Reality Stars Who Completely Lost It On Camera

It's not too surprising when reality stars lose their cool from time to time. After all, with the pressure that comes with being put into extreme scenarios, being filmed for days at a time, and pretty much giving up any semblance of a private life (ahem, The Truman Show anyone?), we're actually shocked it doesn't happen more often. Besides, it's kind of what everyone who watches reality TV regularly tunes in for — that moment when someone finally cracks. As The Atlantic put it in a 2010 article, "There's nothing more boring than watching people sunbathing, enjoying dinner, or shopping. Reality has to be dramatic and high-stakes." 

For the following reality TV show cast members, intense social situations (perhaps in tandem with a nudge from a producer), and, in some cases, a touch of alcohol pushed them over the edge and led to total meltdowns. Here are some of reality TV's especially memorable freak-out moments. 

Aviva Drescher does some serious legwork

Aviva Drescher's antics on Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City's 2014 season finale are some of the most outlandish in the franchise's history. The ladies were attending a luncheon, and, when things got heated (as they tend to do whenever Real Housewives and alcohol are involved), Drescher grabbed the closest thing she could to prove her "realness" in response to her costars' accusations that her asthma diagnosis was fake. "The only thing artificial about me is this!" Drescher exclaimed, removing her prosthetic leg and slamming it on the table, to her fellow Housewives' shock (and producers' and viewers' glee).

Drescher later told HuffPost Live in 2015 that her leg move had been a calculated maneuver to (hopefully) entertain the audience, saying, "The highest ratings of the entire season was that episode ... there were several cameras around me, and was I thinking about making a show and be entertaining? Yes, absolutely" (via Page Six).

Her tactic backfired, however, and Drescher was dropped from the cast before the 2015 season. But her leg toss is still undoubtedly one of the most memorable Housewives moments on record. Drescher insisted to Page Six in March 2018, "People say they love the leg throw."

Teresa Giudice totally flips

More housewives, more drama. In the very first season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, cast member Teresa Giudice completely lost her cool and almost flipped a table in what has to be one of the most memorable reality TV meltdowns of all time. 

Giudice was arguing with fellow housewife Danielle Staub over accusations laid out against Staub in a tell-all book titled Cop Without a Badge. Staub denied many of the book's allegations against her, but Giudice simply wasn't having it. She got increasingly heated as she listed off the various charges that she felt Staub was lying about (including being a former stripper and being a former "prostitution whore"), though what really tipped her over the edge was that Staub had allegedly been engaged 19 times. "19 times! You f**king stupid *b***h!" Giudice shrieked as she tipped the dinner table, spilling wine and getting pulled back by guests. 

Years later, the table flip still gets referenced in high-profile places. For instance, on Bravo exec Andy Cohen's SiriusXM radio showThe New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Down compared Donald Trump's behavior as president to Giudice's. 

Giudice and Staub have since settled their differences ... for the time being.

Kelly Bensimon confronts her castmates

During what was meant to be a vacation to the Virgin Islands during the show's third season, Real Housewives of New York City cast member Kelly Bensimon put in a strong showing for one of the strangest reality TV meltdowns we've ever seen.

As a recap from Vulture handily described, the ladies of the show were all together for a meal followed by a drink at the end of the evening when Bensimon started acting, frankly, weird. Over the course of the evening, she accused fellow Housewife Bethenny Frankel of trying to kill her, chided Frankel that it was "creepy" that the reality star was on vacation after her father passed away, and told Alex McCord that she was "channeling the devil" — all while eating a bag of jellybeans. Eventually Frankel had enough, and she told Kelly she was "crazy," shrieking at her to "Go to sleep!"

In a later episode, Bensimon described the evening as an "out-of-body experience" and showed little remorse in a July 2010 interview with Harper's Bazaar. "I am not crazy. I am unpredictable," Bensimon explained. "I'm embarrassed that I allowed myself to feed into it, but I don't think I would handle it differently." She also explained to Vulture that she hadn't had a breakdown but rather a "breakthrough." Regardless, it's all still unsettling to watch. 

Tyra Banks debuts some not-so-model-like behavior

All the way back in 2005, American's Next Top Model host Tyra Banks had an epic freak-out at contestant Tiffany Richardson, which has since been singed into reality show lore. 

