The premise of the ABC Family drama Switched At Birth is definitely dramatic: teenagers Bay Kennish and Daphne Vasquez learn that they went home with the wrong families after being born. And in a unique twist, one of the girls (Daphne) is deaf.
The series was on the air for five seasons from 2011 until 2017 and many fans miss it a lot. There is something about the combination of heartwarming family moments, teen storylines, and sometimes over-the-top drama that is unique to this show.
But given the nature of this show—it's a teen drama and a lot of intense plotlines happen in each episode—it wouldn't be too wild to say that there are some things that are wrong with it.
It could be one of our favorite series and we would still say that we didn't like the way that one couple went their separate ways or the way that another character always insisted on acting. There are many fans who are in total agreement about the things that are wrong with this show, and they have definitely been pretty vocal about them.
What do we wish was different on this sweet show? Here are 20 things wrong with Switched at Birth that still bug fans.
20 Emmett Should Never Have Ended Things With Bay
One thing that is definitely wrong with Switched At Birth is the fact that Emmett ended things with Bay. Every show (teen dramas especially) has one pair who people want to stay together. The way that we feel about Bay and Emmett is the way that we feel if we're currently in a happy relationship: we can't imagine things being over.
Emmett ends his relationship with Bay in season four, and that should never have happened. He's dating a girl named Skye (and chances are, we never wanted that to be a thing, either).
We're also not super happy with Emmett's reaction to her situation with Tank in the same season. He blames her, and that makes no sense. He should understand that this is a really tough time for her.
19 Daphne Is Okay With Bay Getting In Trouble For Her
Fans will remember that in the season three finale, Bay totally takes all of the blame for Daphne's vandalism (and she's even under arrest). Earlier, Daphne had vandalized buildings that were part of the company that her mom, Regina, was working for.
Fans can't get over this storyline, and to this day, it's something that is wrong with this show. As someone posted on Reddit, they can't believe that Daphne would be "letting Bay take the fall for her decisions with the law." It feels so wrong that Daphne would be alright with this. Wouldn't she feel so bad? It's not all about her bright and shiny future. What about Bay?
18 Mingo Messes Up In Season Five And It's A Truly Bad Storyline
In season five, we're introduced to Mingo (real name: Greg Shimingo). He and Daphne flirt for a while and eventually start dating. He seems cute and harmless if a little bit silly and immature (okay, he's definitely very immature).
But it isn't until the second episode of season five called "This Has to Do With Me" that things start derailing. Mingo wears a costume of a singer that he loves to a party... and it's a truly bad choice in poor taste. As a fan posted on Reddit, there is something wrong with this storyline: "When Mingo and Daphne realized that they offended people, the first thing they should've done is apologize."
This is something that still bugs fans of Switched At Birth. Why wouldn't Mingo understand that this was a bad idea?
17 Bay And Emmett Should Be Together In The Series Finale
As we previously mentioned, Bay and Emmett are a wonderful and adorable couple on Switched At Birth. Fans want them to be a couple and they're definitely on the same level as Lorelai and Luke on Gilmore Girls. Talk about shipping a couple very hard.
The fact that Bay and Emmett don't end up together in the series finale is pretty baffling, even today. It's been around two years since the show ended and it's still something that is very wrong with the show. It's hard to know why this didn't happen. The fans would have loved it. We totally believe that the two characters learned from their mistakes and could make things work now that they're older.
16 Bay's Dad Never Totally Supports Her Dreams
John Kennish is a tough character to figure out. He's not necessarily a bad guy... but he's not the sweetest guy, either. He seems to want his family to live a very traditional lifestyle (read: wealthy) and that makes him seem very uptight.
John never supports Bay's creative dreams and never seems to think that her art means very much. He's not thrilled that she decides to become a tattoo artist in the fifth season, and Bay even calls him out on it in the series finale. She says, "You have always wanted me to be more like you" and when he said he supports her she said, "Not the way that you support Daphne..."
This definitely still bugs fans because it just seems so unfair. Parents should be happy when their children find something that they love.
15 Daphne Might Not Actually Be Able To Lip Read That Well
If we're fans of Switched At Birth, then we know that Daphne seems to be really good at reading lips. She can figure out what literally anyone is telling her, and very quickly at that.
