the bigger they are, the harder they fall

the bigger they are, the harder they fall

Those who are exceptionally large, powerful, or influential will have more to lose when they fail, and their failure will be all the more dramatic or spectacular because of it. Over 20 years, he created an iron-fisted dictatorship, but when the revolution came, he and the small few who controlled the country were summarily executed or driven into exile. Truly, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. That bully thinks he's untouchable, but the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
See also: big, fall, hard

bigger they are, the harder they fall

Prov. When prominent people fail, their failure is more dramatic. After the newspapers reported that the mayor cheated on his wife, he lost the election and he can't get any kind of job. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Jackson used to be very wealthy, but he lost every cent in the stock market crash. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
See also: big, fall, hard

the bigger they come/are, the harder they fall

The mighty are brought lower than the lowly. Although the concept is as old as anyone who has faced a more powerful opponent, the saying is attributed to several turn-of-the-twentieth-century boxers who were facing such odds. One was Robert Fitzsimmons, who allegedly said it in 1902 before losing to James J. Jeffries, a much heavier man than he. Another was James J. Corbett, who had to fight Fitzsimmons, much taller than he, in 1897. According to Eric Partridge, the expression caught on as a term of defiance against one’s superiors in the British armed forces of World War I. Several variants have sprung up, among them the taller they are, the further/farther they fall; and the harder you fall, the higher you bounce.
See also: big, come, fall, hard
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall. It will be old-school rugby.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And I wanna tell you friends, and I mean this most sincerely, it was true in the case of Hughie Green.