Last night it was Thanksgiving on the Real Housewives of New Jersey, which is strange since it seems like it was Halloween just last week! Wait, it was? I guess that gives you a bit of insight on how time elapses on the Housewives shows.

As far as family gatherings with this group go, it was fairly banal. And when the word “banal” covers the inclusion of a mechanical bull in Thanksgiving festivities, you know you’ve got an insane group on your hands. No tables were flipped, no drinks were thrown and no weaves were tugged. Yawn.

We started at the supermarket with Melissa and Nonjuicy Joe, who were doing the shopping for a proper Italian Thanksgiving for a couple of dozen people. They cook traditional Italian food like sausage and peppers on top of the regular turkey and fixin’s that the rest of us have, which requires even more careful food shopping; as you might have guessed, Nonjuicy Joe wasn’t exactly at an asset at the grocery store. Also as you might have guessed, he made some crude jokes about pork butt.

Elsewhere, Teresa and Juicy Joe were also making preparations for Thanksgiving, except that they wouldn’t be having one with their family. Teresa’s parents were out of town for the holiday and they had already celebrated with Joe’s family, so they were having a Friendsgiving, a portmanteau that likely took Teresa all day to come up with. Or maybe a producers “suggested” it to her.

Anyway, she and Joe were headed to a poultry farm to pick up a giant turkey to cook for everyone she knows (except the people who are related to her, they’re not invited), and just like on Real Housewives of Miami with the pig roast, the managers of the farm took her out to meet a turkey before the purchase could be made. Teresa got squeamish and bought a turkey that had already been killed and prepped instead of the one that was squirming in front of her, which is exactly the reaction that we all knew she’d have. Joe suggested that they put the turkey on the credit card, but all I could think of was how much I wanted some turkey and mashed potatoes.

At Kathy’s house, she was making desserts for Melissa’s Thanksgiving. Or more accurately, she was burning the desserts for Teresa’s Thanksgiving. You see, she’s still upset about what Caroline, a complete stranger, thinks about her. She’s not at all upset that she’s not speaking to her cousin or helping to drive a wedge further into her family. It’s Caroline’s opinion that’s really bothering her. So far, Kathy has only given us sideways glances of how awful I suspect that she is, and I’m really looking forward to her true colors shining through at some opportune moment later in the season.

Speaking of Caroline, though, we then accompanied her family to meet with the Lauren’s boyfriends’ parents. They own an Italian deli out in some apparently undesirable part of New Jersey that required the Manzos to drive past many trees and make jokes about mustaches, for reasons that I can’t entirely explain. Once they arrived and gotten all their yuck-yucks out in the car, the families got together to talk awkwardly about being self-made and how their kids have good instincts but probably wouldn’t do very well if they were poor. A Chanel bag was awkwardly passed around. Some other stuff might have happened, I’m not sure. I was focused on the thin-sliced prosciutto of which we had a momentary (and all too brief) close-up. This entire episode made me want to stuff my face in ways that I can’t even explain. Note to self: Eat a full dinner before watching Real Housewives of New Jersey.

In other Manzo family news, Ashley went to visit Albie and Chris at their new apartment, where she proceeded to whine about how difficult her life is. She has to commute into the city, you guys! It’s so hard! And she’s the only one ever who has to do that, EVER, which means that commuting from Jersey is a special pain all her own that no one else can understand. Wait, what’s that you say? Literally millions of people commute into Manhattan from Jersey every day? And the lady who works at my local coffee shop for little over minimum wage takes two trains to get there at 6 a.m. from Queens six days a week? And she has two kids to take care of? Well. I guess Ashley isn’t such a special little snowflake after all. That didn’t stop her from pouting and crying like a toddler when Albie and Chris pointed that stuff out to her, though.

We then visited the dueling Thanksgiving presentations, at which Teresa was lecturing her daughters about how things don’t have to be perfect while tying chair covers at her house, and Kathy was stacking individual pies and giant canollis on dessert trays that looked straight out of the Martha Stewart show over at Melissa’s. When she was done, everyone ran outside to see the surprise that Nonjuicy Joe had conjured up to make sure that his Thanksgiving bested Teresa’s, and it was…a mechanical bull.

And I tell ya, nothing says family togetherness and Thanksgiving cheer like your middle-aged ladycousin flying off of a mechanical bull in the front yard while wearing a minidress and knee-high leather boots. I know we do that every year at my family’s house, so why did the show seem to think it was weird and funny? It comes right before the family-wide pole dancing competition, and we like to round out the night with body shots off of grandma.

