I always liked the phrase “Storm In A Teacup.” It’s British, but the Americanized version is a “tempest in a teapot”, which aside from being alliterative would allow for a slightly larger storm, or perhaps a copy of that Shakespeare play. I don’t know why it’s changed, we have teacups, too.
In any case it’s about making a bigger deal of something than you should, but instead I imagine a tiny tornado twisting its way around the rim of the china, as if stirred by a spoon suddenly removed, the leaves at the bottom of the cup stirred up and swirling as the brewing process makes it darker and darker.
If not recommended for life, use that feeling in your writing. Great for conflict and potential resolution. What’s important to one character isn’t always perceived the same as another: was the response too big, too small, pointless, funny, sympathy-inducing? Or were they just interested in some tea with sugar?
P.S. I enjoy wordplay. And I enjoy the screeching halt when you suddenly stop. Contrast is good in writing.
P.P.S. Songwriter Stephen Bishop wrote a song using this phrase, though it’s called “Madge.” Here’s a nice cover of it on YouTube. Bishop is more famous for things like “On and On”, “It Might Be You” (from “Tootsie”) and “Save It for a Rainy Day.” He also wrote and sang “Animal House.” So there’s that.
Here’s his own performance of Madge even though this musical P.S. diversion has little to do with the start of this post, it’s another tangent in how to use words to tell a story, right?