A few weeks ago, my husband and I were enjoying the latest installment of Jersey Shore. It was the episode in which The Situation, Pauly D, and Vinnie have returned from a night of “creeping” with four young, intoxicated women in tow. The men were hoping to “smush” these girls, but there was one roadblock: there was one girl too many and this girl, according to The Situation (a recognized authority on such matters), was a “grenade.” What is a group of horny, spray-tanned juiceheads to do? Within minutes, The Situation had a plan. He separated the various groups of girls into different rooms in the house. Why? The Situation tells us: “In this type of situation you need to separate the two sets of girls and then you have to separate the hippopotamus from her good lookin’ friend.” Aye aye sir! Having achieved this objective, The Situation then gathered his troops together and laid out the second part of his military strategy: “I will extract the hot one and leave the grenade to blow up in Ronnie’s room by herself.”
Upon hearing this my husband and I scoffed. How, exactly, did The Situation think he was going to carry out this difficult and dangerous mission? Surely the grenade would explode in The Situation’s finely tanned hands. But then, minutes later, The Situation did exactly what he said he would do. He convinced the grenade to take a disco nap in Ronnie’s bed, even going so far as to tuck her in and turn off the light, and then “extracted” the “hot one” from Ronnie’s room. Mission accomplished. The gentlemen then high-fived and proceeded to “smush” on their ladies of choice. Another successful evening for the Jersey Shore gang. After witnessing this stunning feat my husband had an epiphany: ”They’re the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!” ”What?” I asked. “The Situation, Pauly D, Vinnie, and Ronnie are exactly like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!” And then he broke it down for me:
The Situation is Leonardo
Like Leonardo, The Siutation is the leader of his gang. He is also the oldest of the four and the most “skilled.” The skills I am referring to are those which are most admired by the members of his gang: The Situation can cook an amazing Sunday night meal, GTL on a daily basis, and extract grenades in the most dire of situations. He is truly a Renaissance man. One final similarity: both Leonardo and The Situation are fond of coining catch phrases: like “Cowabunga dude!” or GTL, the shirt before the shirt, and grenade.
Ronnie is Raphael
Yes, Ronnie is the “bad boy” of the group, just like loose cannon, Raphael. Raphael is known for his short temper and willingness to throw a punch, and so is Ronnie, who was arrested and spent time in jail during the filming of Season 1 for getting into a fist fight with some hecklers. And like Raphael, Ronnie has poor impulse control; although his girlfriend, Sammi “Sweetheart,” is waiting for him at home, Ronnie can’t help himself when offered the opportunity to make out with two girls at once or to “motorboat” a groupie. These indiscretions were, of course, revealed to Sammi during “Notegate,” when an “anonymous” note detailing the events was planted in Sammi’s things by roommates, J-WOWW and Snooki. But Ronnie is so money, that Sam still didn’t dump him.
Pauly D is Michelangelo
Michelangelo is known for being the most easy-going of the turtles: he likes to relax and have a good time. Pauly D is likewise the most gentle of the Jersey Shore men. In Season 2 he allows Angelina to hit him several times in the face, before simply walking away. And he has difficulty rejecting the affections of obsessed women (see his relationship with Danielle, aka “the Israeli,” in Season 1). And like Michelangelo, Pauly D is the most creative “turtle.” Otherwise known as “DJ Pauly D,” Pauly makes his living as a DJ. He uses the turntables as a means of creative expression, and was recently nominated for the title of “America’s Best DJ.”
Vinnie is Donatello
Donatello is the scholar of the group, preferring to use his mind, rather than his brawn, in order to defeat enemies. In this way, Donatello is very different from his brothers. Similarly, in the series premiere Vinnie makes a point to mention that he graduated from college and that he defies most stereotypes of the guido: he doesn’t tan, gel his hair, or wear lip gloss. He is also the only Jersey Shore man who wears a shirt on a regular basis.
Some final comparisons:
*Both groups have impressive, muscular physiques
*Both groups love Italian food
*Both groups successfully defeat their enemies at the end of each episode (whether that enemy is the nefarious Shredder or the nefarious Hippopotamus)
* Both groups have a sensei/mentor who guides them with a firm but gentle hand (the Turtles have Splinter, the Jersey Shore boys have Danny the owner of the Shore Store, and Enzo, the owner of the Lecca-Lecca Gelato shop)
*Both groups are marked by their distinctive skin coloring (green and bronze)
*Both groups are isolated from the larger society (the turtles live in a real sewer, the Jersey Shore boys live in the metaphorical sewer that is reality television)
So, what do you think of my husband’s theory? I think it’s pretty spot-on, but I (and he) would love to hear your thoughts below…