At Teresa’s Thanksgiving, things were a little more normal. Everyone gave Vito a hard time and continued to pressure him to propose to Lauren, they all talked about how none of the women would ever accept a proposal if the man hadn’t asked their fathers first (those gagging noises that you hear are me) and Ashley cut out early because apparently she had other plans for Thanksgiving. Who knew last season that that crew would be the normal one?

Sort of normal, anyway. We’ll call them normal relative to a mechanical bull. After everyone ate, Teresa got out a passive-aggressive card from Melissa about her “redone” home, which had to be at least a year old, but that didn’t stop her from reading it to everyone. When she was done (actually, when Caroline was done, since we all know that the Gorgas aren’t big readers), Teresa said that she had grown because the only thing that she had done to retaliate against Melissa for the card was insult the cookies that she had brought to Christmas. To Teresa, graduating to passive-aggression from regular aggression constitutes growth. Just think about that for a second. Caroline, predictably, was not amused by any of this and didn’t have any problem telling them all to shut up. At the other and of the table, Jacqueline nearly dropped her baby.

The exact same cookie incident came up at Melissa and Nonjuicy’s house, where conversation had turned to Teresa, as the conversation tends to do with that group. As far as I remember, they continued to go back and forth about whether or not they could make up with Teresa and how sad it was for the family and yada yada yada. I glazed over after a few minutes of the conversation because I think I’ve heard it in every episode of the season so far. If Bravo makes us wait until the end to get a resolution between Teresa and Nonjuicy so that we can all move on, I am going to be one very irritable recapper.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Amy

    The mechanical bull… how about when nonjuicy and Melissa were on it at the same time? Seeing that apparently caused something to shift in my brain & it occurred to me that perhaps all of nonjuicy’s seksy talk is him overcompensating for a teeny weenie… I think I’m right.

    I also thought melissa’s tears for her dead father were fake/forced. It’s okay to not cry every time you talk about it (I lost my mom 16 years ago when I was in undergrad so I do have a point of reference). She could’ve made her comments without the strained attempt to bring tears. And when she compared nonjuicy to her dad I couldn’t help but wonder if her father referred to his kids as c-blockers, too.

    These people… they get more strange every week… thanks for the recap!

    • I didn’t want to get into the father stuff too much because I (thankfully) don’t have a solid point of reference, but the whole thing did sort of reek of playing the sympathy card. Women who seek to replace their fathers with their husbands are sort of doomed to have dysfunctional relationships, I think, which might be what’s playing out here.

      And It would not surprise me one bit if Nonjuicy had a teeny weenie. In fact, it would really surprise me if he didn’t.

      • NCGal

        Or any weenie…

  • Ashley

    Melissa seemed to have some redeeming moments the last episode but they were lost in this one. Joe Gorga started off really, really awful and has never recovered. He is the most disgusting person- husband on this show. I felt somewhat sorry for Melissa being married to him until she got on the bull with him. What is wrong with them? Their poor children.

  • Nancy from SB

    “I guess Ashley isn’t such a special little snowflake after all.”
    What a great line! Ashley is THE most annoying (and least entertaining) person on any of the RH shows – bar none.

  • NCGal

    Ashley’s a slightly less articulate Jersey-version of that annoying, horrible, entitled Josie Goldberg…ugh, seriously.

    • SuzieQ


  • Carla

    I can’t believe it took NonJuicy to make Juicy Joe look intelligent. NJ’s joke didn’t even make sense, the butt is actually the shoulder (I thought Italian’s know their meat?) and I’m frankly tired of the immature sex jokes from him. Grow up, you have 3 kids you can stop acting like you need to prove you’ve had sex. Which leads to how surprising it was to hear Juicy explain to Theresa (in his own way) that there isn’t a Thanksgiving in Europe.

    I admit, I’m a turkey hypocrite, too and I thought it was sweet that neither J nor T could dispatch a turkey they’ve met. Like Albert said later in the episode, I would have wound up bringing the bird home and raising it, too!

    And I’ve been poor. The “Do I put it on the credit card?” question is straight up, “Do we have $45 for a turkey in the bank?” …also a variation of…”Hey honey, what card do you want me to put it on?”. So glad to be through those days!

    Who needs several shots before Thanksgiving? NJJoe is going to have a rough road ahead if he decides to stop drinking around that crowd! He was completely fall down drunk in the footage of T’s housewarming party. I wonder how much the booze is affecting this family feud? And are we ever going to get to the bottom of what went so bad? Because so far it sounds like 4 people that are petty enough to argue over “re-done” and sprinkle cookies and then drum up some alcohol fueled drama for their own entertainment.

    • Alena

      bravo Carla! I was thinking the same about NJ Joe and Juicy Joe in regards to their intelligence! :)

  • ninjaninja

    Amanda, I have a joke for you! What does Natalie Portman call her toes?


