Reality shows are always known for their over the top drama, but no shows have brought the crazy as consistently as the Real Housewives. From city to city, Bravo has put together some incredibly entertaining groups of women, and people love them – or love to hate them.
Sure, some of the individual housewives have kind of been duds, but overall there’s a very high success rate. The Real Housewives of New York City, in particular, has some of the all-time best housewives. In honor of the 10th season (how crazy is that?), let’s look back on all the wildest RHONY moments from the past decade.
20. The Scary Island trip
The trip to St. John from season three is probably the single most iconic trip in RHONY history. There’s always lots of drama on these trips, but Kelly Bensimon became completely unhinged, and the other women were worried about her. Bethenny Frankel yelling “GO TO SLEEP” still haunts me, and I think the women are haunted by this trip too. On top of that, Jill Zarin thought it would be a good idea to surprise the women and show up the next morning. This trip was truly a monumental disaster.
19. Luann’s “cool” moment in Turks & Caicos
The season seven trip to Turks & Caicos was another major source of drama. This time, one of the big issues was about bringing men back to the house. After Heather Thomson woke up to find a naked man in the room next to hers, she was furious. She called out Luann De Lesseps and Ramona Singer for not keeping better track of their guys, but Luann was having none of it. She was completely unbothered by the whole situation, and famously told Heather and Carole Radziwill to “be cool.” What an amazing moment in RHONY history.
18. Kelly and Bethenny’s Epic Fight
Oh Kelly…Back in season three, Kelly and Bethenny really weren’t getting along, but Kelly couldn’t just let it be. Rather than just accept that they weren’t going to be close, Kelly invited Bethenny out for drinks, just to tell her that they’re not friends. That’s a pretty brutal move, and Kelly’s insinuation that she’s better than Bethenny made it worse. Oh, and she also had a date afterward at the exact same bar. Say what you want about Kelly, but she always brought the drama during her time on the show.
17. Ramona’s iconic runway walk
Moments like these are what made the earlier seasons of RHONY such a joy. Alex McCord got a few of the women to walk in a runway show at Brooklyn Fashion Week, and the whole thing was kind of a mess. The best part, by far, was Ramona’s incredible runway walk. Her eyes are completely crazy, and the actual walk definitely needs some work. Jill said it looked like an alien invaded her body, and she’s not wrong. Ramona was mad that her friends left before congratulating her, but they probably needed time to think of something nice to say.
16. Sonja almost losing her house
Sonja Morgan is an amazing source of one-liners, but her time on the show has also been tragic sometimes. She was once married to one of the richest men in the world, but she was still reeling from her divorce a decade later. At one point, she had to pay a $7 million judgment, and it seemed like she might lose her amazing five-story townhouse. This hovered over her head for two or three seasons of the show, but somehow it all worked out okay in the end. Sonja doesn’t seem like the type to save money, but it is hilarious to see her cleaning her own toilet.
15. Luann and Bethenny’s Berkshires battle
Season eight is probably the most dramatic season of RHONY yet, and the overnight trip to Dorinda Medley’s house in the Berkshires was a nightmare. Dorinda just wanted a nice slumber party night with the girls, but Bethenny and Carole just could not stop fighting with Luann. Bethenny, in one of her worst moments on the show, completely slut-shamed her, and this became an issue for the whole season. Then Ramona coached Luann to send some ill-advised text message apologies while the girls were still in the house. Luckily, this episode gave Dorinda’s most epic quote ever: “I cooked, I decorated, I MADE IT NICE.”
14. Luann bringing the pirate home in St. Barth’
Luann bringing a man back to the house was also a source of drama on the season five St. Barth’s trip. She was dating Jacques at the time, so it became a huge point of contention among the women. Luann claimed she brought a group of Italians to the house, but everyone else was positive that Luann was speaking French. The man in question was Thomas, who looked like a cuter version of Johnny Depp as a pirate. I don’t think we’ll ever know exactly what happened in St. Barth’s, but it was very awkward.
13. Sonja’s toaster oven saga
Again, Sonja can be a little bit tragic. She constantly talks about how she’s an international lifestyle brand, but she’s had trouble getting any real business ventures off the ground. There’s the jewelry, the Nigerian football team (still confused about this), the clothing, but nothing can beat the toaster oven. For nearly all of season five, Sonja tortured Heather about helping her with the toaster oven design and packaging, and the photoshoot was painful to watch. It’s still unclear to me whether the toaster oven actually ever existed, but the producers got plenty of good material either way.
12. Aviva throwing her prosthetic leg
Some moments are just too wild to try to explain. Aviva Drescher was a polarizing presence in her two seasons on RHONY, and she was always a source of drama. She loved to talk about her prosthetic leg, and some of the ladies were pretty insensitive about it on the show. But no one was prepared for the season six finale when Aviva responded to accusations of being fake by throwing her fake leg across a restaurant. Yikes. That ended up being Aviva’s last season on the show, but we’ll always have the leg toss heard ’round the world.
11. The whole Morocco trip
I tend to forget about this season four trip, but it was a complete mess. First of all, these ladies need some training on how to not be disrespectful when in a different country. Some of the comments about being in a third-world country are truly cringe-worthy. They might need some manners training for dealing with each other, too. Pretty much everyone was fighting the entire time, and it’s hard to even keep track. Bethenny and Jill, Ramona and Jill, Alex and Kelly, there was just a lot of drama going on. Good thing they all learned how to say “ya habibi!”
