fall flat

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fall flat

1. To fail or be ineffective. Good luck—the last time management tried to implement a new dress code, that measure fell flat.
2. To fail to be humorous, as of a joke. A: "Unfortunately, my first stand-up routine really fell flat." B: "Well, maybe you just had the wrong audience."
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

Fail, prove to be ineffective, as in His jokes nearly always fell flat-no one ever laughed at them. [First half of 1800s]
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

COMMON
1. If an event or an attempt to do something falls flat, it is completely unsuccessful. If the efforts fall flat and the economic situation does not change, this city can expect another riot 25 years from now. She was badly disappointed when the evening fell flat.
2. If a joke falls flat, nobody thinks it is funny. He then started trying to tell jokes to the assembled gathering. These too fell flat.
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

fail completely to produce the intended or expected effect.
See also: fall, flat

fall ˈflat

if a joke, a story, or an event falls flat, it completely fails to amuse people or to have the effect that was intended: I didn’t think the comedian was funny at all — most of his jokes fell completely flat.
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

1. To fail miserably when attempting to achieve a result.
2. To have no effect: The jokes fell flat.
See also: fall, flat
References in periodicals archive ?
But then you've also got to hand it to director Mark Waters (``Freaky Friday,'' ``Mean Girls''): His movie's logic would short-circuit a computer, and just about every scene of broad comedy falls flat, but Waters does make you care about the film's two scrambled old souls in such a way that you're willing to suspend disbelief and wade through the film's thick soup of glop to get to the inevitable happy ending.
But while the street choreography is impressive, everything else about this teen flick trips over its trainers and falls flat on the backside of its baggy pants.
Rice has worked all of these elements into her new novel, but the story still falls flat.
At some point, the coin's edge finally loses its grip on the table and falls flat.
13 (all works 2000), for example, baseballs are embedded in a large log on the floor (perhaps a temporal conflation of the narrative of a wooden bat), a concept whose execution falls flat.
A good idea, it falls flat because the story has no real backbone and the characters just don't ring true.
But the much-insisted-upon relation of Helena and Hamlet that opens Hillman's discussion falls flat.