- "I could pretend to be more like you, Jess, and live on a sparkly rainbow and drive a unicorn around and just sing all the time"
- —Nick to Jess[src]
Nick is an apathetic, socially inept, extremely sarcastic, and hilarious bartender from Chicago who has a keen ability for reading people's emotions although he can't seem to express his own. He lives with Jess, Schmidt and Winston. He was dumped by his longtime girlfriend Caroline and made her jealous after pretending that Jess was his girlfriend. He found "rebound" with co-worker Amanda. At first, he did not like Paul but later became a good friend of his. Nick is the most grounded of all the roommates. He is "good" at fixing things and hates spending money. Nick dropped out of law school with three semesters to go, something the roommates often make fun of him for. He once tried to represent Schmidt in court, although this did not go as planned.
Realistic and wise-cracking, Nick Miller appears the most "normal" out of the four roommates. He enjoys his sense of privacy and independence despite his inability to effectively function on his own (i.e. cleaning after himself and cooking.) His personality is best described by his passion for jerry-rigging anything in the apartment in order to save money and his tendency to stick himself within his roommates' drama while trying to avoid it at all costs. Despite his steady job at Clyde's Bar, he is always strapped for cash due to his inability to manage cash. He does not own a bank account. (Although, the fact that the roommates can drink at Clyde's Bar for free might account for that.) He is very loyal; he would drop everything if a friend was in need, like Jess in Cooler. Nick has also been known to get help from friends in dire enough situations (whether he wants it or not (Injured)).He is very protective of Jess but tries to hide it as his feelings for her are really quite obvious, He has a huge problem with lying as when he does he sweats overly and becomes very obvious, which is why his roommates try to avoid telling him secrets.
In the Pilot, Nick is still struggling with his breakup from Caroline. It's been 6 months, and although he appears calm, there are still some underlying issues that Jess helps resurface. Jess asks Nick if he was ever given a reason why Caroline dumped him, and he tells her 'no'. She lets him know that he can't get closure if he doesn't know and that he'll get weird and start yelling at the neighbors' kids to get off his lawn. Nick had asked Caroline to get him, Schmidt, and Coach on a club's list. The two meet up at the entrance, and he asks her why they broke up. Caroline responds by letting him know she didn't think he cared about her. Caroline offers to get a drink with him, but he declines after finding out that Jess is currently being stood up.
Some friends from college get married in Wedding, and Nick asks Jess to be his pretend girlfriend to make Caroline jealous. Jess succeeds in doing so but results in Nick getting his hopes up that the romance can be rekindled. After he learns that Caroline is dating someone else, he gets drunk and hogs the photo booth at the reception. Jess convinces him that he cannot continue being Caroline's backup, and they need to both move on.
In Kryptonite, Nick and Schmidt help Jess get her stuff out of her ex-boyfriend's apartment after she breaks their TV and they need a new one.
Nick's self-esteem suffers a blow in Naked, when Jess walks in on him naked, dancing to reggae. Jess sees his junk, she shrieks, giggles, and runs out of the room. Later at a date with his coworker, Amanda, he is too embarrassed to strip before sleeping with her. They end up lying next to each other, fully clothed, and extremely uncomfortable. Nick dodges Jess, however, at one point he corners him in an elevator. Jess apologizes to Nick, and tells him that she thinks it's great he dances naked to Jamaican music, however, it doesn't help.
She becomes convinced that to make things even she has to let Nick see her naked, and so goes into his room only wearing a towel, unaware that he has brought a girl over. She tries to hide beside the bed, but it's a futon. Amanda is all over Nick, with the lights on. He's about to strip when he looks down and sees Jess. Everyone screams. Jess runs for the door but drops her towel. She pauses and welcomes Amanda to their home. Later, he admits that he saw 'everything', and they finally resolve their dilemma.
