Who nuked the fridge? Indiana Jones phrase is an instant hit!

There is ample evidence that the phrase “jump the shark” – which emerged from a dorm-room discussion of a ridiculous episode of “Happy Days”, a 1980’s TV show – has gone mainstream. Many columnists now invoke this phrase, casually, to describe things that they perceive as being past their prime. Last week, the Motley Fool website used this phrase to speculate that the Berkshire Hathaway annual general meeting might have lost its mojo – much the way that Fonzie, the leather-jacketed lothario on the “Happy Days” show, did when he water-skied over a shark.

In recent weeks, a similarly ridiculous episode from the popular movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” has produced a similar term – “nuked the fridge” – that is gaining much attention online. In “Indiana Jones …”, the hero’s improbable achievement was to survive a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator. Hence, to “nuke the fridge” means to introduce a wildly implausible element to a once-respected frachise, or more generally to signal the abandonment of past standards of quality.

Newsweek has already chronicled the new phrase, describing it as a synonym for “movie-franchise meltdowns.” The Urban Dictionary website has already taken note of it and may include it in their database shortly! What’s more, there are already websites nukedthefridge.com and nukingthefridge.com that hope to take advantage of the burst of notoriety; one website has even quotes that the “nuked the fridge” phrase is actually a term used by movie fans and critics alike to denote a point in which a film/TV program veers off into realm of ridicule and stupidity.

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