Content Warning: This article contains discussion of domestic abuse, addiction, sexual assault and child loss.
While The Real Housewives franchise is known for bringing plenty of drama, iconic one-liners, and hilarious moments, it’s also a franchise that brings some incredibly raw moments that can bring viewers to tears. As a reality show, the women and their families go through all of life’s challenges on camera. This creates unscripted moments that the producers couldn’t make up — all they can do is keep the cameras rolling.
From the West Coast to the East Coast and everywhere in between, every city in the franchise has had tear-inducing moments. However, some moments stick out more than others. It’s hard not to get choked up watching these Housewives go through some emotional times in front of an audience.
10 RHOA – When Ayden Tells Phaedra He’ll Always Be Her Baby
In Phaedra Parks’s prime, she was one of the more likable Housewives on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. And while she’s no longer a cast member of the series, fans like to relive some of her better moments with her children.
In one episode, Phaedra is driving her son Ayden to his first day of school. The young boy and mother begin talking about his big day when Ayden mentions that he’s scared to be without her all day. Phaedra, clearly emotional by his words, tries to smooth things over, but once Ayden says, “I’ll always be your baby,” Phaedra can’t hold back her tears — and neither could viewers. It was an incredibly raw moment that all new parents could relate to.
9 RHONJ – The Giudices Pain Over Losing Nonna
If The Real Housewives of New Jersey fans thought Teresa going to jail was an emotional time, it got worse when her mother (Nonna) passed away. Her mother died soon after Teresa was released from jail, causing her family to fall apart. Teresa’s dad (Nono), especially, was having a hard time without his wife and had to move into Teresa’s home.
The Giudice kids began looking after Nono as the cameras filmed them crying together over the months that followed. Those times were some of the saddest episodes with Teresa, but they were some of the best because of how heartfelt they were.
8 RHOBH – When Kyle Knew Kim Wasn’t Sober At A Party & Held Back Tears
Kim Richards was upfront about her battle with sobriety at the end of season 1 and the start of season 2, and it took a lot for her to admit it and that she was trying to go sober. Meanwhile, her sister, Kyle, tried doing everything she could to get her healthier, but she fell apart when her advice fell on deaf ears.
At an event, Kim was supposedly sober, but when she showed up, Kyle knew right away she was under the influence. While holding back tears of sadness and pain, the only thing Kyle could tell her sister was how beautiful she looked. It was one of Kim and Kyle’s more soul-stirring sister moments because fans could see both of their pain.
7 RHOA – Kenya Comforted Sheree During A Dark Moment
In a gut-wrenching episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Sheree, her ex-husband, Bob, Kenya, and Phaedra were all in the car going on a trip with the other women. When the topic of abuse came up, Bob asked Sheree if he had ever put his hands on her because he “forgot.” With a brave face, Sheree admitted in front of everyone that he has put his hands on her before. Shockingly, Bob made light of the situation and joked that he should have done it more.
At that time, Sheree and Kenya were not on the greatest of terms, and Kenya was seen as a villain. But at that moment, Kenya jumped into protective mode and hugged Sheree from the backseat. The power of unity between women was exactly what that moment needed.
6 RHONY – Carole & Dorinda’s Emotional Trip To London
In season 7 of The Real Housewives of New York, Carole Radziwill had to go back to London to retrieve her late husband’s ashes. Dorinda decided to go with Carole because she and her late husband used to live in London, and as a widow herself, Dorinda understood Carole’s pain.
In these emotional times, fans supported Dorinda and Carole as they grieved and healed together. To see it unfold on TV was one of the staples of that season.
5 RHOP – When Karen Bravely Spoke About Her Sexual Assault
In Karen Huger’s second season as a Housewife of Potomac, she came clean with viewers that she had been a victim of sexual abuse as a teen. The moment scarred her for life and has instilled in her a sense of strength and fear.
With a daughter to care for, Karen made her aware of her abuse as a young woman and signed both of them up for self-defense. At the end of the class, Karen — with tears in her eyes — begged her daughter to forget about being nice in a situation of abuse and to do whatever she could to get home safely to her. The sadness and hope in her eyes made it impossible not to cry alongside them.
4 RHOC – When Vicki Found Out Her Mom Died On TV
Vicki Gunvalson has had her fair share of amazing episodes, but this was not one of them. While the women were at Shannon’s for game night, Vicki’s daughter called Shannon’s home phone to get in touch with Vicki. While on the phone, Vicki received horrifying news: her mother had passed away, unexpectedly.
Watching Vicki fall to her knees in shock was troubling for viewers and one of the saddest moments in Real Housewives history.
3 RHOD – When Brandi Tells Stephanie That She Suffered A Miscarriage
With Brandi and Stephanie being on The Real Housewives of Dallas since season 1, they’ve had some of the best storylines in the series as close friends. But in season 2, these two best friends had a falling out that ended in tears.
When the two finally came together to hash things out, they both cried as they realized how much time went by and how much they missed. That’s when Brandi dropped the sad news that she recently had a miscarriage. Both women cried and hugged each other like no time had passed as they now dealt with Brandi’s loss.
2 RHOBH – The Death Of Taylor’s Husband (& The Problems That Followed)
Taylor Armstrong had a hard couple of years as a past Housewife on RHOBH because of her rocky marriage to her husband, Russell. When Taylor was ready to divorce her husband, the harrowing news that he had taken his own life was released. Cameras followed Taylor the following season as she learned how to navigate life as a single mother and a widow. More than that, she had to settle Russell’s lawsuits.
Since Taylor didn’t have much money to her name, one of the people that was suing her said they’d be satisfied with her wedding rings as a form of payment. The idea of getting rid of one of the most romantic gestures from her late husband broke Taylor. Fans cried with her as she realized the decision she had to make.
1 RHOC – Meghan King Edmonds’ Ultrasound
In the 11th season of RHOC, Meghan King and her then-husband, Jim Edmonds, were finally pregnant after a few years of struggling to conceive. Meghan was told she was successfully pregnant with twins, but when she went for her ultrasound there was only one heartbeat.
The doctor quietly told her only one baby survived. Meghan was happy she was pregnant but was devastated at such a loss. She and Jim began to cry to each other, creating such an intimate moment.