#18 – Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Then)
“At home, I’m a princess!” Our trip down memory lane begins with none other than Nicole Polizzi, but you can call her “Snooki.” Born in Chile and moving to the United States at six months old when she was adopted, Snooki grew up in New York where she attended community college to become a veterinary technician before starring with her obnoxious boyfriend in 2009 on MTV’s Is She Really Going Out with Him? She immediately caught the eye of the Jersey Shore casting director and was soon named “the breakout member of the cast.”
Enjoying many memorable moments on the series between 2009 and 2012 (even if she doesn’t remember most of them), Snooki earned $5,000 per episode during the first season but managed to negotiate $30,000 per episode as her star status skyrocketed. With the series coming to an end, luck was in Snooki and her costar Jennifer Farley’s favor as they had little to worry about when MTV offered them their own spinoff, a modern Laverne & Shirley series called Snooki & JWoww. Saying “yes” had never been easier!