Season 1 of 'Jersey Shore'
Courtesy of MTV

The proudly crude 20-somethings featured in MTV’s Jersey Shore were a far cry from the polished, image-conscious casts of the channel’s typical California-based programming like The Hills and Laguna Beach. Season 1 followed the antics of eight strangers-turned-roommates who shared a summer home in New Jersey’s Seaside Heights. While the behavior of stars like Snooki (real name Nicole Polizzi, now Nicole LaValle) and Mike “the Situation” Sorrentino was controversial, drawing criticism for their binge drinking and hookup antics, the show brought the wild youth docusoap subgenre into the mainstream. One-liners like “GTL” (gym, tan, laundry) and the act of fist pumping on the dancefloor would become major pop culture references. And now, more than a decade later, the family-friendly sequel Jersey Shore: Family Reunion, shows that even as parents, the Jersey Shore cast members are quintessential reality stars. —Mariah Espada

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