one-trick pony

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a one-trick pony

A person, group, or thing that is known for or limited to only one unique or noteworthy skill, talent, ability, quality, area of success, etc. The app developers took the world by storm with an incredibly addictive game for smartphones, but they've really been seen as just a one-trick pony ever since that breakthrough success. As most readers suspected, the famed fantasy writer turned out to be a bit of a one-trick pony, genre-wise, with his debut novel in literary fiction being universally panned by critics. The fashion house's first collection was a smashing success, but every release since then has been very derivative. It seems that their creative director is just a one-trick pony.
See also: pony
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

one-trick pony (or horse)

someone or something specializing in only one area, having only one talent, or of limited ability. chiefly US
2005 DVD Verdict Joan Collins…may be a one-trick pony (she's been playing nothing but variations on her Alexis Carrington for the past twenty years), but what a trick it is.
See also: pony
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Nathan explained to the judges he wasn't a one-tricK pony and wanted to use "fire, soil and gardening materials" to create art too.
This is the man who, after leading his team to inglorious defeat in the London bus tour task, gave the most toe-curling and laughable performance yet in the boardroom ("I'm not a one-trick pony or a 10-trick pony - I've got a field full of ponies!") Sugar warned him that one day he would look back at this and cringe ...
Jones was keen to stress his side was not just a one-trick pony after Wales international Craig Bellamy enjoyed his fifth win in as many matches for his home town team.
But his next challenge is to grow up - comically - or risk becoming a one-trick pony.
There is frustration among members of our group that while pounds 8m has been spent on the Playhouse in Whitley Bay and almost pounds 10m on a swimming pool in Wallsend, little has been done with regards to performing arts in the south west of the borough, and yet they are still to pull down the Borough Theatre and promote further the "World Heritage Site" at Segedunum - which in effect is a one-trick pony. Wallsend has a lot to offer in terms of performance and arts culture and we need somewhere to show this off.
A plumbing disaster, an argument with husband Jared and a haughty journalist, who describes Vivienne as a "one-trick pony", mean a bad start to the day for the chat show host.
Lysozyme is, by comparison, a one-trick pony: It chews up bacterial cell walls.
"We want to show people we're not a one-trick pony with this next album.
A few weeks before the election, with Moore trailing in the polls by 50 percent, NBC political reporter Mark Murray wrote a column speculating that many Alabamians had begun to see Moore as a one-trick pony.
We wanted to prove that we were more than a 180bpm one-trick pony."
A recent casting buyer emailed me the following question: "Is the typical metalcasting facility a full-service supplier or just a one-trick pony?"
But though a lesser artist might have turned into a one-trick pony engaged in an unengaging session of "And there's more where that came from," Bunn has proved that his windfall was a real opportunity.
After awhile, you feel like a one-trick pony. With this band, I can see us evolving over many records, reinventing ourselves."