play second fiddle
- (idiomatic, intransitive) To play a subsidiary or subordinate role to someone or something else.
- I think the VP is getting tired of playing second fiddle to the president, so if she's not promoted soon, she might leave.
2011 December 15, Felicity Cloake, “How to cook the perfect nut roast”, in Guardian:
- Christmas queen Mary Berry's aubergine five-nut roast, from her Christmas Collection, is, as the name suggests, rather more focused on the nut side of things. Breadcrumbs play second fiddle to a medley of almonds, Brazils, chestnuts, pine nuts and pistachios which, although tangy with lemon juice and garlic, is outrageously dense. A single slice of this could leave you supine in front of the Queen's speech without even the wherewithal to reach for the remote control.