have the goods on someone

have the goods on (someone)

To have incriminating evidence or proof against someone. We know he's guilty, but we can't arrest him until we have the goods on him.
See also: good, have, on

have the goods on someone

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you have the goods on someone, you know secret facts about them which could harm them if you told these facts to other people. How can the cops confront these people if they don't have the goods on them? Note: You can also say that you get the goods on someone, meaning that you obtain information of this kind. They hired a special investigator to get the goods on you. Note: `The goods' here refers to stolen property, which can be used as evidence against the person who is in possession of it.
See also: good, have, on, someone