Our sibling network Logo turns 10 today, and we’re very excited about it. The groundbreaking brand has done so many amazing things for the LGBTQIA community, but we must confess that our favorite gift Logo has given the world is the always-perfect RuPaul’s Drag Race. The high-energy and glamorous reality show sheds light on the art of drag and gives the profession much-deserved prestige. However, let’s face it, the program is also amazing for its biznitchy AF shades and reads.
It’s only natural this high concentration of shade will occur if you put 12 drag queens in one confined space. The eye rolls! The insults! The no-f-ing-words-necessary stares! The deliciously catty behavior on this show makes Mean Girls look like My Little Pony.
Shangela Laquifa vs. Mimi Imfurst, Season Three
When you start throwing fruit, all bets are off. In this gloriously icy exchange, Shangela accuses Mimi of not showing the judges she can do both glam and campy drag, but Mimi is having none of it. After Mimi calls Shangela a “Judy Jetson hooker” and suggests she has a sugar daddy, Ms. Laquifa fires back with a rant from the gods. “You could never have a sugar daddy because you are not that kind of girl,” Lady S quips. Sting.
Alyssa Edwards vs. Jade Jolie and Coco Montrese, Season Five
Here, we have a classic two-against-one reading scenario, which isn’t all that uncommon in the RPDR world. When Alyssa accuses Jade of making fun of her “back fat,” Jade doesn’ deny it and continues to make comments about Alyssa’s disproportionate shoulder-waist ratio. “You have rolls all over the place in the back,” Jade says with a life-giving eye roll. “It was disgusting.” But don’t think Alyssa takes it lying down. After calling Jade a “phony amateur” and a “joke,” she then comes for her “cheap” wig. “This [Alyssa’s] wig is $450; that is $35,” she zings. CLOSE THE LIBRARY NOW.
Serena ChaCha vs. the Queens, Season Five
Talk about an ambush, although we don’t blame the other queens for getting fed up with Serena’s B.S. It’s all fun mostly—Alyssa hilariously says, “Bitch! Sit your ass down and shut the hell up, bitch!”—but then Serena makes a snide remark about how all of the girls are “ghetto” and need to read books. That’s when things get ugly. “Go the f—k home,” one queen gripes before Coco delivers the line that shuts everything down: “Serena ChaCha…cha-cha your way out of here.” And we’re dead.
Tyra Sanchez vs. Tatianna, Season Two
Let’s get one thing straight: Tyra Sanchez is a GD legend, and she literally shut down Tatianna’s shenanigans without even raising her voice. The two queens have a disagreement about the way a conversation went down about Tyra’s singing, which leads Tatianna to get extremely huffy and basically do the most. Tyra maintains a stone-cold expression and can only muster up the phrase, “Why are you talking?” which causes Tatianna to Lose. Her. Sh—t. “If I don’t like you, then I don’t like you,” Tyra calmly says to the queens before nodding her head toward Tatianna. The subtle reading is beyond real.
Willam vs. Phi Phi O’Hara, Season Four
Speaking of subtle reads, this battle between Willam and Phi Phi is classic. Ms. O’Hara goes on an endless rant about how Willam isn’t talented and doesn’t deserve to be on the show because she broke “rules” in their show contracts. Willam keeps a muted voice the entire time, only saying one-word answers like “Sure” and “OK.” Oh! She does say one incredible thing to Phi Phi that (in our opinion) takes the insult cake: “Your tone seems very pointed right now.” Such a classy chick.
Pearl vs. RuPaul, Season Seven
NO. WORDS. NECESSARY. Meaning, actually, there are no words in this read. They literally just stare daggers at each other for 10 seconds before Pearl asks, “Do I have something on my face?” “Yeah,” Ru says, and then simply walks away. It just dropped 50 degrees, people.
Tammie Brown vs. RuPaul, Season One
Tammie’s face during this entire tête-à-tête will give you nightmares for days. That scowl. It all starts when Tammie accuses the judges of calling her a loser, and she hits back by saying, “I don’t see you out there walking children in nature.” Yeesh. This then prompts Ru to go on a rant about how the girls need to remember that they’re always ~*sTaRs. It’s actually a pretty motivational speech, but Tammie’s face during the whole ordeal is shady, shady, shady.
Darienne Lake vs. BenDeLaCreme, Season Six
These two ladies threw low-key shade at each other all season, and this video shows you all the juicy highlights. The best exchange? When BenDeLaCreme talks about winning the first challenge and Darienne responds, “I wasn’t there.” Real tears.
Alyssa Edwards vs. Coco Montrese, Season Five
These ladies were season-long enemies, but their prickly relationship hit a fever pitch during this now iconic spat. Alyssa is just trying to give Ms. Montrese some makeup advice, but Coco shuts Alyssa down and instructs her to worry about her own boring beauty skills. Then, the truth comes out: Alyssa screams, “Girl! Look how orange you f—king look!” which prompts an epic verbal battle. Thank you, Ru, for this ultimate blessing.
Pearl vs. the Queens, Season Seven
Sometimes, all you need is a killer glance, and that’s exactly what Pearl delivers in this read. During a runway challenge where the girls had to design Hello Kitty-inspired garments, RuPaul asks Pearl the toughest part of putting together the look. “My looks are very minimal,” she says. “I just didn’t want to throw a bunch of Hello Kitty trinkets on me.” And then she gives massive side-eye to the Kitty-covered queen next to her (plus a tiny snarl, we think). “Was that a read?” Ru asks, already knowing the answer. Yaaas, it was.