it's a long story

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it's a long story

The story is very long and convoluted (and perhaps too long to tell the whole thing). A: "So how did you and Jim meet?" B: "It's a long story, but the short version is that we met in college." A: "Why were you running across the courtyard in your underwear yesterday?" B: "Ugh, it's a long story. I'll tell you tomorrow."
See also: long, story
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

it’s a ˌlong ˈstory

(informal) used to say that the reasons for something are complicated and you would prefer not to give all the details: ‘So why did you leave?’ ‘Oh, it’s a long story — I’ll tell you some other time.’
See also: long, story
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
'Yesterday--you need fear no long story, sir; only yesterday-- I was among the visitors at one of your English luncheon parties.
Not to protract this portion of our narrative, and to make short work of a long story, let it be briefly written that before the interview came to a close, the single gentleman deemed he had sufficient evidence of having been told the truth, and that he endeavoured to force upon the bride and bridegroom an acknowledgment of their kindness to the unfriended child, which, however, they steadily declined accepting.
I only desire her to go into the High Street' (and then he pulls out a turnover), 'to such a shop'; and then he tells them a long story of two fine neckcloths he had bid money for, and he wanted to have me go and make an errand to buy a neck to the turnover that he showed, to see if they would take my money for the neckcloths; to bid a shilling more, and haggle with them; and then he made more errands, and so continued to have such petty business to do, that I should be sure to stay a good while.
When he had given me my errands, he told them a long story of a visit he was going to make to a family they all knew, and where was to be such-and-such gentlemen, and how merry they were to be, and very formally asks his sisters to go with him, and they as formally excused themselves, because of company that they had notice was to come and visit them that afternoon; which, by the way, he had contrived on purpose.
I must tell you, mon cher," he continued in the sad and measured tones of a man who intends to tell a long story, "that our name is one of the most ancient in France."
Well, it's a long story. But as soon as I did land on this place, I soon got to know all your affairs--all, all, brother, I know everything; Nastasya here will tell you.
Well, brother, to make a long story short, I was going in for a regular explosion here to uproot all malignant influences in the locality, but Pashenka won the day.
He told a long story about the horses, from which it appeared that they had been stolen by various wandering bands, and scattered in different directions.
Confusion followed when Louis van Gaal said he would be out for "a long story...
And to cut another long story short, they could find some of the stars of it with a similar televised competition to the popular BBC1 series.
The '80s group introduced vocalist Ross William Wild at a show at London's Subterania, where they played hits such as To Cut A Long Story Short, True and Gold.
Long story short, I mailed the die/ stuck case to RCBS In Oroville, California.
Long story short, I mailed the die/stuck case, etc., to the company in Oroville, Calif.
To make a long story short, I have re-subscribed for the next three years after seeing Mark's great feature on hunting dangerous game.
It's a long story"' Actress Margot Robbie "I once cut my wife's lawn with a pair of scissors when I was courting her a long time ago.