take the cake

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Related to took the cake: takes the cake

take the cake

1. To be the worst in a series of negative actions. Primarily heard in US. When I found out he had been reading through my text messages, well, that took the cake! You charged me for the drink you spilled on me? That really takes the cake!
2. To be the best or the most outstanding. You've done some nice murals, but this one takes the cake!
See also: cake, take

take the cake

Be the most outstanding in some respect, either the best or the worst. For example, That advertising slogan really took the cake, or What a mess they made of the concert-that takes the cake! This expression alludes to a contest called a cakewalk, in which a cake is the prize. Its figurative use, for something either excellent or outrageously bad, dates from the 1880s.
See also: cake, take

take the cake

If someone or something takes the cake, they represent the most extreme example of something stupid or bad. I mean, he's done a lot of crazy things, but this really takes the cake. Compare with take the biscuit. Note: This expression has a similar origin to `take the biscuit', which refers to the practice in the past of awarding cakes as prizes in competitions.
See also: cake, take

cake

1. n. money. (From bread, dough.) I can’t scrape together enough cake to do the job.
2. Go to cakes.

take the cake

1. To be the most outrageous or disappointing.
2. To win the prize; be outstanding.
See also: cake, take