‘Jersey Shore’: 5 Rules the Cast Had to Follow and 1 Rule They Broke

Jersey Shore might seem like all fun and games, but production had some hard and fast rules the cast had to follow behind the scenes. Discover five of the rules that kept the Jersey Shore cast in line as they filmed the MTV series. Plus, the one rule coined by a roommate and broken by many.

Jenni 'JWoww' Farley, Deena Cortese, and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi walk together on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley, Deena Cortese, and Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi | Getty

Working at the Shore Store was mandatory 

During the first season of Jersey Shore, the roommates had to work at Danny Merk’s Shore Store as part of their rental agreement. Whatever money they made working at the boardwalk t-shirt shop in season 1 was payment for the season. 

“They started off at $10 an hour, then it went to $15, and then I think I gave them 20 bucks an hour at the very end,” store owner Merk told Vulture. “You live in a beach house for free and get 20 bucks an hour? It was great money!” By the time season 2 came to be, the Jersey Shore cast got a significant salary increase. 

Filming locations need approval and security was a must

Contrary to popular belief, the cast of Jersey Shore couldn’t go just anywhere in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Before filming began, producers cut through a bunch of red tape. When shooting started, the cast had a book of approved filming locations to choose from, Karma, Bamboo, and Headliners among them. 

“The only thing we have is a book that tells us the places that we’re allowed to film,” Pauly DelVecchio told Bustle. “We tell the producers where we wanna go [and] we can’t go alone.”

‘Jersey Shore’ cast got one private call per week 

During the early days of Jersey Shore, cell phones weren’t allowed in the house. The cast had to use the Duck Phone to place every call they made. Moreover, those phone conversations were free for producers to include in any given episode. One private call was allowed per week — one production didn’t record. 

RELATED: ‘Jersey Shore’ Fans Are Living for This Throwback Moment of Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Deena Cortese

With Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, the cell phone rule has changed. Now that most of the cast has children, cell phones are allowed. “We weren’t allowed to have sh*t on Jersey Shore,” Jenni “JWoww” Farley explains in a YouTube Video. “But I’m a mom now — I need my phone!”

Reading books or watching TV was not permissible

When Jersey Shore began, it was all about capturing the drama between the roommates. That required plenty of instances for interpersonal communication in the house. As such, production limited the roommates’ activities to working with each other, going out together, or hanging out in the shore house. 

Solo activities that limit communication like reading and watching television were prohibited on Jersey Shore. The roommates could not read books, magazines, or even access plain paper. Producers feared they might use these things to communicate with each other silently and production would miss something. 

‘Jersey Shore’ guest stars needed approval from security 

While it may seem otherwise, they didn’t let just anyone into the shore house. All of the Jersey Shore casts’ guests had to get by production and security before being let on the property. Guests had to be sober and 21-years-old or up to access the shore house. 

‘Never fall in love at the Jersey Shore’ was the only rule the cast broke

Perhaps the biggest rule from the original Jersey Shore was one Ronnie Ortiz-Magro came up with and broke. “My only rule; never fall in love at the Jersey Shore,” he tells cameras in the first season. Not long after, Ortiz-Magro was falling hard and fast for roommate Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola. 

Ortiz-Magro wasn’t the only roommate to fall in love over the show’s five-season run. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi ended up meeting her husband because of the MTV series. Farley also connected with her now ex-husband, Roger Mathews, thanks to Jersey Shore.