Jump The Shark

What does jump the shark mean?

To decrease in quality

Jump the shark is a pop culture phrase that means a product's quality has started to decline. The term originates from the TV show "Happy Days," and is commonly used to describe TV shows that have stupid plot twists and story lines.

In "Happy Days," Fonzie (played by Henry Winkler) literally jumps a shark while water skiing. It was an absurd storyline and marked the decline of the show. Critics adopted the saying and it grew in popularity. Also, many years after playing Fonzie, Henry Winkler jumped a shark a second time when he played Barry Zuckerkorn in the TV show "Arrested Development."

Example

"Did you watch the whole series?
No, I quit watching after it jumped the shark when they killed off the main character."

Fonzie jumping a shark in "Happy Days"

Barry Zuckerkorn jumping the shark in "Arrested Development"

Related Slang

Usage

Last Updated: July 5, 2017

Jump the shark definition

This page explains what the slang term "Jump the shark" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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