Jersey Shore: What The Cast Looked Like In Their First Episode Vs Now

As the cast of Jersey Shore gets ready to descend upon Miami, take a look at some of the changes over the years.

Remember when “GTL” was a thing? Back in 2009, "gym, tan, laundry" was a way of life for the cast of Jersey Shore. Soon after they invaded our living rooms, that and so many other catchphrases became common vocabulary for most Americans, no matter what coast you were on.

People would randomly start yelling things like, “Cabs are here!” Words like meatball, smush and grenade suddenly took on entirely new meanings. Before the days of binge-watching Netflix, MTV had marathons – and Jersey Shore was the show you just could not turn off.

From 2009 - 2012, Snooki, JWoww, Sammi, Mike, DJ Pauly D, Vinny, Ronnie, and Deena brought drama, comedy, and a whole lot of reality to Seaside Heights. The series was so popular, some cast members ended up with their own spin-offs and years after they were still doing reunion shows.

Fans continued to clamor, and six years later, the network answered in the form of a reboot: Jersey Shore Family Vacation, premiering April 2018. Most of the cast made their way to Miami for this one, and, if you follow them on social media, you already know there have been a few changes.

Whether you’re just getting to know this crew or you’ve always been a loyal viewer, sometimes it’s nice to go back to the beginning to see where it all started.

Here’s What The Cast Of Jersey Shore Looked Like In Their First Episode Vs Today

15 Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

Out of all the cast members, Snooki was arguably the one who first made the show such a huge success.

Aside from her love for pickles, sporting some wild leisurewear, and classic commentary (like her reasoning on why she doesn’t eat lobster), this meatball made headlines when she ended up in an altercation with a man. The video, of course, was cut to not show the incident, but once the episode aired, everyone began tuning in to watch Jersey Shore.

Since that time, it’s not just this reality star’s salary that’s seen a drastic change. Thanks to the uprising of social media and Snooki’s outspoken nature, we’ve witnessed her go from bouffant to Botox, not making any apologies for it. She’s made it clear she is completely happy with her transformation and has no time for haters.

14 Jenni “JWoww” Farley

People loved Snooki and JWoww together so much that they immediately got their own spin-off, appropriately titled, Snooki & JWoww. That eventually led to Snooki & JWoww: Moms With Attitude.

Both girls ended up married to guys that fans had already met during their initial time at Seaside Heights. JWoww settled down with Roger and together they had two kids. However, as most know, that might not have been the biggest changes we’ve seen this reality star incur.

JWoww’s transformation from party girl to responsible adult had headlines calling her unrecognizable, and, like Snooki, resulted in a lot of criticism about her image over social media. While JWoww has gone on record saying that she doesn’t disapprove of plastic surgery (and has had work done in the past) most of what you see is thanks to good makeup and weight loss.

13 Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchio

Yeah buddy! DJ Pauly D may have started his rise to fame as a reality star, but he’s since gone on to become one of the most independently successful artists of the bunch.

Even though his 2012 spin-off (The Pauly D Project) didn’t exactly take off, that’s alright, because his career certainly did. Starting back in 2011, he announced his first major record deal and would continue to rise to the top after opening for Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale Tour.

Pauly has gone on to work with some of the biggest names in music and now pulls in a multi-million dollar income.

Apart from a few business ventures, he’s also a popular resident DJ in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Things should be even more exciting when this crew rolls into Miami given that a couple of cast members (Pauly D included) are said to currently be single.

12 Angelina Pivarnick

If you were an avid Jersey Shore watcher from the beginning, you’d know all about Angelina. The roommate (who was replaced by Deena) was ousted during season 1 - just three episodes in, to be exact. Her relationships with other cast members were strained, to say the least, leading to a lot of drama which is something every Jersey Shore viewer loved.

From her first entrance and departure (garbage bags in tow) to her brief return and quick exit after a couple of violent outbursts in season 2, Angela became the cast member everybody loved to hate. That’s why it makes sense that MTV will be bringing her back for the upcoming reboot.

While Angelina appears not to have changed too much appearance-wise, it’s likely not much else is drastically different either. With snippets from the revival, fans already know they’re in store for one exciting reunion.

11 Vincent "Vinny" Guadagnino

As the youngest member of the cast, Vinny instantly struck up a bromance with Pauly, and along with “The Situation,” became part of the M.V.P. trio (consisting of Mike, Vinny, Pauly). He was always in the mix, making people laugh and having fun, but also somehow avoiding the drama – which was not easy to do on this show.

After the series ended, he pursued a career in acting, did a talk show, a travel/food show with his mom, and even wrote a book.

Vinny's a bit more grown up these days; while he dabbles in comedy, he seems to have a knack for philanthropy. Recently, this political science major with a rather high GPA made headlines after educating our President about climate change over Twitter.

10 Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola

While Sammi may have made an appearance at Deena’s wedding, unfortunately for fans, that’s about all they’ll get to see from this sweetheart, as she won’t be returning for the show’s revival.

It was hard to miss Ronnie aka Sammi’s ex-boyfriend/co-star’s absence from the recent nuptials, as well as the fact that he will be the only one from that relationship returning for the new episodes. Being that the Ron and Sam drama was such a huge part of the series, it’s a wonder how things will play out now. The initial run had the couple breaking up and making up in almost every episode.

Are we going to see Sammi make a surprise appearance?

We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, it’s nice to look back and see that from 22 to 30, Sammi’s done lot of growing up. Since the 2014 breakup with her co-star, she’s even gone on to love again.

9 Ronnie Ortiz-Magro

Ronnie went from his tumultuous relationship with Sammi at the Shore starting back in 2009, to appearing in the E! reality series Famously Single in 2017.