During the episode's final judging scene, when it came down to Richardson and another contestant, Banks basically lost her cool at what she perceived to be Richardson's lack of seriousness about the competition. As Richardson tried to explain herself and defend her behavior to Banks, the ANTM judge called her out, completely blowing a gasket. 

"I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this!" Banks shouted. "When my mother yells like this, it's because she loves me. I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!" And thus sparked about a million memes and gifs that live on to this day...

Years later, Banks admitted to BuzzFeed News that she would have done things differently today, or just not aired the clip. But she also told the site, "It was such an emotional, visceral moment for me ... I had so much love for this girl."

Too bad Richardson remembers things slightly differently

Alexis Neiers freaks out over footwear

During the filming of E!'s short-lived reality show Pretty Wild, "bling ring" member Alexis Neiers received a copy of Vanity Fair that included an article titled, "The Suspects Wore Louboutins." The piece profiled her and her fellow teenage friends who were accused of breaking into celebrity houses to steal expensive items. Thrilled at first, Neiers quickly lost her cool and started hysterically crying when she detected what she perceived to be several inaccuracies in journalist Nancy Jo Sales' article. 

So what did Neiers do in this situation? Well, she completely freaked out, she prayed, and she lost it over the fact that Sales supposedly messed up the details of her footwear ("I wasn't wearing Louboutins, I was wearing little brown kitten heels, f***ing b***h!"). She then picked up her cell phone and proceeded to place several unhinged calls to the offending journalist's voicemail. 

Neiers recorded not one, but four voicemails, telling Sales, "I opened up to you so that way the world could potentially know what a great, amazing, talented, strong, healthy girl that I am — not even a girl, young woman. I am petrified, petrified with this story! I am so disappointed. And I'm letting you know that I will clear this up." 

In 2017, Sales told HuffPost, "I'm so glad I didn't pick up the phone, because she was in distress. It would not have been a productive conversation."

Snooki causes a seaside scene

In some ways, the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore blazed a trail in terms of controversial reality show behavior, and their antics from the early days continue to deliver in the "losing it" department. Notably, as the New York Daily News reported, in July 2010, cast member Snooki (real name Nicole Polizzi) was arrested for disorderly conduct after an all-day bender at the Jersey Shore. Eventually her fellow beach-goers called the cops, and whaddya know, the entire thing was caught on camera

When the episode aired in 2011, viewers were treated to footage of Snooki running down the boardwalk in the middle of the afternoon, wearing slippers, and screaming, "Where's the beach?" Housemates Deena Cortese and JWoww (real name Jenni Farley) attempted to chase her down, but Snooki couldn't be contained and was eventually kicked off the beach. One witness later told the New York Daily News, "I saw her by the beach, just falling around, wobbling. No one could control her. She was so drunk — too drunk." 

Snooki then decided to mouth off to the police officers escorting her away from the beach, saying, "Get the f**k off my arm! Get off!" as her sunglasses fell down her face. She was promptly handcuffed and booked. 

"I'm a f**king good person!" she screamed as she was led away.

According to CBS News, the charges were later dropped, though Snooki had to pay a $500 fine and complete two days of community service.

Kristin Cavallari shows off her bad side

It was big news in reality TV land when Laguna Beach's Kristin Cavallari joined the cast of MTV's The Hills in 2010, and she wasted no time getting into it with cast member Audrina Patridge in a pretty bold way at a rooftop party. The root of the disagreement was Patridge's ex-boyfriend, Justin Bobby, who Cavallari was greeting when the other cast members caught wind.

When Patridge's friend and fellow reality star Stephanie Pratt tried to tell Cavallari that Bobby needed to "respect Audrina," Patridge got involved to ask why everyone was talking about her. Cavallari exploded, "You guys came at me like f**king piranhas!" Pointing her fighter, she yelled at Patridge, "Your f**king sidekick is yapping her mouth at me ... if it's gonna be like this, it's f**king on, b***h!" 

"You don't want to be on my bad side," Cavallari mumbled to her group of girlfriends after Patridge and Pratt walked away. We'll say. Cavallari told MTV News in 2010, "It was probably one of the biggest fights I've ever been in."

However, Patridge revealed to E! News in 2014 that the entire conflict had been manufactured by the show's producers, telling Giuliana Rancic and Ali Fedotowsky, "I actually had to leave early for another event, we were there for about three hours and they were like, 'You can't leave until you and Kristin get into a fight'  ... and we did it and we got to leave."