Cece tries to convince Jess that Nick likes her in Cece Crashes; although Jess firmly denies it, she gets suspicious and acts weird around him. Cece tells Jess that men's feet point toward what they want, and at the grocery store, Jess notices that Nick's feet are constantly pointed toward her. On the ride home, Nick buys Jess a rose, she freaks out, leaving the car, and ran away. Later, Nick finds Jess brushing her teeth and he begins to brush his teeth as well. Jess apologizes for acting weird, neither noticing that their feet were pointed at each other.
Nick finds it very hard to talk to Paul, the guy who Jess wants to date in Thanksgiving. Throughout the episode, Nick distances himself from Paul. However, at the end, he accepts Paul and goes out of his way to fix their date.
In Bells, Nick and Schmidt engage in class warfare when the toilet breaks and they each have their own idea of how to get it fixed. Nick likes to 'fancy fix' the problems around the house to save money and believes that there is no need to call a plumber. Nick works on the toilet, but Shmidt gets impatient and calls a plumber while he is at work. Nick walks in on them and tells Shmidt that he won't use it. They engage in a fight, taking everything they own and forbidding the other from using it. They finally end the war with a beer on the roof, Nick explains the problem with getting older is you have friends who've known you for way too long and know all your weaknesses. They then go to Jess' handbells concert at the park.
Nick gets stressed out confirming his hair appointment in Bad in Bed. He dreads getting stuck in a chair and being forced to make conversation. He refuses to go to Shmidt's salon and Winston's barbershop, later attempting to give himself a haircut. The next morning, Nick tells Winston he's really glad he convinced him to go to his barbershop. Then we see Nick's haircut, with a razor line above his ear and a Vanilla Ice 'do.
In The 23rd, Nick stresses about missing his flight home for Christmas, as he has the years before, meanwhile trying to mend Jess and Paul's relationship. At Shmidt's office party, he finds himself trapped outside with a hysterical Paul, accidentally revealing to him that Jess doesn't love him back. Later that night, he makes a detour to Candycane Lane to cheer Jess up, once again missing his flight.
Nick goes to a lawyer party with his new girlfriend in The Story of the 50, wearing his 'jury duty pants'. He does Bill Cosby impressions to woo her and succeeds, and she agrees to leave with him. She thinks it's weird after five dates that they never go to his place. He confesses he lives in a loft with three roommates. She's still charmed. Nick brings Julia, his girlfriend, home and Winston and Jess invite her to the party Saturday. Nick lets Winston know he doesn't appreciate it.
Julia is fascinated by Nick's world, even as he tries to distance himself from everyone. Nick tries to impress her by making fun of his roommates but thinks that he has blown it by being too immature. She says as long as he doesn't lie to her, they're fine. He doesn't believe she has weird stuff, too. After beating up someone who was ruining Shmidt's party, Nick is horrified. Julia confesses she has anger management issues and is going to court-ordered classes. She figures he's freaked out. He kisses her. It bothers him that he's turned on by her crazy, but she urges him to go with it.
Nick panics when Julia doesn't want to put a label on their relationship in Jess & Julia. Nick began to freak out that may or may not be in a relationship. Nick says Jess told him about Julia asking if he was seeing other people. Julia tries to explain that's not what happened, then says she only mentioned it because she's dating other guys and didn't want to feel bad. Nick deflects, saying he's having tons of sex, including right now, behind the bar. They agree about not labeling again and Julia goes to the bathroom.
Jess runs into Julia in the restroom, but Juia asks her to leave because she is about to cry and doesn't want to cry in front of Jess. Jess goes to the men's bathroom and finds Nick also crying. Nick comes home and Julia asks to talk to him. He braces himself for the worst, but she tells him she doesn't want to date other people, she just wants to date him. So this means he's her boyfriend.
