In the grand tradition of MTV reality shows, when the final episode of "Jersey Shore" hits airwaves Thursday (December 20) night, the cast will certainly shed a mascara tear or two for the program that helped launch them to superstar levels of fame.

But the tears have been a long time coming. When the cast recently spoke to MTV News about the finale, airing on MTV tonight (!) at 10 p.m. ET/PT (followed immediately by a live reunion special at 11 p.m. ET/PT), they opened up about having to say goodbye after experiencing years of kooky and sometimes real moments in front of the cameras.

"Even when we filmed the last day in Seaside, me and Jenni were bawling our eyes out, just because, like, we were looking at the house and everything that's happened, you know, what the show gave us, and we're saying goodbye to it," Snooki said. "So it's definitely bittersweet and very sad."

But the crying isn't over for JWoww. She has some tears saved up for finale night. She said, "I'm just afraid when I watch the last episode, even though it's right before the reunion, I'm gonna cry. And then all our makeup is going to be running down our faces as we go live. So if anyone sees that, just know that we just got done watching it."

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Longtime roomie Sammi has a plan of attack should she get emotional. She said, "I'm gonna wear waterproof mascara, just in case, but I don't know. Ron, are you going to have tears?"

Ronnie joked, "My mascara's probably not going to run that day."

Another male roommate mirrored Ronnie's sentiment.

"Fortunately, for me, this face is au naturel," the Situation teased. "I'm joking, I'm joking but ... "

"The guys will have red eyes," JWoww added. "Teary eyes."

Pal Deena noted that while it's hard to say goodbye, it also feels like the right time after three years and six action-packed seasons. "I actually think it's bittersweet, but I think this was the right time to end," she said. "I feel like all of us are going our own ways."

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In the moments before they go live during the reunion special, Vinny knows that watching the last episode fade to black is going to be pretty emotional. "That's definitely gonna be the saddest moment out of everything, the last minute of the last episode ever," he said. "Like, when we filmed it, it was upsetting, but we still knew that we had to watch it, so we're like, 'Ah, it's not really going anywhere.' But now it's over over."

But Ronnie hardly thinks it's "over over." He said, "I think it's going to be sad because it is the end of 'Jersey Shore,' but we are also close in the house. We're like brothers and sisters [and] even though the show's ending, our relationships are still going to go forever and ever."

Ahead of the finale, MTV has been reliving some of the show's wildest moments in a weeklong marathon. The series finale will air Thursday, December 20, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, followed immediately by a live reunion special at 11 p.m. ET/PT.