The Roloff family has changed since Little People, Big World’s premier. Back in the mid-2000s, Matt and Amy Roloff were raising their children in quiet anonymity, growing pumpkins on their family farm in Oregon. The spouses were distinctive in that they were both little people, as is one of their four children. As Amy told Ability Magazine back in 2010, they wound up on the radar of TLC, and the network asked them to open up their lives for a reality show. The Roloffs saw the offer as "a great opportunity to educate people about dwarfism," noting that no television show up to that point had "depicted dwarfism in an everyday way."
Launched in 2006, Little People, Big World, proved to be a huge hit with viewers, who tuned in week after week to keep up with the family. In 2020, TLC shared an announcement about the series’ landmark 20th season, with the new batch of episodes promised to "usher in an abundance of change for all of the Roloffs."
That’s an understatement, given all that’s happened to the family over the years. Here’s how the Roloff family has changed since Little People, Big World‘s premiere.
A terrifying accident left Little People, Big World’s Jacob Roloff injured
When Little People, Big World debuted back in 2006, Matt and Amy Roloff’s kids were still little. Youngest child Jacob was just 8-years-old, while daughter Molly was 12. Fraternal twins Jeremy and Zach (the latter the only Roloff child to have achondroplasia) were 15. Given the show’s long and successful run, viewers literally watched the four grow up on television.
In fact, Jacob was just 9-years-old when he and family friend Mike Detjen were badly injured in a frightening accident, when the farm’s pumpkin-hurling trebuchet fired prematurely. According to The Oregonian, a 2,000-pound concrete counterweight smashed Jacob on the head. As his father told People, Jacob had a "dime-sized bruise" on his head, and doctors needed to perform a procedure that relieved pressure on his brain. Meanwhile, Detjen needed more than 200 stitches.
While the fallout was documented in an episode, the accident itself didn’t appear in the show. According to a statement from TLC obtained by Reality Blurred, "cameras were taping footage for the series at an alternate location when the incident occurred." Jacob eventually made a full recovery.
Matt Roloff from Little People, Big World was found not guilty after being charged with DUI
Little People, Big World had already become a TV hit when Matt Roloff was pulled over by police in 2007. According to a report from Access, officers observed that his white Chevrolet van was "unable to stay within its own lane." Roloff was given a field sobriety test — which he failed — and then refused a breathalyzer test. As a result, the father of four was cited and then released. In a subsequent statement, Roloff announced he’d be pleading innocent.
As The Oregonian later reported, Matt was ultimately found not guilty; he was, however, found guilty of "refusing to take a breath test and not staying in his lane of travel." He was fined $742, along with an additional $103 to cover court fees.
As it turns out, that wasn’t Matt’s first time being placed under arrest in a similar circumstance; in its report on his arrest, The Oregonian cited court records indicating that he was convicted of drunk driving in 2003, with the charge later dismissed after he completed "an alcohol diversion program."
Little People, Big World’s Jeremy Roloff got married and started a family
In September 2014, Little People, Big World’s Jeremy Roloff and longtime girlfriend Audrey Mirabella Botti got married at Roloff Farms. Writing for The Knot, Audrey Roloff admitted that planning the wedding was complicated by the fact that she and her fiancé lived different states at the time. Despite the challenges, however, she happily declared that their big day "turned out to be everything we ever dreamed that it would be."
Her wedding gown, Audrey revealed, was inspired by a dress worn by Keira Knightley in the 2012 film Anna Karenina, while the reception was held in the Roloff’s backyard, "nestled in the trees strung with lights and chandeliers."
In 2017, Audrey took to Instagram to reveal the newlyweds were homeowners, and were expecting a baby; Ember Jean was born in December of that year. The following year, Jeremy had an announcement to make. "After 14 years, over 300 episodes, and 17 seasons, the time has come," he wrote in a 2018 Instagram post, revealing that "this season would be our last." In 2020, the pair welcomed their second child, son Bode James, according to People.
Zach Roloff from Little People, Big World also became a husband and father
Less than a year after Little People, Big World’s Jeremy Roloff’s wedding, his twin brother Zach Roloff headed down the aisle as well. In July 2015, Zach and fiancée Tori Patton were wed — once again, at Roloff Farms. "It’s a big day," Zach told People of the ceremony, which the magazine described as "nature-themed" and "traditional." Zach credited his parents for playing "a huge role in setting up the farm, making it all nice." His bride revealed that patriarch Matt Roloff had planted and abundance of wheat near the gazebo. "There’s like these huge rolling hills of wheat, which are really beautiful," she shared.
