‘7 Little Johnstons’: Proms and Birthday Surprise Are Big Hits but Trent Ends Up in Big Pain

7 Little Johnstons' family TLC Instagram

Life for the 7 Little Johnstons seems to take a calm and joyful path in the May 21 Episode 8, A Prom Kiss and a Prom Diss.  There was a flurry of activity as dresses arrived for Elizabeth and Anna to try on and approve for their big nights, and naturally, every Johnston weighed in with an opinion.

At first sight, Trent Johnston couldn’t believe he was looking at dresses for his daughters.  “Are we going to the pool?” the dad exclaimed when seeing the two-piece ensembles with room for an inch or so of midriff to show.

The techniques for family communication that Trent and Amber have been practicing with Dr. Galen Cole were definitely put to good use.  Trent secretly arranged a 40th birthday surprise for Amber– a getaway to Hilton Head, SC, with a beautiful, spacious rental on the beach.  It took teamwork to get everyone packed and ready without mom knowing a thing, but it was a success, even with a uniquely memorable 7 Little Johnstons gift.

Just when it seemed that Trent’s anxiety was easing, a pain in his side grows much more concerning, leaving the ending as a true cliffhanger.

Beauties on parade on 7 Little Johnstons

Elizabeth and Anna were both visions of young beauty as they descended the staircase in their prom attire options.  Initially, they both chose two-piece floral gowns, going more for comfort.  Later, Elizabeth decided on a subdued but lovely emerald green gown with a rhinestone accent belt.  Alex was much more content to take a snooze then give passion commentary.

Elizabeth had a precursor her what her wedding day would be like, as Amber Johnston just couldn’t keep from making every tendril of her daughter’s hair perfect.  Moms still will be moms, and Trent was captivated to see both his daughters off for their unforgettable night.

After making his surprise promposal to Elizabeth on the soccer field, Brice comes to meet all the family, playing a favorite game of “face-up.” The new beau fits right in, and all the siblings pronounce that he is “cool.” Now it’s smooth sailing for prom night.

Anna hits a snag in her plans when her old neighbor, Luke, starts hedging that going to prom with her might be “awkward.”  She’s been through this before, and let him know that she will just go on her own.  Like always, the 7 Little Johnstons rally to her support, praising her decision and her courage.

The pictures seem to take as long as the entire prom proceedings, but the result is a lifetime of captured memories.  As soon as Brice and Elizabeth are alone in the car, they sweetly caress and snuggle.  The slow dancing at the prom brings them forehead to forehead, and Brice gently but genuinely kisses Elizabeth.

More nuzzling happens on the ride home, but since Elizabeth and Anna are watching from the window, Elizabeth decides on just a goodnight hug to close the night.  These two may last a while.

Anna had fun at her prom on 7 Little Johnsons

Anna has a much better time than she predicted at her prom.  She dances with friends, takes tons of photos with friends, but sits on the steps when the slow dancing starts.  To her surprise, two friends, Tucker and Dylan, both come to dance with her.  Tucker gets on his knees to be eye to eye.  Dylan is much more similar to Anna in stature.

Trent teasingly dresses in his Footloose suit, offering up until the last minute to be Anna’s date.  He tells his sister, Heidi, about the pain in his right side.  She has a look of concern beyond his own, but dad still does a move ala Kevin Bacon. He does what it takes for his family, and this bunch doesn’t hide the real stuff.

Surprise moves

One of the most delightful features of this 7 Little Johnstons was the morning yoga routine between Amber and Trent.  Let’s just say that faces got in odd places, but the devotion between this couple is to treasure.

Trent has a one-on-one session with Dr. Cole.  The therapist asks him to think about all the “what if” scenarios that play out in his mind.  He helps Trent to see that his worries are much more fears than reality.

Trent recruits the kids to pack and load the truck for a birthday getaway to celebrate Amber’s 40th birthday.  He literally takes silverware out of her hand as he told her, “Pack some of your stuff, we’re leaving now!” This probably could not have been pulled off without Dr. Cole’s intervention.

The trip proves to be a wonderful respite, even if clam-digging wasn’t the favorite activity for the birthday girl.  The family prepares the traditional low country boil in 7 Little Johnstons style, and Trent presents Amber with huge, red “granny panties.”  They both fit into the underwear for a jog.  The kids read thoughts they have written about their mom.  Some were repeats but it’s the thought that counts.

Trent and Amber conclude their time with Dr. Cole.  Dr. Cole encourages Trent to allow himself to try his venture into being his own boss.   Trent admits that the choice would be “like flipping a light switch” in his life.  Amber is completely supportive.   The unknown is always scary but nothing changes without taking the jump.

The next morning, Trent calls Amber on the way to the emergency room, in crippling pain.   The final scenes show the dad hooked up to monitors, awaiting news of his condition.

Fans don’t have to worry about the TV return of the 7 Little Johnstons,  but they may have reason for concern about Trent’s quality of life.  This family always comes through challenges, and this is only one more. Hopefully, TLC shares when the show is coming back soon.


Tresa Patterson

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