Oh No! A moment that you don't like has happened in your favorite fictional series! A new character appeared out of nowhere! Or your favorite character caught the Idiot Ball that week! Or the latest iteration of the show has a new animation style, or a new voice actor, or a new theme song! Or there is a Musical Episode or Beach Episode not written by Joss Whedon!
The shark has truly been jumped over! Your show is now ruined FOREVER!!!
Sure, it might have been a dumb moment, but how do you truly know until the series has run its course? What if the new character turns out to not be The Scrappy, as you feared? What if your favorite character is never handed the Idiot Ball again? What if the plot for that Bizarro Episode or Beach Episode was Just for Fun, and the rest of the series sticks to what it does best? What if that one change revitalized something, or makes something better?
The show isn't made by gods (despite what some may assume). People make mistakes. Shows can have low points but still have high quality throughout the run.
Just take a few deep breaths. You may think you have seen a clear Jumping the Shark, but those are rare moments. Take the actual Jumping The Shark from Happy Days. That moment was clear for at least three reasons:
- It was completely against the premise of the show, which was a loving homage to the last generation.
- Fonzie was no longer the Breakout Character who was a role model to some; now he had mutated into a full-fledged Canon Sue.
- It was identified upon retrospect 20 years later, meaning it had the benefit of hindsight and it wasn't a knee-jerk reaction.
How could the show fix that without ignoring the episode completely? There are plenty of other ways to jump the shark, but those are rare diamonds of crap... in the rough of crap. It's near impossible to tell when a show has jumped the shark until after the fact. Worse, if people are just rushing to declare jumping the shark for any moment they don't like, it comes across as Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.
Even worse than that, there are folks who feel the series is Tainted by the Preview - the show doesn't even have to be released for someone to declare it Ruined FOREVER. The same goes if the show has only been on for a couple of episodes before people start making dramatic statements of this nature; if the show's just started, that usually means that the producers are still seeing what works and what doesn't, so any reasonable viewer might have to allow for at least a few stumbles.
And there comes a point (especially with adaptations) that fans believe the current storyline or incarnation will somehow retroactively destroy the "purity" of the earlier work. Authors should not listen to these types of fans.
So if you don't like a moment, don't like it. But shows have survived worse.
If the fans are screaming "Ruined Forever!!!" and then are blindsided by a development no one can complain about, then you have And the Fandom Rejoiced.
When the fans are actually right, see Franchise Killer. When the drop in quality is real, but temporary, see Dork Age and Author's Saving Throw. Seasonal Rot could be either, depending on whether or not the show recovers.
Keep in mind that this here is an Audience Reaction Trope and some of these series may have actually Jumped the Shark. The point of this trope is noting how suddenly and over-dramatically this call will be made and the lack of actual shark jumping the object of the viewer's complaint actually has. And for that matter, don't list examples where you think it has genuinely stopped being good.
Sub pages noting when people complain a show is ruined:
- Anime & Manga
- Card Games
- Comic Books
- Films Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Professional Wrestling
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games (General)
- Video Games (Specific)
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation
You've decided to become a Troper? TVTROPES HAS RUINED YOUR LIFE FOREVER!