In For It (or Something), to be

Meaning of Idiom ‘To Be In For It ( or something)’

To be in for something means to be certain to experience it, usually referring to something unpleasant.


The simple form “in for it” is used so often for this idiom that it can be considered a standard variant. For example: “Mom found out you snuck out of the house last night and you’re in for it.” The ‘it’ is a repercussion, punishment, etc. for one’s actions. Other common forms:

in for a big surprise
in for a rude awakening

Examples of Use

“You’re in for a big surprise if you think they won’t notice you lied on your application.”

“Go ahead and leave,” said Julie to her boyfriend, “but if you think I’ll take you back you’re in for a rude awakening.”

“I’m in for it now,” said Thomas. “I forgot to make the work schedule for this week.”

“Dan is in for a chewing out from the boss. He missed work yesterday and never called in.”


‘In for it’ has been used as an idiom since at least the second half of the 1800’s. In for a rude awakening seems younger, used since perhaps the first decade of the 20th century. Since this idiom is so variable, it is difficult to determine its original form.

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