I Heart NJ

HIMYM episode 4x03 (67)

I heart nj - fighting
First aired:
October 6, 2008
Pamela Fryman
Greg Malins
Barney's Blog

Images (13)

Tired of having to constantly travel back and forth between New Jersey and New York to spend time with Stella and the gang, Ted convinces the gang to go to New Jersey. Meanwhile, Robin's career is in jeopardy.


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Ted is complaining about having to travel so far to see Stella in New Jersey, as she is often asleep by the time he gets there. It also means he misses some key events with the group, like Barney trying to pick up a lesbian by dressing in feminine clothing, and Robin getting promoted. When he tells Stella about this, she suggests the group comes to New Jersey for a night out. At first, the group rejects this idea, making fun of New Jersey, and also reminding Ted of how much he hates the place himself. He talks them into accepting, and says that soon he won't have to go back again, as Stella and her daughter will move in with him after they are married.

Robin is sick of her job, as she often reports stupid stories and has to make bad, and sometimes insensitive, puns. After being offered a major anchor job, she immediately accepts, and makes her farewell broadcast, with a terrible speech (written by Ted).

On Saturday, Ted, Marshall, Lily and Barney head to New Jersey for a night out, but instead find that Stella's babysitter canceled, and they have to stay in. Ted reminds them that being together is what's important, but Marshall, Barney and Lily are desperate to get back home. Stella overhears their complaining, and takes them into the basement, saying it's 'the coolest bar in New Jersey', with some board games and half a ping-pong table. Barney, after making a bad joke, asks someone to give him a fist bump, but no one agrees. He declares that he will not lower his arm until someone gives him a fist pound, but is still ignored.

Robin arrives, and explains her new job was not an actual job, but an audition, and says she has to go back to her old job. Lily and Barney manage to stop her, reminding her of how humiliating it was there, and Robin relents. Ted is shocked to find Stella expects him to move to New Jersey, and didn't want to move in with him, thinking he was joking, as Manhattan is not a safe place to raise her daughter. She asks Ted to go to the local store to get some beer, where he continues to worry about living in New Jersey, as he feels he'll never go back to the city. Marshall, however, seems to love the idea of living out in New Jersey. Barney, meanwhile, continues to make jokes, hoping for some 'respect', as he seems to be in some pain.

Robin manages to sneak a call to her old studio, and asks for her job back. Since her replacement is terrified of going on air, her producer agrees, but only if she can make it to the studio in time for the broadcast in half an hour. She steals Stella's daughter's bike, and sets off.

When Ted and Marshall get back, Ted confronts Stella about moving to New Jersey, and she responds that she doesn't want to uproot her daughter. She also states New Jersey is better than New York, a statement that upsets both Ted and Lily. They begin to argue over which is better, while Barney desperately asks someone to bump him.

Robin, meanwhile, is seen performing incredible stunts in order to make it to the studio in time, even backflipping on her stolen bike over a cab that has crashed in the road.

Lily suggests that Stella will grow to love New York, as Marshall did. Marshall, however, reveals he hates New York, as the city is designed for people who are smaller than him, and actually loves New Jersey, with its big stores, lawns and cupholders on everything. Ted refuses to relent, and Stella storms out.

Ted goes to find her, but instead finds Stella's daughter Lucy, who was woken up by the argument. He reads her a bedtime story to get her back to sleep, and realizing how much Stella and Lucy mean to him, he then finds Stella, and agrees to move in with her, saying New Jersey wins.

Robin arrives at the studio just in time, pushing her nervous replacement out of the way, and immediately going on air. However, after her first story again contains a bad pun, she decides she was right to quit, and leaves. Barney and Lily watch, and Lily says they helped her do that, giving him the fist bump he desired. Despite this, he quickly makes another bad joke, and asks for a high five, which he doesn't receive, and is still asking later at the bar. Robin reveals she didn't get the job she auditioned for, but was offered another, and is going to move to Japan. Barney, shocked, lowers his hand, referring to the fact that Barney is in love with Robin.


