The Most Iconic Housewives Pets, Ranked

Involvement in Shannon Beador’s DUI does not award you extra points. Photo-Illustration: Vulture. Photos: Bravo

Bravo’s Housewives industrial complex has many constants. Tax fraud. Questionable men. And almost always, doted-upon pets. The animals of Bravo are more faithful than the husbands, so it makes sense that they get the most presents. The Housewives see their pets as family members, and they see their family members as accessories and/or branding opportunities. When it comes to the Housewives, only the most iconic of pets will do. But how can you even quantify icon status? “What makes a Bravo pet iconic is the same thing that makes their mothers iconic,” says Brian Moylan, author of The Housewives and head of Vulture’s Housewives Institute. “They have to be a little remarkable and different. They have to be a little bit poorly behaved. But most of all they have to be absolutely adorable. I mean, have you seen Archie Beador?!” (Archie’s been riding shotgun throughout Shannon Beador’s exploits, including her recent DUI.) And so, we’re ranking the best Housewives pets (and Vanderpets) by their iconicity.


Kyle Richards’s pack of indistinguishable dogs and children (RHOBH)

Too many of both! How is any one pet and/or child supposed to set itself apart? If anyone should be sensitive to the pitfalls of pack dynamics and how it causes undue stress, it’s Kyle fucking Richards.


Playa: Yorkshire terrier, Nene Leakes (RHOA)

Playa is on this list mainly for one tweet from Leakes: “Playa is a real human being, he’s doing great.” Leakes often asserted that Playa is human, which unfortunately ranks him low on this list of iconic animals.


Graham: Goldendoodle, Rachel Leviss and James Kennedy. Then just Rachel, then James and Ally Lewber (VPR)

Oh, Graham. Of all the beings affected by Scandoval, you are perhaps the most blameless. Graham Cracker was co-owned by Raquel/Rachel Leviss and DJ James Kennedy; you’ll recall Graham’s puppy shower being an early story for Raquel on Vanderpump Rules and queen bee Stassi Schroder thinking it was stupid. When Leviss and Kennedy ended their engagement, they decided not to split custody of the pooch. However, when Leviss went to a mental-health facility, her family surrendered Graham to a shelter because he was bite-y. Now Graham is back with James and his new partner, and Rachel is unionizing with Bethenny Frankel.


Norma Jean: Black Lab, Kim Zolciak (RHOA)

I understand loving Marilyn Monroe, but why name your pet after a famously doomed woman? Zolciak is going to play “Candle in the Wind” at Norma Jean’s memorial, I guarantee you that. Unless Zolciak actually named the pup after the Christian-ish Atlanta metalcore band of the same name.


Lil Bit Blanche: Cat, Sutton Stracke (RHOBH)

The name is iconic. It’s giving “A Little Bit Alexis,” with a soupçon of Golden Girls. (Or possibly A Streetcar Named Desire, who’s to say?) But Stracke’s ragamuffin kitten does not distinguish itself on her Instagram feed. Step up, girlie. Live up to that name!


Daug: Lizard, Tom Schwartz (VPR)

Schwartz’s lizard didn’t even make it a year. Schwartz diagnosed the reptile with depression and was gutted when his pet only lived 1/15th of its life expectancy. But isn’t that classic Schwartzy? It’s always two steps forward, one step into the lizard graveyard with that guy. RIP Daug.


Dorit and Kyle: Goldfish, Garcelle Beauvais (RHOBH)

Naming your fish after castmates is a power move. However, goldfish aren’t the most attention-capturing pets. They can’t go on cast trips, for one thing. Also, their memories are famously short. How are you supposed to continue a seasonlong feud with someone who resets after 24 hours?


Millou: Mini poodle, Sonja Morgan (RHONY)

Millou was most iconic in death. When Morgan tried to scatter his ashes, they blew back at her, Big Lebowski style. She’d worn that dress to Prince Rainier’s funeral; being a royal, he had the good manners to stay buried next to Princess Grace and not get all over Sonja’s Valentino dress.


Bandit: Raccoon, Monique Samuels (RHOP)

As unique pets go, raccoons are in the upper echelon. It’s basically you, Pocahontas, and that guy on YouTube who feeds hot dogs to all the trash bandits in his neighborhood. But Bandit is merely a Band-Aid, a replacement for a more iconic pet we shall encounter later on this list.


