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  • Approval of God:
    • It's common for celebrities who are impersonated on Snatch Game or other impersonation challenges to express their approval of their portrayal. Judge Judy, Kris Jenner, Carol Channing, and even Nancy Grace of all people have filmed positive messages and had them aired on the show.
    • Ditto for Alyssa Edwards watching Violet Chachki's performance as her for Snatch Game.
      I know she didn't cinch her waist for that gig.
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    • According to her Reddit AMA, Björk has seen Katya's performance as her on Snatch Game, and absolutely loved it.
    • Despite Max's Snatch Game performance of Sharon Needles getting her eliminated and the former apologizing for it, Sharon responded by telling her she still enjoyed it. Granted, she enjoyed it for different reasons but the intent is still there.
    • Subverted by Patricia Quinn, who made a lengthy Facebook post about how much she hated Aiden Zhane's impression of her.
  • The Cast Showoff: Bound to happen since many of the contestants are established queens with certain skills they use off the show or out of drag.
    • Shangela predictably does well in the stand up comedy and acting challenges, since D. J. Pierce is a professional comedian/actor out of drag.
    • Alyssa is a professional choreographer with her own dance studio, and deservedly wins the ballet challenge. Laganja and Shangela have both studied under Alyssa, and have impressive dance moves as well.
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    • Raja's a professional makeup artist out of drag who's worked with the likes of Tyra Banks, so predictably almost all the makeup she presented was spot on.
    • Chad Michaels wins The Snatch Game with her Cher impersonation, since impersonation is her specialty.
    • Jinkx is naturally adept at acting, singing, and comedy, so with the large amount of acting and comedy challenges in Season 5, this was inevitable and paved the way for Jinkx's victory. As Alaska put it, the other queens didn't really take her seriously until they saw her ace the challenges and realized what they were up against.
    • Much like her friend Jinkx before her, BenDeLaCreme is a campy queen who excels at the acting, comedy and performance challenges.
    • Bianca is a professional emcee and Insult Comic, so she predictably aces the standup comedy challenge, which leads the judges to seriously question why Joslyn put herself before her and then Bianca last in the lineup since she was bound to bring the house down and make her look bad by comparison — which is exactly what happened. Out of drag, she's is also a costume designer and drapery assistant by trade who's worked on Broadway shows, so her sewing skills were the best of all the queens, even though a bit Boring, but Practical.
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    • Season 6's musical theater challenge was basically presented as a showdown between Courtney and Adore, since both are accomplished singers and former Idol contestants.
    • Subverted by Lashauwn Beyond. She specializes in costume design and while the dresses we see from her are gorgeous and creative, her Shrinking Violet personality led to her early elimination.
    • Season 8's Empire episode, in both the main challenge and the runway. The parody challenge let Bob stretch her comedic chops and grab an easy win. Less expected was the rollerskating runway theme, where Robbie Turner had the most experience performing in skates (though Thorgy and Chi Chi knew what they were doing too). When Robbie landed in the bottom two, she used her skates to slay the Lipsync against Cynthia. The trailer shows her falling of the stage, but it turns out she intentionally leapt off as a grand finale, since there was padding around the stage and runway to keep the less experienced girls from killing themselves in case they fell.
    • Also from Season 8, Kim Chi is an experienced make-up artist and costume designer. This made her deliver polished and edgy looks that saved her from the bottom when she performed poorly in a challenge, and made her win two design challenges (hair extravaganza in episode 1, the book ball in episode 8) and place high in the third one (the Oz makeover).
    • Backfires hard in Season 10's "Last Ball on Earth" challenge with Asia O'Hara. She's an experienced costume designer who has worked with Beyonce, and she offered to help the other queens get their looks together while neglecting her own, causing her mediocre outfits to be harshly read by the judges. Asia remarks in Untucked that she felt used after helping everyone else but not getting any help in return, but Miz Cracker said in her YouTube series that nobody thought Asia needed help precisely because of how much she touted her sewing skills.
    • Season 13's Denali is a professional ice skater and choreographer. After being unable to put her best foot forward in the first challenge due to costume difficulties, Denali quickly cemented herself as a legendary lipsyncer two weeks in a row and started posting videos redoing her lipsyncs with proper production.
  • Channel Hop:
    • The flagship series (as well as All Stars) originally aired first-run on the niche, LGBTQ-focused cable network Logo until season nine, when it moved to VH1. It's since received a significantly larger audience on average and more visible promotion across all media.
    • As previously mentioned, the first season of All Stars aired on Logo, while the second season aired simultaneously on Logo and VH1note . Seasons three and four proceeded to air on VH1; it was announced that season five would debut exclusively on Showtime as part of a broader experiment throughout Viacom to air their shows across different networks, but due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic causing scheduling and programming issues it remained on VH1 until further notice.
    • Zig-zagged by Untucked. It originated as bonus web content for the first season (with the title
Under the Hood of RuPaul's Drag Race) before airing as a post-episode accompaniment on Logo until season seven, when it moved to World of Wonder's Youtube channel the day after new episodes aired. This continued until season ten, when it moved back to television on VH1 as part of a two-hour block with the main series.
  • Continuity Nod: In the first episode of season 13, Denali scratches up the floor during her entrance due to wearing ice skates. It's clear that someone attempted to fix the scuffs but you can still see the scratch marks in the subsequent episodes of the season.
  • Contractual Purity: Averted. More than one contestant has done porn in the past. RuPaul has never commented on the matter, which implies that she doesn't care and that it doesn't affect her decisions. This is particularly defied in Season 7 with winner Violet Chachki; by the time it was known she was in the top 4 (before she won), a user on Reddit identified a then-18 year old Violet/Jason in a porn video where it spread like wildfire. Violet's Twitter response? "Lol vintage smut". Jade Jolie and Detox have both also done porn, Sharon and Alaska have literally kai kai'd onstage while performing their song "Let's Have A Kai Kai", there are even pictures floating around on the internet of Max in bondage gear. And Willam... casually fisted a slave once during a gig, while singing, because he's Willam.
