In a kinder, gentler time when The Learning Channel actually imparted wisdom instead of a vague, lingering sense of shame, nobody knew who the Duggars were. That, of course, is a blessing long past. Today we know way too much about their weirdly sordid lives. And when I say way too much, I mean we have heaped before us a traumatic amount of information about the intimate habits of people to whom a full-frontal hug is a sinful act of eternal damnation.
However, there is a beacon beyond thirty-second side hugs and parentally-supervised text conversations about the Holy Spirit. That beacon is marriage, where you’re expected to go from gangly inexperience to a literal machine and you have tons of babies. But it’s not so bad being a Duggar kid; after all, you have lots of fun on chaperoned dates with a parentally-arranged partner you can never touch (lingering looks are okay…probably, if you’re thinking about the Bible). Until one of your chaperones is your creepy father who looks exactly like you’d expect a Jim Bob to look. Because it’s not enough to control literally every aspect of his children’s lives, he and his wife Michelle find it necessary to constantly make obnoxious faces in front of them so they understand what they’re all missing out on.
Marriage is, as we all know, the highest state of being (and the time to finally go wild with the full-frontal hugs like a member of the loose, public school-attending masses). Jim Bob and Michelle just want us to be aware of that… by constantly ensuring we never forget that they’re still basically a couple of teenage sweethearts.
15. They Recreated A Picture Of Their Daughter Kissing
You know what’s creepy? Copying (down to the exact same pose and black and white color scheme) a picture your daughter posted to her Instagram of herself and her husband kissing. Do you know what’s even creepier? Texting it to your daughter. Our parents violently confronting us like this would require years of therapy. No one wants to see their parents like that However, Jessa’s been guzzling the Kool-Aid for a long time now, so instead of curling up in the corner and wailing for a while, she instead posted the recreation to her Instagram with the caption: “My parents texted me this picture! This year marks 30 years of marriage, and they’re still in that ‘honeymoon’ stage! It’s great to see older married couples still so madly in love!”
14. They Blamed Josh Duggar’s Wife For His Issues With Staying Faithful
When yet another Josh-related scandal erupted, this time regarding the fact that he was cheating (or at least attempting to cheat) on his pregnant wife, the Duggars were accused of blaming Anna for Josh and his wandering “physical need of love.” She must have forgotten that time Michelle advised women to always be available to their husband, no matter how tired, pregnant, or sick. What a lazy, selfish “modern” woman who probably has ridiculous ideas about her rights to her own body. Kenny Baston, a pastor based in Colorado, recalled in a video message to his congregation an encounter with Michelle and Jim Bob during a marriage retreat at which they both spoke. During a speech on intimacy, Michelle seemed to confirm everyone’s suspicions by reiterating that “there’s only one woman who can meet that strong need he has that God put in him, and it’s you. Only you, lady.” It is nice to know that cheating is always the woman’s fault.
13. Jim Bob’s Gave His Wife Some Bizarre Birthday Wishes
During a recent video he made for Michelle’s 51st birthday, Jim Bob said, “Michelle, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. You are such a great wife, a great mother. I just love you so much and I’m so thankful for you. We’ve had a wonderful 33 years together so far, and looking forward to the next 33 years. And so I just want to tell you happy birthday. And I’m just in love with ya!” He apparently thought such an eloquent and natural expression of his love wasn’t quite complete, though, because he then turned to her, dipped her, and gave her a kiss that even seemed to startle Michelle, who returned his passion by leaving her arms limply dangling along her sides and, after rising, awkwardly chuckling as you do after every steamy, God-approved marital embrace.
12. Jim Bob Mocked Jason For Still Never Having Been Kissed
In a “sweet” birthday video for one of their middle sons, Jim Bob conveys his birthday wishes in a way that’s not at all weird and condescending. “Happy Birthday, Jason!” he said in the video Michelle posted to their family blog. “I can’t believe you’re 16 and never been kissed!” You can’t believe he’s followed your strict courtship rules about saving all kissing for marriage because cameras track him everywhere and you’re a psycho who will probably send him to Jesus camp for skipping hand-holding and going straight to first base? That seems reasonable. Did he once accidentally see a shocking unclad ankle flash past on a YouTube ad for a funny cat video and you’re afraid that he’s some sort of wild rebel who might at any moment ditch his chinos and combover?
