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Big Brother’s Most Memorable Moments: Aaryn’s Racist Remarks, Dan’s Funeral, and More

Aaryn Gries
Aaryn Gries made headlines when she made multiple racist remarks on Big Brother Season 15.

The ultimate summer guilty pleasure is back! CBS’ Big Brother returns for its 17th season on Wednesday, June 24, for yet another summer filled with twists, showmances, and tanned, shirtless bodies.  

Big Brother debuted in 2000 and has since given us countless moments of classic reality TV. Here are 10 moments we won’t be forgetting any time soon, in no particular order.

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10. Aaryn and GinaMarie’s Racism (Season 15)

You may recall that the show made headlines a few years ago after several houseguests were caught making racist and homophobic comments. The moment was finally addressed on-air after the comments made their way online, and Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman lost their jobs in real life as a result. This moment opened up a discussion about race and was a reminder that Big Brother is always watching.

9. We Barely Knew You, Kaysar! (Season 6)

Viewers chose to have Kaysar Ridha re-enter the house after he was evicted. He took part in a Head of Household competition that lasted over 14 hours and was one of the last two people standing. The other person was Jennifer Vasquez, who promised him she wouldn’t put him up if he let her win. Too bad she lied and sent him back out of the house just a week after he returned. Like the saying goes on X-Files, “Trust no one.”

8. The Chilltown Legacy (Seasons 2 and 7)

In Big Brother, it’s rare for an alliance to not only make it to the end of the competition, but also have all of its members be winners. The Chilltown alliance was comprised of Mike “Boogie” Malin and Dr. Will Kirby, originally houseguests from Season 2. Dr. Will won their first season together, and Mike Boogie went on to win the All-Star season (Season 7). 

7. Evel Dick’s Tea Ceremony (Season 8)

Dick Donato
“Evel” Dick Donato poured tea over another contestant’s head during an argument.

There are few greater reality TV villains than Dick Donato, aka Evel Dick. He was so hated, so vile, and yet went on to win. At one point in the season, he dumped tea on contestant Jen Johnson after the two got into a heated argument.

6. Twinning (Season 5)

Big Brother upped the ante by introducing the twist of all twists: twins! Yes, twin sisters Adria and Natalie Montgomery played the game at the beginning as the same person. The house knew them as just the one twin, Adria, and the twist went unnoticed for the first five weeks of the game. Julie Chen, you’re so crafty!  

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5. Janelle Evicts Will (Season 7)

The show is at its best when it’s filled with people who know, love, and want to play the game. Janelle Pierzina and Dr. Will are two of the greatest players to have competed and during Season 7, the All-Stars season. But Janelle managed to take out half of the Chilltown alliance when she got the house to evict Dr. Will. 

4. Rachel’s Fight With Kristen (Season 12)

You either loved or hated Rachel Reilly. While there are countless moments to note from her memorable time on the show, her fight with Kristen Bitting after she won Head of Household is one of her best. The two go at each other and Rachel tells the “floaters” in the house to “grab a life vest!”

3. Rachel’s Fight With Ragan (Season 12)

When Rachel is in the house, she fights with people. After she was voted out, she was thrown back into the house for 24 hours as a twist (or punishment, really). So of course, a battle went down between her and Ragan Fox. Ragan told her to count her friends in the house (she couldn’t because she didn’t have any) and she said he was so awful he couldn’t even keep a boyfriend. They’re good friends now since the show has ended, but this fight will never be forgotten. 

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2. Justin Pulls Out a Knife (Season 2)

This sounds like something from Lifetime’s UnReal, but this was a very scary and real incident involving Justin Sebik. He had been violent during his season and threatened several houseguests with his outbursts. He went as far as pulling a knife on fellow houseguest Krista Stegall, and became the first contestant ever to be expelled from the show. 

1. Dan’s Funeral (Season 14)

Dan Gheesling
Dan saved himself in a big way on Big Brother when he held a “funeral” for himself.

Season 14 of Big Brother came with a big twist: Half of the cast was made up of newbies and the other half made up of all-star players. This made for some epic game play from both sides, especially one of the show’s greatest players, Dan Gheesling.

After being locked in a room for 48 hours and close to being evicted from the house, Dan flips the script with a masterful speech while hosting his own “funeral.” He poured his heart out to everyone in the house and burned several bridges in an attempt to win the game. Though Ian Terry won this season – Dan had won Season 10 – this was a genius move on his part, earning him the runner-up spot.   

Tell Us: What’s your favorite Big Brother moment?