    • The contestants are forbidden from having any interaction with their boyfriends/lovers during the competition, although not for any morality reason, but for fairness among the other queens. When Willam was disqualified, this was even used as a faked reason for his dismissal (he actually lied to producers to get kicked off because he felt he had done enough for his image and was ready to quit).
  • Deleted Scene:
    • In Seasons 7 and 8, all queens in the top 4 filmed scenes for the final music video challenge, but the one who got the chop before the other 3 moved on to the live finale had her scenes removed from the final edit. "The Realness" was eventually re-edited and re-released to include Chi Chi's scenes after her passing.
    • More recently, "proper" deleted scenes (like extended mini-challenges or werkroom conversations) get a release on YouTube as bonus content.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Stacy Layne Matthews was dubbed "Henny" due to her southern pronunciation of "honey". Both Stacy and the show have wholeheartedly embraced the nickname, including bringing Stacy back for a "henny-themed girl groups" challenge on All Stars 4.
      • As a spin off of this, Derrick Barry became "Hemmy" in reference to her "everywhere you look there's a hem" speech on an episode of Untucked.
    • Phi Phi is occasionally referred to as the shortened "Phi2" online. Chi Chi and Thorgy have also received the similar nicknames of "Chi2" and "Thor2", respectively. Season 12's Gigi has joined the group as "Gi2"
    • During Season 7, Kandy Ho was given the nickname Kandy Who by several online forums due to her low amount of screen time.
      • Fans have also since coined the term "Kandy Ho edit" to describe queens who are borderline edited out of the show by the producers.
    • In the months following Season 7, Katya's very large fanbase started calling her "mom" as a joke. Katya played along with this at first, but eventually had to make posts on social media asking people to stop calling her "mom" after it got to the point where fans were almost exclusively referring to her as that.
    • For Season 8's Acid Betty fans like to refer to her as "Acidic Betty" and/or "Asshole Betty", for obvious reasons. Although after many queens have said she's actually a very sweet person (in particular fan favorite Cynthia Lee Fontaine, who says Acid was at her side constantly during her cancer treatment) some fans have started calling her "Acid Berry" instead, after Cynthia accidentally called her that for three episodes.
    • Also from Season 8, Naysha Lopez has been referred to be some fans as "Zombie Naysha", since she was eliminated in the first episode only to be brought back in the third episode.
    • In an ironic twist, Alaska from All Stars 2 made a very divisive decision in episode 6, keeping her friend Roxxxy Andrews over a shirt that was lent to her, over Tatianna. Many viewers (even those who are admitted Alaska fans) have started referring to Alaska as a "snake" on social media. This later turned into "Queens of Snakes", which Alaska herself has embraced wholeheartedly.
    • After Season 11, many fans have taken to calling Silky Nutmeg Ganache "Salty" (Nutmeg Ganache) instead, due to how often she would butt heads with Yvie, and how she seemed incapable of taking any negative feedback.
    • More of a "Detractor Nickname", but Season 12's Sherry Pie often has her name censored, like "S*** P**", to reflect her Un-person status. [Redacted] Pie is also a popular alternative (and easier to say in casual conversation).
    • Season 12 has been called "the cursed season" due to a number of events which plagued its broadcast: mainly the Sherry Pie scandal and the COVID-19 pandemic (which led to the reunion and finale to be filmed over video link), but also the simultaneous broadcast of Secret Celebrity Drag Race and the cast reveals of All Stars 5 and Canada's Drag Race, while Season 12 was still airing, distracting attention from it. To add to Season 12's cursedness, it was later revealed that Season 13 contestant Tamisha Iman was originally cast for 12, but her cancer diagnosis forced her to bow out.
    • Mariah Balenciaga became "Mariah Angelou" after her spoken-word poetry performance on All Stars 5.
    • Horrified fan reaction to forcing the queens to vote each other out in the Season 13 premiere led some to jokingly call the show “RuPaul’s Stanford Prison Experiment” or “Gay Saw”.
    • Given that each member of Stephanie's Child is associated with a different color, and Jan was the first of the trio to appear on the show, any queen associated with Jan gets a "[color] Jan" nickname (or, more broadly, another adjective in place of a color). The list includes Rosé as Pink Jan, Denali as Icy Jan/Ice Jan, Lemon as Yellow Jan, Cheryl Hole as Essex Jan or Jan Hole, and Lagoona Bloonote  as Blue Jan. This extends recursively to Jan herself, who's called "Purple Jan" or "Safe Jan".
  • Foiler Footage: For the series finale, all possible series winners have their announcement and coronation filmed, with the actual winner only being chosen shortly before the episode airs. Some unusual foiler footage has been created on occasion; Season 6 had a double victory shared between Adore Delano and Bianca Del Rio filmed.
  • Follow the Leader: Many of the shows design challenges were originally done on Project Runway, to the point where nearly every design challenge could be described as "Project Runway Season X Episode Y, but with drag queens."
  • Foreign Remake: So far, the show has been remade in Chile (The Switch Drag Race: El arte del transformismo, which actually had a few contestants from the US show), Thailand (Drag Race Thailand), Canada (Canada's Drag Race), Holland (Drag Race Holland), and the UK (RuPaul's Drag Race UK, the only one to feature RuPaul herself). An Australian version and a Spain version have been announced as well.
  • Fountain of Memes: Willam, Latrice, Alyssa, Laganja, and Bianca are perhaps the most quotable queens in the history of the show.
  • Hostility on the Set: Most of the onscreen arguments and rivalries can be chalked up to stress from long shooting hours and Manipulative Editing only showing contestants at their worst and editing out any apologies afterwards, with a couple notable exceptions:
    • Season 1 finalist Rebecca Glasscock didn't get along with the other two finalists, Bebe Zahara Benet and Nina Flowers, who had bonded and hoped to work together again afterwards, but Rebecca made it very clear that she wasn't friends with either of them.