But would this actually happen IRL? According to a post in a Reddit thread, Daphne might not actually be able to lip read quite so well: "Yet Daphne seems to understand almost everything that is being said to her, even when she is in the car with someone and has to read their lips sideways she can understand them. Is this realistic, or does this just make for good television?"
Many comments on the post suggest that this isn't something that would really occur. The show clearly highlights the deaf community and culture, but they got this aspect way wrong.
14 Fans Think That Daphne Only Cares About Herself Sometimes
Many fans think that Daphne only cares about herself, and this is definitely pretty evident if we've watched the show. This still bugs fans because Daphne is, of course, one of the two main characters, and there is a lot of screen time devoted to her.
Although Daphne and Bay develop a sweet friendship and care a lot about each other, Daphne always seems to get her way. Fans agree that she thinks about herself all the time. As one fan posted in a Reddit thread, "Daphne is selfish. She is smart and a natural-born leader, but she is so selfish that her decisions minimize those great qualities. Daphne is out for Daphne."
13 It Seems Strange That Bay Would Date Travis, Emmett's Good Friend
We learn more about Travis as the show goes on, and it's heartbreaking to discover that his family has basically turned their backs on him. His mom completely refuses to learn to sign or do anything to understand him. It's the worst.
While it's nice that Bay cares a lot about Travis and is there for him, fans want her to date Emmett, not Travis. It's too bad that Bay and Travis are the pair who are together in the series finale. It's honestly weird that Bay would date Travis in the first place, though, because he is a good friend of Emmett's. He's also Bay's good friend's ex, which causes some drama, too.
12 Regina Can Never Get Her Act Together, Which Is Frustrating To Watch
On the one hand, Regina has so many good things going for her. She's kind, intelligent, a great mom to Daphne, and a creative person. On the other hand... she doesn't seem to be very determined to succeed.
Throughout the series, we see Regina getting all kinds of different jobs. She's originally a hairstylist, then she works for an interior designer, and then a developer.
There is also the fact that Regina is in recovery and at one point, she goes back to her old ways. The woman who owns the interior design business fires her as a result of Regina's struggles. It's frustrating to watch Regina go through so much as she never seems to have her stuff together.
11 People Think Daphne Gets Interested In Too Many Things
As the writer of an article for She Knows put it, "How many ideas, boyfriends and [job] choices has Daphne been through since the first season? I know she’s growing up and learning about herself, but sheesh. Can she just pick one thing and stick to it this season?"
Daphne definitely has a lot of interests throughout the series. She wants to be a chef, she wants to work at a clinic, and she's even interested in politics. Fans definitely think that this is something that is wrong with the series, and it still bugs many of us to this day. It seems more likely that teenage Daphne would be interested in only one thing, just like how Bay is only into art.
10 Bay's Real Dad Angelo Passes Away From A Brain Aneurysm Because Of Being So Mad At Regina
Do we love Angelo or do we feel that he has some real issues? We might honestly think that both of these things are totally true because he's a tricky character. He's charming, that's for sure, and we can't argue over how attractive he is. But he has also made a lot of mistakes and not always been there for Regina and Daphne.
Since Angelo is Bay's real father, he plays a massive role in the series... and that's why it's so tough to watch him pass away. He actually dies of a brain aneurysm, and the series explains that although it was a genetic thing, him getting way angry didn't help. He was mad at Regina, so this is explained as a reason why he died, but fans still don't like it.
9 Regina Spies On Her Beau Eric Instead Of Just Asking Him What's Going On
There are several storylines on Switched At Birth that feel more dramatic than others. This is one of them: when Regina spies on her boyfriend, Eric, because she wants to know what he has been keeping from her.
This bugs fans because she could have asked him what was going on and wanted to have an open, honest, and mature conversation. Instead, she spies on him and follows his ex to figure out what's happening. It's not only silly and feels like something out of a cheesy television movie but it could be dangerous. It's great that things worked out well for them after this episode (at least for a while)... but we can't believe this was the actual storyline.
8 The Tank And Bay Storyline Means Well But Feels Awkward
One of the most talked about storylines on Switched At Birth is a situation that happens between Bay and Tank. It is very complicated and tricky as they used to date, and the dramatic scenario happens when they aren't together anymore.
Fans are uncomfortable with the way that this was portrayed. People discussed this on Reddit and had a lot to say about it. This is something else that still bugs fans about the show, even to this day, as it feels like it wasn't resolved and there too many questions that are still in the air. The show did deal with a lot of crucial subjects, and we can appreciate that, but this one might not have been the best to go with.
