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The Village of Toms River attempted twice—in 19—to secede from Dover Township, but residents were unsuccessful.
The part of Toms River on the south side of the river stretching down to Berkeley Township incorporated as South Toms River in 1927, but the core of the original village on the north side remains part of the wider township to this day.
Toms River can be seen in various TV and news media including MTV's Made and Jersey Shore (seasons 1, 3, and 5), HBO's Boardwalk Empire and the original The Amityville Horror movie.
In 1998, Toms River East Little League won the Little League World Series.
Portions of the township were taken to form Jackson Township (March 6, 1844), Union Township (March 10, 1846, now Barnegat Township), Brick Township (February 15, 1850), Manchester Township (April 6, 1865), Berkeley Township (March 31, 1875), Island Heights (May 6, 1887), Lavallette (December 21, 1887) and Seaside Heights (February 26, 1913).
Whereas the village was the largest and most densely populated section of the township for over two centuries, the vast majority of residents now shop and work in other sections of the town.
Toms River made international headlines in the 1990s with their Little League Baseball team, nicknamed "Beast from the East", which competed in the Little League World Series three times in five years, winning in 1998 when they defeated Japan by a score of 12–9.
In 1992, as part of celebrations commemorating the township's 225th anniversary, official recognition was granted to the tradition that the "Tom" in "Toms River" was for Thomas Luker, who ran a ferry across Goose Creek (now the Toms River).
During the 19th century, Toms River became a center for shipbuilding, whaling, fishing, and iron and lumber production.In 2006, The Toms River Angels Midget Large Advanced Cheer Squad and the Toms River Little Indians Midget Small Intermediate Cheer Squad won two more National Titles.