These 'Real Housewives' Friend Duos Were Pals Before They Were On The Show

by Kristie Rohwedder
Paul Zimmerman/Bravo

Each and every time two Real Housewives reveal they were friends before the show, a toaster oven cookbook gets its wings. And with good reason: If two Real Housewives become friends before they are part of the same reality series ensemble, then that means they enter the show with a history. And when Bravolebrities have a pre-show history, it adds a special and incomparable layer to the show. The only bond more beautiful than a friendship forged on reality TV is a Bravolebrity friendship that existed long before the cameras were rolling.

Consider Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spinoff Vanderpump Rules: That show probably would not be the same masterpiece that it is if the cast hadn't met each other years and years before the show was a twinkle in Bravo’s eye. (Rumor has it that Bravo's eyeball looks exactly like one of the shot glasses from the Watch What Happens Live Clubhouse shotski, but again, that is a totally unconfirmed piece of tittle-tattle.)

Below you will find pairs of Real Housewives who have been friends for decades. You will find pairs of Real Housewives who struck up a friendship shortly before being on a Real Housewives program together. You will find pairs of pre-Real Housewives friends who remained friends on the Real Housewives. You will find pairs of Real Housewives whose friendship has been put to the test on the Real Housewives. You will find pairs of Real Housewives who were friends once upon a time, but are no longer on good terms. And you will find pairs of Real Housewives who got a real kick out of a rumor about their cast mate possibly defecating into a bag at some point. Just trying to cover all of the bases here.


Bethenny Frankel Of ‘The Real Housewives Of New York City’ & Kyle Richards Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills’

Charles Sykes/Bravo

Now, this has got to be the most ambitious crossover event in history. (Well, aside from Paris Hilton's response to the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, that is.) Kyle and Bethenny met in Los Angeles in the ‘90s, and they've been friends ever since. And the future Skinnygirl mogul has a long history with Kyle’s family, too: Bethenny also used to work for Kyle’s sister Kathy Hilton.


Brandi Redmond & Stephanie Hollman Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Dallas’

Peter Larsen/Bravo

The blue humor-loving duo met through their husbands some years before RHOD began.


Sonja Morgan & Ramona Singer Of ‘The Real Housewives Of New York City’

Greg Endries/Bravo

Ramonja goes waaaaaaaay back. In a 2013 interview with All Things Real Housewives, Sonja said they met some time after college. Man, think of all of the mischief those two have gotten into over the past few decades. Oh, if only this pair had a reality show the whole time.


NeNe Leakes & Kim Zolciak Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Atlanta’

Before RHOA, present-day enemies Kim and NeNe were buddies. As Kim recalled in an episode of RHOA’s after show, she and NeNe met at the gym many years ago. Kim was standing outside the gym with her trainer and, in classic Kim style, smoking a cigarette. NeNe provided some commentary, Kim asked her name, and their pre-RHOA friendship was born.


Lisa Rinna & Eileen Davidson Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills’

Way back when Eileen was a RHOBH newcomer in 2014, she revealed on her Bravo blog that she has known Rinna since the ’80s, and the two soap queens struck up a friendship while they were both on Days of Our Lives in the ‘90s.


Sonja Morgan & Tinsley Mortimer Of ‘The Real Housewives Of New York City’

Heidi Gutman/Bravo

Many moons before they were roommates on Season 9, a friendship blossomed between Sonja and Tinsley. As Tinz told Bravo’s The Daily Dish in 2017, "I've known Sonja for about 15 years. She was always someone in New York that I knew. She's older and sort of a part of the senior boards when I was on a junior board for different charities we all worked on … And she was always someone that I looked up to and was a great friend.”


Monique Samuels & Charrisse Jackson-Jordan Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Potomac’

Larry French/Bravo

Charrisse and Monique knew each other before they were cast mates. And when RHOP was looking for a new Housewife before Season 2? As Monique revealed to Essence, Charrisse recommended her for the role.


Dorinda Medley & Ramona Singer Of ‘The Real Housewives Of New York City’

Charles Sykes/Bravo

Before she became a full-time cast member on Season 7, Dorinda was buddies with Ramona. The two met, as Ramona once explained in a talking head, at their daughters’ school.


Kelly Dodd & Meghan King Edmonds Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Orange County’

Nicole Weingart/Bravo

If it wasn’t for Meghan convincing her to join the RHOC Season 11 cast, we might’ve never gotten to witness the scene where Kelly smushed her own face against the glass door at the Quiet Woman. And what a shame that would’ve been.


Yolanda Hadid & Erika Girardi Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills’

As Erika wrote in her memoir, Pretty Mess, she met Yolanda through David Foster, who was introduced to her and husband Tom Girardi by Robert Shapiro. And then, Yolanda eventually introduced Erika to RHOBH.


Brandi Glanville Of ‘The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills’ & Kristen Taekman Of ‘The Real Housewives Of New York City’

These models-turned-Real Housewives were chummy for years before they were both part of the franchise.

Raise your toaster oven to these pairings, because the real friendships of the Real Housewives deserve a real toast.