It is used to denote the point in a movie or movie series at which the characters or plot veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline. Films that have "nuked the fridge" are typically deemed to have passed their peak, since they have undergone too many changes to retain their initial appeal, and after this point critical fans often sense a noticeable decline in their quality.
It is considered as the movie correspective of what Jumping the shark means for television.
The term is an allusion to a scene in the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of the Indiana Jones series, when the title character Indiana Jones is literally hit by a Atomic Bomb blast while hiding inside a refrigerator in a desperate attempt to escape a nuclear test facility. The fridge is hurled several miles through the sky, and tumbles hard to the ground. The scene was considered so preposterous that many believed it to be an attempt at outdoing the over-the-top action of the classic introduction sequence of the series.
Nuke-the-fridge moments may be scenes like the one described above that finally convince viewers that the film has fundamentally and perman...