Little People, Big World

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Little People, Big World
Little People Big World.svg
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons22
No. of episodes354 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Gay Rosenthal
  • Jeff Weaver
  • Joseph Freed
  • Nicholas Caprio
  • Paul Barrosse
Camera setupMultiple
Running time42 minutes
Production companyGay Rosenthal Productions
Original networkTLC
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseMarch 4, 2006 (2006-03-04) –
Followed byLittle People Big World: Wedding Farm
External links

Little People, Big World is an American reality television series that premiered on March 4, 2006, and airs on TLC. The series chronicles the lives of the six-member Roloff family farm near Portland, Oregon. Many of the episodes focus on the parents, Matt and Amy, and one of their children, Zach, who have dwarfism.

On August 26, 2010, TLC announced that the sixth season would be the last for the show.[1][2][3] After its original final season, TLC aired several specials:[4] "Conquering Mount St. Helens", "Breaking Down the Walls",[5] and "Welcome to the Jungle".[5] On October 5, 2012, TLC announced a spin-off series – Little People Big World: Wedding Farm.[6][7] It chronicles Matt and Amy as they jump-start their wedding business on the farm.[8] The series premiered on November 13, 2012, and ran for six episodes.[9]

It was announced in October 2013 that Little People, Big World would return for a seventh season.[10] Season seven consists of eight episodes, and premiered on October 29, 2013.[10] An eighth season began on September 2, 2014, and a ninth season began on July 6, 2015. The show was renewed for a tenth season which premiered in fall 2016. As of 2018, the show has aired for 12 seasons. On March 13, 2018, TLC announced the show was renewed for a 14th season to premiere on April 2, 2019.[11]

The twentieth season premiered on March 31, 2020.[12]

The twenty-first season premiered on September 29, 2020.[13]


In 2010, Amy Roloff commented on the beginnings of the show: "TLC came to us about five or six years ago, and so we suddenly realized we were given a great opportunity to educate people about dwarfism. When it was offered that we do a show about our lives, my husband and I were like, "Wow, nothing like this has even been on the air." Nothing had depicted dwarfism in an everyday way. Lo and behold, a few episodes turned into six seasons. And here we are."[14]


The show follows the daily lives of the Roloff family — parents Matt and Amy, and their four children: Zach, Jeremy, Molly, and Jacob. Matt, Amy, and Zach have dwarfism, while Jeremy, Molly, and Jacob are of average height. Zach and Jeremy are fraternal twins; although Jeremy is of average height, his brother Zach is a little person (4'4", or 132 cm).

The family lives on the 36-acre (150,000 m2) Roloff Farms, located north of Hillsboro in Helvetia, Oregon (a suburb of Portland). Although crops of pumpkins are grown and sold by the family, much of the farm has been converted into a series of playground set pieces for the Roloff children. They were designed by Matt, who spent most of his childhood in the hospital. He has tried to make his children's lives the best possible.

Episodes of the show typically showcase one or more members of the Roloff family engaging in everyday activities such as shopping, athletics, and dealing with household finances. The drama of the show arises because many of these activities are made more challenging due to the height of the little people in the family, as Matt and Amy are 4'1" (124 cm) and Zach is 4'4" (132 cm).

Family members[edit]

Zach (left) and Matt (right) in 2014
Jacob Roloff in 2011


  • Matthew ("Matt") – 59-year-old (born October 7, 1961, in California) ex-husband and father; Matt's career was in computer software sales. As the series began, Matt was no longer employed by the company, but was engaged in establishing the business he co-founded, Direct Access Solutions. The company markets accessibility kits for little people to the hospitality industry. As the first season ended, Matt started another job as a software salesman with Amdocs to provide the family with additional income. Matt's type of dwarfism, diastrophic dysplasia, resulted in numerous childhood surgeries. He walks with the aid of crutches and uses a motorized cart when needed.
  • Amy Roloff (née Knight) – 56-year-old (b. September 17, 1964,[15] in Michigan) ex-wife and mother; Amy's type of dwarfism is achondroplasia, and she has experienced very few (if any) complications. Amy is a graduate of Central Michigan University. When not acting, coaching, parenting, or teaching, she is a philanthropist. Her Amy Roloff Charity Foundation makes use of her celebrity by benefiting the needs of kids, at-risk youths, and disability groups. Amy has also given back to the Dwarf Athletic Association of America, helped fund an organization for foster care parents and the kids they have adopted, and supported low-income senior housing and a homeless shelter focusing on keeping family units together.[16] Achondroplasia is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder with 80% of cases identified as a sporadic mutation.


