What's the correct term for when a small problem becomes a big problem? An example would be what happens to Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"...
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Perhaps escalation would cover it. This can describe many things, such as an argument, become more serious:
to increase in extent, volume, number, amount, intensity, or scope
a little war threatens to escalate into a huge ugly one
I'd rather suggest the word Intensify.
to become greater, more serious, or more extreme, or to make something do this
When industrial restructuring accelerated in the 1980s, labor-management relations problems intensified.
Get out of hand is an idiomatic expression that may be of help here:
if a problem/situation get out of hand they become difficult or impossible to control.
- The student teacher saw that the class was getting completely out of hand, so he asked for help.
(The Free Dictionary)