Credit: Lucasfilm

It’s the moment when you realized waiting nearly 20 years for a new Indiana Jones movie wasn’t going to be worth it: The infamous “Nuke the Fridge” scene.

That’s where Indy (Harrison Ford) escapes certain death during an atomic bomb test by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It made the term “Nuke the Fridge” the 21st century version of the Happy Days-inspired “Jump the Shark” to describe a sequence that desperately overreaches.

Thankfully, Reddit makes everything better, and is coming to the rescue with a theory to explain Indy’s miraculous survival (and it’s not too shabby, either): “Food for Thought. Indiana Jones drinking from the Holy Grail [in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade] helped him survive unlikely scenarios, most notably the infamous fridge scene.”

So by quaffing out of that unremarkable-seeming “cup of a carpenter” during the climax of Last Crusade, Indy might have developed some supernatural fortitude. Or heck, maybe inhaling some wrath-of-God vape in Raiders of the Lost Ark might have helped too?

Either way, I would argue that Shia LaBeouf’s vine-swinging-with-the-monkeys scene in Crystal Skull is actually worse than the Nuke the Fridge moment, but by the time you reach that scene your expectations had already been sufficiently lowered by several degrees. The Nuke the Fridge moment capped the film’s opening sequence, when there was still hope left to squash. Besides, without it, we would never have gotten one of the most striking images of the entire franchise:

Credit: Lucasfilm
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Movie
  • 122 minutes
  • Steven Spielberg