  • Robin's hatred of unimportant news stories is a recurring theme from Pilot onward; Do I Know You? is an example.
  • Ted's hatred for New Jersey was previously seen in We're Not From Here.
  • Marshall is seen with a large jar of olives, a reference to the "Olive Theory", mentioned in the Pilot.
  • Future Ted mentioned in Something Blue that Robin would eventually live in Japan.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Ted mentions Stella's refusal to move into the city for him in Happily Ever After.
  • Ted exclaims "Aw, man!" whenever he misses out on something due to riding the train between New York and New Jersey, later revealed as the catchphrase of the "Blitz" in Blitzgiving.
  • When Barney lists all the lies he's told to get women to sleep with him to Nora in The Naked Truth, one of them involved pretending he was a lesbian ("No, I really am a lesbian, this thing is just really realistic.").


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:I Heart NJ images.

Memorable Quotes

Stella: Well, my daughter goes to school here, all of her friends are here, I've lived here my whole life, my whole family is here, this is my house, I'm on the PTA, and, as of June 1st, I'm the deputy mayor.

Marshall: I HATE NEW YORK! I'm sorry but it's true. Okay, today I was walking around Price Co. Have you ever been there? It's huge! All the stores in New York are so cramped, every time I turn I knock something over. I'm like some huge monster that came out of the ocean to destroy bodegas!
Marshall: ...I hate it. I'M TOO BIG FOR NEW YORK! Okay? I'm always trying to fit into cramped, little subway seats, or duck under doorways that were built 150 years ago. Hey, guess what: People are bigger now! Build bigger doorways! What the hell is the matter with you?... And it's so loud. All the time! Yes, it's the city that never sleeps. Well, guess what: I like to sleep. I've been tired for eight years! Tired, and scared with black and blue marks on my elbows from trying to fit through all these tiny little elf doorways. New Jersey is great! It's got huge stores and lawns and you never have to carry a cup again. Not for the rest of your life. I'm not afraid to say it: I love New Jersey!

Ted: After Stella and Lucy move in, I'll never have to set foot in New Jersey again unless I'm going to a Giants game...or flying out of Newark...or God forbid disposing of a body.
Lily: Ted, if you murder me and bury my body in New Jersey, I will come back and haunt you.
Ted: What if I murdered you and buried your body somewhere else?
Lily: Eh, I'll leave you alone.  I'm sure you had your reasons.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • Ted is taking New Jersey Transit. None of the train cars look like the train he takes.
  • Robin says she was offered the job of foreign correspondent in Japan but subsequent episodes indicate that she's apparently working as an anchor for a newscast in Japan rather than as a foreign correspondent for an American agency.
  • Robin said she had been with Metro News One for four years.  However, she was only offered the anchor job in early 2006, which means by the time of the episode, she was in the anchor chair for less than three years.  And since it was ultimately revealed she recently moved to New York in September 2005, she had been with Metro News One for about three years to the current episode.

Allusions and Outside References

  • When Robin steals the bike, a ticking digital clock is shown. This is in reference to the show 24.
  • Marshall's joke "rock you like a furricane" refers to Scorpions' rock song "Rock You Like a Hurricane".
  • In this episode, Ted misses out on Barney trying to pick up a lesbian. Marshall later comments said event saying "no snakes on that plane", referencing the movie Snakes on a Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson.
  • When Ted points out that Sinatra isn't singing "Secaucus, Secaucus" he is referring to Frank Sinatra's song "New York, New York".
  • When Marshall explains that the shops in New York are too small, he says that he "feels like a huge monster that came in from the ocean to destroy bodegas". This is a reference to the Japanese movie monster Godzilla, whom in most of the movies about it is destroying cities (mostly Tokyo).
  • When showing the gang to the basement, Stella turns on the lights saying "and boom goes the dynamite", a catch phrase made famous by a Ball State University student during an ill-fated sportscast.
  • The character of Matisse is a reference to the french movie Subway. In this film, a character referred as "The Rollerskater" is recurrently seen wandering illicitly in the subway.


Other Notes



  • The AV Club rated the episode B+. [1]
  • IGN gave the episode 7.8 out of 10. [2]
  • Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade C+. [3]
  • Alan Sepinwall of the The Star-Ledger (the largest newspaper in Newark, NJ) was rather critical of the episode stating: "What bothered me about "I Heart NJ" was that it took Ted's simplistic view of Jersey and seemed to apply such broad, black-and-white thinking to everything." [4]
  • Joel Keller of the TV Squad who hails from New Jersey, also expressed disgust at the episode. [5]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9 out of 10 stars. "Who will win: Ted's love for Stella or Ted's hatred of New Jersey?"


External links

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I Heart NJ
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