get more than (one) bargained for

get more than (one) bargained for

To receive more than one anticipated or face an unexpected outcome in a given situation, especially that which is unfavorable or difficult to manage. I got more than I bargained for when I took on this job as a dishwasher—my manager has me doing just about every menial task in the restaurant! Jason thought it would be easy getting a job after college, but he got more than he bargained for trying find one in today's economy.
See also: bargain, get, more