Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (2022)

1 of 33

33. Season 32: Bad Blood (Seattle) (2016-2017)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (1)


From Seasons 29-32, "The" was dropped from the title and leave Real World. It also featured four unique concepts. That wasn't always a good idea. In the case of Bad Blood, the show started with seven housemates. As the season went on, seven more people were added to the mix. The latter seven, known as the "Bad Blood," had a history -- once-friendly/loving before turning sour -- with the original seven. There were some memorable moments (Theo getting the boot for fighting with "Bad Blood" cousin Kassius or the scuffle between Jennifer, Anna, and Katrina), but otherwise, it was hard to keep track of all those people.

2 of 33

32. Season 29: Ex-Plosion (San Francisco) (2014)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (2)


By this point in the run of the series, the brass at MTV needed a fresher approach to the existing concept of The Real World. There was also a need to boost ratings. With X-Plosion, the series was back in San Francisco. This time, the initial seven housemates were sent on an "off-the-grid" vacation. Upon return, they found some of their "Exes," from past relationships, were now living in the house and all expected to reside there together. The concept was ripe for The Jerry Springer Show or Maury but seemed too over-the-top here.

3 of 33

31. Season 31: Go Big or Go Home (Las Vegas) (2016)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (3)


The third group in show history to land in Las Vegas. These housemates took part in some Road Rules-like missions that they were asked to complete in order to remain in the house. However, CeeJai'and Jennawere each kicked out of the house, not as a result of the missions, but because they hated the other so much their confrontations got physical. This wasn't a bad season, but one that tried too hard to keep the viewers' attention.

4 of 33

30. Season 27: St. Thomas (2012)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (4)


TheSt. Thomasseason seemed somewhat interchangeable with others throughout the franchise. Brandon Kane's issues with alcohol were a common theme of The Real World and resulted in his eviction from the house. Trey was kind of like passing a car wreck, we just couldn't look away. His antics with Laura, while still dealing with a relationship back home, provided some entertaining moments on an otherwise mediocre season.

5 of 33

29. Season 17: Key West (2006)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (5)


There were some decent characters among the Key Westhousemates, but it wasn't all that memorable of a season. Even though some of these housemates were featured on other future MTV reality series. Jose "The Don" Tapia, John "Johnny Bananas" Devenanzio, and Svetlana "Fitz" Shusterman all seemed rather cartoonish in nature, but still provided some of the more notable moments of another average season.

6 of 33

28. Season 9: New Orleans (2000)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (6)


This was the first of two visits to New Orleans The Real World made. While a few of the cast members (Jamie, Melissa, David) enjoyed more television exposure as a result of their appearance on Season 9, the overall New Orleans story was rather underwhelming. David was the star of the cast, mainly because he was the most talented entertainer in the group and quite the ladies man. But, we needed a little more conflict.

7 of 33

27. Season 23: D.C. (2009-2010)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (7)


The idea of The Real World in the nation's capital was a good one. And, the area looked great on television. However, the season in D.C. didn't have too many memorable moments. Plus, none of the characters really stood out. The drama that surfaced seemed rather garden variety for the franchise: Alcohol fueling questionable behavior (Ty), sexuality (Mike), and disenchantment with the house (Erika) in general.

8 of 33

26. Season 30: Skeletons (Chicago) (2014-2015)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (8)


With Skeletons, each housemate, in the second season to call Chicago home, saw people from their past show up with the option to stay at the house for a week and dig through some unresolved issues. The concept wasn't as convoluted as the Bad Blood or Ex-Plosion seasons, and the reality storylines involving housemates Bruno (who received a visit from his estranged brother) and Violetta (who dealt with a history of bullying) were pretty emotional.

9 of 33

25. Season 33: Atlanta (2019)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (9)


The most recent installment of the franchise did not involve past members of the series. It was also the first season to be released online, through Facebook Watchvia MTV Studios. Some of the episodes featured live chats with cast members. This season was also housed at an Atlanta bed and breakfast. Atlanta featured the first mother, aspiring nurse Arely, ever to be cast and eventual eviction of the reckless Clint, a farmer who was selected for the show by Facebook users but struggled with alcohol.

