pull a fast one

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pull a fast one (third-person singular simple present pulls a fast one, present participle pulling a fast one, simple past and past participle pulled a fast one)

  1. (idiomatic, often followed by on) To carry out a trick or deception; to behave contrary to expectations.
    This isn't worth anything like what you paid them. I think they pulled a fast one on you.
    • 1992 August 7, Andrew Rosenthal, “The 1992 Campaign: Bush Says Rival Would ‘Pull a Fast One’ Over Taxes”, in New York Times[1], retrieved 3 November 2017:
      President Bush today made his most aggressive assault yet on Gov. Bill Clinton, asserting that the Democratic nominee would "pull a fast one on the American people" and raise taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars.
    • 1998 March 16, Daniel Kadlec, “Is That You, Al Dunlap?”, in Time[2], retrieved 3 November 2017:
      The man known as Chainsaw Al pulled a fast one last week, buying three companies when everyone assumed he would be selling his own.
    • 2013 April 2, Ricky Tomlinson, “10 lies we're told about welfare”, in The Guardian[3], retrieved 3 November 2017:
      7. Claimants are pulling a fast one. No. Less than 1% of the welfare budget is lost to fraud.
    • 2021 January 11, Mimi Swartz, “Never Forget What Ted Cruz Did”, in The New York Times[4], ISSN 0362-4331:
      But then came Jan. 6, when I watched my Ivy League-educated senator, Ted Cruz, try to pull yet another fast one on the American people as he fought — not long before the certification process was disrupted by a mob of Trump supporters storming the Capitol and forcing their way into the Senate chamber — to challenge the election results.