32. Season 32: Bad Blood (Seattle) (2016-2017)
Cast: Anika Rashaun, Jordan Anderson, Katrina Stack, Mike Crescenzo, Robbie Padovano, Theo King-Bradley, and Tyara Hooks
Memorable Element: Each roommate was soon joined by their “bad blood” mate — someone they once liked but with whom they had a rift before entering the house. Those roommates were Anna Stack, Jenn Geoghan, Kassius Bass, Kimberly Johansson, Orlana Russell, Peter Romeo, and Will Groomes III.
The Realness: That wound up just being wayyy too many roommates.
31. Season 27: St. Thomas (2012)
Cast: Brandon Kane, Brandon Swift, LaToya Jackson, Laura Waller, Marie Roda, Robb Schreiber, Walter “Trey” Weatherholtz III
Memorable Element: Brandon K. entered the house six months into his sobriety, and he begins drinking again and fails a drug test during one of the final episodes of the season. He’s subsequently evicted.
30. Season 22: Cancun (2009)
Cast: Ayiiia Elizarraras, CJ Koegel, Derek Chavez, Bronne Bruzgo, Jasmine Reynaud, Jonna Mannion, Joey Rozmus, Emilee Fitzpatrick
Memorable Element: The cast worked with StudentCity, which was a college student-driven travel agency, and had to plan an event that included an appearance from LMFAO.
The Realness: Jonna went on to become quite the reality vet; in addition to competing on several seasons of The Challenge, she was a regular on TruTV’s Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel.
29. Season 18: Denver (2006-2007)
Cast: Brooke LaBarbera, Tyrie Ballard, Colie Edison, Davis Mallory, Stephen Nichols, Jenn Grijalva, Alex Smith
Memorable Element: The season kicked off with Colie and Jenn bonding, Colie crushing on Alex, and then Jenn sleeping with Alex. And that was just the premiere. Fights over race and sexuality ran rampant among this cast, the most memorable of which was after Brooke got lost looking for a nail salon and called the neighborhood she walked through a “ghetto,” to which Tyrie took offense. Also, Colie came down with mono from actually kissing so many people.
The Realness: Did this cast ever really jell?
28. Season 24: New Orleans (2010)
Cast: Ashlee Feldman, Eric Patrick, Jemmye Carroll, McKenzie Coburn, Preston O’Neil Robertson-Charles, Ryan Knight, Ryan Leslie, and Sahar Dika
Memorable Element: Police got involved when Ryan Leslie and Preston did some seriously disgusting things to each other’s toothbrushes, cigarettes, and other personal objects.
The Realness: Knight, whose romantic relationship with Jemmye lasted well past their season of the show, entered the house six months into recovery for a painkiller addiction. He died in 2014 of acute mixed drug and alcohol intoxication.
27. Season 19: Sydney (2007-2008)
Cast: KellyAnne Judd, Cohutta Lee Grindstaff, Trisha Cummings, Shauvon Torres, Parisa Montazaran, Isaac Stout, Dunbar Flinn Merrill, Ashli Robson
Memorable Element: The romantic relationship between KellyAnne and Cohutta was both unexpected and totally delightful.
26. Season 15: Philadelphia (2004-2005)
Cast: Landon Lueck, Willie Hernandez, Sarah Burke, M.J. Garrett, Karamo Brown, Melanie Silcott, Shavonda Billingslea
Memorable Element: This marked the first season to feature two gay men, Karamo and Wilie, and the cast had a fun job working for the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football League team, but all we really remember about this season was Mel getting body lice.
25. Season 17: Key West (2006)
Cast: Svetlana Shusterman, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, Paula Meronek, Tyler Duckworth, Zach Mann, Jose Tapia, Janelle Casanave
Memorable Element: The cast had to evacuate their house not once but twice for hurricanes.
The Realness: This season may not have been the most thrilling, but it certainly brought The Challenge some of its biggest personalities with Johnny Bananas, Paula, and Tyler.
