up to eleven

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up to eleven

To an intense, excessive, or extreme degree; at or beyond the maximum amount or normal threshold. (Coined in the 1984 comedy film This is Spinal Tap, referring to the guitar player's amplifier going to eleven, as opposed to the traditional limit of ten.) Some of the best nights we had when we were teenagers were spent just driving aimlessly, cranking the car stereo up to eleven. Whenever our parents' fighting got up to eleven, my sister and I made ourselves scarce.
See also: eleven, up