Moments From Sister Wives No One Will Forget

In the late aughts, the United States was introduced to a family living what most citizens consider to be a unique lifestyle. The Browns, who can be found on TLC's hit show "Sister Wives," are a polygamist family comprised of one husband, his four (now three — more on that later) wives, and their many children. Kody Brown is the patriarch of the family. He legally married his first wife, Meri, but his following marriages to Janelle, Christine, and Robyn were not recognized by law.

The Browns were one of the first families in the United States to advertise their polygamous lifestyle so candidly, opening themselves up to potential investigation by authorities and judgment from viewers. During their time on television, we've witnessed strange moments in the Browns' lives, some of which are very unique to them, as well as everyday moments and major life events that many of us experience.

The best part? We as viewers have been able to come along with them for a very interesting ride. These are the moments from "Sister Wives" no one will forget.

Robyn and Kody Brown's wedding

Although we knew nothing about the Browns, aside from the obvious, when their show began, fans were not surprised to learn that Kody Brown wanted another wife. That's kind of the point of polygamy, right? After discovering that Kody was courting a fourth bride-to-be, we were introduced to Robyn, a woman with three children from a previous monogamous marriage who was intent on joining a polygamous family.

The first season of "Sister Wives" revolved around Kody and Robyn's courtship, as well as how the other wives were adjusting to the new addition to their family, and it ended with a wedding. As viewers, we weren't privy to the actual ceremony — that wasn't filmed — but the family did share photos from the day with Oprah, and they filmed the reception.

Kody has since shared his true thoughts on his wedding day, noting that he found it to be a sad affair due to living as a polygamist. "I didn't connect with my bride on our wedding day," he said on "Sister Wives" in 2018, explaining that it was difficult to do with his other wives present for the happy occasion. 

Robyn and Kody Brown's honeymoon

First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes three more marriages, if you're Kody Brown. And with the fourth marriage comes an 11-day honeymoon that angers your three other wives.

To celebrate their nuptials, Kody and his fourth wife, Robyn Brown, left the rest of the family behind for over a week, and Meri, Janelle, and Christine were not shy about venting their frustration over the trip. "I don't know what's acceptable, but I think 11 days is ridiculous," Janelle said about the length of their trip, lamenting that she was angry, despite feeling that she shouldn't be angry. Christine assured Janelle her anger was justified, and Meri offered her own thoughts on the matter, noting, "My biggest thing about them being gone for their honeymoon is just missing him."

Kody didn't seem to miss his other wives quite as much as they missed him, though. As People reported, "Kody said, 'Actually, I'm gonna probably take a couple days before I contact them.'" Robyn didn't find this plan so stellar, and she encouraged him to reach out sooner than planned. Fans have long thought Robyn to be Kody's favorite of his wives, and this incident only served as evidence to bolster their suspicions. 

When the family fled Utah

Although one of the goals of "Sister Wives" at the onset was to normalize polygamy, many of the life events we've seen documented on the show have been anything but normal. Packing your belongings and moving your entire family to another state to avoid prosecution is certainly not normal for most families, but for the Browns, it's just another day in the life.

Per In Touch, prior to 2020, polygamy was a felony in Utah, where the Browns resided when viewers first met the family. After going public with their lifestyle, the Browns feared prosecution and felt it was safest for the family to move. For further safety, they moved in secret. (Well, as secret as something can be when it's filmed for national television.)

"We did not know how aggressive the district attorney would be, so we didn't want him finding out that we were leaving," Kody told Oprah of his family's decision to move. Proving their fear, the Browns left Utah for Nevada in the middle of the night, the entire family moving into a rental home together until each wife could find a home of her own.

When the family left Nevada

After living in Las Vegas for many years, the Brown family packed up and moved again, this time to Flagstaff, Arizona. Although it was the family's second move, this one was under much calmer circumstances. Still, the idea to relocate a second time was initially met with pushback from the wives.

As reported by In Touch, the decision to move was partially financial. Supporting one family is expensive, and Kody Brown has four to provide for. Not only is it cheaper to live in Flagstaff than in Las Vegas, but the Browns also wanted to spend more time outdoors. "We are looking forward to cooler temperatures, the mountain air, scenic views and the slower lifestyle of Flagstaff," read a joint statement from the family, per People

To celebrate their new home, Kody and some of his children took a dip in the pond on their property, with the family patriarch giving viewers the most intimate look at him yet: Kody in his underwear. That moment might be more memorable than the move itself.

