How I Met Your Mother Episodes

2005, TV Show

How I Met Your Mother Episode: "I Heart NJ"

Season 4, Episode 3
Episode Synopsis: Ted invites his friends to Stella's New Jersey apartment, and he tries to convince them that living outside the city has benefits---until Stella says she wants to live there permanently after they're married.
Original Air Date: Oct 6, 2008
Guest Cast Sarah Chalke Michael Kagan Darcy Rose Byrnes
Full Episode
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Season 4, Episode 3
Subscription | Netflix
Length: 21:34
Aired: 10/6/2008
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Episode Recap: "I Heart NJ" Season 4, Episode 3

Following a one-week burger break, How I Met Your Mother dove right back into action, this week addressing the age-long war of awesomeness between New York and New Jersey. Plus, after four years at lowly Metro News 1, Robin decides it is finally time for a change... but does she actually go through with it?

Ted's been racking up a lot of rail mileage since he began dating New Jerseyan Stella. And it sucks. Tired of missing all the action with his buds (Barney picking up a lesbian — insert your own gay joke here) and all the QT with Stella and Lucy, he proposes a night in NJ, a suggestion met with mass refusal. Lily reminds him that he is the biggest NJ hater ever, even using the state name as a euphemism for No. 2. Someone explain why non-New York-reared people are more passionate and defensive about my native state and city than I am. Yes, I often refer to NJ as the "armpit of America," but I don't harbor that much ill will. NJ has some redeeming qualities — I particularly enjoy the changing fall leaves whilst cruising down the Turnpike. So, city transplants, why the extreme fervor?

Before they make the trek, Robin quits Metro News 1, delivering a cliched-filled speech from Ted. She nabs a gig as a national anchor, her first night coinciding with the dreaded Jersey visit.

Unable to snag a sitter, everyone is forced to hang out in Stella's basement that's equipped with half a ping pong table, darts and a fishbowl. But Barney only rolls with the suckerfish and the blowfish. No one will pound him, so he vows to keep his fist elevated until someone does. That means sitting out Scrabble, where game aficionado Marshall was unnaturally subdued (is NJ really that evil?). As Stella leaves to let Robin in, she suggests they get a dog when Ted moves in. Ted is appalled because they agreed Stella and Lucy will move in with him. Flashback: Stella "agreed" over what seems to be the umpteenth glass of red wine. Someone tell Ted sarcasm is lost when you're wasted. But did he legitimately think Stella would uproot her and Lucy's life and leave their pretty nice house for a cramped apartment?

Meanwhile, Robin's first day was actually an audition. Thinking she "got it," Robin missed the rest of the message when she put her phone down to shake it in the McLaren's bathroom. Stressed, she thinks about asking for her Metro News gig back. Everyone tries to stop her, mostly Barney, warning her of the look of self-loathing she'll get if she does it. Robin eventually gives in, and can get her job back if she makes it back for the 11 pm broadcast. She bounces and steals Lucy's bike.

Ted gets another taste of suburbia when Stella sends him off to Costco PriceCo to stock up and get a membership. There, Marshall tries to convince him the Jerz ain't so bad with the riding lawn mowers with cup holders, basically everything with cup holders and shirts with dogs on them (beagle and Boston terrier). When they return, it's the moment we've been waiting for: The throwdown.

In this corner: New Jersey
• My daughter goes to school here. All her friends are here. I've lived here my whole life. My whole family is here. This is my house. I'm in the PTA, and as of June 1 (my birthday! — as in mine, not Stella's), I'm the deputy mayor.
• I can't just uproot Lucy.
• New Jersey is better than New York.
• People are nice in New Jersey.
• We have Atlantic City.
• New Jersey has The Shore.
• Bruce Springsteen

And in this corner: New York
• My apartment is really close to the subway.
• People with kids move all the time.
• New York is the intellectual and cultural hub of the planet.
• New York has Broadway.
• New York has Greenwich Village.
• Woody Allen
• Sinatra — because he's not singing about Secaucus, Secaucus

Lily guarantees Stella would love New York because Marshall did after early reservations (nice callback to last week). Marshall says he hates it because the city isn't built for a man his size. "I'm like a huge monster that came out of the ocean to destroy bodegas." New Jersey is "great" with its large buildings, doorways, lawns and "you never have to carry a cup again... I love New Jersey." Oops. "Just kidding," he says after receiving the Death Stare from Lily. After Ted's anti-NJ rant last season, it's nice to see a pro one, especially coming from Marshall. Can't you totally see him being amped about family life in the 'burbs? Oh wait, you just did...

Ted tries to compromise with Brooklyn. Stella storms out and Ted goes to find her, only to end up reading a bedtime story to Lucy. And just like that, New Jersey wins. Nice for the underdog to triumph for a change.

Back to Robin. With time ticking down 24-style, she tells everyone she pulled a stylish BMX vert trick to bypass traffic and gets to the station. But after reading yet another bad pun, it's over. For good. Barney finally gets his fist pound... but now needs a high-five. So did Robin get the anchor job? Nope. But she did get a job — foreign correspondent in Japan. And there's that look from Barney again. You know which one.

This was a definite pick-up from last week. It's safe to say Ted and Stella are doomed — or look to be at least. The irony is that they both want the same things, but not in the same way. Robin? I wouldn't worry about that gig in Japan. Lest we forget, she is living with Ted by his 31st birthday. So she can travel east, return and shack up with Ted. That, of course, means Marshall and Lily will be in Dowisetrepla. Everything's changing!

What did you think? Is New York more awesome than New Jersey? Should Stella have considered moving to New York? Shouldn't Barney not have held his arm up that long since, you know, he survived a bus accident? Will Robin go to Japan? Did you notice Marshall's Boston terrier shirt, or him hugging a jar of green olives (olive theory)? Do you yearn to not hold cups — ever?
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Following a one-week burger break, How I Met Your Mother dove right back into action, this week addressing the age-long war of awesomeness between New York and New Jersey. Plus, after four years at lowly Metro News 1, Robin decides it is finally time for a change... but does she actually go through with it?
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Premiered: September 19, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,933 ratings)
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Premise: A man named Ted tells his kids how he met the love of his life, through flashbacks, years in the future. The bored kids sit on the sofa and listen as dad regales them with tales of his pursuit of romance.

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