like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall

like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall

Incredibly difficult or impossible, such that it could be seen as a foolish or worthless endeavor to attempt. (Jell-O is a brand of gelatin-based deserts, which are known for being wobbly and unstable.) Trying to have a reasonable debate with her father is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. If they can't secure a victory here, climbing back to spot in the finals will be like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.
See also: like, nail, trying, wall

like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall

AMERICAN
If something is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall, it is impossible or extremely difficult. Jell-O is a trademark. Trying to describe the party's policy on this is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. Note: Jell-O is a dessert that resembles ready-made jelly. This expression was first used by the American President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to William Roscoe Thayer in 1915. He was describing the difficulty of negotiating with Colombia over the Panama Canal.
See also: like, nail, trying, wall
References in periodicals archive ?
And reining in popular culture - or, more precisely, the meaning of a particular piece of pop culture - is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.
In such an apathetic organization, instituting change is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.