11. They Flaunt Their Kissing To Their Kids
Back when Derick Dillard was still living in Nepal and not yet allowed to barely graze any of his fiancée’s parts, Jim Bob made sure to remind Jill that she was not permitted to kiss her future husband like some kind of bikini-wearing wild girl. In case she’d somehow missed all the numerous other incidents of parental PDA and didn’t understand this strange word “kissing” and all its fleshly connotations, Jim Bob made sure to plant one on Michelle right in front of her. Because denying your daughters all bodily autonomy (and reinforcing the idea that their bodies don’t belong to them) is close but no cigar, you might as well make sure they know exactly what they’re missing out on.
10. They Won’t Stop Bragging About All The Intimate Things They Are Allowed To Do (Unlike Their Kids)
Back when the show was still 17 Kids and Counting, Michelle made sure to remind a newly-engaged Josh and Anna that they couldn’t kiss before their wedding, saying, “You guys can’t kiss; we’ll be doing the kissing” before pecking Jim Bob. Because kissing a man who is unironically called Jim Bob stirs envy in the hearts of all who behold his looming Chiclets and Neanderthal upper lip. We don’t know why they don’t just mark each other like dogs, or why they even would feel the need to. Literally no one else wants him, Michelle. We’d rather just be alone. Or get one of those full-body pillows and put a wig on it. It would certainly have better hair, and more respect for women.
9. They Can’t Stop Giving TMI About Their Private Life
During a Today Show interview, the interviewer for some reason asked Jim Bob and Michelle if they were actively trying for baby number twenty. Because we don’t know enough about what goes on in their Jesus-sanctioned room, Jim Bob blurted out, “It’s fun trying!” Thanks, champ. Because watching you kissing Michelle’s entire head every three seconds to make sure we all know you’re getting a little something from your brainwashed mannequin wasn’t obvious enough. Also, for a man so obsessed with purity that he won’t even let his daughters wear anything knee-length, he talks a lot about what he’s doing with his wife that no one wants to hear to anyone who will listen. I guess when your face looks like a toe, you have to overcompensate a little with the TMI revelations.
8. They Offered Their Kids Kissing Lessons
We’re all embarrassed by our parents at some point or another. However, your parents probably didn’t sit you down for the birds and the bees explanation in front of a bunch of cameras. Nor did they explain to you how to act on those desires (once you’ve been legally bound in the house of God, of course) complete with hands-on demonstrations. That’s exactly what happened to Jessa and her then-fiancé Ben, who, prior to their wedding, received some helpful kissing lessons from Michelle and Jim Bob. “If you kiss straight-on, your noses hit together – see? So you have to turn – she turns one way, I turn the other,” Jim Bob explains, because “don’t slam your faces into one another, dummies” is a thing that’s definitely too difficult for people to figure out on their own and certainly requires an awkward, protracted kissing session from your parents while you sit in the corner chastely holding hands and dying inside.
7. They Made A “Kissing Challenge”
It wasn’t enough to copy Jessa’s PDA, then text it to her like some kind of weirdo competition nobody wins. Jim Bob and Michelle had to post the shot to their Facebook and make it an actual competition by issuing a kissing “challenge.” Married couples only, of course, all you hand-holding, frontal-hugging sinners. Straight married couples, that is. Because everyone is sick of the Duggars’ sanctimonious gabrage, a bunch of LGBT couples trolled the strictly conservative couple by posting their own kissing pictures – which were promptly deleted. After all, marriage is between a man and woman, in their messed-up minds. Don’t be offended, though. It’s just a sort of gross Bingo, and the Duggars are only trying to make sure they tick every single loathsome box.
6. They Posted A Photo Of Themselves Kissing Over Their Granddaughter
After the birth of Anna and Josh’s first child, a People Magazine photographer took a snap of them standing over the crib kissing. Cute (if you’re woefully ignorant of the fact that Josh, like his father before him, is a complete piece of garbage). Less cute: the Duggar patriarch and matriarch in almost the exact same pose. Perhaps it was an innocent suggestion of the photographer, and in normal circumstances, if it were your average family, it might even be a sweet moment. But this isn’t your average family and the fact that Michelle and Jim Bob seem to think the world will implode if they don’t constantly remind their children that they got to the kissing first and they’re doing way more of it is creepy as heck.
