get something tied up in a neat little bow

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Senior Member
The Big Bang Theory Season 03 Episode 18

The chancellor calls Sheldon to inform that Sheldon has won the award, which Sheldon has already known because of Leonard who overheard this info walking past the office. And Sheldon has to give an address for winning the award, which can be a lot of stress as Sheldon has stage fright.

Sheldon: Hello? Oh, Chancellor Morton, how are you, sir? Yes, I was expecting your call (aside) three years ago. I see. Wait. What happens if I choose not to give a speech? Uh-huh. And if I don’t want to forfeit the award? Well, you’ve got that tied up in a neat little bow. All right. Thank you. (Hangs up) Problem.

What's the idiom, "tie something up in a neat little bow"? I know it's the motion of wrapping gifts, but I am not sure about the figurative meaning of it. Please help.
Last edited:
  • perpend

    American English
    It mean's to me that the chancellor has got some good leverage, in other words, he is in control, and is in a superior position.

    He has packaged it all so that Sheldon really has a problem.

    That's just my interpretation. I watch the show sometimes, but I haven't seen that episode.
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