Lucy Lucy Apple Juice: Chihuahua mix, Dorit Kemsley (RHOBH)

The dog that signaled the beginning of the end for Lisa Vanderpump on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. As the titular puppy at the heart of Puppygate, Lucy Lucy Apple Juice got caught in the crossfire of emotions that were bubbling under the surface of Beverly Hills for years, much like the oil under Beverly Hills High School. What makes the whole “she said, she had her employees say it on camera” all the more galling is that Lucy Lucy Apple Juice was the second dog Kemsley got from Vanderpump Dogs that bit her kid.

Photo: Bravo


Diamonds and Rosé: Miniature horses, Ken Todd (RHOBH)

RIP to Rosé, the mini horse whose death presaged Scandoval. Rosé’s passing took place near the end of filming season 11. The Toms went over to Villa Rosa to offer their condolences to Ken Todd, and that meeting is when Sandoval first planted the seeds of leaving Ariana. But Diamonds and Rosé are more than their connection to Bravo history. They’re also horses that live at someone’s house, and that is so fucked up. Hats off to them!


Charlotte York: Chihuahua mix, Ariana Madix (VPR)

Speaking of Scandoval, Charlotte’s death was allegedly the tipping point for Tom Sandoval and Rachel Leviss’s affair. Charlotte had been ill, and Madix entrusted Sandoval with her care while she went on a girls’ trip. But Charlotte took a turn for the worse, which prompted Madix to leave the trip early. The bullying Leviss felt she endured also prompted her to leave the girls’ trip and fuck Sandy in her car. At the house he and Madix shared. While she was inside mourning her dog. In a world full of AJLT-era Mirandas, be a Charlotte.


Archie Beador: Golden retriever, Shannon Beador (RHOC)

Beador got Archie from a viewer; how iconic is that? She told Bravo that a fan @’d her asking if anyone wanted a dog, and she came through. Archie Beador spent his early months in the San Francisco Four Seasons before moving to the O.C. And Archie has provided plenty of drama, including getting lost in 2021 and prompting Beador to assume he’d been dognapped. In reality, he’d just gotten into a neighbor’s yard. Pulling stunts just like Mom.


Gracie: Two-legged Chihuahua, Dina Manzo (RHONJ)

Gracie Manzo was born without her two front legs, the result of inbreeding at a puppy mill. Dina Manzo had her for only nine years before Gracie succumbed to bladder cancer, but they were eventful years: (1) Nobody could wear a bejeweled collar like Gracie. (2) She looked like Lil Brudder, which is just catnip (dognip?) to millennials. Gracie was iconic — especially in mech mode, zooming around on her wheels.


Hanky and Panky: Swans, Lisa Vanderpump (RHOBH)

And so we return to the pond of Villa Rosa. Hanky and Panky are the two swans that guard LVP’s house, always freaking Kyle Richards out. But Lisa never shows fear in front of the swans. In fact, she let Hanky sit on her lap when she rushed him to the vet in season six. In England, all the swans belong to the king. But in Beverly Hills, they belong to Lisa Vanderpump.


Grandma Wrinkles: Hairless cat, Dina Manzo (RHONJ)

Grandma Wrinkles is perhaps best remembered for marrying Lisa Vanderpump’s Pomeranian Giggy on an episode of WWHL. (When cats marry dogs, that’s straight culture.) Grandma Wrinkles was one of Manzo’s two hairless cats, the other being named Botox, but when Botox passed, did Andy Cohen do an obit as his Mazel of the Day? Alas, no. And that’s why Grandma Wrinkles is on this list. She had star quality.


Coco: Shih Tzu, Ramona Singer (RHONY)

When I told people I was doing this ranking, nearly every person said, “Oh, like Coco and Ramona Singer! She shits on the floor like her mom.” Now that’s branding.


T’Challa: African gray parrot, Monique Samuels (RHOP)

T’Challa is the only animal on this list to get its own solo write-up in Vulture, so there’s that to take into consideration. T’Challa died young for a parrot, leaving Samuels bereft, but while he flew o’er this earth, he made his time count. T’Challa had as much drama as Samuels herself, feuding with Karen Huger and doing spon-con for NARS.


Giggy: Pomeranian with alopecia, Lisa Vanderpump (RHOBH)

We’ve all thought we were gonna die if we didn’t have a cute little outfit, but only Giggy, short for Gigolo, meant it. Having alopecia, he needed to wear little outfits in order to live! This is the pinnacle of Housewife pet arts. Plus, the weirdly psychosexual relationship LVP had with Giggy inspired Veronica Von Vandervon’s relationship with her dog, Love, on Hot Wives of Orlando. The husband of Grandma Wrinkles, Giggy was a red-carpet mainstay and all-around legend.

The Most Iconic Housewives Pets, Ranked