Twenty-seven years ago Gil and Kelly Jo Bates tied the knot with no plans to have kids. Fast forward 19 kids later and this tight-knit family, seemingly too good to be true, has a tremendous bond but are far from perfect. As you will see, when you have a house full of 19 children, from ages two to 25, daily chaos is multiplied exponentially, but so are the joyful and poignant moments that life can bring.
The Bates' first grandchild causes much excitement for everyone and prompts the girls to plan a baby shower in the series premiere of this reality show spotlighting a family with 19 children living in rural Tennessee.
Erin has sleepover with her siblings so that she doesn't feel so lonely in her house where just she and her husband live; Zach and Whitney prepare for parenthood; and Michaella and her chaperone surprise her boyfriend with a visit to Texas.
The whole Bates clan packs up and heads to the great outdoors! If you think packing for your family is hard... try packing for 21!
Disciplining kids is never easy, but by now, Gil and Kelly have it down to a science with a method they call “Train Up.” Plus Chad and Erin head to the doctors where they are expecting a baby.
Gil, Kelly and the younger kids plant a fall garden. With so many opinions to juggle, deciding on its location, let alone what to plant, is difficult. Meanwhile, budding gospel country singer and songwriter Lawson heads to Nashville to effort his dream of a music career. With one published CD under his belt, he lands a meeting with a record label executive and gets a coveted session with a well-known vocal coach. Back at the Bates house, the garden finally gets planted with Chad’s help and the family eagerly awaits news from Lawson in Nashville.
How does a family of 21 find enough clothes to last through the winter? Get ready for the Bates seasonal clothing switchover, where nothing goes to waste! In the midst of the chaos, the family is asked to sing at a bluegrass music festival... but can they all learn their parts in time?
Zach and Whitney's baby is due in less than 2 weeks, but the nursery is nowhere near ready! Lucky for them, there are plenty of Bates to lend a hand. As Whitney's due-date nears (and passes!) the whole family gets anxious to meet the newest addition to the ever-growing clan. Later, Erin shares surprising news with her parents.
Carlin gets a night out alone with her parents and they have a special surprise for her. Later, the Bates family visits Zach and Whitney as they adjust to being first-time parents. Then, Lawson sings the National Anthem in front of 15,000 people.
Brandon comes for an extended stay. Could his visit could mean bigger things for Michaella and him?
Get ready to give thanks... Bates style! The whole family heads to Gil's parents' farm for a super-sized family dinner. The family joins hands to say what they're thankful for. Someone reveals a surprise.
The family heads to Florida to visit John and Alyssa.
Find out everything you want to know (and then some!) about the Bates as they answer viewer questions and show some hilarious never-before-seen footage.
Gil is turning 50 and the kids want to surprise him with a huge party! Kelly Jo whisks Gil away for a romantic overnight stay while the kids get to work planning the festivities. When the big surprise is revealed, a teary-eyed Gil basks in the warm glow of being surrounded by so many family and friends.