English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there an expression or idiom used when someone has done something that hasn't had the desired result after being warned about it, to mean "It was your choice and now it's the result"? Like he can't blame anyone else for that.

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Kristina Lopez, Nathaniel, JEL, Hellion, Benjamin Harman Jan 15 at 19:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – Nathaniel, JEL, Hellion, Benjamin Harman
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Possible duplicate of Synonym request: "paint into a corner" – Kristina Lopez Jan 11 at 21:21
Not an idiom, but if said with the just the right all-knowing facial expression and nod, the single word "Self-imposed" conveys the idea nicely. – Papa Poule Jan 11 at 23:34
Are you speaking about the person or to the person? And is the emphasis on them making a poor choice or on them not listening to you? – Wayne Jan 12 at 13:48
up vote 7 down vote accepted

"You've made your bed ..." (now lie in it).


"Your chickens have come home to roost."


"You've sown the wind ..." (now reap the whirlwind).

share|improve this answer
+1 for "You've made your bed", first thing that came to mind after reading the title. – DCShannon Jan 12 at 2:02

I think "it serves you right" may suggest the idea you are referring to:

  • (informal) something you say about a bad thing that has happened to a person and that they deserve.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

share|improve this answer

Possibly, in addition to the other suggestions, also "You reap what you sow."

to experience the results of your own actions

If we neglect our environment, we will surely reap what we sow.

Usage notes: usually used to say that something bad is likely to result from an activity

Etymology: from the idea that the quality of the seeds that you sow (put into the ground) grow into the kind of plants that you are able to reap (cut and collect)

share|improve this answer
This really should be a comment. – ab2 Jan 12 at 1:05
Possibly, sorry about that. Would it improve matters if I cited a source? – Brian Tung Jan 12 at 1:09
Yes, it would; see, e.g., JG's answer. – ab2 Jan 12 at 1:13
It's a perfectly good answer, not a comment, but it does need a definition/citation. – DCShannon Jan 12 at 2:02

It depends on whether your emphasis is on the fact that they made a poor choice, or the fact that they ignored your wise advice.

Several of the good answers you've gotten emphasize the latter: the person made a poor choice and now has to live with the consequences of that choice.

But if you wanted to emphasize that they didn't listen to you, "I told you so", and variants might be appropriate. By variants, I mean things like the faux denial: "I hate to say 'I told you so', but...", or "I'm not one to say 'I told you so', but...".

Another option is, "Well, some people just have to learn the hard way", which makes note of the fact that they ignored advice, but doesn't emphasize the fact that it was your advice.

share|improve this answer
This is a good question to ask for clarification, but do that in a comment on the question, not in an answer. – DCShannon Jan 12 at 2:03
Hi, Wayne, It would be better if you could delete the first paragraph and elaborate more on "I told you so!" part. Please let me know when it is done. I will upvote your answer. Thanks. – Rathony Jan 12 at 2:48
@Rathony: Edited. – Wayne Jan 12 at 13:53
Thanks. Looks better. I upvote your answer. :-) – Rathony Jan 12 at 13:54

Somewhat similar to Hot Licks' comment, you could say they paid the price:

  • Fig. to suffer the consequences for doing something or risking something. Oh, my head! I am paying the price for drinking too much last night.

  • to accept the unpleasant results of what you have done She dropped all her friends when she met Steve and now that he's gone, she's paying the price. She has no one to turn to. (often + for ) I have paid the price for working nonstop - my health has suffered.

share|improve this answer

get what's coming to one

Receive what one deserves or is due, especially something unpleasant, such as a punishment or rebuke. For example, When they suspended Steve for cheating, he was only getting what was coming to him. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.

have it coming

Deserve what one receives, as in You may not like being reprimanded, but you have to admit you had it coming, or When he won the Nobel Prize, everyone said he'd had it coming for a long time. [c. 1900] The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.