It seems that a new alternative to the infamous “Jumping the Shark” expression has been found by UrbanDictionary in “Nuking the Fridge“.
Nuke the fridge is a colloquialism used to refer to the moment in a film series that is so incredible that it lessens the excitement of subsequent scenes that rely on more understated action or suspense, and it becomes apparent that a certain installment is not as good as previous installments, due to ridiculous or low quality storylines, events or characters.
The new phrase is lifted from a moment in Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystall Skull, where…
… near the start of the movie, Harrison Ford’s character survives a nuclear detonation by climbing into a kitchen fridge, which is then blown hundreds of feet through the sky whilst the town disintegrates. He then emerges from the fridge with no apparent injury. Later in the movie, the audience is expected to fear for his safety in a normal fistfight.
According to new geek guidelines, Nuking the Fridge should be used for moments in movies where quality reaches an incredulous low, and Jumping the Shark used for television.
As Peter Sciretta at /Film summarises ,
Jump the Shark is a reference to a scene in an episode of Happy Days when Fonzie literally jumps over a shark whilst water skiing. The scene was considered so preposterous, and is considered by many to signify the moment in time when the show became unappealing to its core audience.