It’s no secret from my many articles on the subject that I’m a Bravoholic with an affinity for all things Real Housewives. And while I didn’t think my appreciation for these women could get any deeper, I’ve been especially thankful for them while battling bouts of boredom and anxiety in self-quarantine. In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, it’s only right that we pay tribute to the amazing women that not only gave life to our Housewives, but who have made a lasting impression in their own right while appearing onscreen.
10. Ms. Diane, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Ms. Diane is an angel. She ranks this high on the list because she’s one of the most normal and seemingly sane mothers this franchise has ever seen. Her calm demeanor and unwavering support of Porsha through everything from the divorce from Kordell to the infidelities of The Hot Dog King is truly heartwarming. Porsha is one of the few lucky ones.
9. Judy Stirling, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Lydia’s mom, Judy, made an immediate impression when she breezed her way into the OC from what seemed like another planet entirely. She sprinkled fairy dust on her grown daughter, smoked a ton of pot, and even managed to get into it with Vicki’s aggro son-in-law over having her feet on Vicki’s couch. In short, she was a lot more interesting memorable than Lydia.
8. Dr. Deb, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Dr. Deb is what you would get if you swapped out Judy’s weed for acid and proceeded to have a really bad trip at Burning Man. When she first appeared on the show, Dr. Deb intrigued viewers with her multicolored dreadlocks and general IDGAF attitude. She really got into the mix last season at “OC Fashion Week” (I refuse to believe that’s a thing) by fighting with another attendant and allegedly using a racial slur. Clearly used to chaos, it’s no wonder Braunwyn decided to have seven kids.
7. Ms. Dorothy, ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’
Ms. Dorothy made an impression from the moment we met her in season 3. Between her monthly stays at the house she bought for with Candiace and Chris and her attempts to control every aspect of their wedding, this therapist seems to have a blind spot when it comes to respecting boundaries with her daughter. Last season she took this to another level by slapping Candiace upside the head with a purse. It be ya own mother.
6. Lois Rinna, ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’
When we first met Lois, she charmed us with her happy-go-lucky attitude and positive energy. Little did we know that this ray of sunshine nearly died after surviving an attack by a literal serial killer. And not only did she survive that, she also managed to sit through dinner while Camille defended Brett Kavanaugh and served us some epic facial expressions like this in the process:
5. Marge Sr., ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’
As if Marge Jr. weren’t enough of a gift to the show when she was cast in season 8, we got the added bonus of Marge Sr. Dating well into her seventies and even admitting that she’s had sex in a cemetery, Marge Sr. is the Hungarian Samantha Jones. We have no choice but to stan.
4. Mama Elsa, ‘Real Housewives of Miami’
Almost exactly one year ago, the world lost a legend. Mama Elsa was the indisputable star of the otherwise lackluster Real Housewives of Miami. With her strong Cuban accent, flair for drama, and witchy sensibilities, she stole every scene and gave us so many hilarious moments. The world was a wonder while she was here.
3. Dale Mercer, ‘Real Housewives of New York’
Regardless of whether Tinsley decides to return to RHONY, her mother Dale would be a welcome addition to the show. She never misses an opportunity to shade her own daughter, whether it’s pointing out to Tinsley that she’s wearing shoes designed by Tinsley’s ex-husband’s new wife, or implying that her relationship with Scott is doomed. And, of course, we can never forget her indulging Tinsley’s crazy and crying with her over Tinsley’s frozen eggs “babies” while Tinsley tries on wedding dresses despite not actually being engaged.
2. Mama Dee, ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’
Speaking of women that take pleasure in shading the hell out of their spawn, no one does it like Mama Dee. Watching D’Andra squirm while asking her mom for more money to let her take over the business and Dee revel in the power dynamic is truly captivating television. Is this a healthy mother-daughter dynamic? No, but I really don’t give a dog’s rip.
1. Mama Joyce, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Love her or hate her, Mama Joyce is the G.O.A.T. of outrageous Real Housewives moms. She never misses an opportunity to harass her son-in-law, whether it’s butchering the lyrics to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to make a threat, or recounting a childhood trauma about a lunchbox to allude to her distrust of him. The thirst doesn’t stop there. She tried using a shoe as a weapon against Carmon during Kandi’s wedding dress shopping trip, and put on an actual trench coat to dig up dirt on Phaedra, giving us this iconic moment:
She may be a monster hellbent on destroying anyone that gets too close to her daughter’s money, but she’s given us some incredible moments in the process.
