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.
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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 ?
Evans, 41, moaned: "Hell's Kitchen last night did what we call in TV jumping the shark.
And there's no jumping the shark yet for this dominant Wildcat swim program.