Jumping the shark

I have to admit, I really have no idea what the phrase “jumping the shark” really means, other than to refer to something that’s old/played out/no longer trendy.  That said, I love it as a figure of speech. I can’t help myself, it’s just too silly. I thought that I’d do a little interpretation of some shows/trends/words that have “jumped the shark” and look at why this might have happened!

*warning: serious snark ahead*

Horror movie franchises: This encompasses series like Scream (I-god knows how many), Saw (I-VI), Friday the Thirteenth and its spinoffs, etc. etc.  After the first one, maybe two movies in the series, it all goes downhill. 90% of the time, none of the original actors come back (see: Saw killing almost the entire cast each movie) or, if they do come back, it’s some “OMG I thought they were dead/how did they survive that chainsaw/fire/torture chamber?” plot turn.  Somehow, these keep making money… but to me, they jumped the shark a few iterations ago.

“Guru”: Used as an alternative term for “expert,” guru was huge during the dot com boom and for a few years after, from what I recall. It was replaced by Ninja… which I’m getting somewhat sick of as well. That’s why I adopted “Maven” as my title (ie, Social Media Maven), and it seems like that may be the new term adopted by the up and coming ladies of tech startups.

Jersey Shore (the show): Sure, it was a fun guilty pleasure for a while. But really, how much GTL can we as a society take?

Jersey shore cast

Boy Bands: As much as NKOTB and Backstreet Boys would like us to believe from their continued tours, the glory days of boy bands were in the 90’s, or at most, early 2000’s.  Now, they’re just getting old and balding, and it’s kind of sad to watch. Backstreet really isn’t back, I’m sorry to say.

UGGS with miniskirts: This was an incredibly unfortunate California trend for the past few years. It was never cute to begin with– either you’re cold or you’re hot, make up your mind!– and now, it’s like, soooo over. Seriously, for the love of humanity. Don’t do it. This should have officially jumped the shark many years ago.

Hotmail: See this brilliant piece from The Oatmeal. Enjoy it.

MySpace: Sure, it was cool in junior high. Maybe even in high school. Then, it became a place for bands to advertise… but now… well, when was the last time you were on MySpace? Sorry, Tom, we’re no longer your friends.

Geocities, blinkies, and tYpInG lIkE tHiS: I have a headache just thinking about it.

Twilight: Saying that might send hordes of angsty pre-teens and their horny moms after me, but it’s true…or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. The books were mediocre at best, and the movies were even worse.  Now there’s drama over the gory birth scene that’s supposed to take place in the last movie… I say just can the whole thing 😉 If anything, I think people’s disdain for the insane fangirls has hurt Twilight’s franchise more than its crappy filmography.


Crustables sandwiches: Sure, crustless and prepackaged PB&J sounds great in principle, but have you ever looked at what’s in those things? No wonder they’re not so popular anymore. Mmm, preservatives.

Jon & Kate plus 8: I guess now, it’s just Kate plus 8, but that show (and the family) really jumped the shark long before Kate made her awful return to reality tv on Dancing with the Stars. Gotta feel bad for the kids, though. I think Jon & Kate’s sanity have have jumped the shark (or something like that) as well…

Fake boobs: First Pam Anderson gets hers removed, then Disney says that actresses for Pirates of the Caribbean 4 can’t have implants (God knows how they’ll test that, though).

The bacon craze: Chocolate-covered bacon, bacon mayonaise, bacon cupcakes: you name it, it’s been done.  Sadly, I’m begging to think that not everything tastes better with bacon… although bacon is still wonderful in its own right!

Cake: First it was pie, then cake, then cupcakes. Cupcakes are on their way out too… but for now, shows like Cupcake Wars and stores like Sprinkles are still riding the cupcake high.  Nom.

Chatroulette: It pains me to say this, but Chatroulette jumped the shark.  It was great for about 2 glorious months, getting me through the end of my senior year of college with a wonderful, albeit bizarre distraction


Comic Sans: I’ll be talking about this more in my post about my undying font addiction, but really… Comic Sans? Please, just go away. Although this letter is pretty wonderful- “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole.”

Vajazzling: Thanks to Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kathy Griffin, it was cool for about a week. Now, it’s just back to being weird. And uncomfortable, I’d imagine.

Spiedi: Finally, the most famewhoring couple is ending things. It’s about damn time. Although, who knows if it’s a total publicity stunt all over again??

Well, wasn’t that fun? What friends do YOU think have “jumped the shark,” wonderful readers of mine?


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