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"Speaking the name of the State of New Jersey shall always get a big laugh. The Constitution cannot say exactly why."
Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway, The Constitution of the United States of America, Article IV, Section 5

In the media, New Jersey is often portrayed one of three ways:

  1. An overgrown Little Italy. Everybody seems to know somebody who knows somebody who is "connected", be they a mechanic in Hoboken or a soccer mom in Parsippany. The politicians rival Third World dictators in brazen corruption. All the white people are Italian (and as of the 2010s, they'll be white in-name-only, as they'll be slathered in fake-tan body paint), and they all know what the hottest clubs are. The men have blowouts, dress in either Armani Exchange clothing or muscle shirts, do vast quantities of steroids, drive '80s IROC-Z Camaros or entry-level BMWs, and are insanely misogynistic and homophobic. The women, known as "Jersey Girls," are all Hard Drinking Party Girls, still have '80s Hair decades after it went out of style, wear ten pounds of makeup, and are always dressed like they're headed to the club. The only radio station is WKTU, and they are always playing Lady Gaga or Cascada remixes. If a techno-sounding beat starts playing, the natural response is to start pumping one's fist in the air. And everyone speaks with an obnoxious, nasally, highly Flanderized Italian-American/New York accent.note 
  2. The Armpit of America, where people's hopes and dreams go to die. Suburbs, malls, and smokestacks dominate the landscape, most of the kids are either vapid Alpha Bitches, Jerk Jocks, or guidos (see above), and the adults aren't much better. The cops are inept and more concerned with DWB (Driving While Black) than with the dude beating his wife just down the street. Our heroes are forced to have "fun" by loitering in convenience stores or malls, going to Action Park, and moping around to either a hip indie/emo soundtrack or '80s power ballads (preferably Bon Jovi or The Boss). The highways are jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive. You can only wonder why 8.7 million people choose to make New Jersey the most densely-populated state in the nation. This is arguably the most popular portrayal of New Jersey in the media and will be played either for laughs or dead serious.
  3. An extra-strength Weirdness Magnet, with UFOs, monsters, ghosts, and The Jersey Devil waiting around every corner, and with the gateway to Hell sitting in the sewers of Clifton. Parts of it may be an out-of-New England branch of Lovecraft Country, only more likely to be Played for Laughs and/or snark (because hey, it's Jersey).

There is also an additional quasi-trope, which might involve any of these flavors or none of them, particularly prominent among media written by New Yorkers: the Shore as a setting, typically as a destination for white out-of-state tourists with money (and usually more of that than sense). A beach house may pop up.

Ironically: despite the state being a well-known butt of jokes in American popular culture, a surprisingly large number of iconic and beloved fictional characters are canonically from New Jersey. While it's fairly well-known that Tony Soprano and Jay and Silent Bob are New Jerseyans, not as many people know that Indiana Jones, Jason Voorhees, and Batman were born there too.note  At least one incarnation of The Addams Family has also depicted the Addamses as residing in the state, likely as a nod to Charles Addams being from Westfield.

Not to be confused with Funetik Aksent.

Oh, and:

Q: How is New Jersey like the Vatican?
A: Neither wants you pumping your own gas.

For information on the various regions, cities and locales of the state of New Jersey, as well as a long list of famous New Jerseyans, check out our handy Useful Notes page.

Not to be confused with that other Jersey, after which this one was named.

Appearances in media:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Shangri-La, the hometown of most of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ's main characters, is a lot like the stereotypical image of Jersey... if it were a 60 km-long cylinder floating around in space. Unsurprisingly, it's mostly used as a space garbage dump.
  • Part of the Intoccabile Arc of Noir, of all series, takes place in the Skylands.
  • A part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run (including the climactic fight with Funny Valentine) takes place in New Jersey. No towns are mentioned by name, but a map provided in the manga shows that the race path goes from Philadelphia to somewhere around Union Beach before continuing by ferry to New York City.
  • Sailor Moon: Naru (Molly) was localized with an overly heavy New Yorker/Jersey accent in the DIC Entertainment dub.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Some fans believe Gotham City is a thinly-disguised Newark. In current continuity, the city is now confirmed to indeed be located in New Jersey. It is also believed that Nightwing's Bludhaven is a version of the nearby Elizabeth or Linden. However, given its position on the coast it seems Gotham is in the area of Little Egg Harbor. This would make Bludhaven the equivalent of Camden. Gotham's official history explains that it was heavily settled by Swedes; since Swedish immigrants had a large presence in southern New Jersey and Delaware, Camden is a fair candidate. And then there's this.
  • For a while, the third Steel lived and worked in Jersey City.
  • In a Booster Gold comic, Booster travels to some point in the future and wonders aloud what Jersey City looks like at this point in time, or whether the city even exists.
  • The Metal Men are headquartered in Hoboken.
  • Buddy Bradley moves back to Jersey after giving up on Seattle in the pages of Hate.
  • Tomorrow Stories: While the state itself isn't featured, the comic had Cobweb and Clarice running into the Lost Housewives of New Jersey, a tribe of housewives who got lost on "a cheap package tour, never to return" in Gowandogandoland. Their "language" is a very exaggerated New Jersey dialect.
    Lost Housewife 1: Ehwajehno! Wigodda perra skoytsfum sumuddaboyg! (Translation: Hey whaddaya know! We gotta pair of skirts from some otha' burg!)
  • The Transformers (Marvel): In one of the later issues, the Autobots and Decepticons are seen fighting from across the river by some New Yorkers. One wonders if the military will get called out over it, to which another responds with "Why? It's only Jersey".
  • In Empowered, this is where Ninjette's ninja clan is from.
  • New Jersey gets a pretty positive depiction in Ms. Marvel (2014). A big part of Kamala's characterization is that she lives in Jersey City, and writer G. Willow Wilson has actually gone to great lengths to replicate the experience of daily life in Jersey City and what it's like to grow up there. Kamala's major enemies thus far have been threats to her community as much as her personally: they include a Mad Scientist exploiting local teenagers and HYDRA-sponsored gentrification.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Fusco Brothers, which takes place in Newark, combines types 2 and 3. As the page quote indicates, the very name of the state is treated as a joke.

