off the rails

be off the rails

1. To be in a state of chaos, dysfunction, or disorder. Our project has been off the rails ever since the manager up and quit last month.
2. To be crazy, eccentric, or mentally unhinged. I think you should cut back on your drinking—you were totally off the rails last night!
See also: off, rail

off the rails

In an abnormal or malfunctioning condition, as in Her political campaign has been off the rails for months. The phrase occurs commonly with go, as in Once the superintendent resigned, the effort to reform the school system went off the rails . This idiom alludes to the rails on which trains run; if a train goes off the rails, it stops or crashes. [Mid-1800s]
See also: off, rail
References in classic literature ?
"Off the rails!" the boy cried, springing to his feet.
The sudden, spontaneous agility with which he bounded aboard right off the rail afforded me the first glimpse of his real character.
RTE Star Mary Kennedy said her mother was nervous over her doing well on TV in case it sent her "off the rails".
Newport Beach, CA, April 30, 2019 --(PR.com)-- FlipTix, the only ticketing platform allowing ticket holders to "Flip" tickets throughout the course of an event, will join Off The Rails Country Music Festival in Frisco, Texas, May 4-5, as the official ticket flipping option for festival-goers throughout the weekend.
According to rescue sources, the engine and seven cars of Khushal Khan Khattak Express slipped off the rails near Kalabagh at around 5:00am.
Off the Rails opened its doors after significant investment from two local businessmen, and is situated in the former Rileys Snooker Hall in High Street.
"I thought I'd share that I've been 13 years clean and sober and kinda came off the rails a little bit.
Our Jewish guest is Adam Irving, whose documentary Off the Rails tells the story of Darius McCollum, an obsessive transit buff with Aspberger's syndrome who has been arrested 32 times for impersonating New York City subway conductors and bus drivers.
A SERIAL offender who had turned over a new leaf by overcoming drug and alcohol problems went "off the rails" when he was wrongly told he had 12 months left to live.
"I have kept stability in my life when I could've gone off the rails.
He told the Sunday Times: "She went off the rails and it all went pear-shaped for her.
The same thing happened in a similar situation with Charlotte Church, who went off the rails with her bad drinking habits.
A commuter train in New York came off the rails on Sunday morning, killing at least four people.
Graham Harding, defending, told the city's sheriff court Adams "went a little bit off the rails" after moving in with a friend.
Evans has previously conceded he went 'off the rails' after highprofile Davis Cup wins last year and, coupled with an ill-timed night out as a teenager before a competition, the world number 277 has since cleaned up his act.