She's hailed as a "reality-show icon" or dismissed as a "trashy party girl" - at least according to my pod-mates, who have watched MTV's "Jersey Shore" a bit more than I have. A municipal judge labeled her a "Lindsay Lohan wannabe." For better or worse, she probably is New Jersey to much of the rest of the country.
Now Snooki is taking another honor: She's high on the list of characters that people want to become on Halloween.
So says the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, which offered a list of this year's top-selling get-ups from three leading costume-makers.
At California-based Disguise, old standbys seem to be holding sway. For kids, think "Sesame Street": Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Super Grover. For couples: Homer & Marge Simpson, Tonto & the Lone Ranger, Spider-Man & Spider-Girl, and Captain America & American Dream.
At Rasta Imposta, the Runnemede, N.J., costumer known for being "a little quirkier and off-beat," according to association senior vice president Marty Brochstein, the leading licensed get-ups are Gumby & Pokey, Crayola Crayons, M&M candies, and characters from "Peanuts" and "Fraggle Rock."
But at Rubie's Costume Co. in New York, some of the leading licensed characters are a little less traditional - led by Snooki, her "Jersey Shore" co-star who calls himself "The Situation," and Lady Gaga.
Rubie's has costumes more suitable for the less flamboyant, too. The rest of its top-seller list:
• Batman characters: Batgirl, Robin, The Joker
• Darth Vader
• Harry Potter
• Wonder Woman
• Dorothy (Wizard of Oz)
I couldn't reach anyone at Rubie's to ask about Snooki or The Situation, or what exactly goes into their costumes. I'll leave that to your fervid imaginations. (You can also try searching the Web - it's an amazing device for these things - but don't try while your boss or kids are around.)
I did ask New Jersey's home boy - Gary Schneider, general manager for marketing and licensing at Rasta Imposta - about why his South Jersey company, which considers itself a leader in the "humor" category, would pass on offering a Snooks costume.
"It was one of those things that we felt was here today, gone tomorrow. We'd rather sell Gumby costumes for years to come," Schneider told me. "Snooki - her15 minutes is going to up after this Halloween. And we all can pray that happens."