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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.


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
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Jun 14 Word of the Day
Referring to women who are sexually or romantically attracted to other women. Applies to both lesbians and bisexual women, as it is only the same-sex attraction that matters, not any other attractions the women may have.

Originates from the Greek poet Sappho, a bisexual woman from the Isle of Lesbos, from which we get the term lesbian.
The sapphic women greatly enjoyed each others company.
by whatisdead June 25, 2015
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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
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To ruin something completely.
Indiana Jones, at the beginning, when he hides in the fridge to protect himself from the nuke. Nuking the Fridge
by GunSmoke1189 October 24, 2008
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when your late at night hungry ass needs a snack but ends up clearing out the fridge.
Stevie: yo where tf is the food cuh
Jimbo: sorry bro was nuking the fridge last night
by Shaq87 October 20, 2020
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A statement relating to a speculatively unfeasible activity in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, where Jones climbs into a fridge during a nuclear explosive test. It's also a synonym for "jumping the shark".

However, contrary to popular belief, nuking the fridge is feasible.

The fridge in the scene is lead-lined, so Jones is shielded from the initial burst of radiation. However, some have pointed out that the fridge is still in the radiated zone, so 20 years are off of his life, except they aren't. Remember, he drunk from the Grail, so the remainder of its power is dissipated when it shields him from radiation.
Normal Guy: Hey, you think the nuking the fridge is a feasible scene?
Responder: Nah, it can't be. How can he survive a nuclear blast from a fridge?
Intellectual: Actually it is. The fridge is a) lead-lined and b) sturdily built. So yeah, it is feasible!
Responder: Then what about the radiation? How's he not losing 20 years off his life?
Intellectual: Quite simply. He drank from the grail, remember? The power he gained from that dissipated protecting him from it.
Normal Guy: Huh. Never knew it was.
via giphy
by TheCrusader1296 January 10, 2021
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