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Jump the shark

Jump the shark is a relatively new phrase, meaning the moment at which a popular or critically acclaimed television show begins its inevitable decline in quality. The term jump the shark was by Sean Connolly and Jon Hein in 1985, based on their premise that the scene that marks the beginning of the decline of the American television show Happy Days occurred in the episode in which The Fonz jumps over a shark on water skis. Before The Fonz “jumped the shark”, wearing his trademark leather jacket, Happy Days was a show depicting typical teen-aged life in 1950s America. After the shark jump, the show focused on The Fonz’s superhuman attributes in ridiculous fashion. Jon Hein moved the idea of jumping the shark into mainstream vernacular, with a website and two books. Today, jump the shark is increasingly used for situations beyond television shows, such as government programs and the evolution of businesses.

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Examples

Weird holds for FGs officially jump the shark as La. teen connects on kick held by teammate’s ear (USA Today)

I’m all for “Gotham” creating its own mythos, but there are only so many times Jim can get promoted then kicked off the force, then win his way back onto the force before they’re forced to jump the shark. (The Baltimore Sun)

“This is Trump’s jump the shark moment,” John Feehery, a former key aide to Republican congressional leaders, told the Daily News. “It’s all downhill from here.” (The New York Daily News)

I didn’t know a television show featuring felt-covered foam could proverbially “jump the shark” on its very first episode, but that is exactly what happened to my dear, lovable puppet pals. (The Troy Daily News)

 

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