Attitude’s 15 favourite iconic moments from RuPaul’s Drag Race

Composite of stills from RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race is 15 years old (Image: World of Wonder)

It’s hard to believe, but RuPaul’s Drag Race is 15 years old, with the first ever episode of the game-changing show airing in the US on 2 February, 2009.

Little did RuPaul know that this scrappy upstart of a show would become a worldwide phenomenon, showcasing an artform that was once the confines of darkened nightclubs and thrusting it into the mainstream of culture.

To mark the 15th birthday of this juggernaut of a queer franchise, Attitude lists 15 of our favourite iconic moments from each season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Tammie Brown reads RuPaul (Season 1 reunion)

The gloriously kooky Tammie Brown may have been eliminated in the second episode, but that didn’t stop her from stealing the show. Perhaps her most memorable moment was reading RuPaul during the reunion episode. “I don’t see you out there walking children in nature … Excuse your mouth!”

Jessica Wild promotes Absolut Acai (Season 2)

Admit it: every time you see Absolut on a supermarket shelf, you say to yourself, “I love that drink” – or is that just us?

Shangela’s ‘sugar daddy’ monologue (Season 3 Untucked)

Because she is what? “Sickening…. 🍸💦 Bitch!”

Latrice Royale in Tuckahoe (season 4)

“Get those nuts away from my face”. That’s all.

Roxxxy Andrew’s wig reveal (season 5)

In the words of RuPaul herself, “Never remove your wig while performing, unless you’re wearing another wig underneath.”

Gia, Laganja and Vivacious’s entrances (Season 6)

Gia Gunn’s ridiculous hoop bag; Laganja Estranja’s “Let’s get sickeniiing” plus death drop; Vivacious and Ornacia. This may have been peek Drag Race entrance.

Pearl vs RuPaul (Season 7)

It takes a lot of nerve to stand up to Mother Ru, but Pearl did just that (perhaps inspired by Tammie Brown).

Bob the Drag Queen in RuCo’s Empire (Season 8)

None of the other queens stood a chance the moment Bob emerged onto the set and stole every single frame. “Oh, you thirsty, bitch?”

Valentina’s masked lip sync (Season 9)

Perhaps the seven most famous words uttered on the Drag Race runway: “I’d like to keep it on, please.” Several death glares from Ru, though, and that mask was straight off.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo’s exit (Season 10)

You already know what’s coming (and we’re sorry if this is stuck in your head for the rest of the day now).

Diva Worship challenge (Season 11)

“You bitches ain’t done no homework” were perhaps some of RuPaul’s most astute words ever uttered, pre-empting the absolute desecration of Mariah Carey in this (entertainingly) shambolic challenge.

Leslie Jones lives her best life as guest judge (Season 12)

Leslie Jones was more excited to be there than the contestants – and we loved it. She was perhaps our favourite ever guest judge, serving them puns like nobody’s business. “She done already had horses.”

LaLa Ri’s bag dress (Season 13)

This outfit was so bad that it was good. Basically a corset with a load of paper bags haphazardly stuck to it, it belongs in the V&A’s archives for generations ahead to admire in perpetuity.

Willow Pill’s talent show performance (Season 14)

Never have we seen so many bemused looks from RuPaul in one sitting. Willow’s performance was iconic for so many reasons, but mainly because it introduced the omnipotent goddess that is Enya to the show for the first time.

Anetra walking that duck (Season 15)

This stunning performance gagged both RuPaul and Ariana Grande, showcashing Anetra’s martial arts and voguing skills while doing it all in red latex thigh-highs. Quack, quack, quack, quack!

All episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race are available to stream on Wow Presents Plus.

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