A Starter Kit for Becoming a 'Jersey Shore' Stan

In anticipation of MTV's 'Jersey Shore: Family Vacation' Season 5, premiering January 6 at 8 pm ET, we've rounded up our favorite must-watch moments from the series.

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Reality television was well-established by the turn of the millennium, but for ‘90s babies across the nation, everything changed on December 3, 2009. Kicking off with eight heavily-tanned strangers packed into one cozy Seaside Heights beach house, Jersey Shore was the subject of fascination for teens and twenty-somethings all across America, ultimately resulting in a super-successful six-season run and a wealth of spin-offs ranging from Snooki & Jwoww to the contemporary reunion series Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.

Though certain plotlines and attitudes may have aged over the past decade, the drunken antics, chaotic interpersonal relationships, and lifelong bonds shared between these bronzed besties have captured the hearts of viewers around the world. Whether you’re gearing up for your own Garden State shoreside getaway, reliving your 2010s, or just trying to get a glimpse into the finest facets of American culture, the following clips and episodes are certain to convert you from a casual watcher to a full-blown Jersey Shore stan.

Best of Jersey Shore Season 1 Supercut (Jersey Shore YouTube Channel)

Though not quite as bombastic as some of the series' later seasons, the first iteration of the show provides some much-needed context for any newcomers to the Jersey Shore multiverse. This supercut showcases some integral relationships that carry on for multiple seasons (Mike and Snooki’s mutual dislike, Sam and Ron’s tumultuous relationship, and Snooki’s undying passion for pickles), and as a bonus, it’s also laden with some iconic early moments—from Pauly’s Stage 5 Clinger to Snooki’s Karma dance floor acrobatics act with thong on full display.

Not So Shore (Season 2, Episode 6)

Two words: The Note. After a lengthy bout of less-than-stellar behavior from Ron, Snooki and JWoww decide to leave Sam an anonymous letter detailing his grinding, motorboating, and miscellaneous other sins. In a more rational world, the ladies may have bonded over the truth-telling, but with tempers—and possibly some blood alcohol contents—at an impressive high, things end with a screaming confrontation that turns into an all-out brawl by the end of the episode. In true Nostradamus fashion, Snooki’s earlier prediction of “this is gonna be so bad,” turns into an explosive reality that’s still the subject of endless memes and discourse over a decade later.

Gone, Baby, Gone (Season 2, Episode 10)

In the wake of a particularly dull exit from the shore house in Season 1, Angelina gives Miami Beach a shot in Season 2—and in typical Jersey Shore fashion, it all ends in an explosive screaming match that produces one of the show’s most memorable housemate battles. The feud is packed with memorable quotes ranging from “I had to move the table” to “I’m still pretty, bitch!”, and no matter whose side you’re on, one thing is certain—when it comes to rising tensions culminating in one monumental final battle, Avengers: Endgame has got nothing on Angelina Vs. Everyone.

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

Cab’s here! Season 5 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is back and starting 2022 off with a bang. Snookie, The Situation, Vinny, and more are coming together to reminisce on their partying days with their dedicated fans. Tune in to Jersey Shore: Family Vacation on Thursday, January 6 at 8 pm ET on MTV to relive the Jersey Shore fun in the new year.

Best of Team Meatball (Jersey Shore YouTube Channel)

Jersey Shore was a masterclass in perfect reality show casting from the very beginning, yet somehow, things got even better with the introduction of Deena. A breath of fresh air from her first moment on screen, she brought no baggage and minimal drama—just endless booze-filled fun courtesy of Team Meatball. Bonded by their short statures and shared love of boys, bronzer, and alcohol, the dynamic duo of Snooki and Deena are at their absolute best here, whether they’re chugging wine in the bathroom at work or just engaging in a little casual Jersey Turnpiking at 11 am.

Where’s the Beach (Season 3, Episode 3)

It’s an enduring moment that lives rent-free in the heads of Jersey Shore fans everywhere—a slurring Snooki’s beachside sojourn that ultimately lands her in a jail cell on what should have been a completely run-of-the-mill day. This iconic bout kicks off as all great days do—Snooki, exhausted after a few minutes at work, sneaks into the backroom to chug a beer and then heads out for a few hard-earned shots at the boardwalk bar. By mid-afternoon, our drunken heroine has found herself hobbling towards the coast with JWoww and Deena in tow—and this trio quickly finds themselves joined by the Seaside Heights police. Despite Snooki’s best efforts to declare herself “a f***in' good person”, she finds herself cuffed and tossed in the back of a police car—but not before hurling a “get the f*** awf” at the cops in a truly admirable Jersey brogue.

Season 4: All of it, Honestly

Based in the northern Italian city of Florence, the fourth season of Jersey Shore is certainly one of the series’ most action-packed, proving yet again that you don’t necessarily need to be on the shore to create some truly bombastic Jersey Shore memories. There’s a wealth of captivating moments to soak in—Snooki’s police car fender bender, Deena’s twin robbery, and Mike’s baffling decision to headbutt a concrete wall—but ultimately, one of the finest aspects of the season is the beautiful marriage of authentic old-world-Italian culture with the Sopranos-reminiscent realm of the Tri-State Italian-American. As Snooki so eloquently puts it, “I have no idea where Italy is on a map, but I do know what shape it is and it looks like a boot,” and there’s nothing quite as entertaining as watching this classic American mindset play out in real-time.