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Series / 16 and Pregnant

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16 and Pregnant is an MTV reality series produced by Morgan Freeman, (No, not THAT one) and was first broadcast on June 11, 2009. It follows the stories of teenage girls dealing with the hardships of teenage pregnancy. Each episode features a different teenage girl; the episode typically begins when she is four to eight months into her pregnancy, and typically ends when the baby is a few months old. The series is produced in a documentary format, with commercial breaks preceded by an animation of an elaborate cartoon depiction on notebook paper of each episode's highlights.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Not any of the girls themselves, but their parents (who are obviously soon-to-be grandparents). The mothers of Catelynn and Farrah come to mind. However, some of the teen moms have had their parenting skills (or lack thereof) criticised. This could be put down to simply not knowing what they're doing, being incredibly young, genuinely not caring or a mix.
    • Farrah herself has been accused of taking her daughter, Sophia into adult situations involving men as well as having her feature on her OnlyFans accounts (NOT in that manner but still seen as inappropriate considering what the site is used for).
    • Jenelle has been accused of being party (or more so, witness to) violence against her children, particularly Kaiser from her current husband, David. She's also shown in the past that she's been quite selfish and cared more about partying and getting high than trying to gain access of her eldest son, Jace.
    • Kailyn's mother, Suzy, was shown to be an alcoholic during Kailyn's run on Teen Mom 2. However, Kailyn said her mother had never been malicious towards her and was suffering from an illness. The two now don't communicate after Kailyn left her son, Lincoln with Suzy who then got drunk whilst she was supposed to be babysitting.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Averted; the girls are often an object lesson in how being pregnant so young can ruin your life: chaining you to a Jerkass boyfriend (if they even stick around at all), making it extremely difficult for you to finish school (let alone attend college), and keeping you in debt, potentially shattering any dreams you might have for the future.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: A few of the mothers. Some mature once the baby is born, some... don't.
    • Farrah, in particular, bounces between this and Children Raise You, often within the span of minutes.
    • Jenelle, period.
    • Chelsea. Although she's not shown to be nasty like some of the others, she's definitely spoiled and has traces of being bratty. This is usually shown in the early seasons when she's having issues with renting her home and fighting with her ex, Adam - she goes straight to her dad, Randy and whines down the phone.
  • But We Used a Condom!: Sometimes. The entire point of the show is to hammer home the need to protect yourself against pregnancy and STIs.
  • Character Development: Always, not always in a favorable direction.
    • Jenelle goes up and down. She began the show struggling with drug addiction, constantly arguing with her mother and signing over custody of her son, Jace. She seemed to be getting her act together with her boyfriend, Nathan, eventually having a second child and getting engaged. However, they split up and she seems to have spiralled into a somewhat bizarre (and allegedly abusive) marriage with her current husband, David whereby she's been involved in pulling a gun on a stranger in front of Jace, her dog being killed by her husband and them building a house in the middle of a swamp land.
  • Daddy DNA Test: One episode featured the father's family giving his wife an at-home DNA kit and demanding that she take it to prove that the baby is his. She refused and stormed out of the house.
  • Domestic Abuse: Amber, toward Gary.
    • One girl (Jennifer Del Rio) got in a fight with her baby-daddy while they were out driving. He pushed her out of the car and drove off with the twins.
    • Another girl found out her (unemployed) baby-daddy wasn't using the internet to look for a job anymore, but was instead chatting with another girl on Myspace. Later, when she confronted him about it, she ended up hitting him.
    • Kailyn towards Jo and Javi. She was shown on camera hitting Javi after a stressful argument but they stayed together and got married.
  • From Bad to Worse: Most of the girls have quite tragic stories.
    • Farrah. First, the father dies in a car crash. She's forced to live with her family, which is less than ideal. Then, we learn her mother is physically abusive. If that wasn't enough, the father's family first tries to prove that he isn't the father and then when the paternity test says he is, immediately sues her for not giving them enough time with the baby. The cherry on top? She wanted an abortion, and it's implied her mother used emotional abuse to make her have the child. How much of this is truth and how much is Manipulative Editing is up to the viewer. Not just in the show; Farrah has had extensive plastic surgeries as well as making two sex-tapes and entering rehab, this girl is finding herself in worse and worse trouble in real life...
    • Jenelle. She finds herself pregnant with her ex-boyfriend at the age of 16, who is then absent throughout the pregnancy. She signs custody of her son to her mother, Babs who she has a tumultuous relationship with. She then bounces from different boyfriends, struggles with drug addiction, goes on probation and has an abortion. Jenelle finally seems to meet a nice guy who she argues with but still has a child with. She continues getting in trouble and meets her current husband, David who she has another child with. They are marred by rumours of domestic violence; he kills their dog after it nips their daughter and are now not allowed to appear on the show...