  • Susan

    I thought that if you were in bankruptcy you couldn’t get a credit card? And how about that wad of cash! Also, I laughed my a.. off when Teresa was explaining about throwing out the sprinkle cookies to Jacqueline, the same cookies Jacqueline had just brought her.

  • adrienne z

    i thought the pastries that kathy made were incredible! How many days did it take to make all of those?

  • Amy A

    For me my question is, when did Caroline live on a farm? I thought she was from Queens?

  • Jennifer

    Did Jacqueline actually exclaim “Juicy Joe” when they met at the beginning of the Thanksgiving dinner? I

  • PhotoGirl

    A boyfriend once asked my dad for my “hand” in marriage. Apparently, dad told him, “son, if you think I’M the one you should be asking, then I’m inclined to think you’ve fallen for the wrong girl.”

    No, I did not marry him.

    Father knows best. :)

  • qudz

    call me old fashioned but i kind of like the idea of asking for your parents permission before proposing. heck, in my culture its kind of the norm.. and there isnt a proposal per se, more like an ok from both sides and the ring exchange during a huge engagement ceremony, lol.

  • mirna

    I think teresa and joe are still loaded. They probably filed bankruptcy so they can just get rid of their debt. Can’t afford a house like that selling books and pizza. Where’s the action this season and why do Jackies lips look like that? Easy on the botox! LOL

    • Kjon

      Bankruptcy is a sketchy business sometimes so I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to hide something. Depending on the type of bankruptcy they filed (chapter 7 or chapter 11 usually) they could have all their debt cleared whilst retaining their “exempt property” such as their house and cars ( that would indicate chapter 7).

      • SuzieQ

        Nope, it’s prob chapter 7, which absolves individuals of debt. Ch 11 is usually for the reorganization of debts, and is suited toward corporations

      • Kjon

        Corporations cannot file for chapter 11, you’re thinking about chapter 13. We both agreed it’s chapter 7, so why the “nope”?

  • D

    I just hope that I don’t have to suffer through any more “camera time” shots of Melissa in that hideous pink dress! Really, i’ve seen better dresses on a Barbie doll.

    Amanda, I’m pretty sure that Vito’s deli is actually located in New York not NJ. It’s probably just under an hour drive from Franklin Lakes, NJ.

    Does anyone else think Caroline’s makeup is awful this season?

  • Maryann

    I just don’t enjoy this crowd but continue to watch. NJ Joe is repulsive. Loved the little weenie references!! I’ve been thinking that all along, too! I couldn’t do him even for a 15,000 square foot house! Short, crude and repulsive. At times I feel like these people are from a different culture, planet or something. I don’t know.

    I am not a fan of Caroline’s makeup. It’s too much for her age and coloring. Did anyone notice her hair an episode or two ago when they were in a boutique of some sort and her hair was slicked back bangs and all?? Not good.

    I still miss Dina.

    • Lisa in Oregon

      I miss Dina too. I also couldn’t find a way to do NJJ. No house or lifestyle could be compensation enough…

  • mochababe73

    My husband asked my father for my hand in marriage. He asked my husband did he think that he can handle me. For some unknown reason, the two of them think that I’m high maintenance. When my husband said yes, he said go for it. Almost fifteen years later, and we’re still married.
    I actually thought that Teresa wrote a pretty good letter to her brother. And, like she said, the ball is in his court. She is ready to move forward. He’s still bitter. However, I still think that it would be better for Melissa to talk than him. NJJ is lucky to have her. She seems to be the only one in that family with a brain.
    As far as Ashley goes, she needs a dose of reality. The women in Sex and the City had good paying jobs. I live in Houston, and I commute. Wake-up at 5:30 in the morning to do it. With two kids, and their schedules are probably twice as busy as hers. This is not television, honey. This is real life.
    The best way to push Vito away is to pressure him to marry Lauren.
    I miss Dina as well, but she would be boring without Danielle drama.
    I think that a new episode airs on Sunday. Jersey twice in one week?!

  • Nikita

    Mink apron?!

  • Californiahousewife

    I think calling Ashley a little snowflake is hilarious. I’m going to use that sometime, hope you don’t mind. Didn’t anyone notice Teresa running around all by herself trying to get the perfect Thanksgiving dinner while Melissa basically had an army between the sisters and Kathy cooking and setting up the Macy’s window display of desserts? And Teresa having to handle her little ones out of sorts after a long day? Uff! Okay–I have to admit, the “plot must thicken” or another story arch must appear pretty soon, I’m a fan, but please people—what is up with this brother and his attitude? I will stay tuned–for the show and these blogs–the best!

    • Carla

      I noticed that! If you have time to ride a bull in the middle of cooking Thanksgiving, you’re having a better holiday then I’ve ever had!