jump the shark

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jump the shark

1. In television programming, to resort to using an obvious or unbelievable gimmick in a scene, episode, or storyline as a means of maintaining viewership, especially when the show's quality and/or popularity has begun to decline. The phrase alludes to the sitcom Happy Days, in which the character Fonzie (Henry Winkler) jumps over a shark on water-skis in the fifth season. This show used to have some of the wittiest writing in television, but they really jumped the shark when they introduced a contrived alien invasion in the seventh season.
2. By extension, to signal, especially through a conspicuous activity, event, or maneuver, a decline in the progress or evolution of something (e.g., a company, a brand, a political endeavor, etc.). The global tech giant, whose smartphone brand transformed the everyday technological landscape, seems to have jumped the shark this week when they revealed a line of computer-synced sneakers touted as their new flagship product. The governor was accused of jumping the shark during his re-election campaign by joining in with the cheerleading squad at his former high school's football game.
See also: jump, shark

jump the shark

(of a television series or film) reach a point at which far-fetched events are included merely for the sake of novelty, indicative of a decline in quality. US informal
This phrase is said to refer to an episode of the long-running US television series Happy Days, in which the central character (the Fonz) jumped over a shark while waterskiing.
See also: jump, shark

ˈjump the shark

(American English) if a television programme jumps the shark, it starts to decline in quality and introduces ridiculous ideas in order to maintain the interest of the publicThis comes from the TV series Happy Days, in which on one show a character jumped over a shark while waterskiing.
See also: jump, shark

jump the shark

To undergo a sustained decline in quality or popularity.
See also: jump, shark
References in periodicals archive ?
CUTLINE: Three who have jumped the shark, er, nuked the fridge: Writer/Director M.
The Trojans beat the Bruins 66-19 Saturday at the Coliseum, and I was going to pull out the TV-generation vernacular and say the whole local college-football show just jumped the shark.
I'm not exactly sure when Eugene jumped the shark - it could have been when people started crying upon learning they were building a natural grocery store downtown, or maybe when they started indiscriminately digging holes in the ground and leaving them there like in that Disney movie - but it's happened and, sadly, when it comes to small towns with big city amenities, Salem is delivering a major drubbing to Eugene.
But with links like the first draft of a really poor edition of EastEnders, Newsline has jumped the shark.
To some, the series officially jumped the shark closer to the day Dan Dierdorf was assigned a dressing room ('87) and then wouldn't leave.
Maybe TV historians will determine the moment when coverage of the Major League Baseball All-Star game jumped the shark was after Fox's little cable sister decided to include a red carpet pregame show in what was mostly a desperate effort to please a certain car sponsor.