The Real Housewives is a super entertaining (and also very popular) reality television franchise. And the most well-known city is definitely The Real Housewives of Orange County. This was the city that started it all: it premiered in 2006 and since then has led to many different spin-offs, including New York, Beverly Hills, and Dallas.
Vicki Gunvalson is the only star who has been on the show since the very first episode and for that reason is considered to be "the OG of the O.C." Over the past 13 seasons, fans have been watching Vicki and her friends go to parties, go on fancy vacations, and fight... a lot. There has definitely been a lot of fighting on this show over the years.
People have been saying since forever that some reality shows are scripted and that fans can't believe everything that they see. Taking a look at RHOC, it's clear that there are some things that might not be real and some things that are definitely real. So of course, fans of the show are understandably curious.
Read on to find out 15 things about The Real Housewives Of O.C. that are fake and five things that are actually real.
20 Fake: Storylines Are Edited So They're More Dramatic
According to The Washington Post, "Everyone knows producers edit footage to create the most compelling plots."
This is something that we hear about reality TV on a regular basis.
If we love these kinds of shows and we mention that to our friend, boyfriend, or mom, we might hear them say "Those shows aren't real." We might not have anything to say about that since sometimes the storylines seem to be edited, but hey, we still love The Real Housewives Of Orange County. It's hard not to get sucked into such juicy episodes and not want to know what the ladies are up to.
19 Fake: Vicki's Boyfriend Pretended To Have Cancer
The Washington Post notes that Vicki's now ex-boyfriend Brooks pretended to have cancer. Fans of the show will remember that this was a major storyline in season 10.
This storyline was totally fake. When we watched it, we knew that something fishy was going on and the other housewives kept asking Vicki questions because they had a feeling that this wasn't real.
This was such a big deal on the show that the women even still bring it up to this day, even though season 13 just aired. Some of us might still be pretty confused about why this went on for so long and why this even happened.
18 Real: Many Of The Housewives' Marriages Have Fallen Apart
When season 13 of RHOC premiered, it was clear that Shannon Beador and Kelly Dodd had both recently started the process of getting divorced. This is something that was shown on the show that was definitely real. Shannon had been married to David Beador since 2000 and they share three daughters. Kelly had been married to Michael Dodd for eleven years and they share one daughter.
These breakups are sad but may not have been a big surprise to fans who saw the cracks in the relationships over many episodes.
Shannon and Kelly were often filmed fighting with their husbands or getting emotional over what was going on.
17 Fake: This Cast Member Didn't Show That She Was Getting Divorced
When we started watching season 13 of the show, we met Gina, a new cast member. She was living apart from her husband while he was working in LA during the week. The other ladies seemed surprised about this living situation.
Gina never shared that she was going through a divorce. Page Six quoted her as saying, “I was just in a position where I’m like, ‘Look this is really what’s happening in my life.’ Do I fake my way through it and smile and say everything is great? And then the season’s over and then we decide to divorce? Or should I just be myself and really let everyone in and share what’s going on? And I just had to have faith in what I was doing and know that I was making the right decision for my family and it’s mutual. Matt and I are still really good friends.”
16 Fake: Vicki Already Knew That Her Daughter Had Gotten Married
Every mom feels that their daughter's wedding day is the best, most joyous occasion ever. It seems like it would suck to learn that your daughter got married after the fact.
An RHOC episode showed Vicki looking surprised learning that her daughter, Briana, had eloped, but Cheat Sheet says that Vicki already knew about this.
It seems like this storyline was an example of what the show was portraying versus the actual reality. This is a moment that many fans bring up when discussing how real or fake RHOC is so it's something fans should be aware of for sure.
15 Fake: Tamra Didn't Go To A Party For A Good Reason
Nicki Swift says that there was a party that Tamra didn't go to and she said it was because her daughter wasn't feeling well. According to the website, "she... wasn't allowed to tell anyone what was going on so the show could make a story out of her 'rude' behavior."
