Is there a phrase or idiom that conveys the "reverse" meaning of sour grapes?

Sour grapes: A good object "becomes bad" if I cannot get it.

Phrase I'm looking for: A bad object "becomes good" if I'm forced to have it.

Say for example that I was forced by a court to fight a boxing match due to some contract and I cannot escape it. I didn't want to do it originally but now that I know I'll have to, I pretend it's all I've ever thought of since I've known the opponent, to take him down in a boxing match. This is where someone would look at me and use the phrase I'm looking for with an intention to deride my pretense.

To be clear, these are my constraints:

  • The situation or object has to be undesirable all through, objectively.

  • I am strongly against it right from the beginning to the end (as any normal person, going by the constraint above)

  • After facing the situation/getting the object with no way out, I pretend that I love the situation or object. I do not actually reconcile myself to it, let alone like it. I only pretend.

  • The phrase should be used in a pejorative manner

  • 1
    I can't think of an idiom exactly analogous to sour grapes, but I think the phrase feigning delight is sometimes used for this situation. Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 5:08
  • 1
    Putting on a brave face may be close.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 5:48
  • ‘Sweet wine’..? Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 6:37
  • Making the best of a bad situation could fit your given circumstance, but it's not a direct opposite of sour grapes.
    – SteveES
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 10:43

2 Answers 2


Freud used the terms sour grapes and sweet lemons to define two types of rationalization or defense mechanisms.

Where a sour grapes situation goes; This goal is attainable, I'll surely be successful! And when not, well, the goal was surely beneath me. (belittling the grapes)

Sweet lemons would be - I didn't get the job in Paris? Well, I'll build my skills and try again next year, and be the better for it. Besides, I love my flat in New York, and my support network is here! (convincing yourself you're better off you failed)

Maybe sweet lemons is what you're after?


There is a common saying: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

This is often shortened to "from lemons to lemonade," or simply "lemons to lemonade."

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