Nuking the Fridge is a colloquialism used by U.S. Cinema critics and fans. It has a meaning similar to jumping the shark.

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 permanently strayed from its original premise. In those cases they are viewed as a desperate and futile attempt to keep a series fresh.

Origin

The phrase refers to the opening scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, first worldwide released on May 22 2008. The infamous scene was seen by many as betraying the normal half-serious tone of the series, by introducing an element of cartoonish factuality and typical excess.

The first public use of the phrase as a direct metaphor is reported to have been on May 24, 2008, on IMDB boards by user beachedblonde.

The phrase has been used more recently outside the realm of popular culture, representing anything that has reached its peak and has turned mediocre. If one thinks a stock or a sports team or a subcultural phenomenon has reached its peak, for example, one can say that it has "nuked the fridge."
Examples of a film franchise nuking the fridge:

Star Wars - Jar-Jar Binks says "Ex-squeeze me"

Matrix - When 100 Agent Smiths attack a CGI Neo spinning around on a pole

Spider-Man - When Peter Parker turns Emo and starts dancing around a bar

Batman - When Batman has to fend off a bunch of glowing neon-painted hooligans to rescue Robin after he stole the Batmobile
by Heyitsbeth May 26, 2008
Get the mug
Get a nuking the fridge mug for your brother-in-law Paul.
bullshitting
saying something that obviously isn't true
taken from the new indiana jones movie nuke-fridge scene
"i had 5 women last night"
"stop nuking the fridge mate"
by TWKUK June 11, 2008
Get the merch
Get the nuking the fridge neck gaiter and mug.
A phrase an Urban Dictionary user tried desperately to implement into circulation by using multiple fake accounts to post barely dissimilar "definitions". This tragic act was committed on May 26th 2008, in reference to the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise.
"While I cannot deny that "Nuke the Fridge" is a witty correlation with the phrase "Jump the Shark", the desperation employed by it's fraudulent author reminisces of making up your own nickname. After 12 years I suppose it's not going to catch on."
by Erectory November 30, 2020
Get the mug
Get a Nuke the Fridge mug for your mama Jovana.
Nuke the fridge is a colloquialism used to refer to the moment in a film series that is so incredible that it lessens the excitement of subsequent scenes that rely on more understated action or suspense, and it becomes apparent that a certain installment is not as good as a previous installments, due to ridiculous or low quality storylines, events or characters.

The term comes from the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which, near the start of the movie, Harrison Ford's character survives a nuclear detonation by climbing into a kitchen fridge, which is then blown hundreds of feet through the sky whilst the town disintegrates. He then emerges from the fridge with no apparent injury. Later in the movie, the audience is expected to fear for his safety in a normal fistfight.

Fans of the Indiana Jones series found the absurdity of this event in the film to be the best example of the lower quality of this installment in the series, and thus coined the phrase, "nuke the fridge".

The phrase is also a reference to the phrase "jump the shark", which has the same meaning, only applied to a television series instead of a film series.

This phrase is not in common use.
"Star Wars didn't really nuke the fridge until Jar Jar Binks was introduced."

"Peter Parker dancing around the bar in Spider-Man 3? Kinda nukes the fridge!"

"The Godfather: Part III nukes the fridge."

"Gremlins 2 more or less nuked the fridge."
by theinterviewer3 May 26, 2008
Get the mug
Get a nuke the fridge mug for your fish Helena.
When you fart in the fridge and the fridge keeps your fart fresh until the next time it is opened.
I had the broccoli farts last night but I started to go nose blind to them, so I had to nuke the fridge for later.
by Papertowles February 02, 2021
Get the merch
Get the Nuke the fridge neck gaiter and mug.
Because the top definition is too complicated;
Drop a nuclear bomb on a fridge and survive.
Person A: Oh god! A nuclear bomb is coming!
Person B: It's going to nuke the fridge!
Indiana Jones' big brain: Perfect idea! It totally won't be destroyed! We totally won't die! Let's hide in it!
by gaycha more like gay January 02, 2021
Get the mug
Get a nuke the fridge mug for your father-in-law Abdul.
"Nuking the fridge" refers to the moment in a film series when it becomes apparent that a certain installment is not as good as previous installments, due to ridiculous or low quality storylines, events, or characters.

Originating from the film "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," Harrison Ford's character survives a nuclear detonation by getting into a lead-lined fridge before being blown thousands of feet only to crash back down and emerge safely.

The absurdity in this occurrence is that, although lead is radiation proof, lead melts at 620°F and is not resistant to the millions of degrees, that say, an atomic bomb would put out. This is the prime example of the lower quality and outlandishness disgorged as a continuation of the series, and thus the phrase was coined.

The saying is also a reference to the phrase "jump the shark," referring to an episode of Happy Days where the Fonz jumped a shark on water skis, considered the lowest point of the show. "Jumping the shark" is applied to a television series alternatively to film.
"Star Wars really nuked the fridge when Jar Jar Binks was introduced."

"Indiana Jones 4 nuked the fridge when they nuked the fridge."
by Atalaya May 26, 2008
Get the mug
Get a Nuked the Fridge mug for your coworker Georges.