there is/lies the rub

there(in) lies the rub

That is the biggest problem or difficulty (with the situation being discussed). The phrase was famously used in Shakespeare's Hamlet (as "there's the rub") and is now seen in many different variations, including "here's the rub" and "that's the rub." A: "All you need to do to get your car back is pay the fine." B: "But therein lies the rub: my wallet is in my car." Even if they gave me immunity for testifying against him, I knew I could be the target of his retaliation, and there lay the rub.
See also: lie, rub

there's the rub

There is the biggest problem or difficulty (with the situation being discussed). Seen in many different variations, including "here's the rub," "that's the rub," and "therein lies the rub," the phrase was famously used in Shakespeare's Hamlet. A: "All you need to do to get your car back is pay the fine." B: "But there's the rub—my wallet is in my car."
See also: rub

there is/lies the ˈrub

(formal or humorous) that is the main difficulty: To get a job you need somewhere to live, and there’s the rub — I have nowhere to live and so I can’t get a job.This expression comes from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
See also: lie, rub, there
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