After a tense, week-long absence from Live! With Kelly and Michael – which began after the star, 45, was "blindsided" by the news that Strahan would be leaving to co-host Good Morning America – Ripa made a triumphant return to the show (and received a standing ovation).
"Look, I am fairly certain that there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I drift too far off message," she said at the beginning of her opening speech. "I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company I earned the right. And let's be honest, I know half of you called in sick to be here, so we get each other."
Katie Couric, who is decidedly Team Kelly, described the whole situation best: "Clearly she wasn't included in the process … I think that Kelly is obviously the consummate professional. She'll come. If I know her, she'll be very honest with the audience because it's kind of like the elephant in the room, in the studio right?"
Couric was right: Ripa came back, as honest as ever. Her return to Live! marked just one of many moments in which the host has stayed true to her (often wacky and never boring) self. Here are eight of our favorite KR moments:
1. When she died her hair pink.
"Every time I go on vacation, I dye my hair a different color. It usually washes out and this will wash out. It's part of my tradition, I like to have fun for a few weeks." (We will never, ever be that cool.)
2. When she chugged moonshine on Broad City.
We like to believe this wasn't prop moonshine.
3. When she puts her husband, Mark Consuelos, his place for leaving the toilet seat up, as she very well should.
"I am openly hostile when Mark leaves the toilet seat up," Ripa told PEOPLE. "I don't think you get past the little pet peeves. Mark never puts the toilet seat back down, and it irritates me."
4. When she played 'Ripa or Stripa' with Wendy Williams.
Now that we think of it, W and K make the ultimate power duo and we want to be in a book club with them.
5. When she was a soap queen.
6. When she shook it off.
Those abs, though.
7. When she measured Michael Strahan's tongue.
If that's not good TV, we don't know what is.
8. When she sat next to Cher as she brushed her teeth.
We present this without comment or context.
In conclusion: We're so glad Ripa is back on T.V. so she can continue producing more bad-ass, DGAF moments for decades and decades to come.