Tamra posted on social media about this moment: "Here are a few facts that I am sure Bravo will take out of my blog…They waited until we were up in the limo to let Lizzie know [I was skipping her party]. They had her call me and say, 'How rude that you didn't call me.'"
14 Real: Vicki's Daughter Really Did Have Health Struggles
Fans will remember that there have been a few episodes when Vicki's daughter Briana had some health struggles. This is completely true.
In 2016, Briana got a lupus diagnosis. She has had a few different surgeries and had one as recently as 2018.
It's definitely heartbreaking to watch your child suffer and go through something like this, and fans will recall that Vicki was, understandably, very upset during this time.
It's moments like these that remind us that ladies like Vicki are moms like everyone else and are just trying to keep their family happy and healthy. Even though Vicki is a famous reality TV star, she's relatable.
13 Fake: Everyone Has A Story Producer
In Touch Weekly reported that “Each housewife is assigned to their own story producer, whose only job is to develop her storyline. So they conspire to create plot points, image, etc… Each story producer’s housewife is their responsibility. If the housewife has a breakdown at 2am and wants to quit the show, or is [upset] about her edit, she calls her story producer. The story producer has to pretend to be their bestie and gain their trust, but they are also in charge of creating exciting TV, and will influence their housewife to walk into set ups.”
12 Fake: Gretchen's Partner Slade Paid To Be On The Show
Bustle says that Slade Smiley, who we know as Gretchen's partner, paid $2,500 so he could be on the show. As Bustle says, "In the Real Housewives of Orange County: 100th Episode Special, Slade said he paid $2,500 for the prize to be a part of an unnamed reality show at a charity auction and that's how his former girlfriend Jo de la Rosa was cast for RHOC."
We probably didn't know this and it's definitely surprising to hear.
Slade was a staple of the show for several seasons since at first, as mentioned above, he was dating Jo, and then he started dating Gretchen.
11 Real: Tamra's Hubby Really Did Have Heart Problems
It was sad to watch Tamra's husband Eddie go for heart surgery in the season 13 premiere of The Real Housewives Of Orange County.
One look at Tamra's social media accounts and it's clear that this is something that was real. She has spoken about going through this, including in her "Best Nine" post when she shared her best liked posts from last year. She captioned that post with, "Way to many hospital pictures in my top 9. Good bye 2018 I won’t miss you. Wishing every one a very blessed New Year." In a post from September 2018, she shared a photo of Eddie in the hospital and wrote, "It’s been a long road and lot more difficult than anyone expected, confident this did the trick."
10 Fake: Tamra Didn't Actually Want More Kids
Tamra has three children from previous relationships (Ryan with her first husband and Sophia and Spencer with her ex-husband Simon), and when she and Eddie got married, we probably wondered if the two of them would have a baby.
It seems like Tamra might not have actually wanted another kid.
Nicki Swift says that when cameras showed Tamra wanting one more baby (this time with Eddie) that wasn't the truth: "This isn't the first time Bravo has been accused of pulling punches. Eddie Judge, Tamra's husband, claimed the story about his wife wanting another baby was completely untrue and orchestrated just for the show."
9 Fake: Heather Says One Housewife Created A Storyline
We have heard that storylines are made up sometimes on reality television. Do we think that the stars themselves make some things up?
It sounds like that might actually happen, at least according to a housewife who was on RHOC for a while.
According to All Things RH, Heather DuBrow has said that one housewive got fired for making up a storyline. She has been quoted as saying, “People who have real stories and show their real lives make great reality stars, because it’s real. When you try to self-produce, the audience [knows] and that’s it. You will see, very pointedly, about one person on the show, why they were not asked back, [and] they were a popular character.”
8 Fake: It Seems Like The Ladies Get Fired If Their Storylines Aren't Super Fascinating
There have been many articles saying that if you're a housewive on this franchise and you don't have a super interesting life right now or storyline that could be a major part of the new season, you will end up getting fired.
