When you think of The Real Housewives, you might think of exaggerated arguments, wine tossing, and wealthy lifestyles that sometimes seem (and are often proven to be) too good to be true. As a Sociology major, I am fascinated by groups of people and their interactions, and from its inception, The Real Housewives garnered attention from all over the world, due to the over-the-top dynamics that the women have with one another, and how, despite many fights (that sometimes get physical), they usually manage to get through it all. I know some of you might be thinking that The Real Housewives isn’t that deep and does not need a dissertation about women who sometimes fly off the handle and spout phrases such as “monkey’s asshole” or “you’re a slut pig”. But for me as a Black Queer kid growing up, watching these women broadcast their successes, vulnerabilities, and adversities molded me into the person I am today.
The first franchise I ever watched was The Real Housewives of Atlanta. As a Black kid, watching Black women being their authentic selves, while living the life of luxury, was amazing. The reason Atlanta has been the most popular franchise since it has aired is because of its multi-layered and dynamic cast. You have a powerhouse like NeNe Leakes, for example, who has given us amazing one-liners such as “Bloop” and “close your legs to married men”, which are hilarious and iconic. However, what has always stood out to me is NeNe’s ability to be unflinchingly open about her personal life. When her husband Gregg was diagnosed with colon cancer, NeNe was open about the impact it had on her and how it led to her going through depression, and seeking out mental health treatment in the form of a life coach. The reason this had such an impact on me is due to my own mental health struggles. I struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression, which is not often shown in the media. Dealing with this can lead to the deterioration of friendships, relationships, school life and work, along with the fact that within the Black community there is a huge stigma attached to mental health. As a viewer, to see NeNe, a Black woman, be so open about having to rebuild the relationship with her husband and her friends as a result of getting a life coach and wanting to improve her mental health was inspiring. It also taught me how to go about conversations with the people around me as it pertains to mental health. Having anxiety, I have my guard up most of the time, so it can be hard to be vulnerable and face the issues you have with other people. I truly credit NeNe with helping me through the times that I have struggled mentally.
Another area of my life that the Real Housewives have helped me navigate is my career. No, I don’t want to start my own line of low-calorie vodkas or anything, but watching the shows has helped me reimagine my own career path and realize my own potential. Growing up as a Black kid, there were conversations I would have about what I wanted to do with my life, and I was encouraged to try to pick something “safe”. “Safe” does not necessarily mean easy—as far as I was concerned, “safe” translated to a career that would make money and be in high demand. I mean, I don’t blame my elders for wanting to push me in this direction; it’s totally understandable. However, to be quite honest, I have never been one to excel in math or science, nor am I savvy/motivated enough to start my own business from the ground up. Anyone that has the ambition to do those things, I commend you a million times. But bitch, I just don’t have it in me.
On the other hand, I’ve always loved writing but was discouraged to do so. It’s kind of understandable—I was not born into a family of rich media personalities or writers, nor was I born into any type of privilege that would help me excel in any of those areas at a faster rate than everyone else. But watching The Real Housewives helped shake me out of those feelings of discouragement. No matter the franchise or season, you’ll pretty much never see a Housewife let someone who doesn’t believe in her get in the way of chasing her dreams. You have Bethenny Frankel, alumna of The Real Housewives of New York City, for example. I remember watching her in the early days of RHONY, and remarking to myself how much drive she had. She would promote her product any way she could, no matter how it was perceived. Whether it was driving a Skinnygirl-wrapped car to the Hamptons during one of the infamous cast trips while Luann looked on in disgust, sampling her products in grocery stores to disinterested customers, or fighting with Jill over Skinnygirl signage at a benefit, you can’t say the woman didn’t put herself and her brand out there. Bethenny showed me that if I wanted something, I needed to prove to myself that I was ready and willing to do anything for my dream to come to fruition, while also being ready to face rejection. Success doesn’t happen overnight, and she really instilled that concept in me during her days as a Housewife. (Bethenny, please come back for Season 13, and bring Heather “Holla” Thomson with you!)
Speaking of chasing your dreams, the last important thing that Housewives has taught me is the importance of representation. Diversity is often an oversight when casting television in general, and Housewives is no exception to the rule. People automatically assume that, when talking about representation, people are trying to make shows more “woke” and “politically correct” by casting women of color. But the reason representation is important is because it makes your audience feel seen. Recently, I have felt like Bravo has been listening to the viewers and our demand for more authentic representation. For example, Garcelle Beauvais recently joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. For 10 years, the show did not have any Black women featured on the main cast. As a Los Angeles native, it furthered my questioning as to whether Black people were a prominent part of Beverly Hills society. To see such a dynamic and unapologetically Black woman as a part of this cast has really given me the confidence to not be scared to work in an area that I might be the minority in. Her presence on the show is also unmatched. She’s quick-witted, showcased her life as a working Black woman in Hollywood, and talked about how the infidelity she faced in her marriage was heartbreaking, but ultimately led to a healthy, copacetic co-parenting situation. She represents what so many people have had to go through. Also, to see Dr. Wendy Osefo, a Professor at Johns Hopkins University, political commentator, and a Black woman with FOUR degrees on The Real Housewives of Potomac has really been inspiring. As a college student, I often get super discouraged and have the urge to drop the f*ck out every other day, so to see her accomplish what she’s accomplished on top of being of a mother has really given me the boost to get the f*ck up and get this degree and push myself to do better.
