In the late 2000’s, MTV was looking for a way to shake up the reality television scene. Popular series like Survivor, Big Brother, and The Bachelor had established a programming template that, by the end of the decade, was well worn and stale.
MTV began to push the envelope with its other famous reality series, The Real World, but the network wanted to make an even bigger impression on the television landscape.
Enter Jersey Shore. With its first season, Jersey Shore premiered in 2009 with a huge bang and got audiences all over the world talking.
The reality series followed a group of young Italian-Americans that identified as “guidos” and “guidettes,” hardcore partiers dedicated to drinking, clubbing, and “fist pumping.” Jersey Shore was wild, raunchy, and immediately popular.
The original cast included the personalities Snooki, Mike “The Situation,” Vinnie, Ronnie, JWoww, and Pauly D. The group has gotten into all kinds of trouble over the seasons, including bar fights, screaming matches, and car accidents.
However, not everything is caught on camera. As can be imagined with these out-of-control personalities, the cast of Jersey Shore has gotten into many different controversies outside of the show over the years. They also have plenty of secrets to match.
Read on to find out some of the most shocking secrets about the cast of Jersey Shore, from big legal troubles, to audition stories, to on-set dramas.
With that said, here are the 25 Secrets About The Cast Of Jersey Shore.
25 Vinny Was Almost A Lawyer
Vinny Guadagnino quickly became a fan favorite over the course of Jersey Shore for his easy-going nature and the fact that he is more toned down than his other male co-stars.
However, another fun fact about this Jersey Shore star is he is one of the most educated cast members of the entire show.
Vinny received his Bachelor’s degree with honors and before he became famous through the success of MTV’s reality series, he was even considering furthering his education with a law degree.
According to Vinny, once Jersey Shore ends, the reality star is considering going back to school and could very well be turning to a career in law.
24 Snooki Was Bullied When She Was Younger
Snooki has become such an iconic part of Jersey Shore both in and outside the MTV series, it’s hard to imagine her without her classic hairstyle, bold fashion looks, and loud-mouthed opinions.
However, the Snooki we see on Jersey Shore isn’t necessarily true to life.
Snooki has said that growing up, she was extremely shy, and was even bullied.
Because of these experiences, Snooki now has some valuable advice to any of her fans dealing with similar bullying issues.
She insists, “If you’re being bullied, you can’t let it phase you. Stick up for yourself and they’ll get bored of you.”
23 The Situation Was Offered Money To Stop Wearing Abercrombie
Jersey Shore taught all of its viewers at home that guidos and guidettes had a very specific look and style that made them stand out from everybody else at the club.
Mike “The Situation” wore Abercrombie so consistently that the brand reached out to him.
However, the brand didn’t contact the reality star with good news.
Instead, the brand actually offered “The Situation” $10,000 not to wear its clothes anymore after the company decided it did not want to be associated with Jersey Shore.
“The Situation” tried to countersue, but lost his case. Abercrombie pulled their offer after the countersuit, so “The Situation” ended up with absolutely nothing out of the whole affair.
22 Pauly D Is A Single Father
Because of their lifestyle of partying and leisure, many fans imagine the stars of Jersey Shore to be in their 20s. However, the cast is far older than you might think.
The oldest is Pauly D, who at 37, is nearly 40 years old and still partying hard for MTV. The reality star now has a different aspect to his life as well, though, and it's one that many fans aren’t aware of.
Pauly D is now a single dad, and actually has a four-year old daughter named Amabella Sophia that he is raising all on his own.
“She’s my life. She’s my princess. She’s a little mini-me,” Pauly D told interviewers.
21 Snooki studied to be a Veterinarian technician
One of the reasons why Snooki has insisted on breaking fan expectations of her by publishing multiple books is because of her college education.
In multiple interviews, Snooki has highlighted her college education as a veterinarian technician. She’s talked about how she used to take temperatures, help with surgeries, and take blood.