    • The Season 2 contestants have minced no words saying that they did not get along with season winner Tyra Sanchez. When Tyra was crowned, runner-up Raven's farewell message was, "Keep reaching for the stars, because you'll never be one." This has only continued after the season; Tyra was banned from DragCon for threatening violence against Tatianna (among other antics too numerous to list here). Pandora Boxx summed up the cast's feelings when she tweeted, "Tyra Sanchez you were an asshole 8 years ago and you're an asshole now."
    • One of the most famous on-set rivalries has to be Season 4's infamous feud against showgirl Phi Phi O'Hara and lovable spook Sharon Needles. However, the two have gone on record as stating while their hostilities were genuine at first, at some point during the season (many fans theorize during/after the "Frenemies" main challenge) the two resolved their differences but decided to keep pretending to hate each other for the cameras since they knew their bickering would make good television. Later on, the two claimed there had never been any hostility between them, and they had fabricated the rivalry from the beginning (joking how the show refuses to acknowledge this since it was a plot thread the queens had created in spite of the producers, who usually like to be in total control of what characters the queens play on the show).
    • Invoked in Season 5 with Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese, who were rivals outside the show due to drama surrounding the Miss Gay America pageant. Despite their constant bickering during the season, when it came time for the ballet challenge, Coco chose to work with Alyssa because she respects that the latter is a choreographer. Their scene just so happened to be a black swan and white swan squaring off.
    • Invoked again between The Vixen and Eureka O'Hara on Season 10. The two seemed to have a terrible time working together, which resulted in a screaming match between the two in Untucked. That is not anything too outlandish for this show, however, afterwards Eureka purportedly approached The Vixen in private and asked her 'how she wanted to handle this' and fabricate a storyline for the show. The Vixen was so insulted about the attempt to manipulate the situation and trivialize their fight that she treated Eureka with contempt and hostility for the rest of her time on the show.
  • I Am Not Spock: The queens constantly assure fans that onscreen antics don't necessarily define them outside the show, especially with Manipulative Editing and Accentuate the Negative in effect. Many of the "villains" are actually lovely people, and supposed rivals are often friends or at least friendly off camera.
    • Some of the queens have actually stated they do not even want to be called by their Drag Names anymore, as they dislike how the fandom only sees them as that put-on character. Queens who have officially distanced themselves from their drag personas include James William Ross (formally Tyra Sanchez) and Jaremi Lee Carey (formally Phi Phi O'Hara). They may still perform in drag, but they have made it clear they are playing a character and the Drag Queen may not be who they really are as a person.
  • In Memoriam: The first episode of All Stars was dedicated to Season 2 queen Sahara Davenport after her unexpected passing.
    • The finale of Season 12 had a segment dedicated to long-time producer Jacqueline Wilson, who sadly passed away shortly after filming.
    • The music video for "The Realness", aka season 8's final challenge, was re-released including Chi Chi DeVayne's scenes as a tribute after her passing in 2020.
  • Jossed: When Roxxxy Andrews and Alyssa Edwards lipsynced against each other, Roxxxy was accused of conveniently dropping her tragic Parental Abandonment background to move Ru not to eliminate anyone. Ru later revealed that the intense lipsync battle was her favorite in the whole series, and that's why she kept both queens. In fact, Alaska has revealed in her podcast that if anyone was given a save for that lip-synch is was Alyssa, since she and the other queens in the back noted Alyssa barely knew the words to the song and was constantly turning away to hide this fact.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Drag Race Season 1 is notoriously hard to find, as it has not been released on DVD, is not available on Logo's website, and unlike everything else with RuPaul's name attached to it, is not available on iTunes.
    • Finally averted, as Logo aired Drag Race's "lost season" September 30th, 2013. Although still played straight for the unedited version of Season 1 that doesn't include all the "RuVealed" pop-ups.
  • Marathon Running: It's very common for the show to replay several of the preceding episodes before any new episode is shown, not to mention when the new episode does air it usually plays at least twice in a row, for those who may have missed it at it's premier time. Also, in general, it's very rare for Drag Race episodes to ever be shown individually, usually being shown on LOGO in a block of between 2 to 4 episodes at a time.
  • Milestone Celebration: The 8th season premiere was the 100th episode of the show and featured the 100th contestant overall. The show celebrated these milestones by having a main challenge that called back several design challenges from the entire run of the show, as well as cameos from many past queens including all of the season winners (except Bianca del Rio, who they replaced with a circus clown).
  • Missing Episode: Season 6's 4th episode "Shade: The Rusical" has been pulled from the airwaves and from LOGO's website due to the unfortunate "Female or She-Male" incident that caused a backlash from the transgender community, although the episode is still available for purchase from Amazon and iTunes.
    • The episode is eventually brought back into circulation, albeit with the "Female or She-Male" scene completely removed.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Season 6 queen BenDeLaCreme had said in previous interviews about joining an All Stars season that she would refuse as she did not agree with the Manipulative Editing she received during her season (affecting both her image and the image of other queens from her season). However, she returned to participate in the third season of All Stars purportedly in exchange for a higher salary per episode for her return.
  • Name's the Same: Many queens (Willam, Chad, Kelly, Derrick) use their actually names as their drag names. Justified with Willam and Kelly, and both are professional actors outside of drag and do so to make it easier for casting agencies to find them.
    • There is another Drag Queen named Sharon Needles who was featured on season 5 of Project Runway. RuPaul was even a guest judge in that episode, although she never mentions it to Drag Race's Sharon.
    • In Season 5, they booked Julie Brown and "Downtown" Julie Brown to be guest judges on the same episode.
    • In Season 1 they had a contestant named Jade, and in Season 5 they had one named Jade Jolie. For the most part, though, Ru and the judges would refer to Jade Jolie on a Full-Name Basis.
    • In Season 5 they featured a queen named Vivienne Pinay, while the first UK season was won by The Vivienne (who already appeared as a guest in the audience of Season 8, Episode 4).
