look up any word, like ratchet:
 
1.
When something stops working, malfunctions, or acts in a way contrary to its usual manner.
I would've called you, but my phone is on the fritz.
by kid chameleon January 14, 2004
 
2.
Used to refer to when things temporarily break down.

Now used to describe a person or persons falsely imprisoning and raping family members, similar to being 'on the rob'.
'I haven't seen Dave for a while'
'I hear he's on the fritz'
by msra8 January 05, 2010