The Real Housewives has been my favorite show to watch since I was about nine years old. Not only because of the drama that is showcased, but because of the real life stories and lessons that the women have bravely shown to us for years. I’ve learned so much about business, friendships, navigating my mental health, and pushing myself to be better because of these women. Each franchise holds a special place in my heart and not to be all like, uncool, but I am eternally grateful to the Housewives for being so open and vulnerable to us over the years.
Images: Tommy Garcia / Bravo
It’s been nearly 15 years since the creation of the first Real Housewives show, and the concept has grown and changed into a reality TV empire with millions of devoted viewers across multiple continents. There are many things to love about Housewives, but there really is nothing like a reunion. Every time Andy Cohen sits down with these women, it feels like a must-see television event, and the level of glam has risen accordingly.
But while the Housewives have full teams prepping them to be camera-ready for a grueling day on the couches, not all reunion looks are slam dunks. From decent concepts that fell flat to looks that are just painfully outdated, these are the most tragic reunion looks of all time.
Danielle Staub – New Jersey, Season 2
Danielle Staub is tragic in many ways, but this iconically bad reunion look tops the list. Certainly, the reunion dress code was more casual back in the day, but while the other women wore cocktail dresses,
Beverly Danielle showed up in a white tank top and a sequined mini skirt that’s giving me strong Wet Seal vibes. She finished off the look with a statement necklace and some black peep-toe booties, which thankfully you can’t see in this picture, because they may have actually made the outfit worse.
Tamra Judge – Orange County, Season 7
The season seven RHOC reunion is like a time capsule, because it’s a jarring look at the brief time that Tamra didn’t hate Gretchen Rossi. For this reunion, Tamra was clearly taking style cues from Gretch, as evidenced by her massive pageant hair. The two sat next to each other wearing the exact same color dresses and similar hairstyles, like some Newport Beach Us tethers. In a technical sense, Tamra looked good at this reunion, but the Gretchen cosplay is just not for her, and soon enough, these two went back to being enemies.
Ashley Darby – Potomac, Season 4
For RHOP’s legendary fourth season, they went with an all-white reunion theme, to varying degrees of success. Ashley’s outfit was definitely the worst of the bunch. The fully-sheer lace bottom half was a choice, as was the large mesh boob panel, but my greatest issue is with the cape. First of all, why wear a cape in the first place? You’re sitting the whole time, so it’s just an extra piece of fabric that’s going to be bunched up on the couch under you. But also, the strip of fabric across her chest that held the cape in place made the actual dress look even worse. It’s a no from me.
Luann de Lesseps – New York, Season 7
Sometimes you can tell there’s a good idea somewhere within a look, but the execution just doesn’t work. For this reunion, I liked that the Countess was giving us more of a fun disco vibe, but this dress looks beyond cheap. Stretchy metallic fabrics are tough to get right, and while money can’t buy you class, it could have bought Luann something that looked a little more high-end. This was before her iconic partnership with Jovani, and it shows.
NeNe Leakes – Atlanta, Season 1
In more recent years, the Atlanta women have consistently turned out the best, most glamorous reunion looks of any franchise, but season one was… rough. No one came dressed to impress, but NeNe’s extra-long cowl-neck top paired with black pants is absolutely disastrous. Over the past 12 years, NeNe’s style transformation has been something to behold, and it’s wild to think that this was probably considered cute back in 2008. We have truly been through so much this these women.
Kim Zolciak – Atlanta, Season 1
NeNe’s first reunion look hasn’t aged well, but I’m pretty sure Kim Zolciak’s first reunion look is timelessly fugly. This was back in the Big Poppa era, and it’s absolutely shocking to realize that Kim was still in her 20s during RHOA‘s first season. Here, she wore a mustard-yellow silk blouse, topped with a black vest and paired with black slacks. Kim looked more like a blackjack dealer at a third-rate casino than a Real Housewife. This was also during the prime ~wig~ era, and that synthetic-looking blonde hair makes me itchy just from looking at it.
Denise Richards – Beverly Hills, Season 9
The cast of RHOBH doesn’t take their glam lightly, and though she’s the most famous person on the show, Denise was clearly unprepared for her first season. Aside from the fact that I don’t think this beige dress is particularly cute or flattering, the dress and ponytail combo is about seven notches of glam below everyone else’s looks. I mean, Dorit had 10 pounds of metal clips on her head, and Kyle Richards was in a floor-length neon gown. I love Denise as a housewife, but she’s never going to win any fashion awards around these ladies.
Kameron Westcott – Dallas, Season 4
If you don’t watch RHOD, Kameron is basically a Barbie doll come to life, so suffice it to say that her sense of style doesn’t appeal to everyone. I think a lot of her head-to-toe pink looks are actually really cute on her, but this red dress from the most recent reunion just wasn’t it. From the floor up to the chest it’s pretty! But then you get to the shoulder region, where two pieces of tulle come together into giant puff-balls that literally touch her ears. Considering we mostly see the women from the waist up, it was incredibly distracting to constantly see Kam’s earrings get caught in her dress. This whole reunion was a mess, and this look wasn’t helping.
