The Worst Things Kody Brown Has Ever Done On Sister Wives

From the moment it premiered on TLC in 2010, "Sister Wives" has been a controversial show. Many viewers take issue with the family's non-traditional makeup — patriarch Kody Brown is married to Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown, and Robyn Brown — as polygamy is illegal in the United States. (The Browns get around bigamy charges by ensuring that only one wife, Robyn Brown, is legally married to their shared husband, while the rest have only entered into spiritual marriages.) But there's another group of viewers who, managing to overlook the polygamy, have some not-so-glowing things to say about the family's patriarch.

Over the years, Kody has said and done a number of questionable, cringeworthy, and just plain awful things on "Sister Wives." Wondering why many viewers feel he is, as Screen Rant put it, "the villain" of the show? Brace yourself, because we've rounded up some of Kody Brown's most shining moments — and by "shining moments," we definitely mean "moments that'll leave mouths agape for all the wrong reasons."

He told Christine Brown he 'wasn't attracted' to her

In late 2021, Kody Brown's third wife, Christine Brown, announced on Instagram that she was leaving her husband of 27 years. She wrote, in part, "After more than 25 years together, Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave." Fans of "Sister Wives" had mixed reactions to the news; some were surprised Christine would take such a step given the couple's firm belief that divorce is a sin, while others weren't at all shocked.

For example, in a clip from the TLC series that was released to People in early 2022, Christine recounted how Kody had told her he was no longer attracted to her. She revealed that Kody said he was "not really interested" in being "intimate" with her anymore because he "didn't like [her] behavior" and because "he wasn't attracted to [her] or anything." Oof. The confessional seems to have been shot in the lead up to the couple's separation, judging by Christine's emotional reaction to her now ex-husband's harsh words. In the confessional, she said that while she was "heartbroken" by his statements, she also "wasn't okay" with being in a marriage that lacked intimacy, which is likely why, just a few months later, she decided to officially end things.

He said things with Meri Brown felt like 'a burden'

Relationships take work, we all know that. For a marriage to last multiple decades like Kody and Meri Brown's has, both people will have to put in some effort. Unfortunately, Kody Brown doesn't seem to see things that way, having demonstrated over and over that he's not really into doing any of the heavy lifting in his relationship with Meri.

In an interview for TLC in 2018, Kody said that he and Meri "purport" to be married but don't "cohabitate" because he "has no interest in being intimate" with her anymore. (If you're keeping track at home, that's now two wives Kody has said he's not physically attracted to). At the time, Meri told the interviewer she still longed to be closer to Kody but acknowledged that for that to happen it "would take two parties willing to work toward it," essentially implying that her husband wasn't doing the work.

Kody basically confirmed this in a confessional on a "Sister Wives" episode, saying that to fix things with Meri he could "buck up, put my backpack on, and go for a run, be tough about it." Alas, he was "not interested in doing that." Continuing, "For all of my marriage with Meri, I've felt like she unloads her emotions into a burden that I'm supposed to carry. I'm not carrying this burden, because there's no reason that I should." Pardon us while we pick our jaws up off the floor.

He 'shuddered' when he first met Robyn Brown

As of this writing, Robyn Brown is the only wife on good terms with Kody Brown. As a source told Us Weekly in January 2022, the patriarch of the Brown family has been "spending all his time with Robyn" and "didn't even try making [holiday] plans with the others." Despite their closeness, even Robyn hasn't been spared from Kody's acid tongue. In an interview with Natalie Morales for TLC, Kody described how he "shuddered" and "actually had an ick factor" when he first met Robyn. His fourth wife quickly explained that it was because she was divorced and had kids which, apparently, "is a lot" for a grown man/potential boyfriend to deal with.

The incident isn't the only time Kody has acted like Robyn's previous romantic history has been especially taxing on him. (Just a reminder, she was 32 years old when they met, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise that she could have had previous relationships.) In another early interview for "Sister Wives," Kody talked about how he had "reservations" about getting involved with Robyn because he "didn't want to have to work really hard in a relationship" and was unsure if she was "justified" in her divorce, putting his regressive ideas about relationships on full display.