Ron was only 23 when the show began, and aside from a bit more facial hair, it seems like not too much has changed.

After his Famously Single run, he ended up in a relationship with Malika Haqq and is now expecting a child with his new girlfriend, Jen Harley. He has maintained a pretty low profile, making a few appearances here and there, but is seldom seen with his fellow cast members.

Not only was he MIA from Deena’s wedding but he also skipped out on that Burger King commercial they all did and the E! reunion special as well. Without Sam in the picture, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.

8 Deena Nicole Cortese

Otherwise known as a “blast in a glass,” Deena joined the Seaside Heights party during season 3, and quickly taught her roommates that she really was a “walking holiday.”

As Snooki’s partner in crime, these two meatballs had all kinds of crazy adventures together. Their escapades in Italy were both entertaining and shocking; pretty much matching the same Jersey vibe they brought to the beaches back home.

Deena looks more or less the same as she did from day one, but there will be one major change fans will see during the reboot.

This Jersey Shore star is now a married woman.

Like her screen bestie, viewers got used to watching a single Deena, and now will likely being seeing a whole other side of her.

7 Danny Merk

Yes, the lovable boss who seemed to have the highest tolerance for things that would get most people fired, played a huge role in the Jersey Shore phenomenon.

As co-owner of the Shore Store, and landlord to the Seaside Heights crew, Danny was a fan-favorite on the show. While a lot of the housemates’ antics may have played out during business hours, the truth is, as Danny maintains today, the reality show has undoubtedly helped his business.

While you won’t be seeing him in the reboot, the good news is, fans can still find him where things left off six years ago.

Currently, Danny is still at his T-shirt shop.

Snookie says she still pops in for a visit from time to time, along with the many tourists who roll through town, hoping to take a selfie with the world’s coolest boss.

6 Roger Mathews

Roger and Jenni didn’t make things official until season 3, but the pair actually started hanging out back in season 1. They married in 2015, and in 2017, the couple put out the series, Jenni & Roger: Domesticated, proving that sometimes when you find love at the beach, you get to keep it. Now, the pair displays their mad love for each other all over Instagram and people go wild over it.

Roger has proven to be quite a family man.

The posts of his children and his captions are utterly hilarious. While it’s possible there’s been an addition of a few new tattoos, Mathews looks more or less the same from his old Jersey Shore days. It seems his biggest transformation was going from party boy to super dad.

5 Jionni LaValle

Jionni appeared in season 3 then moved his way up the ranks with Snooki, going from casual fling, to boyfriend, to fiancé.

At first, the couple seemed doomed. There was the situation with Vinny and his sister, Snooki calling him by the wrong name, and then she proceeded to pursue the guy that she “really liked,” who happened to be Jionni’s cousin’s friend.

Luckily, for all of us who love a happy ending, the pair wed in 2014 and has since had a couple of children.

Jionni’s grown up a bit over the years.

Always seemingly a perfect match for Snooki, between public appearances and social media, we’ve watched him go from sweet little baby-faced boy to loving husband and sweet little baby-faced father of two.

4 Caitlyn Ryder

As Snooki’s other BFF, Ryder managed to either appear or be mentioned throughout every season of Jersey Shore. She and Snooki were a ball to watch and even though Ryder crossed the line with Vinny at one point (bringing about an awkward confrontation since Snooki totally had a crush on him) they still managed to remain friends; at least for the time being.

While there was no official falling out, it’s likely Ryder won’t be making any appearances in the revival.

Yes, she got along fabulously with Deena, and Mike’s friend (“The Unit”) but it’s really because she and Snooki mostly just drifted apart over the years. While the two loved to have a good time together and are said to still keep in touch via Facebook, Snooki’s focus has obviously turned to family. Ryder’s all grown up and seems to be having just as much fun as ever.

3 Arvin Lal

Hardcore Jersey Shore fans will likely remember Arvin. He landed smack in the middle of one of the many heated arguments between Ron and Sam. Apparently, Arvin found his way in with this crew through Mike (“The Situation”) and was even there when they shot the pilot, hitting it off with Sam. When Ron and Sam were having an off-again moment, Sam contacted Arvin and the whole "relationship" was dragged out over three episodes.

Arvin claims he was just being a friend, but there was plenty of drama that unfolded from that situation.

These days, Arvin has come a long way from season 3 of the Jersey Shore. He’s now the CEO of Beyond Genetics Supplements and is a multi-millionaire. It’s nice to know his GTL has totally paid off.

2 Paula Pickard

While Mike Sorrentino was not known to be the monogamous type, Paula Pickard was one girl who made a few repeat appearances in the Jersey Shore house to visit with “The Situation.”

We were first introduced to the aspiring model in season 1, and after their stint in Miami, once they returned to Seaside Heights for season 3, viewers also saw the return of Paula. Although it seemed Paula may have hoped for more, the “friends with benefits” relationship eventually fizzled. However, a lot has changed over the years.

While Mike is very much involved in a new relationship, Paula has moved on, too. She’s now engaged and recently welcomed a baby girl.

1 Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino

Ironically, Mike has had many situations over the years, least of which have to do with his name. As one of the show’s most-talked about cast members, he found an incredible amount of fame from his time on the Shore.

From talk shows, to Dancing with the Stars, to guest starring on popular TV series, Mike was scoring big all over the place. At one point, he was one of the highest paid reality stars around. But not all of Mike’s situations were good.

Legal and personal issues have plagued the Jersey Shore star for years.

The good news is that we’ll now get to see a sober Mike returning to television for the reboot. Since he’s engaged to his former college girlfriend, it’s likely we’ll get to see an entirely different Situation here.


Who's your favorite Jersey Shore cast member? Let us know in the comments!

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