10 of 33

24. Season 25: Las Vegas (2011)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (10)


The second cast of the reality series to call Las Vegas home for a spell collectively brought a ton of baggage to their pad at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The housemates featured a drug dealer (Adam, who eventually gets evicted), others of the promiscuous persuasion or dealing with a history of alcohol abuse and mental illness. Aside from romantic hookups, it didn't seem the housemates ever really got close to each other. That said, there were fewer fireworks than in previous seasons.

11 of 33

23. Season 26: San Diego (2011)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (11)


Seven years after The Real World stopped in San Diego, the show was back in the area. This season was one that seemed cliquish at certain times. Or something close to a high school drama series. Conservatives Zach and Ashley found comfort with each other, thanks to their common ideals and beliefs. Nate and Sam, meanwhile, forge almost a brother-sister relationship. Both provide some interesting and intriguing viewing that is worth the time. "Hurricane Frank's" existence in the house is also entertaining.

12 of 33

22. Season 15: Philadelphia (2004-2005)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (12)


Sports fans who also enjoy The Real World probably dug this season since the housemates worked for the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. Full Disclosure: With the exception of, perhaps, Willie, the cast is not all that likable. There were enough dramatic moments to keep a viewer's interest, but, quite honestly, plenty of reasons not to feel anything other than ambivalence or annoyance towards these housemates.

13 of 33

21. Season 20: Hollywood (2008)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (13)


This was the first season of The Real World in which episodes were shown in one-hour increments, instead of the traditional 30-minute installments. The idea of the cast taking improv classes at a local comedy club was fun, but maybe we expected more from the Hollywood setting. We were glad to see the obnoxious Greg leave the show, while Joey's battle with alcoholism and how it affected his place in the house, might have been the most interesting part of the season.

14 of 33

20. Season 21: Brooklyn (2009)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (14)


The Brooklyn season was the first to feature an openly transgender housemate, Katelynn Cusanelli, or "Kat." A number of the housemates brought plenty of personal issues and past baggage with them into the pier house in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. Like JD, who ran away from home at 13, or Ryan, who suffered fromposttraumatic stressdisorder following his tour in Iraq while a member of the United States Army. Both were part of what added up to a rather emotional season.

15 of 33

19. Season 28: Portland (2013)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (15)


The Portland crew was one of the few later groups not to be assigned a task or job to fulfill during the run of the season. The lack of job opportunities in the city was apparently one reason Joi left early in the show's run. The relationship between Averey and Johnny was good for some notable moments, while Jordan's presumed disdain for pretty much everyone else in the house provides a good amount of the season's drama and conflict. However, our favorite cast member was Daisy -- Averey's Chihuahua and Jack Russell mixdog.

16 of 33

18. Season 12: Las Vegas (2002-03)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (16)


The first of three times The Real World stopped in Vegas. It's also one of the most popular seasons with viewers. Enough so, that it earned a spinoff Reunited: The Real World Las Vegas. The cast was housed in a converted penthouse suiteat The Palms and endured some very personal and emotional moments -- particularly for Alton and Brynn. There was also the drama of the feelings shared between Trishelle and Steven, two of the more popular members of this cast.

17 of 33

17. Season 13: Paris (2003)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (17)


In The Real World realm, this is another underrated season. Perhaps because once regular viewers were getting a little burned out on the show, and other MTV spinoffs of the project. Those who enjoy a good agitator or two, probably could not get enough of "C.T." or Leah. Their collective dysfunction and knack for getting on the nerves of other housemates made for good television. We also enjoyed mocking their laziness while working for Frommer's

18 of 33

16. Season 19: Sydney (2007-2008)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (18)


There was a decent amount of conflict among housemates when the show went Down Under for the Sydneyseason. That obviously makes for entertaining viewing. The tension between Parisa and Trisha seemed to cloud the entire house. Things ultimately came to a head in Episode 18, when Trisha was forced to leave the house after pushing Parisa during one of their more animated arguments. Fans also witnessed one of the bigger "players" in the history of the franchise in Dunbar.

19 of 33

15. Season 14: San Diego (2004)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (19)


The initial San Diego season made about as many waves off-screen as it did on. On-screen, the trials of housemate Frankie Abernathy's life with cystic fibrosis was a major part of the run before she left the house due to homesickness and issues with other cast members. Sadly, Abernathy passed away in 2007 at age 25 due to complications from her disorder. However, one of the biggest headlines to come out of the season was the allegations that surfaced inside the house during filming in November 2003. A woman claimed she was drugged and sexually assaulted by an outside acquaintance of housemate Randy Barry. Following a police investigation, though, no charges were filed.

20 of 33

14. Season 18: Denver (2006-2007)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (20)


Housed in Denver's hip LoDo neighborhood, the cast of the Denver season had their moments. Mostly because there was plenty of tension within the cast, andtempers tended to flare to the point of physical confrontation in some cases. There's Brooke and Jenn's shouting match that drew much outside attention, but not as much as the argument between Davis and Tyrie -- that resulted in much of the dialog bleeped out and the former nearly leaving the show.

21 of 33

13. Season 24: New Orleans (2010)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (21)


This was the series' second run in New Orleans. It's actually more entertaining than the first time around. Mostly because of the antics involving Ryan Leslie and Preston. Each had problems with the other and the highlight of the series came when the police were called to the house after Ryan claimed Preston urinated on his toothbrush. Thus, as Ryan believed, was the reason he needed to be treated for a viral infection. A total drama queen, who was quite lazy and selfish, Ryan was eventually kicked out of the house by the rest of the cast.

22 of 33

12. Season 22: Cancun (2009)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (22)


This was the fourth season that The Real World left the United States. It was also a pretty wild season. From model Ayiiia's intimacy with roommates Jonna, Emilee, and Joey to Bronne getting kicked out of the hotel residence for throwing a fire extinguisher off the balcony while drunk, times got crazy. In the entire history of the franchise, there might not be a cast that individually had more issues or was collectively more dysfunctional than the Cancun group.

23 of 33

11. Season 10: Back to New York (2001)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (23)


In honor of the show's 10th season, it made sense to go back to where it all began in the Big Apple. The return to New York did nothing to tarnish the reputation of the first cast, and also did a decent job of not making it all about a comparison of the two. While Lori's feelings for Kevin brought some notable intrigue to the season, Back to New York is best remembered for the emergence of "The Miz." Animated housemate parlayed his alter ego from the show into a successful wrestling career with the WWE.

24 of 33

10. Season 16: Austin (2005)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (24)


Austin made total sense to host a season of The Real World,considering how cool a college town it is. Even cooler was that the housemates had to create, develop and execute their own documentary about the South By Southwest festival. The main drama from the Austinseason tended to center around the relationship between Danny and Melinda, who had a boyfriend when filming started. The two eventually married well after the season aired, but later divorced.

25 of 33

9. Season 6: Boston (1997)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (25)


The Bostonseason is responsible for Sean Duffy, who went on to become a member of the United States House of Representatives -- out of Wisconsin. And, who can forget Montana getting fired from the cast's job at a children's after-school program in East Boston after allegedly giving the kids sips of alcohol? The Boston gangdid not deliver many moments of high drama but was entertaining enough to keep our interest from week to week.

26 of 33

8. Season 8: Chicago (2002)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (26)


The first Chicago season might be best known for what happened outside of the house (a converted bookstore/coffee house) rather than inside. While the season aired in 2002, it was filmed throughout the summer/fall of 2001 and included the housemates' reactions to the September 11 attacks. The production of the season also endured protests (anti-MTV/Viacom and anti-gentrification of the Wicker Park neighborhood where it was filmed) outside the house and the effects of a nearby shooting. This was also the first cast to feature two openly gay cast members -- Chris and Aneesa. Some ongoing sexual tension between Keri and Kyle spanned most of the season, as well.

