Jump the Shark

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Synonyms:
See also: Fanwank
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The moment in a long-running serial canon when the source is generally felt to have dropped sharply in quality and never recovered. This is also the point when fanfiction usually begins generating alternate seasons or fix-its, or ignoring plot developments/calling actual plot developments non-canonical.

Of course, opinions will differ as to when and if this point is reached. If a fandom lasts long enough, you can end up with multiple communities of denial fans, each denying or ignoring different aspects of canon.

The term originated from a scene in the 1970s sitcom Happy Days in which the character Fonzie jumps over a shark while water-skiing. The scene was derided as an absurd moment in an otherwise grounded series and for making Fonzie look superhuman.

Fannish Examples of Use

  • "In fanfic though you’re allowed to jump the shark in spectacular ways that—even when kinda dumb—can be really enjoyable on a, “woah, you really went there . . . bold move, my friend!” level." [1]

External Resources

References

  1. ^ What Do We Think of Fanfic Now?: A conversation between Dal Maclean and Nicole Kimberling