Deciphering the Wahlberg Family

Wahlburgers is breaking mainstream media, so it’s important to get your Wahlbergs straight. Here’s a breakdown.

Mark, Paul and Donnie Wahlberg

Photo via A&E

With Wahlburgers becoming one of A&E’s most popular shows, some viewers might find themselves having trouble keeping up with the Wahlbergs. Kinda like Dorchester-meets-the-Kardashians, there really are just four on the show you need to care about: Mom and the three kids voluntarily in the spotlight.

For those of you non-Blockheads who don’t know your Donnies from your Pauls, here’s a Wahlberg clan primer:

Paul Wahlberg: The Brains

Chef Paul Wahlberg

Chef Paul! Chef Paul! / GIF via AETV’s Official Tumblr

They always say on the show that Paul is the brains of the Wahlburgers operation. He’s the most rational, which doesn’t always work in his favor. His opinions are often overshadowed by Mark and Donnie’s, but at the end of the day, Paul gets the final shot by simply saying that he knows what the hell he’s doing.

Paul: “Just let me focus. Let me do my thing. Leave me alone.”


PLUS: Read this Q&A with Paul Wahlberg about Wahlburgers.

Mark Wahlberg: The Backbone

Mark Wahlberg

Golfing with Mark looks…fun? / GIF via AETV Official Tumblr

If Paul is the one with the logic, Mark is the one driving the family to get where they need to be. He’s got a lot of ideas on his plate, and likes to pursue every single one of them all at once. Everything is a competition to him and he’s fearless…because he’s Mark Wahlberg.

Mark: “I was always determined to figure out a way to beat every single one of [my siblings].”

Donnie Wahlberg: The Voice

Donnie Wahlberg

Donnie’s milkshake brings all the Blockheads to the yard. / GIF via AETV Official Tumblr

While Paul and Mark are the two go-getters, Donnie is very much the guy who sits in the backseat casting remarks that are heard only part of the time. He’s the peanut gallery. His opinions on the business are not often taken seriously, but boy, can he promote. The only instances when his advice is noted are when Mark and Paul are butting heads.

Paul, on Donnie: “I’m standing here, and these women are trying to claw past me to get Donnie, and Donnie’s like, ‘Hey, how ya doin’!'”

Alma Wahlberg: The Name


This woman raised nine kids. / GIF via AETV Official Tumblr

Alma, who lends her name to Paul’s restaurant Alma Nove, is often the voice of reason. But actually, she is the reason to watch the show. While Mark, Donnie, and Paul have a lot to say about each other, Alma actually has the real dirt (right, Baby Donnie?). And she’s the epitome of your classic Bostonian grandma, the kind with the best red sauce recipe and who probably used to smoke a pack a day. If you really need to choose a Wahlberg to love on this show, pick Alma.

Donnie: “The Wahlberg boys have this larger-than-life tough guy reputation, but in truth, we’re all a bunch of momma’s boys.”


Wahlburgers airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on A&E. Watch full episodes from Season 1 so far on


  • Steve Glines

    I thought the title said “Wahlberg family planning” not primer, so I was wondering if they were multiplying. There IS one more than I thought.

  • Phaerisee

    Vibrations good like Sunkist

    Many wanna know who done this

    Marky Mark and I’m here to move you

    Rhymes will groove you

    And I’m here to prove to you

  • frederigoxcz305

    my Aunty Sienna recently got a year old Jaguar only from
    working off a home computer… Recommended Reading J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • jhonny ringo

    i wonder will he rap on the show…..wheres the funky bunch

  • CLangley

    Been trying to keep up with the shows each week. They are fun to watch! I love their mom! She’s really great. Last night’s show was very sweet and funny with Donnie taking his brother Paul to do something nice for him on his birthday…very sweet. I hope my 2 sons remain close as they grow older and can love each other, joke and have a good time together like these brothers.

  • BostonBean

    I was wondering if any of the other Wahlburgs wil be on the show?

  • Lin Lan

    Love to see the other brothers and sisters on the show – we never see any of them…hoped they would show them for his birthday..not sure why… :o)

  • Sandra Jack Shaw

    Here’s a Wahlberg “Trans”formed ;)

  • Maggie May Bowen

    I really enjoy the show, especially Alma and poor suffering Paul. It’s a great show to watch with my kids.

  • febgirl

    How many Wahlberg siblings are there, altogether? j/w I so love them :-)