Desperate Housewives was one of the few shows that bonded me, my sisters, and my mom. Unhinged women wrecking everything in their path and looking hot asf while they do it? Sign me up!
When I used to watch Desperate Housewives, I just took everything as a given. Like oh yeah, a woman keeps her son in the basement, and of course, Felicia faked her death to frame Paul, who wouldn’t?
It’s only now that I entered my seasonal depression hole and rewatched the entirety of the show, that I realize that maybe some of these things were a little unrealistic and a tiny bit absurd. Maybe just a bit.
Don’t say I don’t ever do anything for you, as I’ve watched 179 hours of Wisteria Lane to present you with a list of the most unhinged plots on this show, ranked with the iconic Desperate Housewives apples – oh my god, I finally get it, they’re meant to be Eve in the Garden of Eden!!!
Also, no shit, there are major spoilers ahead.
Felicia Inventing Gone Girl
There’s just something about a woman taking justice into her own hands. While I never liked Felicia and sighed every time she returned YET AGAIN, I did respect her can-do attitude. Girlie wants to avenge her sister, Martha, whom she is certain Paul murdered (and he legit did). That’s some sisterhood right there.
So Felicia first tries to have Mike kill Paul, but unfortunately, Mike is a softie and lets him go. While she thinks Paul is dead, she tries to basically become a mother to Paul’s son, Zach, who is having none of it. Zach ends up attacking her and escaping to find his father.
Later, Felicia tries to irritate the shit out of Paul. She puts shortening on his front steps to make him slip. She replaces his lighter fluid with gasoline. She sends an exterminator to section off his house. But this is all child’s play while she plans the real final act.
Felicia uses her nurse skills to draw a bucketload of blood herself. She plants it in Paul’s house along with two of her fingers brutally sliced off. Girlie, didn’t even do the pinky or ring finger, the useless ones. Nah, she went for the index finger and middle finger, and can now never flip someone off again. Commitment. Imagine she gets cut off in traffic and can’t even respond with both hands!! Also why would you cut off two fingers if you did actually murder someone? She does a fake call to the police, and then goes on the run, having successfully framed Paul for her murder.
But that’s not all! As Girlboss has a backup plan in motion. Felicia makes her only daughter, Beth, become prison pen pals with Paul and marry him. Then when she is caught by the police for speeding, and they discover she is actually alive, Paul is released and Beth is supposed to bring him down from the inside. No luck, as Beth falls in love with Paul, and kills herself when he discovers the truth about her and turns her away. Brb crying!!!
Don’t worry, Felicia isn’t giving up just yet! She starts poisoning Paul with antifreeze, putting it in all the food Susan has been making for him. Despite almost seven seasons claiming Susan can’t cook, she now bakes pies and entire meals. This is in return for her getting Paul’s dead wife’s kidney.
But after Susan is wrongly arrested for it, the police discover it’s actually Felicia and she briefly tries to murder Paul and Susan once more (the third time’s the charm!!!) before going on the run. But alas, her daughter’s ashes spill in the car, clouding her vision, and causing her to be hit by a truck.
There are many, many things you can say about Felicia TIllman, but you could never call her a quitter! No quiet quitting for this badass.
Gaby and Carlos’ Surrogacy
Ok, I’m going to try and sum this up as simply as I can. Gaby and Carlos can’t have another baby after her miscarriage and the baby they adopt gets taken back, so they decide to go with surrogacy. The perfect surrogate is right there in their home: Xiao-Mei, who was rescued from slavery and is now their live-in maid. Xiao-Mei agrees as she thinks it’s her only way to get a Visa, but she admits to being a virgin.
They get her all turkey-basted and whatnot, and Gaby starts getting suspicious of Carlos and Xiao-Mei. In a now-deleted scene (DVD owners will remember), Gaby has the doctor check if Xiao-Mei is still a virgin and he says “NOPE!” Using baby monitors, Gaby catches the two of them in the throes of passion and kicks Carlos out on his ass. The lying creep tries to say it’s only fair as she had an affair first, but we DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT, CARLOS!
Xiao-Mei is forced to stay with Gaby for the rest of the pregnancy, until she finally goes into labor, with her water breaking at Orson and Bree’s wedding reception. The baby is born, and for a moment Gaby and Carlos are reconciling, but OH NO! The baby is black. It turns out that Xiao-Mei was inseminated with the wrong embryo, so it’s actually another couple’s baby. Their embryo didn’t take, so no baby for Gaby and Carlos, only a divorce.
Katherine Having A Literal The Orphan Plot Line
Katherine is kind of a Bree 2.0 character, but she sure does bring some eccentric plot line to the street. Her main plot line revolves around her daughter, Dylan, who weirdly can’t remember any of her childhood and when she first lived on Wisteria Lane. Eventually, it’s revealed that the real Dylan was accidentally crushed under a bookcase when Katherine put her favorite toy up on it.
Rather than handling the truth, Katherine traveled to a Romanian orphanage and found a girl identical to Dylan. She raised this child to be Dylan, with no one but Katherine, her new husband Adam, and slowly dying Aunt Lilian knowing the truth.
