‘Jersey Shore’: Here’s Why Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Always Says, ‘To Deener and Chris’ When She Raises a Glass

Jersey Shore fans miss Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi in the spinoff series this season. However, viewers can follow the reality TV personality on social media to get their fill. The one question fans typically ask when watching Snooki’s Instagram stories is why she always says, “To Deener and Chris,” when she raises a glass. Here’s the scoop.

'Jersey Shore' alum Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi, Deena Cortese, Angelina Pivarnick, Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley
Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, Deena Cortese, Angelina Pivarnick, Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley | Noam Galai/Getty Images for BuzzFeed

‘Jersey Shore’ alum Snooki didn’t know Deena ‘Deener’ before the show

Deena Cortese joined the cast of Jersey Shore during season 3 as a replacement for Angelina Pivarnick. During interviews that first season with Deena, Polizzi talks about her as if she has known her for her whole life. 

“Deena is one of my best friends,” Polizzi says. “As soon as I met her, it was like love at first sight.”

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Fans assumed that the two meatballs knew each other since childhood. However, a former story and field producer for Jersey Shore shared on Reddit that Polizzi and Cortese met for the first time at auditions.

“[Deena] originally auditioned for season 1,” the producer said. “That’s where she and Nicole met. They literally met at auditions, and then ran into each other a few times at the shore and partied together.”

Since being on the show together, the two developed a lifelong friendship.

Here’s how ‘Jersey Shore’ star Deena met her husband, Chris Buckner

Deena Cortese and Christopher Buckner began dating in 2011 when they met through mutual friends. According to their wedding website, Cortese met her future husband after filming season 4 of Jersey Shore in Italy. She was spending time in her home town in New Jersey when they met. 

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The pair fell for each other quickly, and they got a dog and bought a house together. Buckner’s family watched Jersey Shore regularly and “absolutely loved Deena.” 

In November 2016, Buckner proposed while the couple was vacationing in Mexico. 

Why does Snooki always say ‘To Deener and Chris’ when she raises a glass?

The story behind Snooki’s common phrase, “To Deener and Chris,” came from Cortese and Buckner’s wedding. When the couple tied the knot on Oct. 28, 2017, one of Cortese’s aunts made an unforgettable wedding toast. 

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Polizzi told the toast’s story on It’s Happening with Snooki and Joey’s podcast. The aunt had an accent and kept referring to Deena as “Deener” in the speech. Snooki and the rest of the Jersey Shore cast thought the reference was hysterical, and it stuck as one of the iconic phrases.

Now, if you listen to one of Snooki’s podcasts or watch an Instagram story, you will often see her raise a glass and say, “To Deener and Chris.” It’s another one of those memorable inside jokes the Jersey Shore cast shares.