The Biggest Beefs Ever On Real Housewives

Are there any reality franchises more celebrated for its wine-throwing, hair-pulling brawls than the various Real Housewives series? For years, this Bravo franchise has invited viewers into the gaudy universes of wealthy housewives with too much time on their hands and plenty of bones to pick. After the inaugural The Real Housewives of Orange County aired in 2006, the network replicated its success in multiple locales, from Beverly Hills to New York City — and, love 'em or hate 'em, the Real Housewives became a bona fide hit.

But as Andy Cohen's executive-produced franchise grew, so did the headline-making fights: sisters battled one another in limos, families threw punches at christenings, and wives wiped the floor with their rivals' hair on more than one occasion. Perhaps it isn't surprising that legal action followed multiple notable Real Housewives feuds, including assault charges

While everyone loves a little reality TV drama in their lives — and as acrimonious as the fights on the Real Housewives shows have become — many of the franchise's most bitter disputes have thankfully been resolved as the seasons stretched on. However, the intense beefs between certain other outspoken housewives don't seem like they'll ever dwindle. Let's raise a toast to the most infamous rivalries from the Real Housewives series.

Bethenny Frankel and Jill Zarin are two queen bees

Bethenny Frankel and Jill Zarin — inaugural stars of The Real Housewives of New York City — were once the closest of reality TV friends. However, things took a turn when the third season premiered in 2010. 

In Frankel's eyes, Zarin was jealous of her popularity and entrepreneurial success, as she told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live: "I remember there was a turning point and I was hosting the Today show. When I got there, the first thing that was told to me by the producers was Jill called her and she lost her mind: 'Why not me? I'm better than her.'" Once the cameras were rolling, Zarin infamously accused Frankel of being unsupportive amid husband Bobby Zarin's first cancer scare. Frankel called the move "cunning," saying, "It was really clear that she wanted people to hate me." 

Frankel left the show after that season, while Zarin, who departed following Season 4, eventually admitted she'd orchestrated the feud for the sake of ratings. With their friendship effectively dunzo, Frankel added, "It must be very difficult for her that she can say she's responsible for putting me on the show and people say I'm the most successful Housewife in history and she would've been on the ride with me." These two later reconciled at Bobby's funeral in 2018. They may not be as close as they once were, but Frankel and Zarin keep in touch via text messages.

NeNe Leakes and Kenya Moore's war of the words

One of the key feuds on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe Leakes and Kenya Moore's contentious relationship has stretched on for years. When Moore joined the show in Season 5, these two started as friends, but later fell out when Moore skipped Leakes' 2013 wedding. "I was in Africa at the time," Moore told TheGrio following the nuptials, claiming she'd apologized to Leakes. "I don't think she's too happy about that."

By the end of that decade, that heat had yet to subside. In the following seasons of RHOA, these Bravo stars have made up several times, only to engage in additional fights, including Leakes taking shots at Moore's pregnant body on the show's Season 11 finale in 2019. "She's going to have a buffalo, isn't she?" Leakes said about Moore, later clarifying that she was referring to Moore's body shape, not her unborn child.

As the series' 12th season stretched into 2020, Leakes and Moore's bad blood reached new levels, with the duo nearly coming to physical blows in a fist-swinging January episode during the housewives' trip to Toronto, per People. After Leakes alleged that Moore's marriage was a sham, Moore brought receipts to the Season 12 virtual reunion, displaying what appeared to be a marriage license for all to see. With Leakes and Moore stirring up even more drama in the weeks following the finale, these two don't seem too keen on resolving their feud.

Brandi Glanville says Lisa Vanderpump 'punished' her

Lisa Vanderpump and Brandi Glanville shared the screen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for years, with Vanderpump an original cast member, and Glanville joining as a full-timer in Season 3. However, the former BFFs' relationship devolved over the next several seasons. First, there was an affair between one of Vanderpump's SUR employees, Scheana Shay, and Glanville's then-husband, Eddie Cibrian, with Glanville blaming Vanderpump for favoring her employee over their friendship. In a messy Season 4 incident, the two fell out over claims that Vanderpump conspired against fellow housewife Kyle Richards. Their relationship only got thornier during the reunion, when Vanderpump accused Glanville of hooking up with a much-younger family friend.

