MTV’s The Real World: The All-Time Craziest Moments (From When It Was Good)


This is the true story of three seasons, picked to be shown on TV, marathoned for three nights starting Friday, so we can find out what happened, when some of the oldies stopped being polite, and started getting real. THE REAL WORLD IS BACK!!!!

Starting this Friday at 8pm, MTV is marathon-ing some of our favorite seasons of the groundbreaking reality show, including New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. (They're gearing up for the premiere of The Real World: Portland. Weird. Fred, Carrie, what say you? ) Sure, The Real World may be known today as a venue for worked-out, liquor-loving twentysomethings to have sex with each other in a tricked-out (albeit in a weird bachelor pad/'70s/mod-inspired/orgy-accommodating) "house" where the walls don't reach the ceiling, there are no doors to the bedrooms, the showers are communal, and the "confessional" is the place to be. But there used to be more to The Real World than this! Hailed in the '90s for its raw portrayal of young adults dealing with tough issues (e.g., matters of sexuality, substance abuse, race, AIDS, and general prejudices), the show has evolved into something that's less about the "real world" and more about the "reality tv world." But ENOUGH analysis!

Since MTV isn't airing The Real World: Paris (we just want to watch CT and Ace being cute in France!!!!), Seattle (anyone remember how the promo for that season is featured in 10 Things I Hate About You?), or Boston (Montana! Vaj! Genesis!), we thought it the perfect time to reminisce about the show's most awesome moments.

In chronological order, we present our reasons for loving The Real World:

The Real World: New York (1992) [1,2]

-Kevin and Julie have a heated race argument in public on the city streets

The Real World: Los Angeles (1993) [3]

-David pulls a blanket off bikini-dressed Tami, inciting the girls of the house to call "rape," which leads to David's eviction.

The Real World: San Francisco (1994) [4]

-Puck and all the trouble he brings ends with him getting the boot, after a vote by his roommates. (This did not stop him from continuing his ill-willed behavior in appearances throughout the rest of the season and during The Real World: Reunion in 1995.)

-Pedro Zamora, a young HIV-positive activist/educator, opens up about his struggle with the disease to his roommates and the national TV audience. He died about a year after filming began (the day after the final episode aired).

The Real World: London (1995) [5]

-Punk rocker Neil's tongue is almost bitten off by a rabid fan while he performs with his band.

The Real World: Miami (1996[6]

-Reality TV's first threesome (Melissa, Mike, and a waitress)

-Melissa opens her gay roommate Dan's mail, provoking him to call her a "stupid bitch" (it brought back bad childhood memories). She calls him a "fucking flamer." DRAMA:

The Real World: Boston (1997)

-Montana allows some underage children to taste her cup of wine while working at the group's volunteer gig. She is subsequently fired from her job, and is somehow baffled?

-Montana's boyfriend, Vaj (as if this alone isn't enough), breaks up with her via a page (!!!!), saying, "It's over. I don't love you anymore. Love doesn't mean anything. He can have you. You have one month to get your stuff out of my house before I throw it into the streets." Ouch.

The Real World: Seattle (1998) [7]

-"The slap heard round the world" occurs when Stephen slaps Irene (and throws her stuffed animal in the bay!) as she is moving out of the house. Why? The Lyme-Disease-afflicted Irene questioned his sexuality.

-Bostonian David begins to date Kira, a casting director from Bunim-Murray Productions, which leads to her firing. "KIRAAAAAA":

The Real World: Hawaii (1999) [8]

-Ruthie and Teck go skinny-dipping in the house pool within minutes of arriving.

-Following Ruthie's drunken joy-ride with friends, producers step in, and require her to see an addiction specialist in order to stay in the house. Oh, and this:

The Real World: New Orleans (2000) [9]

-Danny, an recently-out, incredibly dreamy roommate, dates military-man Paul, who appears on-camera with a pixelated face to protect his identity (because of Don't Ask, Don't Tell).

-Aspiring-songwriter David plays a song he is working on, the scat-filled "Come On Be My Baby Tonight," in what was probably the best-worst song performance in television history.

The Real World: Back to New York (2000) [10]

-The cast-mates mock roommate Mike for his aspirations to be a pro-wrestler. Well, joke's on them because he goes on to do just that.

