Indiana Jones and Nuke the Fridge  JUN 19 2008

Not so long ago, on May 24th, IMDB message board participant beachedblonde coined a new phrase: nuke the fridge. Here's the definition from the Urban Dictionary...it's roughly equivalent to jumping the shark:

A colloquialism used to delineate the precise moment at which a cinematic franchise has crossed over from remote plausibility to self parodying absurdity, usually indicating a low point in the series from which it is unlikely to recover. A reference to one of the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which the titular hero manages to avoid death by nuclear explosion by hiding inside a kitchen refrigerator.

Sample usage:

Man, when Peter Parker started doing the emo dance in Spider-Man 3, that franchise officially nuked the fridge.

Since then, things have progressed quickly. The original posting seems to have been deleted but the phrase caught on, infected other message boards and web sites, and is now a full-blown meme on the verge of nuking the fridge itself. Google currently returns close to 16,000 results for variations on the phrase. Some participants in the IMDB forums have already grown tired of the phrase's repeated use. A Wikipedia page was created and has already been deleted (reason: "Protologism with no RELIABLE sources evidencing more than extremely limited usage"). A web site dedicated to the meme is available at nukingthefridge.com, not to be confused with the movie review blog at nukedthefridge.com. And of course, no meme these days is complete without the proper new media accoutrements: Facebook page, MySpace page, t-shirt, YouTube page, an auction to sell the domain name, and a post on a large-ish general interest blog way after the whole thing's already played out. I only heard it for the first time an hour ago and I'm already sick of it. Memes seem to be spreading so rapidly now on the web that they burn out before they can properly establish themselves. It'll be interesting to see if nuke the fridge makes it through this ultra-virulent phase and somehow slows down enough to jump to casual mainstream usage. (via cyn-c)

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
Indiana Jones   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull   language   memes   movies

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