jump the shark love


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb idiomatic To undergo a storyline development which heralds a fundamental and generally disappointing change in direction.
  • verb more generally To experience a decline in quality, appeal, popularity, etc.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From "Hollywood (Part 3)", a 1977 episode of the TV series Happy Days, in which the character Fonzie jumped over a shark on waterskis, after which (supposedly) the show bore no similarity to its original form.


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  • In the TV/storyline sense, I always thought "jump the shark" had a "Hail Mary" connotation as well, a desperate cry for attention that leads to a rapid deterioration.

    But then colloquially, it might just be used as "over the hill" or reaching the tipping point from an upswing in hipness to a descent into commonplaceness, e.g. "'Cougars' have really jumped the shark now that they are featured in Ocean's Thirteen."

    August 5, 2011

  • I agree with Emily about the descent into commonplaceness. It's typified by trying to hold on to a theme that once resonated but has since run its course. On Twitter, @willf suggested "jump the shark is the point where it is obvious that something has become irreparably bad."

    August 5, 2011