    • Several Season 9 queens share names similar with past contestants; Alexis Michelle to Season 3's Alexis Mateo, Eureka O'Hara to Season 4's Phi Phi O'Haranote , Nina Bo'nina Brown to Season 1's Nina Flowers and Tammie Brown, Sasha Velour to Season 7's Sasha Belle, and Trinity Taylor to Season 6's Trinity K. Bonet.
    • Season 11 brought us another Nina (West), plus Ra'jah D. O'Hara whose first name has the same pronounciation as Season 3 winner Raja.
    • Drag Race UK Series 1 featured Crystal, while not long after Season 12 had Crystal Methyd in its cast. Amusingly, UK Crystal's drag name had supposedly been Crystal Beth (a pun on Crystal Meth) prior to changing it for the show, yet Crystal Methyd (who's name uses the same pun) was allowed to keep her drug-related moniker.
    • Phi Phi O'Hara originally went by Phoenix O'Hara (named after the codename of X-Men character Jean Grey), but shortened her name to Phi Phi since there had been a drag queen named Phoenix just the previous season.
  • No Budget: Adore, being a rather young queen, relies on eBay bargains and cosplay wigs to assemble her drag look. This combines with her trashy-girl taste and lack of sewing talent to make her a Rummage Sale Reject in the eyes of some of the other, higher-budget queens, particularly Laganja and Courtney.
    • In hindsight, season 1 comes across as having this feel compared to the glossier feel of season 6 onwards as the show gained popularity.
    • Untucked starting Season 7, as it's now a web series on the WOW Presents YouTube channel. Tropes Are Not Bad is definitely in effect here, as fans have celebrated the more intimate and subdued Untucked, compared to the overproduced and overly dramatic versions we've had the last few seasons.
    • In the S01E04 episode of Alaska and Willam's podcast Race Chaser, Willam and Tammy Brown confirm during the Tammy Tidbits segment that All Stars 1's long-reviled team format was also in large part due to this, as production didn't have the budget to make enough episodes for all the queens they wanted to cast individually. Eliminating queens in pairs was production's idea of keeping the episode number to a minimum.
    • Drag Race UK has a smaller budget than the US show, with viewers noting that the prizes are lackluster in comparison; main challenge winners get a pinnote  for their troubles, and the season winner will get a trip to LA to produce a webseries for World of Wonder. This at least has justifiable reasons; the show airs on BBC, which forbids commercials or any other kind of corporate sponsorship (which also explains the lack of Ru's famously campy plugs).
    • Canada's Drag Race filmed in a defunct ammunition factory and the heating was an issue throughout the season.
    • Drag Race Holland has much less glitz and glamour than the other seasons, with the grand prizes aside from the crown and scepter being a Cosmo photoshoot and a couture dress valued at €18k (US$21k, £16.3k). However, due to the much smaller size of the Netherlands compared to other host nations, the queens were allowed to just load up small moving trucks with their drag to bring to set, instead of the five suitcases that contestants on US and Canada are limited to taking with them.note 
  • Older Than They Think: Applies to multiple memes and catchphrases from across the show's herstory. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Alaska's signature "hieeee": Appears on the show as early as Season 1 with Ongina.
    • Adore's catchphrase "Party!": Comes from the renown LA fixture and Season 10 Rugirl Mayhem Miller.
  • Persona Non Grata:
    • After it was revealed that Season 4's Willam actually lied to the producers to be kicked off his season on purpose (previously it was explained to be that Willam had broken the rules by having contact with his husband during filming), the show has effectively cut all ties with him. Fans were especially disappointed since he was one of the most anticipated queens to return for the second season of All-Stars, with Willam even calling the producers out for ignoring the fan's wishes to see him return. After the fact, however, Willam seems to have embraced her status as the "Blackballed Ru Girl" and is one of the few contestants who will openly criticize Ru on her alleged scandals, including Ru's supposed transphobia or the whole fracking controversy.
      • According to Willam's podcast Race Chasers, anything in regards to his conduct on Season 4 had nothing to do with the show cutting ties with him. He claims they officially stopped any correspondence with him after he accidentally leaked that All Stars 2 was going to happen, in spite of the fact he admits everyone pretty much knew it was happening anyway.
    • After All-Stars 2, it appears Phi Phi O'Hara has cut all ties with Ru and World of Wonder. In return, they seems to have cut all ties with her as well (Ru going as far as to outright block Phi Phi on Twitter).
    • Season 1 second runner-up Rebecca Glasscock made it a point to cut all ties with the show after her season, feeling she was portrayed unfairly. Years later after the show has taken off Rebecca seems to have made an attempt to get back into the Drag Race fold (she purportedly campaigned heavily to win the fan vote for the first season of All Stars), but World of Wonder seems perfectly fine in keeping ties severed with her, having not featured or invited her back for a single event.
      • If there was any "ban" in place, it appears to have been lifted as Rebecca Glasscock was invited to participate in the Season 10 finale, along with the rest of the Season 1 girls (minus Tammie Brown, who was unable to attend due to a gig in Australia).
    • After season 7 finalist Pearl's interview on Hey Qween! in which she spoke at length about her disillusioning experience on the show, she was purportedly called by a WoW producer to be told she'll never be in an All-Stars season.
    • Season 12 saw contestant Sherry Pie not only disqualified from the show but also barred from the finale in response to her scandal in which she catfished several aspiring young actors for nudes and degrading sexual videos while pretending to be a casting director. Unlike Willam who was only disqualified from the competition but is not blackballed entirely from the show (such as when she appeared as a surprise guest in All Stars Season 1 and featured in Drag U), Sherry has the "honor" of being the first and only queen disqualified from the show as an entity and banned from future events, retroactively stripping her as a "Ru Girl".
