It's hard to believe, but Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was a total unknown less than three years ago!
Five seasons of Jersey Shore later, she's become of the most recognizable and infamous reality stars of all time with her penchant for "smushing" and outrageous antics. She's even managed to parlay that notoriety into becoming a bestselling author, boxing promoter and pro wrestler! And as the sixth and final season of the show kicks off tonight, we've even been seeing a gentler, grown-up Snooki lately as she's now engaged and raising her first child. There have been plenty of crazy Snooki moments over the last three years, but we managed to, ahem, smush together our top 13 favorites.
1. Snooki Gets Punched
The moment that, for better or worse, catapulted Snooki into superstardom. She got decked in the face by NYC teacher Brad Ferro during the first season and the guy hit her so hard that she was knocked to the floor -- and into America's hearts. Although the incident never made it on the show, MTV included it in the trailer for an episode. Video of the trailer went viral and ultimately allowed Snooki to increase her appearance fee from $2,000 to $10,000. So wrong.
2. Snooki Reveals Eating Disorder
During the first season of Jersey Shore, The Situation made a crack at Snooki's weight while the gang went out to dinner in Atlantic City. She then revealed to him that she once suffered from anorexia and, naturally, talked about it more publicly afterwards, revealing it started while she was a cheerleader in high school and that she nearly died when her weight dropped to 80 pounds. "There were these little freshman girls, and I was scared that these little freshman girls were going to take my spot," she said. "I just started eating salads and salads, then I got to a point where I was just eating a cracker a day."
3. Snooki and Angelina Fight
This was the fight of Season 2. Angelina tells off all her housemates and Snooki decides to show her how she feels -- with her fists. The ladies went a whopping four rounds and Angelina ultimately left the house afterwards.
4. Snooki Gets Arrested
During filming for season 3 in July 2010, Snooki snuck away from work and became a drunken hot mess. She created a scene on the beach, fell face first into the sand and was arrested for disorderly conduct. The judge in the case sentenced her to a $500 fine and community service, but not before labeling her a "Lindsay Lohan wannabe." Ouch!
5. Snooki Becomes a Bestselling Author (and Hell Freezes Over)
With three books to her name, Snooki has released more books than she has probably read. She released her first book, A Shore Thing in January 2011, a "novel" that was almost entirely based on her time at the shore. "My castmates are very surprised I'm an author because they didn't even know I read books," she said. Neither did we. Naturally, the book was panned by critics and only sold 9,000 copies in its first month, but still managed to make the NY Times Bestseller List. She's since released two more books, Confessions of a Guidette and Gorilla Beach.
6. Snooki the College Speaker
Rutgers University in New Jersey got a TON of bad press when they hired Snooki to speak at their campus. Not only that, but the school paid her $32,000 for it -- $2,000 more than Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison received to speak at their commencement ceremony that year! It was less a speech and more a Q&A session, where she left students with gems such as "study hard, but party harder."
7. Snooki Becomes a Pro Wrestler
Since Snooki was constantly getting into fights at the house, the world of pro wrestling was a natural fit for her. She competed in a mixed tag team match at Wrestlemania XXVII and showed a surprising amount of athleticism in pulling off the finishing move to give her team the win.
8. Snooki Meets Jionni
Naturally, Snooki and Jionni Lavalle met through a smush session in Season 3, where she thinks his name is Bernard. But by Season 4, they were a full-fledged couple. The two split up when Snooki cheated on him with Vinny while the cast went to Italy during Season 4, but they were back on by Season 5.
9. Snooki Wrecks a Police Car in Italy
While driving in Italy during taping for Season 4, Snooki smashed into a cop car in September 2011. The car accident, which happened in Florence, sent two officers to the hospital. It also raised the even bigger question of who would EVER let Snooki drive in Europe?!
10. Snooki Starts a Boxing Franchise
After her successful entry into the wrestling world, she decided to go one step further and start her own regional boxing franchise! Team Snooki Boxing had their debut event in front of a sold-out crowd last January and then held another event in NY last May.
11. Snooki Gets Lampooned On South Park
You know you're doing something right when South Park rips into you. The show lampooned the entire cast of Jersey Shore last year, but saved their best caricature for Snooki as a gigantic rodent who humps everyone in sight and yells "Snooki want smush smush!"
12. Snooki: Engaged and Pregnant!
During her 2012 spin-off show with Jennifer "JWoww" Farley called Snooki & JWoww, Snooks revealed to her friend she was pregnant with her first child. "The fact that I can reproduce is kind of scary," she admitted. She said it, not us. Snooki also announced her engagement to Jionni last March.
13. Snooki Has Her First Baby
On August 26, 2012, Snooki gave birth to her first meatball, a boy named Lorenzo Dominic LaValle. She appears way more toned down and grown-up in recent months, but that kid is going to have a lot of questions for his mom when his friends discover the internet!
What's your favorite Snooki moment?
Photos courtesy of People Magazine, OK Magazine and Getty Images