Gretchen Rossi – Orange County, Season 8
Gretchen has an interesting sense of style (see Tamra’s pageant look above), but I really can’t with the glorified figure skating costume she wore to the season eight reunion. Turquoise is a hard color to pull off, and the weird one sleeve/neck choker silhouette combined with the bedazzled waist adornment is just too much. This would’ve looked great on Tonya Harding, but it’s not a dress that should be worn anywhere other than an ice rink. Also, with all of her hair bunched on the same side as the dress’s fabric, this whole look feels imbalanced.
There have been many other reunion misses over the years, but these were the ones that I just couldn’t ignore. Let me know in the comments what your (least) favorite looks of all time are, because I could talk about this for days.
Don’t miss out on any pop culture or entertainment news. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Images: Charles Sykes, Heidi Gutman/Bravo; Andrei Jackamets, Vivian Zink, John Crooms (2) /NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images; Charles Sykes, Nicole Weingart (2), Evans Vestal Ward /Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
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)
During this quarantine, I’ve been watching a lot of Bravo. Okay, I’m always watching a lot of Bravo, but with no meaningful plans for the last two months, my streaming habits have been off the charts. From Real Housewives to Vanderpump Rules to the million other Bravo shows that always bring the drama, there’s just so much good material. Whether you’re discovering these shows for the first time or watching for the millionth, there are certain moments that never get old.
I’m a messy bitch who lives for drama, and luckily, so are all the cast members on these shows. In case you need ideas about what to watch, here are some of the most dramatic feuds that we’ve watched over the years. From drawn-out messiness to explosive reunions, these feuds always deliver.
Bethenny Frankel vs. Jill Zarin
In the first two seasons of RHONY, Bethenny and Jill were the first iconic Real Housewives BFFs. Jill was like a mentor to Bethenny, who was kind of a scrappy underdog at the time. But the dynamic changed before season 3, when Bethenny’s business took off, and Jill felt threatened. After Bethenny left Jill a voicemail telling her to “get a hobby,” things were never the same. Despite the rest of the cast trying to bring them together, they fought constantly during season three, and then Bethenny left the show. They didn’t reunite until years later, when Bethenny set aside the drama to attend the funeral for Jill’s husband. It was a tender moment, but they’re still not close, and I doubt they ever will be.
Kristen Doute vs. Stassi Schroeder
If you’re up to date on Vanderpump Rules, you know that Kristen and Stassi have recently fallen out over Kristen’s never-ending breakup with Carter. But way before Carter ever came in the picture, Kristen and Stassi were already in an epic feud. The best friends butted heads in season two, over rumors that Kristen banged Jax, who used to date Stassi. Kristen denied the rumors for months, even after Jax admitted it happened, but she finally came clean to Stassi. As you can see in the above GIF, it didn’t go well for Kristen. Somehow, these two made up and remained friends for years after this incident, but now, in season 8, things have taken a turn for the worse. Stassi has said Kristen isn’t invited to her wedding, and I don’t really know how you come back from that.
Phaedra Parks vs. Kandi Burruss
There have been hundreds of petty arguments on Bravo shows over the years, but the RHOA feud between Kandi and Phaedra got a little too deep. These two were best friends for years, but after hitting a rough patch, sh*t hit the fan in season nine. Throughout the season, the cast dealt with the fallout surround a rumor that Kandi and her husband tried to drug and sexually assault fellow housewife Porsha Williams. Porsha brought the rumor to the table, but during the season, she never revealed the source. But at the reunion, she exposed Phaedra for making up the story, and it was one of the most shocking moments in Real Housewives history. Phaedra was fired from the show for this, and obviously Kandi isn’t friends with her anymore.
Kim Richards vs. Lisa Rinna
From the moment Lisa Rinna joined the RHOBH cast in season five, she and Kim Richards didn’t click. Things got off to a rough start when Lisa questioned Kim’s sobriety, and they didn’t get better from there. That season, they got into it on the Amsterdam trip, in what is one of the more iconic fights in Bravo history. Kim threatened to spill tea about Lisa’s husband, and in turn, Lisa smashed a wine glass on the table. Ugh, it never gets old.
Though Kim left the show after that season, things got reignited in a major way at the season seven reunion. Earlier in the year, Lisa gave Kim a large stuffed bunny as a gift for her new grandson. At the reunion, Kim gave the bunny back to Rinna, saying she “didn’t feel like it had good energy.” Lisa Rinna’s single tear rolling down her cheek is a huge mood, and Kyle looks like she would rather crawl out of her skin than sit through this awkwardness. These two finally put their past behind them when Kim appeared on season nine, but I don’t think they’ll ever be best friends.
Thomas Ravenel vs. Kathryn Dennis
I wasn’t going to include exes on this list because that feels like a different category, but I had to make an exception. For the first five seasons of Southern Charm, we followed the saga of Thomas and Kathryn’s relationship, and watched as he f*cked her over time and time again. Kathryn’s erratic behavior didn’t help things, and it got to the point where you knew things were going to explode any time they were together. And in season five, Thomas’ new girlfriend Ashley (a living nightmare of a person) only made things worse. Ultimately, Thomas got fired from the show over disturbing sexual assault allegations, and Kathryn has gotten her sh*t together and gotten custody of their kids, so it’s safe to say that she won this war.
