be like a deer caught in the headlights

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be like a deer caught in the headlights

To be visibly startled and frozen in fear. I was like a deer caught in the headlights when my mom asked about that hideous sweater she gave me. When the security alarm started blaring, the burglar was like a deer caught in the headlights.
See also: caught, deer, headlight, like
References in periodicals archive ?
Pistol-boy's jaw drops like a drawbridge; he momentarily freezes like a deer caught in the headlights, then his feet take over without any command from the brain and he almost falls trying to make a clumsy high-speed exit.
Andrews was like a deer caught in the headlights as five went past him.
A saying wholly appropriate to this aspect is, "He looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
James ``looked like a deer caught in the headlights,'' McKee said.
But Leto just looks like a deer caught in the headlights, and Quaid, who's best when he's having fun as in ``The Big Easy,'' takes on a one-note glower, barely cracking a smile.