There are a lot of lessons in TV shows. Normally, we expect the lessons to come from shows like Dr. Oz, Ellen and the news, but sometimes we find lessons in unexpected series. Just consider the lessons we learned from Game of Thrones, Master Of None and The Bold Type. We can also thank The Simple Life for teaching us some life lessons in the 2000s.
When many of us tuned in to watch Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie survive on a farm in the middle of nowhere with no money, credit cards or phones, we probably weren’t expecting to learn too much. We were expecting hilarity and some fabulously inappropriate outfits. It turned out that we got all that and even more. If you need a refresher, have a look at 18 unexpected life lessons we learned thanks to The Simple Life.
18. Looking “sexual” is as good as looking hot.
You probably realized from the very first episode of The Simple Life that the ultimate compliment was to have someone tell you, “That’s hot.” However, we quickly realized that something described as “sexual” was just as good being “hot.” We also noticed that saying something was “sexy” didn’t quite have as nice of a ring as saying that something, or even someone, was sexual.
17 “That’s hot” is the appropriate response for everything.
Thank you, Paris and Nicole, for teaching us that if we’re at a loss for words to just utter the phrase “That’s hot.” When said with enough conviction, it can work in almost any situation. Listening to an elderly man talk about the funeral he was at? Say “That’s hot.” Love the uniforms that they wear at the fast food joint? Compliment them by saying, “That’s hot.” Impressed with someone’s impromptu dance? Yup, you guess it. Say “That’s hot.”
16. You can pay someone to live for you.
Some people are all about the #yolo philosophy, but The Simple Life taught us that for some, the ultimate thing isn’t about experiencing all life has to offer yourself — the ultimate thing is paying someone else to do it for you. It might seem a bit strange to us non-rich and non-famous folk, but if you’ve got the dough, you can pay people to do almost anything. Yes, including living.
15. Cleaning with Segways is fun and kinda effective.
Cleaning is a boring job at best. Paris and Nicole realized that very quickly. Thankfully, they came up with some ingenious hacks to make it fun. Dancing and singing help a lot, but one of our favorite hacks to improve the mundane task was to do it on a Segway. You might not get everything clean, and you might make some new messes if you’re not the best Segway driver, but no one can deny the fun of dusting and mopping while on the two-wheeled scooter.
14. Not everyone hangs out at Walmart.
There are those among us who have been to Walmart and know exactly what it’s about. Then there are those who have never set foot in the store and know nothing about rollback prices. If you fall into the latter camp, you were probably surprised to find out that Walmart is not a hanging out spot, even if it does offer almost everything you could possibly need. Some of us also learned that Walmart doesn’t just sell stuff for walls. Who knew, right?
13. The right pair of heels can work on a farm.
Thanks to Paris and Nicole, we realized that there are multiple footwear options to wear on a farm. And not all of the choices are sturdy boots. The socialites made a case for wearing heels among the mud, grass, hay and cow poo. Being forward-thinkers, they also realized that a pair of hot pink lace-up stiletto sandals could double as a bargaining tool when they were on the farm, had no money and needed to get some.
12. There’s never a bad time for dancing.
It doesn’t matter the time, location or what else is going on, dancing is always appropriate. Nicole and Paris showed us the proof. Nothing broke the ice faster than an impromptu dance party. It was also a great way to get shy or super-serious people out of their shells. And busting a move also helped the long work days go by faster. Sometimes superiors didn’t always see that, but we did.
What would dancing be without singing? Exactly. Nicole and Paris also made us realize that singing could help pass the time better than scrolling through your phone. Instead of texting on their jeweled Sidekicks, Paris and Nicole sang. Their favorite was the “Sanasa Sanasa.” The beauty of it was that they could quickly get others involved because the lyrics were a cinch to pick up. Plus, they could be sung at any key.
10. There are fronts and backs of hands.
Remember this episode of The Simple Life? You might not have ever thought that hands had fronts and backs. You probably thought about the palms of your hands, but did you ever refer to a part as the front? Ever the philosophers, Paris and Nicole helped expand our minds. Thank you, ladies. And thank you, producers, for long bus trips that allowed the girls to think critically about a range of different subjects.
9. Any job can be made fun with the right attitude.
Throughout the different seasons of The Simple Life, Paris and Nicole had a lot of different jobs. They made sausages, worked at fast food restaurants and then there was that time when they were at a nudist colony. No matter what the situation, Paris and Nicole were quick adapters and realized that any job, no matter how boring, mundane or depressing, could be made better with the right fun-loving attitude.
8. A proper wakeup call is everything.
They say that half the battle of something is getting started. For many of us, half the battle is actually getting up in the morning. We could see this from the start of The Simple Life when Nicole and Paris literally had to wake up at the crack of dawn. They, as well as us viewers, learned that an alarm clock and/or a rooster were not the best ways to get up in the morning. On the other hand, we realized that waking up on a private plane and being handed a nice steaming coffee was the way to go.
7. Call everyone “bitch.”
Thanks to Paris and Nicole, we came to realize how easy it was to work “bitch” into our vocabularies along with “sexual” and “that’s hot.” Before the heiresses, most of us used bitch as a curse word or perhaps to refer to female dogs. After watching the show, we realized that it could be a term of endearment, a fun nickname, or something to say when you haven’t come up with an appropriate nickname for someone yet.
6. Never ask guys out.
Nicole and Paris gave us a lot of lessons in general, but love was a common topic. Throughout the multiple seasons of The Simple Life, the girls were kind enough to share their lessons about love to the families they stayed with. In turn, we got to learn the lessons as well. One of the most memorable one was that girls should never ask guys out. To paraphrase Nicole and Paris, that’s basically the opposite of hot. You send out the signals then let the boys come to you.
5. When in doubt, try pawning.
We might never end up on a farm in the middle of nowhere with no phones, cards or money, but if we’re ever stranded and desperate, we know how to pawn courtesy of The Simple Life. Paris and Nicole recognized the importance of pawning before they ended up on the farm. They even planned some of their resources ahead of time. Namely, they brought nice shoes with them. We might not have that luxury, but at least we know we can work with whatever we have at hand. That could include everything from poorly made sausages to MAC Lipgloss.
4. When you like something, you get them all.
The old adage about enough being as good as a feast didn’t really apply to the socialites. When they saw something they liked, they wanted it all. It applied to shoes, dogs, and even adorable popsicles. It was also in keeping with the girls’ general zest for life. If they wanted something, they were going to go after it.
3. Always have a sassy line ready.
Whether meeting new people, getting into serious discussions with a boss or trying to impress your hostesses, Paris and Nicole demonstrated the value of a well-timed sassy line. Their one-liners also proved to be very effective in arguments and take downs. There are too many to name given that there were at least five in every episode. If you need a refresher, you can always re-watch the show.
2. If you’re going to hug someone, do it like you love them.
Remember what we just said about Paris and Nicole’s zest for life and not ever doing anything (worthwhile) by halves? Their philosophy definitely applied to hugging. And they encouraged others to adopt their pro-hugging lifestyles, including strangers. After all, if you’re going to hug a stranger, you might as well hug them like you love them or not bother doing it at all.
1. Never be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
The Simple Life was one big lesson on the merits of getting out of your comfort zone. Paris and Nicole probably couldn’t have gotten any more out of their comfort zones if they tried. Did they have fun? Definitely. Did they succeed? Yes, even if some of their bosses didn’t give them A+’s. It’s something to take inspiration from. You don’t necessarily have to go live on a farm and burn your credit cards, but you can get inspired by the idea of it.