Reality TV

The Beginner’s Guide To The 90 Day Fiancé Universe

With more than 20 spinoffs, the franchise continues to expand its orbit.

When Chrissy Teigen and John Legend decided to dive into the 90 Day Fiancé universe, neither quite knew where to begin. So, Teigen asked X (formerly Twitter) to help guide them: “What’s a good season of 90 Day Fiancé for a beginner who has no idea what this show is?” she asked her followers in August 2019.

At that point, the TLC reality dating series had already been on the air for five years and spawned multiple spinoffs, leaving the couple with an even more “daunting” task than anticipated. Within 10 minutes of finding the perfect entry point, though, the couple was hooked, and superfan Teigen has become one of 90 Day Fiancé’s most prominent live-tweeters, even sharing her Cameo from a cast member.

They’re hardly the only ones tuning in. In addition to other celebrity fans ranging from Lady Gaga and Sophie Turner to Seth Rogen and Pete Davidson, millions of weekly viewers have kept the show consistently perched atop the cable ratings. It led TLC to branch out into what network president Howard Lee once called their “version of a Marvel Comics Universe.”

The flagship 90 Day Fiancé series, which premiered in 2014, has aired more than 115 episodes — with some clocking in at two hours each — and boasts more than 20 spinoffs. What’s more, the 90 Day Fiance universe, where trainwrecks and heartwarming love stories co-exist in equal measure, only continues to expand its orbit.

With the 10th season premiering on Oct. 8, here’s the best way for the uninitiated to navigate the near-decade’s worth of 90 Day Fiancé drama and romance like a Legend.

What Is 90 Day Fiancé About?

The unscripted series is based around the United States’ K-1 visa program, which permits a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. Though not always the case, many of the couples hadn’t met in person prior to getting engaged, and 90 Day Fiancé documents their raw, roller coaster journeys as they decide whether or not to follow through with the marriage.

If both parties don’t agree to say “I do,” the visitor must return to their home country, per the visa program’s mandate, making for doubly consequential season finales.

Where Can I Stream 90 Day Fiancé?

All nine seasons of 90 Day Fiancé — as well as its many spinoffs — are available to stream via the Discovery+ app. (Plans start at $4.99/month.) Following Discovery’s 2022 merger with WarnerMedia, all episodes are also streaming on Max. (Plans start at $9.99/month.)

Which Season Should I Start With?

First-time viewers should plan to invest a good portion of their time in a proper marathon, and longtime fans promise it’s worth the commitment. You don’t necessarily have to start with Season 1, though. “You can hop in anywhere,” Hulu advised Teigen on X, adding, “But Season 4 is my favorite season.”

90 Day Fiancé’s fourth installment, which aired in 2016, continues to be a fan favorite, and even TLC — after a *DEEP BREATH* — suggested that Season 4 was the best starting point for the Legends (and those more pressed for time) to jump into the OG series. (FYI, Season 6 is also a standout for several 90 Day devotees.)

Viewers now have another option to fast-track the 90 Day Fiancé viewing experience. On Discovery+ and Max, 90 Day Journey is a curated miniseries focusing on individual couples. Each season (there have been 15 so far) consists of every scene a beloved duo has appeared in across each show in the 90 Day Universe in one easy-to-navigate package.

What About All The Other 90 Day Fiancé Spinoffs?

“After the success of 90 Day Fiancé, we wanted to branch it out,” Lee told Vulture in 2020. Comparing it to Marvel’s growing universe, Lee said that the storytelling began to evolve as more shows were introduced into the franchise.

Let’s break them down, starting with the core 90 Day Fiancé spinoffs.

90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?

After the main series followed a growing number of couples over several seasons, fans were hungry for post-filming updates. Premiering in September 2016, 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? follows the couples after they tie the knot. There have been seven seasons to date.

90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days

Because backstories often shed light on current events, TLC debuted 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days in August 2017. The second spinoff, which tracks budding international romances — pre-engagement — came about because casting directors continually found potential participants who were in love and heading overseas to decide whether to pop the question. Before the 90 Days, now in its sixth season, is the highest-rated of all the series, according to Lee.

90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way

Premiering in June 2019, 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, which currently consists of five seasons, focuses on Americans who find love outside of the U.S. Making the stakes even higher, some of these expats drop everything — including friends, children, and their homes — and move to a foreign country to pursue international relationships.

So, That’s It?

Nope! In addition to two seasons of an international version (90 Day Fiancé UK), there’s also the vacation-themed 90 Day Fiancé: Love in Paradise (three seasons), as well as 90 Day: The Single Life (three seasons), which documents past fan favorites looking for love again.

Several couples and singles also have spinoff series, which include The Family Chantel (four seasons), Darcey & Stacey (four seasons), and After the 90 Days installments featuring Loren and Alexei (two seasons) and David and Annie (two seasons).

TLC also airs multiple versions of a companion series called 90 Day Fiancé: Pillow Talk, in which past faves break down episodes of select franchises in real time. (The original 90 Day Fiancé, as well as Before the 90 Days, Happily Ever After?, The Other Way, The Single Life, and Love in Paradise all have Pillow Talk offshoots.)

The latest addition to the 90 Day universe is The Last Resort, which premiered in August and shows couples giving their relationships “one last chance” at a group retreat.

If you’re still looking for more bonus and behind-the-scenes content, the additional spinoffs currently available on Discovery+ and Max include:

  • 90 Day Bares All (two seasons)
  • 90 Day Diaries (four seasons)
  • 90 Day Fiancé: What Now? (four seasons)
  • 90 Day Fiancé: Just Landed (one season)
  • 90 Day Fiancé: B90 Strikes Back! (one season)
  • 90 Day Fiancé: HEA Strikes Back! (one season)

Nearly a decade after its inception, the 90 Day Fiancé universe is showing no signs of slowing down either. “I think we’ll know enough is enough when the ratings prove that we’ve done it too much now,” Lee said.

Whether they tune in for the “hot mess” relationships or the purity of genuine love, fans still consider the franchise appointment viewing. As one X user recently said, “The best 2 nights of the week are Sunday and Monday. I get to spend it laughing and tweeting with my [90 Day Fiancé] family. I really look forward to it.” Another explained their fandom more simply: “90 Day Fiancé is the best show on television right now.”