TV & Movies

An Ode To Bree Van De Kamp

Desperate Housewives’ most underrated character gets the recognition she deserves.

Originally Published: 
Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp in 'Desperate Housewives'

More than 21 million viewers watched in the 2004 Desperate Housewives premiere as Bree Van de Kamp strolled to her neighbor’s widower with a basket of muffins and — to her husband and kid’s embarrassment — quipped, “I will need the baskets back once you’re done.”

These opening minutes set the tone for Bree’s story arc as the consistently misunderstood and undervalued friend, wife, and mother.

For eight seasons, Desperate Housewives followed the dramatic suburban lives of the Wisteria Lane ladies: Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria), and, of course, Bree Van de Kamp.

Marcia Cross played the pearl-clutching redhead, earning several Golden Globe and Emmy award nominations, but never quite getting the recognition she deserves — until now.

Today, Desperate Housewives has found a whole new audience via streamers Hulu and FreeVee — and 11 years after the show’s end, fans are finally putting some respect on Bree Van de Kamp’s name with social media posts praising the character frequently going viral.

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The recent surge of Bree stans joins those who have long appreciated the compelling housewife character, who regrettably played second fiddle to the likes of the show’s (insufferable) lead, Susan.

Bree’s moment is finally here, and it’s time to outline exactly why she’s always been the real star of Desperate Housewives.

She Was (Literally) Mother

“Everyone on Wisteria Lane thought of Bree as the perfect wife and mother,” explained series narrator Mary Alice Young in the pilot. “Everyone that is, except her own family.”

Mary Alice’s observations were often correct, but Bree’s offspring’s consistent lack of appreciation didn’t deter Bree from being an exemplary parent to the truly awful Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) and Danielle (Joy Lauren).

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In the show’s first four seasons alone (before that five-year time jump), Bree almost took a bullet for Danielle and faked an entire pregnancy to protect her reputation, before raising the baby so Danielle could jet off to college in Florida.

As for Andrew, Bree helped the teenage terror turn his life around, even after he caused her misery by falsely accusing her of abuse and blaming her for his father’s death.

She Was An Amazing Wife

The marriage between Bree and Rex Van de Kamp (Steven Culp) was turbulent. Rex resented his wife’s keeping-up-with-the-Joneses approach to life, but Bree remained firmly by his side — even after discovering his extramarital affair.

Bree’s efforts to save her marriage failed after Rex abruptly asked for a divorce over a salad bar. This betrayal, as she viewed it, didn’t stop her from caring for Rex in his final days, during which time he wrongly blamed Bree for his impending death. She really couldn’t catch a break.

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She Was A Bad B*tch

Bree is certainly not “one of those gun-hating liberals,” as she once labeled friend and neighbor Lynette. She knows her way around a weapon — and she’s not afraid to use it.

Bree also handled the most horrifying of situations like a total bad*ss, while displaying the grace and decorum fans know and love.

In Season 2, for example, Bree got revenge on her husband’s killer (creepy pharmacist George) by ignoring his plea for an ambulance after he took a bunch of painkillers. Instead, she gracefully sat and watched him die in a flowing white ball gown. It’s proof you don’t mess with Bree.


She Had The Best One-Liners

Although each Wisteria Lane gal delivered some great one-liners, nobody held a candle to Bree’s unmatched quips.

“No, I can’t kill you today. I have Pilates” and “Rex cries after he ejaculates” are just a couple of notable examples.

She Was Loyal AF

Bree wasn’t only a great wife and mother — she was also a loyal friend. Whether Gaby, Susan, and Lynette always deserved it remains up for debate.

She supported them through marital woes, cancer, and a tornado’s aftermath, all while keeping their dirtiest secrets firmly in the vault.

But the greatest example of Bree’s enviable friendship came in the show’s final season when she protected her friends and neighbors by taking the fall for a murder she didn’t commit.

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After years of deaths, adultery, divorces, and even a Christmas party plane crash (don’t ask), Bree eventually found her happy ending away from the fictional Fairview — but her legacy as the baddest b*tch of Wisteria Lane lives on within the Desperate Housewives fandom.

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