off the hook, to get/to be let

be let off the hook

To be pardoned, vindicated, released, or allowed to avoid blame, responsibility, obligation, or difficulty. At first, Sam was suspected of stealing money from the safe, but he was let off the hook after security camera footage showed it was someone else. A: "I thought you had that big work event tonight." B: "No, it got canceled, so I've been let off the hook."
See also: hook, let, off

get (one) off the hook

1. To help one to avoid punishment or culpability for some wrongdoing. He's the best lawyer in the business. If anyone can get you off the hook for murder, he can. Can you please tell Mom that you broke the vase and get me off the hook?
2. To free one from the responsibility of some task; to help one to avoid some obligation or duty. Thank you for getting me off the hook for Saturday—I was dreading having to babysit at 6 AM on my day off!
See also: get, hook, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

off the hook, to get/to be let

To escape from some difficulty. The analogy is to throwing a fish one has caught back into the water, saving its life. The term on the hook goes back to the seventeenth century; the current cliché dates only from the mid-1800s. Anthony Trollope used it (The Small House at Allington, 1864): “Poor Caudle . . . he’s hooked, and he’ll never get himself off the hook again.”
See also: get, let, off, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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