    Films — Animation 
  • Felix the Cat: The Movie has Felix setting his eyes upon the crumbling, corrupt Progress City, and what does he say? "Where are we, New Jersey?" Also an example of Self-Deprecation when you realize that Felix the Cat Productions Inc. just happens to be located in New Jersey. Rural New Jersey, no less.
  • The protagonists of the Madagascar films, being New Yorkers (they were raised in the Central Park Zoo), will occasionally take jabs at New Jersey.
    Alex: Your side stinks! You're on the Jersey side of this cesspool!
  • In James and the Giant Peach as the flying peach gets caught in a storm before it can descend to New York.
    Grasshopper: We'll be blown off course!
    Centipede: We'll wind up in Joisey!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • According to Greta is about the title character being dropped off to her grandparents' house to spend the summer there in the Ocean Grove section of Neptune Township, New Jersey. Other parts of the film showcase Asbury Park, Jersey Shore University Medical Center (also in Neptune Township), Point Pleasant and Brick Township.
  • In The Odd Couple, one of the poker players lights up a big cigar, leading another to say "Hey, do me a favor, smoke towards New Jersey!"
  • New Jersey features in every film of Kevin Smith's The View Askewniverse, often as the main setting. Smith himself is from Highlands.
  • In Superman: The Movie, Lex Luthor's master plan involves two nuclear missiles, one aimed at the San Andreas Fault in California, and the other aimed at Hackensack, New Jersey. It's implied that the latter target was chosen because he doesn't like his girlfriend's mother, who lives there.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Starts (and ends) in Hoboken, and goes through Newark, New Brunswick, Princeton, Cherry Hill, and miles of the New Jersey Turnpike.
    • Which makes their journey all the more interesting as there are fifteen different White Castles within ten minutes of driving.
  • Artie Lange's Beer League. Became a running joke on The Howard Stern Show (which Lange is one of the hosts of) due to its poor production values.
  • In Dude, Where's My Car? the good Aliens threaten to banish the bad Aliens to none other than Hoboken, NJ.
  • War of the Worlds (2005) had New Jersey (specifically Bayonne) getting blown up. The film crew actually did blow up a small park in Bayonne as part of the movie (the crew rebuilt it afterwards).
    • For that matter, the infamous 1938 radio show was also set largely in New Jersey.
  • The New Jersey Turnpike makes notable appearances in Being John Malkovich and Men in Black.
  • Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, in which, if nothing else, the hip indie kids have the initiative to go into New York City. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop, though it suffers from some Boston Doubling (to be more precise, the well-loved South Shore Plaza in nearby Braintree).
  • At one point in Zoolander, Derek goes to work with his family in the coal mines of South Jersey. The real South Jersey is a vast coastal plain, hardly the place where one would find coal mines... but of course, this is supposed to be a joke.
    • Especially since the scene was actually filmed in an old mine (now a tourist trap) in the Highlands.
  • This is the state Gracie represents while undercover in Miss Congeniality. We never actually get to see the state outside of one deleted scene, but Gracie can't resist going for the easy target when her training starts to wear on her nerves.
    Victor: Why is New Jersey called "The Garden State?"
    Gracie: Because it's too hard to fit "Oil and Petrochemical Refinery State" on a license plate?
  • The Wrestler. There the state is depicted as a feckless purgatory of trailer parks, run-down local shops, monotonous public housing, and abandoned amusement parks (no, not that kind).
  • Hellboy's Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense is located in New Jersey, where it's disguised as a waste treatment plant.
  • In The Long Kiss Goodnight, Geena Davis' character, a CIA agent, lives in New Jersey, and has to get out. She complains that she gave birth to a child got herself out of Beirut, so getting out of New Jersey shouldn't be too hard. Samuel L. Jackson's character disagrees, saying many have tried and failed, including the state's entire population.
  • Camp Crystal Lake, the setting of the bulk of the Friday the 13th series, is in New Jersey (most likely the Skylands — there's even a Voorhees State Park).
    • The original was filmed in Hope and Blairstown, both in the Skylands.
  • Most Troma movies, particularly The Toxic Avenger, where the protagonist is a guy who falls into a drum of toxic waste that turns him into a mutated superhero fighting criminals in a polluted dump of a town run by crooks.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen spends a fair chunk of the movie in Princeton. Although the university is left unnamed, it's pretty obvious that Sam's not going to Westminster Choir College.
  • The slasher film The Prowler takes place in Avalon Bay, New Jersey.
  • The Professional (aka Leon) fails Jersey geography spectacularly in its final moments: Mathilda is at the Spenser School, which is (according to an overheard conversation) supposed to be in Wildwood, New Jersey. However, the final moments of the film show that it overlooks the Hudson River and Manhattan. Wildwood is in fact an oceanfront community near the tip of Cape May, over 150 miles away from New York City. (The scene was actually filmed at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken).
  • Live Free or Die Hard opens up with John McClane keeping an eye on his daughter's dorm at Rutgers.
  • The events of Alone in the Dark (1982) happen in New Jersey, as evident from main character's address that the bad guys manage to dig up.
  • Daniel and his mom from The Karate Kid were originally from New Jersey.
  • Michael Myers' hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois in the Halloween series was named after producer Debra Hill's hometown of Haddonfield, New Jersey... which shares a freeway exit with the nearby town of Voorhees.
  • Saturday Night Fever is largely set in New Jersey.
  • In Eddie and the Cruisers and its sequel, Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!, Joisey-accented Eddie Wilson is proud of his home state, warts and all. In fact it seems like the warts are what he likes about it. From a conversation about his inexplicable homesickness while on tour in the sequel:
    Eddie: Baby, there's nowhere else in the world like the Garden State! You got miles of swamps and mountains of dumps... different colored rivers... automobile graveyards, breweries, factories, ballparks, all mixed up together. It's the best place to live.
    Diane: Uh huh. Then why does the Statue of Liberty face the other way?
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve uses Paramus as a fake hometown during one of his failed attempts to enlist in the army. After Bucky chastises him for illegally lying on his enlistment form, he adds "And seriously, Jersey?" In Captain America: The Winter Soldier it is revealed that Steve actually was sent to New Jersey for his Army basic training before the super soldier serum was administered. He regards it almost as the place where he was born, telling Natasha Romanoff that he was "made" there.
  • Don Jon portrays a very stereotypical Italian-style family with heavy accent.
  • Highlander features a few New York cops investigating mysterious murders where people keep getting their heads chopped off.
    "About two days ago, on the teletype, there was a guy that was killed just like this over in Jersey."
    "Yeah, but I figure, what the hell, that's Jersey."
    • The cops later question Connor about the decapitation murders. "You ever get over to New Jersey, Nash?" "Not if I can help it."
  • Heartbreakers has the character Dean (played by NJ native Ray Liotta) as a shady car chopper, who's known for being The Casanova and carrying a gun around. When the protagonists need his help moving a body, he responds "I'm from Jersey, aren't I?" - of course he's shown to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold as well.
  • Inverted in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Camden, New Jersey, is shown to be a pleasant built-up suburbia. In reality it's far closer to the stereotype. Especially ironic, considering the film shows other areas in riots over the world ending.
  • Fitting of its name, Garden State is set in New Jersey where Andrew Largeman attends the funeral of his mother at the beginning of the film.
  • Apparently, the live-action Masters of the Universe has the town where most of the action takes place be set in New Jersey. (It isn't given a name, though.) Because of course that's where Skeletor tries to invade!
  • One for the Money: This movie, like the book series it's based on, is set in Trenton, New Jersey.
  • Be Kind Rewind is explicitly set in Passaic.
  • Coyote Ugly: The protagonist, Violet, is originally from New Jersey and moves to New York to pursue her dreams of being a songwriter. When she starts working at the titular bar the owner gives her the nickname "Jersey".

