Talk:Jumping the shark

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Find sources: "Jumping the shark" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference

This time for real![edit]

The little grey shark jumps over the lazy surfer (video from Smyrna Beach, USA): [1] (talk) 12:43, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

The Fonz jumps a shark again, in a popular reference to the phrase.[edit]

I understand from this discussion page that a 'Uses in Popular Culture' section was removed from the main article, just thought I'd add one here since its especially relevant to the origins of the phrase.

In an episode of Arrested Development they got Henry Winkler to jump over a toy shark on a quayside.

Just thought I'd mention it. (talk) 19:06, 4 August 2011 (UTC) link cleanup[edit]

Since TV Guide bought out and shut down all links to it on Wikipedia are dead and should be removed. Likewise all links to pages archived on The Web Archive now claims it doesn't have any of them due to robots.txt I call shenanigans by TV Guide on that! The content WAS archived prior to the buyout. TV Guide had to have "requested" the Archive remove the content. Bizzybody (talk) 08:24, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

No shenanigans there. TV Guide bought the site, that means they own all the content and can do whatever they want with it, including delete it and block the archive. Let this be a lesson to people about wasting so much effort creating user generated content for commercial, non-free licensed, websites. (talk) 12:03, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Its too bad what TV guide did, buying the site and getting rid of all the content. This site called "Bone the Fish" took up the mantle but I guess that's "spam" to link it. It's too bad but I won't fight for it's inclusion until I have a stronger argument to include it. The most interesting man in the world (talk) 20:31, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

"Nuking the fridge" revisited[edit]

I've gathered that the parts of the "Jump the Shark" article that talk about the similar phrase "nuke the fridge" have been removed, replaced, and removed again--the removals stemming from the article only being about the phrase "jump the shark." This is problematical because the phrase "nuke the fridge" redirects to this article, with no obvious reason if you don't already know what the phrase "nuke the fridge" means. Either the "Jump the Shark" article should explain the phrase "nuke the fridge" or the redirect should be removed in favor of having no article or a separate article. OP Punster (talk) 21:49, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Absent someone coming up with some reliable sources to include here or at its own article, the best option is to take it to WP:RFD.--~TPW 22:11, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
For if someone wants to rewrite/remerge deletions:,28804,1855948_1864100_1864105,00.html ( (talk) 06:12, 9 October 2012 (UTC))

Nuking the fridge continued[edit]

I've read the above comments and concerns on the original approach used for describing "nuking the fridge" here, and bolded added a new single paragraph about the term into this article using highly reliable sources (including interviews with Speilberg and Lucas acknowledging the term, and how JtS and NtF are closely connected). Please review to make sure this is appropriate and meets the concerns of this. --MASEM (t) 19:38, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

As a comment on this edit that claims NtF's relationship to JtS is original research, nearly all the sources I used (but I know offhand at minimum the Newsweek one) explain that NtF is the film world's variation of JtS. There's no original research there. --MASEM (t) 14:56, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Talk about a flash-in-the-pan phrase. It's absurd that the good editors here at wikpedia are perpetuating that Time Magazine brain-fart. The Dissident Aggressor 03:50, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
A year later from the last comment, I think the section about the term needs to be removed. 8 years after its "viral" uptake, it does not appear to be in use. The virus died. Toddst1 (talk) 19:49, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
While the term died out, that doesn't mean it's short bit of note as a subtopic of a notable sustained term is completely appropriate to include. There would be reason to delete an article on Nuke the Fridge, but not remove as associated with jump the shark. --MASEM (t) 02:01, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Cousin Oliver Syndrome?[edit]

Given the similarities, I think a link to Cousin Oliver Syndrome should be added. Certainly more common than 'Nuking the Fridge'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

New to this[edit]

This removal seemed pretty arbitrary, coming on the heels of my first visit to the page. Now that I read it and see (all) the above back to '07+-, I really wonder if we want to eliminate (rather than, say, improve) the Jon Hein origin(-myth?) of the whole page.