    • Season 3 contestant Venus D-Lite has complained that the show invoked this on her, after in Season 10 when they invited Cher Impersonator Chad Michaels to cameo for the Cher Rusical, the producers did not extend the same offer to Venus, a well-known Madonna Impersonator, for Season 12's Madonna Rusical. Venus claims the show is still punishing her after "not playing their game" during her season and is purposely ignoring her in spite of the work she has done outside of Drag Race. The show has not commented at all on if there is any validity to this claim, however.
  • Playing Against Type: Happened twice in a row to April, which landed her in the bottom two both times. In the horror movie challenge she was cast to play a Butch Lesbian despite not having a butch atom in her body (though it wasn't by choice). In the musical challenge, she chose to play the role of a big queen despite being thin, and completely failed to sell it, leading to her elimination.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: In All Stars the teams of queens get names like this, for instance Latrila (Latrice and Manila) Brown Flowers (Tammie Brown and Nina Flowers) and Rujubee (Raven and Jujubee).
    • Amusingly in season 2 this is discussed about Raven and Morgan, as they always had each other's back until Morgan gets eliminated by a spurned slightly bitter Jujubee who Raven didn't pick first to choose a wedding dress despite without Juju she wouldn't have won the mini challenge. Her and Tatianna think of different couple names to call them by.
    • Season 5 also gives us Rolaskatox for the triad of Roxxxy Andrews, Alaska and Detox, who quickly form their own little clique.
    • For the Romance on the Set between Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Brooke Lynn Hytes in season 11, their fellow queens coined the term "Branjie".
    • Crystal and Gigi are intentionally very ambiguous and trolling on whether they're actually romantically involved or not but fans have dubbed them Crygi with inconsistent pronunciation.
  • Promoted Fanboy: One of the criteria Ru was looking for in a new full-time judge for Season 7 was to be a big fan of show, which she found in Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews.
    • Part of the reason the guest judges will appear is that they're fans of the show.
    • Since Season 7 onwards, quite a number of the competing queens have said not only are they, themselves, huge fans of the show, but some of them were actually inspired to get into drag because of watching the show. Season 8 winner, Bob The Drag Queen, mentions on her Meet The Queens video that she started doing drag after watching the first season.
    • UK Season 1's Scaredy Kat was 19 during filming and the youngest contestant in the show's history. She talks about how she grew up watching Drag Race, which puts things in shocking perspective as she would have only been seven years old during Season 1.
    • Dutch drag queen Roem, creator of the popular parody series Rapal Dark Res, would eventually be cast in the first season of Drag Race Holland.
  • Referenced by...: Has happened more & more with the show's increased popularity.
    • In the Riverdale episode "Death Proof", as Archie and Jughead are preparing to race the Ghoulies, Kevin notes that this in "Not the type of drag race I ever saw myself attending."
    • Rapal Dark Res, the show's Affectionate Parody, is 90% composed of references to the show, along with references to every spinoff, the personal life of every queen, as well as pretty much anything related to the show.
    • The Abridged Series: Several of these have emerged in recent seasons, although two of the most popular are The Ru-Up and the Ru-Cap. Most of them snarkily edit the show to poke fun at the queens, and very often make references to Drag Race inside jokes. And yes, The Ru-Cap and Rapal Dark Res have both referenced each other.
  • Romance on the Set: While established couples have competed in separate seasons, there has yet to be an actual romance between contestants during a season, though a few queens came close. The Princess flirted with Sharon Needles in Season 4, and Jinkx Monsoon admits an attraction to Ivy Winters on the Confession Cam in Season 5.
    • May finally be actually happening in Season 11 with Brooke Lynn and Miss Vanjie, much to the delight of their castmates. The reunion revealed that the pair dated for four months afterwards, but then broke up due to their busy schedules, they remain on friendly terms, however.
    • Season 12's Gigi Goode and Crystal Methyd either had some kind of fling or are the biggest trolls in Drag Race history. Since the start of the season, the two have made numerous jokes on social media about being soulmates. Much of what they have said has been obvious jokes and teasing but their sheer commitment to the bit has led many fans to take it seriously. On the show the duo are clearly close and at one point share an air kiss. Come the Reunion, Ru asks them point blank if they're dating and the two give extremely dodgy questions. While this is most likely them wanting to keep the joke going, the other queens at the reunion teasing them about it (including Jackie claiming to have seen them 'canoodling' in the van on set) blurs the line even further.
    • During the puppet challenge on Canada's Drag Race, Scarlet BoBo implied that Rita Baga had a crush on Lemon. After Lemon's elimination, Rita heavily praised her on Instagram, and on-set wore one of Lemon's signature lemon-patterned boy shirts and on the Snow Ball runway she got a lemon out as a reference to her departure. Whatever subtext or budding romance there may have been completely got lost on the cutting room floor leaving viewers in the dark.
    • In the second episode of Drag Race UK, A'Whora and Tayce admit that they find each other attractive and start to flirt. Production helpfully puts a Sexophone as the soundtrack of the scene.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: On Drag Race UK, Vinegar Strokes' "Queen of Your Hometown" look was going to be based on the Victoria Line, but she was unable to secure licencing permission from TfL in time, forcing her to use the maligned "River Thames" dress that put her up for elimination.
  • Star-Making Role: As the show is pretty much the only mainstream source of exposure to drag, any queen who appears on the show becomes a massive name in the drag world. It's gotten to the point where a common complaint of non-Drag Race queens is that the DR girls are able to make an amount of money off of booking fees and tips that they will never see, despite many being just as talented as (if not more talented than) some Drag Race queens.
  • Troubled Production:
    • The first season of All Stars had quite a bit of trouble behind the scenes, as the show wanted to have a full season of 12 episodes (thus why they had 12 returning queens) but LOGO was firm in only greenlighting 6 episodes, forcing the team twist to make it work. In addition All Stars had some unknown issue regarding casting as Willam has stated he was, in fact, contracted to appear as a returning queen (which would have meant every past season would have had an equal number of representatives at 3/3/3/3 instead of the 3/3/4/2 that it ended up being) and that she was cut because the producers 'didn't see her having any stakes with the other queens' (as Phi Phi was unable to participate due to being under probation), and was replaced with Mimi Imfurst.