Kody Brown called Janelle Brown 'lazy'

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kody Brown came up with a laundry list of rules for his wives and their households to follow if they wanted him around. Among the dozens of instructions were things like "clean mail with alcohol wipes" and "sanitize ... groceries with alcohol wipes," directives that left his second wife, Janelle Brown, "astounded." In a clip from "Sister Wives" obtained by People, Kody reacts to Janelle's resistance to his rules by calling her "lazy," saying "you can mock it or you can find a way." Continuing, "Are you too lazy to do a few chores? All these are is little chores." Say what you will about his list, but suggesting your spouse is lazy is... not the move. (Cut to December 2021 when, as The Hollywood Gossip reported, Kody told a Cameo recipient that he believed his "cure has been worse than the disease.")

The tension between the couple created by these covid rules didn't dissipate right away. Per Entertainment Tonight, Kody and Janelle discuss what she refers to as "the 10 billion commandments of Kody" in another episode when he tries to guilt-trip her into following them. He says their discussion should be a little "prick to your conscience," which she, in a rare moment of standing up to him, replies to by telling Kody to "f**k off." We can only imagine that he didn't take that response too well.

He refused to attend his daughter's surgery

Most of the time, Kody Brown's ire is directed at his wives, but once in a while one of his children gets the brunt. Towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kody's daughter Ysabel Brown, whom he shares with third wife Christine Brown, needed surgery. The teenager suffers from scoliosis and was set to get an operation that could help correct some of her spine's curvature, but the hospital was all the way in New Jersey. So, that meant the family would have to fly across the country. Kody opted out.

Per People, in a "Sister Wives" episode that included the surgery, Kody revealed that he wouldn't be joining Ysabel on the trip because of the ongoing pandemic. "I think it's very risky," he explained. To make matters worse, in the same breath Kody used to inform his daughter he wouldn't be there for her, he also told her, according to Starcasm, not to let his absence turn her into "a bitter old housewife." In response, Ysabel tearfully called out her dad's decision, telling the cameras, "I think I'm a little upset that he can't go because he's always talking about how family comes first. But when it comes down to it, I need him there, and he's not putting his daughter above the fear that he has of the pandemic."

As The Sun noted, he was "slammed" online following the episode. The reactions can be summed up by one Redditor's comment: "Kody is hot garbage."

He said he 'was not attracted' to Christine Brown

Ready for another humdinger courtesy of Kody Brown? Let's take a gander at what he's said about third wife Christine Brown's looks. In the family's book "Becoming Sister Wives," Kody wrote of one of their first meetings, "I was convinced Christine was the cutest girl in the world, although she was a little chubby. Back then I was young and superficial enough to care about physical appearances." But given some of his later statements on her appearance, it seems he hasn't really stopped caring about such things.

Case in point, in a 2012 interview with Natalie Morales, the Brown family patriarch said, "I will be honest, I was not attracted to Christine in any kind of physical sense." When Morales pushed him on the issue, clarifying that he wasn't drawn to Christine on a surface level, he said, "That's an understatement." Kody went on to try to say that his complete lack of physical attraction to Christine was okay because they "have children together, have a life together" and they've "found their sweet spot." Maybe it's just us, but that doesn't exactly seem like a kind thing to say about a partner on national TV

Kody Brown wants to be 'obeyed'

Kody Brown frequently reminds his wives (and the audience) that he's the head of the family, and that perspective isn't always received well. As Screen Rant noted in 2022, "Many 'Sister Wives' viewers believe Kody Brown's love of domination when it comes to his large family unit is completely out of date." Kody feels he has higher status than his wives, and because he's above them they must obey him. If you think we're exaggerating, just look back to the "Polygamist Pilgrimage into the Past" episode of "Sister Wives" where Kody loses it on his wives for not just falling in line.

After driving across the country for two days, the Browns are all getting a little tired and feeling the effects of spending so much time together. No one more so than Kody, who, after Meri offers to drive in order to give him a break, flips out and storms away. As recounted by Today, he said, "I wanted to bark orders and have them obeyed." Understandably his wives — four grown women who desire to be treated like equals, not naughty children — weren't thrilled with his word choice. For her part, Christine Brown fired back, "I think that word, 'obey,' is in fact a four-letter word. For you to just throw out, 'I think you should obey me' ... that's offensive."

