take the fall

take the fall

Sl. to get arrested for a particular crime. (Especially when others are going unpunished for the same crime. Walt and Tony pulled the job off together, but Tony took the fall. You did it, and I won't take the fall!
See also: fall, take

take the fall

Incur blame or censure for another's misdeeds, as in She's taken the fall for you in terms of any political damage, or A senior official took the fall for the failed intelligence operation. This expression originated in the 1920s as underworld slang. It began to be extended to less criminal kinds of blame in the second half of the 1900s. Also see take a fall, def. 2.
See also: fall, take

take the fall

receive blame or punishment, typically in the place of another person. North American informal
In late 19th-century criminals' slang fall could mean an ‘an arrest’, and this was later extended to mean ‘a term of imprisonment’. From this the US term fall guy meaning ‘a scapegoat’ developed in the early 20th century.
See also: fall, take

take the fall

tv. to get arrested for a particular crime. (see also take a fall.) Joel Cairo and Wilbur pulled the job off together, but only Wilbur took the fall.
See also: fall, take