Glanville departed the show in 2015, and Andy Cohen later hinted to Entertainment Tonight that her rocky relationships with Vanderpump and other co-stars were to blame: "The problem is, she's not connected with any of the women. If somehow Brandi and [Lisa] or Brandi and Kyle [reconciled], or if she wound up legitimately becoming good friends with a few of those women, then I think that would be great." 

While Glanville reconciled with her ex-husband's former mistress in 2017, Glanville and Vanderpump have yet to make nice. "Literally, I spent the past three years being punished for crossing her in a way," Glanville said about their former friendship, while speaking to fellow housewife, Denise Richards, in a 2019 episode (via People).

NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak-Biermann: forever frenemies

Kenya Moore is far from the only cast member on The Real Housewives of Atlanta to fall afoul of NeNe Leakes. Kimberly Zolciak-Biermann and Leakes, two original members of the RHOA cast, have beef dating back to the series' first season in 2008, in which Leakes slammed Zolciak-Biermann for pursuing a man who already had a wife, famously telling her during the season finale to "close your legs to married men." Their feud continued over the next decade, including colorful incidents in which the two women traded insults on Watch What Happens Live, and Zolciak-Biermann excluded Leakes from their planned musical collaboration, "Tardy for the Party." 

After the duo made up in 2013, they fell out again several years later, when Zolciak-Biermann spread rumors of cockroaches in Leakes' home, to which Leakes responded by accusing Zolciak-Biermann of being racist.

After years at odds, the Real Housewives stars appeared to reconcile in March 2020. "I've spoken to Kim here and there," Leakes told Andy Cohen in an episode of Watch What Happens Live, adding that she'd like to see Zolciak-Biermann, who departed the show, return as a cast member. "We're in a great place. We're always in a great place when we're not working together. When we're working together, we're pulling wigs. But we're good." The duo later appeared on Instagram Live for a lighthearted "Cocktails After Dark" chat, in which they confirmed their renewed friendship. 

Danielle Staub and Teresa Giudice's table-flipping history

Danielle Staub and Teresa Giudice were two of the first stars on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. And it didn't take long for tensions between them to bubble over, with a Season 1 argument culminating with Giudice calling Staub a "prostitution whore" and infamously flipping a table. Season 2 brought another country-club fight, and Giudice charged at Staub during that season's reunion. 

Nearly a decade later, following Giudice's brief jail sentence and Staub's long absence from the show, they reunited. Andy Cohen publicly held them up as an example of housewives' unlikely reconciliations in 2018 — but their friendship wouldn't last forever, as Giudice and Staub fell out again in Season 10. In a February 2020 episode, Giudice learned that Staub, who'd pulled housewife Melissa Gorga's ponytail on air, told Gorga that Giudice had put her up to the attack. "She's not a loyal friend," Giudice said about Staub during the reunion episode. "I was so loyal to you ... You broke our trust at the end." 

Staub later lashed out at Giudice on the After Show, claiming she deserved better treatment from her former friend. "Listen, I've forgiven Teresa for so much," Staub said. " ... If I wasn't important enough to her to forgive me ... it should've just been understanding. 'So, big deal. Danielle said it, I did it.' That's all she would've had to say."

Sheree Whitfield and Kim Zolciak-Biermann's hairy feud

This feud on The Real Housewives of Atlanta saw OG cast members Sheree Whitfield and Kim Zolciak-Biermann battling one another in one of the series' all-time legendary scenes. In Season 2, Zolciak-Biermann got into an argument with Whitfield and NeNe Leakes on the streets of Atlanta, with Whitfield infamously snatching Zolciak-Biermann's wig. Looking back on their scuffle in a 2017 Entertainment Tonight interview, Zolciak-Biermann called the moment "lighthearted," despite how tense it looked onscreen. "That hair's a mess," she joked. "I really should've had a makeup artist ... And that wig, honey. I swear it didn't look like that in person."

