‘Jersey Shore’: How the Duck Phone Almost Didn’t Make the Reality Show

A landline has never been so coveted as the duck phone from Jersey Shore. From it’s horrific “quack” of a ring to it’s glowing red eyes, the Jersey Shore roommates have grown to love the iconic duck phone. Find out how such an integral part of the house almost didn’t exist. 

'Jersey Shore' duck phone
DJ Pauly D with the Duck Phone | Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The duck phone is a ‘Jersey Shore’ icon 

“What kind of person gets a duck phone to talk on?” Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi questioned during the first season of the reality series. Polizzi and many of her roommates struggled with the mechanics of the infamous landline early on. Eventually, using the duck phone became second nature for the cast. From makeups to breakups and everything in between, the duck phone heard it all. 

Pauly DelVecchio had some of the best moments with the duck phone. From the time he pretended to be the answering machine to the time he broke things off with his summer fling, Danielle, DelVecchio takes the cake for best duck phone memories. 

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The duck phone has inspired future generations and other MTV shows, including Floribama Shore. Like the shore house, the Floribama Shore beach house has a unique landline. The cast uses their alligator phone to order pizzas, argue with significant others, and occasionally call out of work. 

Why the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast needed a landline

During the early seasons of Jersey Shore, the roommates weren’t allowed to use their cell phones. Most communication with the outside world was limited to the duck phone. What’s more, any calls placed in the house were captured on camera. Crews allowed for the roommates to have one private call a week. 

There were also limits on the casts’ access to books and magazines. Anything that can be used to communicate silently (for example, works can be circled in a magazine, then passed off to a roommate) was banned from the house. Essentially, the roommates were limited to the duck phone and the little black book of phone numbers that rested beside it. 

The duck phone was an accident 

Regardless of how iconic the duck phone might be today, it was never supposed to be in the shore house. SallyAnn Salsano, head of 495 Productions, revealed to Vulture how the phone started as a joke but was only included in the series accidentally.

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“Our art director went out and goes, ‘I saw this duck phone — it’s so ridiculous,'” Salsano remembered. “I said, ‘We cannot leave that in the house. It doesn’t make sense.'” Involved in so many other aspects of production, Salsano completely forgot about the duck phone until it was too late. “The show started and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, we left that duck phone in there.'” Now, as Salsano puts it, “the duck phone is the national symbol of Jersey Shore.”