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Whistle Blowing launched as Jumping the Shark: From YKTTW

//There is a site similar to named Perhaps we should add it to the article to get more members and help it grow to the level of it predecessor. — Don Roberto

//I'd argue that you often don't know when a show is Jumping the Shark when it happens—it's often only possible to identify it in retrospect. Because the Jumping the Shark moment is sometimes just the first of several small things which bring down the show, with no one overriding element. In retrospect, the JTS moment may seem a bellwether, and you may suspect it's a JTS moment when it happens, but you can be wrong about that. The example I like to point to is Teri Bauer's amnesia in season1of 24. It was a poor plot element that was roundly decried by the fans, and many declared that 24 had jumped the shark. And if it had been followed by more poor plot elements, indeed we could have said that Teri's amnesia was the JTS moment. But, instead, the writers quickly got away from that line and the show returned to form. Not that it always happens that way—sometimes one single element does kill a show (Cousin Oliver in The Brady Bunch). (Yes, I do spend far too much time thinking about these things.) — Devil's Advocate

//This isn't mine, but I debated putting up 'Jumping the Shark' here as well, and I'll counter-argue. There are two key points I'd make. First off, there is certainly that 'trope' feeling when you see something where the writers have exceeded the normal bounds of the show. Even if the JTS moment is not as bad as you initially believe (the 24 example is good), it's definitely an identifiable pit in your stomach when it does happen. Second off, it is a trope that is easily identifiable on repeat viewings of the show. "Yep, once they added Cousin Oliver, this thing went to hell." Maybe Jumping the Shark itself isn't a trope, but in the spirit of 'you know it when you see it', I think that at least POTENTIAL jump the shark moments are. - Ub Iq

//I don't believe in the potential jump the shark moment — I'm with Devil's Advocate. You need perspective. At the time, you can't tell it from an exceptionally sucky idea/episode. I've heard too often the "Damn, myfavouriteshow jumped the shark tonight!" and you're barely even halfway through the episode. Okay — that's hyperbole. But most often it's in the week past the putative leap — you can't possibly know. You can't spot them without hindsight — it would be great to have a show so consistently marvellous that it never sucked, except for when it started to suck characteristically — Capoeira Girl

// I agree. Jumping the shark is for those occasions when you look back and say, "When did this show go wrong? Oh yeah, it was when Fonzie jumped the shark." You can't tell until afterwards, at least half a season or so. — Kalimac

// Not only that, but the moment isn't always a change, as the article suggests. It's just a defining moment. Sure, that often happens upon major changes, but major changes do not mean that the show has jumped. For example, I Love Lucy went to Hollywood specifically to revitalize the show, but it worked, and no sharks were jumped. But by the definition given here, you would have to say it had done so. The article needs a rewrite. And I need to quit posting from work. — Darksasami

Red Shoe: Every once in a great while, what looks on first sight to be a Jump the Shark moment actually works, and revitalizes the show (though for the life of me, I can't think of an example offhand). I've sometimes heard this called "Jumping the Bus".

Idle Dandy: It may not be Jumping the Shark, but there is definitely a related phenomenon that requires no retrospect. Rabid fans tend to hold their shows' PT Bs to be infallible and are unwilling to accept weak writing, which is where fanwanking comes from. Fans will work overtime to create reasonable explanations for apparent mistakes on the part of the writers. There is a definite point for many fans when this faith in the writers is broken. It may be a Wall Banger episode, but it may be even smaller, like a device, a subplot, or an out-of-character behavior. For a personal example, I'm an accomplished fanwanker who wasn't especially bothered by the "Summers blood" debacle, but I couldn't deal with Spike playing poker for kittens. That was the first time I thought, "Now that's just stupid." It hardly qualifies as shark jumping, but it's definitely when I decided the writers had lost it. Should this be a separate entry? I thought about creating one and calling it "Kitten Poker," but that might not have the best mnemonic transfer. Perhaps "Fanwanker's Kryptonite" or "The Writers Have Lost It"? Any opinions?

Gus: This: misunderstanding a phrase that judges suck not success, is a little hard to parse.