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the moms on this list make for great TV. Which Real Housewives mom is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Bravo (2); Tenor (5); Trash Talk TV; 1drdeb / Instagram; Giphy (2)
Later this week—so like, tomorrow—Andy Cohen is heading out to OC to film the reunion for Real Housewives of Orange County. Normally, this makes me sad, because it means the season is almost over, but in this case, I’m stoked, because this year has truly sucked. I have no more fucks to give about whether or not Vicki and Tamra will be friends and whether or not Lydia will mention her husband’s balls again. I just can’t. I’m also happy about the end of this season, because it makes room for the real queens of Cali aka the Bev Hills wives. Fucking duh. Also, total side note, but where tf is the trailer for that, Andy?! It’s almost November, for fuck’s sake. But anyway, in honor of the upcoming finale in OC, we’ve ranked all of this season’s wives by betchiness. Tbh, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because all of these women are hella busted. But I did my due diligence.
7. Vicki Gunvalson
Tbh, Vicki probs falls at the bottom of the list for housewives across all cities of all time. There. I said it. BE BOLD! She cries about not having friends, she doesn’t own her shit when she’s a dick to people, she dated a dude who faked cancer, and, like, complained to a child about how mean the girls are to her at his parents’ anniversary party. You’re fucking 60. Who does that? She owns her own business, which is cool and all, but she never shuts up about it, because she secretly wishes she could shop and lunch and exercise all day and still be rich af like all her friends.
6. Shannon Beador
Poor Shannon… This has really not been her year. Her husband is back to being a little fuckboy, and she’s put on some weight, and while it’s super not betchy, literally every single person can relate. Who can say she’s never had a fuckboy treat her like shit and followed that pain up with a Papa John’s binge session? No one. Unless you’re a fucking liar. And while I feel for Shan, I really do, she’s got to stop complaining and fucking do something about it. Tell your loser husband to suck it and head to SoulCycle. Brb, making that my Twitter bio.
5. Lydia McLaughlin
In full disclosure, I think Lydia is the fucking worst. But as a non-biased professional journalist, even I have to admit she has some betchy qualities. She and her husband own a magazine, which is cool, and she has amazing mermaid hair, but that’s it. She’s a nice girl, which y’all know I can’t fucking stand, and she doesn’t like belly dancers or drag queens. Wtf is dis bish doing on a Bravo show? Like, isn’t there something on the Hallmark Channel you could audition for? Plus, anyone whose tagline is “If you can’t take my sparkle then stay off my rainbow” is not a betch.
4. Peggy Sulahian
I also can’t with Peggy. Her talking about sports cars all the time and shit… Like, no one fucking cares. But she and her fam appear to be really rich, and she’s really pretty and thin, which are all super betchy qualities, so she finds herself somewhere in the middle of the pack. Plus, there was that whole scandal where she apparently wouldn’t let her brother come to their dad’s funeral because he’s gay, which would make her a mega-bigot asshole, but now she’s come out saying that’s not true, and she loves the LBGTQ community and other shit I’m not sure if I believe, but innocent until proven guilty I suppose. I’m sure Andy will give her shit at the reunion about it either way.
3. Kelly Dodd
I feel like a bunch of y’all are gonna lose your shit at me over this, but this is my list, so IDGAF. Hear me out. Sure, she’s a BSCB who, like, calls people cunts in the middle of family-friendly restaurants. But she also calls people out on their shit, which I can appreciate. You act like a snobby bitch at a party? Prepare for your deepest secret to be outed on national television. You try and get her tequila wasted and make an ass of herself in Ireland? Prepare to die on a bus. Maybe y’all should all just stop being assholes. What a concept.
2. Meghan King Edmonds
Meghan is the only housewife on this show who is even remotely normal. Like, we could maybe hang out. Maybe. She’s not a total nice girl, but also doesn’t totally suck either, which is kinda of refreshing given the rest of the cast is like the meanest group of women alive. She’s married to a ex-pro athlete, and her kitchen island is #goals. Sorry, I’m in my mid-20s, and that kind of shit is important to me now. Sue me. She’s also really skinny even though she gave birth like 5 seconds ago, which is something I truly admire.
1. Tamra Judge
Last year, Tamra was getting ready for a fitness competition, meaning she was in the running for my least favorite person on Bravo. People who won’t shut up about diet and exercise are my legit archnemeses. But anyway, this season she’s still working out and shit, but she doesn’t talk about it that much, thank god. She’s friends with most everyone in the group, except Vicki of course, but the OG from the OC is practically begging to be in her good graces again, so Tamra is the new HBIC. Congrats, girl.