Discover the Weird New Jersey Laws that Will Make You Laugh

New Jersey is renowned for its beaches, diners, and notable natives. However, beneath its well-known attractions lie some of the most peculiar and amusing laws in the nation. From unusual prohibitions like frowning at cops to knitting during fishing expeditions, New Jersey’s legal code is a treasure trove of oddities that might leave you scratching your head. Here are some of the most bizarre and amusing laws of the Garden State that defy belief.

No Smiling at the Police

In New Jersey, maintaining a poker face during a police encounter is not just a matter of etiquette – it’s the law. It’s illegal to frown at a police officer, a statute that extends to encompass the entirety of Bernards Township. So, if you find yourself pulled over or strolling through this town with a grimace, it might be time to rethink your facial expressions.

No Slurping Your Soup

Soup enthusiasts beware! New Jersey law prohibits the act of slurping soup in public places. While ostensibly aimed at curbing noise and nuisance, this regulation might seem a tad stringent for aficionados of a warm, comforting bowl.

No Selling Handcuffs to Minors

For proprietors of stores peddling handcuffs, ensuring buyers are of legal age is paramount. New Jersey law expressly forbids selling handcuffs to anyone under 18, a measure likely intended to deter juvenile mischief but inadvertently casting a pall over Halloween costume shopping.

No Wearing a Bulletproof Vest While Committing a Murder

In the realm of absurdity, this law takes the cake. It’s illegal to don a bulletproof vest while engaging in the heinous act of murder. But given that murder itself is unlawful, the additional prohibition on protective gear seems rather redundant, if not comically so.

No Knitting During Fishing Season

In a law that seems plucked from the annals of randomness, it’s illegal for men to indulge in the gentle art of knitting during fishing season. This peculiar statute suggests a gendered notion of pastimes and raises eyebrows at the idea of hobbies clashing with angling pursuits.

No Pumping Your Gas

New Jersey’s prohibition on self-service gas pumping is perhaps its most renowned and distinctive statute. To bolster employment and averting mishaps, this law stands as a unique feature of the state’s landscape, albeit one that occasionally vexes motorists accustomed to refueling independence.


New Jersey is not just a state of scenic beauty and cultural richness but also a repository of laws that defy convention and logic. Whether these statutes are relics of a bygone era, exercises in bureaucratic whimsy, or earnest attempts at regulation, they contribute to the unique tapestry of the Garden State. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, being mindful of these laws – and perhaps sharing a chuckle over their eccentricity – adds an extra layer of intrigue to the New Jersey experience.

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