Great Moments in GIF History: “Jumping the Shark”

I considering make a post with multiple GIF’s, but seeing 10 different scenes play out at the same time led to vomiting, diarrhea, and erectile dysfunction in a test audience, so that idea was scrapped.

Unfortunately for the producers of Happy Days, the scene above was never run by a test audience, and the result is a timeless piece of pop culture history.

Writer 1: Fonzi is always cool, right?

Writer 2: Of course.

Writer 1: So, the Fonz would be cool doing just about anything?

Writer 2: I guess so.

Writer 1: Like jumping over a shark on waterskis?

Writer 2: Say what now?

Writer 1: Great! I knew you’d love it!

Writer 2: F***

Writer 1 would go on to create other cinematic treasures like Don’t Mess with Zohan, White Chicks, and The Great Gatsby in Space. Writer 2 continues to plot his revenge. It’s likely to involve osteoporosis…or the West Nile virus…or both.

This preposterous scene from Happy Days would spawn the phrase “Jumping the Shark”, which refers to the moment when a show reaches the point of no return, and relies on gimmicks and outlandish plot twists to keep audiences tuning in. Though Happy Days would stay on air for another five years, it was never the same after the Fonzi’s leap of faith.

Realizing that the phrase was losing its cultural relevance, George Lucas showed a new generation how to destroy a respected franchise in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, creating today’s “Jumping the Shark” in the form of “Nuking the Fridge”.

Thank you Mr. Lucas and Mr. Winkler. You gave us the words to say what we always knew.

Stay tuned for more great moments in GIF history!