Celebrate the hit MTV show's wild legacy with a rundown of the cast's vocabulary and lifestyle.
Jersey Shore, season 3. 2011.
Credit: MTV
Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV

The Jersey Shore terms are here!

It was 2009 when we first met eight super-tan twentysomethings who would introduce new words into our vocabulary and customs into our lifestyles. To celebrate the fact that the cast is A) still alive, B) not in prison, and C) able to return to screens in 2018, we've put together an A–Z guide of the hit MTV show. Let's call it a walk down memory boardwalk.


Let's pour one out for the forgotten roommate. The self-proclaimed "Kim Kardashian of Staten Island" went out quietly in season 1, and then again in a blaze of glory in season 2, losing out on fame, money, and a possible trash bag endorsement deal!


In the real world, you'd never want to lose your backpack. What would you do without your pencils and books? But Jersey Shore isn't the real world. Here, where a backpack is someone who follows you around so closely it feels like they're right on top of you (*cough* Sammi *cough*), you want to lose your backpack and hope no one ever returns it.

Cabs are here

If you were ready for a night out circa 2010 and didn't yell "cabs are here" at your friends in your best Pauly D voice, were you even really going out? Pauly's iconic call to rally the team and get the women out the door was one of the most annoying quotes from the show.


It's certainly not the nicest way to describe a woman's woo-ability, but it became one of the show's most memorable catchphrases nonetheless. When the guys were in a bar or club and wanted to assess a woman's, um, desire to head home with them for the night, they'd label her "DTF" — a.k.a. Down to…well, you get the idea.


With all due respect to Burger King, before the MTV revival announcement, E! gave us the closest we had gotten to a true Jersey Shore reunion. In August of 2017, the network aired Reunion Road Trip, which briefly brought Mike, Pauly, Snooki, JWoww, and Sammi back together. Yes, they were missing a few roommates and were not allowed at their go-to spots, but it still felt like the good old days (minus the partying, hooking up, and punches).

Fist pump

For the guys, this was a way to express excitement, a male bonding salute, and/or an indication of a good time. The best part of this action was the synchronicity.

Credit: MTV


No three letters better summarize the lifestyle philosophy of the men of Jersey Shore. In their eyes, there's nothing more key to staying fresh than the routine of gym, tan, and laundry. Side note: Where was I when I learned the show was returning? At the laundromat, of course. You better believe I had the sudden urge for a late-night pump and tan to celebrate.

Hot tub

Oh my, if the Jersey Shore hot tubs could talk. They've seen some things — and probably been infected with some things, too.


The seasons of the show that took the cast out of their natural habitat may not have been the most popular, but since the gang liked to consider themselves of Italian descent (Snooki and JWoww are not ethnically Italian, while Ronnie and Sam are only part Italian), production whisked them off to bella Italia for season 4. All of the same shenanigans ensued in the classy Tuscan city of Florence, with the added bonus of limited communication skills (and ice cream).

Jersey Turnpike

Before there was twerking, there was the Jersey Turnpike. Unfamiliar? It's a toll road in New Jersey — and also a dance move made famous by Deena. See below for a visual guide on how to turnpike for yourself.

Credit: MTV


Every superstar has that one environment where they flourish. LeBron James has Madison Square Garden. Lin-Manuel Miranda has the Broadway stage. The Jersey Shore cast had Karma. You would never know what was about to go down when they rolled into their favorite club. There could be a fight, or some Jersey Turnpiking, or one of them might just pee behind the bar (I'm looking at you, JWoww).


Defined by The Situation as "a thin ugly chick" — not to be confused with a grenade, which is "a bigger ugly chick" — this was how the men of Jersey Shore described women they encountered in the clubs. Charming.


Sorry, Jordan, Magic, and Bird, but this is the real dream team. There's no better trio for a much different kind of pick-up game than Mike, Vinny, and Pauly D. Like any great teammates, they would drift apart or argue, only to eventually come back together, proving to be stronger than ever.


