Honey Boo Boo's parents open up about their love [Video]

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"Toddlers & Tiaras", "Eden’s World" & "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"
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Idea: “Let’s film those ridiculous kiddie beauty pageants and make stars out of the contestants!”

That Led To: “Toddlers & Tiaras” (TLC, 2009-present)/”Eden’s World” (Logo, 2012-present)/”Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” (TLC, 2012-present)

Did It Fail Miserably? Sadly, no. TLC’s “Tiaras” has been happily exploiting tantrum-throwing tykes for five seasons now, and now it’s breeding: “T&T” breakout star Eden Wood (all of 7 years old) got her own Logo spinoff last year, and now TLC is enjoying big ratings for its own spinoff following 6-year-old Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo) and her hilarious hillbilly family. Can we put this whole genre in a permanent time-out, please?

It's not Valentine's Day yet, but love is in the air! Especially for Honey Boo Boo's parents, Mama June and Sugar Bear -- whom Honey Boo Boo (Alana Thompson) nicknamed herself. Why? Because "he is cuddly like a bear, and he's so sweet. He's my sugar," Alana said. Awww.

But before Alana was born, there was love. How did June and Sugar Bear's relationship begin? In this behind-the-scenes peek, we learn that what was meant to be a one-time hookup via an Internet chat room has blossomed into a nine-year-long, loving relationship.

[Related: Where did Honey Boo Boo get her name?]

Despite what anyone else thinks, these two find each other hot, and (as is clear in this clip) they're hot to trot. Who knew a Santa suit did it for June? In her words, he's "so smexy."

It's more than physical, though -- this love runs deep. "When I met June, it was love at first sight. I know she loves me, and she does a lot for me. We've been happy ever since," said a smitten Sugar Bear. For June, though, it wasn't love at first sight as much as it was "bed at first sight." As she says, "You gotta try out the milk before you buy the cow." Not surprisingly, daughter Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon thinks this confession is TMI. But June admits that once she saw what a caring connection Pumpkin (her daughter from a previous relationship) and Sugar Bear had, she fell for him. "He might as well be my daddy," Pumpkin said.

[Related: 'Buckwild' premiere: What do viewers think of the controversial new MTV series?]

Sugar Bear might only be the biological father of Alana, but he's the proud papa bear to all four girls in the house, including Pumpkin and June's other two daughters from a previous relationship: Anna "Chickadee" Shannon and Jessica "Chubbs" Shannon. "I consider all the girls my daughters. The girls look at me as a father figure to them," he said.

Clearly, this family has a lot of heart, and it's apparent in all they do. Never is this more evident than in their open-hearted acceptance of the girls' gay uncle Poodle (Lee Thompson). Honey Boo Boo even memorably said, "Ain't nothing wrong with being a little gay. Everybody's a little gay." The popular reality program recently garnered a GLAAD Media Award nomination for, as GLAAD put it, "reflect[ing] a new American landscape where a growing majority accept and value their LGBT family, colleagues, and friends."

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