5. They Renewed Their Vows To Remind Everyone Of Their Uncomfortable Relationship
In 2009, for their 25th wedding anniversary, the Duggars decided to renew their vows. Certainly not gross in and of itself. Plenty of couples do it to mark big anniversaries. However, do we really need yet another reminder that Jim Bob and Michelle are lawfully wedded? Do their children need another reminder? They already have to gather together every anniversary to listen to Jim Bob and Michelle play recordings of their wedding, probably complete with a reenactment of the moment Jim Bob got permission to start legally slobbering all over Michelle’s face. But, oh wait, they were already doing that. Ma and Pa Duggar got to have all the fixings while they were still in the meager, sinning boyfriend/girlfriend stage. Then Jim Bob threw a tantrum about not being Michelle’s first kiss, and voila, now none of their children get to be normal. But we’re sure their enduring love is balm enough for their 312 children who basically live in a nicely-carpeted prison.
4. They Addressed Accusations Against Josh… By Banning Hide And Go Seek
Moving away from the overt displays of PDA for a moment, but certainly not away from moments when Michelle and Jim Bob made us want to heave. Let’s talk about an interview they gave following the Josh Duggar scandal. In it, they claimed they had put everyone involved into therapy… which is highly doubtful, considering the fact that they think women are solely responsible for tempting men. But the Duggars aren’t all bad; they took steps, like any responsible mother and father, to prevent such a horror from ever happening again. In fact, they put into place not one, not two, but three absolutely foolproof safeguards: they banned the boys from babysitting (baby care is women’s work anyway), forbid the younger children from sitting on the boys’ laps, and also put a ban on hide and go seek. That just tells everyone that you think the boys in your family will repeat Josh’s behavior if given the opportunity.
3. “We’re Like a Newlywed Couple Every Day”
We get it, Jim Bob. Despite the fact that logic and everything about you suggest otherwise, you are getting some love – regularly. Coincidentally ignoring that his wife is a member of a cult that believes women ought to act like literal baby-making machines and if not for this he would end up deservedly alone, Jim Bob enthuses during a Today interview that he and Michelle are like “a newlywed couple everyday.” This is because Michelle thinks she is the Chosen One who alone can fulfill Jim Bob’s “physical need of love.” In the interview, they also share how often they abstain, which is not a thing any of us need to know, ever. These people are fixated to an unhealthy degree on his “physical need of love.” It is very unnecessary for everyone to hear about it.
2. Spiritual Counselling
The Duggars are not licensed counsellors. Their solution upon discovering that their son was doing terrible things to his own sisters was to ban hide and go seek, and their marriage is only blissful because one of them is programmed to believe that, and the other has a slave at his service 24/7, but, sure, they seem qualified to be giving sensible life advice to young men and women just starting out on their journey. Every young Duggar couple gets a series of marital counselling sessions from the head Duggars, who apparently like to offer their wisdom in a public place – such as when they took Jill and Derick out for frozen yogurt and an awkward pre-marital talk. They meet once a week with the kids to go over various different issues that may crop up during marriage – but I think we all know which particular topic Jim Bob is going to circle back to over and over again. We know we love getting intimacy tips from our parents over a cup of fro-yo.
1. Mini Golf Trauma
Now here is the worst moment in a history of creepy tagalongs who are ready at any moment to physically leap into the middle of an immorally lingering thirty-one second side hug. When they were still in their courtship phase, Jessa and Ben went on a mini golf double date with their parents, who proceeded to constantly touch and kiss one another in front of these two kids who weren’t yet even allowed to hold hands. Jim Bob asked Michelle if it got her excited, as he and his combover rush gallantly in for the most romantic, tight-lipped bird peck the world has ever seen. Then, because Michelle is a mere woman, and a putt-putt course is not a laundry room, kitchen, or bedroom, Jim Bob thoughtfully helped her hold a golf club before she got too confused or frightened in the face of this strange new world. He did this in front of his repressed daughter and her boyfriend while reminding them that they don’t get to do any of this until marriage.