17 Iconic Reality TV Shows From The 2000s You Forgot You Loved
Ah, the early 2000s—a time of frosted tips, flip phones, and the birth of reality TV as we know it. It was an era that brought us pulse-pounding dating shows like "Next," celebrity pranks on "Punk'd," and the unforgettable "The Simple Life" with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. These shows weren't just entertainment; they were a cultural phenomenon, shaping our weekends and water-cooler conversations and AIM away message status updates.
We recently went down a YouTube rabbit hole to reminisce and relive the unforgettable moments that made the 2000s the golden age of reality TV. Keep reading to see our list of reality TV shows we'd rewatch today in a heartbeat. And, if you're wondering where you can find these time-honored classics for a nostalgia trip, we've also added where to stream each of these treasured blasts from the past.
My Super Sweet 16
Transport yourself back to the era when extravagance knew no bounds, especially when it came to celebrating sweet 16s. My Super Sweet 16 on MTV was the epitome of opulence, showcasing the lives of ultra-affluent teens as they meticulously planned their birthday bashes, often worth fortunes. But behind the glitz and glamour lay the drama—equivalent to bridezilla moments—as these nepo-babies spared no expense to achieve the most extravagant celebrations imaginable. Now, these over-the-top soirees and jaw-dropping teenage dreams are back in the spotlight, available for your viewing pleasure on Paramount+, Hulu, and MTV. Get ready to witness the rollercoaster of emotions, the clashes of personalities, and perhaps catch a glimpse of familiar faces like the one and only Teyana Taylor.
Remember when swiping left in real life was a thing long before dating apps took over? Next, the iconic MTV dating show, was a spectacle where contestants had the power to swiftly move on by shouting "Next!" if their date didn't measure up. The show was an all about first impressions, with each contestant describing their potential partners in the most hilarious, sometimes brutally honest, and often outrageous ways. Now, this cult classic dating show is available for your viewing pleasure on Paramount+, resurrecting the memorable moments when awkward encounters, quirky personalities, and bizarre dating descriptions took center stage.
The Simple Life
Revisit Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's epic cross-country escapades from The Simple Life, which can now be found on Amazon Prime. The Simple Life was a perfect blend of comedy and chaos and truly captured what happened when the ultra-rich socialites swapped their luxurious lifestyles for rural, everyday jobs. And with A24 bringing Paris Hilton's life to the big screen soon, there's no better time than now to catch up.
Punk'd was a groundbreaking hidden camera prank show that staged practical jokes of the most famous celebrities on the era. The show was known for high-stakes pranks like fake arrests and car thefts to reveal the real, genuine reactions of celebrities in these shocking situations. Ashton Kutcher's epic celebrity pranks are still a riot and a half. Tune into Quibi or Amazon for classic episodes of Punk'd and relive the hilarity.
Relive reality TV's most iconic moments and whip out that smize with Tyra Banks on Hulu, where America's Next Top Model challenges aspiring models to work that runway and vie to become the next big thing in the fashion world. Tyra Banks leads these beautiful hopefuls through a series of challenges and makeovers that brought all of the drama.
Bad Girls Club
This Oxygen network original revolved around bringing together a group of young women with completely different backgrounds and personalities and putting them under one roof. This often led to clashes, arguments, and confrontations. The aim was to observe how these women, often dubbed "bad girls" due to their outspoken nature and penchant for conflict, interacted and navigated the challenges of communal living. Head over to Peacock to relive the explosive interactions. The Bad Girls Club features fiery tempers, fierce friendships, and epic meltdowns.
"We're going to the Jersey Shore, b****!" Name a more iconic 2000s reality tv show, we'll wait. Jersey Shore followed the lives of a group of young adults spending their summer on the iconic Jersey Shore in New Jersey. The cast included Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchio, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola, Vinny Guadagnino, and Angelina Pivarnick (in the earlier seasons). The show became a cultural phenomenon and catapulted endless new phrases into our everyday vernacular, like fist pump and GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry). Revisit the Jersey Shore crew's antics on Hulu or Paramount+.
Get ready for parents to set up blind dates and watch their kids squirm. The premise of the show involved parents who were dissatisfied with their child's current romantic partner. The parents would take charge by setting up their son or daughter on dates with potential new suitors. Meanwhile, the current boyfriend or girlfriend would be watching the date unfold from a van with the parents, adding a layer of reality TV drama. You can find Parental Control on Paramount+.
Dive back into the sun-soaked drama of Laguna Beach on Paramount+, where teenage romances and friendships take center stage. The show followed affluent high school students living in the picturesque coastal town of Laguna Beach, CA. The series followed the daily lives Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari, Stephen Colletti, Lo Bosworth, and others, as they navigated high school, friendships, parties, and the ups and downs of teenage life. The opening credits theme song from Hilary Duff still lives rent free in our heads.
Toddlers & Tiaras
While the pageant contest saw its prime in the later end of the aughts, there's nothing more memorable than a 5-year-old with a full face and set of chompers. You can catch Toddlers & Tiaras on Hulu.
The Most Iconic and Trashy Reality TV Shows From The Early Aughts
Making The Band
Revisit Diddy's search for the ultimate musical group on MTV's Making the Band, available on Hulu and Amazon. The show featured auditions and showcased the process of selecting members to form a new band, along with the intense training that went with it. Danity Kane was our favorite band to emerge from the series, with top hits like "Show Stopper" we still hum in our heads today.
Flavor Of Love
VH1's hit dating show is back on Hulu! Flavor Flav's quest for love is as entertaining as ever and we can't thank him enough for introducing us to one of our fave reality TV show divas, New York AKA Tiffany Pollard.
What Not To Wear
Fashion police, anyone? What Not To Wear is now streaming on Amazon Prime, showcasing epic style transformations. And if you really missed Stacy and Clinton, you can catch them on their reunion tour!
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Circle back to the moments that made us want to keep up with the Kardashian clan on Peacock. The first season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians focused on the personal lives of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, primarily featuring Kris Jenner, her then-husband Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce Jenner), and their children: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob Kardashian, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
The Real Housewives Of Orange County
"The Real Housewives" franchise premiered with The Real Housewives of Orange County on March 21, 2006, on the Bravo network. This became one of our favorite reality TV shows because of the wild drama that followed the lives of a group of affluent women living in Orange County, California. The success of this initial series led to the creation of multiple spin-offs in different cities — some of our faves include The Real Housewives of New York, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, andThe Real Housewives of Miami. Follow the OG Housewives on Peacock, where the drama, catfights, and lavish lifestyles are on full display.
This Laguna Beach spin off reality TV show followed Lauren Conrad's life after high school as she pursued a fashion career in Los Angeles. Join LC and the gang in this MTV classic, now streaming on Paramount+ to relive the drama, the mascara tears ("You know what you did!"), and the dreamy California scenes.
Enter the Big Brother house and watch contestants battle for survival. You can watch this reality game show on Paramount+ and be part of the drama once again.
Love our reality TV show recs and looking for more great entertainment coverage? Follow us on Facebook for the latest news and trending stories.
- Brody Jenner Is Officially Joining MTV’s ‘The Hills’ Reboot ›
- Hey Now, Hey Now, “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” Turns 20 ›
- 20 Reality TV Shows That Will Make the Best Group Halloween Costumes ›
- Everything We Know About "The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip" - Brit + Co ›
- Everything We Know About The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Season 4 Finale - Brit + Co ›