In 2017, the same year his brother Jeremy became a father, Zach and Tori Roloff welcomed son Jackson Kyle Roloff in May. "Mom and Dad are so in love with you already," Tori wrote in an Instagram post. That party grew to four in 2019 when the couple welcomed daughter Lilah Ray Roloff — here’s everything we know about Zach and Roti Roloff’s new baby. Both their children, as they discussed in an interview with Good Housekeeping, were born with achondroplasia.
Jacob Roloff stopped appearing on Little People, Big World
In 2016 when he turned 18, Jacob Roloff left Little People, Big World for this reason. In a scorched-earth Instagram post, Jacob explained why when he alleged there was reality-show fakery at play in the series. As he wrote, when he watched filming take place "from an outside perspective," he found himself "laughing at how hard the producers have to try to get us to follow the talking points, and at how ridiculous the talking points are."
According to Jacob, "the family that is filmed is not my family. They are the Roloff Characters and I have scarcely anything in common with them, nor do I want to be a character myself." Immediately after the cameras turn off, he added, "it’s almost like they never played the part." He finished by declaring that while he still loves his family, "you’ll never see that from me on TV again."
Was Matt Roloff from Little People, Big World unfaithful?
While Little People, Big World continued its successful run on TLC, cracks were beginning to form in the Roloffs’ marriage. In her 2019 memoir A Little Me – here’s how Matt Roloff really feels about Amy Roloff’s autobiography — Amy detailed how she and Matt began "to grow farther and farther apart personally." Matt, she wrote, had been "spending more and more time at the tavern he often frequented in the evenings." Amy also noticed that their farm manager, Caryn Chandler, "seemed to be around more and more often as well." Naturally, Amy wondered if the two were having an affair.
That question was answered when Amy came across Matt and Caryn’s "messages, pictures, and other things that should not have been shared between people who just worked together and were still married to other people." Understandably, Amy wrote, she "was devastated."
In March 2014, the couple issued a statement to People, revealing they had come to "the tough decision to engage in a trial separation." They would continue to work together, the statement added, while Matt would remain on the farm, living in a guest house.
Little People, Big World’s Matt and Amy Roloff had a shocking divorce
In June 2015, fans of Little People, Big World were saddened — if not entirely surprised — when Matt and Amy Roloff got a divorce. "After 27 years of marriage, it is with great sadness that we have come to the difficult decision to file for divorce," they said in a joint statement to People. Additionally, the two noted that they’d "continue to work together side by side in the daily responsibilities for our many current ventures."
The following May, the divorce was finalized. According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline, the couple’s assets were divided equitably, with both parties "satisfied" with the results.
In A Little Me, Amy wrote about the divorce being the start of her "second act," but only after she’d been able to "survive the death of my relationship." Admitting she was in a better place, she wrote of a "big decision" that loomed regarding her living situation. "Do I stay, does Matt stay, do we both stay on the farm together because we own it fifty-fifty, do I take a buyout or do we sell it completely?" she wrote.
After Matt and Amy Roloff from Little People, Big World split, there were big changes in the family dynamic
Obviously, a divorced couple who still work together while living on the same farm is a radically different dynamic than what viewers had been introduced to when Little People, Big World first debuted a decade earlier.
Addressing that shift, the couple’s son, Zach Roloff, opened up about his parents’ post-split business partnership in an interview with Us Weekly. Describing their relationship as "cordial," Zach admitted that Matt and Amy Roloff were "dealing with it as best they can, being a divorced couple but also business partners still… It’s not like they can’t be in the same room together."
In a trailer for the spring 2020 season of Little People, Big World (via People), Amy is seen reflecting on her new post-divorce life. "We thought we’d grow old together on this farm, but plans changed," she said. "Right now, Matt and I are doing the best we can when it comes to family things. It’s not easy, but I know both Matt and I are determined to make it work well post-divorce because this is family."
Matt Roloff discussed marriage with girlfriend Caryn Chandler on Little People, Big World
Amy Roloff’s suspicions that Matt Roloff and Caryn Chandler were involved proved to be founded when they took their relationship public in 2017. In an episode of Little People, Big World (as reported by InTouch Weekly), Matt said he’d come to realize that he and his then-wife didn’t "really have a lot in common." The situation with his new love, he explained, was very different. "I really like and appreciate the fact that she wants to spend personal time with me," he said of Caryn. "It really warms my heart."
