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What does 'Jump the Shark' mean?

Average: 4.2 (16 votes)

I was reading something online the other day when I came across this interesting expression: 'jump the shark'.

What does it mean?

Think of a TV that was very popular when it first started; after a while the show becomes less popular and the amount of viewers falls. The writers then decide to make some big changes to the show so people will be interested in it again. This plan fails and the show seems ridiculous and foolish.

It basically means the moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality.

The expression comes from a '70s programme called Happy Days which once tried to boost its falling ratings by having the hero of the show jump over a shark while water skiing. It now refers to any show that makes stupid changes to the story in order to get back viewers.

Key words

  1. come across
  2. ridiculous
  3. decline
  4. boost
  5. ratings
  6. refers

Now match up the words to their definitions. Write the numbers in the spaces, not the words.


Link: How to talk about movies

  • To become less, worse or lower:
  • To find something by chance:
  • Relates / describes:
  • A list showing how popular TV shows are:
  • Very stupid:
  • To improve/increase something: