The Karen stereotype has brought forward a lot of commentary about how women are perceived, but one way of using this label is to call out problematic behavior or someone’s sense of entitlement, irrespective of gender or age. In the Real Housewives franchise where emotions run high and stakes are even higher, the cast members have struggled to check what they say to each other or how they react in certain situations and have often been called out for being out-of-touch, ignorant or simply too privileged.
A refusal to learn from past mistakes and dodging accountability is a tell-tale sign of a ‘Karen’. Ignorance, unchecked entitlement, bullying, cultural insensitivity, moral policing, or even certain forms of gaslighting qualifies as Karen-esque behavior. The Real Housewives series has witnessed some major ‘Karen’ moments over the years, some of which are very difficult to live down.
10 Sonja Morgan – RHONY
Sonja is too quick to judge someone, but when it comes to her own mistakes, she expects people around her to give her a free pass. Fans were shocked when she told Leah that she doesn’t talk to tattooed people and made her feel bad about her tattoos. When she relieved herself in a corn maze and ripped corns because ‘she was friends with the owner,’ she came across as really entitled.
“There’s definitely two Sonja’s. There is Mrs. Morgan, the one who lives on the Upper East Side that hates tattoos and just talks about old money. And then there’s turn up Sonja. I have a feeling that if Mrs. Morgan and turn up Sonja met they wouldn’t like each other,” Leah had said about Sonja. It became more and more obvious that in spite of being aware of her own issues, Sonja does very little work on herself and shuts out any critical communication.
9 Brandi Glanville – RHOBH
Brandi Glanville has had really dramatic storylines on Real Housewives, but her ‘Karen’ moments always had to do with her channeling her insecurities upon others and her refusal to be the bigger person. She made countless allegations about people—like her comments on the Richards sisters’ drug abuse or her remarks about Adrienne and Paul’s family—which were not just baseless but also hurtful.
This alienated her from others mainly because no one could trust her; she would become aggressive quite needlessly, but what made her a proverbial Karen was definitely her refusal to be held accountable for her actions.
8 Kelly Dodd – RHOC
As remembered by People, Kelly’s borderline racist remarks towards Heather, her ‘Drunk Wives Matters’ joke, or even her controversial comments on Covid-19 are probably the things she will never look down. Kelly’s entitlement has been an issue because even her friends Meghan and Vicki have found it difficult to stick up for her during certain arguments. It’s not that Kelly is insensitive or looking for a reason to start drama, but her attacks are almost always completely unwarranted and below-the-belt.
Like when she brought up Tamra’s daughter during lunch, or how she attacked Braunwyn for faking her addiction issues even after being aware of her history, these were moments when Kelly came across as really mean.
7 Camille Grammer – RHOBH
Camille’s unprovoked attacks and tendency to slut-shame other women were problematic. She did not just go after cast members she had issues with but also made harsh comments about people she did not know that well. The Real Housewives‘ iconic Dinner from Hell episode had some good examples.
Camille made Faye Resnick feel uncomfortable for posing nude in a magazine in the past and kept on taking potshots at her because of her past, which did not merit criticism. She questioned Dorit’s financial status and brought up her husband’s loans, Camille insinuated that she should get better privileges than the other castmates because she was married to a film star, and constantly spread misinformation about people before checking her sources, which made her seem like a pot-stirrer.
6 Sutton Stracke – RHOBH
The way Sutton reacted to Erica Jayne’s legal situation outed her as someone who’s not just mean but also quite self-serving; it’s safe to say that the allegations against Erica and her estranged husband Tom Girardi make every castmate pretty uncomfortable.
Sutton explicitly said that she wants to distance herself from Erika during this time, which would have been fine if she wouldn’t gossip about Erika behind her back, or talk about how she didn’t believe her innocence and go back to talking about the scandal to anyone who’d listen. This makes her seem like someone who enjoys others’ humiliation, and even her friend Kyle has called her out as “too-faced” for her behavior.
5 NeNe Leakes – RHOA
Even NeNe’s fans couldn’t always support her actions on Real Housewives. She often gets defensive too fast which leads her to make unsavory comments about people or target their weak spots.
For example, when she judged Kim’s love life and shaded her for dating a married man even though Kim made it clear that her partner was separated, or when she implied Kenya’s marriage was fake or how she shared sensitive information that could break relationships. NeNe’s opinions are mostly based on superficial observations which makes them problematic.
4 Karen Huger – RHOP
Karen has a tendency of making shading people without knowing enough about them, and more often than not she attacks people’s net worth, their families, or their lifestyle. Ashley even called her out for constantly judging others. “I’m only judging what you give me, baby,” Karen responded.
But in reality, this behavior makes it hard for her to make allies or even friends because Karen can be very unpredictable when she feels challenged on any level. Like how she threw Giselle out of a party with the help of security just because she said she wanted to talk, and even her supporters have often urged her to take accountability for some of her actions.
3 LeeAnne Locken – RHOD
LeeAnne has constantly been racist towards her cast members and has been called out on many occasions. She usually dodges accountability by bringing up her personal hang-ups, but, at the same time, refuses to apologize. Moreover, she has been caught lying several times and has even been called out by the show’s producer Andy Cohen for making up fake production policies; her biggest issue is definitely her ignorance and her inability to see past her actions or acknowledge how her comments affect others.
2 Vicki Gunvalson – RHOC
The OG housewife’s constant policing of others on Real Housewives made her lose out on many fans, especially those who couldn’t connect with her anymore. She has made several tone-deaf remarks about people of color and has constantly refused to acknowledge her problematic statements even after learning how she was wrong.
Vicki has been touted as a villain because of her overbearing nature, as was the case when she bullied Alexis Bellino for talking to her husband on phone during dinner, or when she told Meghan King that her sentiments towards her step-children were unjust.
1 Ramona Singer – RHONY
Ramona has been called out by several of her castmates for repeatedly using her failed relationships and past woes to justify her inappropriate behavior. Ramona has not only cultivated an atmosphere of cliquism on the show but had also outed Leah’s mental disorder when she wasn’t ready to talk about it, she has been accused by Bethany of staff mistreatment which Ramona tried to justify by bringing up how much she usually tips.
But these problems aside, Ramona has never shown interest in taking accountability for her mistakes or even admitting that she can get carried away, which makes her seem entitled.