When Kody and Meri Brown divorced

For most of the show, Kody Brown has had four wives, but only one of them was a legal union — the rest were all spiritual. Kody's first wife, Meri Brown, was his legal wife for over 20 years, but things changed when his fourth wife, Robyn Brown, joined the family.

Robyn entered her marriage with Kody with children from a previous relationship, the three of whom Kody wanted to adopt. In order to do so, Kody and Robyn needed a legal marriage, not just a spiritual one, which required a divorce from Meri.

Meri, ever one to do what's best for the Brown family, initiated the process and committed what the rest of the family saw as a selfless act. "It's about the kids. It's about the unity of the family," she said of her decision during a "Sister Wives Tell All" special (via People). Despite willingly ending her legal marriage so Robyn's kids could be adopted, Meri was still, understandably, heartbroken when the divorce was finalized. "If ever I'm having an emotional moment ... I just think, it's not about me. It's about the kids," she said of her coping strategy for the ordeal.

Meri Brown's catfishing incident

Fans of both "Sister Wives" and messy reality television will never forget when the two became one (if they weren't already). After Kody and Meri Brown's divorce, Meri struggled in her relationship with her spiritual husband. The divorce marked a major shift between the two, and Meri sought companionship elsewhere in 2015.

Unfortunately, the companionship she thought she was receiving was quite different than what it seemed. She began communicating with someone online whom she developed strong feelings for, even though they'd never met in person. "I got into this situation, talking to one person who really made me trust him," Meri said of what she thought was an honest relationship. Come to find out, the person she was spilling her heart out to and even sending racy messages was actually a woman posing as a man. According to In Touch, Meri's catfisher is known for her online luring.

Kody and Meri's relationship has never been the same since the incident, and Kody admitted years later that he no longer wants an intimate relationship with his wife, while Meri shared she would like to work on their relationship. However, they weren't even cohabitating anymore. 

When Christine Brown kicked Kody Brown out

Dedicated fans of "Sister Wives" know that Christine and Kody Brown struggled in their marriage for years — an episode in 2015 showed the two at couple's therapy, and Christine explained that one of her issues was feeling like she "didn't really have a voice" in their relationship. Despite their best attempts at reconciliation, in Season 16, their marriage essentially came to an end.

In the final episode of the season, Kody told Christine he was no longer interested in having an intimate relationship with her. Christine was uninterested in having a marriage without intimacy, and soon after their conversation, she packed his things and moved them to the garage, indicating she was no longer interested in a marriage at all. "I don't know what the future looks like," Christine said after kicking her husband out of her house (via ET). "I think I need to talk to her about how serious she is," Kody said, seemingly in disbelief over his wife's actions.

Apparently, she was very serious. In late 2021, Christine announced her split from Kody via Instagram, thanking fans for their "understanding and compassion."

When Janelle Brown told Kody Brown to f*** off

The COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy on anybody. For polygamists, though, it brought on a slew of challenges that no one could have predicted, and the general population likely didn't consider. In Season 16, viewers saw the Browns struggle with opposing views on gatherings for their family, and these differences in opinions became especially troubling when the family was deciding how to celebrate the holidays.

Two of the wives, in particular, Janelle and Christine, felt very disrespected by Kody, leading Janelle to use quite colorful language. After discussing the rules her husband mandated that she, her children, and the rest of the family follow in order to gather for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Janelle left the rest of the wives and Kody with a very strongly worded, yet terse, message for her husband. "F*** off," she said (via ET).

In a confessional, Janelle further aired her grievances with Kody, saying, "He acts like I'm not doing anything," before listing the measures she's taken to protect herself from the virus. In the end, the family gathered for Christmas, but not without further discussion between the parents.

When we learned Janelle and Kody are step-siblings

Just when you think "Sister Wives" can't get more shocking, it somehow does. The relationships on the show are unconventional enough, but one marriage, in particular, stands out among the rest. Fans of the show were shocked to learn that Kody and Janelle Brown aren't just husband and wife — they're step-siblings, too.

"Before Kody and I were really courting, I was actually friends with his family. My mom was worried I was getting sucked into some polgyamous cult. But she ended up meeting Kody's dad and they ended up falling in love and getting married before Kody and I started courting," Janelle disclosed on the show, per In Touch. If you're still in disbelief after reading that — you read it correctly. Janelle's mom and Kody's dad were married to each other before Janelle and Kody got married.

It doesn't get much weirder than marrying your step-sibling, but, per Radar Online, Kody was also married to his cousin. That's right, Kody and Christine are distant relatives. But since they're no longer together, it's no longer weird? We'll let you play jury on that one.