In 1997, Hein made a web site - and accidentally coined a phrase that became part of our national cultural heritage.
"Jump the Shark."
"It's a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on...it's all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it 'Jumping the Shark.'"
Hollywood script-writers were almost giddy. They not only appropriated the phrase, but began pre-emptively including it in their own scripts. Fez on "That 70s Show" imagines himself jumping a shark like Fonzie. In the opening credits of The Simpsons the family water skis to their living room couch while Homer's body is devoured by sharks. The X-Files names an episode in their final season "Jump the Shark."
Ironically, the chain-yanking final season of The X-Files went on to become one of the Jump the Shark site's all-time top vote getters for shows that have actually "Jumped the Shark."
And The Simpsons