Kody Brown's uncool thoughts on PMS

Up next, we have the comments Kody Brown has made about his wives' menstrual cycles. In a "Sister Wives" episode shot in 2014, Kody gets into an argument with Christine Brown over a way that he's hurt her. Emotional, Christine seeks her husband out to make her feelings known, but rather than discuss the real issue between them or take any accountability for his actions, Kody blames her outburst on PMS. According to Starcasm, he told her, "From now on, when you are like that I am walking away. I'm not addressing you, I'm not engaging you. I'm not going to have you rattle me to the core, in every sense of my being, and then act like it's all okay."

In another episode seasons earlier, Hollywood Life recounted that Kody told a fellow polygamist husband that his wives are "demonic" when they're on their periods and that their monthly cycles make him feel "abused." Janelle Brown told Kody she gets "frustrated" when she's "reduced to her biology."

His thoughts on PMS, unsurprisingly, ticked off some "Sister Wives" viewers. One Redditor called his remarks "sexist as all get out," and another wrote that he "completely invalidated Christine's emotions." Per Us Weekly, Kody shared on a 2015 "Sister Wives Tell All" special that he considered parting ways with the show after catching so much so much flack for his comments. "I'm sorry that I didn't understand it well enough," he said. "And I'm sorry that it becomes a very offensive and polarizing thing,"

Kody Brown has implied he didn't enjoy his weddings

You'd think a man that has had four wedding days would remember at least one of them fondly. Not Kody Brown, apparently. Over the years, he's implied that none of his wedding days were fun, enjoyable, or even particularly memorable. In one clip from "Sister Wives," Kody explained, "Wedding days for polygamous men aren't necessarily an easy day. ... I feel really kind of sad for a plumas man on his wedding day because he has really such a challenging balancing act that it's almost impossible to feel an intimate relationship with your new bride."

In "Becoming Sister Wives," Kody writes that he showed up to his wedding to Christine Brown with "a thousand-yard stare," feeling "the weight of the world on [his] shoulders" and juggling "nervous and apprehensive" feelings. Fully aware that her groom wasn't totally stoked about their big day, Christine told the "Sister Wives" cameras that her wedding "was sad" and they "just did not make a big deal out of any of it." Eesh.

Kody Brown said he felt 'stymied' by his wives

According to the American Psychological Association, open communication and "constructive strategies like listening to your partner's point of view and understanding their feelings" are important to a relationship. Said strategies can come into play when making big life decisions, and as relationship therapist Virginia Gilbert told HuffPost, "If one person dictates everything, and the other has to choose between being a doormat or taking the highway, the highway is the better choice."

Different strokes for different folks, apparently. In a session of relationship counseling that made its way to the airwaves by way of "Sister Wives," Kody Brown declared that he felt "stymied" because "everything we've done has always had to be by committee." When asked by the therapist if he was okay with making group decisions about group issues, Kody replied with a resounding "No." He continued, "There are very few decisions I'm ever allowed to make in this family... I don't feel like I've ever been empowered as the head of this family. Ever." 

Kody Brown married his stepsister

As you might've deduced, the Browns don't quite adhere to a conventional American family structure. However, their situation is even less conventional than you might've realized. In a Season 2 episode of "Sister Wives" (via Jezebel), Kody shared, "Janelle's mom met my dad, and they fell in love, and they got married about three months before Janelle and I got married." Their parents met when Janelle's mom accompanied her daughter to her new boyfriend's family ranch in Wyoming. There, Sheryl connected with Kody's dad and sparks flew. Their resulting nuptials made Kody and Janelle (who were not yet married at the time) siblings.

While Kody and Janelle aren't biologically related and didn't grow up in the same household as brother and sister, there's still something about the fact that they have any sort of familial relationship outside of their own marriage — and that their parents hit it off when they were still dating. "[Kody and Janelle] were a thing first so I think that makes the parents weird," one Redditor wrote. "I mean, the whole family and their relationships to each other is weird."

To their credit, they seem to acknowledge that the situation is a bit strange. In the episode, Janelle said, "It's one of those things that [is] joked about in polygamous circles, and it's usually derogatory, but I just want to make it clear that it's not anything funny going on here. It was just a matter of circumstance."