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A complex, troublesome situation arising when a decision or action produces considerable subsequent problems.

If I give her a promotion which she doesn't deserve, it will open up a whole can of worms with the other employees.

Additional definitions for 'can of worms':

can of wormsA troublesome situation; an issue whose resolution is difficult or contentious, but not necessarily complex.
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"can of worms." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 25 Nov. 2017. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/can-of-worms_2760>.

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