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In Israel, there is an idiom that is literally "flipping a table over" (להפוך שולחן, Lahafokh Shoolkhan) and means an overly assertive, sometimes vulgar act out of desperation that is intended to shock the other party.

It is almost always used in the context of complaining about a service that was so bad one has to "flip a table over" to get the level of service they feel is due to them.

Is there an idiom in English that is parallel to this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

A bit prosaic, but such a person is said to 'make a scene' (a scene being part of a play or film, the person is being overly dramatic).

They might make a song and dance about the thing they are dissatisfied with.

They might also get huffy (make an unreasonable fuss) or more commonly go off in a huff (literally leaving the location).

Someone who leaves in a sulk or as a protest is also said to 'take their bat home'. This comes from childhood games where the child who brought the cricket bat gets in a temper and takes his bat home so that no one else can play.

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Yes! 'Make a scene' seems like the closest that makes sense in the context and with the correct connotations. – Omer van Kloeten Apr 18 '13 at 6:42

Are you going to give me the milkshake I ordered 27 minutes ago, or should I "hold a gun to your head" and make a shake out of your brains?

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That's very close to what I mean, but this idiom is more along the lines of coercing someone to do something. I am looking for something more along the lines of doing something shocking to get things done. – Omer van Kloeten Apr 17 '13 at 19:08

You might throw your toys out of the pram:-

British informal behave in a childish and petulant way; have a tantrum:

Lorenzo threw his toys out of the pram after being sent off

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