They are ruggedly cute, own a business together, and provide tons of adorable “bro” content for Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules. If it wasn’t obvious from the above picture, I’m talking about Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz.
But before we get too swept away in their motorcycle-riding, drag-dressing shenanigans, let me introduce an unpopular thought. Are Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz the frenemies we never thought we needed?
Before you throw a well-crafted TomTom cocktail in my face, let me explain. Yes, the Toms have been friends for years, and their relationship seems to have avoided the best friend/enemy cycle that befalls so many other castmembers. But the two also have a pretty solid history of throwing each other under the bus. And there is the crux of my theory.
According to the dictionary (this is serious business here, so I looked it up) — a frenemy is someone who appears friendly, but deep down is harboring a dislike or rivalry for the other person. I think that Tom and Tom genuinely like each other. But the two have an almost pathological habit of getting each other into trouble. Is there a glimmer of unresolved grudges or jealousy behind it?
Let’s look into some evidence to make up our minds, mkay?
Tom and Tom invite Jason Kennedy to Mexico
It was Season 7, Episode 14, and all was well in Tom and Tom world. Their bar was about to open, they were getting along great with their ladies, and Schwartz’s hair was looking especially good that season.
Vanderpump Rules’ matriarch Lisa Vanderpump suggested that the Toms go away for a “last hoorah” trip before they get saddled with the responsibilities of TomTom. The Toms decided to go to Mexico and, in a pre-trip tequila haze, invited James Kennedy to come on the trip. Danger, danger!
If you have been hiding under a rock or have short term amnesia, let me remind you of some facts. Schwartz’s wife Katie despises James Kennedy. He called her fat at Gay Pride parade; she threatened to quit Sur if he wasn’t fired, he was fired. It was a whole thing.
When Katie, along with the other girls, got wind of James’ invitation, she was furious. This is when Schwartz charmingly shifted blame and made it seem that Sandoval was the one who invited Katie’s nemesis. The guys had to uninvite James, and he didn’t end up coming on the trip, but the damage was already done.
Frenemy status: Not cool, Schwartz.
Sandoval’s conflict with Katie
If you thought the whole James Kennedy/Mexico saga was over — you are as wrong as the perm I got in high school.
In the same episode, Sandoval was super pissed at Katie and thought she overreacted. He called her a bully in Sur’s back alley and put Schwartz into an impossible situation. Would Schwartz back up his wife and go against Sandoval, or side with his BFF?
Schwartz was stuck between a rock and a cross Katie. And one could argue that a best friend shouldn’t put his buddy in such an impossible situation. Also, going after your best friend’s wife is a major party foul.
Frenemy Status: Mic Drop, Sandoval. And not in a good way.
In Season 8, Episode 3, Stassi decided to have an event for her book Next Level Basic at TomTom. Schwartz signed off on it, and what should have been an easy couple of hours of serving cocktails and signing books turned into a Greek tragedy.
Sandoval went off on Stassi accusing her of being inconsiderate and rude because it was difficult for him to come up with staff for the party at the last minute. There was a lot yelling, but the relevant part is that after all the complaining, this truth came out. Sandoval revealed that it was Shwartz at whom he was really mad, allegedly because Schwartz put TomTom’s reputation on the line.
The problem? Everyone else found out this information before Schwartz did. Which led to a priceless Tom and Tom confrontation in which they were both dressed as old men.
Frenemy status: Talking behind your buddy’s back — total frenemy land.
As we tally up the scores, it’s clear both Toms have made some questionable moves when it comes to their friendship. If they are not in full frenemy waters, they are at least dipping their toes in.
But I gotta be honest; there is also a lot of good stuff. Sandoval helped Schwartz plan his proposal to Katie and flew in his brothers for the wedding and got Schwartz a sidecar to ride in. I guess Sandoval did a lot of nice things. And Schwartz is always naturally endearing, so I can’t stay mad at him.
Verdict: There is hope for these two yet!
Vanderpump Rules airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.