All The Reasons Real World: Seattle Was Unforgettable (That Slap Included)

Since the iconic series is returning to the Emerald City, we're looking back at the original installment

Back in 1998, Janet (Choi), Nathan (Blackburn), Rebecca (Lord), Lindsay (Brien), Stephen (Williams), Irene (McGee), and David (Burns) set out for a real unknown adventure -- and nearly 20 years later, a brand-new crop of strangers will "stop being polite" in the Emerald City. That's right, Real World is returning to Seattle!

In honor of this announcement (stay with MTV News for more details about the upcoming program), it's only appropriate to remember the OG Pier 70 crew (their first moments in the house are featured below).

For Real World loyalists (like myself), there are certain casts that stand out — whether it's because of a certain participant who had a unique story, the fascinating dynamics of the housemates, or truly dramatic disagreements that transpired in front of the cameras. As someone who has kept up this MTV staple religiously (I started watching during Miami and then caught up on New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London during marathons) and covers the show professionally (I started with Real World: Skeletons), the action that occurred among the Season 7 gang was unprecedented and unforgettable. Here's why:

  • Friends Were Cast On The Same Season

    The Virginia Military Institute classmates auditioned to be on the same series and were shocked to find out during the casting special (remember those?) that they would be traveling to the West Coast together (they were understandably thrilled, as evidenced by the clip above). Their previous connection wasn't positively received by the other guy in the house, Stephen — but ultimately, the California native grew close to his fellow male roommates.

  • Dream Job

    Sometimes the young adults are uninspired by their work assignment -- but this group (especially aspiring journalist Janet) seemed genuinely excited to be a part of the radio station 107.7 The End. At first, they were “modulators” who helped promote the local business — and met a few bands like Cornershop (featured above) and Super Delux. Eventually, though, their dedication paid off and they collectively launched their own live late-night show.

  • The Eighth Roommate

    Sure, this wasn't a revolutionary moment — but David showing his schlong to Irene and Lindsay is a great incident of the trio just having fun in their glitzy abode. The gals' reaction — as well as David's quip about his penis being the "eighth roommate" — is pure gold.

  • "IT KILLS ME! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW!!!!"

    During the preshow interviewing process and selection, David formed a relationship with Kira (a casting producer at Bunim-Murray Productions). The Charleston native eventually opened up about his mystery woman — after secretive phone calls and purchasing presents. But when Kira (who was featured on the casting special) came to visit, the truth was revealed about the consequences of their restricted romance: Kira "broke the rules" and was fired from her job. The stress of actually being together mounted, and the two had an extremely emotional fight (relive it above) in a truck.

  • Vacation of a Lifetime

    Jetting to Nepal was the first exotic destination (eventual casts traveled to India, South Africa, and Greece, to name a few international spots) featured on Real World — and a highlight was the gang standing at the top of Mount Everest (shortly following Janet's difficulty with the altitude after smoking).

  • The Slap Heard 'Round The World

    The troubling scene (featured above) speaks for itself — and was quickly addressed by the production team and the roommates. Janet, Nathan, David, Rebecca, and Lindsay were given the opportunity to review the tape and make a decision about whether or not Stephen should be allowed to stay. Eventually, they decided to keep Stephen and, as part of that agreement, he was mandated to attend therapy and address his anger issues.


VMAs 2017