Jump the shark


      • Describing a point where something becomes ridiculous, over-the-top or uninteresting
        Referring to a moment or event that marks the decline or downfall of something that was once popular or successful

      • Doing something outrageous or extreme for attention
        Often used in a sarcastic or humorous manner to describe a desperate attempt to regain relevance or attention

      • Losing authenticity or credibility
        Suggesting that something or someone has reached a point where they are no longer believable or genuine

    Examples of Jump the shark

    • The popular TV show "Happy Days" is considered to have "jumped the shark" in its later seasons when Fonzie, the main character, rode a motorcycle over a shark tank in a failed attempt to rescue his girlfriend.

      The expression "jump the shark" refers to a point when a popular TV show, movie, or other cultural phenomenon loses its original appeal and becomes overly contrived or sensationalized. It comes from an episode of "Happy Days" in which Fonzie, a cool and charismatic character, performed the stunt that many viewers found ridiculous and embarrassing. The phrase is now commonly used to describe any moment when a once-popular product, service, or event becomes overly gimmicky or loses its authenticity.


    The idiom "jump the shark" is often used to describe a point of no return, where something has gone too far and can no longer be taken seriously. It can refer to the downfall of a trend, TV show, or even a person's reputation.

    In the first meaning, "jump the shark" is used to caution against continuing a certain behavior or action, as it will lead to negative consequences or a loss of interest. This can be applied to everyday situations, such as a project or a relationship, as well as larger cultural phenomena.

    The second meaning of "jump the shark" highlights the idea of attention-seeking or desperation. This can be seen in situations where someone is trying to regain the spotlight or boost their popularity, often resulting in a loss of credibility.

    Overall, the idiom "jump the shark" is a vivid and humorous way to describe a turning point in the trajectory of something, whether it be a TV show, a trend, or a person's image.

    Origin of "Jump the shark"

    The origin of the idiom "jump the shark" comes from a popular TV show from the 1970s called "Happy Days." In the show, the character Fonzie, known for his cool and rebellious persona, literally jumps over a shark while waterskiing. This moment has been cited as the beginning of the show's decline in quality and popularity.

    The phrase "jump the shark" was first used by TV critic Jon Hein in the late 1990s, and it quickly caught on as a way to describe the moment when a TV show or trend becomes too ridiculous or over-the-top to take seriously.

    Since then, the idiom has expanded to be used in a variety of contexts, from popular culture to everyday conversations, making it a versatile and recognizable phrase in the English language.