  • Zachary Luke ("Zach") – 31-year-old (b. May 10, 1990, in Oregon) twin brother to Jeremy. Zach has achondroplasia like his mother. Zach is 4 ft 4 in (1.32 m) and Amy is 4'2". Unlike his mother, however, Zach has had numerous medical complications. As a child, Zach had a skull shunt implanted to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid. The shunt failed and had to be replaced surgically (as depicted in the season-one episode "Zach's Emergency"). Zach used to play soccer competitively, but stopped playing for a time due to his size compared to the other soccer players. In season two, he started playing competitive soccer again, as he made his high school's soccer team. However, his play was on hold temporarily as he had surgery to correct the bowing of his legs. He coached Jacob's soccer team. Both twins graduated from high school in the spring of 2009. Zach made an appearance on WWE Tough Enough as part of a basketball game against little people. He is now a soccer coach. Zach married Victoria Elizabeth ("Tori") Patton in July 2015. They welcomed their first child, Jackson Kyle, on May 12, 2017, and their second child, Lilah Ray, on November 19, 2019.
  • Jeremy James ("Jer") – 31-year-old (b. May 10, 1990, in Oregon) twin brother to Zach. Jeremy is 6'1". Both twins graduated from high school in the spring of 2009. Jeremy then attended college in Santa Barbara, California. He married Audrey Mirabella (Auj) Botti in September 2014. Together, they run a website dedicated to improving Christian marriages (Beating 50 Percent). They welcomed their first child, Ember Jean, on September 10, 2017, and their second child, Bode James, on January 8, 2020. Jeremy announced via Instagram on July 10, 2018, that he and his family will no longer appear on the show.[17]
  • Molly Jo ("Mol") – 27-year-old (b. September 17, 1993, in Oregon) daughter; Molly, who shares a birthday with her mother Amy, is 5'7". She graduated from the Whitworth University in 2016, with majors in Accounting and Spanish. She is now an accountant in Spokane. Molly married Joel Silvius on August 5, 2017.
  • Jacob George ("Jake") — 24-year-old (b. January 17, 1997 in Oregon) son; Jacob is average height. Jacob dropped out of high school and moved out of the family home soon after turning 18.
  • Rocky – the Roloffs' former bullmastiff. Rocky died June 26, 2013, due to natural causes.[18]

Jacob's accident[edit]

Jacob Roloff and family friend Mike Detjen were seriously injured in an accident on the family farm on Saturday, October 28, 2006 (episode aired April 9, 2007), when the family's trebuchet (which they use to launch pumpkins as part of the pumpkin season promotion) prematurely triggered. Jacob was rushed to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland and underwent surgery to relieve swelling in his head caused by a small piece of skull pushed into his brain. Jacob and Mike recovered from the injuries and were released on Monday, October 30, 2006.[19]

Although a TLC camera crew was at the farm recording footage, they were not in the area where the accident occurred. The accident, therefore, was not recorded. Prior to the airing of two new episodes on November 4, TLC aired a brief segment with Matt and Amy acknowledging the accident and thanking everyone for their support. Jacob was shown with what appeared to be an injury around his right eye.

