new jersey highway sign with 'sheriff of toilet paper' meme

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New Jersey is guiding residents through the coronavirus outbreak with dank memes

The Garden State can meme with the best of 'em.


Bryan Rolli

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 27, 2020   Updated on Mar 27, 2020, 4:19 pm CDT

As coronavirus cases in the United States skyrocket and the White House struggles to disseminate helpful instructions to combat it, people have turned to local government for directions on how to protect themselves. If you’re on Twitter, you don’t have to look any further than the Great State of New Jersey.

The Garden State, frequently relegated to the butt of Northeasterners’ jokes, has quietly cultivated one of the savviest Twitter presences among governmental bodies. It’s difficult to straddle the line between dry, informational tweets and cringeworthy, try-hard shitposts, but props to Jersey for doing it with aplomb.


Yesterday, New Jersey Twitter dispensed some social distancing advice in the form of the “I’m the sheriff” meme, a classic format that has seen a mini-resurgence in recent weeks. Turns out Gov. Phil Murphy also moonlights as the Sheriff of No Corona Parties. In fact, he’s promised to personally crash any corona party he sees and slap all attendees with a hefty fine.

Murphy’s also the Sheriff of Stop Buying all the Toilet Paper, ICYMI.

Murphy and the rest of the Jersey government really want residents to observe proper self-quarantine and social distancing practices. If that means attempting a summoning circle to keep the most headstrong residents inside their houses, so be it.

New Jersey doesn’t spend all its time bossing its followers around, though. The account also gave a shout-out to all essential employees who are tirelessly serving the public during this health crisis, using an exhaustive amount of emoji in the process.

Murphy is apparently up-to-date on rap trends as well, as Jersey recently co-signed a Wiz Khalifa tweet about social distancing.

After being relentlessly mocked by Philadelphians and New Yorkers since the dawn of time, New Jersey has earned the right to flex a little on Twitter. But pride can quickly turn into cockiness.

Pizza capital of the galaxy? Maybe not. Shining example of how to run a governmental Twitter account? No doubt. May all state governments aspire to New Jersey’s level of meme fluency.


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*First Published: Mar 27, 2020, 9:03 am CDT