Jersey Shore is known for its boisterous main cast members like Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, having come back in the spotlight more recently thanks to Jersey Shore: Family Reunion. However, the cast is peppered with recurring side cast members. Some appear for a short plotline, while others consistently pop up throughout the original series.
Side cast members often drive plotlines, bringing the main cast together and sometimes causing conflict between them. The side cast didn’t soar to the same heights as legendary Cancer Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio, but they will always be stars in the eyes of the show’s loyal fans.
When the main cast brings friends from home to the house on Jersey Shore, they provide levity for the audience. Snooki’s best friend Caitlyn Ryder does just this during her appearances on the show.
Fans can get exhausted watching the main cast duke it out and work through challenging romances. However, Ryder allows Snooki to have some wholesome fun with her friend from home and break up the cavalcade of fist-bumping and chants of “Yeah, Buddy!”
Danielle “The Stalker”
Danielle might have been painted as a “stalker” on Jersey Shore, but fans certainly didn’t mind her appearances on the show. While some fans became tired of Pauly D’s party lifestyle which found him with a different girl each night, Danielle showed fans what the star might be like in a serious relationship.
The two talk about their different lives on the boardwalk, and Danielle comes to the shore house, albeit deciding not to spend the night. Pauly and Danielle seem to have a genuine rapport on the show, which only gets ugly after her nickname sticks. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to see the nice side of the rest of the Jersey Shore cast or land a spot at Sunday dinner.
Casual fans of Jersey Shore won’t remember Jenny “Jwwow” Farley’s dad Terry. However, diehard followers of the show will remember him popping up a few times throughout the series. Terry provides serious insight into one of the show’s main cast members.
Other main cast relatives work only to further emphasize the show’s one-sided description of its cast. Uncle Nino usually strolls in on-screen with Vinny’s mom and a plate of ziti, reflecting the cast’s big personalities with a booming entrance. Terry shows audiences there is more behind Jenny’s upbringing, contrasting the boisterous cast with a silent smile from behind his rimless glasses.
Jonny “The Unit” Manfre
The Situation felt one of a kind until Jonny “The Unit” Manfre started appearing on Jersey Shore. He doesn’t show up until the latter half of the series but gets plenty of screen time after he becomes a regular.
The Unit acts as Mike’s right-hand man, helping his schemes against the house when Sorrentino is painted as a villain in the show’s later seasons. Fist-fights provide hiccups in their plan to reveal house secrets, but ultimately Unit helps Sorrentino “gym, tan, tell the truth.”
Danny Merk, or “Danny from the Shore Store” as he is more widely known, plays an important role on Jersey Shore. Like the early days of The Real World, the Jersey Shore cast must work a job on the show as payment for using the production’s house (which audiences are told is owned by Danny).
The T-shirt store moves plotlines, like when Snooki doesn’t show up for work, or when Ronnie and Sam are forced to spend time together after fights. Furthermore, Danny gives audiences a break from the catchphrase frenzy which develops as the show continues and shows viewers the main cast can get along with folks who don’t fit into their party lifestyle.
Vinny’s mom may be more of a prevalent cast member than Ronnie’s dad Ronald, but we see just as much parenting from him during his brief appearances on the show. Ronnie provides the lion’s share of drama throughout the series, thanks to his tumultuous relationship with Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola.
Ronnie’s dad doesn’t have the personality that is as conducive to Reality TV as Uncle Nino, but instead provides a window into Ronnie’s life outside the show. Jersey Shore sometimes feels fake, and often is scripted. However, when Ronnie tells Ronald his relationship woes and his dad provides advice, audiences get footage that feels decidedly unscripted.
Jwoww found a breakout TV star in Roger Mathews on Jersey Shore. The two end up marrying and appear on-screen together in Jwoww’s spinoff series Snooki & Jwoww, and tabloids have been following the couple ever since.
However, Roger shines brightest during his first few appearances on the series. When they are together, Tom and Jwoww are often seen bickering on Jersey Shore‘s infamous duck phone, a real working prop. Jwoww and Roger, however, handle arguments tactfully and mostly share moments of fun to break up the drama of the series. The couple has since divorced, but it’s no wonder they made a family together.
Every main Jersey Shore cast member praises the importance of family at one time or another on the show. As such, we see plenty of the cast’s relatives throughout the series. Unlike Vinny Guadagnino, Mike’s parents don’t appear much on the series, but fans get to know his sister Melissa quite well.
Melissa contrasts her brother’s in-your-face attitude, and we seem to only see her interact with others with perfect manners. She moves some plotlines along, like her brief fling with Vinny, but most importantly she humanizes Mike when he is painted most harshly by his roommates.
Fans of Jersey Shore think of Roger Mathews when it comes to Jwoww’s love life, but Tom was her first love on the series. Jwoww may have broken things off with Tom in the first few seasons of the show, but he made for great TV when he was a part of the cast.
Tom and Jwoww’s whirlwind romance provides insight into Jwoww’s life away from the show. Audiences get to see Jwoww showered in large rose bouquets and find relief with a taste of home. Furthermore, they get to peek into her house on Long Island when the couple’s romance turns turbulent.
Mike’s on-and-off girlfriend Paula gives audiences a bubbly personality to brighten up the shore house, along with an insight into the inner workings of his mind. Paula doesn’t subscribe to the 24-hour party lifestyle of the main cast but can pop in and out of wild nights with ease.
Paula is showcased most during the final two seasons of the show, when she and Mike have a serious go at a relationship. Things don’t work out for the couple, but Paula allows the often-fighting cast to lighten up when they are at their breaking point at the end of the series.
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