24. Season 20: Hollywood (2008)
Cast: Sarah Ralston, Joey Kovar, Brianna Taylor, David Malinosky, William Gilbert, Kimberly Alexander, Greg Halstead, Nick Brown, and Brittini Sherrod
Memorable Element: Compared to other seasons, it seemed like each cast member’s desire to be famous was turned up to an 11. And everyone was a singer! Plus, the residence was a former soundstage, and this season was also the first to air as one-hour episodes; the previous seasons all had 30-minute episodes.
The Realness: An important addiction storyline ran throughout the season, with both Joey and Brianna in stages of recovery. Joey ultimately left the house in episode 4 to attend a treatment facility. He returned in episode 8, only to leave the following episode as he feared a relapse. In 2010, he appeared on a season of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, and he died in August 2012 of an opioid overdose.
23. Season 26: San Diego (2011)
Cast: Alexandra Govere, Ashley Kelsey, Frank Sweeney, Nate Stodghill, Priscilla Mendez, Sam McGinn, Zach Nichols
Memorable Element: The theme this season seemed to revolve around sexuality, and especially the topics of bisexuality and gay people in the military. Not surprisingly, some rather offensive things were said.
The Realness: This season had “Hurricane Frank” — what more do you need to know?
22. Season 30: Skeletons (Chicago) (2014-2015)
Cast: Bruno Bettencourt, Jason Hill, Madison Walls, Nicole Zanatta, Sylvia Elsrode, Tony Raines, and Violetta Milerman
Memorable Element: Each week, one cast member was forced to face people from their past with whom they have unresolved issues. So, yeah, that meant quite a bit of drama. It reached a fever pitch in the final episode when Jason’s birth father turned up.
The Realness: After the show, Tony had a daughter with Madison… and a daughter with one of his “skeletons,” Alyssa Giacone, nine months later.
21. Season 23: D.C. (2009-2010)
Cast: Ashley Lindley, Tyrell “Ty” Ruff, Callie Walker, Erika Lauren Wasilewski, Josh Colon, Andrew Woods, Mike Manning, and Emily Schromm
Memorable Element: There was something “classic” about this season that just worked, even though there wasn’t a whole lot of political story lines that one might expect from an installment set in Washington, D.C.
The Realness: Emily was voted America’s Next Fitness Star by Women’s Health in 2014.
20. Season 28: Portland (2013)
Cast: Anastasia Miller, Averey Tressler, Jessica McCain, Johnny Reilly, Joi Niemeyer, Jordan Wiseley, Marlon Williams, and Nia Moore
Memorable Element: Nia doesn’t enter the picture until episode 4, but the scene stealer —who constantly argues with Jordan — seriously changes the game.
The Realness: The season’s nonstop fighting continues today on The Challenge.
19. Season 25: Las Vegas (2011)
Cast: Nany González, Heather Marter, Michael Ross, Dustin Zito, Adam Royer, Leroy Garrett, Naomi Defensor, and Heather Cooke
Memorable Element: Sparks flew between Heather and Dustin, but their relationship hit the skids when Dustin’s gay porn past came to light. Eventually, they got back together and remained together for quite some time following the series’ end.
The Realness: Leroy and Mike’s bromance remains one of the best in 32 seasons.
18. Season 16: Austin (2005)
Cast: Wes Bergmann, Lacey Buehler, Rachel Moyal, Nehemiah Clark, Johanna Botta, Danny Jamieson, and Melinda Stolp
Memorable Element: The love story of Danny and Melinda took up much of the season, as she stood by him through a bar brawl that resulted in him needing surgery and the death of his mother.
The Realness: The pair got engaged just before the season’s reunion special, and they married on Aug. 2, 2008. It didn’t stick. In 2010, Melinda revealed they were divorcing.
17. Season 6: Boston (1997)
Cast: Jason Cornwell, Montana McGlynn, Sean Duffy, Kameelah Phillips, Genesis Moss, Elka Walker, Syrus Yarbrough
Memorable Element: This cast was stacked with so many dramatic characters and unforgettable moments, but the cake was taken by Montana, who was fired from the cast’s job at an after-school program when she gave one of the children a sip of wine. Really.
The Realness: Sean went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and married Real World: San Francisco‘s Rachel Campos, with whom he has eight children.