In a trailer for the spring 2020 season of Little People, Big World (via People), Matt opened up about how he envisions his future with Caryn. "My goal is eventually to get married to Caryn," he said. "I’m here for the long haul," Caryn responds. Why hasn’t LPBW’s Matt Roloff proposed to his girlfriend?
Caryn also addressed the complicated dynamic between herself and Amy. "I think we’re all trying to overcome whatever stuff we have because we’re going to be together," she explained. "It’s always going to probably be a little bit awkward…but it’s getting better."
Little People, Big World’s Amy Roloff also moved on — and then got engaged
Following her divorce, Amy Roloff also found romance. In a 2016 episode of Little People, Big World (via People), Amy is seen telling her daughter about a guy she met, Chris Marek, who invited her to ride on his motorcycle. "I feel like I’m in high school again," she gushed.
That motorcycle ride was only the beginning, sending Amy and Chris on the road to love. In a clip from another episode, Amy dined at a restaurant with some girlfriends, marveling about the indifference that Chris displayed about her size. "I just never thought someone who is average size would be interested in me," she admitted. "I just really want him to never question or doubt the relationship because I’m a little person."
By September of 2019, the relationship had turned serious enough for Chris to pop the question – and Amy said yes! "I’m excited, I’m so surprised, I’m thrilled!" she told People. "I never in a million years thought I’d be getting married again, but I also hoped for it! Now that it’s happening, I couldn’t be happier or more excited."
Little People, Big World’s Matt Roloff bought out Amy Roloff’s stake in Roloff Farms
Little People, Big World’s Amy Roloff’s engagement to fiancé Chris Marek seemed to give her the impetus she needed to make some big life changes. In a lengthly Instagram post in June 2019, Matt Roloff revealed to Little People, Big World fans that he was buying out Amy’s stake in the farm. "I have chosen to buy (and Amy has chosen to sell) me only one side of the farm at this time," he wrote. He continued by clarifying that what he purchased wasn’t "the original farmstead" or "the side with the pumpkin patch or her house," but the side of the farm on which he was living.
Meanwhile, Matt indicated that the long-term future of Roloff Farms was very much up in the air. For the time being, he explained that Amy would continue living at the farm and would remain half-owner of the "original farm until she decides to leave… At that time we will jointly work to sell the side she lives on together." He added that while that may happen in the future, it’s not a reality yet.
Amy Roloff from Little People, Big World finally left the farm for a new home
In the trailer for the spring 2020 season of Little People, Big World (via Good Housekeeping), Amy Roloff has a big decision to make. "I don’t think it’s worth it anymore, that he’s just 500 feet away from me," she stated, referring to ex-husband Matt Roloff. Is LPBW’s Amy Roloff finally leaving the farm?
The answer to that question become known when Amy later revealed she used the money from selling her portion of Roloff Farms to buy a house. According to a November 2019 report in RadarOnline, Amy purchased a home in Hilsboro, Oregon, for $585,500, situated in a "quaint suburban neighborhood" just 15 minutes from the farm. The realtor who sold her the five-bedroom, 3,767-square-foot-home was none other than Amy Roloff’s fiancé, Chris Marek.
The following February, Amy chronicled her move from her old house to her new one in an Instagram post, leaving behind the farm that had been her home for decades. "I do know I feel relieved," she wrote, adding that she could finally "see the light at the end of this tunnel."
The future of Little People, Big World is uncertain
Season 21 of Little People, Big World was filming in the early part of 2020, when production had to be halted in March due to the lockdown. In late June, The Sun reported that Amy appeared in an Instagram Live video to reveal that production was set to resume. "We’re getting out of quarantine and figuring out the new norm," she explained. "We’re slowly going back to filming."
Amy also discussed changes in production, as she had to communicate with producers via iPad instead of in person. "It’s weird to have real people with you and then technology," she continued. In addition, safety protocols required cast and crew wear masks and be tested. "We’re feeling it out," she said. "I thought yesterday and today went fantastic."
According to Amy, there were still "four or five episodes" that weren’t able to be completed prior to the production shutdown. "We’re going to try to finish that," she added. A big reason for her eagerness to bet back in front of cameras, she admitted, was financial. "Without filming or anything, I don’t get paid. I haven’t gotten paid in months," she said.