What a selection the cast presented: Snooki (weirdly easy to accept), JWoww (yes it ends in two Ws), The Situation (a reference to his abs, just go with it), Pauly D (less imaginative), Sammi Sweetheart (a lie), Blast in a Glass (less of a lie if it just means Deena's a fun drunk). We're guessing Ronnie and Vinny slept through Nicknaming for Juiceheads 101.

Ocean County

The lucky district that is home to the grand old town of Seaside Heights, the shore store and house, and the nonstop party that was the Jersey Shore. There were definitely complaints about the reputation the county garnered as a result of the show.

Pulling a robbery

The only weapons needed for this crime are a tan, six-pack, and confidence. On Jersey Shore, all's fair in hooking up and war. Phrases like "I'm taken" and words like "boyfriend" mean nothing around these parts, so keep your woman close (not too close, you don't want to be a backpack) or she will be stolen.


With apologies to the hot tub, the most iconic part of the Shore house was the duck phone and its quack ring. Having survived countless overly aggressive hang-ups, drunk dials, and arguments, the duck phone met its end in the series finale at the hands of an angered Mike. Now that's a situation. R.I.P.

Ronnie and Sam

If MVP was the dream team, then Ronnie and Sam was the couple everyone hated. For six seasons, the viewers and roommates watched this volatile relationship receive anonymous letters, get into fights, and throw mattresses outside. Unfortunately, it looks like there won't be a happily ever after for these two, considering Sammi was the lone cast member not to return for Jersey Shore Family Vacation. You know what that means — Single Ronnie!


Remember the women who were categorized as DTF? Well, they got to smush, if you see what we're saying. There was even a "smush room" for the more private hookup.

T-shirt time

While not necessarily being the most responsible adults, the cast of Jersey Shore was ironically responsible when it came to many things. Maybe most importantly was their prep routine for going out. Gone are the days of just throwing on a shirt and hanging around in it until it's time to leave. Instead, once you're done showering, it's all about the shirt before the shirt — kind of like a warm-up. But then, with the cabs on the way, sound the alarms, because it's time to put on the true T-shirt of the night. And don't forget to sing the song as you do it!


Sadly, this doesn't stand for "ultimate tanning institute" in J.S. vernacular, as Snooki would point out. It just has the plain old English definition of urinary tract infection. Snooki managed to pick one up after peeing herself in a nightclub, so she decided to get drunk on tequila to wash away the pain.


Ah, the Vatican, an ecclesiastical state that actually constitutes its own country within Rome. ROME. Cut to the cast in Florence, Italy, and Ronnie pointing to the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore and stating, "Vatican, that's the one that, like, Leonardo painted with his hand." Wrong on so many counts, Ron. Vinny did manage to correct him on the da Vinci part when he named Michelangelo as architect, but still didn't seem convinced that the duomo they were looking at didn't belong to the Sistine Chapel.


No cast member had as much of a roller-coaster ride through the series as Mike. He went from hitting on women and being the breakout star to hitting his head into a wall and almost breaking his neck. During season 4's trip to Italy, Ronnie and Mike were on the verge of a fight, which Ronnie would surely win. In such a dire situation, Mike did what any rational person would do: TKO'd himself.


It would probably be easier to list the moments that weren't X-rated on the series.

P.S. Don't Google "Jersey Shore X-rated" from your work computer…or any computer.


There are many ladies on the boardwalk, but not all are legal to, you know, smush. The guys came up with an easy way to distinguish between the eligible gals and those who could get them arrested. All it takes is creating some simple "if/then" scenarios. Here are some Pauly D rules to live by: "Yo, if she still has coloring books…she's too young for you, bro!" "If she still has the parental controls on her TV…she's too young for you, bro."

Credit: MTV


The one time you really wished you lived in the shore house was when the gang sat down every weekend for Sunday dinner. Chicken parm was definitely the most appetizing-looking dish, but ziti was also on the menu whenever Vinny's mom showed up to deliver some to the gang, and — not going to lie — we needed a Z for this list.

Episode Recaps

Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV
Jersey Shore

Follow Snooki, the Situation, Pauly, Ronnie, Sammi, Jwoww, Vinny, and Deena as they party, smush, and GTL

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