27 of 33

7. Season 7: Seattle (1998)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (27)


Season 7 was memorable for a couple of reasons. One, it was the first time cast members actually knew each other -- David and Nathan both attended VMI. Most notably, however, the Seattle season featured one of the most memorable -- and rather disturbing -- moments when Stephen slapped quirky Irene, who eventually left the house after she insinuated he was gay. Turns out, after the show, Stephen came out that he indeed is a homosexual.

28 of 33

6. Season 4: London (1995)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (28)


It's the first time The Real World went international. There wasn't a high level of drama or tension like the previous season in San Francisco, but London was still relatively entertaining. There's well-off, race-car driver Mike's inability to really adapt to the London experience and some of his housemates. "Cheeky" model Jacinda Barrett turned out to be one of the more well-known members of the series. While the highlight of the season no doubt came when Ph.D. student/lead singer of techno band Unilever Neil had part of his tongue bit off after French kissing a drunk heckler at one of his performances.

29 of 33

5. Season 5: Miami (1996)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (29)


Miami was the first season of the reality hit show in which cast members were given money for a start-up business to collectively undertake. But, even with some interesting ideas (the dessert delivery business might have worked), nothing ever came to fruition due to the group's overall dysfunction. Still,Miami was one of the more underrated seasons. Watching Dan try to make it as a fashion model and Flora's overall "bıtchiness" were guilty pleasure-viewing at their best. Not to mention the presumed threesome between housemates Mike, Melissa, who eventually leaves the house following a fight with tomboy Sarah, and another woman in the bathroom.

30 of 33

4. Season 8: Hawaii (1999)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (30)


From the moment Ruthie and Teck got naked and jumped into the pool, viewers should have known the Hawaiiseason was going to be an adventure. Most of the Season 8 drama revolved around Ruthie's excessive drinking, which ultimately resulted in her leaving the house to enter rehab, before returning in Episode 18. There was also Amaya and Colin's rather toxic relationship and the tension between Justin and Teck, which seemed at least partly responsible for the former leaving the cast following its vacation to India.

31 of 33

3. Season 2: California (1993)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (31)


Better known as The Real World: Los Angeles. The follow-up to the first season brought some changes. Like Tami (who earned more reality show-fame with VH1's Basketball Wives) and Dominic picking country boy Jon at his Kentucky home in a Winnebago and driving to Los Angeles. L.A. was still one of the more unique and entertaining seasons. There's Jon shedding his general naivete and agitator David getting the boot after pulling the bedcovers off Tami, who was in her underwear. Tami's abortion and L.A. Deputy Sherriff Irene getting married and also leaving the cast highlighted the season. David and Irene's departures -- replaced by Glen and Beth A. -- marked the first such incidences for the show.

32 of 33

2. Season 3: San Francisco (1994)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (32)


Bad-boy Puck hammed it up for the cameras better than perhaps any antagonist in the history of the show. The tension that arose between him and housemate Pedro Zamora, who was living with AIDS, provided plenty of emotional, and sometimes uncomfortable moments. After Puck was evicted for his overall obnoxious behavior, the season struggled for drama. Still, Pedro navigating life with AIDS provided some groundbreaking television and often brought out the conservative fears of current Fox News contributor Rachel Campos (who is married to Sean Duffy from the Boston season and the mother of nine children). Whiny cartoonist Judd and sure-footed Pam eventually got together following the airing of the season, and are still married. We never got to know Mohammed too well, while Corey struggled to find her place both in the house and city.

33 of 33

1. Season 1: New York (1992)

Every season of 'The Real World', ranked (33)


Looking back over the years, the initial season of The Real World seemed pretty tame compared to others. Yet, that first one still holds up well, and just might be the most honest and genuine of any that followed. Perhaps that's why we're revisiting that same rookie New York cast again. We learned just enough about each character -- perhaps too much Eric, Kevin, and Heather -- to invest our time in their lives. The drama didn't seem forced and the characters just seemed natural in front of the camera. Areas the project struggled with at times going forward.

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago.You can followJeffat@jeffm401.

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated: 11/11/2022

Views: 5994

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.