If this is true then this seems like something else that is fake.
We don't know what really goes on, of course, but we do see certain ladies getting fired after only being on the show for a few seasons or even just one. Sometimes it can be a bit jarring because we assumed that someone would continue on the show and then we watch the premiere episode and realize that she didn't come back.
7 Fake: People Wonder If A Housewife Pretended To Cry
It's safe to say that when a show involves a lot of drama and arguments, there are going to be harsh words and tears. Sometimes it seems like these ladies never, ever get along, and we've all wondered why they're friends at various points over the 13-season show, right?
Inqusitr.com said that Heather was pretending to cry in one scene, so it seems that some people are wondering if this was something else about the show that was fake.
Heather has said that she did really cry, so we don't know what actually happened, but it's still interesting to note.
6 Fake: One Housewife Has Been Accused Of Fake Arguments
All RHOC fans noticed that when the show came back for season 13, there were two housewives missing: Meghan and Peggy.
There were some very dramatic storylines with Peggy, her husband, and how they got along with the rest of the group.
According to Radar Online, people think that Peggy was causing fake arguments, and people have wondered if that is why she is no longer on the show. Fans definitely could never forget the epic fight that she had with the women in Iceland and the fact that she even went home early (without the other women... and without even telling them, either).
5 Real: Meghan Went Through A Lot Trying To Get Pregnant
Meghan may no longer be an O.C. housewife but she will be remembered because of one major storyline getting pregnant with her daughter.
Meghan and her husband, Jimmy, have a two-year-old daughter Aspen and twin boys, Hayes and Hart. Meghan showed her struggles to get pregnant during her time on the show and that is something else that was real.
Anyone watching who has gone through something similar could relate. When you can watch someone go through a really hard period of their life, that's when watching reality TV seems worth it and it's nice to know that other people have also struggled with the same thing.
4 Fake: Some Friendships Might Be Forced
As someone posted on Reddit, it's possible that sometimes, the friendships on this show are forced. They wrote, "Obviously the relationships with the other women are somewhat important, but if need be, production has tricks to suddenly "include" women to make them appear connected whenever adding a new housewife. OC, hands down, is the worst at this..."
For example, "When Heather was introduced to the group in S7, Tamra was pretending to be a realtor again and "showed" a lot/property to Heather at the beginning of the season."
This makes sense and it's something that we've most likely noticed, especially since new ladies are made part of the group almost every season.
3 Fake: Lunch Dates Are Set Up With Lots Of Coordination
A lot of people say that when there's a lunch plan or dinner date on the show, that involved a ton of coordination since they had to make sure that the women could make it.
This definitely seems like something that is true, and we have probably even wondered about this whenever we have seen the women having lunch together or a group of them at the same place at the same time. We'll never truly know what goes on behind the scenes but this, at least, is something that enough people have said that it seems like it's the way that it works.
2 Fake: Producers Want Certain Scenes To Happen
Radar Online says that producers want certain scenes that happen and that this is part of making the show. The website says that a producer said to Tarma's ex-husband Simon, “Let me know if you’ve changed your mind about filming the scene we spoke about — going to get ice crew with the kids and then handing them over to Tamra."
Fans of the show have been saying for a while now that producers are aware of what scenes would make great television.
We know that the scenes have to be entertaining and that it's all about the drama. After all, this is one of the most entertaining shows out there.
1 Real: Tamra And Vicki Really Did Fight For A While
Who could forget the epic fights between Tamra and Vicki? These two have been the best of friends at times... and the worst of enemies at other times.
These two really did have a falling out and they really did go through a period where they didn't talk much and were in the midst of a huge argument. We saw this on the show and now that season 13 has come and gone, they have apologized to each other and repaired their friendship.
It's good to know that even if some things aren't real, this friendship is, and we look forward to watching Tamra and Vicki next season.
Sources: Washington Post, Page Six, In Touch Weekly, Bustle, Bravo TV