catch lightning in a bottle

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catch lightning in a bottle

To achieve or succeed at doing something that is incredibly difficult, unlikely, and/or elusive. Primarily heard in US. The playwright caught lightning in a bottle with his first play, taking the world by storm and thrusting him into the spotlight of fame. This rookie team, such underdogs in this championship, are trying to catch lightning in a bottle with an upset win over the number one seed.
See also: bottle, catch, lightning

catch lightning in a bottle

Try to do something that's impossible. The phrase has been attributed to the baseball manager Leo Durocher, who may have originated or simply liked to use it. In any event, it's an apt metaphor for something that no one can do (unless “lightning” refers to lightning bugs, another name for fireflies).
See also: bottle, catch, lightning