Top 10 Sharks in Pop Culture

Have we finally jumped the shark? Or are we just counting down the Top 10 Sharks in Pop Culture?

Honorable Mention: Fonzie Jumped the Shark

How often does a television show spawn an entirely new phrase in the pop culture lexicon? A 1977 episode of Happy Days was criticized as a desperate bid to get ratings, when a particular plot line featured Fonzie using water skis to jump over a shark.  In actuality, Henry Winkler wanted to showcase his water sporting skills, but this was seen as lazy writing and sensationalist television.

This created the idiom, “jumping the shark,” which indicates a decline in popularity, a loss of focus, and the idea of selling out.

10. Land Shark from SNL

The Land Shark is considered the cleverest of all sharks- at least, according to Saturday Night Live. It preys on young, single women, and can strike at any place, any time. This recurring character on SNL, voiced by Chevy Chase, was created in 1975 in response to the release of Jaws, satirizing the hysteria of shark sightings.

Wait– he’s only a dolphin! Well, okay…

9. Frickin’ Sharks with Frickin’ Laser Beams

These sharks were just the stuff of dreams for Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers films.  He was disappointed to learn that his lair couldn’t have these sharks due to endangered species restrictions.  Evil sea bass were no replacement for the sharks with laser beams on their heads.

Eventually, in the third Austin Powers film, Dr. Evil is given a pool full of these frickin’ sharks as a gift from his son, Scott Evil.

8. King Shark- DC Comics

Also known as Nanaue, DC Comics’ King Shark is a humanoid shark who was born in Hawaii as the son of the Shark God. He has amphibious physiology, and can survive for long periods underwater as well as on land, and has fangs and claws.

King Shark was originally introduced as an enemy to Superboy, and recently appeared in on the CW’s The Flash.

7. Deep Blue Sea Sharks

These genetically altered sharks turned out to be too intelligent for the human researchers who created them.  Originally intended to help study and fight Alzheimer’s disease, the sharks used their modified brains to escape captivity and wreak havoc.

Our Top 10 list would like to draw special attention to the shark that killed Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Russell Franklin, in this unforgettable film moment.

6. The Shark that Attacked Adam West Batman

Batman has countless gadgets to stop any of his dangerous foes in their tracks, but Batman: The Movie pitted Adam West against an all-new breed of bad guy: a shark!

This leg-chomping rubber shark was famously defeated with Batman’s patented Shark Repellant, which was kept alongside his Barracuda, Whale, and Manta-Ray repellants just in case.

5. Street Sharks

The Street Sharks animated series followed the lives of a group of crime-fighting half-man/half-sharks created by a device known as the “gene-slammer”.  These four brothers were transformed by the evil Dr. Paradigm, who used his machine to create aquatic monsters to terrorize the city.

The Street Shark gang is made up of Ripster the great white shark, Jab the hammerhead shark, Streex the tiger shark, and Big Slammu the whale shark.

4. Jabberjaw

This classic cartoon shark don’t get no respect- except on our Top 10 list! Jabberjaw is the star of his own self-titled Hanna-Barbera cartoon, created in the same vein as Scooby-Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, and Speed Buggy.

Jabberjaw plays the drums in the Neptunes, a rock group from 2035. He was inspired by the shark mania of the mid 70’s, created after Jaws opened in theaters.

3. Bruce from Finding Nemo

Bruce the great white shark is the leader of the Fish-Friendly Sharks group in the film Finding Nemo.  Named after the infamous shark in Jaws, Bruce tried to reform himself from a mindless killer to a pleasant, friendly ally to the other fish of the sea.

He coined the motto, “Fish are friends, not food,” that was one of the more popular lines from the fishy film.

2. Sharknado

It’s a tornado full of sharks. Enough said. This science-fiction disaster film quickly gathered a cult following for being a shamelessly silly and gory flick. The original film spawned five sequels including The Second One, Oh Hell No!, The 4th Awakens, and Global Swarming.

The sixth and final Sharknado film, It’s About Time, will debut on August 19th, and will finally put the cyclone of sharks to rest. For now.

1. Jaws

The shark that started it all- the film version of the Jaws shark was based on the novel of the same name, wherein a shark attacks the beachgoers of Amity Island without mercy.  For many, this film is the definition of a summer blockbuster, considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made.

The shark, nicknamed Bruce in production, the aquatic antagonist of Jaws launched both a general paranoia over shark attacks and a pop culture explosion of shark-related media.  Jabberjaw, Land Shark, Finding Nemo’s Bruce and more have this film to thank for their popularity and inspiration in the vast pop culture landscape.

Did we miss out on any of your favorites? Let Your Geek SideShow and tell us in the comments!