16. Season 14: San Diego (2004)
Cast: Jamie Chung, Cameran Eubanks, Randy Barry, Frankie Abernathy, Brad Fiorenza, Robin Hibbard, Jacquese Smith, and Charlie Dordevich
Memorable Element: Robin and Brad get arrested separately… on the same night:Robin for assault and Brad for public intoxication.
The Realness: Jamie has since become a major TV and film actress, most recently starring in Fox’s Gotham as Valerie Vale; Cameran is now a fan-favorite on Bravo’s Southern Charm. Frankie, who had cystic fibrosis, died in June 2007.
15. Season 13: Paris (2003)
Cast: Adam King, Christina Trainor, Simon Sherry-Wood, Leah Gillingwater, Clyde Daryn “Ace” Amerson, Mallory Snyder, and Chris “C.T.” Tamburello
Memorable Element: Did we mention this is the season that gave us C.T.?
14. Season 29: Ex-Plosion (San Francisco) (2014)
Cast: Arielle Scott, Ashley Mitchell, Cory Wharton, Jamie Larson, Jay Mitchell, Jenny Delich, and Thomas Buell
Memorable Element: MTV opted to shake up the format with this season, inviting the seven strangers at first and sending them on an early vacation, only to have them come home to seven new roommates: their exes (Ashley Ceaser, Brian Williams Jr., Hailey Chivers, Jenna Compono, and Lauren Ondersma). But even before that arrival, Ashley was kicked out of the house by her roommates due to her drunken antics and unstable behavior.
The Realness: Ultimately, Jenny reunited with her ex, Brian, and they welcomed a baby girl in 2015.
13. Season 21: Brooklyn (2009)
Cast: Scott Herman, Sarah Rice, Ryan Conklin, Katelynn Cusanelli, Baya Voce, Chet Cannon, J.D. Ordoñez, Devyn Simone
Memorable Element: This season ultimately became a battle of the sexes, as the men and women rarely got along, but they did come together when Ryan, who joined the cast upon his return from a tour in Iraq, finds out he’s been recalled for a one-year deployment.
The Realness: Long before the world was introduced to Caitlyn Jenner, Katelynn Cusanelli was the first openly transgender cast member on The Real World.
12. Season 10: Back to New York (2001)
Cast: Coral Smith, Kevin Dunn, Nicole Mitsch, Rachel Braband, Mike Mizanin, Lori Trespicio, and Malik Cooper
Memorable Element: Coral and Mike squabbled throughout the entire season, sometimes fairly — when Mike’s naive ignorance would come out — and sometimes not. But both grew immensely from knowing one another, and their finding peace in the finale was one of the more moving moments of the entire series. That friendship endures today.
The Realness: Mike’s dreams of becoming a wrestler came off as something of a joke. It wasn’t: The Miz is now a WWE Superstar and Wrestlemania champion.
11. Season 4: London (1995)
Cast: Kat Ogden, Neil Forrester, Jacinda Barrett, Jay Frank, Lars Schlichting, Michael Johnson, and Sharon Gitau
Memorable Element: O.G. Real World seasons really just involved a lot of talking and while this one lacked some of the fireworks of many others, it remains relaxingly compelling.
The Realness: Jacinda currently stars on Netflix’s Bloodline.
10. Season 31: Go Big or Go Home (Las Vegas) (2016)
Cast: CeeJai Jenkins, Christopher “Chris” Ammon Hall, Dean Bart-Plange, Dione Mariani, Jenna Thomason, Kailah Casillas, Sabrina Kennedy, and Dylan Moore
Memorable Element: This season attempted to have a Road Rules-like twist and it didn’t really pay off — no one went home — but it still had several “big,” extreme characters, including quite possibly the most racist person to ever grace the series (Jenna), a man going through a divorce (Dean), and a pansexual atheist in the process of officially extricating himself from the Church of Latter Day Saints (Chris).
9. Season 9: New Orleans (2000)
Cast: Jamie Murray, Matt Smith, Melissa Howard, Kelley Limp, Danny Roberts, David Broom, and Julie Stoffer
Memorable Element: Danny was in a relationship with Paul Dill, an officer in the military, during his time in the house. When Paul visited, his face was blurred to protect his identity, but the pair later appeared on an MTV special together when Paul’s duty with the military was over.