7 John And Kathryn Aren't Super Nice About The Switch
How would we act if we learned that we had been switched at birth? We can't say for sure because this is a pretty wild thing.
It's true that the two families become super close and they love each other, but fans feel that Bay's parents don't act very nice about the switch.
As one fan posted on Reddit, "Ok, so to be fair, I do think that John and Kathryn Kennish are good parents, but they annoy the heck out of me. For example, when they found out about the switch the only thing they did is complain about how much of Daphne's life they've missed, and how they were supposed to have this kind, perfect child, rather than Bay, the [angsty one]. They were never really concerned with how Bay felt."
6 Everyone Is So Negative About Daphne Becoming A Doctor, And It's Confusing
We've mentioned that fans think that Daphne is interested in too many things, and while that's true, she seems to really want to be a doctor. It works for her and how much she wants to help people. Plus, she's a kind person, even if she does bug people sometimes.
It's strange that when she wants to become a doctor and starts college, people aren't super supportive of her. A lot of teachers tell her that this won't be possible, and it seems like everyone is against her. This is confusing because Daphne is smart and she seems to have done well in school. She also worked at the clinic. Why wouldn't people want to encourage her dreams or help her out more?
5 Daphne Has Tons Of Love Interests — Would A Teen Girl Really Have That Much Going On?
Chef Jeff, Wilke, Jace, Liam, Mingo, Campbell, Travis, and Jorge. What do these guys have in common? They have all dated Daphne.
It's true that Daphne has a lot of love interests throughout the series' five-season run, and that seems unrealistic and hard to believe. Would a teenage girl really have that much going on in her love life? Most girls have maybe one, maybe two boyfriends throughout all of high school, and a bunch of other crushes (most of them unreturned), but that's it. Many fans of the show can probably agree that this is still annoying to think about.
4 Bay's Dad John Actually Was Aware Of Bay And Daphne, And That's Odd
As a fan posted in a Reddit thread about season five of Switched At Birth, "John knew about the switch somewhat. It felt like an unnecessary thing to bring up, and the paperwork confirming that was unrealistically alive and never found its way to a shredder."
It's confusing that John had been aware that Bay and Daphne had been switched at birth because it seems like this would have come up earlier in the show. It turns out that he thought that he wasn't Bay's actual father, so that's why he was researching this, but why was this even part of the storyline? Bay sets it all in motion with a high school science course on genetics, so why did they add John's DNA test to it?
3 Not All Fans Love The Special Episodes
This Reddit poster put it best: "They're doing ANOTHER alternate reality episode? Ugh. Lame."
There are a few different episodes of Switched At Birth that imagine what could have happened if Bay and Daphne had never been switched. There is the season three finale, "Yuletide Fortune Tellers," which takes place at Christmas. There is also the season two episode called "Ecce Mono" that asks what would have occurred if Daphne and Bay had always been part of the same family and lived in the same house.
While some fans might love these episodes, many would most likely say that it's best to stick to the regular show and not rely on this storytelling device that basically just confuses everyone.
2 Season Five Has A Lot Of Fluffy, Filler Content Instead Of Real Storylines
How did we feel about the fifth season of Switched At Birth? If we're like most fans, we honestly wanted so much more from these last episodes.
According to one fan's opinion on Reddit, "I get that they unexpectedly had to go from 20 to 10 episodes but wow does it feel like they're wasting precious episode time on pointless storylines or what?"
Since the fifth season only contained ten episodes, it's too bad that we feel like the content was mostly fluff. There weren't a lot of really interesting plotlines, and the season felt a lot different from the rest of the show.
1 The Family Should Have Talked To A Professional About The Switch
The final thing that still bugs fans about Switched At Birth is the fact that the family didn't talk to a professional about the switch.
Someone brought this up on Reddit and it's a really good idea: they wrote, "I am surprised Kathyrn, John and Regina did not get therapy for Bay and Daphne and even Toby, I think much of the girls' behavior came from how the switch affected them. Bay on how different she felt and how right she was."
It would have made for an interesting few scenes and would have been more realistic.
But even though there are 20 things wrong with this show that still bug fans, we still have to say... if it came back for a reboot, we wouldn't complain.
Sources: Reddit, She Knows