In December 2009, MTV was ready to flip the script on reality TV, and that’s exactly what they did with the premiere of Jersey Shore. The series introduced
, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi , Vinny Guadagnino , Jenni “JWoww” Farley , Angelina Pivarnick , Paul “DJ Pauly D” Delvecchio , Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Samantha “Sammi Sweetheart” Giancola — and they didn’t waste anytime shaking things up. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
Season 1 of
took place in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The group was monitored by 35 remote-controlled cameras, 12 hand-helds, one IMX camera and six DV cameras — and those cameras captured all the drama as it unfolded. Jersey Shore
For season 2, the cast spent the summer in South Beach, Florida, and in season 4, they traveled to Florence, Italy. The
location wasn’t the only thing that kept changing, though. Pivarnick was evicted from the house after refusing to work during season 1; she returned for season 2, but left the house after getting into fights with both Sorrentino and Polizzi.
While she did not appear in seasons 3 or 4, she arrived as a guest in seasons 5 and 6.
joined the series during season 3 and remained part of the cast for the remainder of the franchise. Deena Nicole Cortese
Since the reality hit was such a success, it led to many other iterations and spinoffs, including the U.K.’s
Geordie Shore which launched in 2011 and is still on the air.
Polizzi and Farley’s friendship was documented in
Snooki & JWoww, which aired for four seasons from 2012 to 2015. The Pauly D Project, which followed DelVecchio as he pursued his DJ dreams, aired for one season in 2012.
In 2018, MTV launched a new series,
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, following the original cast — sans Giancola — as they went on vacation together, traveling to Las Vegas, Seaside Heights and Atlantic City.
“We started this all together and I would have loved to have finished it together because now everyone thinks it’s because of me she didn’t come back, but
it’s because she has a boyfriend,” Ortiz-Magro told Us Weekly about his ex not participating in the show. “She didn’t want to return because of her new relationship.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see how each cast member has changed through the years.
Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio
DelVecchio is the oldest member of the cast, joining the series at age 29. Throughout the series, the aspiring DJ dated many women but never settled down. In June 2013, he welcomed his first child, Amabella Sophia Markert, with a woman with whom he had a one-night stand.
The Rhode Island native has been in a relationship with Nikki Hall since 2020.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
When Polizzi joined the show at age 22, she came in as the party girl ready to have a good time. She quickly became best friends with Farley. During season 3, she hooked up with Jionni LaValle, a man she met at a club. In season 4, the two began dating and got engaged in March 2012; they married in November 2014. The two welcomed son Lorenzo in 2012, daughter Giovanna in 2014 and son Angelo in May 2019.
The Confessions of a Guidette author revealed in December 2019 that she was leaving the show, saying she wanted to be home with her kids. After skipping season 4 of Jersey Shore Family Vacation, Polizzi returned as a full time cast member for season 5 in 2022.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
Sorrentino entered the Jersey Shore house at age 27, introducing himself as “The Situation” — which was also the nickname for his abs. While he got into many fights with most members of the cast, at the end of the series, he revealed an addiction to subscription drugs and entered rehab in March 2012. He left the center after only a few weeks and relapsed in 2015, entering rehab for a second time. He has remained sober since.
Sorrentino has also faced a great deal of legal trouble. In 2014, he was indicted for tax fraud. He pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. He began his eight-month sentence in prison in January 2019, two months after marrying his high school love, Lauren Pesce. The Situation left prison that September and the duo welcomed their first child, son Romeo, in May 2021 after previously suffering a miscarriage and are expecting baby no. 2 in January 2023. Their daughter, Mia, was born in January 2023.
Deena Nicole Cortese
Cortese was a longtime friend of Polizzi and originally auditioned for Jersey Shore but didn’t make the cut. She joined in season 3, promoting herself as “a blast in a glass.” In 2017, she married Chris Buckner. The pair share two children: Christopher, born in 2019, and Cameron, born in 2021.
Ortiz-Magro joined Jersey Shore at 24 and spent most of his time on the show in arguments with Giancola and Sorrentino. However, his life changed in December 2017 when his girlfriend Jen Harley revealed she was pregnant. They welcomed daughter Ariana Sky in April 2018. However, the pair had a tumultuous up and down relationship and both accused each other of physical abuse. In January 2019, Ortiz-Magro spent a month in a treatment facility for alcohol and depression.
They split for good in October 2019 after an altercation at an L.A. Airbnb that saw Ortiz-Magro charged with seven misdemeanors including domestic violence, child endangerment, false imprisonment and resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty but was ordered to stay at least 150 yards away from Harley and his daughter. In May 2020, the MTV star accepted a plea deal in the case and was placed on probation for 36 months, ordered to serve 30 days of community labor and pay $20,000 to a woman’s shelter.
The drama continued the following year when the reality star decided to step away from Jersey Shore: Family Vacation in May 2021, one month after he was arrested and released on $100,000 bond in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Us that his booking fell under “intimate partner violence with injury with priors,” referring to his previous arrests.
In June 2021, Ortiz-Magro proposed to his girlfriend Saffire Matos. “He knew that she was The One pretty much early on in their relationship,” a source told Us.
Jenni “JWoww” Farley
When Farley entered the Jersey Shore house at 23, she was in a relationship but it quickly fizzled out. In season 3, she met Roger Mathews at Karma, a nightclub in New Jersey, and they hit it off. The pair married in October 2015; they welcomed daughter Meilani in July 2014 and son Greyson in May 2016. In November 2018, Farley revealed her son was diagnosed with autism. In September 2018, she filed for divorce and began dating wrestler Zack Clayton Caprinello in April 2019. Following a brief split, Farley revealed in March 2021 that Caprinello had popped the question and the pair were engaged.
Pivarnick joined the show at 23, but did not immediately connect with the cast. In fact, she got in to many altercations with most members of the show, leaving the house multiple times through the series. However, she returned for Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. She married Chris Larangeira in November 2019.
In February 2022, Larangeira filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences” which caused a “breakdown of the marriage for a period of at least six months.”
MTV; Getty Images
At 22, Giancola came in to the house and called herself the “sweetest bitch you’ll ever meet.” She briefly connected with Sorrentino, but ultimately decided to enter into a relationship with Ortiz-Magro. The two had a messy on-again and off-again relationship through the entire series and moved in together when the show ended. Eventually, they split and Giancola began dating Christian Biscardi in April 2017. He proposed in March 2019.
In April 2020, the couple postponed their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, and by July 2021, they’d called it quits. Giancola has since moved on with Justin May.
MTV; Getty Images
Guadagnino was 22 when Jersey Shore began. During the series, he became best friends with DelVecchio, and the two remained close through the duration and after the show ended. The two hosted a dating show, A Double Shot of Love, in 2019 — but neither found a relationship. In April 2019, he started a residency as a guest at Chippendales in Las Vegas and later revealed he’d lost a ton of weight on the keto diet.