If you’re an avid watcher of terrible reality TV there’s probably a big hole in your heart where The Jersey Shore used to be. As much as you may hate to admit it, there was nothing more entertaining than seeing what new kinds of debauchery the cast got up to every week. Who knew that putting seven Italian-American twentysomethings in a house, getting them belligerently drunk every night and seeing what happens would be the formula for one of the most popular shows of all time. It was reality TV *magic*.
Not only do you end up kind of loving the cast members despite yourself, it’s kind of comforting to see people who have their lives together even less than you do. Seriously, watch The Jersey Shore when you’re recovering from a particularly wild night out, and suddenly every embarrassing moment and questionable decision you made won’t seem so bad.
So, whether you didn’t watch the Shore and want to know what you were missing out on (a lot, tbh), or you’re a super-fan feeling nostalgic AF, we’ve compiled 18 of the best moments from The Jersey Shore, solidifying its place as the height of reality television.
1.When Snooki got arrested
Nothing perfectly captures the essence of JS more than this scene. Watching Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi blackout drunk in the middle of the afternoon, shouting “WHERE’S THE BEACH” while literally walking down the boardwalk, mere feet away from the sand was life-changing. However, all her fun quickly came to an end when she got arrested for public intoxication. The best part of this was JWoww’s reaction, in which she pretty much gave up and looked on as Snooki acted like a drunk toddler. Honestly, the only thing surprising about this is that it hadn’t happened to a cast member before.
2. When Mike fought a wall and lost
We can all agree that Mike “The Situation” was the worst, right? Right. As the seasons go on, it’s pretty clear that all of them were done with his nonsense. This was especially obvious when in a drunken rage, he smashed his OWN HEAD against a wall. He spends the rest of the episode crying in a neck brace and sweat suit, and it is absolutely hilarious.
As he mopes around the apartment, looking for attention, the rest of the cast is straight-up ignoring him. While Mike totally sucks, you’ve gotta respect that level of self-pity and showmanship.
3. When Snooki crashed into a cop car
Another iconic moment from the Jersey Shore in Italy. Believe it or not, Snooki is kind of a terrible driver. (We believe it.) Granted, she’s about four feet tall so it’s probably hard for her to see properly AND work the pedals. As Snooki attempted to navigate the bustling streets of Florence with Deena and the production crew on board, she hit the police escort driving in front of them. While it was a low-impact crash and no one was seriously injured, it definitely rattled the pint-sized duo (and made for excellent television).
4. When Snooki got punched by some douche at the bar
Okay, this was straight-up one of the most disgusting things that has ever happened on the Jersey Shore, and honestly all of reality TV possibly ever. While it absolutely gross that MTV exploited the violent act to attract viewers, they ultimately did the right thing by deciding not to air the footage of the incident.
However, what made this episode truly memorable was the way the entire cast came together and supported her so intensely. Their genuine love for each other became super clear, and they were unbelievably loyal and caring. Basically, the episode had a totally unpredicted wholesome ending.
P.S. If you were curious, the dude who punched Snooki was found guilty of assault and got fired from his job. Ha!
5. When Pauly straight-up lost it at Snooki
Everyone knows that Pauly D is basically the goofy and lovable little brother of the house. He got in very few fights during his days on The Shore and generally acted as a peacemaker. However, there was one incident between Snooki, JWoww, and Pauly that definitely left Snooki (and loyal viewers) feeling #shook.
Basically, there was a whole lot of trash talk going on, with every member of the house calling every other member “fake.” When it got back to Pauly that Snooki had been saying he was bad-mouthing Mike (it’s okay if you’re lost, we are too) he straight-up flipped. Seeing every vein in his forehead bulge while he screamed at a terrified Snooki was definitely unforgettable.
6. When Vinny and Snooki hooked up
Honestly, we still ship it. We get it, Snooki is happily married with a child but a part of us will always hold out hope that her and Vinny will make it. Everyone was rooting for Snooki and her schoolgirl crush on the house’s objectively best member. Vinny was the only Jersey Shore dude that we would be glad to bring home to mom and dad. But anyway, the best part of their hookup was that it kind of didn’t happen. As Snooki put it, “it was like trying to fit a watermelon in a pinhole.” ‘Nuff said.
7. When Deena brought a girl home
Talk about amore! This quickly turned into one of the gang’s sloppiest nights, and it all started when Deena decided to ~explore~ her sexuality and bring home a girl from the club. Their romance began when the girl started flirting with The Situation but was suddenly sucking face with Deena. The two went home together, and after Deena left her room for about 0.5 seconds, the girl hopped in bed with VINNY. It was a wild ride from start to finish, and honestly, this absurdly drunk girl was just trying to live her best life and we support it.
8. When Vinny and Pauly D became Louie and Tony
In case you weren’t aware that Pauly D and Vinny are 100% friendship goals, this episode should solidify it. Their friendship is so pure and wholesome, as exemplified by the time in Italy when they decided to dress up as “the ultimate guidos.” We’re talking soccer jackets, sweatbands, and faux-hawks. The two got super dedicated to their new alter-egos, Louie and Tony, and ran around the house fist pumping to the extreme. Thus was born one of the Jersey Shore’s most iconic quotes: “fist pumps, push-ups, chapstick.” Truly words to live by.
