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'The Real Housewives of Orange County' Season 8 ends in a catfight ... as usual
12 cringe-worthy moments from the guiltiest guilty-pleasure TV

By Kati Johnston
Special to MSN Entertainment

Some reality shows burn out after their initial titillation goes away ("Bachelor Pad," R.I.P.). But somehow the shrill shrews on "The Real Housewives of Orange County" continue to up the drama, some real, some hyped up, and all very entertaining. By the end of Season 8 -- so high-drama, Bravo's Andy Cohen is reminding us, that it needs a three-part season finale -- fans have laughed, cried, applauded and, most of all, cringed at the behavior of the bad blondes (and two brunettes) of the swanky O.C. Here are our favorite cringe-inducing moments of this season.

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Vicki's wicked, wicked past is revealed

Tireless insurance saleswoman Vicki, forever on her high horse about something or another, was outed this season by Lauri (more on her later) to Gretchen as having "multiple affairs" while married to the likable Donn, whom she is in the process of divorcing. Furthermore, "everyone knew." When confronted with this allegation, Vicki, instead of freaking out and denying it all, said, "Oh well, I was unfaithful, he was unfaithful; that's why we're getting divorced." So Tamra's hints last year about Vicki and some hunk in Mexico apparently were true. Times about 50.

Gretchen coins a catchy new phrase: "Sexual and marital indiscrepancies"

Gretchen, when learning the above news about Vicki, was understandably resentful about the way Vicki and the other housewives accused her of being unfaithful while her fiancé Jeff was dying a few seasons ago. So a recurring theme this past season has been Gretchen sputtering periodically, "Well, apparently, Vicki has committed more than her own share of sexual and marital indiscrepancies." We're not sure if she's saying that the infidelities don't add up, or are inconsistent with each other, but it's a catchy term, don't you agree?

A vodka-fueled Tamra decides to see if her tongue will stick to a frozen wall

The elegant "vodka tasting" the ladies attend is held in an iced room, which is apparently better for the vodka somehow. After slinging back a few, Tamra decides to put her tongue on the frozen wall. And guess what? It sticks and she shrieks in pain while everyone else doubles over with laughter. Oh, Tamra. Did you learn nothing from "A Christmas Story"?

The Border Grill chefs discuss in great detail something that we hope will never be the special of the day: Placenta

There is way too much information, and none of it appetizing, when chef Susan Feniger shares a story about the dish she whipped up for fellow chef and friend Mary Sue Milliken when she gave birth 22 years earlier. It resulted in an unusual topping for ... oatmeal. Note to self: Never order the oatmeal at Border Grill.

Slade alludes to Vicki's plastic surgery by calling her 'Mickey Rourke'

OK, Slade, Gretchen's fiancé, is a cruel weirdo (more on him later), but, on his radio show, he called it when Vicki, apparently trying to recover from her split from Donn, had "major work" done on her face and made the big mistake of doing it far too close to filming. As a result, her face looked puffy and, well, terrible. Slade, in his new (and already over) gig as a radio DJ, made a mention of "this person ... having maybe her 13th surgery, and shows up at a party looking like Mickey Rourke." And he wasn't far off. Luckily for Vicki, as the season went on, her swelling went down and by the season's end, she looked decent. The same cannot be said for Slade.

Vicki explodes over the insinuation that she had a threesome -- and nearly causes an avalanche at Whistler

Earlier in the season, Lauri dropped the "don't make me picture this" news that she once caught Vicki "in bed with another woman and a man." Naturally, that rumor was off to the races, and the inevitable explosion happened on the peaceful slopes of Whistler, B.C., where Vicki's out-of-control bellowing at Lauri is probably still echoing across the mountains.

Tamra and Alexis almost come to blows about Tamra's fitness center

One especially memorable scene came out of all of Alexis' bullying rants. Tamra, not exactly the nicest person to begin with, absolutely blew up at Alexis in a tantrum at the party celebrating the opening of her fancy new gym. You could see the complete loss of control come over Tamra's face and she sprang up from the fancy table and started lunging at Alexis, looking for all the world like she was going to flatten her with a right hook. Instead, she jerked Alexis' chair out and shrieked, "JUST LEAVE! GET THE [BLEEP] OUT!" which even for this crowd seemed a bit over the top. (And guess what? It gave the sobbing Alexis even more ammo to say she's being bullied.)

