put on the spot

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put (one) on the spot

To force one to do something instantaneously, often causing them unease or embarrassment. My kids always try to put me on the spot with requests, knowing that I'm less likely to turn them down in front of their friends' parents. When the boss put me on the spot in the meeting today, I wasn't prepared to answer his question and ended up babbling like a fool.
See also: on, put, spot

put someone on the spot

Fig. to ask someone forthright questions; to demand that someone produce as expected. Don't put me on the spot. I can't give you an instant answer. The boss put Bob on the spot and demanded that he do everything he had promised.
See also: on, put, spot