People often call reality television "trash TV" because, well, it kind of is. The sheer amount of trashy things that happen on reality TV is unrivalled by any other genre. Every time we tune in to reality shows, we are literally watching the destruction of somebody's life and we love every minute of it. The more destructive the show, the more successful it is. Look at the original reality TV show, Cops. It's not as popular now as it used to be, but it's almost entirely built around people's lives getting ruined.
So, what makes something "trashy?" That's easy. Anytime someone does something humiliating and makes them look like a person who doesn't have their life together, it's trashy. For example, stripping down to eat some peanut butter and chocolate, drunkenly making fun of a woman with one arm, and lying about the death of your grandmother are all trashy things to do. And, thanks to the magic of reality TV, all of these things are recorded and shown to a national audience! Without any more delay, here are the trashiest things that have ever happened on reality TV.
15 Real World — The Slap That Shook The World
In 1997, fans of the Real World heard the slap that shook the world. It was the 7th season of MTV's hit reality show that put seven strangers in a house and essentially filmed their day-to-day lives. It sounds like a boring premise, but the people on the show often end up hating each other. There was one incident in particular that made international headlines.
As one of the contestants, Irene, was announcing she was leaving the show, she asked another contestant, Stephen, to follow her outside. In the show, Stephen was openly homophobic and had been caught stealing some of Irene's belongings. Sick of it, Irene confronted Stephen and essentially said that she knew he was secretly gay. Stephen responded by throwing her belongings into the river and eventually chasing down her car, opening the door, and slapping her. He was almost removed from the show. Around ten years after the incident, Stephen admitted that he was a closeted homosexual while filming the show.
14 Survivor — Lying About His Dead Grandmother
Jonny Fairplay (not his real name) is one of the most infamous Survivor contests of all time. Survivor host Jeff Probst called Jonny Fairplay "an absolute jacka**." But first, a little backstory. Every season, in the later episodes of Survivor, the remaining contestants' loved ones are brought onto the show as part of a challenge and reward.
Jonny Fairplay first appeared on Survivor: Pearl Islands. Before appearing on the show, Jonny told his friend Dan that if he were brought onto the show as part of a loved-one-related challenge, he were to call and tell Fairplay that his grandmother had "died" while he was on the show. His fellow contestants took enough pity on him that they allowed him to win the reward at that particular challenge. Following the events of Survivor, he embraced his villain status and legally changed his name to Jonny Fairplay.
13 American Idol — Paula Abdul's Secret Affair
Season 2 of American Idol was filled with controversy after one of the final 12 contestants, Corey Clark, was booted from the show. Producers of the show claim that Clark was booted because he failed to disclose his arrest record, but Clark said that he was booted off because of a conflict he had with producers behind the scenes. However, something even more controversial was allegedly happening behind the scenes with Paula Abdul.
In Clark's book, he revealed that Paula Abdul was teaching him how to succeed in the competition by selecting his clothes, hairstyle, and choosing his songs for him. This mentorship eventually spurred into a three-month-long s*xual relationship, though it was denied by Abdul. However, many contestants on the show came forward saying that they had heard rumors of the relationship while on the show. Clark had phone records, witnesses who said they saw the two being intimate in public, and he was also in possession of one of Abdul's prescription medication bottles!
12 Big Brother — Intense Racism In Season 15
To be honest, it's amazing that there isn't more controversy from Big Brother. When the contestants are being watched for 24 hours a day, one of them is bound to slip up and say something ridiculous. But, season 15 of the show brought more than enough controversial material to last a lifetime. During the season, multiple contestants were caught making racist remarks while they were in the Big Brother house.
Contestants on Big Brother have no contact with the outside world, which means they have no idea what's being said about them. In the case of four contestants during season 15, they had no idea that people were reacting to their racist remarks. There are compilation videos of all the racial slurs, homophobic remarks, and other discriminatory comments made by the contestants. After leaving the show, the four contestants were informed that they had been fired from their respective jobs!
11 Toddlers & Tiaras — The Pretty Woman Costume
Toddlers & Tiaras has been heavily criticized because the show seemingly s*xualizes children. The show, which acts as a documentary about different contestants in child beauty pageants, made people realize how weird the world can be. Some have gone as far to label child beauty pageants as a breeding ground for pedophiles, because the children are often dressed up in revealing costumes, bikinis, and absurd amounts of make up.