    • Also speaking of Willam, she has revealed that in her original season, the episode 'Dragazines' which had the queen photo and design fake magazine covers was also fraught with issues. Specifically the graphic designer the show hired to build the magazines did not know how to use a Mac, which was the only system the show used. Willam's smartassed comments on the main stage were said in reference to the ineptitude of the designer, and that the only reason Phi Phi did as well as she did was because she knew how to use the Mac software and forced the designer to let her do it herself (something some of the other queens did try to do, but most were told outright they were not allowed, Phi Phi just refused to take no for an answer).
    • The Christmas Episode had a lot of issues regarding long filming days that were further delayed when Shangela was constantly late to set. This was compounded by the fact the Drag Queens were the only employees on set who were not being paid overtime for the delays, since the queens had to be non-union to work on Drag Race. This led the queens to actually threaten to walk off the set if they were not paid fairly, which they eventually were (but not before Jasmine Masters actually left - notice her absence in the Dream Sequence or the Confession Cam).
    • Canada's first season was filmed during late fall and early winter 2019 and in a former munitions factory, meaning it was already particularly difficult to keep the set warm. Queens in the Werk Room were usually wearing some fairly warm clothing, but one day the heater they were using broke and during the most inopportune challenge: the Single Use Queens recyclable materials runway. So not only were the girls subject to a broken heater during a usual Canadian winter, but they were wearing outfits made out of paper, cardstock, tarps, safety fencing, screen door, mylar blankets, and copper scouring pads; to compensate, production had to give them blankets for the backstage segments. Later episodes show them still using those blankets, but the only time the lack of heating got brought up is when Ilona and Jimbo were having their fight.
    • The COVID-19 Pandemic had important effects on the seasons and episodes filmed in 2020 and 2021. The live reunion and finale of season 12 had to be scrapped and replaced with two episodes filmed over video chat, with each queen connected from her home (the rest of the season had already been filmed the previous summer); season 13 featured a larger workroom to facilitate social distancing and the judges sat in separate plexiglass booths; the filming of UK series 2 had to be stopped halfway through and resumed seven months later with additional safety measures including once again distanced judges, and as a result its airing was postponed to January 2021. This production pause also saw Veronica Green, a frontrunner of the series up to that point, be forced to drop out after catching COVID-19. The filming of Drag Race Australia was moved to New Zealand (with both Aussie and Kiwi contestants), and as a result it was renamed RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under.
  • What Could Have Been: It is often speculated that Willam could have won Season 4, or at least made it to the top 3, if he hadn't been disqualified.
    • Several queens have been asked to return for All Stars at one point or another, but ultimately did not appear for various reasons.
      • Sharon Needles was voted by the fans to take part in All Stars 1, but had to turn down the invitation due to previous obligations that would have made taking part in the competition impossible, and gave her spot to another fan favorite, Pandora Boxx.
      • Ongina was also asked to participate in All Stars 1, but was unable to get out of work commitments. It's been heavily implied by several queens that Mimi was brought on to fill in for her. She would finally return on All Stars 5 instead.
      • The producers wanted BenDeLaCreme to appear on All Stars 2, but she turned down the invitation due to her negative experience with the producers attempting to manufacture drama during Season 6. She ultimately did end up returning for All Stars 3, although she reportedly only agreed to do it for a larger per-episode paycheck.
      • All-Stars 1 was odd in that it only featured 2 queens from Season 4 (Latrice and Chad) in spite of it being one of the most popular seasons at the time of filming. Willam has said she was contacted to be a part of the first All Stars, and had even signed a contract only for something to change last minute and she was told she would not be participating. Phi Phi O'Hara was also purportedly supposed to be part of the first season of All Stars, but due to legal issues which saw Phi Phi in jail and on probation, it was impossible for her to be involved (she was, however, promised by producers they would use her the next chance they had, which was how Phi Phi ended up on All Stars Season 2). Willam has claimed the two cuts are actually linked, when Phi Phi couldn't join the cast the producers cut Willam because they didn't see her "having stakes" with the remaining queens (they were hoping Willam and Phi Phi would fight). If this is true, then its possible at the end of the day Season 4 would have been the season with 4 queens instead of Season 3, since its difficult to think they would not have automatically included Latrice and Chad due to their popularity.
    • Alaska auditioned for every season of Drag Race, including season 4 with her boyfriend, Sharon Needles. In Sharon's audition tape the two even say how emotional it would be to be forced to lip sync for their lives against one another. Later on Sharon even revealed Alaska had been selected as part of the top 14 finalists for Season 4, meaning Alaska was literally the last queen cut from that season's 13 queen cast.
      • Alaska revealed in her podcast with Willam Race Chasers that she almost was cast in the first season. She explains the show actually sought her out and invited her to a final audition to be part of the premier cast, but that the moment the cameras were turned on she froze and completely failed the interview.
    • Fellow Season 5 queen, Alyssa Edwards, was also almost cast on Season 4 instead, until the producers caught wind of the bad blood between Alyssa and Coco Montresse. While Alyssa refused to admit the two had any sort of rivalry (in fact even denying she knew Coco) producers sidelined her until the next season, where they purportedly "urged" Coco to audition as well.
    • As he revealed later in his blog, retired vet Dave/"Fortuna Monsoon" from the Season 5 episode 'Super Troopers' was not originally supposed to be in the show at all, he had auditioned but was told he was too old for what they were looking for. At literally the last minute, however, the veteran who was supposed to participate had to quit, leading the producers to call Dave in a panic and ask him if he could fill in the last spot.
    • It's even brought up in the reunion that Venus D-Lite could have killed the Snatch Game with her Madonna impersonation, had she made it that far.
