Nicole Richie takes her BFF duties really f**king seriously.
Richie is receiving praise due to a resurfaced clip from her mid-aughts reality show “The Simple Life” in which she defends her best friend, Paris Hilton.
In the clip, from a 2004 episode, the two women are doing yardwork when a man refers to Richie and Hilton as “Dumb and Dumber,” to which Richie responds with a ruthless and epic rejoinder. (There’s a TikTok clip below, and you can see longer versions of the scene on YouTube.)
“James, I have respect for myself, and this is my best friend, so I have respect for her,” Richie begins. “And I’m being dead fucking honest right now, that if you call me dumb or her dumb one more time — I don’t care how many steroids you take, how many egg yolks you drink, how many pushups you do — I’m being dead fucking serious, I will beat your fucking face in.”
“You think I haven’t done it? I’ve done it before and I will do it again,” Richie continues. “I really don’t care, so watch your fucking mouth.”
The clip, which has received more than 1.7 million views, resonated with many TikTok users, quite a few of whom expressed admiration for Richie.
“Nicole Richie is a real one,” one user commented.
Other commenters referenced past interviews with Hilton where she admitted that her reality series, which ran on Fox from 2003 to 2007, wasn’t reality at all, and that producers had asked Hilton and Richie to play characters.
Hilton told “Access Hollywood” in 2016 that Richie was instructed to act like “the troublemaker,” while Hilton would portray a “ditzy airhead.”
And although Richie’s tongue-lashing doesn’t seem like that much of a departure from the type she was told to play, many TikTok users suspect she broke kayfabe to stick up for her friend.
“That is just Nicole breaking her character,” one user commented. “Real Nicole came out fast.”
“She really broke the airhead character they wanted her to be to threaten someone for her bestie,” another user wrote.
Whether or not Richie popping off for her best friend’s benefit was genuine, some TikTok users said the scene had a huge effect on them when they were younger.
“Nicole Richie literally taught me it’s okay to respond to rude men,” one TikToker wrote. Another commenter said the show taught them “a lot of boundaries and lessons.”
It also seems Hilton herself was touched by TikTokers’ reactions to the resurfaced clip.
“Loves it,” she wrote in the comments of the video.
(Fun fact: According to this Entertainment Weekly recap, Richie and Hilton ended up going to a butcher’s shop and making a special sausage for James ― one filled with dog food ― in retribution.)