all hell broke loose

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all hell breaks loose

slang Said of a chaotic or disruptive situation, especially one that begins suddenly or unexpectedly. I'm just walking down the street when all hell breaks loose, and drivers start beeping and screaming at each other for no apparent reason. One guy pushed another at the bar and then all hell broke loose—that's why we left! The last time the team got eliminated from the playoffs at home, all hell broke loose, so I don't really want to go to the game with you.
See also: all, break, hell, loose
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

all hell broke loose

all sorts of wild or terrible things happened. When the boss left early for the weekend, all hell broke loose.
See also: all, broke, hell, loose
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

all hell broke (or was let) loose

suddenly there was chaos or uproar. informal
See also: all, broke, hell, loose
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Apparently, he only became aware when all hell broke loose after the plans were revealed in the press and then had to quickly do a u-turn.
The last time I was on an award stage in Hollywood, all hell broke loose.''
He plodded along until the fish moved into the shallow water on the near side ledge and all hell broke loose as he plundered the shoal with pellet and corn,catching carp to 10lbin a 72lb 140z total.
Fists flew as all hell broke loose during the worst disturbance ever seen in a district court in Ireland.
They were eyeballing each other from the moment Dane walked in - then all hell broke loose."
Mourinho said: 'When I said I wanted to win the league early, all hell broke loose.
When Desmond the Dragon of Rochdale intervened to try and halt his childish actions all hell broke loose and Freddie found himself shamed on the sidelines.
"All hell broke loose and the other drivers had to jump in to pull them part.
ALL hell broke loose in Albert Square last week - and the repercussions are still flying.
On the Street, Todd came out to Sarah and all hell broke loose with Gail and Eileen scrapping on the cobbles and Nick and Jason trading blows.
But soon all hell broke loose. Doors slammed, floorboards creaked and the air filled with a strange humming noise.
A witness said: "All hell broke loose when Pierce got a call saying he hadn't been paid in advance as agreed.
One player threw a punch near the end of the game and all hell broke loose." "The funny thing is, it hadn't even been a dirty match."
A pal said: "She was getting cramps all day and didn't feel great then all hell broke loose and Orlaith feared the worse.