Which Season of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Is the Best to Start With?

Start your engines. The time has come — for you to (finally) watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. But with 11 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race and 4 seasons ofRuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars, where do you even begin? Here are two suggested viewing order guides, according to the Drag Race stans of Twitter and Reddit.

RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul’s Drag Race | VH1

What to know before watching ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Yes, this is a competition reality show for drag queens. No, you don’t have to be a drag queen to love to goopery and gaggery of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Think America’s Next Top Model meets Project Runway meets American Idol meets Lipsync Battle — this show has it all.

The tea is, the show can be a little confusing for first-time Drag Race viewers. Basically, each episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race is broken up into a few different challenges. Sometimes a mini-challenge, then a maxi challenge, then a lip sync performance. Each week, one queen is eliminated until there is a top 3 (or top 4,) who then compete for a cash prize and the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”

The structure of the finale often changes, the newest seasons including a “lipsync for the crown” moment. They do, however, often show the winners of previous seasons. Proceed with caution.

Those who don’t win the crown are sometimes invited back, to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, a season comprised entirely of the best contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race. There are also episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, which show the behind-the-scenes drama of each episode. As RuPaul says, “girl, if you’re not watching untucked, you’re only getting half the story.”

A few things are referenced throughout the seasons, including Drag U and RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-slay Spectacular. You can go back to watch these later, but they’re not necessary. According to Ginger Minj, Drag U really was a rough spot.

Adore Delano
Adore Delano | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Fans say ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 6’ is the most accessible

If you’re in it for a good time, but not a long time, some people tend to skip around to the later seasons. The show starts to find its groove around season 4, but some fans on Reddit say to watch starting from season 6 and then return to the older episodes if you like it. If you’re just looking to catch up to the current season of Drag Race, some argue that the earlier seasons are completely skippable.

Why season 6? This season features some of the shows most successful and beloved characters. Contestants like Courtney Act starred in other reality shows following RuPaul’s Drag Race, including Celebrity Big Brother and Dancing With The Stars. In 2008, contestant Adore Delano performed on American Idol.

The abridged viewing order guide: season 6, season 4, season 5, season 7, season 8, all-stars 2, season 9, all-stars 3, season 10, all-stars 4, season 11.

RuPaul's DragCon
RuPaul’s DragCon | Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic

Some say watch them in order, including untucked

The show often references back to itself — if you don’t watch the seasons in order, you’re sure to get a little confused. Most Drag Race fans say that for the true experience, fans need to watch in chronological order.

Another Reddit user said to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race in order, but to skip season 1, their reasoning being the quality is hard to appreciate and the winning queen only received $10,000.

If you’re watching them in order, be sure to break after each episode to watch the corresponding episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked. There, you’ll find out what happens backstage, once the judges are deliberating.

The complete viewing order guide: season 1, season 2, season 3, season 4, all-stars 1, season 5, season 6, season 7, season 8, all-stars 2, season 9, all-stars 3, season 10, all-stars 4, season 11.