  • The two protagonists of The Wizard, The Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey, as one can easily guess by the title.
  • F. Paul Wilson's short story "The Barrens" sees the Pine Barrens as an annex of Lovecraft Country.
  • Stephanie Plum cheerily bills herself as a Jersey girl, and yes, among her relatives, friends, and colleagues, a lot of New Jersey stereotypes get covered.
  • Daniel Pinkwater's books tend to be set in New Jersey, almost always with a strong Type 3 flavor. Many books take place in the fictional hamlet of Hogborogh.
  • Several Philip Roth novels, including American Pastoral and Portnoy's Complaint, are set in Newark, New Jersey.
  • Jean Shepherd wrote many short stories about Joisey. Many of them satirizing pop art — such as the large ship sailing against traffic on Route 22, Lucy, the giant elephant hotel room in Margate, and them concrete Mexicans and flamingos on people's lawns.
  • Irene Adler, one of the few people (and the only woman) to have ever outwitted Sherlock Holmes, was from New Jersey.
  • The Areas of My Expertise describes this as "The Too-Easy-To-Mock State". State motto: We Are Defensive About Our Faults.
  • The Apocalypse Door, an urban fantasy/thriller novel featuring secret agents battling the forces of Hell, opens in Newark:
    Newark, New Jersey, isn't the city of Dis, but it could play the part on TV without spending a lot of time in rehearsals.
  • In How to Be a Superhero, following a bit about a shapeshifting hero whose secret identity is Missouri, the interactive reader proposes disguising himself New Jersey by tipping trash over himself and playing Bruce Springsteen really loudly.
  • Here's how The Onion's Our Dumb World describes the state:
    "Demanding people shove it up their asses since 1832" Located in you know where the fuck we are, and bordered by a bunch of places that can suck it—especially you, Pennsylvania—New Jersey is one of the nation's oldest and most historic states. So fuck you.
  • Sam the Cat: Detective: When Sam sees that a suspect in The Big Catnap has a New Jersey driver's license, he says the words "new" and "jersey" are the most disheartening words in the English language.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The Big Bang Theory Leonard is from NJ, which comes up from time to time. For example in the 2011 Halloween episode Leonard manages to pull a trick on roommate Sheldon who says as a Texan native he is an expert at retribution. However when Sheldon tries to pull a trick on Leonard, Leonard manages to turn it against Sheldon.
    Leonard: You may be from Texas, but I'm from Jersey!
  • The Neighbors landed in NJ, which was more a Shout-Out to Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast than any kind of Jersey joke.
  • Boardwalk Empire is set primarily in Prohibition-era Atlantic City.
  • Ed filmed exteriors of its fictional location Stuckeyville in Upper Middle Class Westfield, NJ. Many local residents were used as "Stuckyville Extras".
    • The credits for Ed consisted of him driving through town. To this Westfield native, it was very odd to see the familiar sights of downtown Westfield, cut and pasted out of sequence.
    • In certain towns in the area it was filmed some shops still have the Stuckyville name painted on their windows. Most visible at a Jewelry shop in Westwood.
  • New Jersey is often used as the butt of jokes by late-night comics like Jay Leno and David Letterman, as well as New York-based sitcoms like Seinfeld and Friends. Listing all of the instances of this would require a separate page.
    • Particularly notable is How I Met Your Mother, which has made a Running Gag out of the characters' (particularly Ted's) hatred of Jersey, along with plenty of jabs at the state itself.
      • Subverted in one episode that takes place in NJ itself, Jersey is depicted as boring but pleasant suburbia, which small-town raised Minnesota Nice Guy Marshall immediately falls in love with, while Ted and Lily come off as slightly elitist jerks in their unabashed love of NY. And Ted's hatred of New Jersey comes across as somewhat hypocritical considering that he didn't live in New York until after he graduated from college and is originally from Cleveland (the only place in the US that many consider more of a Place Worse Than Death than NJ).
  • Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, the fictional hospital where House takes place, is in New Jersey (presumably somewhere in Mercer or Middlesex County).
  • The Sopranos was set in New Jersey, and helped to reinforce many of the Mafia stereotypes. We should note, however, that most of the series takes place in Essex County, and much of the rest is in Hudson County, with occasional forays into other counties (most commonly Bergen, Middlesex, and Monmouth). To be somewhat specific:
    • In Essex:
      • Tony was born in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark; like any true Newarker of his age he calls the neighborhood "Down Neck". Livia's house (later Janice's and then Tony's during his separation) is here. Uncle Junior's trial also takes place in Newark, at the federal courthouse downtown. Additionally, "the Esplanade", one of the most important plot points in the series, is an urban redevelopment project in Newark.
      • The Soprano McMansion is in North Caldwell.
      • Uncle Junior's house is in Belleville.
      • The series makes the occasional foray into Montclair.
      • Furio's house is in Nutley.
      • Bobby Baccalieri's house appears to be in Verona.
      • The infamous ending was shot on location in Holsten's, an old fashioned ice cream shop, in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
      • West Orange Police Station doubles as East Haledon Police Station for the show.
    • Season 3 featured some scenes in Middlesex County, what with Jackie Aprile Jr. trying to build a support base from New Brunswick—including a successful robbery of a benefit concert at the Mason-Gross School at Rutgers.
    • Scenes involving the Stugots and Whitecaps are set in Monmouth County. (Whitecaps specifically is in Sea Bright).
    • Most notoriously, "Pine Barrens" was set in, well, the Pine Barrens. The area in which Valery was left for dead was probably somewhere in Atlantic County.
    • It's not quite clear where Bada Bing and Satriale's Pork Store are supposed to be. There are some indications that Satriale's is supposed to be in or very near Newark, as there's a sign with directions to the PATH right next to it. However, the place that doubled for Satriale's is in Kearny (in Hudson County) and the place that doubled for the Bing is in Lodi (in Bergen County).
  • Point Pleasant was set on the Jersey Shore, but was filmed in California. It showed.
  • Similarly, the short-lived 1992/1993 Fox sitcom Down The Shore was set in a townhouse in Belmar.
  • The X-Files featured the Jersey Devil in its fifth episode.
  • The Docu Soap The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
  • The notorious MTV Reality Show Jersey Shore follows eight self-proclaimed guidoes/guidettes (most of whom aren't from New Jersey, and two of whom aren't even Italian) living and partying in a Seaside Heights beach house, cranking the "Joisey" stereotype up. New Jersey residents and Italian-American groups were pissed, but it's done nothing to stop the show from turning into a hit a pop culture phenomenon.
    • Before that, MTV did two of their spring break specials (1998 and 2002) in Seaside Heights.
    • According to Jersey-native and writer Daniel O'Brien, Jersey Shore is the worst thing to happen to the east coast since 9/11.
    • The upcoming season takes the entire cast to Italy itself to "get back to their roots".According to the previews, we can expect an international diplomatic incident within the first episode or two.
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:
    • After the media started mocking New Jersey after a massive corruption scandal, Jon took time out of his show to defend his home state.
    • Stewart is also a devoted fan of fellow Jersey native Bruce Springsteen. When he announced on the show that he went to see Springsteen in concert over the weekend, he added, "It was, uh, what's the word I'm looking for? Oh yeah, the greatest night of my life?" He also delivered a heartfelt tribute to The Boss during the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors.
    • One interview mentioned a truly bizarre case of this: the interviewee, Maziar Bahari, is an Iranian reporter who was imprisoned and tortured for six months on suspicions of being an American spy. One of his captors, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was apparently obsessed with a "paradise on Earth" located in America named... New Jersey, which he apparently saw as "the prototypical American state where people drink all the time, have sex all the time and never run into Jews". Talk about Your Approval Fills Me with Shame.
    • Stewart also frequently puts on a stereotypical Joisey/New Yawk accent.
      Stewart: You son of—you fuhgedda—[in normal voice] wait a minute—you know what? I actually hear it now, you're right. Now that you mention it, it is somewhat pronounced.
    • He named himself The Daily Show's official New Jersey correspondent while discussing the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, giving a detailed history of epic political corruption in the state and calling governor Chris Christie an amateur at such.
      Stewart: Have you seen our state flag? There is literally a severed horse's head on the state flag! That sends a message to every other state in the Union! "No, motherfucker, put him in the movie!"
  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: in a segment about Syrian refugees living in New Jersey, Samantha pokes fun at the fact that they actually find the place quite delightful (the fact that it's not ground zero for an apocalyptic holy war might have something to do with that), observing with mock pity that they're so new to the country that they don't know they're supposed to hate it.
  • The Cake Boss takes place in Hoboken. Chef Buddy was slightly irked when a Manhattanite took a call while ordering her cake with a "Yeah, I'm in Jersey, can you believe it?"
    • And later: "You went all the way to Jersey for a cake?"
  • Will & Grace played with this. They described Jersey as something of New York City's suburb, a nice, peaceful place to raise a family. However, this being Will and Grace, that was also considered where New Yorkers go to die. The only reason to go to New Jersey (aside from the outlet malls) is if you've gotten married and had kids (and essentially your "interesting" life as a New Yorker is over). Also known in-universe for its fine wine, Chateau Secaucus. (There are in fact some pretty decent wineries in Jersey, but they definitely aren't in Secaucus).
  • And let us not forget the inestimable Uncle Floyd and the various incarnations of his (deliberately-cheap-looking) program.
    • Particularly his character of Jerry Jersino ("I love New Jersey and I'm proud!") and his Cowboy Charlie parody song "Deep in the Heart of Jersey".
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete was actually filmed in New Jersey. The bowling alley shown in the series is Lodi Lanes. Three different houses were used to represent the Wrigly house- first in Leonia, then in South Orange, and finally Cranford.
    • Also, Rick Gomez is from New Jersey and has a perfect North Jersey accent.
  • Monk's first assistant, Sharona Fleming, is from New Jersey originally (and moves back there in the third season).
    • Most of the production facilities were in NJ as well.
  • The reimagined Hawaii Five-0 features a new Danny Williams that is a former Jersey detective. In a touch of irony (or possibly a Take That!), he's not really all that fond of the beach.
  • Sonny with a Chance briefly features a skit about fairytale princesses in New Jersey.
  • Jean Shepherd hosted a program on New Jersey Public Television called Shepherds Pie, which concentrated on New Jersey.
  • Being New York-based, Saturday Night Live is full of this.
    • One of the early Dan Aykroyd commercial sketches has him promoting a do-it-yourself slaughterhouse and restaurant called Mel's Char Palace where they provide the cow, the equipment to slaughter and butcher the cow, and the equipment to cook it, which you then perform all those activities yourself (makes you wonder how much you'll be saving on the bill, since you're doing most of the work). The restaurant was described to be located on Route 17 in Paramus, New Jersey.
    • After New York's then-Governor David Paterson made an otherwise forgettable verbal jab at New Jersey, Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen made Jersey-slamming one of the main points of his caricaturization of Paterson, in part to make the joke portrayal less about Paterson's visual impairment.
    • This was pretty much the only joke of the early Joe Piscopo Saturday Night Live character Paulie Herman, that he was from New Jersey. Problems arose from one Paulie sketch, which portrayed Piscataway as heavily-covered by chemical plants and toxic dust. Ted Light, Piscataway's then-mayor, was not at all amused.
    • Weekend Update would later feature Armisen and Bill Hader as "Two Gay Guys From New Jersey", who were the entire Joisey male stereotype except they were in love with each other. There was also a New Jersey game show sketch called "Ohhh!".
  • Mad Men:
    • Paul Kinsey is from New Jersey, and apparently had a real "Joisey" accent when he started at Princeton. He lived in Montclair in Season 2, much to the annoyance of his coworkers when he hosted a party at his apartment.
    • Betty Draper, being the daughter of a well-off Philadelphia-area businessman, was born at her family's shore house in Cape May. Even after she moved to New York, got married, and had kids, she still spent summer vacations there, despite Don's grumbling about the long drive from Westchester County.
    • In Season 7, Peggy Olson befriends a boy named Julio, who at some point mentions that his family is moving and that he doesn't want to go to Newark. Peggy replies, "Nobody wants to go to Newark".
  • WandaVision revealed that the town of Westview was located in New Jersey. To top it all off, the Evan Peters version of Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver speaks with a Joisey accent.note 
  • Ms. Marvel (2022), like the comics, has Kamala Khan hailing from the state. In the very first episode there's this exchange after a bus door closes on Kamala just as she's trying to drag her bike in:
    Kamala: What are the chances of it still being here when we return?
    Bruno: In Jersey City? Around 0.000001%.
  • On The Hollywood Squares, Marty Allen - a Pittsburgher - was asked, "What does a person from Philadelphia dunk his pretzel in?" His response: "A girl from New Jersey".
  • The Indian sitcom Metro Park takes place in a majority Indian town in New Jersey.

