go off the reservation

go off the reservation

1. To go or act outside the bounds of control, propriety, or acceptance of a given group. The phrase refers to the forced relocation of Native Americans to Indian reservations in the United States. Because of this origin, the phrase can be considered offensive or inappropriate. The youths in this area are going off the reservation more and more these days, disregarding anything they see as a form of authority.
2. To think or act differently or contrary to the accepted norm. The vice president seems to have gone off the reservation regarding his views on legalizing marijuana.
See also: off, reservation
References in periodicals archive ?
The majority of able-bodied people that could work either stay at home or go off the reservation to look for jobs," Rivas said.
She must rein in Bob's wife, Kim (Audrey Marie Anderson), who threatens to go off the reservation, oblivious to the unit's familial protocol.
Every now and again, our judges go off the reservation and decide that they would like to give their own award to a very deserving person in the tourism industry.