I'm watching a british TV show "The Great British Bake Off" and stumbled upon this conversation.

(One contestant(B) trying to pull out a cake lifter after placing a cake on a stand. Another person(A) overlooking that and says,)

A: "That's got carpet tile written all over it."
B: "Asking for disaster."

Could someone tell me what is this means please?

  • There are exceptions, of course, but since carpet tile is usually at the lower end of the spectrum as far as cost and quality goes, my immediate interpretation of this was "looks good, but is of poor quality" – Michael J. Oct 19 '18 at 18:07

Since it's being said while someone is doing something that risks the cake's balance, the most likely explanation is that it means the cake is likely to fall (onto the carpet tile). One of the meanings of "written all over it" is to be a perfect match for something; also consider the idiom of "a bullet with his name on it", meaning a bullet destined to be used on a specific person. The person is essentially saying that the cake is destined to hit the carpet tile. The comment "asking for disaster" reinforces this interpretation.


A carpet tile is thin. Presumably, the cake had not risen as intended and was as thin as a carpet tile.

The idiom "has x written all over it" can be used in different contexts, but here it means to show a certain characteristic very clearly. Source: Merriam Webster.

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    I think the intended meaning could have been a number of things - eg that it was destined to be dropped and splattered all over the floor, thus ending up like a carpet tile. Regardless, the main point about the meaning of "written all over it" is correct. – Max Williams Nov 8 '17 at 10:36
  • It's worth pointing out as well that "written all over it" is often (perhaps most often) used within a prediction of the future, rather than describing the object's current state: so in this case it's like saying "I think that this might end up resembling a carpet tile" – Max Williams Nov 8 '17 at 10:38
  • @Max Williams. Agreed. Maybe Person A was implying that the cake was only fit to be dropped on the floor and stamped on! – Shoe Nov 8 '17 at 10:39
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    @MaxWilliams I think you are right about the splat, but I'd say its because it ends up on the carpet tiles, rather than resembling them. The next words spoken are 'Oh, nicely done' suggesting that the cake lifter was indeed removed without the cake falling. subsaga.com/bbc/entertainment/the-great-british-bake-off/… – Spagirl Nov 8 '17 at 12:44
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    @MaxWilliams Isn't there? Looks like it to me. (I did check before I commented) dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3767770/… – Spagirl Nov 8 '17 at 14:22

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