The beginning of the end. Something is said to have "jumped the shark" when it has reached its peak and begun a downhill slide to mediocrity or oblivion. It's said to have been coined by Jon Hein, who has a web site, jumptheshark.com, and now a book detailing examples, especially as applied to TV shows. It supposedly refers to an episode of the TV show "Happy Days" in which Fonzie jumps over a shark on water skis, which Hein believes was the point at which the series had lost its touch and was beginning to grasp at straws.
A TV show's sure "jump-the-shark" sign: the appearance of a "special guest star".
by John Slowata October 15, 2005
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After some significant event, everything from then on is terrible.
The rock band Metallica really 'jumped the shark' when they released 'Master of Puppets'.
by Lord Richard May 25, 2003
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when your favorite show starts to flag and go downhill, as when Fonzie jumped the shark on waterskis. We all knew that Happy Days was on its way down then.
When Rudy (Cosby show) hit puberty, and they added that new little girl that was Denise's step-daughter, that show DEFINITELY jumped the shark.
by osbo November 04, 2002
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A metaphor that identifies the exact moment a TV show has reached its creative peak. Or to put it bluntly, it’s the beginning of the end of a once great show. The moment in which it becomes clear the writers are out of good ideas and the show has begun its decent downhill. It’s usually some ridiculous stunt, story line, major character change, or huge fundamental shift in the premise of the show that is viewed as nothing more than a desperate attempt to raise viewership and declining ratings. The phrase refers to an episode of the popular 1970’s sitcom Happy Days, in which one of the main characters is water skiing (while wearing his trademark leather motorcycle jacket mind you), and literally jumps over a shark.
As far as I’m concerned, America’s Next Top Model jumped the shark when Tyra chose that air-headed idiot Nicole as the winner, instead the much more talented and deserving Nik.
by HuskyMiller December 16, 2006
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a term to describe a moment when somethin that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity.

Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped a shark on waterskis. Thus was labeled the lowest point of the show.
by Anonymous October 21, 2003
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The precise moment when you know a program, band, actor, politician, or other public figure has taken a turn for the worse, gone downhill, become irreversibly bad, is unredeemable, etc.; the moment you realize decay has set in.
Tom Cruise jumped the shark the moment he jumped Oprah's couch.
by M. R. Traska August 27, 2005
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Original meaning was the point when a television series shows it has run out of ideas and must resort to stunts to retain viewer interest. Derived from a scene in the last years of Happy Days when the Fonz waterskied over a shark. Includes actions such as "it was all a dream" episodes, live episodes, lead actors playing guest characters, and putting entire cast into a parody of some pop cultural event.
It looks like "Will and Grace" decided to jump the shark. They are doing a live episode in black and white where they are all characters from Star Wars. Elton John will play Jabba the Hut who shoots Jack with a "straight ray" gun.
by Brent Thompson September 05, 2005
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