How Much Do The Couples On Unexpected Get Paid?

TLC's Unexpected is the latest reality show to tackle teenage pregnancy, following MTV super-hits 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, both of which have made serious stars of the likes of Leah Messer, Kailyn Lowry, and Amber Portwood. The first season followed the journeys of Lilly, McKayla, and Lexus as they struggled to juggle school, relationships, and the impact their pregnancies had on their already complicated home lives.

Shows like Unexpected and Teen Mom frequently come under fire for glamorizing the difficult lives of teenage girls who become pregnant, but considering how things have demonstrably improved over the past decade, at least for participants like Messer and Lowry, financially speaking, it stands to reason these young mothers have more to gain than lose for taking part.

Unexpected is still a new show, so salaries should only increase

Season 3, which kicked off in August, saw McKayla return to the fold alongside a slew of new couples, much to the disappointment of a vocal subsection of fans (via TV Shows Ace). With the show's popularity growing exponentially, surely the cast's pay is increasing too, right?

It's difficult to know just how much they're actually earning, because the Unexpected cast's salaries are not publicly available. But, judging by The Cheat Sheet's run-through of what various TLC stars are making across the board, it could be anything from $1,000 per episode, like those featured on 90 Day Fiancé, to tens of thousands, which is more in line with what the Busbys get paid for OutDaughtered. The show is still, technically, in its infancy, so parsing how much the moms stand to make is tough.

The Unexpected stars probably aren't making the big bucks yet

However, a recent update from McKayla suggested that the show isn't necessarily a financial boon for participants, as she's not rolling in the dough just yet. In an emotional YouTube video, posted in September, the Unexpected star revealed she was depressed and on medication. "I don't have time for literally anything. I go to school, I come home, I study. I'm probably going to have to drop out and get a job, and then go back to college when my kids are older and can understand why mommy's not around," she explained.

In fact, McKayla advised, "I might not be in college for much longer for the simple fact that right now I'm not really making any money because I don't have time for YouTube, which, as most of you guys know, YouTube is my job. And I just don't have time for it anymore." Without making videos on a consistent basis, McKayla is finding it harder to make ends meet, admitting, "I need a job, whether it's YouTube, whether it's actually going out and getting job."