‘Happiness Comes Before Money,’ Says Snooki as Her ‘Jersey Shore’ Co-Stars React to Her Big Announcement

The Jersey Shore will never be the same. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is leaving Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. The 32-year-old reality star dropped the bombshell during a Dec. 6 episode of her podcast It’s Happening with Snooki & Joey. 

“I’m gonna throw up. OK, you guys, I love you so much and don’t hate me for my decision, but I have to do what’s best for me at the moment, and I am retiring from Jersey Shore,” she said. “I am not coming back to Jersey Shore for a season 4 if there is one.”

Snooki wants to spend more time with her kids, party less 

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Mawma Bear & her Cubs

A post shared by Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi (@snooki) on

While she says quitting Jersey Shore was a “hard decision,” Snooki, who has three kids with her husband Jionni LaValle, says being a mom is more important than being on TV. 

“I just can’t do it anymore. Literally leaving my kids to film it is really, really hard on me,” she said. 

In Jersey Shore’s early days, Polizzi was notorious for her drunken antics. But she’s grown up (and sobered up) and isn’t interested in alcohol-soaked nights anymore.  “I don’t like partying like three days in a row, it’s just not my life anymore and I wanna be home with the kids,” she explained. 

The drama was too much 

Reality shows run on drama, but for Polizzi, the vibe on Jersey Shore had also become too toxic. 

“[W]hen I leave my kids and I film the show, I want to have a good time, and I’m putting myself out there,” Snooki said. “I just wanna come off as a good person and lately on the show, it’s just been very drama … lately it’s just like everything is so serious.”

In a recent Jersey Shore: Family Vacation episode, Snooki stormed out of the house after getting into an argument with Angelina Pivarnick. Pivarnick has also been feuding with Jenni ‘Jwoww’ Farley since a wild trip to Vegas, when Farley’s boyfriend flirted with Pivarnick and then said she tried to kiss him. 

Snooki: ‘Happiness comes before money’ 

Nicole Snooki Polizzi
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/WireImage

A Jersey Shore without Snooki is hard to imagine, with many fans saying they’d be sad to see her leave the show. One even thought she should get the money from the show while she could. “Girl. You crazy. Ride the $$$ train while it’s still going… won’t last forever and it never happens again,” they commented on one of her Instagram posts

But even a hefty paycheck won’t tempt Polizzi at this point, it seems. “My happiness comes before money🙏🏽,” she wrote.  

Her decision surprised the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast 

Polizzi’s decision to quit Jersey Shore apparently took her fellow cast members by surprise. 

“Production knew that she had been thinking about this so they were not surprised,” a source told People. “The most surprised are the cast, but I think they all understand that she is just exhausted and wants to try and do something on her own.”

Farley didn’t directly comment on Polizzi’s decision but on her Instagram story she did share a photo of the two hugging with the caption “Til the end … #rideordie.”