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Breaking Amish is an American reality television series on the TLC television network that debuted September 9, 2012.[1] The series revolves around five young Anabaptist adults (four Amish and one Mennonite) who move to New York City in order to experience a different life and decide whether to return to their communities or remain outside their communities and face potential ostracism by their family and friends.[2] It follows the cast members as they experience life in New York and face new situations involving work, friendship, romance, and lifestyle, plus the drama that develops between cast members as they undergo various experiences.[3]

The cast-members' move to New York City differs from Rumspringa, the rite of passage in which some 16-year-old Amish are allowed to experience the outside world and to decide whether or not they wish to remain with their home communities.

A news report on February 25, 2013, stated that TLC had ordered a second season of Breaking Amish with the original cast.[4] Breaking Amish: Brave New World is considered the second season by TLC.[5]

A third season of Breaking Amish, entitled Breaking Amish: Los Angeles, debuted on July 21, 2013, with an entirely different cast.[6] The only connections with the new cast and the original cast were Abe's brother Andrew Schmucker and Jeremiah's ex-girlfriend Iva being two of the main cast members.

A fourth and final season of the show entitled Breaking Amish: Brooklyn debuted on September 18, 2014, with a new cast as well. One of the cast members, Matt, would go on make appearances in the fifth season of the spinoff series Return to Amish.

Controversy

It has been reported that the relationships between cast members were portrayed falsely and that there were many inconsistencies between fact and the reality that was represented in the television program.[7][8][9] The production has been forthcoming with some of the 'non-Amish' activities in the background of the cast. As episodes progressed, the production steadily revealed other aspects of the cast's past activities, including items not previously released as spoilers by other media outlets.

Some of the information shared on air by the cast during the production:

Season 1

Cast

Season 1

Cast Age1 Community Details
Abe Schmucker[10] 22 Ex-Amish From Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.[11]
Jeremiah Raber[12] 32 Ex-Amish Adopted by an Amish family, grew up in Holmes County, Ohio.
Kate Stoltzfus[13] 21 Ex-Amish Daughter of a bishop, grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, previously spent some time in Florida.
Rebecca Byler[10] 20 Ex-Amish From Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Sabrina HighThe cast-members' move to New York City differs from Rumspringa, the rite of passage in which some 16-year-old Amish are allowed to experience the outside world and to decide whether or not they wish to remain with their home communities.

A news report on February 25, 2013, stated that TLC had ordered a second season of Breaking Amish with the original cast.[4] Breaking Amish: Brave New World is considered the second season by TLC.[5]

A third season of Breaking Amish, entitled Breaking Amish: Los Angeles, debuted on July 21, 2013, with an entirely different cast.[6] The only connections with the new cast and the original cast were Abe's brother Andrew Schmucker and Jeremiah's ex-girlfriend Iva being two of the main cast members.

A fourth and final season of the show entitled Breaking Amish: Brooklyn debuted on September 18, 2014, with a new cast as well. One of the cast members, Matt, would go on make appearances in the fifth season of the spinoff series Return to Amish.

It has been reported that the relationships between cast members were portrayed falsely and that there were many inconsistencies between fact and the reality that was represented in the television program.[7][8][9] The production has been forthcoming with some of the 'non-Amish' activities in the background of the cast. As episodes progressed, the production steadily revealed other aspects of the cast's past activities, including items not previously released as spoilers by other media outlets.

Some of the information shared on air by the cast during the production:

Season 1

  • In episode 1 it is shown that Kate had spent time in Florida, driving and getting a DUI.
  • In the extended version of episode 3 Jeremiah states that he was kicked out of the Amish three different times, dressing 'English' each time. ('English' was typically used in the series to mean "non-Anabaptist.")
  • In episode 6 Jeremiah states, when Abe talks about marrying Rebecca, that he was once married.
  • In episode 7 Abe and Rebecca discuss how they used to sneak off – with her boyfriend and with others – to dress 'English' and go bowling.
  • In episode 7 Rebecca discusses how Abe once moved to Kentucky and she to North Dakota, renewing their friendship when they returned to their Amish community.
  • In episode 8 Sabrina discusses the fact that she had been married, in 2009, to a Mennonite man – and that marrying a best friend does not always work out.
  • In episode 10 Rebecca states that she had been married directly after her 18th birthday in 2009 and divorced in July 2012. She also mentions that she has a daughter.
  • In episode 12 the group discuss the fact that many Amish teenagers will sneak out and dress 'English', and so it is no surprise to find pictures of them, or many other teenage Amish, during excursions outside of the community.

Cast

Season 1

Some of the information shared on air by the cast during the production:

Abe's mother Mary Schmucker and little sister Katie Ann Schmucker are major recurring cast members this season ^Note 1 : Age at the time of filming.

