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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,, 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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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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Refers to the specific moment when a TV show goes downhill. From the Happy Days episode where Fonzie overcomes his fear of sharks by jumping over one while wearing water skis.
by Christopher Tam October 20, 2003
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when something stops getting better and starts getting worse
The Jump The Shark website,, jumped the shark when it was bought by TV Guide.
by bill ellis February 06, 2009
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The precise moment when you know a tv show, rock band, or actor has gone downhill.
by VAKI5 May 08, 2005
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