upset the applecart

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upset the applecart (third-person singular simple present upsets the applecart, present participle upsetting the applecart, simple past and past participle upset the applecart)

  1. (idiomatic) To disorganize or spoil something, especially an established arrangement or plan.
    Synonyms: cook someone's goose, drive a coach and horses through; see also Thesaurus:spoil, Thesaurus:put a damper on
    • 1900, E. Phillips Oppenheim, chapter 22, in A Millionaire of Yesterday[1]:
      “There are three reasons,” Trent answered. “First, he may find his way to England and upset the applecart; []
    • 1922, William Somerset Maugham, “act 3”, in Caesar's Wife, page 136:
      She told me herself just now that the worst was over. And those confounded people must go and upset the applecart.
    • 1979 December 10, “Business: Putting Brakes on a Bailout”, in Time[2], archived from the original on 2012-02-10:
      Last week the Senate Banking Committee upset the carefully stacked apple cart when it voted 10 to 5 not to approve the Administration's bill.
    • 2011, Mira Bartók, The Memory Palace, →ISBN, page 5:
      This kind of impact causes contusions in the front and back areas of the brain and can create microscopic bleeding and shearing of neural pathways, causing synapses to misfire, upsetting the applecart of your brain, sometimes forever.