get out of jail free card

get out of jail free card

1. Something that will immediately resolve or relieve an undesirable situation, especially that which results in no or minimal consequences. A reference to the board game Monopoly, in which this card allows players to leave the jail space without missing a turn. (Sometimes hyphenated as "get-out-of-jail-free.") I'm afraid there's no get out of jail free card when it comes to your taxes—you either pay them, or you pay the fine. Jonathan used his father's position in politics as a get-out-of-jail-free card to help get his drunk driving charge dismissed.
2. Something that allows or is used as an excuse for poor decisions, results, standards, behavior, etc. Sometimes hyphenated. Just because a book is part of a highly regarded series doesn't mean it has some get out of jail free card allowing it to be formulaic and poorly written.
See also: card, free, get, jail, of, out
References in periodicals archive ?
When asked why the JCPOA was giving a get out of jail free card to a man responsible for so much violence, death and suffering, John Kerry contended that he wasn't.
He told jurors that the offer to stop digging if Mitchell resigned was the equivalent of a get out of jail free card from the board game Monopoly.
"If you are guilty and are given the alternative of a Monopoly-style get out of jail free card, you would jump at the chance and have the matter brought quietly to a close and resign.
Moving the successful motion, Tony Woodley, T&G general secretary, said, 'The Bill completely and deliberately excludes from its scope the prosecution of negligent directors, guilty directors who will be handed a get out of jail free card.' The Government was 'plain wrong', he said.
'However, as the rules have been amended, Great Britain has been offered a get out of jail free card, which I cannot refuse.