KendraKirai: It is actually, I think, BOTH. In the vast majority of cases, you need the perspective of hindsight to identify a JTS moment. But sometimes, the moments are so egregious that unless it turns out to all be a dream by the end of the show/season, there's no coming back. Lets take a hypothetical situation here...Consider for a moment what would happen if...lets say...Lost. Lets say that suddenly they discovered that the Lost island is actually just a theme park, and everyone ended up getting jobs working it. That would be a definite Jump The Shark moment, with no need for hindsight. There's no amount of writing that would save it after that. These Sudden Shark(tm) moments are exceedingly rare, but they certainly exist.

Looney Toons: Meanwhile, I inserted a comma, which I think makes it a bit easier to parse: misunderstanding a phrase that judges suck, not success. We could also change "suck" to "suckiness", which would be an obviously nounish thing, and would rhyme entertainingly with "success".

Rosybloom: Good idea, I just liked "suck" as a noun.

Grev: Pruned these two:

  • According to many long-term fans (the ones who made George Lucas rich), Star Wars first jumped the shark with the introduction of Ewoks halfway through the third film. The appearance of Jar Jar Binks in the fourth film led such long-term fans to conclude that Star Wars was jumping the shark still and has never stopped; to this day, there is controversy over whether the second trilogy was an exciting prequel or one long three-part shark jump.
  • Music Video example: R. Kelly's Trapped In the Closet series was actually pretty dramatic and intriguing about up until that one where he pulled out that pooping midget gigalo.

...because they're not references to jumping the shark...and, of course, this entry would be overrun with all the "examples" of when shows jumped the shark. So it'd be smart to keep this list to references to the phrase itself.

Dark Storm: The moment when something jumps the shark is also pretty much subjective. As a glance at Jump the shows, most people disagree as to just when shows started going downhill. (Even the titular example may not be definitive - Fonzie actually jumping a shark was just a sweeps week stunt, and arguably wasn't as much as a show-breaker as, say, Arnold's burning down or Richie joining the army, both of which were long-term plots that dragged the show down)

Uncanny Garlic - The point of TV Tropes is to identify tropes and where the occur. If this page is to be relegated to references then the Jumping the Shark page isn't about the Jumping the Shark trope but about the cross show Running Gag of referencing the Happy Days episode when the Fonz jumps the shark. It's not only inconsistent with how the rest of TV Tropes is run but it also defeats the point of TV Tropes to not list examples. Will there be clutter and bad examples? Sure, but this would not be the only page to have that problem and a simple solution would be requiring the examples to be confirmed before being posted (possibly on the discussion page or in the forums).

I can agree that citing specific examples could be problematic (and chew up tons of space and possibly degenerate into Complaining About Shows You Don't Like), but would it be acceptable to expand on the sorts of things which commonly turn out to be shark-jumping moments? (I.E: introducing The Scrappy, killing off a popular character, irrevocably altering the premise of the show for the worse)


What was really mean-spirited about the death of the Lone Gunmen? Sure, it was nasty, but they sealed themselves in with a lethal and incredibly contagious virus just to stop it spreading - it was the perfect way for a trio of would-be heroes to go out.


Crazyrabbits: This example:

"* This troper feels that the videogame Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy for you American tropers) jumped the shark when the main character dies and is brought back to life by a secret society of AIs about two thirds through the game. What makes this worse is that the AIs were never hinted at or introduced during the first two thirds of the story - they appear completly out of the blue. Oh yeah, and the sex scene between the now-undead main character and the detective trying to track him down."

The article said references, not actual examples. If you start that up, this Wiki will end up with a lot of redundant material that's alredy been covered better elsewhere. There's an entire website that focuses on those moments.

However, we should consider a separate article for lesser-known examples of non-television shark jumping moments.

Micah: Removed:

  • One of the biggest debates fans of The Simpsons often get into is when, or even if, the show jumped the shark.

Come on, people...

Wyvernil: I've written up an expansion on the kinds of things which may lead a show to Jump the Shark. Let me know if you have any other examples of shark-jumping symptoms, or comments and opinions on the entries.