Obviously, the truth comes out eventually, Katherine is held at gunpoint by the real Dylan’s father, and everyone lives happily ever after. Oh until Katherine has a mental breakdown and tries to frame her ex-lover Mike (yeah, Susan’s Mike) by stabbing herself – just girly things! She also gives us a fun queer storyline when she starts dating Robyn, a retired stripper. Love to see the representation!
Da Bomb Storyline With Angie
Ok, before I dive into this outrageous plot, it has to be said that Angie is such a MILF. I remember being in awe of her. She’s confident, loud, sassy, and sexy. She can do no wrong in my eyes.
The Bolens move on to Wisteria Lane, consisting of Angie, her husband Nick, and their son Danny. They are hoping to live the perfect suburban life despite the dark secret of their past… what’s new, right?
It turns out that Angie was part of a group of eco-terrorists, led by her ex-lover, Patrick Logan. At his request, she built a bomb to be used for some unnamed environmental cause. The bomb ended up killing an innocent bystander. So Angie, who was pregnant with Patrick’s baby, ran away with Nick, the FBI agent tasked with bringing her to justice. That’s a true testament to how hot she is.
Patrick finds them and holds Angie and the family hostage, forcing her to build another bomb for him. Apparently, he can’t find anyone better at it than this woman who hasn’t done anything related in the last seventeen years, but sure. She builds the bomb and Patrick drives down the street with Angie, revealing the bomb is in the house where she left Nick and Danny. Oh no!
But wise-cracking Angie is one step ahead of him. She put the actual bomb in the detonator. So she runs away as Patrick blows up in his car. Happy ending, but the family has to move away to avoid being arrested.
Desperate Housewives really solved climate change with this storyline, and we love to see a Woman in STEM! But only three apples as minimal damage done, except to the anonymous man and Patrick Logan – RIP.
Skanky Sister Mary Bernard
Never trust a nun, I say. Sister Mary Bernard is introduced as Carlos’ “pen pal” in prison who helps him to get an early release. I wasn’t aware that the Catholic Church was so invested in freeing people found guilty of white-collar crimes, slave labor, and hate crimes, but sure.
Gaby and Mary clash quickly. First, because Mary is gorgeous and the correspondence between her and Gaby’s husband was pretty intimate. Secondly, because Mary blames Gaby for corrupting Carlos, and denounces her excessive materialism. Mary, honey, we’re living in a material world, and you can’t blame Gaby for loving her Lululemon leggings and Prada bags, get with it.
Mary convinces Carlos to join her in Botswana for a relief effort, just to drive a wedge between him and his wifey. She hints at how closely they’ll be staying together. When Gaby thwarts this plan by not mentioning his egg allergy and getting him sick from the vaccinations, Carlos in a fevered state moans “Hold me, Sister Mary.” Kinky.
But Mary isn’t done there, she returns from Botswana and urges Carlos to get an annulment. Blasphemous! When Gaby finds out, the pair have a literal catfight in the church, with Gaby pushing Mary into candles at one point. Oopsie.
This holy figure was horning for Carlos, and it was unhinged that she stayed part of the church. What was her plan? Did she actually want to sleep with him? Did she perhaps already sleep with him? Only one apple, but I’m firmly on Team Gaby in this one.
The Literal Tornado
For once, it’s a force of nature that hits Wisteria Lane rather than just the force of the housewives. Midway through season four, we get a literal tornado tearing up the street, and despite the countless warnings, none of them are ready for it.
The tornado fucks a lot of shit up. It kills Sylvia, this raving ex-patient of Adam’s, whom we discover he had an affair with. It kills Victor, Gaby’s husband who she was trying to leave for Carlos and thought she already killed on a boat. Carlos is briefly pleased by the death of Victor, watching him be impaled by a literal picket fence, only to be hit in the face with a piece of debris, and next episode we find out that he is blinded by this.
Lynette’s family is hiding with Ida Greenberg (the ol’ drunk of the street), and we later discover that she risks her life to save them all. RIP Ida, who is basically never mentioned again.
Oh, and Bree’s house is destroyed, which is a real shame given her gorgeous China set.
Lynette Catfishing Her Own Son
99% of the time, I am a Lynette stan. There is little she could do to turn me away. But that 1% is this storyline right here. I supported her when she stole he son’s ADHD medication (who wouldn’t with those kids?), when she kinda almost had an affair, and when she low-key got Nora shot, but I can’t support her when she catfishes her own son.
Porter is a teenager now after like five seasons of being five years old, and Lynette feels like he is so distant from her. So naturally the only rational thing to do is to make a fake social media account as “Sarah J” (the most catfishy name I’ve ever heard) and develop a friendship with Porter, that is clearly romantic. The two send each other poems, until Lynette finally realizes the latest poem is a sex poem. Very Freudian.
Does she come clean? Not intentionally, she accidentally signs off a message as ‘Love Mom’ and Porter immediately realizes he’s been catfished by his own mother. This is disgusting, but given how unhinged the rest of this show is, I can’t even dedicate more than two apples to it. Gotta save my apples for the big ones.