On the show, one mom, Wendy Dickey, dressed her 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, in an outfit that matched Julia Roberts' character in the movie Pretty Woman. The only problem is that in the movie, Julia Roberts is a prostitute who wears a fitted, revealing, white blouse, a tight blue miniskirt, and thigh-high shiny black boots. The outfit was so controversial that even other pageant mom's were upset at what Wendy Dickey had done.
10 Megan Wants A Millionaire — One Contestant Was A Criminal
Megan Wants a Millionaire was a reality TV show that ran for a whopping 3 episodes before it was cancelled. The show starred former Rock of Love contestant Megan Hauserman, who asked seventeen wealthy single men to compete for her love. When looking at audition tapes, VH1 asked the men applying to have a net worth of over $1,000,000. The show was created after Hauserman, while on Rock of Love, said that she wanted to become a trophy wife.
The show was a success and fans couldn't get enough of it, but there was one problem: one of the contestants was being investigated for murder. Ryan Alexander Jenkins was a suspect in the murder of Jasmine Fiore, a swimsuit model who Jenkins had married shortly after filming Megan Wants a Millionaire. During the investigation the show was put on hiatus but was officially cancelled after Jenkins was charged with the murder. Three days later, Jenkins was found dead, reportedly having hanged himself.
9 Jersey Shore — Snooki Getting Arrested
Jersey Shore was probably the farthest thing you could get from classy television. The show was about a bunch of young adults who loved to get drunk out of their minds and hook up with random people they met at the club. It was great. And though the show was filled with nudity and drunken antics, the trashiest thing to happen was when Snooki was arrested for public drunkenness.
At 22 years of age, Snooki was arrested for acting in a "disorderly manner" while on the beach at around 3:30 in the afternoon. The police weren't too pleased with the incident, but MTV couldn't have been happier. The cast of Jersey Shore (as well as MTV) used Snooki's arrest to promote season 2 of the show. And all that promotion paid off, too. Over 5 million people tuned in to the season 2 premiere, a 300 per cent increase from the previous season.
8 Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami — Prison Selfie
The Kardashians have become the American royal family in a way, but not nearly as many people respect them. The entire idea behind the Kardashian's fame is unreal because it can be traced to two things: their dad defending O.J. Simpson and Kim making a tape with a rapper everyone has forgotten about. When the family stepped into the world of reality television, nobody was expecting great things, but they've given us some hilariously trashy moments.
The Kardashian's multiple reality shows are filled with moments where they slap each other's bare butts on camera, throw up in toilets after a night of binge drinking (we've all been there), and my personal favourite, taking selfies while on their way to prison. Kim was taking numerous selfies while on the way to drop off Khloe at a prison for a probation violation. It would be funny if the whole thing wasn't so bizarre.
7 The Surreal Life — Verne Troyer Peed On The Carpet
The Surreal Life is a reality show that connects with celebrities that have fallen out of the spotlight and forces them to live together in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills for two weeks. It's sort of like Real World but with washed-up celebrities. In season 4, Verne Troyer, also known as Mini-Me, appeared on the show and displayed what can only be described as embarrassing alcoholism.
Troyer isn't the classiest man to begin with — a "tape" of his leaked to TMZ. But, while Troyer was on the show, he got unbelievably drunk and destroyed his image beyond repair. He got other people on the show to break bottles on his bottom, stripped completely naked, swore like a sailor, and peed all over the floor before passing out. It was a surreal moment, even for a show called The Surreal Life.
6 Man vs. Wild — Drinking Urine
Bear Grylls is a survival expert and television personality who became famous for his hit television series, Man vs. Wild. Outside of television, he's been on a number of expeditions, which include hiking Mount Everest, circumnavigating the United Kingdom, and even an expedition to Antarctica. He's a really fascinating guy, but despite all of his life achievements, he's mostly known for drinking his urine on TV.
When forced to survive in extreme conditions, Bear Grylls would drink his own urine during the filming of Man vs. Wild. He says that drinking your own urine fights of dehydration and can be an absolutely necessary measure to save your own life. However, on the show, it seems like Grylls will do it at the drop of a hat. His laissez-faire approach to drinking urine has inspired a number of his younger viewers to try drinking their own, according to Grylls. He recommends not drinking your urine for fun.