  • Voltaire's song "Bomb New Jersey" (the other Voltaire). However, there are enough in-jokes that only people from New Jersey would get that it's hard to be offended. Voltaire grew up in New Jersey (and hated it), and mentions it in more then one of his songs. For example: "Hell in a Handbasket".
    I'm goin to Hell, (he's going to hell) in a handbasket. (in a handbasket)
    And I might like it that way.
    No this ain't no lie, I'd rather be Kentucky Fried
    Than live and kicking in Jersey any day
  • Bruce Springsteen is from New Jersey, and several of his songs are love letters to his home state. Several others are about how much the state sucks (see: "Born to Run"). He also contributed the Ending Theme for the above-mentioned The Wrestler.
  • The Traveling Wilburys song "Tweeter and the Monkey Man" is an Affectionate Parody of Springsteen's work and features many references to New Jersey.
    In Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught.
  • Less Than Jake's song, "Never Going Back to New Jersey"
  • John Gorka has a song called "I'm from New Jersey," which is a pretty accurate impression of residents' reactions to New Jersey jokes. Can be seen here.
  • The Bloodhound Gang's "Ten Best Things About New Jersey", which is around 10 seconds of silence.
  • The band Fountains of Wayne got its name from a lawn-decoration store in Wayne by that name, which closed in 2009.
    • They sing about Jersey a lot, too — "Hackensack", for instance.
  • My Chemical Romance is from Newark. And even then, three of them are from Belleville and one is from Kearny.
  • Dean Friedman's 1977 song "Ariel" is about a Jersey boy who meets a spacey Jewish girl in Paramus Park and falls in love with her.
  • The Bouncing Souls are from Jersey, and reference the state (especially Asbury Park) a lot in their songs.
  • "My Ancestral Homeland, New Jersey" by The World/Inferno Friendship Society. Their first album, "The True Story of the Bridgewater Astral League," also takes place there.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has a song called "I'll Sue Ya", which states, "I sued Delta Airlines / 'cause they sold me a ticket to New Jersey / I went there, and it SUCKED!"
  • Bon Jovi's fourth studio album was named New Jersey, and most of the band hails from the state.
  • The Gaslight Anthem, a Springsteen-esque punk band, are from and sing about New Jersey. They've even appeared on stage with The Boss and their song "Howl" is used as the New Jersey Devils' goal song.
  • Titus Andronicus, an indie-punk band, are from and sing about New Jersey
  • Tom Waits' song "Jersey Girl" from Heartattack and Vine
  • "You Can't Get There From Here In Jersey" by Jason Didner, a commentary on Jersey's hard-to-navigate highways (made even harder by the other motorists).
    And I can kiss the exit lane goodbye
    They'd sooner crash than let you by
  • Streetlight Manifesto (along with their previous incarnation/sister band Catch 22) started out in New Jersey, and their music contains lots of references to poverty, gun violence, drug use and other unsavory elements of Jersey life. Particularly prevalent on the album Keasbey Nights, which is named after the community where frontman Tomas Kalnoky grew up.
  • Alternative Rock band Thursday hail from New Brunswick. With such songs as "Dying in New Brunswick" and "Counting 5-4-3-2-1", it's evident that they're not fond of the place.
  • Aside from The Boss, The Front Bottoms may be the most Jersey musical act out there. Much of their music is sad or sarcastic and their earlier repetoir heavily focuses on being a teen/college student in a suburban landscape. Stereotypical hallmarks like being on steroids and having family members in the Mob, and the general sense of New Jersey as a place to escape from all show up in their music.
  • While "Pleasant Valley Sunday" by The Monkees doesn't specifically mention New Jersey, it was inspired by it, since the song's writers Gerry Goffin and Carole King lived in West Orange at the time, and Pleasant Valley Way is one of the town's main thoroughfares.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Among the things Chris Candido and his nemesis Balls Mahoney have in common is their unapologetic pride for Joisey, both even using the New Jersey Jam leg drop.
  • The humanitarian exotica Sumie Sakai is naturally from Jersey Shore...Japan.
  • "The Full Breasted Italians" Angel Orsini and Salvatore Sincere (yes he's a guy with no boobs) billed from New Brunswick, NJ.
  • Gomi-man, a mobile pile of toxic trash from Jersey City New Jersey who commits acts of vandalism in Kaiju Big Battel.
  • In Ohio Valley Wrestling there was the Jersey Shore Crew, Danny Inferno, Nova and Trudi DeNucci and Aaron "The Idol" Stevens.
  • TNA, in a transparent effort to cash in on Jersey Shore's popularity(the tv show, not the stable which was long dead at the time), briefly had the gimmick "Shore", featuring expies of the Situation and Snooki who feuded with the real J-WOWW. They've also done cross promotional events with Jersey All Pro Wrestling, which caused AJ Styles to try to have all "backstage passes" revoked. Becky Bayless - who played the Snooki Expy - is from New Jersey herself and uses this gimmick outside of TNA.
  • The Jersey Jerks Corey Havock and Rhett Titus in the Premier Wrestling Xperience.
  • When he happened to be on a Monday Night Raw taking place in New Jersey, Vladimir Kozlov called it "a state devoid of class or integrity" and "the single most depressing place on Earth".
  • Nina Monet describes herself as a transplant, saying she gets her Sweetness from Georgia, the viciousness comes from New Jersey.
  • Jessie Kaye, princess of Voorhees township. She has trouble training her peons to kiss her boots on command.
  • Leech Landa of Beyond and, later, the Chikara spinoff "Wrestling Is Respect". Apparently a wrestler out for blood doesn't raise too many questions if they're from New Jersey.
  • Ring of Honor has had several wrestlers from Joisey, including many already listed, but no one embodied quite as much of Joisey as Newark's QT Marshall, a tanned orange under achiever convinced of his own superiority who blamed all his setbacks on others. At an unauthorized show in Chicago, Satan took responsibility for Marshall's contract with the promotion.
  • Liv Morgan of NXT is from New Jersey and has her area code '201' on her ring gear and entrance video. As she's a Face she's more of a Plucky Girl.
  • Orange Cassidy averts the trope strongly. Even though he's a native of Greenwich Township (on the Jersey side of Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley metro), his gimmick doesn't use any Jersey imagery or tropes.