Edie Being Electrocuted
To this day, I am still mourning the death of the icon, Edie Britt. Everyone’s like oh boohoo Mike died (it’s not a spoiler, it came out a decade ago, catch up), but I am still lying right there with Edie Britt and lusting after her iconic boyfriend pink shirt and jeans look.
Edie discovers that her husband Dave has been using her all along to get closer to Mike and destroy his life in revenge for accidentally killing his wife and child in a car crash. It’s a long story.
Well, Edie FINALLY discovers the truth and then confronts him. Dave chokes her, and not in their usual sexy bedroom way, and we think this is it for Edie. But she manages to escape (YAY!) only to get into her car and almost hit kleptomaniac Orson on the run, swerving and hitting a lamppost instead. Don’t worry guys after two near-fatal attempts at her life, she’s still okay, as she shakily steps out of the car.
But not for long! She steps into a puddle and gets electrocuted by a dangling wire. That is how the icon of the show gets killed off. The last thing she sees before dying is her nemesis’ face, Susan. Where is the justice? I didn’t include Dave on this list as I try to forget about him, but Edie deserves this spot for her wacky and unjustly comical demise.
Bree Not Knowing What An Orgasm Is
This isn’t just an unhinged plot line, it’s an absolute crime. When Bree starts dating Orson at the start of season 3, he goes down on her, much to her surprise. It turns out Bree had NEVER had a man go down on her before, because she’s “a Republican”?! Orson insists, and this might be his only redeeming quality in the whole series, as Sir likes to go downtown on a woman.
Well, the water spills from the sink, and Bree has her first orgasm. Only she has NO IDEA WHAT AN ORGASM IS, so she hurries to the doctor claiming she’s had a stroke. Oh, girlie. It is bad enough to imagine that Bree has never tried things herself, which doesn’t shock me too much given her general attitude to sex. But this means that Rex, her husband of eighteen years, didn’t manage to tickle her ivories once, not even accidentally. He was so bummed about how she’s always distracted in bed and that she doesn’t want to do BDSM, well no wonder she’s never fucking orgasmed before!! Apologies, this topic gets me more riled up than Bree has ever been.
Popsicles And Dead Bodies
Now let’s move on to someone who is definitely not getting enough orgasms throughout the show: Karen McClusky. She is mainly known as the neighborhood babysitter, and her most notable scenes include her enemies-to-friends storyline with Lynette.
Towards the end of season three, there is a power outage that ends up revealing that Mrs. McClusky has been keeping her dead husband Gilbert in her freezer! With popsicles right next to him! And not even the good flavors! She gets reported to the police despite Parker being sworn to secrecy, and after a shockingly quick investigation (like the same day), they find that he died of natural causes so she was not responsible. She had found him dead and then not reported it so she would keep receiving his pension checks rather than his first wife.
It’s kind of a girlboss move, and some definite use of girl maths, but it’s also so nasty. Like she didn’t even have a separate freezer for him. If you’re going to keep a body, at least be hygienic about it.
Plane Crash Christmas
Will the people of this street ever find peace? I’m starting to really doubt it. The houses here must be dirt cheap as I’m sure annual natural disasters and countless murders really derail your property value.
This time, it’s a plane crashing down in the middle of a Christmas celebration. This is the disaster that impacts the most people in one go on the show. It takes down Susan’s ex-husband Karl, who was about to propose to Bree. It kills someone called Mona, who we don’t really care about, except that she was blackmailing the Bolen family. It kills the married couple on the plane, of course.
Lynette saves Gaby’s daughter, Celia, from the plane, and as a result miscarries one of her twins, whom she had named Patrick. Orson suffers a spinal injury that leaves him paralyzed for the rest of the show. Not a very Merry Christmas for Wisteria Lane.
I always remember being so terrified by season two, and rewatching it, I can see why.
So the Applewhites move onto Wisteria Lane, just a mother and her hot teenage son, Matthew. But of course, like everyone on this cursed street, they have a secret. Mama Applewhite’s other son, Caleb, is locked up in their basement in chains, because he killed his brother’s ex-girlfriend and won’t even confess to it. He’s also mentally challenged, so they think he can’t be trusted around other people. This storyline would not fly nowadays. Well, when Mama Applewhite tries to move them away, Matthew enlists his girlfriend Danielle’s help. He tricks Caleb into thinking Danielle wants to kiss him, and Bree comes at the sound of her daughter’s screams and thinks he is trying to rape her. Mama Applewhite’s solution is to kill Caleb by mixing poison into ice cream, his favorite food, and then leaving his body in the park to be found. Is that in a parenting manual?
As if this isn’t coo-coo-bananas enough, it turns out that Matthew killed the ex-girlfriend to protect Caleb, as she was going to go to the police about him hitting her. Mama Applewhite discovers this and his most recent betrayal, so she locks Matthew up in the basement. Brothers switching places! Don’t worry, Danielle comes to save her Romeo, they run away together, and then the police shoot him in the head when he holds Bree at gunpoint. Such a happy ending for all!