Footage taken shortly after the accident was shown December 16 in the final minutes of the season two finale, "Farm Overload".[20] A crowd had gathered around Jacob, who was lying on the ground near the trebuchet. The first two episodes of season three focus on the accident, and how the local media reacted to it.[21]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
0PilotMarch 4, 2006 (2006-03-04)March 4, 2006 (2006-03-04)
120March 25, 2006 (2006-03-25)May 13, 2006 (2006-05-13)
222October 7, 2006 (2006-10-07)December 23, 2006 (2006-12-23)
330 (+2 Specials)April 8, 2007 (2007-04-08)July 16, 2007 (2007-07-16)
420October 15, 2007 (2007-10-15)December 17, 2007 (2007-12-17)
526March 3, 2008 (2008-03-03)May 26, 2008 (2008-05-26)
622October 13, 2008 (2008-10-13)December 22, 2008 (2008-12-22)
726February 15, 2009 (2009-02-15)May 11, 2009 (2009-05-11)
820October 12, 2009 (2009-10-12)January 18, 2010 (2010-01-18)
920April 5, 2010 (2010-04-05)June 7, 2010 (2010-06-07)
1020 (+6 Specials)September 6, 2010 (2010-09-06)September 3, 2012 (2012-09-03)
1110November 13, 2012 (2012-11-13)June 30, 2013 (2013-06-30)
128October 29, 2013 (2013-10-29)December 17, 2013 (2013-12-17)
136March 25, 2014 (2014-03-25)September 30, 2014 (2014-09-30)
1410 (+1 Special)July 7, 2015 (2015-07-07)September 8, 2015 (2015-09-08)
1513 (+3 Specials)May 10, 2016 (2016-05-10)August 2, 2016 (2016-08-02)
168 (+1 Special)November 22, 2016 (2016-11-22)January 10, 2017 (2017-01-10)
178 (+2 Specials)May 2, 2017 (2017-05-02)November 8, 2017 (2017-11-08)
1812 (+1 Special)April 3, 2018 (2018-04-03)June 26, 2018 (2018-06-26)
1910 (+1 Special)April 2, 2019 (2019-04-02)June 4, 2019 (2019-06-04)
208 (+2 Specials)March 31, 2020 (2020-03-31)May 19, 2020 (2020-05-19)
215 (+1 Specials)September 29, 2020 (2020-09-29)October 27, 2020 (2020-10-27)
22TBAMay 11, 2021 (2021-05-11)2021 (2021)


The first season of Little People, Big World generated adequate ratings for TLC (especially in the 18–49 demographic), leading to the show's renewal for a second season.[22] Critical reviews of the series have been generally positive, citing the show's positive portrayal of little people.[23][24] Conversely, other reviews have claimed that the show has a voyeuristic bend to it (albeit a nonsexual one), but allows the viewer to feel good about watching because it is not outwardly or overtly exploitive.[25][26]

Since the show began airing, Roloff Farms has become an extremely popular tourist destination. While the farm and its many attractions have long been available for public viewing during pumpkin season (October), it is now receiving far more visitors than can be accommodated. During the 2006 season, more than 30,000 people arrived to buy pumpkins and tour the farm, which only has space for a few hundred vehicles. The farm was shut down temporarily by Washington County deputies on one Saturday in October 2006, due to massive traffic. Area residents have complained about the gridlock caused by the visitors, as well as about the increased media scrutiny the show has brought.[27]

The Roloffs receive a large amount of correspondence. One report said as many as a dozen emails per minute arrive from supporters however the family did not confirm it.[24] The increased exposure, however, has led to safety concerns for the family, who now deal with trespassers and fans. They have since installed a security gate on their property.[27]

The Roloffs have hit the headlines a number of times. In 2007, Matt was arrested on DUI charges. While he was found not guilty of the DUI, he was found guilty of refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test. As a result of his refusal, his driver's license was suspended for three years, because he had previously admitted guilt in a drunken-driving diversion program that he completed in 2003.[28]

The September 30, 2014, finale of Little People, Big World's eighth season broke series records; 2.3 million total viewers tuned in to watch Jeremy Roloff marry his long-time girlfriend, Audrey Botti. The finale was the highest-rated episode in six years among women 25–54 and was number one on cable in the 10:00 pm timeslot among women 18–49 and women 18–34. The wedding finale capped the series' highest-rated season, in which it averaged 1.9 million viewers per episode.[29]


