I Heart NJ

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"I Heart NJ"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 3
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Greg Malins
Production code 4ALH04
Original air date October 6, 2008
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Best Burger in New York"
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"I Heart NJ" is the third episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 67th overall. It originally broadcast, in the USA, on October 6, 2008.


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 will not 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, 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, so 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 table tennis 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 it turns out that she didn't get the anchor job, just an audition for it. After being intimidated by the more experienced and international candidates at the audition, she 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 did not 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 will never go back to the city. Marshall seems to more open to the idea of living out in New Jersey, liking the idea of having cup holders and never having to hold cups. Barney continues to make jokes, hoping for his fist bump, 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 bicycle, and sets off.

When Ted and Marshall get back, Ted confronts Stella about moving to New Jersey, and she responds that she does not want to uproot her daughter. She also states New Jersey is better than New York, since New Jersey is a nicer place, 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 back flipping on her stolen bike over a cab that has crashed in the road, at least according to Ted's second-hand telling of the story.

Lily suggests that Stella will grow to love New York, as Marshall did. Marshall 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 cup holders on everything. Marshall then takes back the statement after seeing Lily's shocked face, though. 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. Realizing the importance of Stella's reason for staying, Ted, upon encountering her, agrees to move in, 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. 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 does not receive, and is still asking later at the bar. Robin reveals she did not get the job she auditioned for, but was offered another, and is going to move to Japan. Barney, shocked, lowers his hand.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode B+.[1] IGN gave the episode 7.8 out of 10.[2] Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade C+.[3] Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger 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, who hails from New Jersey, also expressed disgust at the episode.[5]


  1. ^ Donna Bowman (2008-10-06). "How I Met Your Mother "I Heart NJ"". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  2. ^ "How I Met Your Mother: Season 4 - TV - IGN". Tv.ign.com. 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  3. ^ Cindy McLennan (2008-10-06). "How I Met Your Mother: Bite The Big Apple -- The Big Apple Bites". Television Without Pity. NBC Universal. p. 10. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  4. ^ Alan Sepinwall (2008-10-06). "HIMYM, "I Heart NJ": I Hate Ted Mosby". The Star-Ledger. New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  5. ^ "Television News, Reviews and TV Show Recaps - HuffPost TV". Tvsquad.com. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 

External links[edit]