rock the boat, to

rock the boat

To do or say something that might endanger a stable situation or upset the status quo. None of my family members are fighting with each other right now, so please don't rock the boat by bringing up politics or any other controversial topics. Many people feel the newspaper is too soft on the government and never rocks the boat when asking questions directly to the politicians.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

 
1. Lit. to do something to move a boat from side to side, causing it to rock. (Often in a negative sense.) Sit down and stop rocking the boat. You'll turn it over!
2. Fig. to cause trouble where none is welcome; to disturb a situation that is otherwise stable and satisfactory. (Often negative.) Look, Tom, everything is going fine here. Don't rock the boat! You can depend on Tom to mess things up by rocking the boat.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

Disturb a stable situation, as in An easygoing manager, he won't rock the boat unless it's absolutely necessary. This idiom alludes to capsizing a small vessel, such as a canoe, by moving about in it too violently. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

COMMON If someone rocks the boat, they do something which causes trouble or problems in a stable situation. He was careful not to rock the boat with any criticism. Diplomats are expecting so much instability after his death that they argue it's unwise to rock the boat now. Note: You can also talk about boat-rocking. I'm sometimes critical of the organization, which is seen as boat-rocking, upsetting a comfortable arrangement.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

say or do something to disturb an existing situation and upset other people. informal
1999 Times The six candidates are so determined not to rock the boat that they are in danger of saying nothing of interest.
See also: boat, rock

rock the ˈboat

(informal) do something that might upset somebody/something, cause problems or change the balance of a situation in some way: Politicians who are prepared to rock the boat are popular with newspapers but not with their parties.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

To disturb the balance or routine of a situation: He has an easygoing managerial style and won't rock the boat unless absolutely necessary.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat, to

To disturb a stable situation. The analogy here is to capsizing a small craft, such as a canoe, by moving about carelessly. Current on both sides of the Atlantic since the 1920s, it became the title of a song, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” in the popular musical comedy Guys and Dolls (1950) by Frank Loesser. The song, performed on Broadway by Stubby Kaye in the role of Nicely-Nicely, was a consistent showstopper and did much to popularize the term.
See also: rock