Person A: "If X can do this, so can I."

Person B: "Well, [insert idiom]."

In this situation X is someone who should not be emulated or treated as a role model. For example, X may be someone who is dishonest, so you would discourage someone from using X's behavior as justification for their own. Looking for something akin to "using the wrong measuring stick".

  • 2
    Parenting 101: And if Pat jumped off the Empire State Building, would you do that, too?" Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 19:37
  • There's "lemming" for following a group behavior that's dangerous, but I can't think of something for emulating a specific person.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 20:29
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    @austin Please read our help. What criteria will you use to judge the best phrase? Questions which simply encourage a list where every answer is equally valid are frowned upon.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 15:41
  • 2
    Before you can get an answer to your question, could you say whether you are using "can" in the sense of "is capable of", or "dares to" or "is allowed to"? All are possible ways of using the word 'can': which is intended will make a substantial difference to the idiom that might be appropriate.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Here are a few options, though perhaps none are exactly what you're looking for:

  1. Well, if X jumped off a cliff, would you?
  2. Well, how's that working out for X?
  3. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
  4. Be careful you don't hit your head on that incredibly low bar. [I can't remember where I've heard this one before, but I'm not the one who came up with it.]

There's also a relevant saying from the Bible (Proverbs 4:14, KJV):

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

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