Monique Samuels vs. Candiace Dillard
I firmly believe that The Real Housewives of Potomac is the most underrated show on Bravo, and feuds like this are why everyone should be watching. As the two newer members of the cast, Monique and Candiace were friends at first, but that just wasn’t meant to last. Candiace got mad at Monique over her friendship with Ashley Darby, and they clashed at the hoedown party last season. Honestly, just put “DRAG ME, MONIQUE” on my grave. Season five has sadly been pushed back to later this summer, but during filming, these two got in an epic physical altercation that resulted in Monique getting charged with assault, so I can’t wait to see how that plays out.
Danielle Staub vs. Everyone
Danielle Staub is probably the most villainous figure in all of Real Housewives, so it makes sense that she’s had trouble keeping her friendships intact over the years. Throughout the second season, the whole cast couldn’t even be in the same room because everyone hated Danielle so much. She left the show after that, because you can’t really be in an ensemble cast if no one else in the ensemble will even film with you.
Danielle returned to the show in season eight, thanks to her friendship with Margaret (and her newfound friendship with Teresa), and she was quickly causing problems again. After pissing everyone off during her disastrous wedding weekend, and sending Margaret to the hospital after a physical altercation, her days on the show were numbered. After she ruined her one remaining friendship with Teresa at the end of season 10, she “retired” from the show, which is a nice way of saying she’ll never be asked back. It’s probably for the best.
Porsha Williams vs. Kenya Moore
In her time on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kenya Moore has feuded with pretty much everyone. She’s one of the messiest people on the planet, so drama tends to follow her. And we love her for it! When she and Porsha joined the show in season five, they clashed immediately. Porsha didn’t care about Kenya’s Miss USA title, and it bothered Kenya to no end. After two seasons of riveting back-and-forth (“bye ashy!”), things came to a head at the season six reunion, when Kenya’s megaphone-fueled provocations led Porsha to literally drag Kenya off the couch. As a result, Porsha was demoted for a season, props were banned from reunions, and we got a truly iconic TV moment.
James Kennedy vs. Katie Maloney
James Kennedy has always been a polarizing figure on Vanderpump Rules, and he’s feuded with pretty much everyone at one point or another. Kristen has hated him ever since their breakup, and Jax seems to hate him for no real reason, but his drama with Katie was really the final nail in the coffin for his chances with the core friend group. Last season, after he made body shaming comments about Katie, she got him fired from DJing at SUR, and he’s barely been a part of the group since then. James getting sober has definitely helped him make better choices this season, but I’m not sure Katie and her clique will ever give him the time of day again.
Tamra Judge vs. Alexis Bellino
The Real Housewives of Orange County is the show that started it all, and there have been countless fights, feuds, and arguments over the past 14 seasons. But one of my favorites—and I feel one of the most underrated—is the feud between Tamra and Alexis. Tamra’s “Jesus Jugs” line is an all-time winner, and she nearly got sued for it. The next season, their drama continued, when Tamra kicked Alexis out of her fitness studio, prompting Alexis to claim that she had to go on Xanax because of Tamra’s bullying. It’s like a soap opera, but better. Tamra also claimed that Alexis dropped her kids in the pool while they were strapped to a stroller, which I’m not sure we ever found out was true or not? I love mess.
Which Bravo feud do you think is the most iconic? There are so many good ones, and each of them is memorable for a different reason. I could talk about this forever, so please let me know in the comments.
Images: Giphy; Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com; Bravo / YouTube
There are a number of traits that all good Real Housewives have in common. An aspirational lifestyle, a highly suspect business venture, and a toxic husband are par for the course, but what really sets a Housewife apart from her castmates is the ability to deftly lob an insult, especially at another Housewife. This requires quick thinking and a way with the English language that few of us mere mortals possess, and when it’s done right, the results are simply magical. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best Real Housewives zingers in history and provided real life scenarios where you can use them, so you too can feel like a friend of seasoned Housewife. You’re welcome.
“Well, Even Louis Vuitton Makes Mistakes”
Whether you love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Luann has had some of the most iconic lines in the history of The Real Housewives of New York. One of her absolute best came in season 4 when insulting castmate Alex McCord’s “Herman Munster shoes.” Alex immediately clapped back saying they were Louis Vuitton, and without missing a beat, Luann gave us this gem of a comeback, both winning the argument and proving she belongs in the Housewives Hall of Fame.
When To Use It: We’ve all known someone who never misses an opportunity to brag about the various labels they’re wearing. Next time Dorit that person pipes up, you can hit them with a variation of this epic line. For example:
Dorit: OMG could you die over this new purse?! It’s Gucci!
You: Well, even Gucci makes mistakes.
