Love them or hate them, the Kardashian-Jenner clan is one of the most famous families in the world and it's hard to believe that they were once just like us. Just kidding, the Kardashians were never just like us! Let's try this again, shall we? Although the Kardashians have always been rich jet-setters with live-in nannies, chauffeurs, and a laundry list of celebrity friends, they have not always been a household name. This famously stylish, dramatic, media-hustling family lived an entire life before Keeping Up with the Kardashians premiered back in 2007, and sometimes it's hard to get our heads around that. As shallow as they seem, the Kardashian family has experienced deep aches, losses, and turmoil, which they have all hidden behind a calculated curtain of extravagance.
Despite their privilege and luxurious lifestyles, it's important to remember that the Kardashians are real people who have been shaped by experiences that many of their fans either overlook or are completely unaware of. Although they have shared a large portion of their personal lives with millions of viewers, there are some things that pre-date the cameras, paparazzi, and notoriety.
Ready for a Kardashian throwback? Here are 20 things that were different when they were kids.
20 No Reality TV
It might be hard to imagine a world without Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but once upon a time, this family existed without their own reality TV show and lived reasonably normal lives.
Well, maybe normal isn't the right word. Even without the cameras, the Kardashians were still a very wealthy family living an extravagant lifestyle in Beverly Hills, minus the reality TV show. Before her marriage to Bruce (now Caitlyn), Kris was married to the late Robert Kardashian, a very successful businessman and attorney who rose to fame for his defense of O.J. Simpson. Before the famous trial, the Kardashian family name was completely unrecognizable to the average American family.
19 Kris Jenner, Pre-Momager
Before Kris Jenner was a famous momager, she had a variety of different jobs, and let me tell you, the woman has been a go-getter from the beginning.
She met her first husband, Robert Kardashian when she was only 18 and working as a flight attendant for American Airlines. After a stint as a stay-at-home mom for her four kids, Kris filed for divorce and got together with Olympian Bruce Jenner.
Soon after her second marriage Kris went onto become a correspondent for the ABC daytime talk show Mike & Maty, started managing Bruce’s career, launched a line of fitness equipment and an infomercial called Super Fit With Bruce Jenner. She also opened a very successful children’s store called Smooch in 2003. Whew.
18 Uncle O.J.
Most people know that Robert Kardashian represented O.J. Simpson during his famous trial, but not many people realize that O.J. was Robert's best friend, while Nicole Brown Simpson was BFFs with Kris. The two families were so close that the Kardashian children even called the couple "Uncle O.J". and "Aunt Nicole."
Many stories have surfaced regarding Kris and O.J. to the point that even Khloe’s ties to the family were questioned.
Obviously, the loss of their "Aunt Nicole" must have devastated and confused the children, but the role their father played in O.J.'s courtroom saga gave the family their first taste of notoriety.
17 Tough Divorce
Kris and Robert got married very quickly in 1978, despite their 11 year age difference. After having four children together, their marriage ended in 1991.
In her book, Kris describes how her husband hired a private detective, which led to a confrontation at a restaurant in Beverly Hills.
After their divorce, Kris married Bruce Jenner only one month later and was granted temporary custody of the children due to Robert's anger over what happened (which was perceived by the courts to be a threat to the family). I can't even imagine the confusion and the upheaval all the kids felt during that time.
16 Still Rich (But For Different Reasons)
The Kardashians were rich long before the reality TV cameras were rolling! Thanks to their father's success as a businessman and attorney (and the fact that he came from money himself), Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob all grew up in an ultra-exclusive neighborhood in Beverly Hills and attended private schools. They lived in a huge mansion with a legion of housekeepers, a giant swimming pool, tennis court, Jacuzzi and even their own bar by the pool.
The Kardashian family was known for throwing the most extravagant and glamorous parties in their neighborhood and they hobnobbed with celebrities every weekend. Wow, must be nice.
15 The "Almost" Twins
Kim and her older sister Kourtney are only two years apart and have always been close. Their parents would often put them in matching outfits, causing many people to mistake them as twins. As a result, Khloe often felt like the odd one out. "Kourtney and Kim were raised somewhat like twins," she said in a post on her website.
