• A fifth wheel is someone who is in a situation where they are not really needed.
  • An unwelcome or extra person; unneeded person.
  • An extra or unnecessary person or thing.

1. My friend Jessica said she felt like a fifth wheel because she was the only one without a date.


2. I wonder what my role is in this company, sometimes I feel like a fifth wheel.


3. When every holiday is centred around being in a relationship, it makes you feel like a fifth wheel in the world.


4. A: Garret, come on the camping trip with us.

B: No, I refuse to be a fifth wheel when everyone is with their significant other.

awkward, deadwood, hanger-on, lagniappe, loner, odd man out, odd one out, spare, spare tire, superfluity, tag along, third wheel, trailer, triviality

Try this expression!

Wheels fall off

  • When the wheels fall off something, it goes wrong or fails.
  • Trouble breaks out; a fearful crisis ensues; things turn nasty.
  • To fail; fall apart.

1. Our soccer team does really well at times but then the wheels fall off at other times. They’re inconsistent.


2. Our projects always do well when our team manager is involved but the wheels fall off when he’s not.


3. Every book I’ve tried to publish went really well until the contract is reviewed by my lawyer and then the wheels fall off.


4. I can shoot the basketball perfectly from here but anywhere else, the wheels fall off.

break down, decline, deteriorate, diminish, fall, fail, fizzle, flop, flounder, fold, go wrong, lessen, meet with disaster, miss, miss the boat, wane, slip, slump

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