The Final Countdown

That one closing event in every finale where the housewives are contractually obliged to appear in one space together gather to reflect on their recent experiences is a hallmark of the franchise. Let’s celebrate the recent RHONY finale with a ranking of every such event our NYC ladies have experienced. (Important note: ranking format notwithstanding, no RHONY events suck.)

9. Bethenny’s Fiesta (Season 8)

Man, Bethenny really needs to dial back on the ethnic references. Anyway, it’s hard to care about this party because the front half of the episode is about HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, QUESTION MARK, but the party does provide a decent staging ground for the resolution of the Tom Question. Would you believe me if I told you it resolves with Lu blaming Bethenny? Also: I know we’ve all made a tacit agreement to take off our Socialism Goggles before we watch this program, but damn if the sight of these ladies scrambling over a JEWELRY PIÑATA doesn’t make you wish the Revolution would come already.

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8. The Singers’ Vow Renewal (Season 3)

Ramona completes her first of three renewal seasons (season 10 will be a renewal, you heard it here second because Taylor is a faster writer than I am) by literally renewing her vows with Mario, ushering in an era of marital bliss that I am pretty sure lasts to this very day. (Daily reminder that literally the first scene of this season is Ramona getting hammered and screeching that she is a Good Person on a yacht after refusing to apologize for Mario calling the recently divorced LuAnn “Countless.”) (Daily reminder that Bethenny is notionally Ramona’s close friend by the time the vow renewal, at the end of a season in which Ramona has declared that Bethenny has no friends who are her friends she has nobody in her life.)

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7. Tinsley’s Thank You/Fuck You Sonja Party (Season 9)

A distillation of the nightmare relationship between Tinsley and Sonja, the horror vision of Tinsley’s future. Having received the Barshop Treatment re: her hideous ingratitude, Tinsley grovels and slaves over a lavish party, showering Sonja with a $5k gift card to Bergdorf’s, a multi-tiered cake, a bunch of dudes in tight shirts, etc. Meanwhile Ramona and Bethenny kibbitz with Sonja about how Tinsley is a fake-as-fuck alcoholic. Hell is being the RHONY freshman. Bonus footage includes the editors absolutely saaavaging the D’Agostino marriage through painful juxtapositions of Lu talking about Love and Tom talking to ex-flames off-mic. And on that note—

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6. The Zarins’ Holiday Party (Season 1)

Tension arises as Ramona (you wouldn’t believe it!) is late, after having stomped out of the gang’s previous party, the infamous Girls’ Night (feat. Simon Van Kempen). She eventually shows up—in Barbie pink, natch—and proceeds to grill Alex and Simon about their co-dependence in her typically winsom Ramona way, as the Van Kempen children clamber over furniture, tear apart uneaten hamburgers, etc. Content warning: you’ll never be fully prepared for Bethenny’s old face.

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5. Ramona’s New Beginnings Party (Season 7)

The drama gets real meta here, as Bethenny objects to the very premise of the party as she deems Ramona incapable of change. (This, of course, is ridiculous, as Ramona has been a notably better person ever since.) In the spirit of the host, this party also features some of the most petty RHONY arguments ever, from Sonja’s anger at Kristen off-handed comment to some tabloid writer that she was still waiting for the infamous toaster oven (any day now I’m certain) to that age-old debate, Carole And Adam Are Cute Together v. Adam Is LuAnn’s Staff And Therefore Her Personal Property And Also Is Perhaps Underage.

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4. Jill’s Charity Event (Season 2)

AKA “Friends Helping Friends,” presumably sponsored by the Friendship Bank. The centerpiece here is an ongoing fugue of arguments among Jill, Ramona, and Bethenny over True Faith Jewelry and SkinnyGirl signage, but what’s really important is that SIMON BREAKS OUT THE RED LEATHER PANTS. And then he and Ramona dance, a scene that may or may not be Twin Peaks canon.

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3. LuAnn’s Anniversary Party (Season 4)

Lu marks her first anniversary with Jacques by performing a duet of “L-O-V-E” with the late Natalie Cole on a yacht (I know this sounds like LuAnn’s own self-composed fan fiction but seriously!). Not to be upstaged at, uh, someone else’s party, Ramonja turn in one of their better Pinky and the Brain impressions, as they lock themselves in a bathroom to administer a pregnancy test on Ramona that she cannot possibly in any universe expect to come back positive.

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2. Carole’s Book Party (Season 5)

This is an unbelievable shitshow, existing in the aftermath of *both* Sonja’s season-long torture of Heather over the marketing of her toaster oven (seriously I am certain it’ll drop imminently) and Ramona throwing Aviva’s aged pervert father out of a domestic violence charity event. On the one hand, Carole deserved better; on the other, I’m guessing nobody reading this has ever bothered to check The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating out of their local public library, so.

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1. The Team Sonja Party (Season 6)

Not gonna play around here: this is the single most iconic scene in reality television history. The entire crew of interns and mythological creatures Sonja has gradually abducted from Narnia through her wardrobe assembles in a single room to serve as chortling Greek chorus for The Leg Toss. The Fuckin Leg Toss. Ramona collapses atop Sonja. Heather breaks and can’t remember the rest of her lines. Kristen needs a barf bag and is comforted by a placenta-smearing facialist. Luann demonstrates the proper etiquette for reacting to a thrown prosthetic limb, i.e., giggle-snorting into one’s statement necklace. It’s a Renaissance painting in motion. Rewatch it now. Rewatch it every day. Have it played on loop at your wake. (And note, as you do, that Aviva’s own charity posted it online for your consumption.)

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See you in 2018 for the Season 10 finale, when Sonja gets blackout at Carole’s Trump Impeachment Party and Dorinda bitches out Bethenny for comparing John Mahdessian to Sonny Corleone!

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