Pretty much every reality TV show has these five personality types

by Stephanie Gustafson
Nov 2, 2016 at 2:06 p.m. ET

Ever notice that pretty much all reality TV shows have the same type of characters? Well, there are five to be exact — at least, according to author Merrick Rosenberg. And they are...

Eagle: Dominant, direct and driven, Eagles are all about getting their way. At best, they're proactive; at worst, bossy.

Parrot: Parrots are the life of the party. They love to be around other people, but they tend to be a bit too trusting.

Dove: Passive to a fault, Doves want harmony above all else.

Owl: Owls prefer to stick to the rules, even when following a specific process or pattern leads to problems.

Chameleon: The best reality TV cast members are often Chameleons, who have bits and pieces of all four personality types mixed in. Chameleons can easily adapt to the situation at hand.

So let's dig into some of our favorite reality TV shows and figure out who represents these personalities, shall we?

1 /8: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta'

1/8 :'Real Housewives of Atlanta'

There are a lot of strong personalities on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but also a blend of party-lovers and rule-followers.

Eagle: Kenya Moore
Miss Twirl wants things her way, and she's willing to stand up for herself, even if it means going up against former Queen Bee NeNe Leakes. Her controlling nature has been evident both on RHOA and Celebrity Apprentice.

Parrot: Porsha Williams
Yes, she's prone to drama, but mostly, Porsha Williams is a party animal. She's social to a fault and always eager to have a good time.

Dove: Kim Fields
Doves don't really belong on RHOA, which is why Kim Fields has always felt out of place. She just wants everybody to get along and can't understand why the ladies keep freaking out at one another.

Owl: Kandi Burruss
Kandi Burruss is often referred to as the "normal" Housewife in Atlanta. She can actually be surprisingly bossy, but in a more subtle way — under the guise of following the rules.

Chameleon: Phaedra Parks
Phaedra's personality is surprisingly multi-faceted. Yes, she can be controlling, but not necessarily to the extent of Kenya Moore or NeNe Leakes. She occasionally plays peacemaker, and she loves nothing more than a good party!

2 /8: 'Real Housewives of Orange County'

2/8 :'Real Housewives of Orange County'

The gals of RHOC are all very stubborn, but that's where the similarities end.
Eagle: Vicki Gunvalson
There are a lot of Eagles on RHOC, but Vicki Gunvalson is arguably the best. She's been doing this for years, and she still knows how to subtly (or not so subtly) exert control over the others.
Parrot: Shannon Beador 
She might make fun of herself for no longer being young and hip, but there's a definite Parrot inside of Shannon Beador, who loves to be the center of attention. She's loud and brash, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Owl: Heather Dubrow
Heather Dubrow cherishes order, but she rarely finds it on a show as crazy as The Real Housewives of Orange County. She has a much easier time enforcing rules with her kids than she does with her fellow Housewives!
Chameleon: Tamra Judge
There is no real Dove on RHOC, but Tamra Judge is trying her best to take on that role. She can't quite make it, however, as she is a tad bit too confrontational. Furthermore, she loves parties. She is basically a hybrid of a Dove and Parrot, with a little Eagle thrown in when the time is right.

3 /8: 'Real Housewives of Dallas'

3/8 :'Real Housewives of Dallas'

Real Housewives shows tend to be heavy on the Eagles and Parrots, but The Real Housewives of Dallas has a really nice mix of personalities.

Eagle: LeeAnne Locken
LeeAnne Locken is the ultimate control freak. She's actually a mix of Owl and Eagle, as she believes there is a correct way to do things at charity events. She won't hesitate to enforce the rules when they're broken, especially if poop hats are involved!

Parrot: Brandi Redmond
Brandi loves few things in life more than Jesus Juice, except , of course, her best friend Stephanie and her adorable kids. She's always the center of attention, and of course, this doesn't sit well with rival LeeAnne Locken.

Dove: Stephanie Hollman
Stephanie Hollman loves living on the wild side with Brandi, but she doesn't particularly like it when that leads to trouble with the other Housewives. She's quick to smooth things over with the others, which just might cause problems with Brandi down the road.

Owl: Tiffany Hendra
Tiffany Hendra is basically LeeAnne Lite. She thinks that the younger Housewives should step in line and play by the rules, and she gets angry when they don't play ball.

Chameleon: Cary Deuber
Cary Deuber seemed pretty tame at the beginning of the first season of RHOD, but she does know how to stick up for herself. She likely has a few tricks up her sleeve, which we'll surely see during Season 2.

4 /8: 'Dance Moms'

4/8 :'Dance Moms'

Strong personalities abound among the current cast of Dance Moms, but the original moms were the most compelling, in part because they were all so different.
Eagle: Abby Lee Miller
The ultimate Eagle, Abby Lee Miller is loud and controlling. She believes that everybody is replaceable, except, of course, Maddie Ziegler.
Parrot: Christi Lukasiak and Kelly Hyland
Rarely seen without drinks in hand, Christi Lukasiak and Kelly Hyland made the early season of Dance Moms fun.
Dove: Melissa Gisoni
Melissa Gisoni doesn't necessarily want the other Dance Moms to get along; she just wants them to shut up so she can focus on her daughters. During her time on Dance Moms, she was consistently caught between Abby and the other moms.
Owl: Holly Frazier
Holly sometimes seemed like a Dove during her early years on Dance Moms, but it quickly became evident that she was mostly interested in fair treatment for her daughter, even if this meant butting heads with Abby Lee Miller.
Chameleon: Jill Vertes
Jill Vertes can be pretty much whatever anybody wants her to be. She has a bit of a reputation for being a two-faced studio-hopper, and for good reason. Still, it's always clear that she wants what's best for her daughter.