"I was always the annoying little sister who was desperate to get any attention from them. Both of them looked so similar to one another and my appearance was so different."
Despite the fact that Kim and Kourtney were tight as children, there has definitely been a lot of bitterness and resentment between the two as adults. Let's hope they can work it all out.
14 Bible Studies, Church, And Prayer
Robert Kardashian was very proud of his Armenian heritage.
Robert would read the Bible to his kids in lieu of bedtime stories, say his morning prayers by his bed every day, attend Bible studies with Kris and expect his family to say grace before every meal.
Kind of hard to believe, isn't it? The Kardashians aren't exactly known for their faith, although they do make a point to be seen at church during the holidays.
David Schwimmer, who portrayed Robert in a TV mini-series, was surprised to find out just how different the patriarch was to his modern-day offspring. "Robert was a very different person. And also a man of great faith, which I didn't know at all," he said.
13 Introduction To The Jenner Family
Given the timing of it, I can't imagine this transition was easy on the kids. Kris met former Olympian Bruce Jenner on a blind date in 1990 and they were married only five months later (literally one month after her divorce from Robert). Suddenly, the Kardashian kids had a whole new family to adjust to, including two step-brothers and a step-sister, and their lives would never be the same. In the beginning, the Kardashian kids had to split their time between their dad's house and Jenner's house and it is understood that it took a while for the girls to accept Bruce into their lives (not surprising).
12 Kim Kardashian's First Love
Although Kim Kardashian now has a laundry list of exes, her first love was a boy named T.J. Jackson, Michael Jackson's nephew. Shortly after O.J. was found to be not guilty, T.J.'s mother passed away, which only served to bring the couple closer together and they dated throughout high school. The Kardashian family whole-heartedly approved of him, including Kim's former nanny, Pam Beham.
“I really liked T.J.,” Pam said in an interview. “He was kind of on the quiet, shy side, always very nice and polite. A good-looking kid, and as far as I could ever see, he treated Kim with great respect.”
11 Private All-Girls School
You didn't really expect the Kardashians to be educated at a public school, did you?! How plebeian! Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe all attended Marymount High School, a private Catholic all-girls school in Bel-Air. This exclusive high school has a laundry list of famous alumni, including Mariska Harigtay, Tatyana Ali, Mia Farrow, Giada De Laurentiis, and Marie Digby.
Khloe dropped out of school her senior year after both of her sisters had already graduated, claiming she didn’t fit in with the preppy rich girls who studied there.
After choosing to be homeschooled, Khloe graduated with honors at 17-years-old. Rob, the only boy in the family, attended Buckley High School, a private school located in Sherman Oaks, CA.
10 The Neverland Birthday Party
While you were having your birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's Kim Kardashian was having her 14th birthday party at the Neverland Ranch. You know, the one Michael Jackson owned (before it had a bad reputation). No biggie. Kim shared with PEOPLE in 2009,
“That was the most magical place on earth. I had my birthday at Neverland Ranch. Who else can say that?
"When you drove up there were baby elephants and chimpanzees in overalls, and there was all the rides,” she recalled. “It was everything you can possibly imagine. The memories I have from that place will last for the rest of my life."
9 Khloe, The Rebellious One
Every family has a black sheep, and it seems that Khloe was the Kardashians'. On her website she wrote, “I was a very [rebellious] teenager, I have been grounded more times than I can remember.” She continued,
“I used to sneak out in the middle of the night to go to parties. I stole my parents’ cars when I was underage and got into a lot of trouble for that. I was very bad for no reason!”
Although Khloe claims she had no reason to rebel, I beg to disagree. Given all the turmoil in her young life, I can see why young Khloe might have had an axe to grind.
8 Losing A Patriarch
Robert passed away at the young age of 59, only 8 weeks after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. At the time of his passing, Kourtney was 24, Kim was 22, Khloe was 19, and Rob was just 16.
Khloe has often said that she believes secrets and stress contributed to his illness.
