Executive producer SallyAnn Salsano struck gold when she found the Jersey Shore cast, but she did more than find the perfect group of guidos to make an entertaining reality TV show. She’s also responsible for the iconic Jersey Shore term “GTL.” Salsano shared the story of how the Jersey Shore phrase came to be in the MTV special Jerzstory: How Jersey Shore Changed TV.
‘GTL’ is a way of life for the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast
The Jersey Shore roommates coined several phrases during the original six seasons, but perhaps the most popular is “GTL” — “Gym, Tan, Laundry.” The cast lived by that ritual in early seasons of the MTV series, regularly packing up their laundry to drop off while they worked on their figure at the gym and bronzed up their skin at the tanning salon.
To clarify, the “GTL” routine was mostly observed by the men in the house. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, and Angelina Pivarnick mostly participated in the “T” portion.
‘Jersey Shore’ boss says production came up with the phrase ‘GTL’
Surprisingly, the roommates weren’t the ones who coined the phrase “GTL.” Behind the scenes, producers were watching every move the roommates made filming Jersey Shore Season 1.
“Every day when they woke up it’s like, ‘Alright guys, we’re gonna go to the gym, then we’re gonna go tanning, then we’re gonna go to laundry,” the Jersey Shore producer explained. “We wrote on the board to keep track of who was where.”
Salsano elaborated: “Honestly, out of sheer laziness, we started writing on the board ‘GTL.’ So when we were writing interview questions for them about what was going on, we’re like, ‘Alright, tell us about this GTL thing,’ and they’re like ‘What’s that?’ And then Gym Tanning Laundry was born.”
Pauly D took the phrase and ran with it
Leave it to Pauly DelVecchio to turn a simple acronym into a catchphrase. When he was asked about “GTL” by one of the producers, he asked about it.
“We started summarizing the day’s shoots on whiteboards and just started writing GTL for short, and Pauly was in front of the camera like, ‘GTL? What’s that?'” Salsano explained to Bustle in 2018. As they say, the rest is history.
‘GTL’ used to be a concern for ‘Jersey Shore’ producers
The cast of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation maintains the “Gym, Tan, Laundry” way of lifestyle when they can. However, they do a lot of other activities now, which makes for more interesting television. When the MTV series first started, the frequency the cast went to the gym, tanning salon, and laundry mat was a concern for producers.
“At first, I remember panicking in the control room,” Salsano told Bustle. “I’m like, ‘For f***’s sake, all I have is four guys getting their goddamned laundry done, going to the gym, and tanning. That’s not a TV show.'”
Ironically, the “GTL” lifestyle resonated with viewers back then and continues to do so today. “Before Jersey Shore, I honestly didn’t know fake tans were a thing,” tweeted one fan. “My mind got blown learning about GTL.”
“Rewatching Jersey Shore has literally changed my life because I never knew how affordable dry cleaning could be and I will seriously never touch my own laundry again because of it,” reads another fan’s tweet. “God bless GTL.” The term also sparked a Wordle-inspired MTV game, “Guess The Letters.”
See how the cast does “GTL” now. Tune in to Jersey Shore: Family Vacation on Thursdays at 8 p.m. only on MTV.