Five episodes to watch while a single glistening tear rolls down your cheek.
Welcome back to The Essential…, where we propose five episodes that embody the perfect madness of one special Housewife. To say that Tammy Sue Waddle Vieth Barney Judge has run the gamut of emotions during her decade as a Housewife would be a grotesque understatement; the gamut of Tamra emotions extends to frequencies perceptible only to children and wildlife. Hyperkinetic rage, venomous disdain, and sobbing vulnerability coexist within the same 5’3” frame, often in a single episode. Below, reacquaint yourselves with five chapters in the perpetual telenovela that is Tamra’s life.
S04E08: “Naked Wasted”
After a season and a half of subtle feints, the demon inside Tamra emerges, hatching a scheme to ply Gretchen Rossi with tequila until she’s drunk enough to hook up with Tamra’s horndog son Ryan in Tamra’s own home. Why? Oh, if you’re asking why, you’ll never understand.
S05E15: “Is This All There Is?”
A season’s worth of marital tensions erupts, in classic, well-timed Tamra fashion, just before the finale party, as our heroine loudly demands a divorce from her horrid gremlin husband Simon. The coup de grace? Tamra tearfully cleaving to Vicki’s comforting (but still judgmental!) bosom, the biggest obstacle to their fated true love finally removed.
S06E13: “Girl Fight”
Fool Tamra once, shame on you; fool Tamra twice, get a faceful of wine. Jeana Keough learns this lesson the hard way, as her gossiping about Tamra’s failed marriage gets her a
cease-and-desist cyst-and-decease letter and a glass of cheap red thrown consecutively in her face. Obviously the wine toss itself is the iconic moment here, but let’s not sleep on a shoeless Tamra sprinting out to the driveway immediately afterward to inform a fleeing Jeana that she’s the meanest woman in the world/going to Hell.
S08E05: “The Party is DONE!”
Tamra celebrates the soft launch of her and Eddie’s gym by pushing out Alexis’s chair and forcibly evicting her from the premises, barking rabid threats at pretty much everyone in the cast *except Gretchen somehow*, and finally smirking over a glass of wine in the shadows as Alexis sobs to Lydia in a nearby limo about needing Xanax to deal with her. All in a night’s work.
S10E19: “Baptism by Fire”
In which we reach full Human Interest Tamra mode, as she is born again in a pool baptism sequence featuring a montage of all her sins that easily doubles as a sizzle reel of her time on this show. Of course, the reborn Tamra is still Tamra, and she proceeds to serve as jury foreman as the rest of the cast convicts Vicki of a little light cancer-scamming.
S05E01: “When Times Get Tough, The Tough Go Shopping!”
Coming off her napalming of Gretchen at the previous season’s reunion, Tamra doubles down on her grand unified theory of Gretchen cheating on her dying fiancé.
S06E15: “Reunion: Part 2”
Tamra single-handedly slays two mythological beasts, Slade and Jeana, helped with the former by a well-timed phone call to Slade’s ex.
S07E20: “Are You in or Out?”
Tamra’s eye-roll/evil eye (depending on who you’re asking) causes an, erm, shift in her relationship with Vicki.
S09E17: “Eat, Pray, Run”
Following a group confrontation in Bali—spearheaded by Lizzie Rovsek, of all people—we never see Tamra’s face again.
S11E15: “Shamrocks and Shockwaves”
Unwise: bringing up Tamra Judge’s estrangement from her daughter. Cue a rage-fueled shove in an Irish department store and a catatonic meltdown in a bus.