If you’re concerned that The Bachelor franchise will crumble in light of the recent Bachelor in Paradise scandal, you probably haven’t seen how deep the show’s roots have run over the years. Bachelor in Paradise is simply the most recent in a series of dating competitions that has mutated off the 15-year-old reality show. And when you look into The Bachelor family tree, pictured below, you’ll see that it’s very unlikely that its bloodline will end with BiP.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette — Husband and Wife
The respective patriarch and matriarch of the family. The Bachelor is famed for his wandering eye, the Bachelorette is famed for not getting serious raccoon eyes when she cries to the confessional booth.
Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor Pad — Legitimate Children
The direct descendants and would-be heirs to the family — Bachelor in Paradise is obviously the fascinating troublemaker, whereas the short-lived Bachelor Pad was… well, boring.
International Bachelor Spinoffs — Illegitimate Children
The Bachelor has had several liaisons with other countries while away on business trips, producing many charmingly named shows like Germany’s Der Bachelor and Finland’s Suomen Unelmien Poikamies (that just rolls off the tongue). In total there are 19 international versions, of varying success rates and life spans.
Joe Millionaire — The Bachelor‘s Younger, Gone-Too-Soon Brother
A smash hit in 2003, the FOX reality show had a regular Joe masquerading as a rich dude. Joe Millionaire could’ve been an American institution if it had the foresight to realize it’s hard to successfully have a franchise if the whole nation is in on the ruse of the show. SIGH.
Average Joe — Wife to Joe Millionaire
A show about a beauty dating mediocre men on Channel Islands — Joe Millionaire‘s smarter wife learned to keep the deception under wraps more successfully, and thus survived for four seasons.
I Wanna Marry “Harry” — Son to Joe Millionaire
The FOX series, which featured a series of castle-bound women who thought they were competing for Prince Harry (bless) but spoiler alert: it’s a lookalike. I Wanna Marry “Harry” is most definitely Joe Millionaire’s unknown love child, having shown up on his doorstep 11 years later with the results of a DNA test.
The Cougar — Older Sister to The Bachelorette
If the title of the former TV Land show somehow requires more explaining, yes, it’s The Bachelorette with the bachelorette in question being, you know, a little older.
More to Love — Husband to The Cougar
If the title of this former FOX show needs more explanation it was like The Bachelor but, um, the people involved may have been a bit more… round.
VH1 Dating Reality Shows —The Bachelor‘s Secret Family
In the mid-2000s the channel spawned a series of shows using The Bachelor’s DNA and a lot of B-list celebrities. The secret shame of the family is of course For the Love of Ray J because you know you’re in a dark place when you’re creating dating competition shows about the guy who did a sex tape with Kim Kardashian in 2002. (Also, you know you’re in a dark place when you’re competing in a dating competition show about the guy who did a sex tape with Kim Kardashian in 2002).
In all seriousness, The Bachelor has had no shortage of ersatz children (not to mention recap talk shows and specials, which are basically just family pets) over the years. And though not all of them have been successful, or even close to morally upright, they have been entertaining, and that may be enough to keep the concept alive for many more generations.