In The Landlord, Jess tells Nick that he always sees the worst in people, demonstrating this when she is nice to an angry man with a gun and he gives them the parking spot he wanted. Nick got very protective of Jess when the landlord came over to fix things in the apartment, thinking he wanted to sleep with her. He told Jess that anytime a man shows a girl how to do something from behind, it's just an excuse to get close to her and breathe down her neck. Jess invites the landlord over to thank him for fixing things around the house, and Nick joins them to prevent anything from going on. They almost took part in a threesome with the landlord. Jess finally accepted that not everyone has good intentions.
Nick spends more time with Julia's assistant than Julia herself, ruining his special plans for the day in Valentine's Day. Nick books a romantic meal at a restaurant with Julia, however, she ends up working late and the two share a moment in her office, where Nick has accidentally convinced her apprentice to quit.
In Bully, Julia is out of town for business. Nick is flustered when Julia gives him a cactus as a gift, and he tries to figure out what it means about their relationship. In the end, Julia broke up with Nick for overthinking the cactus gift.
In Injured, Nick injures himself after a game of football in the park and refuses to see a doctor because of his lack of insurance. Jess takes him to see her OB/GYN friend, Sadie, for treatment. Sadie comes in to check on Nick, she examines his back and tells him because this isn't an official evaluation, he did not bruise his spine. She also isn't giving him pills to ease the pain. As he is taking the medication, Sadie notices a lump on his neck and asks if she could take a look at it. She claims its a growth and that he should get it checked out. She sets him up with an ultrasound with a friend for the next day.
The gang looks up possible illnesses the next day and sees that Nick may have cancer. They spend the night at the beach since Nick has never gone skinny dipping and always wanted to. It's freezing and he immediately regrets jumping into the cold ocean. The group spend the night on the beach and take Nick to his test. After it's revealed he does not have cancer, Nick and Jess smile at each other in the car.In Control, Winston and Nick argue over money and who owes who what. Nick owed Winston money after a poker game and tries to wiggle his way out of it. The apartment was a disaster zone after Jess convinced Shmidt to stop doing the housework. They get in a slap fight after Winston insulted Nick's mother. Nick gets Shmidt to start cleaning and cooking again by offering to let Shmidt clean his room.
In Fancyman (Part 1), Nick decides that he doesn't need a cell phone, to save money. Also, he falls in love with the lifestyle of Jess' new love interest, Russell, who gives him a free phone.
Nick's old college roommate, Dirk, visits and encourages Nick to date younger female college students in Fancyman (Part 2). Nick and Dirk host an afterparty in the loft. Nick is getting nowhere until a girl is impressed that he makes drinks for a living. Jess comes home and wonders why the cast of "The Social Network" is in their apartment. Nick explains that 20-year-olds think he's awesome, he's their Fancyman (A reference to Russell being Jess' fancyman).Nick escorts a hook up out, busting out a coughing fit when the girl checks that he'll call her in Secrets. Nick says sleeping with 21-year-olds constantly is really stressing him out. Nick also impulsively tells Jess Shmidt and Jess' secret.Nick walks another college hook up out. She's looking for her circular scarf. Nick's phone rings and he tries to hide the call. The girl freaks out and Nick covers by throwing his phone against the wall. Nick admits that he needs help from Shmidt, and he leads the douchebag class for Winston and Nick.Two girls run up together and Nick realizes he slept with both of them. They start to yell, but he calmly tells one he didn't call her because of a family emergency and he didn't tell the other about the first because their moment together was too beautiful. The girls run off, appeased. Schmidt offers a high five and Nick is disgusted he has to give it.
Nick tries to impress Russel in Normal, showing him cheese plates and Nick and Shmidt's 'real apps' prototype. Nick and Shmidt attempt to give their sales pitch in the midst of a fight between Russell and Jess. Russell hears the name "real apps" as "relapse" and Schmidt and Nick start arguing. Nick foists the prototype on him and skewers Russell's hand.
Nick's relationship with Jess develops drastically. From Re-Launch when the two ended up on the car together with Jess in Nick's arms, to when Nick's father died in Chicago and Jess was there comforting him. These events led them to their inevitable first kiss in Cooler and left the two questioning their relationship more than ever. In the Season Finale, Elaine's Big Day, the couple finally agrees to give "them" a chance.
