When it comes to telling the Duggar kids apart, even the most seasoned fans need a minute, especially when you’re deciphering between the Lost Boys. Like seriously, who is Justin Duggar? Nevertheless, class participation skyrockets when the Duggars post a throwback picture shot and dare to ask us, “Can you guess who this is?” And you can guess all you want — we all know fans will try their damndest to identify — but you’ll never get the clarification from the family.

The Duggars Guessing Game is rigged so the only people who win are Jim Bob and Michelle. It’s an aggravating challenge that questions “who?” and leaves you with “why?” And though I can’t say for certain, I do have a theory…

What if the Duggars are asking us to guess because they truly, truly don’t remember?

jessa and jinger

We’re going to use a few textbook examples of a Duggar guessing game to posit this possibility. “TBT: Can you guess who we are?!” the above picture asks, slightly aggressively punctuated with a winky face.

Like, I can identify from first glance it’s Jessa and Jinger, and that’s a fun shame I get to live with for the rest of my career. Usually, though, the comment section fills up with guesses and following that, rage. In fact, a lot of people feel betrayed that they haven’t even given an answer. “I’m still with you but I don’t play guessing games, with “God as my Witness” …still with you and your FAMILY thus far…not much left do mo games, not playing anymore and nor should you…people actually care after all these years and turmoil, if you will,” one slighted fan practically grumbled. Guys, Becky has been waiting with baited breath for clarification, and they still won’t give any! But what if that’s because Jim Bob and Michelle weren’t sure if it was Jana and Jill and they’re still busy debating it?

little duggars

And then take this weird clown picture of four baby girl Duggars. “Sometimes we do remember to do Throwback Thursday! This picture has Jana, Jill, Jessa and cousin Amy. Can you tell who is who!?” the photo is captioned. Well, can you guys? Because I wouldn’t be surprised if the back of this glossy had the scribble of “Jana, Jill, Jessa, and cousin Amy” and now they need a little help with who is who.

jana and josiah

Or what about this shot, which has been reposted a handful of times? “This #tbt shows how Jana always wanted to help Mom out,” the caption reads, as I openly LOL. “Can you guess who she is feeding? Hint: Look at the date on picture. As a new aunt, I bet she’ll have a chance to feed another sweet baby soon!”

So, clearly they know it’s Jana because who else would be raising that child? But the baby could be anyone. They know the timestamp says ’96 so fans (and, tragically, me again) can deduce it’s plausibly Josiah. Jim Bob and Michelle? They can’t be bothered to answer the question…or you know, do the math for themselves.

The other theory, perhaps more realistic, is that the Duggars are trying to amp up engagement.

jana and jill

In which case, they manage to be incredibly successful. Despite their lightly Luddite ways, the Duggars have found lofty social media strategies that really work. For example, while their congratulations videos seem on-paper pointless, impersonal, and awkward, people still click on them. They’re able to use their built-in fanbase to monetize on something that really serves no purpose. And that implies that the family, for all their faults, can be crafty.

So by asking an answerless question, they can keep a steady flow of comments coming. And it’s funny, really. Suppression as a whole seems to be the Duggars go-to lifestyle strategy and it seems like it could have damaging effects when applied to, you know, an actual person. But here, it’s the tease that works: make them beg for more, and then don’t give it to them. Sing it out, Michelle!

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