The phrase “jump the shark” is quite famous among TV fans. That’s when a show sees such a sharp drop in quality that it starts relying on contrived or gimmicky shows to keep viewers hooked. While not as well known, the phrase “nuke the fridge” also signifies a departure from the film franchise’s previous standards of quality and logic.

The term was created after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skullactually saw the protagonist avoid a nuclear explosion by placing himself in a fridge, but plenty of other film franchises have busted fridges, and Redditors will no doubt be excitedly complaining about them online.



10 ‘Die Hard’ Franchise (1988-2020)

Bruce Willlis and Jai Courtney in 'A Good Day to Die Hard' walk away from the exploding helicopter
Image via 20th Century Studios

According to many, original Die Hard is the single greatest action film ever made. The first two sequels didn’t come close to that level of quality, but there’s plenty for fans of the genre to enjoy. However, the last two films in the franchise were flops, according to Reddit.

Live Free or Die Hard completely disregards the laws of physics, and its PG-13 rating (as opposed to the R ratings of other franchises) has also been criticized, but it’s still a pretty fun and engrossing action thriller. A Good Day to Die Hardon the other hand, it doesn’t feel like a Die Hard movie at all. As u/2far4u said, “it [way] too exaggerated and stupid.”

9 Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ Trilogy (2002-2007)

Spiderman 3 (2007) (1)
Image via Sony Images

When legendary Sam Raimi made Spider Manthe superhero genre wasn’t as big as it is now, and that helped change that a lot. Spider man 2 still hailed as one of the best superhero movie sequels ever, but Spiderman 3 famous for how big the disaster was.

The threequel isn’t without its moments, with enjoyable action sequences and creative direction by Raimi, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone to say it anywhere near the level of quality of its predecessor. As u/LackingTact19 points out, “too much [villains] is the real weakness for the film,” adding to an already messy and overstuffed story that realistically could end in nothing but disaster.

8 ‘The Matrix’ Franchise (1999-)

Keanu Reeves as Neo stopping bullets in The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The Wachowskis took the world by storm when it was released Matrix. It is, and surprisingly, considered one of the most exhilarating, witty, and entertaining action films of all time. It’s also notable, unfortunately, for having less-than-stellar sequels.

It will be very difficult for any sequel to live up to the innovative quality of the original, which has led to it Matrix Reloaded And Revolution to amass a growing following in recent years of fans increasingly liking them in retrospect. Resurrection, however, is inexcusable. Overall, one has to agree with u/Zinzendorf when they say that “they tarnished an excellent first film” with so many faults.

7 Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ Franchise (2007-2017)

Sam Witwicky and Optimus Prime in Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
Image via Paramount Pictures

Michael Bay has never been known for making cerebral or artistic action films, but if you know what you like with his stuff he can sometimes ensure that you have a good time. As was the case with the first Transformersbut the following four films are downright awful.

Whereas the first film had camp, humor, slick visuals, and lots and lots of desire for it, the follow-ups squander it all. As u/JoeKool23 would say, they “become stupid and lost [their] personality,” pushed for poor acting, boring storylines, and cheesy visuals with every subsequent installment.

6 The ‘Taken’ Trilogy (2008-2014)

taken 2, Liam Neeson, Bryan Mills, Fight, guns
Image via 20th Century Studios

Taken isn’t a great cinematic achievement, but what it does have is a very special set of skills that make it a modern classic for fans of the genre. On the other hand, the two sequels are very bland.

As the account has since deleted, “no one wants a trilogy.” Bryan Mills is one of them Liam Neesonis the most entertaining of roles, but it’s always good to know when an action hero is better left as the star of a one-and-done type of story. In the sequel, the tension is gone, the magic is gone, and the thrilling freshness of the original is definitely gone.

5 Movie ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (1994-2002)

Image via Paramount Pictures

1966s Star Trek truly revolutionized the world of sci-fi television, its impact is still being felt today. So, it’s not surprising that movies started coming out. For the most part, they had great success… Just not all of them. Original Series film Final Frontier show that Star Trek not perfect, Rebellion completely unremarkable, but it is Nemesis which effectively killed the franchise.

People like u/yetkwai dispute this Nemesis is “okay movie, it’s just a [sh*tty] Star Trek film,” and it’s hard to disagree. As a sci-fi action piece, this movie is passable; when you consider the overarching story it’s supposed to be serving, you realize how badly it wrecked the fridge.

4 The ‘Terminator’ franchise (1984-)

terminator fight 3 TX
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

As one of the most respected directors working today, James Cameron has created some very impressive cinematic achievements. Some of the best are Terminators And Terminators 2but when he left someone else in the director’s chair Terminators 3everything goes bad.

First two Terminators The film is unique, exciting, atmospheric and full of great characters. The third is uncharming, boring, and has one of cinema’s most annoying protagonists. The franchise never recovered from the aftermath of its sequels, leading former fans like u/sosaynomore to conclude that “nothing really stood out about it”.

3 ‘Saw’ Franchise (2003-)

Tobin Bell in Saw III
Image via Lionsgate

While the first Saw praised for its innovative approach to horror and View II not without its fans, everything came crashing down in the aftermath See III. From then on, things went downhill for one of the saddest cases of wasted potential of the genre.

Sure, the sequel has some cool traps and some great gore, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. As u/user144 put it, shortly thereafter, “they were just starting to think of the most painful and most obvious ways to torture people,” forgetting (or ignoring) everything that made the first film such a beloved classic.

2 The ‘Jaws’ Franchise (1975-1987)

jaws of revenge0
Image via Universal Pictures

Considering how bad the sequels were, it’s easy to forget about them Steven Spielberg‘S Mouth is one of the most important and entertaining landmarks in the history of American horror film and cinema. It’s better if everyone pretends that only one was made.

Jaw 2 And 3-D Jaws very bad, but some fans are still willing to have fun. Jaws: Revenge, however, is an insult to the viewer’s intelligence. Redditor u/karateandfriendship9 summed it up best: “A shark deliberately And deliberately plans to kill Brody’s wife ostensibly […] it’s not a shark but a Bond villain”. No further explanation needed.

1 ‘Indiana Jones’ Franchise (1981-2023)

Indiana Jones in 'Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' standing in front of a nuclear explosion
Image via Paramount Pictures

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a special case. It spoils the fridge not only figuratively but literally too. It’s a shame that three of the most acclaimed and iconic adventure films of all time had to be followed by legacy sequels so underwhelming, so much so that it is quite literally the origin of the term referring to a film franchise to become preposterous and useless.

Redditors like u/Naweezy count things like “monkey swinging, […] weak villain, crippled alien resolution, crippled McGuffin badly”, and Shia Labeoufthe performance was highly criticized as some of the reasons why this film is remembered with rancor. It’s a fine action adventure film on its own, but as part of a larger franchise it proves just how powerful it can be when you turn off the fridge.

READ ON: 10 Sequels That Disappointed Their Audiences by Stuffing Too Much In

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