"Nuke The Fridge' The New 'Jump the Shark"

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"Nuke The Fridge' The New 'Jump the Shark"

Postby TeMerc » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:25 pm

Published: July 28, 2008

Has the phrase “jump the shark” jumped the shark? Or, more to the point, should we be saying that it has “nuked the fridge”?

There is ample evidence that “jump the shark” — which emerged from a 1980s dorm-room discussion of a particularly ridiculous episode of the TV show “Happy Days” — has gone mainstream, and then some. New York Times columnists casually invoke the phrase to describe things that they perceive as being past their prime. Last week, the Motley Fool Web site used it to speculate that the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting might have lost its mojo, much the way that Fonzie, the leather-jacketed lothario on “Happy Days,” did when he water-skied over a shark.

In recent weeks, a similarly ridiculous episode — in this case from the movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” — has produced a similar term, “nuked the fridge,” that is gaining traction online. A Google search comes up with 64,000 hits.

nwz NYTimes Online

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