      • On the same note, Season 7's Mrs. Kasha Davis's Liza Minnelli impersonation is pretty infamously hysterical according to her fans, although she sadly got eliminated before her season's Snatch Game to show it off.
      • Max is actually very good at mimicking the voice and mannerisms of Miranda Sings. While she wanted to do her for Snatch Game the producers would not let her (for copyright reasons), which is why she ended up with an unfunny Sharon Needles.
      • One particularly unfortunate case in season 9 with Charlie Hides, who regularly performs multiple spot-on celebrity impersonations including Cher, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. She ends up being eliminated in the fourth episode, just a couple challenges before Snatch Game, where she reveals had she made it that far she would have played Joan Rivers (a celeb fans have been dying to see done for the Snatch Game).note  On a related note, Jaymes Mansfield, who does a great Rebel Wilson impersonation on YouTube, also is eliminated before making it to Snatch Game.
      • In relation to the above and brought up during the show itself, there are a number of queens who get talked out of doing their first choice in Snatch Game either by Ru during her walkthrough or by the other queens for whatever reason. This includes Stacy Layne Matthews who was going to do Anna Nicole Smith, Lineysha Sparx who was going to do Michelle Obama, Gia Gunn who was going to do Selena in Season 6 and Caitlyn Jenner in All Stars 4, Violet Chachki who was going to do Donatella Versace (and Miss Fame who was going to let Violet do it and do Theresa Caputo instead), Naomi Smalls who was going to do Whoopi Goldberg, Roxxxy Andrews who was going to do Sofía Vergara, Shangela who was going to do Miss Cleo, and from Drag Race UK Divina De Campo who was going to do Margaret Thatcher. Stacy's alternate pick of Mo'nique and Shangela's alternate of Jenifer Lewis actually won their seasons' Snatch Game, Violet's Alyssa Edwards alt landed her safe, and all the other last second celeb swaps landed the queen in the bottom 2 or 3.
    • Averted with April Carrión. How she would have done in the challenges past her elimination is anyone's guess, but she had the surprisingly novel idea to post to her Twitter page photos of the dresses she would have worn.
    • Adore has admitted that she didn't think she would make it that far in the competition and was thus ill-prepared. Kind of makes you wonder how she would have done had she really taken it seriously.
    • Sharon Needles has revealed in interview that Michelle Visage was not her first nor her second choice for the Snatch Game. Her first choice was Cher, which she said she threw into the box with Shangela once she saw Chad Michaels was going to be on her season. Her second choice was Lady Gaga, which was snatched up (and played poorly) by her rival, Phi Phi O'Hara, instead.
    • Kimonogate was bad enough, with four queens all wearing kimonos for a Madonna-themed runway, but it gets raised to insane levels you learn that four more queens that season had brought kimonos to wear for that runway. Three of them (Leila, Dax!, and Naysha) were eliminated before that point in the competition, and the other (Chi Chi) threw together a rendition of Madonna's famous "cone bra" outfit in six hours when she realized there were already four queens doing kimonos. The reaction on social media when half of the queens came out in kimonos was bad enough, but if things had played out differently and all eight queens ended up wearing kimonos entirely by coincidence? Thing would have been apocalyptic.
      • Turns out things were a little forced, as Thorgy had said later that she did, in fact, bring a back-up Madonna look and wanted to change into it, but the producers refused to let her. Whether it was due to time constraints or them wanting to build drama, though, is unclear.
    • Whatcha' Packin' with Michelle Visage is actually meant to address this. She will interview the eliminated queen and have them show her some of the looks they would have worn had they not been eliminated.
    • All Stars 1 was originally intended to be a full season (12 episodes or so) with each queen competing as an individual. However, Logo was only willing to buy 6 episodes, which led to the producers creating the "teams" twist to keep the 12 All Stars they wanted.
    • The main challenge for All Stars 2 episode 3, "The Baddest Bitches in HERstory", actually has a full track that reveals that there were three more historical woman in the original song for the three then eliminated contestants. There was Cleopatra VII presumably going to be played by Coco Montrese, Joan of Arc possibly to be played by Tatianna, and Frida Kahlo de Rivera who might have been played by Adore Delano.
      • In addition, afterwards Katya revealed that the production team had told her before the show she would be need to bring a costume to play Marie Antoinette, as opposed to Princess Diana. This means based on which queens made it to the challenge, the entire cast could have been cast differently.
      • The same thing happened in All Stars 3 for the "Divas Live" challenge. Christina Bianco, the singer and impressionist who provided the vocals for some of the queens, has said that she had also recorded a segment as Lana Del Rey intended for Morgan McMichaels, were she not eliminated in the previous episode.
    • After All Stars 2, Logo released "Queen to Queen" videos featuring duos from the season who, had the season featured teams like All Stars 1, would likely have been paired together. The teams were Katianna (Katya & Tatianna), Rotox (Roxxxy & Detox), The A-Team (Alaska & Alyssa, the latter of whom rejects "Alyska" as sounding too close to Rolaskatox) and Coalminger's Daughter (Coco & Ginger, who couldn't find an organic combination of their names). Phi Phi & Adore, presumably the fifth hypothetical pair, did not make a video because Phi Phi had cut ties with the show by the time they were filmed.
    • In All Stars 2 Tatianna reveals the look she ultimately wore for "Pants on the Runway" was not her original pants look, but instead a look she brought for a "90's Runway" theme that never got used (it just so happened her 90's T-Boz look also wore pants). Katya also says based on the list of runway themes they were told to bring, she was unable to bring polished looks for all of them, so some of her looks suffered as a result (ironically, the runways she mentioned this happening for was for the "Future of Drag" and "Two-In-One" looks, the two runways that landed her in the bottom).
    • According to Tammie Brown (and corroborated by Ongina, Jade, and Merle), the show originally was going to feature drag queens along with one assistant to help them. Literally two days before recording the first episode, producers contacted the queens and told them not to bring the assistants anymore.
    • In All Stars 3 had Ben not been allowed to eliminate herself from the competition, she admits she would have most likely sent home Kennedy Davenport, instead.
