pack like sardines

pack (someone or something) (in) like sardines

To fit many people or things very tightly or snugly into a small space. We didn't want to take more than one car, so Jeff packed us like sardines in his little sedan for the four-hour drive to Moab. Having a concert in our friends café was such a good idea! Sure, we had to pack people in like sardines, but everyone had a great time. I wish you would just let us buy you a bigger backpack! It makes my own back hurt watching you pack those books like sardines into your little shoulder bag.
See also: like, pack, sardine

pack someone or something (in) like sardines

Fig. to squeeze in as many people or things as possible. (From the way that many sardines are packed into a can.) They packed us in like sardines. There was no room to breathe. They packed in the people like sardines. Dave got a box and packed old negatives in like sardines.
See also: like, pack, sardine