One-trick pony

Posted by Sauerkraut on March 02, 2002

In Reply to: One-trick pony posted by Marian on February 26, 2002

: An acquaintance who wrote a finale song for a college musical last year, and had hoped to get several new numbers she's now written approved for this year's musical, has failed to gain approval for anything other than another finale number. She's not as pleased as she was last year, partly because she fears she'll be labeled as a "one-trick pony." What's the origin of the phrase?

The origin of the phrase goes back to the days of traveling circuses. Small ones with no major acts and no menagerie of exotic animals were derided as being dog and pony shows, since those were the major performers. To further denigrate the show, detractors would say that it had a one trick pony.