nail Jell-O to the wall

nail Jell-O to the wall

and nail Jell-O to a cross and nail Jell-O to a tree
phr. to do something that is totally futile. (Jell-O is a protected trade name.) You’re wasting your time. Trying to get him to do that is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.
See also: nail, wall
References in periodicals archive ?
"It's like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall," Edmonds said.
And reining in popular culture - or, more precisely, the meaning of a particular piece of pop culture - is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. It's messy, difficult, and doesn't make a whole lot of sense.