  • Comedian Artie Lange on The Howard Stern Show. When on the show and in his comedy act, he'll sometimes exaggerate his Joisey characteristics to the point of becoming the epitome of a stereotypical Hudson County resident.
  • Humorist Jean Shepherd broadcast nightly from WOR, and would often talk about New Jersey, coining the phrase 'Slob Art' for concrete Mexicans, and other such, and particularly applying it to Rt. 22 in northern NJ, pointing to the big ship sailing along in the median.
    • And Lucy the Margate elephant.
  • The infamous Orson Welles broadcast of The War of the Worlds (1938).

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • On his album What Am I Doing In New Jersey?, George Carlin proposes retitling New Jersey from "The Garden State" ("Ha-ha, sure... if you're growing smokestacks, yes") to "The Toll Booth State".
  • Dom Irrera got mileage out of the fact New Jersey wanted to use Born to Run as the state's official song, apparently without having heard the lyrics.

  • This bit from 1776:
    John Adams: Wake up, Franklin, you're going to New Brunswick.
    Benjamin Franklin: [half asleep] Like hell I am, what for?
    Stephen Hopkins: The whoring and the drinking.
    [Franklin leaps to his feet and marches out behind Adams]
    • The reference is to a camp of the Continental Army located at New Brunswick, New Jersey at the time, where whoring and drinking were rampant and discipline was nearly dead. One poor innocent delegate gets a truckload of jokes poured on him and his family when he says, confused, "That can't be, I have an aunt who lives in New Brunswick!" Of course, by the time 1776 came out in 1969, Rutgers University in New Brunswick had a strong reputation as a "party school", meaning that the joke still worked for modern audiences.
    • And of course, the running joke about the delegation from New Jersey not being present.
      John Hancock: New Jersey. Where the hell is New Jersey?
      John Dickinson: Somewhere between New York and Pennsylvania.
    • Which leads to the most love New Jersey has even been shown on screen: When the New Jersey delegates enter just in time to tie the vote for independence, prompting John Adams and co. to run to embrace them.
  • In One Touch of Venus, the characters, being New Yorkers, sing a number called "Way Out West In New Jersey," whose premise is that the territory beyond the Hudson River might as well be The Wild West.
  • The obscure, but hilarious Once Upon a Time in New Jersey. It's exactly what it sounds like.
  • The jukebox musical Jersey Boys about the singing group, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, though most of the bashing focuses on Newark and not New Jersey as a whole.
  • The musical based on The Toxic Avenger is particularly gleeful in its bashing of New Jersey. The villain song is called "Jersey Girl", and it describes the mayor of Tromaville to be evil and slutty. Then there's the opening song that establishes the setting.
    There's a place between heaven and hell/Don't need a map, just follow the smell/a place full of filthy air/a place filled with dark despair/a place you have no prayer/a place called New Jersey
  • Hamilton: "Where is this [duel] happening?" "Across the river in Jersey. Everything is legal in New Jersey".
    • Additionally:
      Samuel Seabury: I pray the king shows you his mercy—
      Alexander Hamilton: Is he in Jersey? Footnote from the Hamiltome 

