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25 of the Most Iconic & Gag-Worthy Moments in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Herstory
Celebrating 15 years & 200 episodes of 'Drag Race'!
In 2023, we are celebrating the 15-year anniversary of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the fact that the flagship series has reached 200 episodes.
From season one OGs like BeBe Zahara Benet to recent winners like Willow Pill, Mama Ru and her family tree of queens have come a long way and turned Drag Race into the mainstream success that it is today. For the purposes of this list, we are only taking into consideration regular seasons of the series – which excludes spinoffs like All Stars. As we gather along and celebrate this landmark achievement, it’s time to look back at some of the most iconic and gag-worthy moments in Drag Race herstory!
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 airs Fridays on MTV.
Sasha Velour reveals rose petals under her wig at the season 9 finale
Sasha Velour crashed the system as she revealed rose petals under her wig in the first-ever lip sync smackdown for the crown on Drag Race. Since then, finalists have been trying – without much success – to match the impact of this finale reveal.
Latrice Royale says “Get those nuts away from my face”
Latrice Royale was sitcom gold during the comedy acting challenge that took place on Drag Race season four. She played a prison guard and delivered the “Get those nuts away from my face” line that fans will never forget.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo exits the show chanting “Miss Vanjie”
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo established a new standard for how exit lines should be delivered when a queen is eliminated on Drag Race. Her "Miss Vanjie" exit line became an instant viral sensation and an iconic moment for the franchise.
Laganja Estranja feels “very attacked”
Viewers could see the breaking down of Laganja Estranja throughout the entire sixth season of Drag Race… but that entire storyline culminated in an Untucked moment where Estranja yelled out, “I feel very attacked!”
Valentina wants to keep her mask on for the “Greedy” lip sync
Nina Bo’Nina Brown fell into the bottom two yet again, whereas Valentina had to lip sync for the first time in the season. But Valentina didn't know the words to Ariana Grande's “Greedy” and kept wearing her mask to hide that fact. RuPaul stopped the lip sync and asked her to take it off, and Valentina asked to keep it on. This culminated in the jaw-dropping elimination of Valentina, who had been one of the frontrunners all season long.
Ongina wins the MAC Viva Glam challenge and comes out as HIV+
Ongina won the MAC Viva Glam maxi challenge and opened up about her HIV status, showing that Drag Race could be about so much more than fierceness. This was the first real moment of a queen showing honesty and vulnerability in the series, and it became a staple for all future contestants in the series to use their platforms wisely.
Yvie Oddly & Brooke Lynn Hytes lip sync to “Sorry Not Sorry”
After completely bombing the Snatch Game on Drag Race season 11, Yvie Oddly and Brooke Lynn Hytes delivered one of the most iconic lip syncs of all time to Demi Lovato's “Sorry Not Sorry.” Cirque du So-Gay realness!
Shangela and Mimi Imfurst’s “sugar daddy” fight in 'Untucked'
During an Untucked episode of Drag Race season three, Mimi Imfurst accused Shangela of having a "sugar daddy." This opened up the floodgates for Shangela to deliver one of the most iconic lines in herstory as she denied ever having a sugar daddy.
Violet Chachki wears gag-worthy dress at the season 8 finale
The most impactful "returning winner" look in Drag Race herstory was worn by Violet Chachki as she appeared in the grand finale of season eight. The fans were absolutely gagged by this look, and no other winner has outdone Chachki since then.
DiDa Ritz lip syncs to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”
\u201cDida Ritz vs The Princess - This Will Be \nLipSync S4 #rupaulsdragrace\u201d— Archive LipSyncs (@Archive LipSyncs) 1671293670
DiDa Ritz’s stellar lip sync performance to “This Will be (An Everlasting Love)” right in front of Natalie Cole is one of the most powerful, beautiful, and unforgettable moments in Drag Race herstory.
Laganja Estranja enters the werk room with a dip
Say what you will about Ms. Laganja Estranja back in season six, but her “Let's get sickening!” werk room entrance that ended up with a dip broke the internet and established a new standard for how queens should enter this competition.
