One half of the state is unjustly derided for being an industrial wasteland, populated by people who couldn't really make it in the Big Apple (often called the "armpit of America" by snarky Pennsylvanians), while the other half justly claims fame as the "Garden State". People from the ugly half go to the pretty half for their honeymoons in the Poconos.
Truthfully though, New Jersey is neither as good as its residents will tell you it is, nor as bad as New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians say it is. People misjudge the state because they think the entire place looks like what you see while driving the northern half of the New Jersey Turnpike.
New Jersey is a state with many extreme contrasts: extreme wealth (northern Bergen and eastern Morris County, parts of Hunterdon and Mercer Counties) and dire poverty (Camden, Trenton, Paterson, parts of Asbury Park, Newark, Jersey City, and Atlantic City); lush farmland and forest (much of South Jersey, parts of Sussex, Warren, and Morris Counties) and industrial clutter and pollution (much of Middlesex, Union, Hudson, and Essex Counties); social progressivism (relatively liberal politics, the religious right having little political clout) and backwardness and corruption (most of the state and local governments); high culture (Princeton and... okay, we give up) and a total lack of class (Newark, Camden, Trenton, the suburbs, the entire Jersey shore).
New Jersey is one of only two states in the US to deny people the right to pump their own gasoline at a gas station, the other being Oregon. Many consider this to be an appalling human rights infraction and a nuisance... and simultaneously take it as something to be proud of, plastering their cars with bumper stickers reading "Jersey Girls don't pump gas." In addition, New Jersey has extremely strict gun control laws that are undoubtedly the result of crime in the state's urban areas.
- Important: Nobody who actually lives in New Jersey refers to it as "Joisey". Only assholes from Brooklyn say that.
 Stuff New Jerseyans are proud of (or at least not ashamed of)
- Liberals and being a blue state
- The Sopranos
- Really good diners
- Princeton University
- Rutgers University (the public, less snobby version of Princeton, with more alcohol)
- Bruce Springsteen
- QuickChek (if you're in the ugly half) and WaWa (if you're in the pretty half) convenience stores
- The Jersey Shore (not the god-awful TV show; see below)
- The Pine Barrens
- The New Jersey Devils hockey team (named for a mythical creature which allegedly lives in the aforementioned Pine Barrens)
- Some of the most expensive real estate in the U.S.
- Rick Ross
- Robert Menendez, survivor of an amusing recall attempt.
- New Jersey-grown tomatoes
 Stuff New Jerseyans are (usually) pretty embarrassed about
- Women wearing big, poofy, '80s-style hair
- Power ballads
- Whitney Houston
- Guidoes and anything that has to do with them
- ↑ Note: most of the cast of this show are actually New Yorkers. Most real New Jerseyans have more class than that.