take the cake

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take the cake (third-person singular simple present takes the cake, present participle taking the cake, simple past took the cake, past participle taken the cake)

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial, chiefly US) To be especially good or outstanding.
    Thanks! You guys take the cake.
    Once the party was over, everyone agreed that Elizabeth and her Harriet Tubman getup had taken the cake.
  2. (idiomatic, colloquial, chiefly US) To be particularly bad, objectionable, or egregious.
    I've seen bad grammar, but this takes the cake.