10. When Ramona threw a glass at Kristen
Kristen Taekman didn’t make the strongest impression in her two seasons on RHONY, but she was usually pretty friendly to everyone. Ramona, however, wasn’t really feeling her energy. The weekend at Heather’s house in the Berkshires was a low point for Ramona, and Kristen suffered as a result. When they were out on the lake, Ramona did not take kindly to having water splashed in her hair. In what she claims was a gut reaction, she threw a wine glass at Kristen in the water and ended up cutting her lip. Ramona’s done a lot of questionable things on the show, but this was pretty bad even for her.
9. Jill bringing Simon to the tennis match
Jill and Ramona’s tennis matches were a major plot point in the first couple seasons, which seems so old-fashioned now. It was probably a good thing for these women to get their anger out on the court, but they couldn’t help causing a little extra drama. When Jill’s partner pulled out of the season two rematch, she enlisted Alex’s husband Simon as a replacement. Not only did Simon not really play tennis, but he was one of Ramona’s least favorite people. Jill thought she was being so clever, but the whole thing was just kind of pathetic.
8. Bethenny’s bombshell information about Luann and Tom
Luann’s whirlwind romance with Tom was a low point of seasons eight and nine, and all the other women knew it. Just a week after their engagement, Bethenny was sent some incriminating photos of Tom with another woman. She told Luann the news while they were in Miami, and it was heartbreaking to watch. Ultimately, Luann chose to forgive Tom, but we wish she had just left him and dodged a huge bullet. The marriage obviously didn’t last, and season ten is expected to focus heavily on the messy aftermath. Bethenny felt terrible about delivering this news, and it wasn’t that fun to watch either.
7. The end of Jill and Bethenny’s friendship
For the first few seasons, Jill and Bethenny were basically inseparable on the show. Jill was a mentor of sorts to Bethenny, but as the SkinnyGirl brand continued to grow, she didn’t need that kind of guidance. Their friendship completely fell apart before season four, and Jill couldn’t get over Bethenny’s voicemail telling her to get a hobby. This drama was actually painful to watch, because you could tell that both of them were genuinely hurt by what the other had done. Some of the RHONY drama is more superficial, but these were real emotions.
Of all the feuds on RHONY, this might be the strangest. At the beginning of season six, Aviva had a book coming out, and she wanted advice from Carole, who is a successful writer. Their discussion went south when Aviva accused Carole of using a ghostwriter for her first book. Carole was completely offended by the allegations, but she also claimed Aviva used one, even though she denied it. Their disagreement was dragged out over several episodes, and we still don’t know (or really care) who hired a ghostwriter for their book. At the end of the day, it’s just not that important.
5. Alex telling Jill she’s in high school
Alex is often forgotten as one of the original RHONY ladies, but she knew how to stir the drama. She fought with pretty much everyone in the original cast, but her argument with Jill is probably the most notable. She called out Jill for her petty BS, and gave us an iconic quote in the process: “While you are in high school, I am in Brooklyn.” The ladies loved to complain about how Alex lived in Brooklyn, but I’m not sure what this has to do with anything. There are plenty of petty people living everywhere, including Brooklyn.
4. Luann’s music career
Everyone loves a good Housewife dance single, and The Countess Luann has established herself as the songstress of the RHONY crew. None of her songs are chart-toppers, but they’re pretty entertaining if you like the show. Her first song, “Money Can’t Buy You Class,” is a modern classic about how “elegance is learned,” and the use of autotune is egregious. My favorite song of hers is “Chic C’est La Vie,” and the music video features Jill and Kelly in Atlantic City. All the girls were invited to the music video shoot, but most of them found excuses to bail. Ouch.
3. Ramona and her Turtle Time
If you’ve ever watched RHONY, you know that Ramona Singer loooooves her pinot grigio. She has her own brand of wine, and she requires it to be at every party that she attends. If she shows up to the event and there’s no Ramona Pinot, you can bet you’re going to hear about it. When Ramona has a little too much wine to drink, she calls it Turtle Time, and she can get into some crazy shenanigans. The only good part of the St. John trip was when she and Sonja were flirting with the old men on the docks. Drunk Ramona is crazy, but ultimately usually harmless.
2. The ladies ganging up on Dorinda’s boyfriend
Dorinda’s relationship with John has been the source of lots of drama, but it’s unclear why. Sure, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s never done anything that bad on the show. At the beginning of season eight, Dorinda just couldn’t catch a break, and Bethenny and Ramona especially had some terrible things to say about John. It seems like things have cooled down now, but it’s too bad that the other women couldn’t be more supportive of their relationship. Dorinda’s husband died several years ago, so she just deserves to be happy now.
1. The Mexico trip
The highlight of season nine was the trip to Mexico, and it was one crazy fiesta. The RHONY ladies were supposed to go to Mexico the year before, but Bethenny’s health problems prevented them from making the trip. This time, the ladies are making up for lost time, which they did by skinny-dipping, drinking lots of tequila, and, of course, arguing. Newcomer Tinsley Mortimer got her hands a little dirty, and just thinking about this trip is getting me excited for the new season. It’s not a RHONY vacation without a lot of screaming, and this trip delivered.