    • Season 8 queen Laila McQueen created all the All Stars 3 runway looks had she been casted on the show and posted them on her instagram. She plans to do the same for the All stars 4 runway looks.
    • The Vixen was eliminated long before Season 10's Evil Twin challenge, even though it would have been...interesting to see her take on it, to say the least. Miz Cracker brings this up during her recap series. When the queens were describing each other's flaws since it always helps to get an outside opinion, Cracker thought they were all being way too nice whereas The Vixen would have minced no words.
    • Behind the scenes details from Raven and Delta on Season 10 revealed that the Last Ball on Earth was supposed to be the final challenge of Season 10, under a time-travel theme with the categories of Past, Present, and Future. A producer pitched the global warming angle, and Ru liked it, and so the challenge was remixed, keeping only the Future look as "Martian Eleganza" and adding two new looks based on the list of runways the girls were given ("Ice Queen" was originally supposed to be a separate runway, and swimsuit is always included as a backup runway).
      • Later, the idea of a Good Twin/Evil Twin challenge was pitched to Ru, and he fell in love with the idea despite Raven/Delta attempting to talk him out of it. This led to Evil Twins becoming the final challenge of Season 10, the Last Ball on Earth getting bumped up to Episode 4, and a stand-up comedy challenge getting cut due to the producers not believing in the comedy strength of the queens.
    • Bianca Del Rio has confirmed in interviews that in Season 6 when they filmed each of the final three queens winning the crown, there was one ending where Bianca and Adore actually tie and win the season together. While it could have been a joke from Ru, the fact that a tie was even filmed means it was a possibility.
    • One of the runway categories for season 10 was planned to have been "Orange Alert". It's unknown why this runway was changed or cancelled, though Miz Cracker did post an image of the look she had been planning to wear. It's been speculated that Asia O'Hara's orange Good Twin look was originally for this runway, though this is not confirmed. The Orange Alert runway was brought back, appropriately enough, for Season 11's Donald Trump musical challenge.
    • Season 10 also started the first episodes gearing up for a big rivalry between Miz Cracker and Aquaria, after discovering the two had reported bad blood over Aquaria claiming Cracker was intentionally copying her in the New York drag scene. This got nipped in the bud off-screen, however, when Aquaria and Cracker figured out what production was doing (not that it was in any way subtle) and decided between themselves they did not want that to be their character arc, simply telling producers they resolved their issues and they will not be discussing it any further.
    • Manila Luzon's "Curves & Swerves" runway look in All Stars 4 was originally a menstrual pad-themed gown, but production told her to wear her backup (the pink quilted Rococo dress seen in the episode) as Ru thought it was in poor taste.
    • Season 8's oft-forgotten "Shade Tree" was not the show's first attempt to get extra confessionals from the queens. In Season 4 there was a bathroom set tentatively named the "Ladies Room" (based after the song "Meeting in the Ladies Room" by Klymaxx, a song used for a LSFYL during Season 3) in which producers tried to urge pairs of queens to go to argue. Pretty much no one used it in any worthwhile capacity since the very premise of the room was not even mentioned during the final edit. The only time the 'Ladies Room' gets used was as a set piece for a couple of challenges, and most notably during the penultimate challenge where the final three met with Tyra Sanchez (winner of Season 2) and Raja (winner of Season 3).
    • Before Willam and Sherry Pie, some queens of Season 3 have said the show heavily considered disqualifying Mimi Imfurst and Shangela for the infamous "Sugar Daddy" argument in Untucked. It's been rumored that the fight actually become more violent than what we saw in the final edit, and the show went on a three week filming hiatus while the producers discussed the very real possibility of outright disqualifying Mimi and Shangela.
    • Canada Season 1 had pageant queen and skilled seamstress Anastarzia Anaquway eliminated right before another design challenge, a pageant-themed challenge and runway, and well before the Ball challenge. On top of that, she never got to participate in the makeover challenge which featured fellow refugees seeking asylum in Canada from violently homophobic regimes. When other eliminated queens shared their various planned looks on social media for the episode, she simply posted about her gratitude for the production to bring more light to the issue of LGBT refugees in Canada.
    • As she tells during the Season 13 premiere, Tamisha Iman was originally cast on Season 12 but she had to bow down shortly after she got the call to undergo radiation treatment against her cancer. Nicky Doll later confirmed that it was her who was brought on as a replacement for Tamisha.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: Subverted. The reason later seasons go for the "reveal the winner at the reunion show" format is because previous winners had been leaked, which means that the final three queens have to wait months before knowing who won. Sucks for the queens, but this turned out to be good for the fandom, since it lets Ru consider fans' opinions before picking a winner. The final decision is hers alone, as she's quick to assert, but it lets her avoid picking a winner who turns out to be The Scrappy, as was the case with Tyra Sanchez.
    • The one drawback for fans and the fandom is that the live reunion means the winner's real reaction to being crowned can't be seen since all three queens are filmed receiving the crown and none of them actually know who won until the finished episode airs. The show addressed this by releasing videos online of the final 3 queens watching the season finale together, and we see the winning queen's genuine reaction.
    • Season 10's Miss Congeniality vote was attacked by bots that continuously voted for The Vixen, either as a statement for equality for black queens in the drag community, or as a joke as The Vixen was probably the single most polarizing character this season. Either way by the time the polls were forcibly shut down, The Vixen was leading by a 12 million-vote lead! Come the reunion, Ru calls the bots out, and instead turns voting for Miss Congeniality to the other Season 10 queens, who elect Monét X Change as the Season 10 Miss Congeniality. This was largely accepted by viewers—especially compared to Valentina's controversial win in Season 9—and the practice was brought back for Season 11 onwards. Having the contestants themselves vote is actually how beauty pageants award Miss Congeniality, and Season 7's winner of the title, Katya, admitted that if it had been up to her season's cast, Jaidynn Diore Fierce would have won.
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