when the cat's away the mice will play

when the cat's away, the mice will play

When someone in authority is not present, those subordinate to that authority do whatever they want. A: "If I leave my classroom for even a moment, I come back to find the place in chaos." B: "When the cat's away, the mice will play."
See also: mice, play, will
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

when the cat’s aˈway the mice will ˈplay

(saying) people enjoy themselves more and behave with greater freedom when the person in charge of them is not there
See also: away, mice, play, will
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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THEY say that when the cat's away the mice will play.
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