(when) the shit hits the fan


1. when a situation suddenly becomes difficult, chaotic, or dangerous






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when he/she heard the bad news, the shit hit the fan

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This is a highly informal and vulgar expression, so we wouldn't advise using it around people who you don't know very well or with whom you wouldn't normally have frank and informal conversations. The idea is that the 'shit' is the trouble that will arise from a circumstance, and when it 'hits the fan', it will go everywhere, meaning that the trouble will become known and widespread.

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  1. As soon as Suzanne heard the bad news, the shit hit the fan. She was furious!
  2. If Greg finds out his girlfriend spent the evening with Mark the shit will hit the fan.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. I'd rather you told the boss about what went wrong. I don't want to be the one in the firing line when the shit hits the fan!
  2. Patrick's CV looks great, but this is a high-pressure environment, so I wonder how he'll cope when the shit hits the fan?

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