The Real World: Chicago (2001) [11]

-The cast reacts to the September 11th attacks on camera; however, the season receives a significant amount of backlash, when it becomes known that they were actually at Wrigley Field for a photo shoot when they first learned of the attacks.

The Real World: Las Vegas (2002-2003) (SO MUCH DRAMA) [12]

-In-house "couple", Trishelle and Steven, have a pregnancy scare.

-Trishelle, Steven, and Brynn (yes, these are real names) have a threesome make-out sesh.

-Irulan and Arissa face unwanted sexual advances from their boss, Marc

-Brynn, jealous about Steven's relationship with Trishelle, assaults Steven with a fork.

-Alton and Irulan have sex in the confessional.

The Real World: Paris (2003) [13]

-Kind of snoozy, except for the fact that Mallory ends up making it as a Sports Illustrated.


So, there you have it! Our favorite moments. Peace out!

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Janine

    Best season ever: San Francisco. What's odd is that MTV never went back to the Bay area. They've repeated LA and NYC. The show is so annoying now. Everyone's looking for a movie or TV career. Plus, it seems like now all the girls have to be a size 4 or under.

    • CFH

      I love that Judd and... the med student girl (name?) got married after the show.

      • Janine

        Pam! I think they're still married.

  • nicole

    As a native of LA but a current Portland-dweller, I am going to be honest and wonder aloud how they created a whole season from what PDX has to offer. They either went the MTV-fake route and had the cast live in the hip yuppie neighborhood and make them frequent the one nightclub (who even goes clubbing here?). OR they forced them to live a Portlandia-esque lifestyle of roasting their own coffee, learning to be a barista, and maintaining their own chicken coop of the patio of their loft. We shall see!!!

  • ClosetCravings

    Excellent recap of all the seasons. Ahhhhh, memoriesssss. Sometimes I can't tell if it's because I'm older or simply the show has changed - either way it's kind of boring now.
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  • Lauren

    Love the Real World. I did a throwback post on them ft seasons 1-9..which were the best ones in my opinion. Check it:

  • Lola

    Real World London. Hands down.

    • sashi

      because of the sweet, unrequited flirtation between Kat and Neil. The opposite of skanky. And the unfairly gorgeous Jacinda!

  • Kristie

    Haha yes! I find myself occasionally singing "Come on be my Baby Tonight."

  • MyDearGirl

    I'm not going to lie... I only watch The Challenge when my fave vets are competing (at the same time I'm questioning why I'm watching, and what are they still doing on the challenges)
    i.e: CT, Diem ("Diem in P.M!!"...anybody??) Johnny Bananas, Evan, Rachel, Kenny, Paula, Katie, Big Easy, Danny, and the never aging Mark.

    They should show Road Rules re runs too! I remember wanting a Road Rules bandana as much as I wanted that sweet bandeau from survivor.. Don't judge me.

    • ITGElizabeth

      Mark is the best-- every time he shows up for his "last challenge" I get so excited!

  • Lesley O.

    Oh the good ole days!

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  • Harlowrose

    I checked the schedule and saw Las Vegas in the place of L.A. So I guess they're skipping it for their season where everyone was sleeping together. At least they're showing NY and San Fran. I liked London and Paris because that was the time I was old enough to watch the show more.

  • Joana

    Admitedly I only ever watched the London edition but man I loved it! I'd tape the show and watch it over and over again. Just goes to show that reality shows were fun once ;)

  • Mae Mary

    Oh my god, so many memories!

  • Ana

    My most favorite Real World memory: "I'm a little too punk-rock for that kind of stuff." Frankie Abernathy (San Diego season).

  • Mahi Tuna

    This is one of the dumbest shows on TV. It also influences young people who watch it. Somehow the idea this is what real life is like when they leave mommy and daddies home. Living in a furnished multi-million dollar home, best location on the beach, no need to work, just worry about what your going to do tonight or who is sleeping with who. Well kids I hate to inform you but that aint what happens. They should re-title the show "Unreal World". Wanna get ahead? Find something more constructive to do with your time than watch this dribble and maybe someday you will own one of those multi-million homes on the beach.


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