Nev Schulman and Max Joseph know shocking. Over six seasons of MTV’s Catfish, the duo has helped virtual lovers track down their possible soulmates countless times, and it’s safe to say the results are never quite as they might’ve expected.
They’ve seen cheating and lies, prison stints, fake engagements, and, you know, the occasional dead person.
With season 6 set to kick off this Wednesday, EW spoke with Nev and Max not to seek advice on mysterious internet admirers, but to break down the five episodes that shocked them the most.
1. Kayla and Courtney: Season 5, Episode 10
In a series full of shocking moments, this story, about a girl who asks for Nev and Max’s help tracking down a woman, who, as a medium, has been in a relationship with the girl’s dead father, was a doozy… and then some.
NEV: The most shocking was Kayla and Courtney, the medium episode, where the woman was communicating with the girl’s dead dad.
MAX: We ended up believing in ghosts.
NEV: Yeah, we ended up believing in spirits. I mean, it changed our world view and our sense of life after death. That’s about as shocking as it gets.
MAX: As two bar mitzvah boys, you can imagine how difficult it was for us to believe in an afterlife. Because in Judaism, we don’t believe in an afterlife.
NEV: So, mediums are real.
2. Kya and Alyx: Season 1, Episode 6
Kya and Dani, who Kya thought was a guy named Alyx living in Sweden but was actually a transgender woman living in California, managed to prove that love knows no boundaries.
NEV: I do think that the medium episode is the most shocking. That’s going to be tough to beat. [But] I think Kya and Dani was also shocking. Kya was a girl from Columbia, Mo., and was talking to a guy named Alyx, who was bisexual from Sweden, and they met on VampireFreaks.com. And then it turns out that Alyx is maybe a girl in California named Danielle. And then we take Kya out to Riverside to meet Danielle, and it turns out that Danielle is actually Dani, and she’s transitioning from a woman to a man, and she just started hormone treatments and everything, and they fall in love. Right there on the show, they go out on a date and they kiss. But it was just amazing that these two people had met each other and formed such a bond that it didn’t matter that Dani was lying about many of the aspects of her life, that they were able to see through it. It didn’t last for very long, but that was shocking in the most pleasant way.
3. Rod and Ebony: Season 1, Episode 9
This pair was so full of twists and turns they could’ve been their own Shonda Rhimes series, so we’ll let Nev and Max take the reins on explaining this one…
MAX: This is throwing it way back!
NEV: This was shocking. I still think about it. So Rod met Ebony on an Adam-for-Adam site, like a gay website for men.
MAX: That, apparently, his “cousin” had signed him up for and he didn’t know it was a gay site.
NEV: And he meets a woman on there named Ebony, who’s only on there for friendship. And then tells him that, actually, she’s a transgender woman. But apparently that doesn’t bother him, and they’re OK to keep talking, and their love grows over a few years. Then, when we met Ebony, turned out, she was, in fact, a biological woman and was not in any way transitioning or transgender, and Rod seemed immediately disinterested, but didn’t say that, didn’t come out and say he was disinterested. He said, ‘You know what, I was just using Ebony because she was sending me money, and I don’t really have feelings for her.’ I mean, it was very odd and it was shocking because we thought we had a happy ending on our hands, a love story. And it didn’t turn into that. So that was shocking.
4. Lauren and Derek, Season 2, Episode 4
Can “boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love” really be all there is to it on an episode of Catfish? In this rare case, yes. Lauren and Derek fell in love online, and eventually in real life, too, with the help of Nev and Max. The two were engaged on a Catfish reunion show, only to break off the engagement many months later.
NEV: Derek and Lauren! It was shocking that Derek wound up being Derek.
MAX: That’s true.
NEV: That was like, kind of our happiest ending. They got engaged on Catfish, live. That was shocking.
5. Lucille and Kidd Cole: Season 3, Episode 4
Before Joanne the Scammer, there was Kidd Cole. He managed to convince Lucille that he was a successful rapper and schemed her out of a ton of money before Nev and Max stepped in (and tossed his phone into the river in a memorable scene). But it was what happened after filming wrapped that secured Kidd Cole’s place as one of the nuttiest Catfish villains to ever grace the screen.
NEV: Kidd Cole was pretty wild. [He’s] now in jail!
MAX: That story continues…
NEV: He called in, like, over 100 bomb threats to the D.C. Metro Police. And after doing what he did on the show, he graduated from catfishing and just went on to straight-up bomb threats. So he’s in jail. That was shocking, he was just a shocking kind of sociopath character. [Ed. note: He called in 11 threats, which is still 11 too many.]
Catfish season 6 premieres Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.