Vicki gets so drunk in Mexico that she accidentally pees on Tamra's bed

Oh yes. Vicki was so determined to hijack Gretchen's planned bachelorette getaway for Tamra in Puerto Vallarta that she got super drunk and absconded with Tamra and Lydia. The capper? Back at the hotel, cackling with drunken glee on Tamra's luxurious hotel bed, she peed -- through her clothes and right onto the bed. It was captured in its questionable glory by the Bravo cameraman, who was probably thinking, "Time to ask for a raise."

The revelation that Brooks is dating a stripper

Or a porn star. Possibly. Last season we met courtly Southern gentleman Brooks, Vicki's new boyfriend, who for some reason was hated by pretty much everyone else in the cast, and all we viewers have known before this season is that "he's not what he seems." Enter Lauri, back from her long hiatus from the show, who gleefully informs a few of the women, then Vicki herself, that "a young friend of her kids" has been "hanging out with Brooks." Nobody seems to be able to say what this young woman does for an occupation, but the implication is that she's a stripper or a porn star --something you can watch on a smartphone. Vicki does not take this news well.

Slippery Slade insults the cast newbie, Lydia, and soon regrets it

Or he should. Lydia, a comely, spunky born-again Christian is meant for this show. She's funny and sly, and we love her stoner mom, Judy. Midway through the season, she took on the odious Slade, Gretchen's boyfriend who, for no good reason, dissed the slim Lydia about either her weight ("Give her a cheeseburger") or, at Vicki's holiday party, the fact that her adorable holiday dress looked "all Dancing With the Stars." Lydia, not the airy-fairy lightweight we were led to believe, called him out after both insults, and after the second one proclaimed in her head-shot interview, "Douchelord speaks again!" Slade may finally have met his match among these women, and the audience is squarely on Lydia's side.

Gretchen channels the '70s in her vintage snow bunny jumpsuit

Gretchen improbably found, and then flaunted, a vintage one-piece white snow bunny suit on the Whistler ski trip. I personally thought it was darling, but for some reason, Vicki, Lydia and Tamra could not stop talking about how irritated they were by the retro outfit. (This happened before the threesome revelation, so by the end of that trip, nobody remembered that snowsuit anyway.)

Ryan boots out gentle stoner mom Judy from Vicki's holiday party -- for resting her feet on the couch

Vicki's sparkly season-finale holiday party blows up because of all the bickering, the Brooks backstory, and most of all, because her son-in-law, Ryan, apparently really does believe he's "the man of the house" and goes ballistic on, of all people, Lydia's gentle and well-intentioned mom, Judy. (Judy has already told viewers she lives "in the land of the bunnies," which seems like it must be far away from Orange County.) Judy, exhausted by the drama of the party, creeps away from the main area into the house for a short rest and puts her feet up on the couch, and for that, we hear Ryan absolutely lose it: "Who the hell are you? Get the hell out of here. This is MY house and you are disrespecting it." We give Ryan a little leeway, as he is about to be redeployed to Afghanistan, but still, overreact much?

Of course, it's really hard to pick just 12. What was your favorite cringe-inducing moment this season on "The Real Housewives of Orange County"? Tell us at MSN TV on Facebook and Twitter.

Part 3 of the "Real Housewives of Orange County" reunion special airs Monday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

Kati Johnston is a regular contributor to MSN Entertainment:

Aug 27, 2013 10:58AM

Aug 26, 2013 9:36PM
If this the behavior of the rich and powerful....i rather stay the way I am right now...
Aug 26, 2013 7:51PM
What disgraceful behavior.  Briana's husband doesn't know how to talk to women, never mind older women. Vicky is so obnoxious and two faced.  Tamara is such a two faced B.  Shut the f-up. Get rid of Vicky & Tamara. Oh ya and get rid of Heather too, another obnoxious B.
Aug 26, 2013 9:21AM
I wish Ms Piggy was not so much of a hyprocrit.  She can do whatever she wants and then someone does the same as her and they are wrong.
Aug 23, 2013 10:16AM
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MSN TV's guide to fall TV: We bring you the 12 most cringe-worthy moments from Season 8 of "The Real Housewives of Orange County"