When Mama June Shannon and her family burst onto the scene in 2011, viewers weren't quite sure what to think.
They were tuning in, to be sure, but Shannon and her family were the sort of reality TV curiosity where one could never be quite sure whether they were meant to be laughing with the participants on-screen or at them. Introduced by way of daughter Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson through a handful of episodes of TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras, the precocious pageant contestant and her backwoods brood were quickly spun off into a series of their own, startling audiences with a glimpse at the Shannon-Thompson's family's downtrodden world in their hometown of McIntyre, Ga. with its population of only 650 as of the 2010 census.
We learned of the simple pleasures of sketti (Shannon's unique version of spaghetti utilizing melted butter and ketchup as the sauce), watched as the impoverished matriarch relied upon extreme couponing and roadkill to feed the family of six, and allowed phrases like "forklift foot" (Shannon's big toe had been severely deformed after an accident involving, you know, a forklift and she kept it covered at all costs) and "neck crust" (we'll spare you the definition on this one) to become a part of the national lexicon (at least, for a time). And when Here Comes Honey Boo Boo came to an abrupt end in 2014 after four seasons, we were horrified to learn the reason why.