there's the rub

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there's the rub

Here is the problem (with the situation being discussed). Seen in many different variations, including "here's the rub," "that's the rub," and "therein lies the rub," the phrase was famously used in Shakespeare's Hamlet. A: "All you need to do to get your car back is pay the fine." B: "But there's the rub: my wallet is in my car."
See also: rub

there's the rub

or

therein lies the rub

OLD-FASHIONED
COMMON You say there's the rub or therein lies the rub when you are stating what is difficult, impossible or unfair about a situation. If you are in a hurry, you can get straight onto the train and buy a ticket on board but you can only buy a single ticket — not a return — and there's the rub. She claims she is seen as `a ferocious, man-hating feminist' but therein lies the rub. Women often imagine they are being criticized when they are not. Note: This expression is variable and people sometimes use structures such as here's the rub or there lies the rub. When there are fewer orders, staff will work as little as 28 hours a week. When demand increases, workers will have to do an extra 10 hours. But here's the rub. They will get no extra cash for it. Note: This is from the well-known speech that begins `to be or not to be' in Shakespeare's play `Hamlet', act 3 scene 1, when Hamlet is wondering whether or not to commit suicide: `To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come...'
See also: rub

there's (or here's) the rub

that is the crucial difficulty or problem. literary
This expression comes from Shakespeare 's Hamlet: ‘To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause’. In the game of bowls, a rub is an impediment that prevents a bowl from running smoothly.
1998 Times Even worse, and here is the rub, nobody could say who put what paper in which tier of whose red box.
See also: rub