Flash in the Pan

You use the expression ‘Flash in the Pan’ to indicate that something has failed, particularly if it had an impressive beginning.

Example of use: “He only wrote one hit single; his music career was pretty much a flash in the pan.”

Interesting fact

The term ‘flash in the pan’ originated sometime during the late 17th century, when flintlock muskets were used. An attempt to fire a musket that resulted in gunpowder flaring up but no ball firing was referred to as a flash in the pan.