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10 Unforgettable Moments From ‘The Hills’

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Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

“Homeboy wore combat boots to the beach”

Eleven years ago today, the world of reality television was blessed with the MTV premiere of The Hills. A lot has happened since we first saw LC driving up to her condo in West Hollywood, but the content of the show stands the test of time. Admit it: Your pulse still quickens when you hear “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, and every time you meet a guy named Justin you resist the urge to say, “Justin Bobby?” Don't worry, though. You’re not alone.

While some are skeptical of the degree to which reality television is actually televising reality—even The Hills acknowledges that some aspects of the show were contrived; self-awareness is key—it doesn’t change the widespread influence the show had in the 2000s. Here, we look back on some of the show's most iconic moments in celebration of the headband-wearing, Le Deux-frequenting, Blackberry-messaging part of all of us. 

1) When Lauren Didn’t Go To Paris (Season 1, Episode 10)
The lesson here is obvious: When offered the opportunity to intern for Teen Vogue in Paris all summer or spend a few months at the beach with your boyfriend, always go to Paris! I think that if he'd really wanted, Lauren's boyfriend Jason could have scrounged up some money to buy a plane ticket and visit while she was there. She did get that cool nickname courtesy of Lisa Love, though. So there's that.


2) When Spencer Was A Sucky Person (Season 2, Episode 7)
Regardless of whether Spencer was actually a sucky person IRL (we caught up with him recently, and it was pretty chill), the image of Lauren shouting this at Heidi is an iconic one that makes me temporarily fear ever asking my friends for their opinions on anything. 


3) When Whitney Fell Down The Stairs On Good Morning America (Season 2, Episode 11)
This is one of those moments that can’t be unseen. One minute everything is going fine, and then next minute we see Whitney stumble down a flight of stairs in Hilary Swank’s very swanky (sorry) dress in front of a viewing audience of hundreds of thousands of people. All things considered, Whitney handled the fall with grace—even Amy Astley told her so. 


4) When Lauren Allegedly Made A Sex Tape And Heidi Allegedly Told Everyone About It (Season 3, Episode 1)
An already tumultuous friendship is further dramatized at a nightclub when Lauren runs into Heidi after the latter had allegedly spread rumors about a sex tape of Lauren and her ex-boyfriend Jason. The only thing missing from the infamous “You know what you did” moment is Lauren throwing her drink in Heidi’s face. 


5) When Justin Bobby Committed The Ultimate Fashion Faux Pas (Season 3, Episode 4) 
It physically pains me to think about this for too long, so I’m just going to leave this GIF here:


6) When Lauren Informs Lo She Wasn’t Being Oversensitive (Season 3, Episode 5)
Can we bring this phrase back? Thank you, Lauren, for validating your friend’s feelings and also coming up with a great way to compliment a friend while dismissing the existence of a boy who’s not worth her time. 


7) When Lauren Forgave And Forgot (Season 3, Episode 14)
Oh LC, always putting your own spin on classic sayings. When Lauren tells Heidi that after their falling out all that is left to do is forgive and forget—which usually means move on—she clarifies that she wants to forgive Heidi and also wipe her existence from her memory. See what she did there?


8) When Justin Bobby Was So Great He Needed Two Names (Season 4, Episode 10)
Or not so great, depending on how you look at it. The noncommittal enigma that is Justin Bobby still leaves me with some unanswered questions to this day, although most of them revolve around his hair and what his profession is other than existing. 

9) When Spencer Kept His Anger In His Crystals (Season 6, Episode 2)
Admittedly, the later seasons of the show are lacking in truly iconic moments, but Spencer and his crystals keep the show afloat. After not only his sister but also Heidi’s sister get under his skin, Spencer gets ~spiritual~ on us, and we see him breathing deeply while pressing a crystal to his temples. Not pictured below: His friend Charlie (who?) saying, “You’re crazy, you lost it.”

10) When The Producers Made Us Question Literally Everything (Season 6, Episode 13)
When Brody says goodbye to Kristin in the series finale, he is left standing in the street watching her drive away, and we see the Hollywood Hills in the distance. Only it’s not the Hollywood Hills, it’s just a backdrop and it is yanked out from behind Brody as lights, cameras, wires, and everything that is needed on the set of a television show are revealed, leaving the audience to wonder, Was any of it real???


She considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth"

Dani Okon, NYLON's associate creative director of video, sat down with her great-aunt, May Okon, to talk about their shared experiences—despite vastly different time frames—living as queer women in New York City. Prior to retirement, May was a journalist for the New York Daily News, having first entered the male-dominated workforce when "the boys were all at war." And, of course, she absolutely killed it. Her only regret? "Retiring at 55," she tells Dani, joking, "Who the hell knew I was gonna live to 100?"

Upon retiring, she moved out to the Hamptons with her partner and bought a home. If she had to do it all over, May says "there are a lot of things I wouldn't do," but she still considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth." Get to know May in the video, above.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Marlene Colburn and Naima Green
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by: Alexandra Hsie
Camera: Gretta Wilson + Katie Sadler
Edited by: Madeline Stedman

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Lauren Morelli, the showrunner and executive producer for the new Netflix show Tales of the City, is fostering a space where multiple queer realities can be shown on-screen. She spoke with one of the cast members, trans actor Garcia (who plays Jake Rodriguez on the show), and, in the video above, they explore why it's wrong to treat queer stories as representative of the entire community. Tokenization is something that they both want to avoid at all costs, and they're on the right track.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
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In the video above, get a sense of why Smith created a genderless store, and see how important it is for people like Jones to have a space where they don't feel criticized for dressing like they want.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Charlotte Prager + Dani Okon
Edited by Gretta Wilson

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