In Spanish we have the phrase 'Morir de éxito'. Literally, it translates into 'Die from success' and we use it to refer to some cases in life where a success in something becomes too much of a hassle that it finally is bad for the person.

An example would go like this:

Let's imagine a little bakery in a small village in the country side. They sell cookies to neighbours and have some modest earnings.

One day some famous person shares in social media a picture of eating those cookies. Immediately, people get curious about them and start to go on pilgrimage to that place.

Initially things are fun and nice, but media shows interest on the topic and the floods of visitors become difficult to digest for the neighbours.
Time passes and the bakery cannot handle the load of requests, have to work extra hours and things become quite unpleasant for everyone.

As a result, they close the shop. In Spanish that the shop would have died from success.

Is there an equivalent phrase or idiom to this in English? Or is it exactly "die from success"?

2 Answers 2


There is a closely related expression, a very transparent idiom, in English:

[be] a victim of one's own success

From Cambridge Dictionary:

be a victim of your own success

​ to have problems because of your success:

The school has become a victim of its own success, as parents with children who have special needs now actively seek it out.

  • 1
    Another, more applicable to an individual, might be "spoiled by success". We can all think of people to whom it might apply.
    – WS2
    Mar 27, 2020 at 7:27

I agree with Edwin's answer based on Cambridge Dictionary's definition. A more extreme form would be a combination of kill and success. In the question's example I would conclude with a straightforward success killed them.

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