What does fifth wheel mean?


Idiom Meaning:

a person who accompanies two couples


Examples of this Idiom in Movies & TV Shows:


Aliens (1986)

Time of Scene: n/a

Ripley: Hey, I feel like kind of a fifth wheel around here. Is there anything I can do?

Sergeant Apone: I don’t know, is there anything you can do?

Ripley: Well, I can drive that loader. I have a Class-2 rating.

Sergeant Apone: Be my guest.

Ripley: Where do you want it?

Sergeant Apone: Bay Twelve, please.


Arrested Development “Let ‘Em Eat Cake” (2004)

Time of Scene: 00:11:00

Gob: Zero hour, Michael. It’s the end of the line. I’m the firstborn. I’m sick of playing second fiddle. I’m always third in line for everything. I’m tired of finishing fourth. Being the fifth wheel. There are six things I’m mad about, and I’m taking over.

Michael: You want to be in charge?

Gob: Yeah.

Michael: You want to deal with what I deal with? A sister who takes your money and throws it away. A mother who you can’t trust. A company whose founder may be on trial for treason. Is that what you want?

Gob: What kind of vacation time does it offer?


NYPD Blue “Tempest in a C-Cup” (1993)

Time of Scene: 00:04:00

Det. Andy Sipowicz: What about the topless bar undercover, Lieutenant?

Lt. Arthur Fancy: I thought I’d reassign it.

Det. Andy Sipowicz: Well, uh, you think that’s necessary? Kelly’s gonna work interrogation with Conklin and Roberts. He’s gonna be schoolin’ Martinez. I’d just be like a fifth wheel.

Lt. Arthur Fancy: So you’d prefer to stay on the topless assignment?

Det. Andy Sipowicz: Well, I think that’s the most bang for our law enforcement buck, manpower-wise.

Lt. Arthur Fancy: Take Medavoy.

Det. Andy Sipowicz: Yes sir.



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Fifth Wheel Idiom



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