Created on 21 August 2019
Idiom
Jump the shark
Meaning
The moment when something stops being relevant and starts being ridiculous.
Origin

Jump the shark

A modern American idiom, often used in context of a TV show or other cultural phenomenon. The phrase comes from the 1970s TV Show ‘Happy Days’, where in one episode (season 5) the character Fonzie jumps over a shark, while wearing water skis. After this episode, the series changed its focus, making Fonzie a primary protagonist, and making other changes to characters and the plot. While the series also remained popular for another 7 years, it never achieved the same level of popularity that it once had.

Examples

I generally like watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, but the episode where the characters kept singing while being in a car crash was a bit like jumping the shark. It was unnerving.

If Trump hadn’t been polite to the Queen it would have been like jumping the shark as far as most of the UK is concerned.

Hopping onto Oprah’s couch was definitely a jump the shark moment for Tom Cruise.

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