5 The Bachelor — Dumped His First Pick After 6 Weeks And Started Dating The Runner Up
In 2009, Jason Mesnick was The Bachelor and chose eternal love with Melissa Rycroft. During a reunion episode after the finale, Mesnick had nothing but praise for Rycroft. He said that she was "incredible, sweet, beautiful," but went on to say that since the show had ended, his feelings had changed. During the live reunion, Mesnick said that his heart actually belonged to the runner-up, Molly Malaney, and that he was breaking up with Rycroft.
Naturally, Rycroft was humiliated and practically threw the engagement ring back at Mesnick. She told Mesnick, "I've been through a ton of heartbreak. You've been through a ton of heartbreak. You should know better than to do something like that." It all worked out, though, because after admitting his true love for Molly Malaney, she said it was the word's she's been waiting to hear. After some initial confusion, the couple settled down and had a few kids together. But you have to wonder how insecure Malaney must have felt during the initial stages of their relationship! She'll always remember that she wasn't his first choice.
4 Fear Factor — Drinking Donkey Liquid On TV
Fear Factor was an iconic dare show hosted that was short lived. Despite an interesting premise, the show was initially cancelled after 5 years in 2006, only to be brought back in 2011, and cancelled again in 2012. The reason for the show getting cancelled again isn't entirely known, though fans have speculated that it can be traced to an episode that was rejected by the network but filmed anyway.
In the episode, contestants were forced to drink donkey semen and urine. Now, the show was known for making contestants eat bugs, animal testicles, and other strange delicacies, but the network felt that drinking donkey semen was too much. The episode wasn't initially aired, but was eventually aired as a rerun. Can you think of anything trashier that's happened on television?
3 Bachelor In Paradise — Chad Drunken Rant
There's nothing less attractive than someone who can't hold their alcohol. Chad Johnson proved, once and for all, that he can't handle drinking while on the show Bachelor in Paradise. Johnson was originally the villain on The Bachelorette US before he was cast on the spin-off series. During the first episode of the series, Johnson was doing well for himself, since he was making out with one of the contestants in the hot tub before his drinking led to an argument between the two.
Something set Johnson off, because he called the woman a b*tch and took it upon himself to yell at the other contestants. In a drunken rant, Chad Johnson said, "I'll murder everyone here. I'll kill your children and murder your family. Dolla, dolla bills, yo." He then turned to a woman who was missing part of one of her arma and called her a "one armed b*tch." Johnson then passed out by the pool and according to other contestants, he pooped himself. Needless to say, the producers of the show asked him to leave shortly after.
2 Survivor — Stripping For Peanut Butter And Chocolate
Survivor is a show that has been testing people's limits for the past 20 years, over 35 seasons, and nearly 530 episodes. The premise of the show is to essentially throw people in the middle of nowhere and force them survive through a series of challenges. If they make it to they end, they will have survived for more than 30 days. It's crazy!
The contestants on the show are forced to compete in a number of challenges and if they win, they'll be immune from being booted off the island. In season 7, two contestants, Jenna Morasca and Heidi Strobel, planned to quit the immunity challenge if the host gave them peanut butter and chocolate. In fact, the pair offered to strip completely naked in exchange for the snack. The crew probably scrambled to gather peanut butter and chocolate, but it was eventually offered to the ladies who followed through on their end of the deal! They sold their dignity for peanut butter and chocolate.
1 Big Brother — Being Filmed In The Bedroom
Big Brother is a pretty interesting premise in itself. The idea behind the show is to take a bunch of beautiful people and force them to live inside a mansion where their every move is watched by an audience. Viewers can either see highlights of the events when the show airs, or literally watch the contestants through a live stream on the Big Brother website. It's pretty freaky, but at least the contestants know they're being watched. You would think that would stop them from doing something scandalous, right?
Earlier this year, two contestants on Celebrity Big Brother, Sarah Harding and Chad Johnson, were caught sharing an intimate moment under the covers. The graphic scenes had to be carefully edited before airing on television, but it's pretty clear what's going on. Sarah's hand disappears under the covers and viewers could figure out what happened from there. This isn't the first time two contestants have been caught in the act, either. It seems like it happens nearly every season.