pay the piper, to

pay the piper

To face, accept, or suffer repercussions for one's actions or words, especially those that would be expected to incur punishment. After three nights of heavy drinking, I'm really going to be paying the piper come Monday morning! With the judge handing down the maximum possible sentence, this monster will be paying the piper for the rest of his life.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper

Fig. to face the results of one's actions; to receive punishment for something. You can put off paying your debts only so long. Eventually you'll have to pay the piper. You can't get away with that forever. You'll have to pay the piper someday.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper

see under call the tune.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper

pay the cost of an enterprise. informal
This expression comes from the proverb he who pays the piper calls the tune , and is used with the implication that the person who has paid expects to be in control of whatever happens.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper

To bear the consequences of something.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper, to

To bear the cost. This term refers to the musician who provides entertainment and the host’s obligation to pay him or her. “Always those that dance must pay the musicke” is an early version of the current term used by John Taylor (Taylor’s Feast, 1638). A late nineteenth-century addition was that he who does pay should call the tune—that is, the person who bears the cost may choose just what he or she is paying for. “I am going to pay the piper and call the tune,” wrote Shaw (Major Barbara, 1905).
See also: pay

pay the piper

Be forced to acknowledge and accept an unpleasant consequence of your action. The full expression is “Who pays the piper calls the tune,” which is to say that money calls the shots (“Money makes the mare go” is the same idea). But although a request can be melodious, the phrase came to have an unpleasant connotation, as if the music that the piper produced was not what was anticipated. For example, you tell your supervisor and your colleagues that you can undertake and finish an important assignment in two days, but you can't. As your supervisor takes you to task, you silently admit that you bit off more than you could chew—you're paying the piper.
See also: pay, piper