The Greatest Sharks in Pop Culture History  

Robert Wabash
669 votes 347 voters 93.6k views 22 items

List Rules Fictional sharks and sharks that have a special place in pop culture lore. Vote based on awesomeness.

Few things are scarier, more exciting, or more epic than an awesome shark, and pop culture is full of the awesome, toothy creatures. Below are the greatest sharks in pop culture history, including some of the greatest clips ever of over-the-top sharks from B-movies, real-life sharks who've achieved badassery, shark memes and, of course, sharks we all grew up with.

What are the coolest sharks of all time? From Jaws to Sharknado, sharks in movies have been frightening and captivating audiences for years. Pop culture has made many sharks household names and, some might argue, unfairly given real sharks a bad image as ruthless killers.

Regardless, the sharks on this list are incredibly awesome and are eagerly awaiting your undivided attention to learn all about their kick ass stories. Read on, and be careful next time you're out in the ocean.


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Of course. Of course the shark from Jaws is on here. Did you think it wouldn't be on here? This was the first awesome shark in the history of pop culture and was what really spawned the fear and fascination with sharks outside of people who are just really into marine biology.

Sharks were never huge until Jaws. And they were never as scary on film. The first, and the best, Jaws makes the list as the one who started it all.

More Jaws

#16 of 334 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #20 of 361 on The Best Movies Based on Books featuring Behind The Scenes Of Every Death In ‘Jaws’ Jaws Was Inspired By The Matawan Man-Eater, And The True Story Is Even Scarier Than The Movie

Is this awesome?
see more on Jaws
The Shark That Jump-Eats the Seal from Planet Earth
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

You've seen this before. It's one of the greatest shark clips ever caught on video and if you've ever seen a commercial for "Planet Earth" (or gotten high watching "Planet Earth"), then you've seen this amazing footage of a shark jumping out of the water to catch a seal which it then devours, while in mid air.

It's one of those moments that reminds you why people like sharks so much and why they absolutely and undoubtedly deserve any attention they get.
Is this awesome?
Bruce the Shark
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

In Finding Nemo, an underdog story about a family getting back together, one of the creatures standing in the way, and one of the most endearingly evil but hilarious antagonists in any Disney Pixar movie is Bruce the Shark.

The great part about this character is that he talks to the smaller fish exactly like you would a Cheez-It if it came to life, calling them "Morsels" and "Bites." 

Then, when it comes to the part where you think they're going to be eaten, it turns out that Bruce is bringing them to the equivalent of an AA meeting for sharks who eat other fish, bringing hilarious adult themes to a very sophisticated kids movie.
Is this awesome?
The Shark That Fonzie Jumps on Happy Days (and Arrested Development)
The Shark That Fonzie Jumps on... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Sharks in Pop Culture History
Photo: via Wikimedia

If you've ever heard the term "jump the shark" and weren't sure where it came from, here's the deal:

In the fifth season premiere of the famous American TV show "Happy Days," the gang visits Los Angeles. Fonzie, ever the cool dude, wearing his swimming shorts and yes, his trademark leather jacket, jumps over a shark just to prove he was brave.

It was at this moment that any "Happy Days" fan knew it was over. The show was going to suck from here on out. So, since then, whenever a good, well-respected or widely-loved television show does something so over-the-top that you know the writers have lost it or stopped caring, it is called "jumping the shark".

Because he contributed to such a huge part of television history, and because he's entered our lexicon as a society, the shark that Fonzie jumps over in this scene from "Happy Days," gets the crown as one of the greatest sharks in pop culture history. This shark also had a brief cameo on "Arrested Development." Henry Winkler (who played the Fonz) had a role as the Bluth family's lawyer, and recreated a jump the shark moment, a treat for television fans everywhere.
Is this awesome?