over custody since signing away her rights in 2010.

2. Teen Mom’s Ryan Edwards Drives Under The Influence

ryan edwards teen mom driving in car dressed up

Ryan Edwards, who is the ex-fiance and father of Maci’s son Bentley, has been battling drug addiction since 2017. That June, the Teen Mom season 6 finale showed disturbing footage of Ryan driving under the influence, and falling asleep at the wheel. Not only were Ryan and his now-wife Mackenzie Standifer on the way to their wedding, but Mackenzie quickly turned off the camera, instead of making Ryan pull over. The duo’s careless actions infuriated viewers, and shortly after, Ryan entered rehab for the first time. Ryan and Mackenzie (along with Ryan’s parents. Jen and Larry Edwards) were eventually fired from Teen Mom in March 2021.

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1. Teen Mom’s David Eason Kills Jenelle Evans’ Dog

David Eason and Jenelle Evans Teen Mom posing outside in forest

Jenelle and her husband David Eason have been involved in several controversies since meeting in 2015, but the biggest scandal of all occurred when David shot and killed Jenelle’s bulldog, Nugget, in 2019. Although the couple claimed that Nugget attacked their daughter Ensley, the incident, which occurred in front of her children, led to Jenelle temporarily losing custody of Ensley and son Kaiser, who was then 4-years-old. Jenelle regained custody a month later, but permanently lost her spot on Teen Mom 2 after MTV fired her. David’s contract was terminated a year earlier, because he posted homophobic comments online. While Jenelle quickly forgave David’s violent behavior, Teen Mom fans have despised them ever since.

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