take the cake

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Related to takes the cake: out of whack, up to par, pillar to post

take the cake

1. To be the worst in a series of negative actions. Primarily heard in US. When I found out he had been reading through my text messages, well, that took the cake! You charged me for the drink you spilled on me? That really takes the cake!
2. To be the best or the most outstanding. Primarily heard in US. You've done some nice murals, but this one takes the cake!
See also: cake, take

take the cake

Be the most outstanding in some respect, either the best or the worst. For example, That advertising slogan really took the cake, or What a mess they made of the concert-that takes the cake! This expression alludes to a contest called a cakewalk, in which a cake is the prize. Its figurative use, for something either excellent or outrageously bad, dates from the 1880s.
See also: cake, take

take the cake

If someone or something takes the cake, they represent the most extreme example of something stupid or bad. I mean, he's done a lot of crazy things, but this really takes the cake. Compare with take the biscuit. Note: This expression has a similar origin to `take the biscuit', which refers to the practice in the past of awarding cakes as prizes in competitions.
See also: cake, take

take the cake

1. To be the most outrageous or disappointing.
2. To win the prize; be outstanding.
See also: cake, take
References in periodicals archive ?
I have had some individual high moments here but this one takes the cake.
Adam Rex's FRANKENSTEIN TAKES THE CAKE (9780152062354, $16.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's reform measures on Tuesday's ballot - the Alliance for a Better California - takes the cake when it comes to false advertising.
Alexander Stadler's BEVERLY BILLINGSLY TAKES THE CAKE (0152053573, $16.
But for no-holds-barred gender tweaking, Rumiko Takahashi's outrageous Ranma 1/2 takes the cake.
And, of course, Time/Pathfinder takes the cake, but they have never had a clue about the Web from the beginning.
Steak Wrapping Paper The folks at Gift Couture are in the business of creating clever wrapping paper that coordinates together into a theme and this one takes the cake.
But what really takes the cake on this one, are the remarks Egyptian owner Fulham Al Fayed fired back at the criticism: "Why is it bizarre?
London, Feb 18 (ANI): As the Royal Wedding day approaches closer, various kinds of memorabilia are being flouted here and there, but this one surely takes the cake.
But in per capita rates, Travis County takes the cake.
But what takes the cake now is how the EFI has dropped the country's top two riders from the eventing team for the Guangzhou Asian Games to be held from November 12 to 27.
AS a Spurs fan for 43 years I've been embarrassed on many occasions - 8-2 at Derby, 7-0 at Liverpool, 7-1 and 6-1 at Newcastle but this one really takes the cake.
After trying out multiple SNMP monitoring programs, this one takes the cake in price, functionality and support.
London, Oct 22 (ANI): A list of strange requests that hotels get from their guests has revealed that asking for a chaperone for a group of sex addicts takes the cake.
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