    Video Games 
  • The island of Alderney in Grand Theft Auto IV is based on New Jersey (in real life, Alderney is one of the other Channel Islands). Geographically, it replaces the actual New York City island of Staten Island, which is an improvement on the geography of the city. In the first game, it was named "New Guernsey", and in one IV mission, Jimmy Pegorino laments how his family is treated as "just a bunch of Guernsey goombas".
  • New Jersey is the first level of Tony Hawk's Underground, where it is depicted as a run-down, polluted suburb.
  • Super Hero League Of Hoboken takes in place in the tri-state area, with the titular superheroes being based in, well, Hoboken. It's not much better even with superheroes.
    • In the post-apocalyptic tri-state area, so the rampant crime, mutation and pollution has more explanations than just 'it's New Jersey'.
  • The Cellphone game Tank Battles in Suburbia has eleven levels set across New Jersey suburbs like Montclair, Glen Ridge and Raritan, with the final level being on the Turnpike.
  • The increased amount of Real Is Brown, grungy textures and film grain in Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse as opposed to its earlier two seasons is Hand Waved in-story as being due to the New York local government "importing grime from New Jersey".
  • In Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Pvt. Sweetwater says it "smells like Jersey" when your squad goes into a drainage ditch.
  • Obsidian Entertainment's "Project New Jersey,"note  which was ultimately canceled.
  • Several levels in the final stage of Need for Speed: The Run take place in New Jersey, and they play the Type 2 stereotype to the hilt. No prizes for guessing that said tracks mainly comprise industrial parks, highways and landfills, or that the one area of Jersey covered in greenery also happens to be within sight of New York. And in Challenge Mode, there's even a race called "The Situation".
  • Two levels in Max Payne 3 take place in New Jersey, where Max has to fight off the local Mob. Later, during Max's flashback to Panama, he jokingly compares the boat he's on to Jersey, what with all the tanned people with plastic surgery listening to dance music and doing drugs.
    • In addition, Max and Michelle used to live in a house across the river on the Jersey side, just before things went straight to hell for the both of them.
  • The Unova region in Pokémon Black and White is partially based on New Jersey. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2's new areas expand into New Jersey, including the new starting city. One of the cities introduced in Black 2 and White 2, Virbank City, is the equivalent of Jersey City and really leans into the "Armpit of America" image, as it’s shown to be dirty and often covered in smog, with the Gym Leader even being a Poison-type specialist.
  • According to the Instrucion Manual, Gabriel Logan of Syphon Filter was born in Camden, New Jersey.
  • In Agents of Mayhem, Gat's profile reveals that he moved from South Korea to New Jersey when he was 9. He eventually became a police officer in Newark, but was fired after just a year.

    Web Comics 
  • According to Faye of Questionable Content New Jersey is where Wonder Bread is mined. Yes, mined.
  • In Goats, one character has a regular poker game in Jersey with his buddy Satan/Stan… his house is right off the Turnpike exit for Hell itself

    Web Original 
  • My New Haircut. Originally a pair of viral videos (warning: NSFWnote ) that affectionately parodied the Jersey guido lifestyle, it's now being turned into a web series. Here's the trailer.
  • James Rolfe, of The Angry Video Game Nerd fame, is from southern New Jersey and filmed the first 50 episodes (and a few segments of the 51st episode) in the state. He has spoken about Weird NJ magazine being a major influence on him growing up near the Pine Barrens, and how strange it is for him to see people in the rest of the world associate New Jersey almost entirely with the Shore. In college, he made a film called Legend of the Blue Hole that was inspired by Weird NJ and New Jersey's urban legends. He has plans to make sequels to it, but thanks to his work doing AVGN videos, those plans have been put on hold indefinitely.
  • From Cracked: "A Pop Culture Tour of New Jersey".
  • The American on The Bugle.
  • In Decades of Darkness, much of the action during the North American War (a allohistorical version of World War I that pits the United States against the British Empire, Canada, and a Republic of New England that includes New York and New Jersey) takes place in the Garden State, which serves as an analogue to the Western Front. That's right, even in an Alternate History New Jersey is still Hell on Earth.
  • Slowbeef, of Let's Play fame, lives in Jersey. He alternates between mocking it and defending it.
  • The automatic censor at changes "hell" to "New Jersey".
  • Michael Jones (Rooster Teeth employee, part of Achievement Hunter, and star of Rage Quit) was a New Jersey resident before he moved to Austin, Texas to work at RT full time.
  • The End of the World: The Jersey War. On December 21, 2012, Snooki turns into an Eldritch Abomination and gives birth to a tide of hair-gelled, tanned, A-shirt-wearing insectoid gremlins onto New Jersey, while a poisonous black gas that smells like hairspray swells over the landscape.
  • TV Trash has one of the villains, Malicia, sent away to "a far-away, desolate place" by Jeannie after the former's fight scene with Chris "Rowdy C" Moore.
    "So New Jersey? Yeah, Oklahoma's not far enough!"
  • Freight Train of the Whateley Universe is a Joisey gal, and is the only person allowed into Jobe's lab who has worse manners than Jobe.
    • Worse, we later learn that both the accent and attitude are fake - she's actually from Indiana, but wants to sound tougher than she is. Jadis eventually calls her out on it.
  • Funny Business is set in Jersey, because that is the author's home state. The fact that it's a setting where supernatural powers exist is, however, just a coincidence.
  • A number of entries in The Slender Man Mythos are set in New Jersey. Of course, that's just because the people making them live there, but the state's reputation as a Weirdness Magnet could be what inspired them to do so. One blog even noted that "It's always either Jersey or Alabama" (Alabama being where Marble Hornets takes place, the series that got everybody Following The Leader).
  • Bonus Stage and its predecessor, High Score, both are set in New Jersey, as is their creator. In the latter, Phil works to stop a meteor from reaching the ground, but when he sees that it'll land in New Jersey, he just shrugs it off.
  • GEOWeasel seems to be set in the weird New Jersey, attracting sentient brains, evil villains bent on world domination and computer viruses infecting the non-virtual world.
  • In the "Beyond Belief" episodes of the Thrilling Adventure Hour, there are numerous hells scattered across the world, and all of New Jersey is a hell unto itself. When the Doyles visit it in the episode "The Devil You Know," it is being run by recurring nemesis Nightmares the Clown.
  • Grace Helbig hails from NJ, and she still lapses into Joisey occasionally.
  • It's Alive! with Brad: Brad Leone is from Sussex County, and his far-North-Jersey accent is practically a co-star of the show ("wourder"). The fact he still lives in NJ is also frequently on display (his house—more specifically his back yard—appear in his kombucha-miso barbecue ribs episode and in a few other Bon Appétit productions where something has to be smoked or otherwise cooked outdoors, since they're not about to set up a smoker in the World Trade Center and most of the rest of the BA crew live in New York City), and now all the time what with all of the videos being produced from home amid the 2020 pandemic.

