When looking back on The Real Housewives of New York City, each season has offered something different, from a new housewife, a big fight that had an impact years later, or a major surprising storyline. For many fans, the best seasons are the ones that include Bethenny Frankel as she’s a popular cast member, but even the seasons without this reality star have some stand-out and shocking scenes.
From the iconic moment when Bethenny shared big news to the friendship that ended in season 10, there are several seasons of RHONY that fans remember as the most compelling ones.
10 Season 7
Dorinda Medley and Carole Radizwill are two former RHONY cast members who fans still think about, and their connection made season 7 one to watch. In the episode “London Calling,” the co-stars went to England so Carole could get her late husband Anthony’s ashes. It was heartbreaking to see both Dorinda and Carole continue to grieve their partners who passed away tragically, but it was sweet that they were able to talk to each other about it.
Besides the friendship that developed between these two, this isn’t the most stand-out season, but it’s still one of the better ones. It also deserves a mention since this is the season when Bethenny Frankel came back and discussed how she was suffering in the midst of her divorce.
9 Season 12
Leah McSweeney joined RHONY in season 12, which makes it one of the more interesting ones as she is so unique. Fans saw that Leah and Tinsley Mortimer are close friends, and it was also great watching Leah as a single mother to her daughter Kier.
While RHONY vacations are often fun to watch, the Cancun trip in season 12 was incredibly stressful as Leah and Ramona Singer didn’t get along at all. Sonja Morgan also drank a lot, which worried fans and became a topic of discussion in season 13, too, as the situation didn’t get any better. Season 12 isn’t the most fun group of episodes to look back on but it was still good getting to know Leah.
8 Season 4
The trip to Morocco made this season a juicy one. In the episode “Last Call, Morocco,” Jill Zarin was very upset about fighting with Ramona and it was a fairly confusing but still entertaining argument. Jill seemed to think that the end of her friendship with Bethenny was because of Ramona. And rightly so, Ramona didn’t want to be attacked, as this was a friendship that naturally ran its course.
This season serves as a good reminder of the old cast of the show, as it was always fun watching Jill and Ramona together, even if they were fighting or upset with each other. Viewers might like re-watching this season as a trip down memory lane but it’s not as memorable as some later seasons.
7 Season 2
Of the Real Housewives who left early, Alex McCord will always be remembered by the shopping trip that she and her husband Simon Van Kempen went on in the season 2 episode “Hamptons Retreat… But No Surrender.” This scene can never be forgotten about as they literally dropped thousands of dollars for some clothing.
While fans watch RHONY for dramatic moments that usually can’t be predicted ahead of time, the show also shines when it talks about the lifestyles that the cast lives, and season 2 Alex is a flawless example of this. Now that the series has been on the air for over 10 seasons, it might look strange to film a shopping spree, but back in season 2, it felt right.
6 Season 11
While Bethenny didn’t have the happiest time in season 11, it’s an important season for her overall Real Housewives story.
Viewers remember Bethenny talking about the death of her partner Dennis Shields, which was a sad beginning to the season. Season 11 might not have featured entertaining arguments or fun moments, but fans do recall the episode “Sleeping With The Fishes” when the cast wanted to avoid staying in this bedroom in Dorinda’s Berkshires house. In the stand-out storyline of the season, Luann was offended that she would be put there, and Dorinda got mad and emotional, too. This bedroom is famous among RHONY fans and it’s all thanks to this season.
5 Season 9
The introduction of Tinsley is what makes season 9 a truly good one. There are many facts about Tinsley Mortimer’s background that viewers should know about, and immediately, her socialite days became a part of her storyline.
It was fun and intriguing seeing Tinsley moving to New York and living with Sonja, who often said that she was a bad houseguest, creating some much-needed drama. This season definitely gave fans everything that they wanted to see, including bad blood between Ramona and Bethenny, as Ramona offended Bethenny by talking about a movie role Bethenny had taken on decades before.
4 Season 5
Between Aviva Drescher throwing her prosthetic leg across the room and saying that she couldn’t go on a trip because of her health, it’s no wonder that people still remember season 5.
It might even be possible to see this season as a little too intense and wild, so there are a few others that are more enjoyable to re-watch. Aviva really struggled to get along with the cast and not everyone liked watching her as she could be pretty mean-spirited, especially when she said Carole had a ghostwriter. This is also a great season for fans of Heather Thompson, who was always courageous in saying what she felt and who tried to help Sonja with her toaster ovens.
3 Season 10
Bethenny’s season 10 arguments on RHONY included some with Carole, and since this is known as the season when they stopped being in each other’s lives for goods, fans will always consider it an important one.
No matter how many times the cast members tried to work through their problems, they just couldn’t. Every time Carole and Bethenny spoke to each other in season 10, they seemed so upset and angry that fans almost wished they would stop filming scenes together. Since this season also included a fight between Sonja and Dorinda because Dorinda thought Sonja talked too much about her divorce, which happened years earlier, it’ll always be a favorite among RHONY viewers.
2 Season 3
Season 3 can’t be ignored as the episode “Sun, Sand and Psychosis,” which everyone knows as “Scary Island,” was part of this group of episodes. Viewers still re-watch the scenes of Bethenny and Kelly Bensimon yelling at each other and it seems like this dinner will never seem logical as Kelly spoke about very random things, including jelly beans.
This season of RHONY also saw Jill and Bethenny fighting so much that they decided it was better to go their separate ways. It’s interesting to note Bethenny lost two close friendships on the series, and this one clearly really hurt, as Bethenny was becoming successful in business and it seemed like Jill didn’t lend her support.
1 Season 8
As for the ultimate RHONY season, one that provided non-stop drama and lots of emotion, season 8 is definitely up there. The episode “Tomfoolery” is the most beloved as Bethenny finally said what viewers had been thinking about Luann De Lesseps’s fiance Tom: he was a super unhealthy partner.
When Bethenny told Luann that she had photos of Tom kissing another woman, this solidified season 8 as incredibly fascinating. Fans were curious if Luann would go through the wedding and knew that the real drama was only just beginning.