fall guy

A fall guy, also known as a fall back guy, is a phrase used when referring to someone who acts as a scapegoat, or someone to fall back on should the details of the current plan or situation go awry. The fall guy is typically a gullible person by nature who is easy to take advantage of, which is why he (or she) is chosen in the first place. The fall guy is there so that the group has someone safe to rely on should they get into trouble.