    Western Animation 
  • Megas XLR: The New Jersey Fireball is a regular occurrence on the show. The show is set in Jersey City specifically, although its portrayal is much more like southern New Jersey (culturally, Jersey City and indeed all of Hudson County are quite different from the suburbs and the Shore that most outsiders are familiar with).
  • American Dragon: Jake Long had the Jersey Devil.
  • The inexplicable 80s cartoon Dinosaucers features an odd episode revolving around football where the titular characters assume a football jersey and New Jersey are one and the same thing... and thus during the game wear "new jerseys" featuring the state's outline on the front rather than regulation numbers.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Guy" Gumball disguises himself as "Ferzandelerp", a Fauxreigner waiter with an outrageously bad "European" accent from an undisclosed "far away land" full of weird traditions and customs. When asked where he actually comes from, he of course replies "New Jersey".
  • Futurama, taking place in (essentially) New York City, takes jabs at New Jersey on a regular basis:
    • In "I, Roommate", Fry and the gang are touring a beautiful apartment (the listing actually says "suspiciously fantastic apartment"), after looking at several dumps earlier in the episode.
      Fry: Well, I give up! What's the catch?
      Landlord: Oh, no catch... although we are technically in New Jersey.
      (Smash Cut to Fry moping back in the Planet Express employee lounge)
      Fry: Not one place even remotely livable.
    • Or this tidbit when they discover Robot Hell is a real place located beneath a run-down abandoned Amusement Park:
      Leela: Who would've thought that Hell actually existed? And that it would be in New Jersey?
      Fry: Well, actually... (Trap Door opens)
    • Seems to be a frequent target of Futurama. In "A Big Piece of Garbage" the Planet Express crew watch a documentary about what New York did with its gigantic piles of garbage.
      Narrator: The landfills were full. New Jersey was full.
    • And they continue to mock it since it was Uncanceled.
      (after Fry has taken a swim in goat vomit)
      Leela: (hugs Fry and smells him in the process) What have you been doing, rolling around in New Jersey?
      Fry: Well, actually...
    • In "All the President's Heads", it is revealed that back in 1776 the Continental Congress voted to make New Jersey the official joke state.
    • In "Stench and Stenchibility", Zoidberg gets a girlfriend who can stand to be around him due to the fact that she has no sense of smell. On their date they go to Limburger King, a discount petting zoo filled with pigs and skunks and then take a walk in scenic New Jersey.
  • The South Park episode "It's a Jersey Thing" has Randy and the boys going up against the Jersey people. Every person from New Jersey acts like the cast of Jersey Shore, incredibly loud and arrogant and "all they do is have sex and fight each other". It's a Jersey thing. It gets so bad they have to get help from Al Qaeda.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force, specifically South Jersey.
  • An episode of Extreme Ghostbusters had the team going to New Jersey to fight the Jersey Devil. It's as awesome as it sounds.
  • Referenced several times in the 2003 TMNT series — which makes sense, given that most of the protagonists are life-long New Yorkers. One particular jab involved Casey Jones' description of a world were global warming had caused humans to evolve into mole-people to survive the scorching heat. Jersey, apparently, was the first to go. Also, in the first episode the Turtles are stuck above ground and trying to find a manhole with which they can head back underground without anyone seeing them. The first one they come across gets parked on by an armored truck; leading Raphael to kick it in rage.
    Leonardo: Way to be stealthy, Raph!
    Michelangelo: Yeah, I don't think they heard you over in Joisey.
    • The 1987 series had characters making references and similes to New Jersey.
  • Bugs Bunny: In "8 Ball Bunny", Bugs discovers that the baby penguin he's just taken to Antarctica was raised in captivity, and is part of an ice show that operates out of Hoboken.
    Bugs: Hoboken? Ooooooh, I'm dyin' again!
  • According to Robot Chicken, Care-A-Lot is turned into New Jersey as a result of the Care Bears provoking the Great Cloudkeeper's wrath when they begin an ethnic cleansing of the Care Bear Cousins.
    John Corzine: Hello. I'm New Jersey governor John Corzine. I hope you've enjoyed this reenactment of our state's proud history. [eats some rainbow] The Garden State: Come get in on some of this rainbow!
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Harley Quinn has a New Jersey accent, which mixes with the implications of Gotham City in relation to New Jersey.
  • Squirt, the street smart chihuahua in The Hub's Pound Puppies has a Jersey accent and, in an episode, even mentions he's from Hoboken.
  • Total Drama Revenge of the Island: Contestant Anne Maria, labelled "The 'Jersey Shore' Reject" is a blatant parody of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi who almost word-for-word fits the description of stereotypical New Jersey Italian-Americans given above (orange spray-tan skin, 80s hair, lots of make-up, nasally accent). Similarly, Mike's Vito personality is a parody of Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino; no surprise that Anne Maria is infatuated with him.
  • In The Simpsons, they do a parody of Jersey Shore when Fat Tony invites them to his mansion after Selma snubbed Marge at their wedding.
    • In "Catch 'em if You Can", Marge and Homer are supposed to go to Dayton, Ohio for an elderly relative's birthday, but decide to take a last-minute romantic getaway to Miami... then wind up in Atlantic City when they find they're being tailed by Bart and Lisa. Homer and Marge are making out in a glass elevator, and Marge expresses (mock) concern about other people seeing them.
      Homer: "What, they've never seen a fat guy making out? It's on the freakin' state flag!" (Cue a shot of a flag featuring a fat man kissing an attractive woman).
  • Avengers Assemble: When Iron Man finds out about Molecule Man's reality-warping wand, Tony starts talking about the wonderful things he could do once he figures out how it works. One of them is "Transmute Jersey into...what's the opposite of Jersey?"
  • Steven Universe: While showing her the sights around Beach City in "Same Old World", Steven and Lapis fly over Jersey (this isn't a shortening of "New Jersey", it's just called "Jersey" in their world). The place itself is complete with smog, traffic in the Turnpike, and grumpy locals with stereotypical Jersey accents.
    Jersey Local: Quit flyin' in our sky, ya mooks!
  • Gravity Falls: Grunkle Stan and his family came from New Jersey, the fictional town of Glass Shard Beach—the lead paint district, to be precise. The banner for a science fair has "What, you think you're some kinda smart guy?" written on it. One of the comics is set in his childhood, and features a Freak Show, a rundown amusement park, and the Jersey Devil.
  • There's an episode of Codename: Kids Next Door with a Running Gag of "where do babies come from?" At the end of the episode Numbuh Five (whose father is a doctor) starts to answer but is cut off by the end credits. Said credits show her teammates utterly horrified and disgusted, up until Number One says "Wait a minute, that's preposterous! Babies don't come from New Jersey, they come from Philadelphia!"
  • The Venture Brothers:
    • The Monarch was raised by a flock of butterflies in the Pine Barrens.
    • The abandoned mansion that served as the Revenge Society HQ (actually the Monarch's old family home and the secret headquarters of the Blue Morpho) is eventually revealed to be in Newark when the Monarch, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, and 21 move in following the Cocoon's destruction.
    • In season 6, the Monarch and 21 pay a visit to a villain named Redusa, who lives in a trailer park in Paterson.
  • Bob's Burgers is set in a nondescript seaside town in New Jersey. The show features much more loving parodies of New Jersey culture than most, and touches on the difficulties of living in a seasonal tourism economy, like those present in many Jersey shore communities. It even has an episode dedicated to a prohibition-era taffy company situated on a boardwalk.
  • On Harvey Beaks, Technobear's adopted parents are a pair of stereotypically New Jersey-accented turtles nicknamed Pooker and The Inspiration (obviously parodies of Snooki and The Situation).
  • In the two-part finale of Trollhunters, Jim, Claire, Blinky, Nomura, and Merlin leave Arcadia to seek out a colony of trolls living in New Jersey. This actually makes a lot of sense, considering that much of the state (including the infamous Pine Barrens) is covered in vegetation and mountains, perfect for hiding trolls.
  • In one Spider-Man: The Animated Series story, Rhino declares that he's going to be the "King of New Jersey". Spidey responds that if Kingpin is going to Take Over the World and give him New Jersey, Rhino needs to get a better agent.
  • In an episode of Ugly Americans, Randall gets cut in half by a passing bus, but the sudden traumatic injury wasn't what brought the Big "NO!" on, it was the fact that the bus was headed to Jersey City.
  • Episode 5 of What If…? (2021) sees the various survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse hotwire a train to get to Camp Lehigh in New Jersey in search for a cure, which Happy Hogan grumbles about.
  • In an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, when a banshee rock star's singing could threaten all of America:
    Peter: She's appearing in concert tonight in Carnegie Hall and it's gonna be simulcast all over the country; (gasps) even New Jersey!
    Egon: This could be the end of America as we know it... though I suppose we could afford to lose New Jersey.
  • In The Cuphead Show!, Baroness von Bon Bon, ruler of Sugar Land, is for some reason given a Jersey accent. Given what she turns out to be, you have to wonder.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023) Zig Zags this trope with a With Due Respect response, if there is ever a need to make a joke of the state.
    • In the pilot episode, for example, Lunella must stop an electric supervillainess from stealing power from the Lower East Side of Manhattan before her family is forced to sell their rollerskating rink and relocate to New Jersey. Her mom, Adria is concerned about raising her daughter there and quickly follows with...
      Adria: No disrespect to Jersey!
  • In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, the Rangers are about to pay a visit (read: arrest) a crime boss responsible for contracting the theft of a priceless art piece that can double as an Artifact of Doom if mishandled. Goose expresses amazement that an incredibly wealthy crime boss would choose to live in New Jersey. Doc interjects that said crime boss owns New Jersey.

