It’s a Jersey thing
[its uh jur-zee thing]
What does It’s a Jersey thing mean?
There is a strange, dark land along the Atlantic Ocean where the people have terrible fake tans and actually enjoy Bon Jovi. Why do they act this why? You wouldn’t understand: It’s a Jersey thing.
It’s a Jersey thing is a joke stereotyping, but also embraced by, the so-called Italian-American guido culture of New Jersey, among other residents of the duly proud state.
Where does It’s a Jersey thing come from?
We can find It’s a Jersey thing to justify the regional idiosyncrasies of New Jersey tastes and culture as early as the 1990s on internet Usenet groups. A 1994 post expressed undying fandom of the New Jersey Devils hockey team as It’s a Jersey thing while a 1997 post fawned over New Jersey native musician Bon Jovi as It’s a Jersey thing. Other states do this too (e.g., Cheese curds: It’s a Wisconsin thing), drawing on the common use of a thing for some cultural phenomenon.
It’s a Jersey thing was popularized as a punchline, though, thanks to a 2010 South Park episode appropriately called “It’s a Jersey Thing.” The episode ruthlessly mocks the guido culture of New Jersey that received mainstream attention in 2010 thanks to the hit MTV reality show, Jersey Shore. Think muscle-y, tough-guy bros with gelled hair, skin-tight clothes, and gold jewelry. Think Snooki.
In the episode, the character Kyle Broflovski learns he is from New Jersey and begins acting like characters from Jersey Shore once he discovers it. Throughout the episode, he, and others, justify their newly uncharacteristic and bizarre behavior, including acting like guidos and talking to imaginary reality TV confessional cameras, as something non-New Jersey residents wouldn’t understand because It’s a Jersey thing.
Though they may be the butt of many jokes, Jerseyites have thick skins and a good sense of humor. The episode was a hit with residents of the Garden State.
Just watched the South Park making fun of the Jersey Shore …. Wow Hilarious but I must say … "Its a Jersey Thing ! "
— Cullen Jones (@CullenJones) October 23, 2010
In fact, despite being depicted as a hideous goblin creature resembling the Jersey Devil, even self-styled guido Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi herself tweeted a positive reaction to the episode.
snooki want smoosh smoosh. im going to have nightmares tonight lmao!!! we've officially made it. goodnite my bitches ♥
— Nicole Polizzi (@snooki) October 14, 2010
It’s a Jersey thing was embraced by some New Jersey residents as a phrase expressing pride in their state. The phrase has been printed on t-shirts. A restaurant has even named itself after the phrase.
Examples of It’s a Jersey thing
Who uses It’s a Jersey thing?
It’s a Jersey thing still shows up occasionally in New Jersey memes, often with pictures of the cast of Jersey Shore.
Despite the episode now being approximately “800 Internet years old,” It’s a Jersey thing is still a proud declaration of sons and daughters of that lovably weird state. You do you, Jersey.
— Lauren America🎸🇺🇸 🇬🇷🇵🇱 NRA (@Zippityd00dah) July 27, 2018
— Mr.Filayyyy (@FilayMovement) March 14, 2018
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