Ah, the Real Housewives Set-Up. A time honored tradition when stars of Bravo's venerable franchise really, really want to get some gossip about a co-star on camera, but want to maintain a guise of plausible deniability come reunion special time, so they bring in an outside source to do the heavy lifting for them. Allegedly.
The tradition was alive and well (or so it seemed) on last night's new episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County when two friends of Shannon Beador's we'd never before seen on the series arrived at her '70s-themed "just because" party locked and loaded with some juicy gossip about newbie Housewife (and emerging Shannon enemy) Kelly Dodd. Jaci and Nina wasted no time dropping the hot gos, leading to an epic screaming match between nearly everyone as Kelly claimed she'd been set up. And this particular fight seems far from over.
But will this set-up live up to the most memorable that have come before it? Let's take a look at what it's up against.
The Dinner Party From Hell, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Perhaps one of the franchise's most iconic moments, Camille Grammer's disastrous dinner party also reeked of a set-up. If you don't think the now-infamous Allison DuBois (and her e-cigarette) was invited by the hostess with the specific intent of terrorizing then-enemy Kyle Richard via third party, then you weren't watching close enough. Camille's inability to conceal a satisfied grin throughout the entire affair said it all. Know that.
The Curious Case of Roger Bobb, The Real Housewives of Atlanta
When Demetria McKinney joined RHOA in season seven, the nature of her relationship with the incredibly named Roger Bobb was quite the topic of conversation. We're not saying that Kandi Burruss set Demetria up when she invited a friend we'd never, ever met to a party, only for said friend to claim that she'd been romantically involved with Mr. Bobb during a portion of his relationship with Demetria, but we're not not saying it, either.
Melissa's Unearthed Past, The Real Housewives of New Jersey
When Melissa Gorga was confronted at the end of RHONJ season four by a man from her past who claimed that she used to be a stripper at Lookers Gentleman's Club, the set-up by sister-in-law Teresa Giudice was so blatant that it was actually caught on camera. The attempt to embarrass Melissa over an old job (which was proven to be untrue, by the way—Melissa was only a bartender) went down at friend Kim D's infamous Posche fashion show—and cameras were rolling as Tre was informed about the connection beforehand and did nothing to stop it.
Lauri's Sudden Return, The Real Housewives of Orange County
When Lauri Peterson popped back up on RHOC in season eight, ready and willing to share some dirty (and disputed) laundry of former friend Vicki Gunvalson's to anyone willing to listen, it seemed a bit suspicious. All signs pointed to Gretchen Rossi, who shared Lauri's first scene back with her. Gretch was on the outs with almost all of the ladies and seemed to be looking for a way to strike back. It all culminated in Vicki's furious denial of claims about a threesome—while the women were on skis in Whistler.
Texas Toilet Talk, The Real Housewives of Dallas
Why was Taylor, a man, at Marie Reyes' ladies' night? Why, to spread the word that LeeAnne Locken may have pooped her pants in the past. You could smell this set-up a mile away.
Heidi 'Effin Dillon, The Real Housewives of Dallas
LeeAnne wasn't completely innocent in the set-up game on RHOD, however. The arrival of the outrageous Heidi Dillon, and her quickly spilled tea about Cary Deuber's marriage, seemed specifically orchestrated by the former carny.
Victoria Gotti's Gossip, The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Victoria Gotti's only connection to RHONJ was her Celebrity Apprentice co-star Teresa Giudice. So, when the infamous mob daughter popped up in season six with an outrageous claim that newbie Housewife Teresa Aprea's husband Rino had an affair with Aprea's own mother, all signs pointed to Giudice as the mastermind behind this attempted take down.
Faye vs. Kathryn, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
What's the protocol when meeting someone who has major beef with your BFF? If you're Kyle Richards, you invite them both to your dinner party and make them sit across the table from one another, apparently. Shortly after meeting season six newbie Kathryn Edwards and learning of her long-standing dislike of Faye Resnick (stemming from Faye's inclusion of Kathryn in the book she wrote in the wake of the O.J. Simpson murder trial), Kyle invited the women to her BBQ and had them sit facing each other, leading to an eruption from Kathryn. Was Kyle stirring the pot? We'll leave that for you to decide.
Did we miss any of your favorite set-ups? Let us know in the comments below.
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