I leave it here for now. Discussion? Swliv (talk) 03:10, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

"Beginning of the end" deleted.[edit]

I deleted the sentence claiming that "jump the shark" "is synonymous with 'the beginning of the end.'" What?? How are the two phrases remotely synonymous? It makes no sense. All sorts of cultural, physical, and political phenomena reach the point where they are at "the beginning of the end" and it doesn't mean that they "have reached the point of diminishing returns such that they are no longer interesting," which is what JTS means. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Isoruku (talkcontribs) 21:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Antonym: Growing the Beard[edit]

Jumping the Shark has an antonym called Growing the Beard, an expression I heard in passing at the Straight Dope Message Board. My inclusion of a TV Tropes link to Growing the Beard was reverted and labelled "Original research" and "Not notable". I am puzzled. The research isn't original to me. Are TV Tropes and Urban Dictionary, both of which have entries, considered non-authoritative? Are they both non-notable? I think not, but I would be happy to read further elaboration. Search engines certainly generate a fair number of results for "grow the beard jump the shark". Also, FWIW I've never heard of "Nuke the fridge".

Evidence against: I'm not sure I've ever heard the expression, "Grow a beard", without a contrast to "Jump the shark". And the idiom "Grow a beard" doesn't show up in Google Books. Regards, Measure for Measure (talk) 08:47, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

You nailed it about TV Tropes and Urban Dictionary being non-authoritative; both are user-created content, and therefore not reliable sources for our purposes. oknazevad (talk) 09:40, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

No, it does not mean "when it begins a decline in quality." It means the end.[edit]

Happy Days was already old and tired when the jumping the shark episode aired. It was the moment when even the die-hard fans had to admit it was time to bury the series. I was only five years old and I still remember how absurd that episode was.

"Jumping the shark" means making a desperate bid for attention that flops and only results in embarrassment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Well given that Happy Days ran for several years and another 100+ episodes after that, I'd say your claim that it "means the end" is spurious at best. Smurfmeister (talk) 10:21, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Fred Fox confuses popularity with quality[edit]

Fred Fox confuses popularity with quality, a common mistake. the fact that the episode had so many viewers or that the show remained popular is not evidence that the show continued to be a quality show. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:6:5600:5AC:9DEA:C3C2:AF6F:BE49 (talk) 02:07, 17 May 2014 (UTC)


In each case, the "example" cites who used the expression and in what context, as well as clarifying how the situation "jumped shark." The example for Burning Man is short on citing who used the expression (invoking the mysterious passive voice), ergo giving no context for the statement. The example does not clarify how the event, in this case, actually jumped shark. I made edits that do both of these — which were then summarily reverted. It appears the Burning Man paragraph has gotten somewhat tendentious and it would be far more productive and collaborative to discuss this here to improve the article, rather than getting into a contentious series of reverts — exacerbated by profanity. This is what I suggest:

In mid-2014, the City Manager of Black Rock City, Nevada described Burning Man, an annual event at nearby Black Rock Desert, as having "jumped the shark," when the 2014 event — which had been previously noted for core values of radical self-expression and self-reliance — featured incongruously posh VIP lounges, cell phone towers, private jets, and "glamp camping."
Hi, I'm sorry I made a mistake in reverting your rewrite - I like it and I've reverted my mistake. All I intended to undo was your second change to say "...creative effort's evolution abandons its core values" - simply because evolution doesn't have core values, it's the creative effort that does, so it's weak grammar. Anyway, sorry again for clumsily reverting two edits rather than just undoing one. Squinge (talk) 20:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Now, can we discuss that it really means to Jump Shark... it's not just the point where something declines... it's where it loses touch with its core reason for being... right? 842U (talk) 00:17, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's right. Squinge (talk) 10:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