5 /8: 'Below Deck: Mediterranean'

5/8 :'Below Deck: Mediterranean'

The original Below Deck had a lot of great characters, but Below Deck Med took it to an explosive new level, leading to impressive ratings. 

Eagle: Bryan Kattenburg
A major control freak, Bryan Kattenburg mixes all the worst personality traits of Parrots and Eagles. He's more Eagle than Parrot, though, doing his best to exert authority, even when it's not warranted. 

Parrot: Danny Zureikat
Danny seems more like a guest than a crew member at times, but there's no doubt he knows how to make guests happy. His fun-loving ways ultimately got him kicked off the boat.

Dove: Julia D'Albert Pusey
She did get a bit more confrontational as time went on, but in general, Julia D'Albert Pusey fits the Dove category. She knows how to smooth things over when necessary, and she knows when to keep her nose out of others people's business (a skill her fellow crew members could use). 

Owl: Hannah Ferrier
Rules are very important to Hannah Ferrier, who wants the Ionian Princess to be run like a proper yacht. Her goal is to provide the best possible service, while remaining as professional as possible. 

Chameleon: Ben Robinson
Chef Ben is compelling because of his mix of personality traits. He loves to have a good time, but he takes his work seriously. He can get along with the cast members nobody else likes, but he sometimes gets into arguments about the dumbest, most trivial things.

6 /8: 'Counting On'

6/8 :'Counting On'

They might seem mild-mannered (especially compared to the Real Housewives), but the Duggars have surprisingly distinctive personalities.

Eagle: Jim Bob Duggar
Jim Bob Duggar is not technically part of the Counting On cast, but he appears on the show so frequently, he might as well be. He controls everything Duggar, including, most notably, his kids' courtships. 

Parrot: Josiah Duggar
Josiah Duggar is the life of the party! In the days of Counting On, he was best remembered for his practical jokes. He once made a crew member think he'd dropped one of the Duggar babies! He's backed off on the practical jokes, but can always be relied on to make his siblings laugh. 

Dove: Ben Seewald
On the surface, the Duggar family seems chock-full of Doves. But not all of the older family members are as gentle as they seem. Ben, however, is definitely a Dove. He's mild-mannered, and according to several viewers, a bit, well, bird-brained. Michelle Duggar once referred to him as a "peacemaker and a gentle, kind man." 

Owl: Jessa Duggar
Nearly as much of a control freak as her father, Jessa Duggar sees everything in black and white. She believes that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, which is why she is frequently in charge of organizing and managing her siblings. 

Chameleon: Jana Duggar
Jana Duggar is the glue that keeps the Duggar family together. She seems mild-mannered, but she's been in a few notable tiffs with her sisters. She knows all the rules and she knows how to enforce them, but she's also determined to keep the Duggar household peaceful and happy.

7 /8: 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians'

7/8 :'Keeping Up with the Kardashians'

The Kardashians mastered reality TV a long time ago. The reason they're such an enduring guilty pleasure? Their show has the perfect mix of personality types. 

Eagle: Kris Jenner
She sometimes plays the role of Dove, but more frequently, Kris Jenner is an Eagle, trying her best to exert control over all of the other Kardashians. 

Parrot: Scott Disick
Lord Disick's biggest flaw is his penchant for partying, but that's also what makes him such a fascinating reality TV cast member. 

Dove: Khloé Kardashian
She can be very outspoken, but Khloé Kardashian frequently finds herself playing peacemaker. She was the one to extend a haven to Rob Kardashian when he was struggling, and she was the one to reach out to both Kris and Caitlyn Jenner when they weren't getting along.

Owl: Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney Kardashian likes order, making her essentially the opposite of her baby-daddy. She's organized and responsible, but she does know how to let loose from time to time. 

Chameleon: Kim Kardashian West
The ultimate reality star, Kim Kardashian West knows exactly how to keep viewers (and social media followers) interested. She's a loving mother, an accomplished professional and on occasion, a complete party animal.

8 /8: 'Teen Mom' & 'Teen Mom 2'

8/8 :'Teen Mom' & 'Teen Mom 2'

Strong mamas are the heart of Teen Mom, but what makes the show most interesting is seeing how different personality types respond to similar stressors.
Eagle: Jenelle Evans
Stubborn to a fault, Jenelle Evans has been involved in some of the most violent fights on Teen Mom 2.
Parrot: Farrah Abraham
Farrah Abraham is really a hybrid Eagle and Parrot. She loves to party and she loves to create drama. Hence, the two separate sides of her career: adult entertainment and reality television.
Dove: Chelsea Houska
The Teen Mom 2 cast arguably gets along better than the OG cast for two main reasons: They don't have Farrah Abraham, and they do have Chelsea Houska. Often lauded as the "normal" Teen Mom star, she tries her best to get along with everybody.
Owl: Maci Bookout
Maci Bookout is all about following the rules, and she gets really annoyed when people interfere or cause problems for her loved ones. This was most evident when she objected to Farrah Abraham's Teen Mom return.
Chameleon: Kailyn Lowry
Kailyn Lowry isn't the most dramatic Teen Mom or the biggest party animal, but she is a complex person. She can party with the best of them, but she can also be quite controlling at times.