Whitfield and Zolciak-Biermann would eventually reconcile, teaming up against a cast member they both saw as a shared enemy: Leakes, who retaliated by smearing their renewed friendship as fake. "No matter how kind I try to be with [Sheree], I feel like her and Kim have an alliance together, they simply need each other," Leakes said on a March 2018 episode of the After Show. "... They can lie to each other and it works." 

Also appearing on the After Show were Whitfield and Zolciak-Biermann, who bonded over their shared approach to talking smack. "You've never told anyone any of my secrets, ever," Zolciak-Biermann told Whitfield. To which Whitfield responded, "These girls talk behind each others' backs ... That's what I love about you, because you will say it to their face."

Porsha Williams and Kenya Moore's violent dislike

Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams were both introduced in the fifth season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and their relationship would later devolve, culminating in Williams' 2014 arrest. During the Season 6 reunion, the two traded insults, with Moore slinging harsh words at Williams with the help of a megaphone. Per Us Weekly, the fight turned physical when Williams pulled Moore to the ground by her hair and dragged her across the floor. The police were later called, and with a warrant out for her arrest, Williams surrendered and was charged with a battery misdemeanor. 

During later seasons, Williams and Moore remained frenemies, reconciling only to get into further, less-violent spats. Season 12 was no exception, with the housewives starting the season at peace with one another, bonding over their experiences as moms, only to eventually shade each other on social media and confront each other during the May 2020 reunion. "You're a horrible friend with your fake receipts," Williams said about Moore, leading the Bravo stars to go head-to-head in a shouting match over their RHOA airtime. Moore accused Williams of "trying to get a storyline for next year," and Williams shot back, "Even when I wasn't a housewife, honey, I had more scenes than you." 

Moore also took to Instagram to diss Williams, who wore a tiara during the reunion, captioning the shot, "You can buy yourself a crown but still be used as a pawn."

Kim Richards and Lisa Rinna's wine-throwing past

One of the all-time epic fights on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills came courtesy of Kim Richards, a cast member since the beginning of the show, and Lisa Rinna, who joined during Season 5. Rinna's first season was one for the books. She and Richards got in a screaming match during a trip to Amsterdam, when Richards made shady allegations about Rinna's husband, Harry Hamlin, resulting in Rinna throwing wine in Richards' face and breaking her glass.

The drama continued in Season 7, which featured messy incidents ranging from Rinna appearing to claim Richards was close to death to Richards returning a toy bunny that Rinna gifted to her grandson. Fast forward to 2019, and two of Richards and Rinna's family members began dating each other, forcing the two women to make nice. "For those of you who don't know, my daughter's (Brooke Wiederhorn) husband (Thayer Wiederhorn) has five siblings, and his brother is dating Lisa's daughter Amelia (Gray Hamlin)," Richards revealed on the Watch What Happens Live BravoCon special. "So we realized the other night that we could be in-laws. And I said to Lisa the other night, this is pretty crazy; this is our karma for fighting. We may have to look at each other for the rest of our lives."

Did Kandi Burruss get Phaedra Parks fired?

The feud between The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Phaedra Parks and Kandi Burruss remains one of the messiest in the series' history. The housewives' problems began in Season 8, when Parks accused Burruss of not supporting her during her divorce

After the duo sparred over ex-husband issues, their relationship officially burned to the ground during the Season 9 reunion, when Porsha Williams revealed a rumor Parks had shared involving Burress and her husband, Todd Tucker, planning to drug Williams and take advantage of her. "I was shocked, angry, disgusted ... I could go on," Burress wrote about the hearsay. "Even with everything that had happened between me and Phaedra, I still didn't think Phaedra would go so low as to tell someone that I wanted to drug them. "

Parks was subsequently fired from the show for allegedly spreading false claims about Burruss. "The question that we look at now with Phaedra is, when the reunion ended, none of the other women wanted to have anything to do with her," Andy Cohen told E! News. "How do you shoot a show about a group of friends when no one is speaking to one of the friends?" During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in 2018, Burress laughed when asked whether she'd ever make up with Parks. "Nah," she replied. "Absolutely not. Come on now ... That was too far, that was too much. I've never heard anything, no apologies, no nothing."