None of the examples are great. Is a city manager's opinion notable? --Onorem (talk) 10:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The question isn't, imho, are these example quotes from notable people, but rather do they illustrate accurately how the expression has broadened from television into other areas of culture — which is the point the article is making and the point the examples are ostensibly presented as supporting. In each case, the example does that: it's the correct expression (jumped the shark), it's used in another area of culture besides television, and it means basically the same thing as the original use of the phrase. And each example is reliably sourced. So while Dan Neil is in fact a Pulitzer Prize winner and Rush Limbaugh is in fact a person of note, what the mayoral quote also demonstrates is that the expression "jumped the shark" is still being used in 2014 and it has filtered further beyond the realm of notable people. 842U (talk) 18:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Hein credit[edit]

The only source that credits Hein with originating this term is his website. Pretty dodgy in terms of reliability. Can we get something that might pass WP:RS? The Dissident Aggressor 18:23, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

There's plenty, I've added one. Also, please note that we have merged "Nuked the fridge" here per past discussion and should not be split out. --MASEM (t) 18:36, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

The following is transcribed from User Talk:Masem as it is a continuation of this discussion:

No, it's not well established - except by heim himself: [2] and [3] are a couple of examples.
Recent sources documenting past events, repeating poorly sourced crap on wikipedia is downright dangerous. Then to use that repetition as a reliable source is laughable. WP:CIRCULAR much?

do not use ... publications that rely on material from Wikipedia as sources. Content from a Wikipedia article is not considered reliable unless it is backed up by citing reliable sources. Confirm that these sources support the content, then use them directly.

Of course nobody would ever claim something, publish it on their website then add it to wikipedia - validating a self-created myth. Nor would anyone use wikipedia for self promotion. The Dissident Aggressor 19:17, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Given that there's no question he created the site, there's little question he's the one that worked on the term. Also I added a 2002 source which predates WP, so there's no issue with any possibility of WP being the source for that. There is no other source that makes a counterclaim that it wasn't him that created this, and per policy, we'll stay with what RSes say. --MASEM (t) 19:21, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
How would you possibly connect the creation of the website with the first use of the term? Did the guy that created come up with the term? How about the guy that came up with come up with the term? Of course not. The Dissident Aggressor 19:53, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
If there were conflicting reports, we'd identify them. There aren't any, so there's nothing to challenge. Further with the number of RSes reporting on this (and we're talking quality RSes) you would expect them to try to validate if his claims were false before publishing. So no, there's no issues here. --MASEM (t) 19:59, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

End of transcribed content from User Talk:Masem

All that to say that Heim has ex-post-facto taken credit for this phrase. It's a shame you're taken in by that and opposing the first person who has uncovered that (as you say "we'd identify them" - we have). The Dissident Aggressor 03:51, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

We have reliable sources that accept this claim, and before WP was started. There's no reason to doubt this at all. Ergo, this is how WP works with the sourcing that's there. I'm not seeing the circular argument you claim is there. --MASEM (t) 04:06, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Created by Jon Hein[edit]

The first sentence credits Jon Hein with creating the phrase, while later, the article credits his roommate. Should this be clarified at all? Obviously Hein created the website and can be credited with the term's popularity, but it sounds like he didn't coin the phrase itself. -KaJunl (talk) 02:58, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Fair point - the sources are clear Hein pushed on popularizing the phrase even if it originated from his roommate so I changed the lede to reflect the subtle diff. --MASEM (t) 03:16, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

I would like to see categories[edit]

First time making an editorial comment:

One of the items I enjoyed about the Jumping the shark website and I would like to see added to the Wikipedia post is the different categories for why a program jumped the shark. I particularly liked the "They did it," "The Scrappy", "The Other Darrin," etc. Pbatterson (talk) 21:13, 20 February 2017 (UTC) pbatterson

"Thrust" link to Happy Days page[edit]

I understand the reason an editor linked the word "thrust" to the Happy Days page, but it seems a little unnecessary since Happy Days is already linked in the previous sentence, and linking it to that noun is just odd. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Punching the Shark[edit]

Punching the Shark was coined to expand on the concept of jumping the shark. Reference is provided, the actual youtube event where it happened (on a popular comedy channel). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

We need a third-party source to recognize that "punching the shark" has entered into the public idioms. Just because CinemaSins uses it does not make it an encyclopedic term. --Masem (t) 22:12, 14 April 2018 (UTC)