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"...

closed as unclear what you're asking by Cascabel, JJJ, TrevorD, Chappo, jimm101 Apr 22 at 3:03

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    Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Not a very helpful example for those who don't know who Larry David is or what "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is. – user323578 Apr 19 at 16:44
  • Perhaps so, but that seemed to be the epitome of what he does. I'll attempt to find another example... – De Lano Hull Apr 19 at 16:46
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    ...maybe snowball, but I do not know if this is "correct" enough for you. – Cascabel Apr 19 at 17:23
  • Informally, go from bad to worse, or “out of the frying pan into the fire”. – Xanne Apr 20 at 3:42

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.

Intensify (Verb)

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)

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