Despite their bitter split, Kris Jenner says she was devastated by the loss. “It was so surreal, the knowledge he had cancer was one thing, but to think it would actually take his life I never in a million years thought that would happen to him," she said in a 2014 interview.
7 Khloe's Health Issues
Although there's no doubt that the entire Kardashian family mourned the loss of Robert Sr., Khloe became so stressed that most of her hair fell out, a condition called Telogen Effluvium. As a result of her hair loss, she wore wigs and extensions for a long time until it began to grow back. She also claims that losing her dad had an impact on her health.
Khloe was also involved in an accident which significantly affected her memory. Since the accident, Khloe has struggled to remember huge parts of her childhood and has even resorted hypnotherapy in an effort to remember (with no success).
6 Kourtney Only Wore Black For 5 Years
Kourtney is the oldest of the Kardashian kids and therefore took her parents' divorce much harder than her younger siblings. Kris revealed in an interview that Kourtney refused to wear anything other than black clothing for a full five years after the divorce was finalized. Even Todd Waterman recognized that Kourtney got hit the hardest.
"There’s several things I regret and it’s definitely the pain that it did cause Robert and the children specifically. I think it affected Kourtney the most. I know she was definitely affected and I always felt bad about that," Waterman admitted in an interview.
5 Kourtney Gets Educated
Fans of KUWTK often call Kourtney Kardashian "the smart one" because she's the only girl in Kardashian brood who has a college education. Kourtney originally wanted to be a lawyer like her father, even applying to several law schools, but had a change of heart and eventually graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Spanish. The lawyer thing probably wouldn't have worked out anyway, due to Kourtney's tremendous fear of public speaking (which was also responsible for her failing two college courses). In the end, Kourtney's real passion turned out to be design.
4 Rob, Star Athlete
Rob wasn't always known for his sock empire, personal struggles, and his messy split with Blac Chyna! Believe it or not, Rob was actually quite the athlete back in high school, winning multiple competitions for cross country. His team at Buckley High School qualified for the state championship race, but unfortunately, Rob had a little tantrum at the finish line and ended up disqualifying his entire team.
In addition to running, Rob was also on the school's basketball team. After graduating high school Rob continued his education at the University of Southern California, where he graduated from the Marshall School of Business.
3 Kim's Job As A Stylist
Kim Kardashian has been obsessed with fashion and makeup since she was a little girl and it didn't escape her daddy's notice. When she was just 14-years-old, her father gifted Kim with lessons at the Joe Blasco make-up school in Hollywood.
“He said, ‘If you girls are going to wear make-up, I don’t want you to look crazy,'” Kim shared in an interview with U.S. Vogue.
“I was obsessed. When I was fourteen, I was into black eyeliner, and my lip was, like, chocolate brown with a burgundy tone.”
At 24-years-old Kim began her career as a fashion stylist to the stars, starting as R&B singer Brandy's personal shopper, before quickly being hired by both Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.
2 Kim's Friendship With Paris Hilton
Although Kim and Paris Hilton aren't exactly on friendly terms today, they literally grew up together and were best friends for years (starting in preschool).
Paris actually helped Kim launch her stylist career by introducing her to all of her celebrity friends and Kim made frequent appearances on Paris' reality TV show The Simple Life.
In May 2007, when Hilton was sentenced after driving with a suspended license, Kim showed her support, saying, "You have to support people that you love." In April 2008, Paris quickly turned on Kim, saying some not-so-nice things about her in an interview. Wow, okay. I think I can understand why they're no longer talking.
1 The Birth Of Kendall And Kylie
For years there were only the Kardashian kids, but after Kris' marriage to Bruce, it wasn't long before Kylie and Kendall were born. Despite the widely held belief that the two girls are twins, they're actually not. Kendall was born in 1995 and her sister, Kylie, was born in 1997.
I know, I know, that seems like yesterday. When Kylie and Kendall first appeared on KUWTK they were only 12- and 10-years-old. Sometimes it's hard to remember that there is a significant age gap between the Jenner girls and the Kardashian sisters because of their youthful appearances, but this picture of Kim with her half-sisters really drives the age difference home.