  • The magazine Weird NJ has undoubtedly contributed to New Jersey's reputation as a Weirdness Magnet. Teenagers will often go on tours of the state using the magazine as their guide. Has been spun off into two books, as well as books covering other states.
    • The weird and ocasionally surreal nature of Joisey is also a reliable well of copy, one that will seemingly never run dry, for British magazine Fortean Times.
  • Atlantic City has the distinction of being the original setting for the board game Monopoly. While other variations (read: licensed editions) of the game are abound, official Tournament Play uses the AC-based version, a fact that many Shore residents are proud (and defensive) of.
  • Most media about The American Revolution will reference New Jersey in some capacity. The state played a pivotal role in the war as New York and Philadelphia (two of the three largest cities in the colonies at the time, with Patriot hotbed Boston the other) are literally next to it, and control of New Jersey meant quick access to both. Some of the War's most famous battles took place here; George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, immortalized by the famous painting, was the beginning of his attack on Trenton, and the Battle of Monmouth Courthousenote  pretty much ended the first phase of the war and could have ended the war entirely if not for the arrogant bungling of Charles Lee.note  Washington made his winter camp at Morristown twice in the war, and generally spent the whole war after Monmouth keeping a large British force pinned down in NYC using North Jersey as a base while his Southern Theater commanders decided the last phase of the war in the Carolinas.
  • An Iranian journalist who was imprisoned following the 2009 election riots said that his jailer/interrogator was obsessed with New Jersey, which he saw as some sort of capitalist American paradise and was intensely jealous that the journalist had been there. Neither the journalist nor Jon Stewart could figure out the cause of that.
  • Be Nice To New Jersey Week was July 4-10, 2010.
  • Why did New York get all the lawyers and New Jersey get all the toxic waste? New Jersey got first pick. (Sometimes Washington, D.C. is substituted for New York in this joke; the point is the same).
  • "I told my boyfriend, 'Arnie, ya gotta kiss me where it smells' he drove me to Wapping." — Bette Midler
  • In late 2011 a New Jersey resident created a demographic map of the state (currently at the top of this page). Thanks to Facebook and Twitter it immediately went viral and made the local papers. A couple of politicians were unhappy with the portrayal, but the vast majority of residents found it to be hilarious and pretty much dead-on, as seen here
  • Speaking to almost any Pennsylvanian about New Jersey will almost inevitably result in them stating that New Jersey should be blown up. Why, you ask? Because New Jersey is the armpit of the country and Pennsylvania needs a beach. What lovely neighbors...
    • It does not help that immediately across the river from Philadelphia is Camden, a Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy.
      • Nor does it help that on the other side of that very same river is Philadelphia.
  • The vast majority of bridges leading out of New Jersey (either east across the Hudson to New York or west across the Delaware to Pennsylvania) are tolled (those that aren't are small ones that trucks wouldn't be able to use). Moreover, all tolls are collected one-way leaving New Jersey in order to avoid perpetual traffic congestion in New York or Philadelphia. In other words, it's free to enter New Jersey but you have to pay to leave it (and it ain't cheap — all six crossings of the Hudsonnote  costs $15. On the bright side, it only costs $5 to enter Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia area [at most locations], and a maximum of $3 to enter Pennsylvania from Trenton or anywhere north).
    • Unlike, say, the Brooklyn Bridge with its raised promenade, the Manhattan-NJ tunnels are not pedestrian-friendly. One does not simply walk into Jersey. (The George Washington Bridge allows pedestrian access, but you first have to get all the way up to 178th Street)
    • This is not the case near Philadelphia: the Ben Franklin Bridge has two walkways on each side of the bridge that you can walk from Philly into Jersey. That said, the walkways lead into Camden, the aforementioned Wretched Hive. You are advised to use the southern walkway if you care to save your life—the south side of the bridge leads to the actually pretty much OK area around the Camden campus of Rutgers University; some professors and students actually commute by taking the half-hour walk. However, "north of the bridge" is the proverbial worst part of Camden, with a violent-crime rate high enough to deter college students from walking there to buy cheap booze (at least until about 2016ish, when Rutgers started buying up north-of-the-bridge property and turning the area in to a de facto extension of campus).
    • The Holland Tunnel is particularly cruel: it's labeled as an Interstate, but it's an at-grade road with driveways and stoplights.note  Which leads us to....
  • An old cartoon in The New Yorker shows a religious pilgrim walking through a dark tunnel with a glum look on his face. The caption explains that he has just learned that "the light at the end of the tunnel" is New Jersey.
  • Why do so many people move from New Jersey to Vermont? They were in the northbound lane, had to go that far out of their way to make a U-turn and figured they might as well stay... (this might be as much a commentary about New York roads as anything else)
  • There is even a Transatlantic Equivalent. British readers/observers/viewers tend to be horrifically struck by how many of the descriptions of New Jersey have a point-for-point equivalence with everything the rest of England thinks about the county of Essex. It spawned its own Jersey Shore-like TV reality show The Only Way Is Essex which is equally horrendous. Even the respective coats-of-arms are oddly similar: New Jersey has three ploughshares on its shield; Essex has three broad-bladed scimitars (the technical name for that kind of sword is a 'seax'—it is a 'canting' or visual pun). Place the two side by side and they could be twin manifestations of the same phenomena, the place where style, moderation, good taste and modest reticence went to die. Hell, Joisey even has an Essex County (it's where Newark is). Recursion may be happening.note