Zamora’s friend and roommate during the show, Judd Winick, went on to become a successful comic book writer, and wrote the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel Pedro and Me, about his friendship with Zamora, as well as high-profile Los Angeles cast member Beth Stolarczyk has produced men's and women's calendars and television programs featuring reality TV personalities, including herself and other Real World alumni, including Tami Roman (who became cast member on Basketball Wives and spinoff Basketball Wives LA), 2002–2003 Las Vegas' Trishelle Cannatella, 2002 Chicago's Tonya Cooley and Back to New York's Coral Smith.
Stolarczyk, Cannatella, and Miami's Flora Alekseyeun appeared in the May 2002 Playboy magazine, San Francisco alum Judd Winick is a noted comic book writer and artist, with the majority of his work appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, including writing such well known characters as Batman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern.
Bunim/Murray decided upon the cheaper idea of casting a bunch of "regular people" to live in an apartment and taping their day-to-day lives, believing seven diverse people would have enough of a basis upon which to interact without scripts.
One early sign of the show’s popularity occurred on the October 2, 1993 episode of the sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live, which parodied the second-season Los Angeles cast's recurring arguments over cliquism, prejudice and political differences.
The cast of the first season, for example, was given ,500.
However, because cast members are not actors playing characters, they do not receive residuals routinely paid to actors whenever a TV show on which they appear is aired and replayed.
Lindsay Brien of the Seattle cast became a radio and CNN personality.
Mike Mizanin has also found fame as a WWE wrestler wrestling under the name "The Miz," a character he debuted during the Back to New York season.
On June 8, 2018, it was announced that MTV and Bunim-Murray Productions are working on a potential revival of Real World, with the hopes of selling the new version to a streaming platform. Bunim and Murray initially considered developing a scripted series in a similar vein, but quickly decided that the cost of paying writers, actors, costume designers, and make-up artists was too high.