Episodes

Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale
1 12 September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) November 18, 2012 (2012-11-18)
2 10 May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12) July 14, 2013 (2013-07-14)
3 12 July 21, 2013 (2013-07-21) September 29, 2013 (2013-09-29)
4 10 September 18, 2014 (2014-09-18) November 20, 2014 (2014-11-20)

Season 1 (2012)

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
11"Jumping the Fence"September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09)3.09[14]
The premiere of a reality series following five men and women from Amish and Mennonite communities as they seek the possibility of leaving their old lives behind for new ones in New York City, though they also run the risk of saying good-bye to their family and friends forever.
22"What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?"September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16)2.88[15]
The Amish find themselves in chaotic and vibrant New York City. Romance may be in the offing as the newcomers adjust to life in New York City, but their fresh start also comes with an air of tension.
33"Breaking All the Rules"September 23, 2012 (2012-09-23)2.78[16]
The cast breaks Amish & Mennonite rules by buying "English" clothes and getting tattoos. The cast grows more comfortable in the city when they get wardrobe makeovers and tattoos, and Kate and Rebecca mull modeling careers, but surprise visits by Abe's and Rebecca's families could put an end to this experiment. Also, Jeremiah has his first driving lesson.
44"New Beginnings"September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30)3.00[17]
Rebecca confronts a difficult episode from her past. Kate succumbs to the pressure of being shunned by her family. Sabrina tries to find out more about her ethnic background. Jeremiah continues his driving lessons with a different instructor.
55"What Is Really Happening?"October 7, 2012 (2012-10-07)Pinecraft, a small neighborhood located within Sarasota, Florida where there is a community of ex-Amish and Amish.[25][26]

No. No. Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
131"Nothing to Lose"May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12)2.14[27]
Abe, Jeremiah, Rebecca, Sabrina, and Kate have all had a difficult time adjusting to their new lives since leaving the Amish and Mennonite communities. Jeremiah hatches a plan to get the gang back together and give them all a chance at redemption.
142"Shunned & on the Run"May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19)1.87[28]
The group reunites for the first time since leaving New York, but they are not prepared for life on the road in close quarters. Meanwhile, when the Bishop shows up unannounced back in Punxy, Abe's mother Mary is faced with the most difficult decision of her life.
153"Facing Demons"May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)1.63[29]
The cast has great expectations when they finally make it down to Florida, but there's trouble in paradise.Jeremiah's surprise visitor has an ulterior motive for showing up, and Kate comes to Sabrina's rescue when she gets caught in the middle
164"Flirting With Disaster"June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02)2.34[30]
Lingering sexual tension between Sabrina and Jeremiah raises some eyebrows, and the heat is on when Sabrina has a sudden confrontation with his ex. Hope for a fresh start in Florida takes a turn when unexpected and unwanted guests come knocking.
175"What's the Beef?"June 9, 2013 (2013-06-09)1.89[31]
Sabrina gets a call from a private investigator with surprising new information about her biological family. Abe chases his dream of becoming a professional bull rider and Jeremiah faces the consequences of his illicit affair.
186"Forbidden Fruit"June 16, 2013 (2013-06-16)1.70[32]
A surprise modeling gig in Miami offers Kate an escape from the others, or so she thinks. Katie Ann has a surprise of her own in store for Mary and a big decision about her future. Jeremiah discovers footage of Kate that leaves everyone in shock.
197"Devil in a Red Dress"June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23)2.15[33]
Sparks fly when Katie Ann decides to get an "English" makeover and picks Kate over Abe and Rebecca to go with her. Sabrina tries to find her long lost family, and herself, in Puerto Rico with Jeremiah along for the ride. Abe finally goes bull riding.
208"A Brother's Secret"June 30, 2013 (2013-06-30)2.07[34]
In the season finale Jeremiah comes back from Puerto Rico with a heavy heart and Sabrina makes a surprising decision about her future. An unexpected visitor from home shows up to check on Mary and Katie Ann. And the group finally make decisions about what's next.
219"The Shunning Truth — Part 1"July 7, 2013 (2013-07-07)2.38[35]
The cast gather for a two-part reunion special and ready to set the record straight in this explosive two-part reunion special hosted by NBC's Michelle Beadle. Plus sparks fly when the cast is brought face to face with two mystery guests.
2210"The Shunning Truth — Part 2"July 14, 2013 (2013-07-14)2.07[36]
In part two of the reunion special host Michelle Beadle dives deeper into the complicated relationships the cast has with each other, their own families, and two surprise guests. Tensions rise as more shocking secrets are revealed.

Season 3: Los Angeles (2013)

  • This season features an entirely new cast. None of the cast members of the previous seasons for this season with the exception of Andrew Schmucker who only appeared in guest appearances. He makes his debut in the third episode.
No. No. Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
231"Family Secrets"July 21, 2013 (2013-07-21)N/A
We meet a new group of Amish and Mennonite young adults, Matt, Devon, Iva, Betsy, and Lizzie, who are prepared to start new lives in the English world.
242"Exodus"July 28, 2013 (2013-07-28)N/A
The cast heads to Los Angeles and tries to start a new journey for themselves. Lizzie realizes she has to come out with the truth that she is pregnant.
253"Black Sheep"August 4, 2013 (2013-08-04)N/A
Lizzie's brother Sam comes by demanding to see her and his attitude causes everyone else to mind their own business. Andrew Schmucker makes his debut to the house and doesn't give a friendly welcome which already causes the others to find him as a problem.
264"Metamorphosis"August 11, 2013 (2013-08-11)N/A
The group undergoes a make-over to transition from their Amish appearance to an English one. Betsy's behavior begins to spiral out of control.
275"Exile"August 18, 2013 (2013-08-18)N/A
Betsy is confronted by her bad actions that happened one night that no one else realized. Iva is distraught and is relieved when her fiance Sam comes by to make her happy, but is told even more surprising news. In the midst of the drama, the group decides to go to Las Vegas to have fun.