the bigger they come, the harder they fall

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the bigger they come, the harder they fall

proverb 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 come, the harder they fall. That bully thinks he's untouchable, but the bigger they come, the harder they fall.
See also: big, fall, hard
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bigger they come, the harder they fall, the

Persons in important positions lose more when they fail, as in Impeaching a President is very painful-the bigger they come, the harder they fall. This expression is believed to come from boxing and gained currency when boxer Robert Fitzsimmons used it in a 1902 newspaper interview before fighting the much heavier James J. Jeffries. It was probably derived from similar adages, such as "The bigger the tree, the harder she falls."
See also: big, hard
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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