The Sister Wives Conflicts Kody Brown Seemingly Dramatized For TLC

Reality television needs to have a healthy dose of drama for the genre to make sense, and TLC's "Sister Wives" is no stranger to this with 17 seasons under its belt. The show has been following the polygamist Brown clan since 2010, and the plural family has had quite a few conflicts in front of the cameras. While we will probably never know if any of them were real, just slightly dramatized, or completely blown out of proportion, one thing is for sure — reality fans can't get enough of the Browns.

Kody Brown, the family's husband and father, has been through a lot as the eyes of the world gawked at him. Three of his original four wives have decided to end their marriages, and now the polygamist is left with only one wife, Robyn Brown. The family had many quarrels before the breakups went down, but now, with the dynamic between everyone changing completely, the show needs to go on, and so does the drama.

From blaming everybody else but himself for everything he possibly can to not talking to his children for disobeying his strict COVID-19 protocols he doesn't follow himself, Kody is a perplexing reality star who knows how to deliver a storyline.

Kody accused Christine of blowing his chance with Meri

Kody Brown and his first wife, Meri Brown, announced their separation in January 2023 on their respective Instagram accounts. Before calling it quits, they claimed to have worked on their relationship for years, but something always got in the way of their reconciliation. Or did it? According to Meri, she had been trying to get back on good terms with Kody for quite some time, but he kept pushing her away.

"I want to work on the relationship, but Kody has basically said that he doesn't. Does that mean we're just not married anymore? That's not how I consider it. I feel like we're still married," Meri stated in one of the show's episodes, as per Today. In the same segment, Kody revealed he wouldn't object to Meri moving on with another man, as he doesn't feel like the two are a couple anymore. At this point, everything made sense, but not for long.

By the season's end, which was just a couple of months later, the patriarch claimed he was actually considering reuniting with Meri but that Christine Brown, his ex-wife, was the one who blew the whole thing. Robyn Brown, Kody's only remaining wife, confirmed his unexpected allegation. But the thing is, Christine doesn't remember any of it. "That's a lie. That's not me, and I would never do that," she said to TLC's cameras, visibly frustrated (via Entertainment Tonight). As Kody and Meri ultimately broke up, his attempt to reconcile might've been just for show.

The family didn't flee Utah like the show made it seem

One of "Sister Wives" earlier seasons focused heavily on a storyline that was heavily dramatized for the cameras. In Season 2, according to Cheat Sheet, the Brown clan faced alleged prosecution from the state of Utah, where they lived at the time. Gwendlyn Brown, who is Kody and Christine Brown's daughter, even claimed the police came to their Lehi house when she was younger and told them they had to leave, Us Weekly reported.

However, an article published by USA Today disclosed that Utah's attorney general fully dismissed the bigamy case as Kody was a law-abiding citizen on all other points. This didn't stop TLC from framing the story as dramatically as possible, making it seem like the Browns had cop cars chasing them as they tried to leave the city of Lehi.

The reality stars themselves debunked this storyline, probably unknowingly. In an interview with Joy Behar, which was transcripted, the plural family talked about the case, stating that nobody ever officially contacted them. "All we know about the investigation is stuff we've read about in the papers," said Meri Brown. Not only that, but Janelle Brown, Kody's second wife at the time, revealed that their move to Las Vegas was in the works before the entire prosecution story broke out. Not even the truth beats a good reality TV rating, it seems.

Janelle's RV purchase rubbed Kody the dramatic way

Janelle and Kody Brown have had their fair share of televised conflict, but just how much of it was real? One of their unusually explosive fights happened some time after the family purchased the infamous Coyote Pass land in 2018. They quickly realized their dream houses would take longer to come to life than they initially expected. For this reason, according to Today, Janelle decided she would rather live in an RV than search for a rental until her home gets built.

This completely threw Kody off balance for whatever reason, making him go on a rampage about how Janelle doesn't respect him. "Men don't feel love from women who don't respect them. I feel like Janelle struggles to respect me or show me respect. If you don't respect me, don't bother with the love. It just doesn't work in my world," said the controversial polygamist. While it could be argued that such a decision should've been made jointly between spouses, as Janelle lived in the RV alone, it makes no sense for her to include Kody's wishes in her temporary housing situation.

In the episode, Kody went on to state that he wanted to be the head of his household again and that he needed his wives to conform to the patriarchy. Janelle, on the other hand, dismissed his notion, saying that he had never been patriarchal to that level before. While Kody might've just been bothered by his ex's independence, the whole thing seems unnecessarily dramatic.

Kody broke his own COVID-19 rules

Kody Brown's strict pandemic rules had everyone on edge, and some of his children definitely got the short end of the stick. On-screen, that is, as Kody's behavior might've been exaggerated for the cameras considering what he was doing behind the scenes.

When Ysabel Brown, Christine Brown's daughter, had to get back surgery to fix her scoliosis, her dad opted out of accompanying her as it would be too time-consuming and risky, People reported. "Ysabel's surgery was at a time and [in] a situation where it would have required that I be six or eight weeks away from home," Kody explained himself in an episode. However, he didn't stay put; instead, the polygamist was photographed at a friend's wedding around the same time. This ultimately severed his relationship with Ysabel as well as with Christine, who later revealed that was the last straw that made her leave the self-proclaimed patriarch.

Janelle Brown's two sons also got a piece of Kody's mind when they refused to follow his elaborate list of rules before hanging out with him. Gabriel and Garrison Brown weren't too keen on dad's orders to abandon their social lives completely, which caused Kody to cut off all contact with the duo, as per In Touch Weekly. As he had his fun at the wedding he attended on the low, Kody's pandemic panic is starting to seem like a front for the show.

Kody all of a sudden needs to spend more time with Truely

After splitting from Kody Brown, Christine Brown and her new-found freedom became the show's new storyline. The pair announced their separation on social media in 2021 after spending more than 25 years together. During most of their marriage, all six of their children lived with their mom, as did all of Kody's other kids, while he shuffled between them before ultimately moving in with Robyn Brown. The patriarch had no issue with that, even when he was accused of not splitting time evenly with his kids.

However, when Christine left Kody, their youngest child, Truely Brown, was still underage, so Christine planned on moving to Utah with her. "Oh no, you can't take her from me. Because we'll have to have shared custody. It'll have to be 50/50," Kody responded in the heated argument, as per Insider. Christine didn't let that slide, letting her ex know that he was never there for her side of the family, which is why shared custody isn't an option. "I find it ironic that now [Kody] wants to be involved in my kids' lives, now that I'm leaving. Now he wants 50/50 time with them?"

While any devoted father would've reacted the way Kody did here, it truly seems odd that he was never interested in spending so much time with Truely until Christine decided to leave him. We can't know for sure, but it seems Kody might be on a mission to make the separation as hard as possible for his ex.