New Jersey’s Twitter account has officially gone off the rails with its hilarious, snarky tweets that respond with everything from ‘your mom’ to ‘hongie’

A selection of tweets from the official New Jersey Twitter account.

caption
A selection of tweets from the official New Jersey Twitter account.
source
Screenshot Twitter/@NJGov
  • Whether you live in New Jersey or not, you might stumble across one of the state’s official tweets, which have started going viral.
  • The New Jersey state government has taken memes to the extreme with its snarky Twitter presence, interacting with large humor accounts and tweeting things like “haters mad” and “your mom.”
  • It also promotes official government business and encourages New Jerseyans to take part in programs like health coverage, alongside funny captions like “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
  • The two women who run the account, “elder millennial” Pearl Gabel and 22-year-old Megan Coyne, told Insider about how they’re bringing a tongue-in-cheek Jersey spirit to the account.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Twitter accounts for big brands like Wendy’s and Netflix have earned reputations for having big personalities as corporate meme-ing became something to be expected online in the past decade. But government Twitter accounts? Those had apparently yet to engage in viral humor – until now.

It seems fitting that New Jersey would be the first state to take its official Twitter account (@NJGov) in a wild direction. Responses like “haters mad” and “your mom” on the official account started going viral this week after confused commentators started asking why the state’s Twitter presence had developed an attitude.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s administration is behind those tongue-in-cheek one-liners and memes, specifically the digital team, which is run by “elder millennial” Pearl Gabel and 22-year-old Megan Coyne, both self-proclaimed “Jersey girls” who hoped to boost engagement by reclaiming the Jersey spirit.

“People make fun of it a lot as a joke, so we claim what people make fun of us for and embrace it and all the things New Jerseyans take pride in, almost like an inside joke for the state,” Coyne said.

One of the biggest boosts to the account’s popularity so far was when Coyne decided to play off a tweet from the popular meme account Beans After Dark (which has over 350,000 followers). The tweet was about bagels, so Coyne quote-tweeted it with “new jerseyans be like.”

It was only after sending the tweet that Gabel realized the original post was about the chain Einstein Bros. Bagels – a bagel sin for authentic New Jersey bagel lovers.

“I think I literally yelled ‘Megan, it says Einstein’s,'” Gabel said. “It brought us a little peace that it wasn’t Dunkin Donuts.”

Gabel quickly replied to the tweet to specify that Einstein’s was only for a “bagel emergency.” But angry bagel purists aside, the Beans After Dark account went on to joke around with the New Jersey account a while longer, with one quote-tweet scoring over 100,000 likes – more than twice the current number of @NJGov followers, and boosting its viral meme potential.

At the time of this article, the account had racked up 56,000 followers.

New Jersey’s account has embraced genuinely funny Twitter language right off the bat, as opposed to some corporate accounts that struggle to avoid falling into cringe-worthy pitfalls. Coyne told Insider she’s been on Twitter since she was 12, so she’s a native to the vernacular of the platform. But Gabel stressed that @NJGov isn’t trying to be the next overly active account like Wendy’s or Steak-umm.

“I love those accounts, but the idea is redefining government Twitter,” Gabel said. “I haven’t always worked in government, and sometimes when you’re looking at government, it feels like you’re looking at a brick wall. So to be on this side of it and seeing people, everybody is human. And we’re Jersey, everybody is Jersey.”

The digital team in New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's office includes Megan Coyne (L), Pearl Gabel (M), and Edwin Torres (R).

caption
The digital team in New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s office includes Megan Coyne (L), Pearl Gabel (M), and Edwin Torres (R).
source
Pearl Gabel

In between funny retorts and one-liners, the account has also used humor to promote more official government business, like the “Get Covered New Jersey” initiative for health insurance.

The Twitter account is just one of the digital projects the team works on, but Gabel says it’s been surprising to see how widespread the engagement with it has become.

“We have people from all over the world sharing their Jersey identity and pride, and we’re sharing it,” she said. “And it’s creating something beautiful. We are here for it.”