I was amused by the expression "Paid a penny and only farted" (related by @FumbleFingers), which suggested a similar Japanese saying: 大山鳴動鼠一匹 - "Find only a small mouse coming out after hearing rumblings and experiencing shaking of the big mountain."
It’s humorous. I chuckled when I read it, and I wrote to the author that I love it.
With that said, the word "fart" reminds me of another Japanese proverb, 百日の説法屁一つ- "A fart ruins 100 days of sermons by the priest", which means that a small mistake (the sound of a fart in front of the congregation) brings all his efforts to naught.
It can’t happen in big Western churches. But it could well happen in a small wooden temple where a priest would preach to 30 – 50 provincial followers. Can you imagine how the proud priest being called 'the venerable' would be embarrased when his loud fart is heard by all his followers during his serious sermon and they start to giggle here and there in the hall?
We also have a similar saying" 九仞の功を一簣に欠く, which literally means "Collapse a 9- meter sand tower with the last pile of sand."
What is the English equivalent of the saying "A fart ruins 100 days of sermons by the priest (bishop): a small mistake depreciates the value of (vitiates) all labor and effort to naught," preferably in such a humorous way?