Snooki’s explained that she worked with all sorts of animals like cats, dogs, ducks, and even cows.
She’s said that she really enjoyed the work and would love to go back to school and complete her degree so she could continue working with animals.
She even remembers the ideal heart rate for a dog. (It’s 150).
20 Ronnie Was Taken In By Police For Not Paying Several Parking Tickets
Ronnie is one of the cast members on Jersey Shore who tends to find trouble both on and off the screen.
In 2010, Ronnie got into the ultimate kind of trouble-- he was arrested by the police.
While filming a season of MTV’s reality series, Ronnie was taken in by the cops in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. It was all thanks to a number of outstanding warrants from a bunch of Ronnie’s unpaid parking tickets.
Ronnie was actually taken into custody for the day. However, the reality star was able to be released shortly thereafter because he was able to pay for his tickets.
19 JWoww Studied Animation
One of the biggest behind-the-scenes shockers on Jersey Shore probably has to do with JWoww’s studies and work history.
As it turns out, JWoww is a huge fan of Disney. She studied graphic design and animation in the hopes of working for the company, and actually secured an internship there while she was in college.
However, she soon found out exactly how hard the work was at Disney, and she decided not to follow through with a career in animation.
She might be a reality star now, but her love for Disney and animation still shines through.
Fans can catch Disney-themed tattoos on her shoulders if they take a close look.
18 The Situation Had a Substance Problem
One of the more controversial personalities on Jersey Shore is definitely Mike “The Situation.”
However, while he causes all sorts of drama on screen each season, one of his biggest controversies was kept a secret from his friends and fans for a long time.
Last year, news broke that “The Situation” had serious substance issues for nearly two years and had checked into rehab multiple times.
His substance addiction to painkillers began in 2014 after he broke his ribs in a gym accident, and the reality star became hooked.
Today, “The Situation” is happy to report that he is sober and follows his rehab program to ensure that he doesn’t relapse.
17 Snooki Compared the Show to Jail
With all of the binge drinking and clubbing, one would think that Jersey Shore was an easy job. HOwever, Snooki has said that living the reality TV lifestyle wasn’t all fun and games.
Snooki revealed that all of the strict rules she and her Jersey Shore co-stars must follow while filming, like how they aren’t allow cellphones, television, or music.
She said the show was “kind of like being in jail for two months— and people wonder why all we do is drink! It’s because there’s nothing else to do!”
However, Snooki is used to all of these rules and the producers’ control over her life while filming. Today, she’s just grateful for her fans.
16 Ronnie Suffered From Anxiety
Cast member Ronnie is the Jersey Shore hothead. With each episode, it seems like Ronnie gets in more and more trouble, inevitably picking a fight or argument with somebody by the end of any episode.
However, it’s been made clear over the years that there’s more than meets the eye with the reality star.
The star reportedly had anxiety issues while filming the series and said he couldn't sleep and kept worrying about his relationship with his manager.
Ronnie certainly kept his trouble with anxiety under wraps during filming, and watching his antics through the seasons, fans would have no idea that the reality star had his own struggles during filming.
15 The Situation Got Into Trouble For Filing False Tax Returns
Thanks to the show’s quick and wild success, all of the stars on Jersey Shore are plenty full of themselves. However, the biggest ego of all comes with Mike “The Situation.”
With all of his late-night clubbing antics and new A-list status, “The Situation” might have thought he was invincible-- but that didn't stop the federal government for tracking him down.
In 2014, the Department of Justice charged “The Situation” and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, with violating tax laws and filing false tax returns from the years 2010 to 2012.
While they pled not guilty at first, “The Situation” returned in January 2018 and finally pled guilty to tax evasion.
14 Snooki Was An Outcast At The Beginning Of The Show
Few know the reality behind Snooki’s experience during the beginning of Jersey Shore.
Snooki had actually never been away from home before the reality television show began, and she actually suffered extreme isolation during the beginnings of season 1.