    • Leah. Gets pregnant with her boyfriend of a month and has twins at the age of 17. They decide to get married (whether this was from outside pressure or not is down to interpretation). One of the twins is revealed to have a severe disability. They get divorced and Leah finds love with a new man, Jeremy and they quickly get married and have another child. Leah begins suffering with anxiety and migraines, which leads to a struggle with painkiller addiction. She then divorces Jeremy and nearly loses custody of her children.
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: Catelynn and Tyler, although they were dating before their parents were.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Some of the parents and some of the girls believe in this trope.
    • Averted in a spin-off special No Easy Decision where Markei, a girl previously featured on the show, became pregnant a second time and decided to abort it.
    • May be something of an unintentional deconstruction; see Babies Make Everything Better and, on the YMMV page, Accidental Aesop.
    • Completely averted in a season 4 episode featuring a girl whose older sister became pregnant around the same time as her and decided to abort the pregnancy. The girls go back and forth about who made the "right" decision, with the new mom eventually telling her sister that even though she loved her baby, if she could go back, she would have ended her pregnancy.
    • Chelsea has a pregnancy scare after hooking up with Adam after they had split up. She is seen talking to her friend about the possibility of being pregnant again and when asked if she would keep it, she says she would have.
    • Jenelle has an abortion after she splits up with her ex-boyfriend, Gary. She is shown to be upset but decides it's the right decision. She gets together with Nathan weeks later, thinks she's pregnant but is actually not. When she does get pregnant with Nathan's child, they argue and he all but says she should have an abortion because they can't get on.
    • Farrah has alluded to the fact that she wanted to have an abortion when she initially found out she was pregnant however, her family pushed her to have the child against her wishes.
  • Jerkass: Usually the fathers of the babies, but sometimes the mothers themselves.
    • Chelsea's ex-boyfriend, Adam never consistently showed up for their daughter, Aubree. He signed over his rights to his second child, has been arrested multiple times and has a drug problem.
    • Most(if not all) of Jenelle's exes. They're either in jail, have a drug problem or anger management issues.
    • Amber's exes, Matt and Andrew both have pasts involving stalking.
  • Mama Bear: A lot of the girls are very protective of their newborns. This isn't exclusive to them, though— Jamie's mom stands out as being fiercely protective of her daughter AND granddaughter.
  • Miss Conception: Needless to say, a few girls had no idea how human reproduction worked, or still believed various rumors about what does or doesn't prevent pregnancy.
  • Not Blood Siblings: After Catelynn and Tyler started dating, his dad married her mom. Becoming step-siblings didn't stop Catelynn and Tyler from dating and getting engaged.
  • Panicky Expectant Father
  • Spin-Off: Teen Mom
    • And of that, Teen Mom 2.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Duh.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Farrah is called out by a few different people on being more interested in getting a new boyfriend than taking care of her baby. She's since done multiple sex tapes and released adult toys which the other moms on the cast allegedly had a problem with.
    • Jenelle. She's rarely seen with Jace and when she does see him, she looks like she's more interested in her phone and gets in repeated arguments with her mother before storming out.
      • She was filmed getting in a fight with another girl. Jenelle and the girls who were encouraging the fight ended up getting arrested for it. You can find the fight video on YouTube.
      • She was repeatedly helped out and bailed out by her lawyer and her mother when she kept failing drug tests during her probation. She (in)famously stated to her lawyer that she couldn't go to prison that week because she was going to a Kesha concert.
    • Kailyn in a way. She was allowed to stay with Jo as long as she didn't date. However she ended up dating someone else and she went back to living with her mother for awhile after telling Jo and being kicked out. More recently, she's been criticised for seeming petty about her ex-boyfriends/husband and how she deals with it on social media.
    • Possibly Amber, when she was smacking her baby daddy around.
    • In a season 4 episode, the babydaddy's grandmother, who was a bit of a Cool Old Lady, sat the soon-to-be parents down and gave them one of these, calling out the girl for missing her birth control pills and her grandson for not using a condom.
    • Chelsea. She was clearly struggling with getting over Adam in the early seasons but despite his awful treatment of her (and their child), she continued to hook up with him, unprotected!
    • Corey and Leah, possibly. The early seasons saw her and Corey marry after having their twins super quickly. However, they divorce when it's revealed Leah cheated with an ex-boyfriend from school. When Leah finds love with Jeremy, she continues back and forth with Corey about whether they have feelings for each other and to try again - all whilst Jeremy hangs about like a lost puppy.