Manila Luzon lip syncs to “MacArthur Park”
Up until season three, Drag Race was very much about glamour, fashion, and beauty. However, queens like Manila Luzon started to break that mold with her campy looks and off-the-wall lip sync performances, proving that contestants could – and should! – "drag up" their personas.
Pearl asks RuPaul, “Do I have something on my face?”
Pearl was told by the judges that she didn't convey a winning personality on the show, which she took to heart. During a subsequent werk room interaction, Mama Ru brought it up once again, which pissed Pearl off. As the host and the queen stared at each other for what seemed like forever, Pearl broke her silence with a question: "Do I have something on my face?"
Willow Pill’s Variety Show performance
Willow Pill's Variety Show number immediately established herself as one of the frontrunners of season 14. It was something that Drag Race fans had never seen before, which made her such a unique queen for us all to follow and root for.
Pandora Boxx as Carol Channing establishes the blueprint for the Snatch Game
Pandora Boxx was the first official “comedy queen” on Drag Race. Though she did not win the first-ever Snatch Game of the franchise, Boxx's impersonation of Carol Channing largely established the blueprint for how all future Snatch Game winners won this challenge.
Monét X Change does a fake split in the “Pound the Alarm” lip sync
We're here to make it clear: no Drag Race fan will ever be able to forget Monét X Change's fake split while lip syncing to Nicki Minaj's "Pound the Alarm" against Dusty Ray Bottoms.
Roxxxy Andrew reveals a wig under a wig in the “Whip My Hair” lip sync
Roxxxy Andrews revealed a wig under a wig during the “Whip My Hair” lip sync and immediately raised the stakes for how all wig reveals should be done on Drag Race. This lip sync against Alyssa Edwards culminated in an emotional double shantay that was followed by Andrews’ life story.
Kandy Muse turns on her boombox in the “Call Me Maybe” lip sync
From the moment Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" started and Kandy Muse turned on her fake boombox... we just knew this would be an iconic moment to enter Drag Race herstory.
Phi Phi O’Hara tells Sharon Needles to “go back to Party City where you belong!”
There isn't a single more iconic fight in the herstory of RuPaul's Drag Race than the one between Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O'Hara. This infamous "Go back to Party City where you belong" moment truly gagged the fans and entered reality TV history books.
Violet Chachki pulls off a two-in-one look reveal
Violet Chachki's two-in-one reveal during the first episode of Drag Race season seven largely established her as the queen to beat that entire season. The judges – and the fans – were absolutely gagged!
Coco Montrese enters the werk room and gags Alyssa Edwards, a.k.a. “The Face Crack of the Century”
The epic face-off of Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese started before Drag Race, but it reached a new level on the show as they had to compete against each other yet again. This rivalry started at the premiere of season five, establishing the high stakes between these two queens right from the start.
Jan’s face crack after losing the “Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical” challenge
\u201cthe \u2018jan reaction face to being safe in the madonna rusical\u2019 era of lockdown feels like years ago\u201d— hannah (@hannah) 1595197865
Jan seemed to be perfectly well-positioned to win the “Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical” challenge in season 12. But she didn't – Gigi Goode was deemed the winner instead. Jan's face crack in the “safe zone” not only became an instant meme, but it also made Drag Race herstory as a very memorable reaction.
Bob The Drag Queen does two characters for the Snatch Game
Bob the Drag Queen proved that she was one of the ultimate "comedy queens" in the Drag Race franchise by having not one but two impeccable and hilarious impersonations for the Snatch Game of season eight. Bob played Carol Channing and Uzo Aduba during the challenge and was rightfully deemed the winner of that challenge.
Jinkx Monsoon beats Detox in the “Malambo No. 1” lip sync
We hadn't seen Jinkx Monsoon lip sync throughout the entire fifth season of Drag Race. In the meantime, Detox was showcased all season long as one of the ultimate lip sync assassins. But when “Malambo No. 1” came on and these two drag titans faced each other, Monsoon came out victorious, building a great momentum for her to snatch the crown at the grand finale.
Willam is disqualified for breaking the rules
RuPaul disqualified Willam from Drag Race after claiming that the queen had broken the rules of the show. Overall, this moment has entered the reality TV history books.