It took a certain incident to occur to bring the whole Jersey house together.
One of the most iconic moments of season 1 was when the gang went clubbing and a man punched Snooki after she accused him of taking her drink.
When her cast mates rushed to her defense after she was hit, Snooki grew close to all of her cast mates following the incident. The rest, as they say, is history.
13 Deena Auditioned For Season 1
After season 2, controversial cast member Angelina decided to leave the Jersey Shore series for good. Producers scrambled to find a replacement.
Fortunately, Snooki had the answer. She recommended her friend Deena Nicole Cortese.
However, as it would turn out, Deena had a longer history with the MTV reality series.
Deena and Snooki actually auditioned together to be on the series for season 1, and producers even liked Deena enough to place her on the cast list for the first season.
Deena couldn’t star on Jersey Shore during the first season because her grandmother came down with a serious illness, and she dropped out of Jersey Shore season 1 as a result.
12 Snooki Had Car Trouble In Italy
In 2011, MTV thought it would be a good idea to have the cast members of Jersey Shore return to their roots and send them on a trip to Italy. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out so well.
While the cast was there, Snooki was driving a car with Deena as a passenger and crashed into a traffic patrol car.
Even worse, the car Snooki and Deena collided with was appointed to escort the American reality stars.
Afterwards, Italy revoked Snooki’s international driver’s license because of the accident and minor injuries sustained by the two Italian officers.
It doesn't seem as though Snooki will be able to take any more joy rides in Florence any time soon.
11 JWoww Grew Up In Albany
With their over-the-top tans, ultra fit bodies, and huge hairstyles, it would be hard to imagine the cast of Jersey Shore outside of the state of New Jersey.
However, one cast member, JWoww, grew up completely isolated from the guido scene.
JWoww actually grew up in upstate New York in the state’s capital city, Albany.
She has said she never encountered the whole guido look and lifestyle until moving away from home after high school.
In fact, JWoww professes that she was once a total tomboy.
Watching her party with the likes of Snooki and Pauly D, you would never guess JWoww had such a down-to-earth and rural upbringing.
10 Snooki Is Not Happy With The Show
The cast of Jersey Shore has a lot to be grateful for with the opportunities the MTV reality series has afforded them.
However, Snooki isn’t entirely happy with how Jersey Shore ended up.
Snooki has gone on the record several times to state how frustrated she is by how the show is edited and how people’s perceptions of she and her co-stars are warped because of how Jersey Shore portrays them.
Snooki isn’t so frustrated that she quit the series, though. She’s swept all of her irritations under the rug and continued with the series with the newest installment, Jersey Shore Family Vacation.
Snooki knows the money is just too good to pass up.
9 JWoww Has Two Degrees
Many fans figure that this MTV series’ stars have zero college education and have been living this guido and guidette lifestyle for their entire lives.
However, this isn’t actually the case. Several cast members have college educations-- and it’s JWoww who has the most education out of all of them.
She also said she’s not resting on her laurels.
“I didn't go to college for seven years and get two degrees to just go, ‘All right, I'm famous, screw it,’” she said. “So I want to do networking sites, and plus I have the opportunity to take my knowledge of websites and maybe make bigger ones. And I'm developing my own networking site.”
8 Snooki’s Disorderly Conduct
One of Snooki’s biggest dramatic scene occurred off camera.
In the summer of 2010, Snooki was arrested by the Seaside Heights Police Department for drunk and disorderly conduct on the beach.
Witnesses say that the reality star kept falling on the beach and was completely out of control.
She was released the same day that she was detained, however. Cast mates Vinny, Pauly D, JWoww, and Deena all went to the police station to retrieve her.
When she walked proudly out of the police department, she was greeted by a huge crowd of fans that were waiting for her and cheered her on as she drove home.
7 Vinny Wanted Out Of The Show
Jersey Shore seems all fun and games to audiences at home, but some cast members weren’t having the best time on the reality series.