“, You Bald-Headed Scallywag”
OK, so Marlo may not technically be a Housewife, but she is putting in more work this season than many a cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (looking at you, NeNe). She’s long overdue for her peach, and no moment proved this more than in a recent episode on the cast trip to Toronto. As SnakeGate continued to unfold, the entire cast seemed to get into it with each other, with Marlo and Cynthia going head to head about the accusation that someone recorded Cynthia talking smack about NeNe. Cynthia loses it and goes off on Marlo, and out of the clear blue, Marlo refers to Cynthia as a “bald-headed scallywag.” The creativity in busting out a term not used in the mainstream lexicon since the wake of the Civil War leaves me no choice but to stan.
When To Use It: Although Marlo was referring to Cynthia, another woman, I think this jab would work perfectly for that f*ckboy in your life who you’re not quite ready to cut, but who continues to annoy you with his games. If he’s bald or balding, great. If not, then you can take a page out of his textbook with a neg that will surely have him considering a Rogaine purchase. The exchange could go something like this:
F*ckboy: Sry, forgot to press send. U comin over later?
You: Chad, you bald-headed scallywag
“Not Well, Bitch!”
Although Dorinda joined The Real Housewives of New York in season 7, it feels like she’s been there from the beginning. In just a few seasons she has become a fan favorite, and her incredible one-liners have everything to do with it. In season 9 she gave us this wonderfully versatile response when asked by Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, of all people, how she was doing after a particularly heated argument with castmate Sonja Morgan. In turn, we were gifted this simple, yet incredibly effective phrase. Dorinda, we thank you for your service.
When To Use It: The beauty of this one is that it can be used in so many different scenarios to capture your mood. The “I’ll tell ya how I’m doing” preamble is optional, but when you use it, it hits so much harder. Either way, it’s a fantastic way to shut up that annoying co-worker Karen who cheerfully asks you how you’re doing at 9:03am on Monday before you’ve even had a sip of your iced coffee. Or it’s a perfect response to the group chat attempting to piece together a blackout girls’ night. Like so:
Jackie (to the group): Really hurting this morning. How are you guys doing?
You: I’ll tell ya how I’m doing: not well, bitch!
“I Don’t Know If She Wants To Be Me, Or Skin Me And Wear Me Like Last Year’s Versace.”
Dina Manzo only appeared on the first two seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (and randomly season 6), but she will always be remembered for her biting zingers, chief among them being her description of the one and only Beverly Ann Merrill Danielle Staub in season 1. After a bizarre encounter where Danielle hugged Dina over and over and awkwardly complimented her boobs, Dina delivered this perfect description of Danielle’s strange obsession with her. We miss you, Dina.
When To Use It: This line is best used when you want to highlight the Single White Female in your life who is seemingly always around and annoying the ever-loving shit out of you. Whether she keeps going after the guys you like, insincerely compliments you in a backhanded way, or is always showing up to frat parties in a sad variation of your outfit from last week, you can describe her as such:
Your Bestie: What’s up with Hannah? She’s basically wearing the same dress you wore last weekend.
You: I don’t know if she wants to be me, or skin me and wear me like last year’s Versace.
“Is Your Ass Jealous Of The Sh*t That Comes Out Of Your Mouth?”
I can’t say I’m going to miss Tamra now that she’s gone, but she did leave us with some truly memorable jabs. Tamra does her best work when she’s angry (never forget Jesus Jugs) and she exploded during the season 6 reunion when she sensed that Gretchen was being less than truthful, giving us this truly excellent insult. RIP, Tammy Sue.
When To Use It: This one comes in handy whenever you want to call bullsh*t on someone who is obviously lying. Of course, you can use it for more serious lies like Tamra did, but it also works when you want to joke around with someone close to you about a more harmless lie. Case in point:
You: Hey, just got here. What’s your ETA?
Friend (just got out of the shower): On my way!
You: Does your ass get jealous of the sh*t that comes out of your mouth?
Of course, there are far too many incredible Housewives insults and many of the very best had to be left off this list. What are some of your favorites and how would you use them in the real world? Sound off in the comments. Until then:
Images: Bravo; Tenor (2); Giphy (4)
Just weeks ago, a grown woman was caught on film having a meltdown while on the job. She yelled at her boss, suggested that she was the reason for his success, and publicly shamed a coworker with same-sex proclivities, saying, “We don’t do that” and “Turn it down!” In any other functional workplace, this behavior would get a person immediately fired, but in Real Housewives land it gets you ratings and a promotion. Of course, this isn’t the first time Vicki Gunvalson has gone off the rails, but it is the first time it has felt like a palpable line had been crossed. After her entitled and delusional outbursts at The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14 reunion, it became clear that she had fallen prey to some classic Real Housewife pre-retirement symptoms, suffered by many fellow Housewives, past and present. Read on for the signs a Real Housewife should leave the party.
1. Not Fully Participating in Filming and Reunions
There are always going to be parts of our jobs that we don’t like, for example, having to interact with other human beings partnering with coworkers on group projects. However, we’re paid to fully execute our responsibilities, and a Housewife’s duties are no different. This means showing up to all filming obligations, regardless of whether you feel like it or are getting along with your fellow castmates. Unfortunately, Lisa Vanderpump didn’t seem to understand this concept throughout season 9 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when she just decided to stop filming midway through and chicken out on the reunion because she wasn’t getting along with the other women. It’s no wonder she was fired won’t return for the upcoming season. NeNe Leakes is also currently suffering from a similar delusion on this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s barely been a presence and is leaving the heavy lifting to “friends of” like Marlo Hampton. It’s like asking an intern to bear your entire workload. Aspirational, but not how it actually works. If the Bravo execs have any sense, they’ll give Ms. Leakes her walking papers.