The Realness: Julie, a Mormon, was famously suspended from Brigham Young University after the show due to the school’s honor code, which doesn’t allow for unmarried students to live with members of the opposite sex.
8. Season 11: Chicago (2002)
Cast: Keri Evans, Kyle Brandt, Aneesa Ferreira, Tonya Cooley, Chris Beckman, Cara Kahn, and Theo Gantt III
Memorable Element: The Real World famously doesn’t allow its cast to have access to televisions and other media, but those rules were intentionally broken during the filming of this 11th season… on September 11, 2001. Watching the roommates experience that day was heartbreaking, cathartic, and absolutely unforgettable.
The Realness: There have been reports that some of those reactions were staged.
7. Season 7: Seattle (1998)
Cast: Janet Choi, Nathan Blackburn, Rebecca Lord, Lindsay Brien, Stephen Williams, Irene McGee, and David Burns
Memorable Element: Naming just one of these has officially gotten difficult, but Stephen opening a car door and slapping Irene as she moved out of the house was pretty darn unforgettable.
The Realness: Let’s not forget David’s relationship with RW producer Kara.
6. Season 5: Miami (1996)
Cast: Sarah Becker, Dan Renzi, Melissa Padrón, Joe Patane, Cynthia Roberts, Flora Alekseyeun, and Mike Lambert
Memorable Element: This marks the first season the roommates were given a job, which expanded the template for the roommates’ regular arguments. But also there was that threesome in the shower.
The Realness: “I’m not here to make friends” — that classic reality TV phrase — may have been uttered for the first time by Cynthia.
5. Season 12: Las Vegas (2002-2003)
Cast: Arissa Hill, Frank Roessler, Trishelle Cannatella, Alton Williams, Brynn Smith, Steven Hill, and Irulan Wilson
Memorable Element: The season kicked off with a three-way hot tub make-out session and — thanks in large part to the season’s breakout star, Trishelle — continued to provide everything else you might expect from a Sin City-located series.
The Realness: Five years after the season aired, the cast reunited for a spin-off miniseries.
4. Season 2: Los Angeles
Cast: Dominic Griffin, Tami Roman, Jon Brennan, Beth Stolarczyk, Aaron Behle, Irene Berrera, David Edwards, and Glen Naessens
Memorable Element: When David pulled blankets off Tami, leaving her in nothing but her underwear, Tami retaliates and a massive argument ensues, resulting in the women demanding that David move out. Later in the season, Tami gets an abortion.
The Realness: Tami returned to reality TV for Basketball Wives and Basketball Wives LA.
3. Season 8: Hawaii (1999)
Cast: Colin Mortensen, Amaya Brecher, Kaia Beck, Matt Simon, Justin Deabler, Ruthie Alcaide, and Tecumshea “Teck” Holmes
Memorable Element: In addition to the cast’s naked antics, the season is most remembered for Ruthie’s excessive drinking which leads to her roommates holding an intervention and, ultimately, her departure from the house to attend a treatment facility.
2. Season 1: New York (1992)
Cast: Norman Korpi, Julie Gentry, Becky Blasband, Kevin Powell, Andre Comeau, Heather Gardner, and Eric Nies
Memorable Element: The season that began it all showed us just how fascinating it could be to watch people learn from each other, whether it be through arguments about race, sexuality, politics, or just whose turn it is to do the dishes.
The Realness: Pretty much every reality show you’ve ever watched owes at least a small debt of gratitude to these seven strangers.
1. Season 3: San Francisco (1994)
Cast: Pedro Zamora, David “Puck” Rainey, Rachel Campos, Cory Murphy, Pam Ling, Mohammed Bilal, Judd Winick, and Jo Rhodes
Memorable Element: Pedro remains one of the biggest game changers in television history, both because of his openness in his struggle with AIDS (and his death just hours after the show’s season finale aired) and his televised commitment ceremony (the first ever) with Sean Sasser. And then there’s his massive fight with Puck.
The Realness: Pedro and Puck weren’t the only major story lines of the season — Pam and Judd celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary last year.