Danielle Staub and Margaret Josephs' feud is hot as wax

When Margaret Josephs joined The Real Housewives of New Jersey during Season 8, she and Danielle Staub initially had a friendly relationship. However, things came crashing down during a trip to Mexico the following season, when Staub commented on Josephs' strained relationship with her children, and Josephs snapped and threw a glass of red wine at her. 

The housewives' feud escalated into physical violence during a Season 10 argument, which resulted in Josephs dumping water on Staub's head, before Staub emptied Josephs' purse in a candle and pulled her ponytail. Neither woman had many regrets for their actions, but Josephs admitted on Watch What Happens Live (via Us Weekly), "I should probably not have poured the water ... [but] she intimidated me. I actually was afraid she was going to hit me, and I didn't want to have a physical altercation. [She was] like a rabid dog." 

Meanwhile, Staub gave her take on the fight during a January 2020 episode of the After Show: "I would love to know why Margaret feels that she needs to pour things on me, throw things at me, yell at me ... She's affected my life in a very bad way and all I did was help her fit into the group in the beginning. From where I'm standing, she owes me not only a big apology, but she should give me a lot of gratitude."

Kelly Dodd and Vicki Gunvalson's battle of insults

Kelly Dodd joined The Real Housewives of Orange County during Season 11, but she would find herself at odds with the "OG of the OC," longtime cast member Vicki Gunvalson. Their friendship hit a snag two seasons later, when Gunvalson set Dodd's ex-husband up on a date, and claimed that Dodd used cocaine, which Dodd protested. During Season 14, Gunvalson also — to Dodd's dismay — accused her co-star of involving herself in a "sex train" (via People). "Vicki is spreading this vicious rumor about me, that I did a train of ... dudes," Dodd said during a 2019 episode. "... I've never had a threesome."

Gunvalson raised eyebrows by filing a lawsuit against Dodd and Bravo that December, allegedly attempting to stop the network from airing footage of Dodd claiming she was a "con woman" who "preys on older people" and "engaged in fraud" at her insurance firm (via Page Six). The case was ultimately dismissed, but a moment during the Season 14 reunion hinted at a potential future detente between the two, as Gunvalson planned to exit the show. 

"I wish Vicki the best for her life," Dodd said. " ... I don't want any ill will of her. Was I wrong? Did I fight dirty? Absolutely. But you know what? I want her to be happy." Gunvalson, tearing up, wished her the same, wanting to end their cycle of "hurtful behavior," even if they weren't friends.

Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice's sister issues

This rivalry on The Real Housewives of New Jersey is a true family affair. Melissa Gorga may be married to Teresa Guidice's brother, Joe, but the two women have remained at odds throughout their tenures on the show. 

Their confrontations memorably included a christening brawl during Season 3, sparked by Teresa and Joe Giudice running late to Melissa and Joe Gorga's church ceremony, and culminating in a fight in the banquet hall. Gorga and Giudice's problems continued over the next several years, including a disastrous attempt at a Giudice/Gorga family retreat and, famously, some family drama when Gorga brought the wrong cookies to a Christmas celebration, and Teresa told her she threw them out in front of the other guests.

The two women eventually reconciled, with Gorga and Giudice, at the conclusion of Season 7 in 2016, promising to "move forward in peace." However, as Gorga admitted to Andy Cohen on an April 2020 episode of Watch What Happens Live, she doesn't know if she would be friends with Guidice if the two weren't related. "Do we love each other? Are we family? Yeah," she said. "But would I raise my hand and say, 'Let's be best friends?' I don't know. And I don't know if she would, either."