‘The Real World’: Binge the best episodes from the original seasons
Reality purists rejoiced when Paramount Plus dropped in early March, and have spent the last month bingeing old MTV shows. The crown jewel of Paramount Plus’s treasure trove is twenty original seasons of The Real World.
The Real World provides the seed from which all American reality TV grew, all stemming from the simple premise of young hotties from all walks of life thrown together to live & party. Back in the day, getting on reality TV didn’t mean a guaranteed uptick in Instagram followers leading to a career in tummy tea advertising or your own cosmetic line.
The Real World is a purer reality TV show, and the older the season, the realer the content you get, with less & less produced plot lines. We’ve dug through hours of The Real World to give you the choice moments from the show’s best seasons. Start getting real, and hit The Real World’s most dramatic moments below.
Denver “Lashing Out”
Of all original The Real World seasons, Denver gives us some of the show’s sloppiest moments. Between Alex & Colie’s hot & cold love affair to Davis & Tyrie’s blacked-out slur-lined screaming match, there’s enough problematic drama towing the line to cancel nearly every member of the cast in 2021.
Brooke, however, is an underrated member of the Denver cast. Brooke bottles up her anger as the rest of the cast wears theirs on their sleeve, but like anyone, Brooke has a breaking point. In episode 16 of the show’s eighteenth season, she let’s it out, and the antics aren’t just for the camera’s sake.
Best confessional soundbite: “You’re not my mother. You’re not my elder. You’re nothing.”
Philly “Romantic Getaway”
For those not in the know: MTV used to send The Real World cast on vacation to break up filming each season. They end up taking the cast to some seriously exotic destinations, and in season 15 MTV sent The Real World Philly cast to Fiji for free (say, what?).
The Fiji episodes not only showcase a documentary on the coolest vacation any hot twenty-something could ask for, they also take some of the season’s best storylines to their climax. In “Romantic Getaway” things finally come to a tee between Landon & Shavonda, thanks to the beauty of their remote island vacation.
Best confessional soundbite: “Why in the hell would you tell another roommate that you want to slit their throat?”.
Las Vegas “Word from Home”
Season 12 of The Real World feels dark, about as dark as we imagine living in a hotel in Las Vegas would be. However, Las Vegas is an important season giving audiences the long-lasting MTV darling Trishelle, and three episodes into the season, we see what she’s had to go through to become reality royalty.
Many of the original seasons of The Real World will make you feel old, in how behind the culture feels in episodes where slut-shaming, slurs, and violence are taken way less seriously than today.
At no moment is this damaging mentality more clear than when Trishelle has to call her conservative father to tell him she kissed a girl in the season’s third episode. The call is a cringe-fest, but it’s impressive to see her thinking is way ahead of her time.
Best confessional soundbite: “I’m going to be okay, whether I take his advice or not”.
New Orleans “Sing Out, Cop Out”
When The Real World returns to New Orleans in its twenty-fourth season, audiences earn one of the show’s best couples with Jemmye & Ryan Knight.
However, fans forget the season also gives us one of the show’s best rivalries with Preston & Ryan Leslie. The two don’t get along right off the bat, but their mutual hatred comes to a head when Leslie calls the cops to the Real World house.
Cops are called because Preston pees on Leslie’s toothbrush. Don’t feel too bad for Leslie though, the po po shows up after Leslie first wipes his butt with Preston’s cigs (not to mention after he hurls several homophobic slurs at Preston).
Best soundbite: “That’s the last time I p*ss on someone’s toothbrush. . . and let them find out”.
These are some of our favorite Real World episodes, but there are plenty more in the show’s thirty-three seasons. Comment with your favorite episode below!