One cast mate, Vinny, has said that he was itching to leave the show most of the time he was filming season 1 because he wasn’t accustomed to the invasive cameras watching his every move.
He even snapped and left during season five when the crew had to start filming in Jersey immediately after returning from shooting their trip to Italy.
However, now, Vinny is up for more Jersey Shore antics and is back with the rest of the cast in Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
6 Deena’s Dancing Arrest
When Angelina exited Jersey Shore after two seasons, fans wondered how the new addition, Deena, would measure up to the rest of the dramatic cast.
As it turned out, Deena didn’t disappoint.
In 2012 while filming an episode of Jersey Shore, Deena wanted to party and went out on her own, clubbing completely solo.
She actually became so drunk that she began dancing and falling over in the street. Seaside Heights police came shortly after and arrested her.
Deena says that the police put her in a drunk tank and kept her for a while until she sobered up. The reality star was able to go back to the Jersey Shore house shortly after.
5 The Cast Was Bored On Set
When viewers watch Jersey Shore, many are jealous of the stars’ lifestyle away from the stress of school, work, or finances.
However, sometimes during filming, the cast of Jersey Shore actually wanted all of those problems.
Vinny told interviewers at one point that the cast frequently grows extremely bored during filming, with little to nothing to do but drink and go clubbing.
He even said that while the group was filming season 1, they were convinced that the show was never going to become popular and that nobody would tune in to watch.
Stuck in the Jersey beach house, they had absolutely no idea exactly how explosive Jersey Shore would be once it hit television.
4 Pauly D owns his own Tanning Booth
Producers went through a long and grueling process combing the Tri-state area trying to find the right personalities to cast for Jersey Shore.
However, there was one cast member who, as soon as they found him, shot straight to the top of the list.
Pauly D was a DJ in Rhode Island when he was approached by producers asking if he was interested in the series.
Producers knew that they needed him for Jersey Shore when they showed up at his house and saw that he owned his very own tanning booth.
They immediately added Pauly to the “must have” list once they saw that his lifestyle was exactly what they wanted for the series.
3 Snooki Had a Disastrous Audition
One of the most memorable audition stories from the early days of Jersey Shore comes with Snooki’s audition.
Snooki says that she saw an ad on Facebook that MTV was casting a new reality series at a local bar, and she showed up drunk to the audition.
Producers say that Snooki certainly made an impression. She wore a miniskirt, did cartwheels and flips, and even had her application papers so smudged and soaked with bronzer that they had to ask Snooki what had spilled on her paperwork.
To others, it might sound like a disaster, but for the producers, it was exactly what they were looking for.
2 Snooki Has Nickname Regrets
If you throw out the name Nicole Polizzi, chances are very few people will know who you’re talking about. However, if you say Snooki, everybody knows exactly who you're refering to.
The name “Snooki” has become a sort of brand by this point, known by all and hated by some. However, few are as critical of the name as Polizzi herself.
The reality star told interviewers that she actually chose the name Snooki, something that her friends playfully called her once or twice, as a joke when producers needed a nickname for the cast members.
“Now that it’s stuck, I wish I’d put something else,” the reality star has since admitted.
1 Two Of The Cast Members Aren't Actually Italian
The whole point of Jersey Shore and its efforts to capture the guido and guidette lifestyle is to center on that specific culture within the Italian-American community.
However, MTV is hiding a bombshell secret: two of its stars aren’t even Italian.
As it turns out, neither Snooki nor JWoww are actually Italian-American. JWoww has admitted that she’s actually Spanish and Irish, while Snooki is Chilean.
One of the biggest criticisms surrounding Jersey Shore is its portrayal of Italian-Americans, so it’s an amusing irony that two of its key stars aren’t even of that heritage.
So much for authentic reality television.
Can you think of any other crazy secrets about the cast of Jersey Shore? Let us know in the comments!