2. Forgetting The Show Is An Ensemble Effort
It’s natural that in any season there are going to be fan favorites and breakout stars. But Housewives get into trouble when they start believing their own hype and convincing themselves that they are the stars of their shows and their fellow castmates are merely supporting players. Vicki demonstrated this over and over again on the season 14 reunion, constantly making references to “my show” and saying “Get her off my show!” in reference to Braunwyn. Teresa Giudice is also guilty of using similar language on multiple occasions. What both Vicki and Teresa fail to realize is that they are on a show that thrives—nay, depends—on the interactions between cast members. Unless you’re Bethenny Frankel, you’re not compelling enough to carry your own show. Suck it up and know your role before you find yourself out of a job.
3. Crossing Moral And/Or Legal Boundaries
As Housewife fans, we live for drama, but when that drama derives from behavior that is immoral or downright illegal, it becomes hard to stand by the Housewife in question. We can never forget Vicki’s entanglement with real-life Dirty John Brooks Ayers, who spent the bulk of season 10 perpetrating a cancer scam, and although she was fully aware of this claimed to know nothing about it, she lost a lot of her luster with fans and the storyline was widely considered a low point for the series. Behavior that goes even further and ventures into criminal territory will get you fired, as Phaedra Parks learned after the revelation during the season 9 Atlanta reunion that Phaedra spread defamatory rumors claiming Kandi and Todd wanted to drug Porsha in order to take advantage of her. Attorney Phaedra should have known better than anyone that no one wants to deal with lawyers.
4. Being Inauthentic
We’ve all deduced by now that “reality” television is hardly real in the way, say, documentary footage or live news reporting is real. Plots need to be fleshed out, and at times that leads to storylines that can come off a bit contrived. However, when a Housewife herself is inauthentic, it’s a deal-breaker, and a telltale sign that she has no business being on the show. Tamra Judge on Orange County is a perfect current example. A woman who was once a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off is now, over a decade later, a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off. Only now it’s no longer novel and comes off as a desperate attempt to stay relevant on a show that is evolving without her. Another party guilty of inauthenticity of a different type is Dorit Kemsley on Beverly Hills. Forgetting about her put-on accent, Dorit’s refusal to air any of her real-life controversies makes her one of the phoniest Housewives we’ve ever had. It’s unclear what she brings to the show, other than a piggish husband and a penchant for over-the-top, label-displaying fashion she can’t actually afford. Yawn.
5. Avoiding Drama
Just like part of the job is showing up to filming at the appointed times, another integral part of being a Housewife is getting into it with other Housewives. Yet, year after year, there are always several women who complain that they “don’t want any drama” and refuse to go toe-to-toe with the others. In fact, aside from Puppygate, the entire cast of Beverly Hills built a whole season around this ethos, leaving us with one of the most boring seasons of the show we’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something). Even Namaste Teresa is a shell of the table-flipping, prostitution-whore-calling woman she once was, staying out of the fray and letting other people like Danielle Staub do her bidding. One might say this is growth and one might be right, but we all know dignity and maturity have no place on reality television. If I wanted to watch respectful and thoughtful people politely interact with one another, I’d put on The Great British Bake Off. Pick a lane, people!
It will be interesting to see what Bravo does with its OGs, who are some of the worst offenders when it comes to this list. While there’s something comforting about keeping around those who have been there from the beginning, getting rid of the women who aren’t pulling their weight keeps the others on their toes, especially those who lack the self-awareness to course-correct like Lisa Rinna, who does her best despite her drama-eschewing castmates. What other signs are there that a Housewife needs to go and who do you think needs to get off our screens? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Paul Morigi/Getty Images; Giphy (4); Tenor (1)
If you’re a dedicated Real Housewives fan, then congrats, because we’ve made it through a lot in the last 10 years. There have been hundreds of episodes, dozens of over-the-top trips, and too many petty arguments to even count. But out of all the drama, there are certain scandals that stick out more than your average dinner party disagreement. As the 2010s come to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the craziest Real Housewives scandals this decade has brought us.
Over the course of 14 seasons, The Real Housewives of Orange County has seen it all, but no storyline was quite as shocking as the season 10 revelation that Vicki Gunvalson’s fiancé, Brooks Ayers, lied about having cancer. As the other ladies grew more and more suspicious, Vicki didn’t do a great job of making herself look innocent, even though she’s adamant to this day that she really thought he was sick.
What began—like all good Real Housewives storylines do—when a psychic raised questions, spiraled into a full-scale investigation, all led tirelessly by Meghan King Edmonds. Never forget when she went to the radiology center to see if the formatting of their results paperwork matched up with the ones that Brooks falsified. It’s for this reason that I’m excited by rumors of her return to RHOC, but either way, I’m thankful for her service against the evil that was Brooks Ayers.
