up (a/the) creek (without a paddle)

up (a/the) creek (without a paddle)

slang In a challenging or troublesome situation, especially one that cannot be easily resolved. I have no savings, so if I get fired from my job, I'll be up the creek without a paddle. Shouldn't we stop for gas? We'll be up a creek if the car dies on that desolate road ahead.
See also: creek, up