I'd like to avoid specific examples of shows which 'jumped' in this manner, as that can be highly subjective and prone to Complaining About Shows You Don't Like. If you think the expansion is still too problematic, I've saved the original, unexpanded paragraph and can change it back.


For the cinema version, see NukingTheFridge.

Since we don't need a separate "cinema version". The term is universal. Besides, that term was invented to complain about the new Indy movie anyway.


  • The moment in {Heroes} when West, the creepy, unlikable, terribly forced love interest for Claire flew up into the air with her in his arms was the most embarrassing moment of Season 2. The introduction of Maya and Allejandro didn't spark much interest in the fans but the terrible CGI of that seen and overall sappiness of the scene was when this troper knew that the series had seen better days.

Not a reference of Jumping the Shark

Idle Dandy: I still strongly dispute the definition given on the page. Changes may be shark-jumps, but not all shark-jumps have to do with changes made to stay fresh, or changes at all. The very website that launched the term defines it as: "It's a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now's all downhill." The eponymous Fonzie stunt wasn't a change; it was just a dumb moment that made the viewers know that the best days were in the past. And it required no hindsight.

Ryusui: I'd like to argue that Nuking The Fridge is a separate phenomenon, not "Jumping the Shark The Movie". Jumping the Shark means a TV series (or other form of media) has reached the point where creative entropy has taken over and the whole thing begins its slow slide towards cancellation. Nuking The Fridge is when Willing Suspension of Disbelief is strained to its breaking point: it might be the sign of Jumping the Shark in certain cases, i.e. a series that relied heavily on realism suddenly dropping in a fantastical element, but it is not the same thing, nor is it an infallible harbinger thereof. Yukikaze is arguably guilty of Nuking The Fridge when the Super Sylph performs a 180 turn in midair while flying at high speed down a canyon, shoots down a nuclear missile at point-blank range and rides the shockwave out of the canyon, completely unscathed. The Knightmare Frames of Code Geass are fairly practical and realistic despite their fanciful name, more resembling the utility mechs from Patlabor, until the Lancelot shows up and outstrips its competition with armaments and abilities straight out of a Super Robot series. Both are cases of Nuking The Fridge; neither one is Jumping the Shark. One could argue this phenomenon has been lampshaded in The Care Bears of all places, where in the episode "Food Facts and Fables", Grumpy notes that the "caveman" just drew a barbecue grill and complains that he thought this was going to be "a serious educational program". Not even the actual case of Nuking The Fridge has been universally argued to be a permanent downward turning point in the movie's quality.

Nuking The Fridge is deserving of its own trope. By my definition, it is actually less subjective than Jumping the Shark, which it has become conflated with. Nuking The Fridge is when Willing Suspension of Disbelief is broken by the impossible happening - in grandiose fashion - in a relatively mundane world.

Thatother 1 Dude: Reason we shouldn't:
  1. That's pretty much what Wall Banger (and/or Refuge in Audacity) is, and we have a bunch of other articles about breaking Willing Suspension of Disbelief anyway.
  2. If we were to actually make such an article, we sure as hell shouldn't use that name.
  3. For the same reason that we can't list any actual examples on Jumping the Shark, this would way too subjective and thus lead to way to much complaining and edit wars. We'd either have an article that is Flame War incarnate, or an example-less page that wouldn't serve any purpose being separate from Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
  4. That really doesn't seem like a trope (albeit we already have a bunch of old articles that get away with not really being tropes)

Servbot: Pulled...

  • Video games are no exception to this trope. Many fans and their counterparts have loudly swore off Nintendo forever due to the Wii's different demographic appeal and how casual games sell more than hardcore games.

Not a reference to Jumping the Shark.

Lord Seth: Why does Sonic Syndrome redirect here?

Ethereal Mutation: It's what it decayed into, more or less. The old trope now sits at Polygon Ceiling (and won't redirect to it simply because it just encourages the same abuse).

Lord Seth: Well I think Sonic Syndrome should redirect there. It's always annoyed me when people change a trope's name, then don't redirect it.
Cheeseball701: I'm not sure if The Fairly Odd Parents example was cut. I remember watching it. Can someone verify or debunk me?
Can the phrase "Jumped the Shark" jump the shark?