Luann’s Legal Issues
At the beginning of the decade, Luann de Lesseps was still busy preaching to her fellow Housewives about etiquette, but that, uh, didn’t last. Everyone watched in dismay as she married and divorced Tom D’Agostino in less than a year—after he cheated on her, at the Regency, in front of everyone.
Luann’s divorce sent her on a downward spiral, culminating in her getting arrested in Palm Beach on Christmas Eve, 2017. The story of her kicking a police officer and slipping out of her handcuffs is a scene I picture in my head at times when I’m feeling down. Since then, the Countess has reinvented herself as a cabaret star, because why not. Life is not a cabaret, but these days, Luann’s life basically is.
Teresa & Joe’s Legal Issues
Even if you don’t really watch RHONJ, you’re most likely still aware of Teresa Giudice’s legal saga. We watched in real time as the fallout from Joe’s shady business dealings played out, ultimately leading to him and Teresa both spending significant amounts of time “at camp,” as Teresa likes to say. However you feel about Teresa, watching her reunite with her daughters after almost a year in prison was a seriously emotional moment.
Things didn’t go so great for Joe, though. After finishing his sentence and spending several months in ICE custody, Joe was finally deported to Italy this fall, where he’s still waiting on his immigration appeal. Just last week, he and Teresa announced their separation, which I’ve personally been waiting for ever since he called her the C-word on camera way back in 2012. Arrivederci!
Michael Darby’s Sexual Assault Case
If you still haven’t gotten into The Real Housewives of Potomac, let me just tell you that it is… f*cking insane in the best way. The ladies on RHOP always bring the drama, but the most shocking event of this past season had to do with one of the husbands. Ashley Darby’s husband Michael was charged with felony sexual assault after he allegedly touched a cameraman inappropriately.
The charges were eventually dropped, but we got to watch the whole thing play out on camera, and the Housewives’ reactions to hearing about the charges were truly priceless. The messy AF producers then dropped the bomb that there was audio of the incident, and the ~unseen production footage~ is legendary.
Phaedra Parks was a mainstay on RHOA for seven seasons, but on the season 9 reunion, we watched as it all got taken away in a matter of minutes. In seasons past, Phaedra and Kandi Burruss were close friends, but that changed, and their relationship got more and more toxic.
Throughout season 9, there were mysterious rumors that Kandi was a lesbian, and specifically that she and her husband had plotted to drug and sexually assault her castmate, Porsha Williams. The source of the rumors was unknown for the entire season, until the reunion, when Porsha revealed that Phaedra had told her they were true. Kandi’s iconic “YOU SAID THAT?” line was born, but Phaedra basically had nothing to say for herself, and she’s never been on Bravo again.
Taylor & Russell’s Marriage
From the moment The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiered, it was obvious that things in Taylor Armstrong’s marriage weren’t great. As we watched her grapple with her abusive relationship, we could all tell things weren’t headed in a good direction, and just before season 2 premiered, the Housewives world was rocked with the news that her husband Russell had committed suicide.
The second season, which was filmed before Russell died, is honestly scary to watch, with a morbid sense of dramatic irony that most reality TV shows would never even want to deal with. Still, it made for one of the most interesting seasons of RHOBH, and none of us will ever forget the time that Taylor hid in a suitcase.
Sadly, the most recent seasons of RHOBH have lacked the hard-hitting drama of the first few seasons, but season 9’s Puppygate was still a pretty major scandal. It began when Dorit adopted a dog from Vanderpump Dogs, but later gave it away to someone else. What could have just been a personal issue between LVP and Dorit escalated to a war within the cast, complete with leaked stories to Radar Online and a lie detector test.
Ultimately, Lisa wasn’t willing to make it work with Kyle or Dorit, and she cut ties with the rest of the cast, essentially leaving the show in the middle of the season. Whether you’re an LVP fan or not, it was a messy way for an OG to go out.
What’s the Real Housewives scandal that’s made your jaw drop the furthest? Hopefully the 2020s will be full of many more unbelievable moments, because I can’t get enough of this sh*t.
Images: Giphy (7)
Any Real Housewives Bravoholic knows that our ladies are at their best when they go on vacation. Something about the change of scenery and being out of their element makes these already unhinged women go completely off the rails, and there’s beauty in the breakdown. But which trips deserve a spot in the top tier of the Real Housewives canon? Fortunately for you, I’ve done the lord’s work and broken down the most iconic trips in Real Housewives history.
10. Hong Kong, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 7
This trip is a standout for two primary reasons. The first is Ms. Erika Jayne’s completely over-the-top “You don’t know what I deal with every night!” freakout at Eileen, which may be the most emotion we’ve seen from Erika, well, ever. The second is Lisa Rinna’s accusation that Dorit was doing coke in her bathroom at a recent party. It came completely out of left field and is totally may not be true, but cut with the producer’s footage from that night, was one of the realest moments we’ve seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And that’s saying something.
9. Whistler, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8
Despite her demotion to “friend of” this season, there’s a reason that Vicki Gunvalson is the OG of the OC, and the cast’s trip to Whistler in season 8 is a perfect example. After Lauri accuses Vicki of having a threesome at an insurance conference, Vicki reacts in a way that can only be described as, “not well, bitch!” Vicki in full ski gear screaming “I HAVE NEVER BEEN WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS IN MY LIFE!” will haunt me for the rest of my days.
