The Original Real World: Seattle Was the Best, Sorry Bad Blood Newbies

From the in-house rock-climbing wall to the iconic slap, here are some of the show's best moments

By Jean Bentley Oct 12, 2016 9:18 PMTags
Real World Seattle CastMTV

MTV is bringing The Real World back to Seattle tonight with its 32nd installment, The Real World Seattle: Bad Blood—that's right, this show has been around for 32 seasons and 24 years, yes, you're old—but before the newbies can take over the Emerald City, we felt it only appropriate to pay tribute to the first time the reality stalwart set up camp in Washington: 1998's The Real World: Seattle, a.k.a. one of the best seasons of The Real World ever.

Seattle came right in The Real World's prime: those years from around 1996 to 2002 when the show had hit its stride. It was casting interesting, smart people who had genuine curiosity about the world and the people around them—right before the first Las Vegas season, which really seemed like a turning point for the show (which then devolved into just debauchery and fighting, which is kind of a bummer to watch after a while).

It also featured one of the coolest houses—it had a climbing wall!—and most iconic opening credits sequences—that fish!. Here are the rest of the seventh season's most iconic moments:

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The Cast

Seattle's cast technically didn't include seven strangers, since 21-year-old Nathan Blackburn and 21-year-old David Burns were classmates (and friends) at the Virginia Military Institute. It was the first season to include people who knew each other, and their roommates included 21-year-old Janet Choi, 19-year-old Rebecca Lord, 21-year-old Lindsay Brien, 20-year-old Stephen Williams, and 22-year-old Irene McGee.

The '90s

The new Seattleites worked at a radio station, and one of the early episodes featured the excitement surrounding an in-studio appearance by the band Cornershop. Soooooo '90s. And while in Seattle, Rebecca recorded a song with a local rapper you may have heard of: Sir Mix-a-Lot.

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David and Kira

One of the most scandalous moments came when David revealed that the mystery woman he was sneaking off to talk to and buying presents for was actually Kira—the show's casting director. Once the secret got out, she was forced to leave her job and reluctantly went on camera to visit her boo. Their tortured relationship came to a head in a not-so-secret heated argument that remains one of The Real World's most iconic scenes.

The Slap

Nothing, of course, tops the explosive moment when Irene moved out—and Stephen slapped her as she got into her cab. Although violence like that is something the show likely wouldn't air today (remember when footage of Snooki being punched was cut from Jersey Shore?), the most shocking thing is that Stephen was allowed to stay in the house and on the show. (The roommates voted to have him stay as long as he took anger management classes.)

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Lyme Disease

Irene wrote a juicy essay a few years back recounting her time on the show—and the real reason she eventually left—but the way it was portrayed on The Real World made it seem like she was leaving to treat her Lyme Disease. While plenty of celebrities and reality stars are vocal about the disease today, in the '90s it wasn't talked about very much.


Real World-Road Rules Challenge

While The Challenge is now a reality staple in its own right, The Real World: Seattle featured an early edition of a Real World-Road Rules challenge, which would eventually evolve into a separate show and subsequently the Challenge we know and love today.