  1. ^ Turnquist, Kristi (August 27, 2010). "'Little People, Big World' upcoming season would be its last". The Oregonian.
  2. ^ Ward, Kate (August 26, 2010). "'Little People, Big World' final season premiering Sept. 6". Entertainment Weekly.
  3. ^ "TLC Confirms the Final Season of Little People, Big World". The Futon Critic (Press release). August 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Nededog, Jethro (July 7, 2011). "'Little People, Big World' Returns to TLC With 4 New Specials". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ a b Bibel, Sara (July 12, 2013). "Two 'Little People. Big World' Specials to Premiere Tuesday Jully 23 & July 30 on TLC". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Archived from the original on July 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Acken, Lori (November 20, 2012). "'Little People, Big World: Wedding Farm': 'Bing, bang, boom! We're in the wedding business!'". Zap2it. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Owen, Rob (November 11, 2012). "Roloff family returns to TLC, 'Little People, Big World: Wedding Farm'". The Oregonian.
  8. ^ Brady, Elizabeth (November 13, 2012). "'Little People Big World: Wedding Farm' star Amy Roloff: 'We had to scramble'". Zap2it. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "'Little People Big World' returning to TLC with new 'Wedding Farm' series". Reality TV World. October 5, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Bibel, Sara (October 3, 2013). "New Season of 'Little People, Big World' to Premiere Tuesday, October 29 on TLC". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 3, 2013.
  11. ^ "'Little People Big World' Renewed For Season 14 By TLC". Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "Little People, Big Changes: New Beginnings Are in Store for the Roloff Family When TLC's "Little People, Big World" Returns on Tuesday, March 31". The Futon Critic. February 14, 2020.
  13. ^ "TLC Sets Fall Premiere Dates for Returning Fan-Favorite Series Following Record-Breaking Summer". The Futon Critic. August 12, 2020.
  14. ^ "Ability Magazine: Amy Roloff Discusses Dwarfism with Chet Cooper" (2010)". Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  15. ^ Little People, Big World May 8, 2018, episode at 49 minutes, "It's Been Pretty Tough", TLC, Quote from Chris to Amy on way to her surprise 55th birthday party: "You want to hang on to 54 longer?"
  16. ^ "Amy Roloff — Cruising for a Cause" ABILITY Magazine (Regina Hall Issue — April/May 2010) Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  17. ^ "Jeremy James Roloff on Instagram: "This is an announcement concerning Jeremy Roloff and his family specifically: After 14 years, over 300 episodes, and 17 seasons, the time…"". Instagram. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  18. ^ Spiritswander (June 26, 2013). "Keeping up with the Roloff family: Roloff Family Dog Rocky Passes Away". Keeping up with the Roloff family. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  19. ^ "Pair in pumpkin launch incident still hospitalized". Retrieved November 5, 2006.
  20. ^ Little People, Big World (TV Series 2006– ) - IMDb, retrieved February 6, 2020
  21. ^ Little People, Big World (TV Series 2006– ) - IMDb, retrieved February 6, 2020
  22. ^ Crupi, Anthony. (April 24, 2006). "TLC Gives Little People 2nd Run". Mediaweek. Retrieved May 8, 2006.
  23. ^ Gelman, Pam. Series review. Common Sense Media. Retrieved May 8, 2006.
  24. ^ a b Mandel, Michelle (December 3, 2006). "'Little People' delivers big lessons". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  25. ^ Kennedy, Dan. (March 24, 2006). "Will TLC's new reality show change our perception of dwarfs?". Slate. Retrieved May 8, 2006.
  26. ^ Heffernan, Virginia. (March 4, 2006). "The Challenges of an Oversize World". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2006.
  27. ^ a b "Accident adds to scrutiny of Roloff family". Retrieved November 5, 2006.
  28. ^ "'Little People, Big World' star Matthew Roloff found not guilty of DUI". Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  29. ^ "'Little People, Big World' Season Finale Ratings Break Series Records". October 2, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]