9. Every single “T-Shirt Time”
While this isn’t really a specific moment, t-shirt time is one of the most important components of Jersey Shore culture and will go down in reality TV history. If you’re a normal human being, you may not be aware of what t-shirt time is. We’ll break it down for you. When you go out to the clubs, you want your shirt to be as fresh and clean as possible. This means that while you’re getting ready or pregaming, you wear your undershirt and only change into your t-shirt moments before walking out the door.
That special moment is called t-shirt time. T-shirt time is so important, the J-Shore boys even composed a little song to accompany it.
10. When Ronnie didn’t care about Sammi’s tears
Ah, yes. Nothing was more exhausting (and honestly, boring) than watching Ronnie and Sammi break up then immediately make up at least once every episode. And while Ronnie was a total piece of human garbage and Sammi should have left his ass, Sammi honestly kind of sucks too.
She’s constantly letting him back in, and then whining and crying every time he — *surprise* — treated her horribly. After hearing her cries of “Raaaahhhn, staaaahp” one too many times, Ronnie responded in a very mature and adult way, saying: “cry all you f***in’ want, your tears don’t mean sh** to me. Your tears mean d**k to me, just so you know.” What a prince.
11. When the grenade helmet was conceived
Again, we never said The Jersey Shorewasn’t problematic. And yes — it’s super misogynistic and cruel when the guys refer to girls as “grenades.” If you’re not up to speed on your J-Shore lingo, a “grenade” is basically a girl who the men have deemed unattractive. Nice. But despite ourselves, Pauly D inventing the patented “grenade helmet” was just so absurd and childish that it ended up being one of his more hilarious moments. The idea is, you wear the ridiculous helmet made of balloons and you’ll be protected from grenades on your night out.
12. When JWoww gave Angelina an ultimatum
Another absolutely delicious quote from the Jersey Shore’s resident badass b*tch, JWoww. Jenny is the kind of girl you want to be your best friend, but you absolutely don’t want to be on her bad side. She tells it like it is and she is 100% not afraid of a fight.
In one of her more iconic brawls, JWoww and the rest of the house have pretty much had it with Angelina (yeah, remember her?) and her stuck-up attitude. At the end of her rope, JWoww delivered one of the most iconic reality TV lines ever: “If you wanna get your ass beat, you’ll get your ass beat. You can stay and get your ass beat or you can stay and get your f***in’ ass beat.” Believe it or not, Angelina did not end up staying.
13. When Deena forgot a critical article of clothing
This was definitely one of the more cringe-worthy moments on The Jersey Shore. If you’re ever feeling bad or embarrassed about the outrageous things you did on a night out, we highly recommend watching this show to quell your emotions. It will make you feel a lot better about your choices, guaranteed.
On a typical, sloppy night out in Italy, Deena was doing her usual thing of dancing and grinding like a madwoman. Unfortunately, she made a critical error in forgetting to wear underwear that night, which wouldn’t have been an issue had she not been bent over, grinding against a glass wall. Whoops!
14. When Snooki and JWoww #exposed Ronnie
This is exactly the kind of sneakiness and undercover work that only true friends would go to. Basically, Ronnie was being a cheating pile of garbage and Snooki and JWoww were fed up with seeing Sammi get played. So after seeing him making out with some girl at a club, the duo typed up an anonymous letter, printed it and left it for Sammi to find. The best part of the whole thing is how serious Snooki and Jenny take their detective roles, staying completely serious while describing Ronnie’s infidelities, including “motor-boating a girl’s breasts.”
15. When Pauly D showed how truly cultured he is
Whoever decided that The Jersey Shore should spend a season in Italy is honestly a pure genius. Seeing them (barely) try and adjust to the Italian way of life was absolutely hilarious as they all struggled with language barriers, cultural differences and generally getting around. Pauly D however, showed just how easily-adaptable he could be by switching out his typical call of “CABS ARE HEEYAH” to “TAXIS SONA QUI.” The scenes of him running around the apartment screaming “taxis sona qui” in the world’s strongest Jersey accident was comedic gold.
16. When they brought Deena in the mix
Once Angelina had enough and decided to call it quits after season one, The Jersey Shore introduced a new (and way more fun) cast member, Deena. In case one Snooki wasn’t enough the show allowed Snooki’s best friend from home to join the house for season two. Getting to see the two, self-proclaimed “meatballs” run around in their almost-constantly blackout drunk states was like watching a cartoon. We all thought that there was no one in the world quite like Snooki until Deena stepped in.
17. When JWoww had ENOUGH with Sammi
In what was honestly one of the most satisfying moments of the show, JWoww finally completely lost it on Sammi. After almost an entire season of constant shit-talking, back-stabbing and bickering — all of the built-up tension between the former friends finally came to a head. Pretty much every episode of season two left us wishing we could slap some sense into Sammi, as she completely ignored the advice and help from her friends and continued to let Ronnie completely manipulate and mistreat her. We know how bad this sounds, but seeing JWoww finally snap and grab Sammi by the hair extensions was almost cathartic.
18. Pretty much any time any of them showed off their dance moves
99% of every episode of The Jersey Shore takes place in some absurd night club. Getting to see these full-grown adults get completely wasted and run around from club to club just never gets old. It’s because of the J-Shore cast that iconic dance moves such as fist pumping and the jersey turnpike became popularized.
Seriously, these people have the most ridiculous array of dance moves you will ever see. It’s especially noticeable when they’re in Italy and stood out like a bunch of sore thumbs in Ed Hardy tees. But hey, as long as they keep doing their thing, we’ll keep watching.