Nick and Jess have just "uncalled" their relationship after Cece's wedding, and the two drive off together. They end up in Mexico after a brief visit to the loft, with Schmidt calling/texting Nick multiple times demanding help in his own dilemma. Nick and Jess have been living out of her Volvo for 4 days when they decide to crash at a fancy hotel nearby. They're enjoying themselves, living off half-consumed mixed drinks when a security guard comes by checking for bracelets - to confirm that they are paying customers. Nick manages to get one from a kid after threatening him and gives it to Jess. He could not get one for himself, which results in him running away from several security guards. They arrest him, and Jess leaves to get help from Schmidt and Winston. They find Nick, who refuses to come home and threatens to shred his passport. Jess ultimately convinces him, but he accidentally shreds his passport anyway. They return to the loft, assuring they'll be ok, however, end up fighting/kissing before they even open the door.
In the episode "Nerd", Jess has a hard time fitting in at her new job, so she turns to Nick for some advice. Nick vows to help Jess since she's "his old woman now." The first attempt, Nick goes to the store to buy some cheap school supplies and arrives at Jess' school to give the teachers free supplies and free drinks at his bar. The teachers agree and Jess is impressed with Nick's move they start making out in the teacher's lounge. The second attempt is at the bar. Jess is not having any success bonding with the teachers, so Nick informs her that she should drink, a lot, and make fun of her boss. It works.
The next morning, Jess and the teachers are about to commit a crime by breaking into her boss' backyard and take a dip in his jacuzzi. Nick tries to stop her, but Jess ignores him grabbing a flashlight and taking off. Nick follows Jess to her boss' house and proclaims that whenever Jess is about to do something really stupid, he's going to do it with her. She reaches in to kiss Jess when the principal walks outside and catches both of them. They end up spending some time in the jacuzzi.
The next day, Jess finds Nick waiting for her in the parking lot. Nick informs her that if they were in high school, he "would have noticed her" and kisses her.
"We cared about you. We like you" - Nick (Pilot)
"Why do you wanna be friends with your ex? I don't wanna be friends with Caroline. And all she did was ripped me open and tear my heart apart with her perfect... perfect hands" *starts to cry* - Nick (Kryptonite)
- Works as a bartender.
- During the New Girls extras, "New Girl: Jake Johnson", it is mentioned that Nick's crush might be Jess.
- Insists on fixing everything himself because doesn't like to spend money, but is perceived as very poor at D.I.Y.
- Is from Chicago.
- Dropped out of law school with three semesters to go.
- Grandfathers' names are Mason and Charles.
- Dated Caroline for four years and was devastated by their breakup.
- First serious relationship after Caroline was Julia Cleary, a lawyer.
- His oldest and best friend is his roommate Winston, whom he grew up with in Chicago.
- Can be very sarcastic, as shown in the Thanksgiving episode, as he drives Paul to the store to get walnuts.
- Sweats when he lies.
- Worked on a zombie novel for years until he finally finished it. Schmidt says it's the worst thing he's ever read.
- Cece's friends and Jess like his penis. (Bachelorette Party)
- Has unhygienic habits such as never washing his towel and wearing Winston and Schmidt's underwear.
- Is very protective of Jess.
- Celebrated his 10th anniversary of living with Schmidt, or "Tinversery" as Schmidt calls it.
- Doesn't believe the moon landing was real.
- Calls birds 'Sky Rats'.
- Doesn't believe in dinosaurs.
- His "Pogo" is that he never takes care of himself. Schmidt sometimes crumples up Vitamins and put it in his food and the gang take turns putting money into his pants before putting them in the dryer.
- Doesn't have a wallet. He put his money and his driver license into a sandwich bag.
- One of the reasons he moved to LA is to become closer to whales so he can record them.