8. Anguilla, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 5
This trip cemented Kenya Moore’s status as one of the greatest Housewives of all time. Upon arriving in Anguilla, she somehow manages to take control of the boat and tells everyone to “hold onto your weaves!” She then proceeds to throw a tantrum at the hotel when she finds out her room does not have a bathtub. As if she hasn’t contributed more in this episode than the entire cast of Beverly Hills has in several seasons, she gets into an epic brawl with Porsha that culminates in her proclaiming, “I’m Gone With the Wind fabulous!” and twirling away. For that, I am forever indebted to her.
7. Marrakech, Real Housewives of New York Season 4
There were so many unforgettable moments on this trip. A fortune teller predicting (what we now know is correctly) that Mario was cheating on Ramona. The camel being so sick of the Countess’ pretentious bullsh*t that it tried to buck her off two separate times. The most Ramotional fit of crying ever to be seen on national television. And finally, Alex trying to confront Luann in her “Herman Munster shoes” like a “buffalo,” only to be thwarted by Kelly’s constant demands that she “re-enter” because she’s “not authentic” and Luann saying, “Go back to the cabinet you came out of, witch.” So good.
6. Lake George, Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 5
The Gorga-Giudice dynamic is arguably the most compelling part of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The tension between the two families reached a pinnacle on the cast trip to Lake George in season 5. Melissa literally gets on her knees and begs Teresa to “stop hurting us!” Then, after accusing her brother of being disloyal, Joe Gorga calls Teresa “scum,” triggering an epic Battle of the Joes that leaves these two grown men wrestling on the floor and the venue forever stained with Joe Gorga’s black spray-on hair dye.
5. Turks and Caicos, Real Housewives of New York Season 7
Despite how insufferable Luann has been in recent seasons, I can never completely forsake her. This trip is the reason. Hungover and clad in a white bathrobe and sunglasses, Luann is confronted by Heather about an unattended naked man in their house. Luann simply responds, “Be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.” She gives negative f*cks and it is not just a mood, it is the mood. This star turn allowed Luann, who’d been demoted to “friend of” that season, to ascend right back to a full-time cast member the following season, where she rightfully belongs. I stan.
4. Amsterdam, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 5
If the women of Beverly Hills could give up the dog drama and channel some of the energy from the season 5 trip to Amsterdam, we’d be back in business. Brandi, who I sorely miss, slaps LVP. In another scene, Kim goes in on Rinna, implying that she knows something untoward about Rinna’s husband. Eileen tries to intervene, but Kim snaps and calls her a beast. Eileen summons her years as a storied soap opera star and responds with the perfect “Beast? How dare you.” Kyle literally flees the entire restaurant, too overwhelmed to deal even a little bit. And if that wasn’t enough, Rinna smashes a glass on the table. It’s heaven.
3. The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 8
They don’t call it the Berzerkshires for nothing. Though the ladies have been there several times now, this is the one that will go down in history. Bethenny mercilessly takes down Luann for sleeping around and not owning it, screaming “You f*ck EVERYONE!” and calling her every synonym for “slut” in the thesaurus. Just when we think things may finally calm down, Luann makes the fatal mistake of insulting Dorinda’s mom’s cake, sending Dorinda into an epic tirade that will live on in Housewives history: “I decorated, I cooked, I made it NICE!”
2. Cartagena, Real Housewives of New York Season 10
Just when we think the New York ladies have peaked, they outdo themselves. This trip has it all: not one, but two fights happening simultaneously at a dinner table, a drunken Dorinda slurring her words with red lipstick smeared across her face, a boat ride so frightening that the women fear for their lives and nearly sh*t themselves, and, finally, a bout of food poisoning that causes almost all of them to actually sh*t themselves.
1. St. John aka Scary Island, Real Housewives of New York Season 3
No one travels better than the women of The Real Housewives of New York, and this trip is the jewel in the crown. There are so many quotable moments that it would be virtually impossible to list them all. Jill Zarin’s “HAAHHAIIIIIIII” as she crashes the trip is bone-chilling. Alex’s attempt to walk seductively during Kelly’s “photoshoot” while channeling her “Johan face” was blood-curdling. But nothing was more frightening than Kelly’s complete and utter mental breakdown “breakthrough” where she rambled on about Al Sharpton, satchels of gold, and jelly beans. I couldn’t GO TO SLEEP even if I tried. At least among all of the darkness we had Turtle Time.
St. Barth, Real Housewives of New York Season 5
“TAKE A XANAX, CALM DOWNNN!”
Beaver Creek, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2
Taylor in a suitcase.
The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 6
“Who are you to get me wet?”
Cape Town, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 4
Shereé and Marlo’s fight, comprised entirely of unintelligible shrieks.
Bali, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 9
Lizzie provoking Tamra to run away and threaten that we would never see her face again (unfortunately she did not make good on that promise) should have earned Lizzie another season.
Of course, only crowning 10 trips with this distinguished honor means that some memorable trips had to be left out. Which were your favorite trips? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (9)