Making a Scene


If a person makes a scene, they behave in such a way that it disturbs the public. In other words, they draw undue attention to themselves by being dramatic.

Example: While I was waiting in line to grab a burger, I saw the the woman up front of me get angry. She was yelling at the staff working there, making a scene all because they got her order wrong. It was a simple mistake!

1. Cause a disturbance
2. Create a scene
3. Make waves

‘Making a Scene’ – Its Origin

The phrase make a scene might have its origin in theater. The reason is because in a theater, comedic, dramatic, and other sorts of scenes are performed on a stage. These performances draw the attention of the audience. Thus, if someone is being dramatic and drawing unnecessary attention to themselves, it might be said that they are “making a scene” because it’s as if they are an actor on stage in a theatrical performance.

Now, how old is this phrase? Well, the earliest I have seen this expression with its modern wording is in a book from 1825. A part from this book reads: 

“When the company reached the dining-room, each placed himself at table where he chose, and the master and mistress of the house easily found means, without making a scene, to induce the four most distinguished women in company to sit by them.”

Example Sentences

  • I know you’re angry, but there’s no need to make a scene in front of all these people! It’s so embarrassing.

Similar Example:

  • When I was at the grocery store, I heard someone down the aisle making waves because they were out of their favorite cereal.

Tip: Do you want to find the meaning and possible origin for more phrases? If so, that’s what this website is about! There is an alphabetical list filled with hundreds of common sayings on here that you can browse through. Just scroll up to the top and select one of the letters in menu.