Are there any idioms for making something less easy to understand, or for unnecessarily complicating a straightforward task?

My favorites for this scenario:

  • Don't muddy the waters...
  • Let's not boil the ocean like last time...

Maybe something water-body related, but probably not. I'm thinking more useful in a workplace scenario, but it would be cool if I could somehow work it into casual conversation too.

  • Of course you know that “boil the ocean” doesn’t mean “to over complicate”
    – Jim
    Aug 3 at 0:02
  • Does this answer your question? Or what about one of these?
    – tchrist
    Aug 3 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


You're requesting a phrase or idiom, but why overcomplicate things? Just say overcomplicate.

overcomplicate: to complicate exessively (thefreedictionary)

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